It's always fun travelling up to London to photograph a wedding, and Jen & Dan's wonderful celebration - at All Saints Church in West Dulwich followed by a reception at the splendid Coq D'Argent restaurant in the heart of the city - gave me a real thrill. Not only did we have an absolutely delightful couple on a beautiful day, and a huge church full of light, but to cap it all there was something new for me: one of the finest views in the city from the restaurant's roof terrace, looking out over all of the incredible and iconic new architecture of the financial district - what a backdrop for the reception photos!
Bridal preparations took place at Jen's family home, a short distance from the church in West Dulwich. All very relaxed and informal - exactly what I like to capture in my images; the little moments, the details and the build-up with the bridesmaids and family members. Wonderful reactions and smiles everywhere as Jen came downstairs in her absolutely beautiful dress; the epitome of elegance. And as the few finishing touches were applied to hair and make-up it was on to the church to catch up with Dan and the guys...
Deceptively modern from the front, the church is a really beautiful building with an interior on a very grand scale, filled with light and - absolutely perfect from a photographer's perspective - bags of different angles and options for covering the ceremony discreetly. Dan, his best man and ushers had all arrived safely and were occupying themselves greeting guests and fastening buttonholes, while I nipped around indoors and outdoors capturing the details and little moments as they happened. Particularly lovely to see amongst the guests Ami & David, the happy couple from a wedding last year in Cambridge, and I'm sure it was just as lovely for them to be able to sit back and enjoy it all as a guests this time too! Outside the sun was blazing (this it turned out wasn't quite going to be the case for the entire day, but it put in a good effort for most of it!) and as the guests took their seats the bridesmaids arrived in the advance party, ready for the bride to make her appearance.
Back indoors, Dan was in position and ready for Jen to make her entrance on her fathers arm. This is one of the moments I absolutely love to photograph whenever I can - the view from the front of the church, with the groom in the foreground, and looking towards the back as the bride walks down the aisle. So often you are treated to wonderful reactions - and the occasional hint of nervous anticipation - as the big moment finally arrives and the ceremony begins. Needless to say both Jen and Dan were absolutely beaming! As the bride gets closer to the front I quickly make my exit to one side, so that I'm no kind of distraction once the ceremony begins, and this is where a big, wide church like All Saints can really make a difference as I can quickly and easily fade to the side and out of everyone's line of sight. The last thing I want to do during a wedding ceremony is be the centre of attention myself.
And then, just a few moments later, Dan & Jen were officially husband and wife!
Typically, at literally the moment they stepped outside, the day's little rain shower decided to make an appearance. Nothing serious and it quickly passed, but it did mean ducking back inside the church for the family photos (which is no bad thing, as the space and backdrop inside was absolutely perfect for them anyway, and the last thing you want on your wedding day - well, one of the last things, at least - is soggy guests!). It also meant that we were able to take a final moment before everyone headed off to the restaurant for a couple of shots of the couple in the exquisite Lady Chapel, just off to the side of the church. So there you go, every cloud really does have a silver lining!
On then - after a rather exciting drive across the centre of an extremely busy part of London - to the superb Coq D'Argent restaurant with it's wonderful rooftop terrace, perched on the edge of the financial district. The blue skies and fluffy white clouds were back in abundance by now, so it was straight onto the terrace for drinks and canapes (seriously good food here; definitely one to consider if eating is going to be an important feature of your wedding day!), loads of candids of guests admiring the views and playing 'name that building' and a few more informal group photos before heading inside for the wedding breakfast.
Into the evening, with the rest of the day's celebrations started as is tradition with the cutting of the cake and the first dance, but not before I had stepped outside one again for a few quick moments in the fading summer light for a final few portraits with the bride and groom, before the party swept them away. And it became clear very quickly as i ducked and dived, avoiding flying arms and legs in every direction, that this was most definitely a party crowd! Well, they picked the perfect place for it, out on the decking of the restaurant's bar as a glorious sunset capped an fantastic and very memorable day in the city...
If you are planning a London wedding at All Saints Church or the Coq D'Argent Restaurant and would like to know more about my wedding photography services, packages and prices, please don't hesitate to contact me to discuss your plans and ask me any questions you might have - I'm always happy to help however I can.
As ever, hope you enjoyed the photos, and thanks for reading,
Winchester Wedding Photographer covering all of Hampshire and further afield.
Wedding Photography Winchester
Wedding Photography Hampshire
Hampshire Wedding Photographer