Sunday, 24 April 2011

Wedding the First: Sam and Carola 50's style. (brackets, Happy 1st Birthday to me)


Mr Sandman, The Puppini Sisters
Turn it Around, Isreal and New Breed (Exit Song)
Almost like being in Love, Frank Sinatra (First Dance)

There is nothing about watching this that doesn't make me smile on the inside. This is the first wedding I shot, a year ago today and it still gives me goosebumps - partly remembering the nervous anticipation of daring to inflict my novice-ness on super friends, but also the giddiness and energy of the day, coupled with remembering the many many many emails between Carola and I, plotting, hatching, scheming and dreaming of ways to make this wedding all kinds of fun.

I've learnt a lot since then, and am so so grateful for the chance to take the plunge, but this one holds pride of place in my shiver reflex.

So my favourite things:
1) The atmosphere. Part of this was the abounding energy  - as Father of the Bride described it, getting these giggly, twirly girls to the wedding on the tube was like hosting a four year old's birthday party, only with slightly less chance of anyone grazing their knee or bursting into tears. But part was the inclusiveness, the collective affection for life and people that had passers by commenting.

2) I have always loved hanging out with this group of friends because they are so very good at having fun; invaluable to me as I've re-learnt how to celebrate. They did not disappoint. Spotty wellies, getting the tube to the Holy Trinity Brompton, twirling in the garden, live gospel band at the church, spontaneous dancing at the exit song, twirling in the church car park, impromptu heel clicks, blowing bubbles across Hyde Park, twirling in Hyde Park on route to Porchester Hall, sexist 50's advertising in the toilets, a delicious menu serving the likes of "suggestively poached salmon with an ambidextrous pesto crust, served with indifferent potatoes and a selection of giddy vegetables", tables bursting into song over dinner, speeches filled with magic tricks and espionage and alternative dating methods, choreographed first dance to live swing music (courtesy of Fitzgerald Swing in which Sam used to play), twirling to the swing music, dressing up in a photo booth, and the longest exit tunnel I've ever seen. Good Job.

3) Being so involved. Carola and I were in cahoots for 4 months of planning, I got to indulge my inner ideas machine, and also my love of cutting and sticking to make the orders of service, menus and table plans (for the 300 guests), and the bit of me that just loves seeing a project come together. But also - the emotional involvement of being in on the process, knowing their hopes and desires for the atmosphere, the stresses and wobbles, and feeling a part of the clan rather than a detached bystander. This whole process now influences how I meet with couples - wanting to know as much detail as possible so I can feel emotionally engaged with the people and the day.

So, since the whole thing is captured in the slideshow, below are just a few favourites. Happy Anniversary S&C

PS: The dresses were from Vivien of Holloway should you ever need a twirling spotty number of your own.

All images ©KateCooperPhotography2010

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