Christmas came early for Kieran and Jack. Three days early to be precise as they said their ‘I do’s’ in an absolutely beautiful ceremony, on an absolutely beautiful Winter’s day, at this gorgeous same sex wedding in the Hampshire countryside just outside Winchester. Avington Park was the scene and it just happens to be one of my all-time favourite wedding venues so I was just on cloud nine right from the start. And from the number of smiles I saw on the faces of the guests (let alone the grins plastered on the faces of our two grooms) I wasn’t the only one!
It won’t come as a great surprise that a Winter wedding means that the amount of daylight available for photos can be rather limited. Speed and efficiency can definitely be your friends here, especially if you want to make the most of the total beauty that the grounds and house exterior at Avington Park has to offer. Kieran and Jack however went one step further – a very well received Christmas present for me here – by deciding to spend more time together before the ceremony rather than see each other for the first time as they walked down the aisle. This of course meant that we were now free to max out on that gorgeous Winter light that I love so much, with both the couple portraits and a large chunk of the family and group photos taken care of before the marriage itself.
Originally rather more of an American tradition, the ‘first look’ approach is definitely gaining traction over here in the UK and for sure it has a number of advantages. One in particular is that, with a good proportion of the more formal photography already out of the way, your time post-ceremony while the fizz is flowing and the canapes are circulating is very much more for you and your guests. It’s not for everyone of course, but if you’re open to a slightly less conventional approach to your nuptials (or if you’re looking at the timings for your day and wondering just how you’re going to squeeze it all in) it might be worth exploring. But anyway, enough of all that – back to our beautiful couple…
Upstairs to the magnificent ballroom with its views out across the lake for the ceremony. When it’s Christmas and you’ve got a room like this you’re justified in putting up a huge Christmas tree, and they’d definitely gone to town with it here. A really lovely ceremony (with special cap doffed to the groomsman who performed a song he’d written himself just for the occasion – and it was beautiful) and then it was two grooms strolling back down the aisle in the direction of their newly married lives together.
Now I have it on reliable authority that Kieran & Jack had been two very good boys in 2018, because let’s face it Santa’s not going to take time out from his frantic pre-Christmas schedule to pay a special visit to your big day if you haven’t, is he? And with quite a twinkle in his eye that rosy-cheeked little fella burst into the room at the end of the wedding breakfast with a few little treats in his sack. There’s Christmas weddings, and then there’s Christmas weddings!
What else? Oh yes, we had sparklers. Lots of sparklers! Quick aside: when I was a little’un one of the coolest things you could do with ‘genie’ a box of matches – remember that? You light one and then use that to set all the rest off resulting in a big, quick flare-up and kudos points all round. I now know what it looks like when someone genies a fistful of extra long sparklers in one go. It’s very, VERY bright. And sparklers burn much longer than matches.
An absolutely stunning day, and what a total treat to be there and capture it all for Kieran & Jack. No question their wedding must have given them the best Christmas gift either of them could have wished for (no idea how you top that three days later). Massive congratulations to one very happy couple, and wishing you every happiness for the future.
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