A Magnificent London Wedding with Imogen & Bobby

July 17, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Wow, wow, wow! Where to begin, with this incredible, beautiful wedding? Put an absolutely wonderful couple like Imogen & Bobby together with the splendour that is Christ's Chapel in Dulwich, and the Dulwich Picture Gallery as a reception venue, and you've got a real feast for the eyes. Add a close friend of the bride's to lead the ceremony, family and friends travelling from the other side of the world to be there, a childrens' choir and a Haka, and frankly my head was spinning by the end of it all. What a day, what a wedding... I hope you like looking at plenty of photos, because I might have got a little carried away with this particular blog post.

Bride and groom posed in front of sculptural feature in the grounds of Dulwich Picture GalleryDulwich Picture Gallery Wedding PhotographyBride and groom portrait in black and white

Dulwich is a lovely little corner of London, and everything was happening very close together (which can be a huge relief if you've ever tried covering a multi-site wedding on a busy traffic day!) - Imogen and her bridesmaids getting ready at her old family home (right across the road in fact from the prep I covered for another wedding this time last year), and Bobby and the guys (and wow, there were a lot of guys) down the road at their new house - all practically around the corner from both the ceremony and reception venues which are essentially two sides of the same coin. Imogen was looking absolutely beautiful and already beaming by the time I arrived, and there were plenty of opportunities to capture photos through the preparation stages and up to the point (one I really love) when she came down the stairs for her parents to see her in her wedding dress for the first time. Huge smiles all round at that point! And it's so nice to have the opportunity to capture candid photos of other family members at this stage of the day as well - so much is always happening in the build-up to the ceremony and there are hundreds of little stories to tell.

Black and white photo of bride and bridesmaids during make-upDulwich London wedding photographyBridal preparation Dress hanging, make-up and bouquetDulwich London wedding photographyBridal preparation details Bouquet and button-holesDulwich London wedding photographyFloral details Bride's brother portrait before ceremonyDulwich London wedding photographyFamily photo Family getting ready at home before the ceremonyDulwich London wedding photographyGetting ready The bride gets into her dressDulwich London wedding photographyBride and dress Bridesmaids apply the finishing touches to the bride's dressDulwich London wedding photographyBride and bridesmaids getting ready The bride walks down the stairs of her family home as her mother and father see her in her wedding dress for the first timeDulwich London wedding photographyBride with parents Bride with parents and bridesmaids at home before ceremonyDulwich London wedding photographyBride and family Documentary photography of bride at homeDulwich London wedding photographyCandid photography during preparations Christ's Chapel in Dulwich is a real gem; a very beautiful, interesting and unusual building both outside and in - its roof reminded me of a French chateau - it sits on a little triangle of land next to the Picture Gallery (more of that later) at the top end of Dulwich Village. It's all very calm and tranquil; a far cry from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. I'd already managed to catch up with guys earlier that morning, and met them again here as they greeted the arriving guests. Bobby was in a pretty much permanent state of being hugged by everyone who passed him by but I was still able to grab him for a few moments with his best man for a quick couple of photos as everyone chose their seats ready for the bride to arrive. And Imogen wasn't hanging around - no exercising her perogative to make the groom wait a bit before she made her entrance at this wedding!

View of the central point of the chapel building from the groundsChrist's Chapel Dulwich wedding photographyChapel exterior External images of Christs ChapelChrist's Chapel Dulwich wedding photographyVenue details The groom and his best man wait at the entrance to the chapel as their guests arrive for the start of the ceremonyChrist's Chapel Dulwich wedding photographyGroom and best man Black and white photo of groom and best man outside the main door to Christ's ChapelChrist's Chapel Dulwich wedding photographyGroom and best man The groom walks through the chapel to take his position at the front ready for the arrival of the brideChrist's Chapel Dulwich wedding photographyGroom arrives Friends and family take their seats in Dulwich Christ's Chapel ready for the wedding ceremonyChrist's Chapel Dulwich wedding photographyWedding guests Interior photos of beautiful Christ's ChapelChrist's Chapel Dulwich wedding photographyChurch interior Guiests of the bride and groom capture a selfie as they wait for the start of the ceremonyChrist's Chapel Dulwich wedding photographyWedding guest selfies The best man gives the groom a final check over as they wait for the bride to make her entranceChrist's Chapel Dulwich wedding photographyGroom at the front Imogen walked down the aisle on her extremely proud-looking father's arm. One of the real charms of this wonderful church is that, pretty much wherever you happen to be, all seats are orientated towards the action; aisles facing inwards at the front, and forwards from the back. So not only does everyone get a wonderful view of the ceremony, it also creates a fantastic sense of the wedding being at the heart of everything (which is just as it should be!). How to make it more personal than that? How about if the bride's friend just happens to be leading the ceremony as well! It was such a touching occasion, with beautiful and heartfelt words spoken. And the choir? Perhaps use the choir that she used to sing in when she was younger. (And wow, they really can sing - the music was stunning!). In amongst all of this, and the lovely readings, vows were also made, rings exchanged and registers signed. Bobby and Imogen were pronounced husband and wife, and practically skipped back down the aisle together.

