A candid wedding photographer’s dream, this wedding was absolute proof that it’s not the venue that makes for great wedding photos, it’s the people. Gorgeous, vivacious bride Jess smiled every time she looked at the camera (she said that it was because I was smiling at her from behind the camera, but I’m sure that was because she was smiling at me!); she laughed and smiled the whole time, until she joined her equally lovely husband Steve at the top of the aisle, then she bawled. Then she went right back to smiling and laughing. Like I said, a wedding photographer’s dream.
But, I get ahead of myself. Jess and Steve had organised a surprise wedding to take place at their backyard engagement party. Having now met Jess, I am amazed that she was able to keep it a secret – the excitement must have been killing her.
We started the day at Jess’s mum and step-father’s house where Jess and her bridesmaids were having their hair and make up done. There was lots of chatter and excitement, and smiles and laughter of course. Then the girls got dressed in their engagement party clothes, we took a few snaps (with and without the dogs) and we headed over to Jess and Steve’s house for the party. They had done a lovely job with relatively simple styling that really worked. A backyard wedding done right.
As people arrived, it seemed that the secret couldn’t be kept any longer and soon everyone knew that the day would end with this beautiful couple not just engaged, but married. The joy and excitement in the faces of friends and family was a delight to photograph.
As Jess waited for her lovely lace wedding dress to be laced up, it was amazing to see the emotions come across that expressive face. I always encourage brides to get that little bit of extra coverage for their day to have this part captured. Not just because it’s one of my favourite parts of the day (though I admit that it is), but because it is so emotional. So many brides are just overwhelmed by the excitement and the love and the enormity of it all, and Jess was no exception. I can’t wait for Steve to see these emotions on his lovely wife’s face as they look through their wedding photos together.
The ceremony began with Jess bursting into tears, then laughter, and the look of adoration on Steve’s face as she did was everything that you would want to see. And as a note to any other brides planning a DIY wedding, the simply styled pallets that they used as a backdrop just photographed so well.
After a very short portrait session with the bridal party, then with the bride and groom, it was back to the party. At the end of our shooting day, Jess and Steve not only offered us a delicious meal, but made room for us at their table to eat it. To make their wedding photographers so welcome, to let us capture their raw emotion and love, how could we wish this gracious couple anything but the very best for their future?
Congratulations to Steve and Jess.
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