Real Wedding: Nicki & Andy at The Elvetham Hotel
"The minute I met Nicki and Andy at a wedding fair back in 2016 I kept my fingers crossed they would book me. They seemed fun, full of life and very much in love. At this point they didn't have a venue so just took my business card and said they would be back in contact.
A few months on Nicki rang me to say they would like to meet up to chat with me about their wedding plans, to say I was a little excited is a slight understatement. We met up at their home and chatted for ages. I also got to meet their little friend Heath the moggy (very cute). We looked at albums, drank tea and had a giggle.
I was absolutely over the moon when Nicki rang me early January 2017 to say they wanted me to capture their day for them, I couldn't stop smiling. They had booked the Elvetham Hotel in Hartley Wintney, Hook in Hampshire for their special day, a very grand hotel indeed. They also wanted to book my second photographer to capture the grooms preparations and a lovely Queensberry wrap contemporary leather album.
Prior to the day we met again at The Elvetham for their pre-wedding shoot. It was a lovely autumnal day, bright with a little bit of a nip in their air. We walked and talked, caught some lovely natural images and of course, had a laugh too.
On their big day I arrived early, Laura my second photographer had also arrived with Andy and his groomsmen at their home. I went to meet the blushing bride and all her bridesmaids to start capturing the story of their day.
Capturing all the beautiful details of the brides preparations are one of my favourite bits, so pretty and well thought out. I always think it's these details that have taken ages to gather and get just right and can’t be missed out of their story.
When it comes to getting into a wedding dress there is usually a bit of tension in the air, Nicki however was totally cool and had this bit nailed. Her Mum needed a little bit of guidance with doing up the buttons on the back but all quite normal, a hair pin took care of that little job! Dress on, makeup and hair done she was ready to meet her husband to be. A quick round up of the little bridesmaids and she was off to see the registrar.
Meanwhile I positioned myself at the front of the ceremony capturing images of the nervous groom and guests as they waited patiently for Nicki to arrive. This bit is another favourite of mine, just seeing the look on the bride and grooms face as they approach each other is priceless, one indeed for the album.
The ceremony went without a hitch (well you know what I mean!!), from vows to first kiss it was emotional! The ceremony was sadly soon over and they were on their way back down the isle. Procecco in hand and lots of congratulations from their guests we were on our way to capture their group shots.
To say it was a tad chilly on this January day is a little understated! I was kindly wrapped up in one of the bridesmaids wraps to keep me warm whilst Laura and I worked through their group list. The newlyweds and I then went for a little walk in the grounds to capture their romantic shots. So many beautiful places to do this at The Elvetham, it was a job to stop!
Back into the warm, their reception was being called. Dinner promptly served and speeches planned to take place before desert we took time out to recharge and rest our feet. Dinner eaten and feeling refreshed we were called back in to the reception to capture their speeches which were brilliant. The best man deserved an Oscar for his speech which was so funny however a little embarrassing for Andy here and there but that’s supposed to happen right??
We then had cutting of the cake and their first dance, the day was going to fast but was so wonderful to be part of it.
Then the massive secret of the day, fireworks! Nicki’s Mum had contacted me to arrange the timing of them, they were absolutely fabulous. The look on their faces when the first firework when up was priceless. One after the other lighting up the sky, lots of oohs and arrrhs from their guests, it was simply magical.
Shortly after the last firework was our time to leave the celebrations. Bidding our goodbye we both left feeling high on life, absolutely loving our jobs and a little bit jaded in need of a well deserved G&T!
Nicki and Andy were so appreciative of our help throughout the day, their comments and warm thanks made us feel proud knowing we had done our jobs well.
Roll forward a few weeks, I presented Nicki and Andy with their images. I am yet again smiling all over my face when I heard their comments. This is why I love my job, hearing couples in love with their images, reliving the day through my lens is like no other job I’ve ever had, its magical and makes me a very happy wedding photographer."
What a gorgeous wedding and how amazing is Nicki's mum for arranging the surprise firework display?! For more information about Sally-Anne and what she offers check out her page Photography By Sally-Anne