Sunshine and Rainbows at St Mary’s Catholic Church and The Italian Villa
Megan and Ben’s wedding at the Italian Villa in Poole was a very special event not only for them and their families but also for me. This wedding was a rare coming together of siblings from two of my previous couples. Both Ben and Megan’s sisters had their weddings photographed by me in the past. It was such a nice feeling to see them again and knowing both families it felt like family to me too.
The morning started at Megan’s parent’s home, where I received a warm welcome from her parents, greeted with a nice cup of coffee. They obviously remembered how much I load up on caffeine in the morning of a wedding as I’m on the go for a constant 10 hours. Since Megan and Ben booked their photography with me, pre-lockdown, they managed to have a little baby boy and he is just so cute! As soon as he arrived he certainly stole the limelight. Megan has taken to being a mother like a duck to water and even when he was overwhelmed she calmed him wonderfully even while having her makeup expertly done by Hollie.
Dad was around while the final touches were done to the dress rather than the big staged reveal at most weddings. I have to say I find this to be a far more emotional journey for the father, I see it building as his little girl gets ready. There are a lot more opportunities for me to capture the love and I think there is less pressure on the father to show feelings on camera.
St Mary’s Catholic Church
St Mary’s Catholic Church in Poole is an Architectural wonder designed by Max G. Cross and S. A. Kellaway in the early 1970s. It is one of Poole’s best-kept secrets, I love the interior of this building and when treated to a sunny day the stained glass windows fill the space with beautiful light.
Arriving in style Megan arrived in a Land Rover Defender, gracefully managing to exit which is quite a skill. Once we’d gathered our thoughts and the music was started Megan entered to see a big smile from Ben. Again, a certain little boy stole the limelight by climbing the altar mid-ceremony to see his mum and dad. Both Ben and Megan showed their unflappable parenting skills once again. A couple of readings and some candle lighting later Ben and Megan exchanged rings and the deal was done. I may have even got a little emotional behind the lens but we’ll keep that between us.
When a couple have multiple venues it is always a good idea to stop for a short break to let the guests overtake and get settled so they are all at the second venue, in this case, the Italian Villa. Considering we had a Land Rover at our disposal I wanted to take full advantage so we jumped the kerb at Evening Hill overlooking the Harbour for a little portrait session and a five-minute breather.
The Italian Villa
Arriving at the Italian Villa in a Dorset Defender turns a few heads for sure. Ben had his smile on again, I think the wedding transport was his gift from Megan given that face. Again exiting with grace we walked through to the amazing garden of the Italian Villa. The threat of rain meant we went straight into the formal photos but knowing this family they weren’t that formal, so much fun which takes the stress out of the point in the wedding where it usually stalls. The staff at the Italian Villa were on for too as always. One of the venues I know I’ll be looked after, often on a hot day they chase me with water to make sure I’m hydrated.
The part of the day the speakers dread but the rest of the wedding party look forward to, including me. As we entered the reception room and sat the heavens opened, perfectly timed. Everyone enjoyed their food and drink after the emotional renditions of the lives of both Ben and Megan from Dad and the Best Man while all the time I had an eye on the sky for that elusive phenomenon, the rainbow.
Creative Couple Portraits
After the speeches and food, it is the perfect time to sneak off and grab five minutes together before the party begins. I am always the couple’s excuse to escape. This is fine my me, I love to have a little time with them too. We took a wander through the Japanese gardens, the grotto, some fun shots over the pond with the drone and yes I even got that colourful phenomenon.
Now this is my absolute favourite part of the wedding day, when the formalities are over and everyone just lets their hair down. I knew this crowd would not let me down. What a dancefloor and the photobooth was rocking!