Hampshire country church wedding | Lucy & Lee
It was a quick trip down the A3 and across to Bishop’s Waltham for Lucy and Lee’s wedding, in the classic country church of St. Peter’s. My colleague Chris Perry and I went our separate ways to photograph the bride and groom getting ready, and then teamed up for the ceremony and reception. The day started quite cloudy but the sun came out as the day progressed.
Trivia fact: Bishop Waltham church was built in the 12th century by Henry of Blois, Bishop of Winchester and brother of King Stephen. Not much of that original church survives, unfortunately! Most of what you see in the photos dates from the 19th century.
During the wedding ceremony itself I used a long lens as much as possible in order to be discreet and unobtrusive. I don’t use flash in churches either. Fortunately, modern cameras are sensitive enough to prpduce great pictures even in quite dim conditions.
After the ceremony the guests lined up in the churchyard to throw confetti, and then we all took a short walk through the village to Lucy and Lee’s home, where drinks and canapés were served on the lawn.
Reception photos and a Spitfire flypast!
I noticed during the drinks that Lee the groom kept glancing at the sky – I thought he was worried that it was going to rain – but it turned out that he had arranged a special surprise. As the guests sipped their drinks, a Spitfire flew overhead and made several passes over the village. Luckily Lee had given us a bit of advance notice (a couple of minutes!) and I was able to use my long lens and a teleconverter to get some close shots of the aircraft as it flew overhead.
For aviation geeks – the plane was a Spitfire Mk XIV, built in 1944 with the later Rolls-Royce Griffon engine, and had flown down from the Imperial War Museum airfield at Duxford. The plane was painted in the colours of Johnnie Johnson, the highest-scoring RAF ace to survive the war. It made a very impressive sight as it swooped low over the trees.
After the flypast we did some group photos and some pictures with Lee and Lucy, and then it was time for speeches and the wedding breakfast in a large and beautifully decorated marquee.
Wedding breakfast and speeches in the marquee
Wedding speeches are a great opportunity for me to get some candid photos of the guests – not only reacting to the speeches but also chatting amongst themselves during the meal. I don’t photograph people while they are actually eating, but between courses and afterwards I’m always on the lookout for unscripted moments.
Dancing and fireworks
Soon it was time for the first dance. As usual I set up a couple of flashes on stands in the corners of the marquee, to provide some backlighting and also to thrown some clean light on the dancers’ faces – DJ lighting is cool but sometimes having a purple or green face doesn’t look too flattering in the photos!
And finally, the evening was rounded off in spectacular fashion with a superb firework display. Many congratulations to Lucy and Lee and thank you for a very memorable wedding which was a pleasure to photograph!
Here is my selection of just some of the moments that I captured on the day:
If you are planning a Hampshire country church wedding (or one in any other county for that matter!) and would like to talk about photography options, please do get in touch. The more I know about your plans for the day the better I can advise you on the best approach to create some amazing memories!