You’re suited and booted. Hair and make-up completed, wedding dress on. Your wedding guests are excitedly arriving at the church or wedding venue ahead of the ceremony.
I love capturing this stage of the day. It’s the excitement of people seeing each other for the first time in what could be years and years. Those embraces from family and friends. The first group selfies of the day. The groomsmen goofing around. A last quick shot of alcohol to calm the nerves! One final check that the best man still has the wedding rings. The arrival of the bridesmaids and bride. The locals in the village looking on at the church. It’s all so very fast paced at this point, a real contrast from the relative calmness of the morning preparations.
The British weather can really play its part during this time too. From guests arriving in beautiful summer sunshine to moments later a full-on thunderstorm meaning bridesmaids making a dash for it in the rain.
I’ve searched through the archive of weddings over the past few years and curated a few standout moments from just before the ceremony. One of my absolute favourites from this part of the day is the photo of Naomi walking down the middle of Ludgate Hill, in London with her bridesmaids. Naomi and Luke’s wedding took place the day before the LondonRide cycle event and so a number of roads had been closed off where the event was to take place the following day. To photograph Naomi, her dad and bridesmaids walking in the middle of an empty road with St Paul’s Cathedral in the background was too much of an opportunity to miss.
For Ruth & Dan’s wedding back in 2015 Dan and his groomsmen arrived at Dodmoor House by canal boat! Expertly captured on the day by my second photographer Steve. Just before the ceremony is where you can really benefit from having a second photographer. Usually the wedding guests arriving coincides with the final preparations for the bride and bridesmaids. Having an additional photographer capturing moments really can add to the complete story of the day.
Hope you enjoy looking through the following set of images.
Next up in the series is the wedding ceremony itself. The main part of the day. The reason we’re all at a wedding. I’ll be digging out some of my favourite moments from the ceremony soon!