While I was privileged enough to do Paul and Serena’s engagement photos, they weren’t really up for flying me out to Thailand to do their wedding photos. However, after returning from honeymoon they had a wedding party for all of their friends and relations. So I was doing the photography for that. The event took place at Bignell Park Hotel near Bicester.
The lack of a wedding made for a slightly unusual start to the day. Normally I would do preparation shots with the Bride, followed by a few shots with the Groom and ushers at the church as guests arrive. Then, once the service is over, there are normally a few formal photos followed by a drive to the reception venue. Everyone arrives at the reception at about the same time and all are talking about the lovely service. In this case, everyone arrived at the reception venue in dribs and drabs, and nobody seemed particularly sure of what to talk about or what to do.
Once most people arrived there were some formal group photos, and then it was into the meal. Paul is an old college friend of mine (and Serena went to the same college, but I didn’t really know her), so I was seated with other college friends for the meal, endeavouring to balance being a guest with being a paid professional. Then came the speeches. I think I’ll have to do a separate post on wedding speeches, as I’ve heard quite few now. At the start of the event I did remind the bestman of a classic phrase of Paul’s at college, but he had the discretion not to mention it in his speech.
Before the end of the meal the event had transitioned into feeling like a regular wedding reception. Strangers now had something wedding related in common to talk about. Generally guests were feeling well fed and ‘watered’, and it all became a little more relaxed for the dancing. So just like a wedding, but without the wedding bit!