A beautiful day for wedding photography down on the south coast, with a ceremony at Gosport’s Holy Trinity church followed by a reception at the Great Barn at Titchfield – (a superb venue which also doubles as a theatre, tucked away behind the splendour that is Titchfield Abbey – photo locations a-go-go!).
I was joined for this one by John Watson, who started his day with coverage of Aaron and his entourage at the church while I spent the morning with Amelia and the girls as they got ready. So while John got to play around composing scenes with the Spinnaker Tower in the background, I got to play with the world’s friendliest labradoodle. And take some bridal prep photos.
I don’t tend to get down to Gosport very often, but I’ve been there enough to know to allow plenty of time to negotiate your way through town. Getting there means passing by the centre and heading back out the other side, but as long as you work on the principle that the bridal party will have to drive through the same traffic as you will everything should be fine. Still, it’s definitely one of those occasions where knowing that you have a second photographer already on site definitely offers peace of mind.
I don’t use the word ‘splendid’ a lot, but it’s definitely a fitting one when describing the interior of Holy Trinity church. Interesting too, particularly from a wedding photographer’s point of view: the chairs were set up in circular rows, with everyone focused inwards to the bride and groom in the centre. Such a wonderful, and different, way of doing things – John and I were able to work our way discretely around, giving us lines of vision to all of the action and all of the guests without drawing any attention to ourselves all the way through. I love it when I’m able to photograph back towards the guests and capture the expressions and emotion on their faces. You really miss this at those weddings where you’re stood at the back of the church: while you get wonderful views of the bride and groom, you can’t read as much emotion on the back of a head! This wedding had emotion in bucketloads! And at the centre of it all, a beaming bride and groom.
Newly married, Amelia & Aaron had opted for family group photos outside the church immediately after the ceremony (along with a little bonus visit from their insanely waggy dogs who naturally wanted to jump all over that beautiful white dress) so that they would be free for the rest of the day to focus on the celebrations. We did make a little detour en route to the Great Barn at Titchfield though, to take in a few moments for photos of the couple at neighbouring Titchfield Abbey. It’s such a superb spot and the building is so very cool – it somehow manages to be both still standing and beautifully preserved, and ruined at the same time. I’ve been fortunate to photograph there a few times (note to couples planning on using it for their photos: English Heritage have always been very accommodating to my knowledge, but I would definitely recommend that you contact them beforehand for permissions and possibly to make a donation which they may request).
On then to the barn and the rest of the day’s reception. It’s a big (biggest barn in Hampshire, apparently) old 15th century building oozing character; one half converted to a theatre (so a bonus ready-made stage and audience seating for your first dance). Barns are always fun – they seem to create a sense of cosiness and intimacy that you don’t really get in other types of venue (possibly because they’re often pretty dark, although modern camera equipment is more that up to the job of cutting through that these days). The two big themes for the afternoon and evening were gaming and cake, in pretty much equal measure. Each table had been supplied with various board games (very big on their gaming, Amelia & Aaron), while a long side table groaned beneath a huge display of cakes baked, decorated brought along by guests for a sort of Bake Off cake-off. It’s a good thing people come prepared to work their way through a lot of cake at a wedding as they must have had about half of one each to get through here.
As we lost the evening light outside everyone moved through to the theatre half of the barn for first dance and dancefloor action (a chance to burn some of that cake off). A live band – ace! I love a band at a wedding – they always get the dancefloor going.
Big congratulations Amelia & Aaron – what an absolutely fantastic day, and what a lovely couple. So glad the doggies were able to make an appearance as well!
The photos above are just a little selection from the day – friends and family can view the full set in the private online gallery. (Although you’ll need to ask Amelia & Aaron for the password first).
Thanks, as ever, for reading,
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