St. Oswald’s Church Wedding, York – Mark and Sam
Sam and Mark’s wedding photography began at their house in Fulford, which was a short distance from St Oswald’s church where they were to be getting married. My day began shortly before noon with a few group photos of Mark, his best man and his family in their garden. While Sam and Mark were living together, they were managing to avoid each other’s company on the big day as per tradition. So after these initial impromptu portrait shots, Mark and his small group of the wedding party made their way to the church while I made my way inside to do some prep shots of Sam. The bride to be, along with her bridesmaids, was in the middle of getting her makeup done when I arrived, and after asking how she was feeling and how she had slept, I quickly got to work getting a sequence of candid shots of her. The getting ready was not restricted to Sam alone but included her dad also and I got a great shot in particular of him with four hands adjusting his tie that looked slightly comical. I photographed Sam’s bridesmaids getting their makeup applied while she went into the bedroom to get into the wedding dress. Once she’d reached her comfort level with me being in the room, I got some great shots of her in the final stages of getting laced up. Shortly after this a white, ribboned, open topped Mercedes Benz arrived outside. It was time for me get over to the church ahead of her arrival to get a good sequence of pre-ceremony shots.
Sam had seemed to be on the cusp of readiness when I left her house, so I was not anticipating getting much in the way of scene setting, guest and groom shots at St Oswald’s before she arrived. However, it soon became apparent that there was some kind of hold up as we passed the 12:30pm ceremony start time with no Sam. Minutes past and the officiating priest went outside the church entrance and stood expectantly, looking up the street for a sight of the wedding car. I was able to use this and with inventive framing, created a good sense of anticipation in the photography. Finally after ten minutes, the Mercedes briskly pulled in off the street into the church drive with a smiling Sam and her dad in the back seat. I was on hand for these key arrival shots as they left the car, then with more adjusting to her dad’s collar and tie and kisses from her bridesmaids, the bride’s immediate wedding party for her entrance were greeted by the priest.
I made my way inside the church and stood at the front of the main aisle in readiness for the processional. I do like processionals in churches! As opposed to hotels or a registry office. It gives me plenty of time for this key shot. As Sam and her dad stood at the back of the church I got a great shot of them in the background with Mark and his best man exchanging an excited look of anticipation at the front. I then switched to my long lensed camera as the processional, and the formal wedding, began. The ceremony was fairly long and broken up by a couple of speeches. While I was for the most part in my customary position to the left of the registrar/priest, I was further back so was able to work more of the environment of the church into the photographs, as well as using the long lens to get nice informal portraits and close ups of the ring exchange. I also left my usual spot and was able to get a variety of other angles from the side aisles. After the signing of the register there was a second part to the ceremony, deeper in the church beyond the main altar, that reminded me of Kathryn and Tom’s wedding at St.Wilfred’s. After this I made my way to the back of the main aisle for the recessional.
Following the newlywed’s leaving of the church, the guests and family followed and there was lots of hugs and congratulations. I circled and intermingled with the growing crowd, getting some great candids, always looking for moments of emotion and expressive interaction as well as creative ways to frame them. The wedding party separated themselves into two groups with a makeshift aisle for Sam and Mark to walk down while confetti was tossed amidst cheers. I then arranged for a large “everyone in” group photo in front of the church entrance.
Mark and Sam hadn’t hired me for the reception, so after a series of group shots and the formal portraiture within the grounds of St Oswald’s, my day was done.
3rd October 2018