Groom and best man sat in pews at the front of the churchDulwich London Wedding Christ's ChapelGroom waiting The groom looks over his shoulder and down the aisle as the bride makes her entranceDulwich London Wedding Christ's ChapelGroom reaction as bride arrives The bride makes her entrance to the church on her father's armDulwich London Wedding Christ's ChapelBridal entrance The marriage begins with a welcome from the vicar and a hymnDulwich London Wedding Christ's ChapelThe start of the wedding ceremony Family members and guests give readings as part of the wedding ceremonyDulwich London Wedding Christ's ChapelReadings The bride and groom bow their heads as the marriage ceremony is erformedDulwich London Wedding Christ's ChapelThe marriage A friend of the family was ordained and therefore able to perform the wedding ceremony, which meant for a very personal and touching addressDulwich London Wedding Christ's ChapelThe vicar The beautiful central section of Christ's Chapel in DulwichDulwich London Wedding Christ's ChapelInside the chapel All eyes on the couple as they make their vows and exchange rings at the heart of the wedding ceremonyDulwich London Wedding Christ's ChapelBride and groom make their vows The couple exchange wedding rings and kiss to symbolically seal the marriageDulwich London Wedding Christ's ChapelExchanging rings The newly married couple kiss in front of the altar in Christ's Church Chapel, Dulwich, LondonDulwich London Wedding Christ's ChapelBride and groom kiss The newly married couple kneel at the later for the blessingDulwich London Wedding Christ's ChapelBride and groom at the altar Details of bridesmaids and couple holding hands during ceremonyDulwich London Wedding Christ's ChapelBridesmaids during ceremony The bride and groom share an intimate moment following the central part of the marriage ceremonyDulwich London Wedding Christ's ChapelBride and groom together The couple walk hand in hand down the aisle as husband and wife, with friends and family on either sideDulwich London Wedding Christ's ChapelWalking down the aisle Everything had been so perfect up to this point, I was left wondering quite where you could possibly go from there. Well wonder no more - literally walk around the corner and you'll find yourself at Dulwich Picture Gallery, the setting for the exclusive-use drinks reception. Now I like a gallery, but on my travels up to London I have to admit that I tend to confine myself to the central zones. No more however - if this is anything to go by I'll be venturing far and wide because this place is wonderful. Stunning classical paintings, beautifully displayed, and the soft light flooding in to show it all off... wow. The whole reception had a real buzz about it, and you could tell that the guests genuinely appreciated being in such a superb space. 

Before heading off though we took a few moments to capture our group photos of family and friends, plus of course the big group photo of all the guests. When you've got this number of people attending your wedding you need a space which can do the group photo justice, and guess what? The steps and cloisters of the Chapel just happen to do very nicely indeed.

The best man congratulated the bride as wedding guests emerge from the chapelDulwich Picture Gallery wedding photographyAfter the ceremony A wedding photograph of all the guests stood on the steps and in the cloisters of Christ's Church in DulwichDulwich Picture Gallery wedding photographyGroup photo Smaller group photos with family and bridal party in the church stepsDulwich Picture Gallery wedding photographyGroup photos The bride is accompanied by her bridesmaids as they walk from the church to the Picture Gallery for the next stage of the celebrationsDulwich Picture Gallery wedding photographyHeading to the reception The bride perched on the arm of a chaise lungue in one of the gallery roomsDulwich Picture Gallery wedding photographyBridal portrait in Dulwich Picture Gallery Guests appreciate the artworks during the drinks reception held inside Dulwich Picture GalleryDulwich Picture Gallery wedding photographyInside the gallery Images of guests chatting during the wedding receptionDulwich Picture Gallery wedding photographyCandid guest photography Natural light photography inside Dulwich Picture Gallery drinks receptionDulwich Picture Gallery wedding photographyWedding Reception venue interior The groom's mother appreciates the art in the East wing of the galleryDulwich Picture Gallery wedding photographyMother of the groom Family members and guests inside the art galleryDulwich Picture Gallery wedding photographyGuests and paintings Black and white photography of bride and guests during wedding receptionDulwich Picture Gallery wedding photographyDocumentary wedding reception photography A wedding guest congratulates the bride with a hugDulwich Picture Gallery wedding photographyBride hug Guests during the early part of the wedding receptionDulwich Picture Gallery wedding photographyWedding reception drinks A bit of space and time out for one of the younger members of the wedding partyDulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyYoung guest alone The newly married couple find some space to appreciate the art at their wedding receptionDulwich Picture Gallery wedding photographyBride and groom alone

