Moment By Moment – The Arrival

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I love couples to be individual and design the wedding day that they want. To question rules and tradition. Some couples love the tradition and ceremony of the wedding day – it’s a touchstone with the past and a way of connecting generations of the same family. Some couples want to make their own mark and reflect themselves wholly in the wedding day they plan. Either is great for me as a documentary wedding photographer as I don’t construct the wedding day I’m photographing but reflect it.


“I’ll give you a minute to get some photos…”


One part of the day that is rarely different is that one partner arrives second to the ceremony. In the British wedding tradition the Groom is at the church (or venue) first and waits for the Bride to arrive. The arrival of the second person is an interesting moment to me – quite often Vicars or venue co-ordinators will say ‘When the bride arrives I’ll give you a minute to get some photos’. I imagine they expect that I’ll want to line everyone up next to the car and take a picture of the bride, her father and entourage. Or chauffeurs will open a door and step back so that I can lean into the car and snap the bride and her father smiling. This is the opposite of what I want to do.

What if the bride is nervous or needs some space to gather her thoughts? What if she wants to savour the moments just before she enters the church? What if she overjoyed and can’t wait to run into the church? What if it’s all of these things happening at once… should I really be saying ‘Stop feeling those emotions or making those memories and look at me and smile!’. I think not. Let the day flow.


Emotion is raw, focus is absolute


Those few moments before stepping back onto the wedding conveyor belt that takes you down the aisle can be some of the most amazing moments in the whole day. Emotion is raw, focus is absolute. My job, as I see it, is to not burst that bubble but let those feelings play out naturally and try to capture them in as sympathetic and creative way that I can.

Here are some brides arriving for their weddings….


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