Thursday, August 13, 2015

Mark and Fran's Wedding, Compton House, Axbridge, Somerset, UK

This wonderful couple is Fran and Mark, whose beautiful wedding our family was lucky enough to be a part of a few weeks ago in England. Mark is my delicious hubby, Ben's uncle. He and Fran have both been given a second chance at true love, and in finding each other, they have a new lease on life and have at last found genuine happiness. They have supported one another over many bumps along the way, and through it all, their love for each other only grew deeper and stronger, which is a true test of how they are meant to be together.

The wedding was in a darling village church and was so intimate and personal and weirdly enough, despite having heard Corinthians at almost every wedding I have ever photographed, I really heard the meaning of the words for the first time that day. They struck me to the core about what it is to really give yourself in marriage and I thought about how I myself could remember those words in my own family life. And then the reverend spoke further of the meaning of the passage and echoed all I had been thinking upon first listen - it was incredibly moving and one of those aha moments I will never forget and I was so grateful it happened at the marriage ceremony of people we love.

A quick picture of my cute hubby to test the light. I have had an injured shoulder for a while now so am not officially allowed to shoot until I am healed, so Ben had me under strict supervision to only take a few shots here and there throughout the day, but he promised to allow me to take a few as a wedding gift for Fran and Mark.

This wonderful lady is Ben's grandmother, Barbara. She was a huge part of his childhood while he was at boarding school in England and his parents lived abroad. Every weekend, Ben would lunch with his grand mother and spent hours and hours of his childhood talking about books and life and everything there was to share - such a special bond and this has passed onto our children who absolutely adore her. She is almost 90 years old and the ceremony and week of family visiting was all a bit overwhelming for her so she did not make it to the reception but it meant the world to her to be there for her beloved son Mark to see him find happiness at last.

We were flying out the next day so Indigo, who is very sentimental and attached to family, was very very upset to be saying goodbye until next year.

Here are the four great grand children with their great grand mother, and the amazingly awesome Heather behind who has been such a support to Barbara for years and years.


Mark's long time friend, Denton, gave a wonderful speech that had the perfect amount of humour, personal stories, and tender observations. A great man.

This darling girl is cousin Niamh. She is a year older than Oslo and she very sweetly played a couple songs at the reception, including the Can Can to which Mark and Fran danced!

The weather in England had been colder and greyer than the most miserable cold winter's Bermuda day the whole two weeks we were there, but the three days around the wedding were all utterly glorious. The sun started shining, the skies turned cloudless and blue, the cold winds stopped blowing and the temperatures shot up to a delightfully comfortable place. The day could not have been more perfect. But it was so sunny, that I had to wait until rather late in the day for the sun be soft enough to take a few nice shots of the newly weds.

The reception was at this delightful bed and breakfast, called Compton House in Axbridge, Somerset. The rooms were so romantic, the hotel so full of wistful details like antique step ladders with leather bound books in corners and two deliciously cuddle cats, all run by the most gracious and elegant host, Patricia. The garden was the perfect setting for a wedding, bursting with so much variety in plants and flowers, romantic arches of wisteria, lavender lined steps and grand vistas of the country side below.

Fran had a dear friend, Rosie, taking most of the photos, but before the kids disappeared for good and refused to change back into their wedding outfits, we were able to catch one shot of Ben's side of the family, with his brother, Sam, cousin Jacob, Ben's dad Mike, cousin Niamh, Fran, Mark, Indigo, Ben's mum Jane, Ben, Oslo and me. Such a shame Ben's granny, Barbara, was not in the photo, as well as Sam's wife, Mary, and their other daughter, Hannah, but I know how much this photo will mean to Barbara, as well as Mark and Fran so it was great we were able to get together in one spot for the photo.

Every year, I try to get at least one shot of all the cousins together. Again, such a shame Hannah could not make it over from France for the wedding, but Indigo, Niahm, Jacob and Oslo all get along so well so I know when they are older, this photo will be important to them and a special memory. The kids were darlings at the wedding and all so well behaved. They looked adorable and quietly played black jack in the corner which was so sweet to see.

Had to steal a shot of my two before Indigo changed out of her dreamy fairy dress and into jeans and a t-shirt.

Love these two shots of Ben's parents, Jane and Mike. It must have been so special for Jane to see her brother find love again after so long and it was wonderful for Mark to have all Jane's clan over celebrating with him.

I was smitten kitten with the cake. Can you imagine - a literal cheese cake? Fran and Mark had taken a special holiday weekend to Bath to choose all the cheeses. They tasted dozens and settled on these ones and although I am supposed to be dairy and vino free, I made an exception that evening and helped myself to several plates of cheese and I daren't say how many glasses of port - heaven.

The women at the hotel were not only stellar on the day with all the details of the wedding reception, but they also slipped into Mark and Fran's room to make their first night as a married couple really special - all the details they created around the room meant so much to the couple and were really above and beyond - such a lovely hotel.

I wish I had take a photo from upstair earlier when the wedding was in full swing - by the time I took this photo, most people had left and it was only the people staying in the hotel remaining. Nevertheless, it shows the darling garden setting of the special day.

Fran and Mark hung out with the die hards until late, when the temperatures dropped after the sun went down. I was bundled in about 5 wooly scarves but was having such a ball getting to know Frans divine kids that I just couldn't drag myself away, but when I saw these two bidding good night from the door, I had to leap up to get one last shot of their special day.

Mark and Fran - you two are so special. We are so so happy you found each other and have such a special connection. Hope you are having a fabulous time in Cornwall and sending much love and thanks for including us in your romantic celebration. Wishing you much bliss in your future together. xxxx