York Registry Office and York Racecourse Wedding – Susan and Andy
Susan and Andy’s wedding kicked off in style with the bride arriving at York registry office in a “Wedding Special” red, double decker bus. It was a notable splash of colour, for despite it being a mid-summer wedding, unfortunately the weather had decided not to co-operate and offered up a grey day complete with drizzle. Susan’s dad was careful to gather up the train of her dress before she stepped off the rear of the bus onto the wet pavement and her bridesmaids were on hand with umbrellas to quickly usher her into the foyer of the registry office. With my arrival shots in the can, and Susan occupied with her preliminary meeting with the registrar, I made my way into the Bootham Room which hosted the ceremony and began photographing the groom and seated guests. Admittedly not the most inspiring of venues, I did my best to get a good variety of angles, scene setting shots and closeups of a variety of the wedding party.
Arm in arm with her dad, Susan shortly made her way slowly up the aisle. The brief ceremony followed without a hitch and from my customary vantage point at the front and to the left of the registrar, I secured all the key moments with both cameras giving me a wide range of coverage. With the formalities done, I switched my attention back to getting some close ups of the guests, particularly reaction shots from the immediate family, most notably, Andy’s visibly emotionally touched mum. Next were the formal shots of the signing of the register before everyone moved outside into the garden. Fortunately by now it had stopped raining, and though it hadn’t managed to quite change into a glorious summer’s day, it did allow for less hurried and relaxed portrait and group shots than might otherwise have been the case. I did all the group shots here as there was no opportunity for them at the wedding party’s next destination and the lush greens of the garden’s foliage gave a good backdrop.
Once the group photos were complete it was time for the wedding party to make their way out of the grounds and across the road to board the Wedding Special. Susan and Andy had chosen to have their reception at the York Racecourse which would mean a 20 minute trip for everyone on board the double decker. As the bus made its way through York city center, I naturally spent most of the time photographing the bride and groom and their interactions. With the couple seated near the front it made for some nice informal portraiture. Then I worked my way around the bus, capturing the high spirits of family and friends. In contrast to the registry office, the bus trip was a real novelty.
We all shortly arrived at the Racecourse and I made sure that before everyone disappeared I got some nice formal portraits and a few close family groups that made use of the bus as a unique “location”. York Racecourse is one of the top three racecourses in the UK and it’s extensive grounds offered plenty of photo opportunities. Unfortunately, time/budget constraints meant that I wouldn’t be able to make use of this and would be restricted to the Eclipse suite where the reception was held. Still, all was not in vain and I was able to make use of a local landmark from an elevated perspective in the background of one attractive, informal portrait. This was the clock tower of the old Terry’s chocolate factory that helped create an interesting, balanced composition in conjunction with the couple. From this I continued with candid shots of the drinks reception and detail shots of the cake and table layouts. After the cake cutting, there were two more notable portrait shots that made good use of the environment. In one, I placed the couple and one of the bridesmaids in front of a large, black partition and with creative use of bounced flash, created a series of shots that looked like they could have been made in the studio. For the last one, I took them out onto the balcony area for a dramatic close up of the two of them against the now intense blue sky, looking into the distance as if looking optimistically out into their future. I used an extension cable for the flash held at arm’s length to get some good distance between the light source and the lens and ensure proper modeling on the faces. It also added nice catch lights to their eyes. It worked out well and would be the last shot of the day.
19th September 2018