As you can imagine this year has been tough on the wedding industry. With weddings not being able to go ahead at first and then they could but only with 30 people, most couples have decided to postpone their weddings until 2021. And I don’t blame them, I would as well.
The month before the wedding
However, a wedding that did go ahead in August was Saima & Matt’s. This wedding was very much a will they, won’t they affair. Saima rang me quite early on into the pandemic to ask what my policy was for Covid-19 and I quite happily told her. Because of this conversation, I was pretty certain that they were going to postpone but I got an email a month before their big day to say that they were going ahead with the wedding but only the ceremony (as receptions weren’t allowed at that point). Fine, that’s no problem at all. But then receptions were going to be permitted from the 1st August so Saima got in touch once again to say that they were now also going to have a reception. Fast forward to 31st July and the government put out the news that because of a spike in Coronavirus wedding receptions weren’t going to be allowed now as originally planned, so that idea was scrapped by Saima & Matt. However, another u-turn by the government on the 14th August meant that wedding receptions were now going to be able to go ahead, so Saima got in touch on the 14th August (one day before their wedding day) to say that they were now going to have both the ceremony and reception). Phew! And all this had happened and we hadn’t even got to the wedding yet.
The wedding day arrived and it was beautiful. I arrived at The Roundabout Hotel, West Sussex at 8am for bridal preparations, it was a little bit different as there was only the bride and one bridesmaid (plus hair and makeup artist) and I am used to lots of people being around during bridal prep, such as the bride, 3 or 4 bridesmaids, the bride’s mother, perhaps an aunt or sister. It was really enjoyable though and didn’t feel in any way rushed and the actual preparations themselves were as normal. I left the hotel at 11am to drive to the church all ready for the ceremony.
The Covid-19 wedding ceremony
The wedding ceremony was at Ashington Parish Church, about a 10 minute drive from the hotel. The church did feel a bit empty with only 30 guests but it also gave it a much greater sense of intimacy than if the church was full. The vicar looked more like a welder with a full face shield but precautions like that have got to be made if you are in a line of work where you are constantly coming into contact with people. All the guest were wearing facemasks, except the bride and groom as they are exempt. The big problem with facemasks, from a photographers point of view, is that it is harder to see the emotions through a mask as you can’t see the smiles. The ceremony was lovely though and everybody made the best of it and was in good spirits.
After the ceremony, everyone went outside for the confetti shot. We weren’t allowed to do it within church grounds so we had to make do with the pavement outside. Good news is that 30 people is more than enough for a confetti tunnel 🙂
The wedding reception
The reception was back at The Roundabout Hotel. Because of Covid-19 restrictions, it was just a sit down meal, there wasn’t going to be any DJ or dancing afterwards. We managed to get the group shots in front of the hotel before the heavens opened and then everyone went back inside for their meal. The hotel did a really good job, as I’m sure they wouldn’t have had much time to prepare for the meal, especially if, like me, they only found out that the reception was going ahead the day before. After the meal, I took Saima & Matt aside for the bridal portraits. It was quite cold and wet by this point (in the middle of August…I know) so Saima only wanted the portraits inside. This meant that I had to get my thinking cap on as the hotel is only small and really quite dark.
I absolutely loved capturing Saima & Matt’s big day and I wish them all the best for the future!