A wedding in Newquay! That got me hooked right from the start. I’ve always wanted to do a wedding on or near a beach, but being based in the Midlands, it’s not a request that comes up much. But that very request is how Kate and Ian’s wedding started for me!
We first met to talk about the wedding at their lovely new home. The first discussion was over curry and beer and then the second meeting was a bit more formal as we needed to bash out the plan for the day and the timings, which, as with every couple, was a bit of an eye opener for them. I’ve mentioned this a few times on my blog before, but it is a point I always feel needs pushing home. This is something the photographer should have a handle on as the time between saying “I do” and the point everyone sits down for the wedding breakfast is normally pretty short and there’s a lot of photography to fit in. In the case of Kate and Ian, we had a window of 1.5hrs to fit in: shots outside the church, shots of tea, scones and champagne in the vicarage, a drive over to a car park overlooking the sea for some shots in the VW camper/wedding car, then down to the beach for the group shots. Then staged shots down the beach with the bride and groom, brides maids and ushers involving paddling in the sea, running round sand dunes and deck chairs. Then we had to head over to the hotel reception for some more shots with the VW. Now, I would never by any means say that’s impossible as its not. I will always make it work, but this is where the meeting to discuss the day’s timings is important, to give the bride and groom a bit of time appreciation and understanding of how important planning is to achieve everything they want as smoothly as possible and still maintain the magic of the day.
On the day itself, luckily me and Vic (my assistant for the day) were staying in the cottage the family had hired for the week, so we were well placed to start the day. The night before the bridesmaids and one of the boyfriends who got bushwhacked into helping out, had a marathon cook off and churned out 130 scones ready for the tea and scones that were being served after the wedding. There was a happy vibe in the cottage and the sun was out. It had rained all day the previous day and the forecast wasn’t too clever for the wedding day but it looked like a good start!
When Kate came downstairs for the first time, I think everyone one collectively held a stunned breath. The great thing about wedding photography is you always get to take photos of beautiful happy people, but every so often you get something special and Kate’s dress was amazing, something completely different. The dress was a 1920’s/1930’s, Art Deco styled, slinky number. It was fantastic. It didn’t take long for her dad and brother to start blubbering, you could see the pride and sheer joy in Kate’s parents faces.
The rest of the morning went well. I met the boys and got some photos of them with the sea in the background looking across Crantock Bay. They picked Crantock for their wedding as Kate’s family spent all their family holidays there while the kids grew up.
The ceremony went without any hitches and once they “I do’d” it was time to for some photo fun!! The main effort for the day was to get photos of them both in the camper and get photos on the beach. Once a few scones had been stuffed in our mouths at the tea party we headed over to Crantock for some pictures of the camper on the ridge overlooking the bay. Bbeing a sunny Friday afternoon, the car park was rammed! But luckily I spotted a few cars with people in so after a quick chat the cars moved and the camper rolled into position.
Once we were on the beach it was still sunny but very windy. I had to position all the groups with their faces into the wind otherwise there would have been hair flying everywhere! At least facing the wind the hair was blowing behind them. This was a shame, as I know Kate wanted the sea behind them but it couldn’t happen. With time against us we got through the groups and told all the family and friends they could head for the hotel. I then had about 20 minutes to get the important staged shots they wanted – sat on the deck chairs, playing in the water etc. After a bit of running round I got everything we needed and sent them all on their way.
The period of time between the ceremony and going to the reception venue was pretty tight. If we hadn’t have been out the day before and had a good look at the locations, planned the rough shoots and banged on about the timings, things may not have ran so smoothly. A also being able to heard 80 guests on the beach in strong winds was a bonus! My aim as always is to achieve what the couple want, with the minimum amount of fuss and bother to them, Inside my head is chaos but I try to protect the couple from any of that so they just enjoy the day.
The rest of the day went without any hitches and a fantastic evening was had by all. After backing up all the images using three different methods, we ditched our gear back at the cottage (less one camera just in case) after the first dance, and returned to the venue for a few drinks. After heading into Newquay later that night with a selection of guests, ushers and bridesmaids we managed to wobble home!
Kate had these kind words:
“After being together for 10 years, and planning our wedding in Cornwall we wanted everything to be perfect and personal for our dream wedding.
We were full of ideas on how we wanted things to look, feel and our main priority was our guests to enjoy the day as much as ourselves. With regards to photography we wanted someone to understand what kind of atmosphere we wanted to create. Our wedding was all about relaxed, fun, natural and representing us.
Meeting Mike for our photography consultation was a pleasure, right from the word go he understood what we were after, the style we wanted to capture, and the importance of certain shots. Creatively we were aiming for the same thing, and thought up some fantastic ideas for photos.
Mike is one of the most organised and passionate people I have ever met, He arrived in Cornwall on the Wednesday evening, as he was eager to see all the locations we desired for our photos. When it came to the morning of the wedding, as a bride so many things were running through my head, and I started to feel the pressure of the wedding, but having Mike around me made me feel confident, at ease and relaxed. I would advise any bride to book him for the morning photos.
Regarding the actual wedding day, We had quite a demanding time line with beach photos, church photos, cream tea photos, headland photos and the reception. Mikes professionalism exceeded expectations, he was fantastic. We set up images running down the sand dunes, using deck chairs, splashing in the water, and I know when I see the final photos there is no doubt that they will be perfect and exactly what we wanted. The guests all warmed to him, I am still receiving compliments on his behalf on how friendly, calming, and helpful he was. We felt Mike was a key part to the day, he organised everything perfectly and was a pleasure to have with us.
Mike Hubbard is not just a photographer; he has become a friend and was a valued wedding guest. We couldn’t of asked for anything more.”
****Free Wedding Photography Competition****
This is little heads up for any one getting married in July, Aug or Sept 2013, I will be holding a competition with numerous prizes, the 1st Prize being my basic wedding package free. I will need the couples to send in the date (to make sure I could cover it if they won) , a photo of the couple together, a paragraph explaining why they should win, a description of their wedding, what makes it special, is it different / quirky, or is there another reason why your wedding is special? I will then select a handful of couples for the next stage, I will put there photo and there details on a blog post, with the description of there wedding etc and the couple with the most votes will win.
entries need to be sent to email@example.com
***This competition will end up running into my time away in Afghanistan so I won’t be able to provide exact time frames of closing dates etc due to the environment I will be in, so patience will be needed if you’re not willing to be flexible please don’t apply***