Kirsty and Dan were married last Friday. Ben and I flew out to the UK for the wedding and it was such a special time to see such a dear dear friend wed such a fabulous man. I have known Kirsty for some twenty years and on Valentine's Day ten years ago, she and I went out with another friend for a film since none of us even had a date, let alone a person to love. At the time, we each felt like we might never meet someone special. I often think it is when you give up and stop trying so hard that the doors start opening. Open doors are always there, but it is so hard to see them when you are looking in the direction from which you came or in a bad place. So finally, you stop searching and sure enough, the doors miraculously appear. I met Ben that next weekend (10 years together!!) and Kirsty met Dan about six months after that. They have been together ever since and after a very romantic proposal, Kirsty said yes. They tied the knot in the Colchester Town Hall before an intimate group of friends and family, many of whom had travelled far and wide to be there for them, and it was so fun for me to be a guest for once.
It was quite a challenge to stay put and just enjoy the wedding rather than racing around trying to capture every detail with my camera. They had two photographers so I just snapped this handful of pics from my seat in the aisle. I longed to jump about to change my view point and get creative or even have a couple minutes with the newly weds, but they wanted me to enjoy myself so forbade me from taking any official pics.
Kirsty very sweetly asked me to do a reading which was a huge honour, and I realised later, a great way to meet people since everyone came up to me afterwards to say how animated I was and how well I had read - so lovely. This is the reading from Louis de Bernières, Captain Corelli's Mandolin - I just wanted to share as it was so different from any reading I have ever heard.
"Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your root was so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion... that is just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two."
It was quite funny actually as when I rehearsed it in the hotel room with Ben, I was animated but conservative. But when I was up there, as I looked at Kirsty and Dan and suddenly the words really meant something to me and I read it as if I were having coffee and giving advice in my usual overly dramatic way, right down to saying "breathless" in a breathy voice - whoops - thank goodness I wasn't in a church for really might not have been entirely appropriate. Possibly wasn't in the Town Hall either, but the newly weds later told me they loved it so I was happy.
How divine is this kiss - she is so sweet the way her hands are behind and then creep forward to hold her new hubby - love love love.
Kirsty and Dan were seated for the signing and I adored the relief above them which was of a marriage ceremony itself. It was fascinating watching the other photographers as one can't help but compare how other professionals do things. They didn't take a single photo while the official signing took place, which is what I usually do. Afterwards, they posed them and snapped some shots and then opened it up to everyone to do the same. I stayed in my seat realising they would otherwise have millions of the same moment, but thought it was interesting as whenever the officiant asks me if I want to pose newlyweds for a fake signing, I say that I had captured it already when they were really signing. I have to say, I never quite knew why they always asked me that until this wedding and now I know!!
After the ceremony, Dan and Kirsty literally skipped up the aisle - it was so them and they were utterly elated as were all of us at seeing them so happy and everything just so beautiful.
Not sure if you can see them in these pics but Kirsty was wearing the most lovely and delicate antique gold and peridot necklace loaned to her by Dan's granny. She described it to me while we were on Skype before the wedding and I ran to show her some gorgeous antique peridot earrings which I had found at an auction. They were so similar, they must have been from the same era and so I gave them to Kirsty as a wedding gift and was so honoured she wore them on her special day.
Loved Dan's cufflinks and was desperate to try to get some details of Kirsty too as she was hugging everyone hello after the ceremony, but she was moving all over the place so focus was almost impossible and composition went out the window entirely!
I have to say, since I only use natural light, I had to shoot on an extremely high ISO the entire ceremony, and I found focusing very tricky. Since they didn't move during the vows, and nor did I, the shooting was simple once I was able to get them in focus. Yet when they walked up the aisle, I was desperately trying to manually focus and sadly missed entirely on the shot below, which is heart breaking as I know it would have been my fave if it had actually been sharp. But I still love it, for it captures the emotion and their great sense of fun. Thank goodness I wasn't the official photographer - don't think I would shoot UK weddings - would miss too much the bright Bermuda sunshine!!!
Kirsty and Dan - we were so thrilled to be there to celebrate with you at your wedding. It was amazing from start to finish - the people were fabulous, the decorations so elegant, the dancing so incredibly fun and you two are just so meant for each other and such a hoot to spend time with. We love you both so much and wish you many more happy years ahead. xxxxx