Sam got ready with her dad and bridesmaids and some family friends. Both Sam and James’s daughters were bridesmaids and to make it more confusing, they both happen to be called Jess. The two bright and funny girls tried to help matters by explaining that to keep it simple, one likes to be called Bob and the other something else but regrettably, my small brain couldn’t keep up and I reverted back to Jess…and…. Jess!
I arrived early to photograph Sam and all the bridal details. Sam & James had the cool idea of having a dinosaurs and unicorns themed weddings and I can guess from Sam’s home that there was lots of inspiration taken from there. I started to count the number of unicorns I saw and I lost count quickly! This girl has some style and along with Sam’s Vivienne Westwood shoes, she had also opted for a brooch bouquet. As I photographed it and all its colourful pieces it sparkled and rustled. Lush! Sam had attached her engagement ring and her nan’s wedding ring with ribbons around the stems.
Sam’s dad came in handy as after several failed attempts to attach the half sixpence to Sam’s shoe for good luck, it was her dad that went into the shed to dig out the marine silicone to save the day. While Sam was putting on her dress, her dad explained to me that he was wearing the tie with his family’s tartan print on it which is a nice way of including the whole family with you.
When everyone was ready we departed in the VW campervan and stopped off at Sam’s nan’s care home for a quick hug and a few portraits before we were back on the road for the trip from Milton Keynes to Northampton Town.
The Guildhall is an historic building with high arching ceilings with interesting art throughout. I met up with James who had just seen his Godparents for the first time in ages. He hadn’t thought they could make it and they only confirmed at the last minute and it had really meant the world to James. In addition to this, James’ ‘Best Man’ was his sister who had travelled all the way from Australia to support him.
The moment a bride walks down the aisle always makes a big impact but imagine making your entrance to the magical and all consuming tunes of a full brass band. For Sam though these were all her friends as she plays in this band in her spare time. It was like watching someone arrive with their own movie soundtrack to accompany them. Wow, it was impressive!
When it comes to shooting ceremonies, photographers are at the mercy of the registrar, often there are strict rules about where you can stand and what equipment you can use and sometimes there are sections of the service that registrars will not allow you to capture. I think James and Sam lucked out with their registrar as she was so relaxed. With hair to match this couple’s colourful scheme, this registrar told me from the offset that there were no rules and I could capture the ceremony how ever I saw fit. She laughed and joined in with the couple and put everyone at ease.
Sam’s daughter did a reading that was really emotional and I know her family must’ve been very proud that such a young girl could grab the attention of so many people in such a huge hall.
The brass band continued to wow the guests after the ceremony as they set up in the courtyard while the canapés of mini sausage and mash hotdogs were being served. Sam and James are such a musical family and they joined the band to play “Walking on Sunshine” with Sam on the French horn (I hope I’ve got that right!) and James on the drums.
I had to tear them away to Becketts park to grab some quick portraits and the campervan was ready and waiting to take us.
Meanwhile the Great Hall was being turned around for the afternoon tea the couple had laid on. Each table had glittery dinosaurs and unicorns as place names with a little badge and a charity donation in place of favours. The cake was the most colourful and magical thing I have ever seen with hidden dinosaurs and unicorns all around it.
The evening entertainment came from the fantastic band the Mighty Macca. Sam and James opened the dance floor and all was revealed that their dancing lessons had paid off and they were twirling and spinning across the dance floor much to the amazement of the guests. This polished band had guests dancing all night and even got Sam and her bridesmaid up on stage to add tambourines for a couple of tracks. A really fun evening.
Thank you Sam And James for a truly funky wedding. It really was a wedding to be remembered!
Venue: The Guildhall www.northampton.gov.uk
Make Up Belles Beauty www.facebook.com/belles-beauty
Car Calico Moon www.facebook.com/calicomoonvwhire
Band The Mighty Macca www.maccamusic.co.uk