Where oh where to begin with this incredible wedding & even more incredible couple - Amy & Tom. I have previously spoke about them briefly on their Engagement Shoot Blog which I definitely think made a huge difference in how they felt towards both Rob & I on the day. It certainly did for me. When I arrived I felt like I was turning up to a friends wedding & there's nothing more encouraging than being greeted with the biggest smile & hug from the bride. Not only this, I actually felt like Amy & I were pen-pals as we had sent SO MANY emails before the big day, mainly as we were planning the St Ives trip; but it did bring us closer.
Waddesdon Manor is an incredible country house in Buckinghamshire previously owned by The Rothschild family, & now part of the National Trust, it is managed by The Rothschild Foundation. On the estate are three venues, Waddesdon itself, The Five Arrows Hotel (where the boys were getting ready in the morning) & The Dairy, where Amy & Tom had their wedding. When Amy booked me she had mentioned there might be a possibility we could go to Waddesdon Manor to take some photos later on in the day & I certainly had my fingers crossed for this, but when I arrived I just saw it as a bonus as The Dairy is beautiful with gorgeous grounds & lakeside pavilions.
Everyone was so relaxed in the morning, the sun was shinning (good old September) & I had Rob working with me. This makes for one very happy Jessica. I stayed with the girls at The Dairy & Rob shortly walked to the boys at The Five Arrows so he could stay with them for the run up to the ceremony. It was great working with two suppliers from one of my previous weddings at Aynhoe Park - Herbert & Isles Flowers & Sarah Yeo Makeup. This wasn't a coincidence, Amy & my other bride Kristine know each other so we all came together though the power of 'word of mouth'.
Amy & Tom had asked Rob if he could film their ceremony & speeches so they had a little bit of 'the best of both' which I think is a lovely idea if Rob is my second shooter & you are also torn about having a film. However I will say that Amy & Tom wished they also had a full film after receiving their mini one. Anyway, Rob switched to film for the ceremony & away we went. I LOVE outdoor ceremonies but they sometimes do have their challenges. This one was beautiful but the harsh sun was directly on the back of Amy & Tom who's faces were under cover in shadow, so if this isn't a challenge I don't know what is! But I brought out my quiet ninja skills to go backwards and forwards to make sure I was capturing every angle & ultimately it worked out just fine - as it always does.
This was followed by a gorgeous drinks reception under the pavilions & a massive group photo of everyone, which meant me being in ultimate David Attenborough mode the other side of the lake in the bushes, doing frantic hand movements to Rob who then became my translator. We did some lovely relaxed family portraits & then a few Bride & Groom photos in the hope that we could do more at Waddesdon Manor later! Once everyone was seated for the wedding breakfast, Rob & I had the pleasure of lying in the sun under the pavilions & this was definitely one of those moments where I pinch myself in disbelief that this is my job. It isn't easy but when you get days like this one it's hard to imagine doing anything else. As we were enjoying our break the light was absolutely beautiful, the kind of golden light every photographer dreams about for a wedding. This is when you are in the 'photographers dilemma', to grab the couple or not to grab the couple. As it was Amy & Tom I knew they would be up for it even though potentially eating their dessert. This brings me into a little side note about why I always stress it's so important to build a relationship with your photographer so you like & trust them as it also works in our favour too. If I didn't feel comfortable with them, or if they hadn't given me any signs that they were too bothered about pictures we probably wouldn't have asked them to come outside & they wouldn't have got a few gorgeous photos in the golden hour. We spent a maximum of six minutes doing this & I was so grateful for them, but they were also for me as the one particular photo is one of their favourites; also I think it was nice for them to have a mini break together alone in sunshine. See?! We have to work together! I can't give you the bobby-dazzler images if you don't give me time. (This is defiantly calling for a separate blog as I am becoming passionate & rambling)....
We then went back inside for the speeches which Rob turned to film for again. I love the speeches & nearly always cry, even after all this time! In the back of my mind I was prepared for not going to Waddesdon Manor for more photos as I thought we would run out of time & didn't want to pester Amy & Tom for more. But once the speeches finished, Amy ran over "shall we go now" I made sure I said "do YOU want to" as I wanted it to be their decision, "YES". So all hands on deck! Tom's Dad was putting ribbon on his AMAZING car, I am terrible with cars so have no idea what it is but you will see in the pictures, & we all jumped in so he could drive us around the corner to the manor. I was going to leave Rob at The Dairy but they insisted he came to, so Rob was in the back with Amy & Tom, whilst I was in the passenger seat. This moment & car journey through the grounds is probably my favourite moment of any wedding. We were all slightly hysterical chasing the evening light & were laughing about nothing. We made it & little did I know it was just going to get better & better. We had all the grounds completely to ourselves. It was actually breathtaking standing in front of Waddesdon manor & having no pressure from anyone whatsoever. So we took some time taking photos & having lots of laughs, (you will see a bts photo at the end!). I will always look back on this & smile, we all loved it. Then just as we started to loose the light, we went back to The Dairy just in time for the evening guests arrival, shortly followed by cake cutting & the first dance. So as you can probably tell, there wasn't a single moment where Rob & I had nothing to photograph, the day didn't stop & we couldn't have wished for anything more perfect.
Since then Amy & I still email, & I am photographing one of her closest friends weddings next year! They sent us a Jo Malone candle as a thank you & it's taken pride of place on my bedside table so as creepy as it sounds I now think about Amy & Tom every day - hahaha! Below is a lovely message I received after sending them their photos & I have also attached a snippet of Rob's film he made them. He surprised them with adding in some footage he took whilst I was doing their engagement photos on the beach in St Ives so it really added something special to their ceremony & speeches footage.
Thank you Amy & Tom for choosing us. We honestly had the best day. x
We can't begin to thank you both enough for our stunning wedding photos that we will enjoy looking through over and over again. Each time I re-look at our wedding photos I get excited as I see and feel something different as you've captured so many photos and all of the crazy emotions of the day perfectly! The morning of the wedding I looked forward to you joining us as you were much more than just a photographer and I immediately felt at ease and relaxed when you arrived with a big hug and smile. It was lovely to hear comments from guests that they loved how you helped with little touches to my dress and hair throughout the day and how easy you both fitted in with the wedding party that they didn't feel or notice they were having their photo taken. You and Rob are a very talented couple and make a perfect team photographing and filming together. We both felt so relaxed in front of the camera and that was thanks to you both for making it so easy and fun and always smiling and laughing with us. I can't count how many times I've told friends and family how excited we were to have you both as our photographers and I'm so happy that we will meet again at a friends wedding in 2019! It feels amazing that our friends love your photography as much as we do and I cant wait for them to meet you both and feel as excited about their photographs as we did! Thank you both again for capturing all the emotions and memories of the best day of our lives through pictures and video that will last a lifetime!
Behind the scenes with my new Father of the Groom assistant...