York Registry Office and Ousefield House Wedding – James and Christina

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James and Christina’s wedding was on a crisp, bright day in early May and would take place in two venues. The noon ceremony was at the Registry Office in York, and through James’ career in the military, the reception would be at Ousefield House in Fulford, an officer’s mess for the nearby army barracks. Christina’s family was largely coming from overseas, so as the guests gathered in the waiting room this would be a first meeting for many in the respective family groups. Once my kit was assembled, I started to circulate through the steadily growing number of arrivals, taking candid shots mostly, though with guests frequently volunteering to face the camera directly for posed photos. As midday approached guests began seating themselves in the Bootham room where the ceremony would be held and I moved back and forth between there and the waiting room. As well as the adult guests, the children present made for fun, inquisitive and expressive subjects. Just after noon James joined us in the Bootham room, pacing briskly down the aisle and smiling broadly at me as I photographed his arrival. I continued photographing in particular the registrar, best man, and close family members in the front row as the clock carried on ticking.

Finally, as the clock at the back of the room showed quarter past the hour, Christina arrived arm in arm with her father, smiling, dressed simply and elegantly in a short white dress and holding a bouquet of red calla lilies. After capturing the brief processional from the front of the aisle, I looked around to find my preferred spot to the left of the registrar occupied by the best man, so instead I was forced to move to the right. The ceremony proceeded without incident, punctuated by three speeches, including a recitation of Brazilian poetry from one of Christina’s family members. After the best man’s speech, which followed on from the ring exchange, I was able to get myself in a better position facing Christina for the kiss, which resulted in a lovely, gentle, romantic black and white shot.

After the signing of the register, the wedding party moved out into the gardens where I decided it would be best to do the group shots and portraiture shots of the couple. From there it was on to Ousefield House for the drinks reception and wedding breakfast. Here I captured an impromptu portrait of the couple by their ribboned wedding car, and then their joyful entrance into Ousefield House where we were greeted by staff dispensing orange juice and champagne. The lively drinks reception followed in, for me, somewhat cramped conditions within a single room, but I was able to capture the good feeling of the guests, and general ambiance, which naturally felt more relaxed and familiar than the first gathering in the Registry Office. Following on from another speech from the best man and a toast, I followed the newlywed’s request for a large “all in” group shot and ushered everyone outside into the courtyard. Finally, we were able to play a little with James’ military connection when I got him to pose with sword in hand for a lighthearted cake cutting shot. The last of my photography was capturing the couple’s entrance for the wedding breakfast and a few detail shots before saying my thank you’s and goodbye’s.

 

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