Monday, 6 September 2010

Meg and Daz's London Festival Wedding

I'd awoken on Saturday morning, yawning and bleary at 6 a.m. All my gear was already packed (I'd been shooting a wedding the night before but had stayed up long enough to back it all up twice and clear the memory cards. Four and a half hours later I pulled up in a field a little West of London. I knew the wedding was a two day affair, in a field, with loads of Londoners but the first glimpse of the site put me more in mind of Glastonbury than a wedding.

So far so good - the weather was holding up nicely but the occasional gust of wind kept helpers busy replacing the Order of Service booklets...

The guests were many and varied - most had a tale or two to tell about the bride and groom and some brought props....

Children and dogs charged accross the fields with reckless abandon which all added to the atmosphere.  A proliferation of hairy lurchers made me think wistfully of Kasper (my hairy lurcher) probably still grumping in his bed at home.

All around were scenes of last minute preparations - I had a good old chat with an ex-neighbour of M &D who had kindly supplied and arranged the flowers.  The red carpet leading into the big top was lined with an amazing array of flowers and greenery.  And finally, the couple strode out with Mungo the dog.

Meg is an old schoolfriend of mine who has been through some incredibly hard times - the support for this couple was palpable throughout the ceremony.  Many (happy) tears were shed. 

After some amazing Ottolenghi-esquse food, the festival elements of the wedding kicked in.  Oompah Brass warmed up the (sizeable) crowd before very irreverent comedians Cardinal Burns, fresh as a pair of daisies from the Edinburgh Festival caused several humour-induced heart attacks (allegedly) amongst the guests.

Untitled #1

Time to light up the fire - the night was getting a wee bit chilly, even for Aberdonians.

The evening continued apace with music from recently formed band, Bay of Pigs.  These guys truly rocked, filling the dance floor and kicking Hell out of the PA system.  Both of Daz's best men are in the band - one on geeetar and one on bass (Rob on bass isn't keen on having his picture taken but I got a few sneaky ones which will be up on the website in a week or so).

The nuclear fireworks surprised everyone!

Time for a long postponed photoshoot - it had been a long and lovely day so didn't keep them away from their guests for too long.

Then straight into the first dance!

Photographer now, ahem, 'tired'.  The DJs were top notch and after an hour or so yakking to some lovely, characterful folk in between taking pics, I went off to my tent, stopping only to admire the coloured floodlights around the fields.  Roustabout Big Tops  had really gone to town prepping the site - the whole place looked and felt magical.

The next morning and the food kept coming - I met one of the best men on his way back to the tent with Untitled #2

Apparently, he had a sausage somewhere to complete the dish.  There were still some survivors sitting round the campfire, mostly crew members - stouthearted souls, kept afloat only by the grace of bloody mary and her reviving warmth.  Photos were taken, and swiftly deleted....

The planned BBQ was held up by a swift but saturating rain shower - no-one seemed to care as by now a pair of intriguing musicians had taken to the stage in the big top.  Kari Flo consisted of one part tabla player and one part vertical violin player.  Sublime sounds to wake up to on a Sunday.

To finish then, huge heartfelt thanks to Meg and Daz for asking me to shoot their one-of-a-kind wedding.  To be able to create that festival buzz amongst a group of friends from such a huge timeline and geographical space is something special - all the best!

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