Exactly one week prior to Christmas, and a tonne of snowfall ensured that this was to be a festive wedding!
I have to admit that I was incredibly nervous come the Saturday morning, with forecasts of snow on the cards and a journey to Staplefield (just past Horsham) from Carshalton, I was keeping my fingers crossed that hopefully the snow wouldn’t arrive until I had at least successfully made it to the venue.
With reservations regarding the weather, I decided to leave at 10am to allow myself a healthy 2hrs 30mins to make it to St Mark’s Church. It indeed proved to be a very wise decision, as the snow began to fall heavily no sooner than having left my home!
The weather was treacherous, and as a result traffic grounded to a stand still on many occasions. The worst part of the journey was traveling on the M23, the visibility at that point was only what I can describe as a “white-out”, and many cars were struggling to cope with amount of snow that was then steadily building up on the roads. Fortunately I had borrowed the mother-in-law’s 4×4, which was a God-send given the conditions that I had embarked upon.
After all the stop-starting, and the slow crawling pace throughout, I ended up just making it with 10 minutes to spare; having taken me 2 hours 20mins to travel all of 23 miles!
I was due to meet Peter, the groom at 12.30pm in preparation to take some portraits of him and the best man prior to the start of the service at 1pm – unfortunately the snow impacted Peter’s timings, and for the first time in my experience, I witnessed the groom keep the bride waiting (sorry Peter!)! In the end, poor Peter was in fact a whole 1 hour and 30mins late!!!
Once he finally arrived, the show went on, and I have to say that Vanessa had remained incredibly calm and understanding throughout, which given the fact that she had initially arrived at 12.30pm meant that she had been predominantly sitting in the car for just shy of 2 hours (aside of coming out for some pictures with the bridesmaids). She was a model of patience without offering a whimper of frustration.
Due to the overrunning schedule, upon completing the wedding service we had to change the plans for the bride and groom portraits – originally we had penciled in a specific location just down the road, but there was not going to be sufficient time nor quality of light to continue with that agenda. As a result we had to improvise with what was available to us within the Church grounds, and to be fair it wasn’t the end of the world as there were a couple of surrounding elements that offered some nice features for pictures.
It was disappointing that we didn’t have the opportunity to have visit the original location for additional shots, but I think we still achieved a nice balance despite the limitations.
I have added a handful of select images below as a taster…
Some people adore the magic of winter weddings, and it is easy to see why people love the romance of a beautiful snow filled landscape – it is indeed a thing of beauty and tranquility and can offer some stunning images. However, for all it’s beauty on the flip side it can reap havoc, and that was evident at Vanessa & Peter’s wedding in the respect that it thwarted quite a few of their relatives to attend thanks to what was an impossible journey from Essex. A great shame, and you do feel for the couple – all the month’s of preparation and money spent on planning and booking the venues and the catering – and then the weather robs you the opportunity to enjoy and share your big day with some of those you hold dear.
It must be said that despite that and the events of the day, Vanessa and Peter were great fun to be around – a truly happy and jolly couple – they were constantly smiling, laughing and beaming throughout, and that rubs off on you the photographer. I thoroughly enjoyed their company, and I think that many of their images reflect the happiness that I speak of. Thank you for being great sports!
Please feel free to view Vanessa and Peter’s full wedding images here should you wish to have a further look.
St Mark's Church, Staplefield
Vanessa awaiting in the car
Vanessa remained incredibly calm and in good spirits whilst waiting for Peter!
Vanessa dons the wellies - a much needed bridal accessory in the snow
Vanessa is all smiles during the ceremony
The fabulous interior of St Mark's Church
Peter and Vanessa at the sheltered gate entrance to the chuch grounds
Tight crop of intimate portrait under the sheltered gate entrance
Vanessa and Peter in the church grounds
Vanessa & Peter at the main entrance of St Mark's church