I stepped out for a few moments with Imogen and Bobby as their guests headed through to the reception marquee, so that we could capture some photos of just the two of them (it's incredible on a wedding day how little the bride and groom often actually get to spend any time alone together; sometimes the photo session is the only occasion - with me shooting very discreetly from a distance away and with a long lens on my camera, of course). The gardens and grounds around the Picture Gallery are certainly lovely, but the highlight for me are the wonderful carved stones which feature in the first photo you'll have seen, right up there at the top of the page. I love love love textures and contrasts in images, and as soon as I saw them I knew that they had 'black and white couple portrait' written all over them.

I returned the couple to their guests in the marquee, to see them welcomed in with a huge, very intense and enthusiastic haka. This one was a wedding first for me and it was excellent. What a way to be announced into the room! And so began the evening celebrations... speeches, the wedding breakfast, the cutting of the cake... everywhere I looked people were having an absolute riot (except for a few moments during Bobby's speech where I spotted a few eyes welling up at his beautiful and so obviously heart-felt message) and there was little question that this spirit was going to be carried over into the party. I've said it before and I'll happily say it again - I really do enjoy seeing bands at weddings, and especially when they are of the standard of these guys. The floor dancefloor was heaving from the very moment that the other guests decided that the bride and groom had had enough of the floor for themselves during the first dance, and quite frankly I wouldn't be surprised if a few of them were still there throwing shapes even now...

Bride alone in grounds of reception venueDulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyBridal portrait Wedding Couple together in gardensDulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyBride and groom portraits Time-out portraits as bride and groom enjoy some time aloneDulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyBride and groom The marquee set up in the grounds of the Picture Gallery ready for the evening's celebrationsDulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyReception marquee Wedding favours and flowersDulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyWedding reception interior details Cake, floral details and wedding favoursDulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyWedding reception interior details Floral arrangements at wedding reception at Dulwich Picture GalleryDulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyWedding flowers The bride and groom are welcomed to the reception with a traditional hakaDulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyReception Haka Guests from New Zealand welcome the couple with a haka at the start of the evening celebrationsDulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyThe haka The father of the bride takes the first speech of the eveningDulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyWedding speeches The father of the groom makes a speech and raises a toastDulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographySpeeches 2 The groom's father makes a speechDulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyFather of the groom Wedding guests listen and laugh during the receptionDulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyGuests during speeches The main meal of the day is servedDulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyWedding breakfast The celebrations continue with further speechesDulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyMore speeches Natural photography during the reception in the marquee at Dulwich Picture GalleryDulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyWedding reception candids The members of a new family come togetherDulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyFather of the bride Family and friend reactions during wedding receptionDulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyCandid guest reactions The groom stands to make his wedding speechDulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyGroom speech Emotions running high during the groom's speechDulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyHappy tears Dulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyWedding reception Laughter and hugsDulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyBlack and white documentary wedding photography Dulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photography The groom congratulates the best man after his speechDulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyGroom and best man A strawberry dessert at the end of the wedding breakfastDulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyDessert Bride and groom cut the wedding cake to kick off the evening partyDulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyCutting the cake Dulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyEvening wedding guests A bridesmaid marks out her territory early in the eveningDulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyBridesmaid on the dancefloor Bride and groom take to the floor for the first danceDulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyFirst dance Bride and groom black and white photosDulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyFirst dance 2 Bride throws a big move during her first danceDulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyFirst dance Guests take to the floorDulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyFu n on the dancefloor Live music for the wedding receptionDulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyThe band Dulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photography Enthusiastic dancing late into the nightDulwich Picture Gallery London wedding photographyParty time Crikey - I've exhausted myself again just writing this! Well done if you made it to the end, but hopefully you've been well-rewarded in photos. Such a superb wedding - I can't begin to say what a treat it was to be there and to photograph it. Huge congratulations to you both, Imogen & Bobby, and here's to many many happy years together!

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The photos above (believe it or not) are just a small selection of the fulkl set which Bobby and Imogen received, and which friends and family can view in full - along with their edited highlights slideshow - in their private viewing gallery. You'll have to ask them for the password first though.

 

If you are planning your wedding at Dulwich Picture Gallery (or anywhere else for that matter) and would like to know more about my wedding photography services, packages and prices, please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions you might have and to discuss your plans for the day. I'm only too happy to help however I can.

 

Hope you enjoyed the photos from this wonderful day and, as ever, thanks for reading,

 

Stephen

 

 


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