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One Whitehall Place Wedding
Back again to London for a wedding of high class.
Champagne, Bow-ties, secret societies…
“What’s he on about secret societies?” – I don’t really know, it had that vibe though. There were men in long coats and hats at the front door telling me I was in the wrong place, they were perfect gents and gave me instructions on where to go. I exited the building, entered through a separate side door, across a hotel foyer, through another door and ended up in the same place. They seemed much more pleased about the route I had taken, it seems the first door I’d used was for members only, despite ending up standing on the exact same piece of marble floor…The walls adorned with portraits of former secretaries and members…the stairs were the perfect angle to walk up without being out of breath at the top, as if the designer had considered men of Churchill’s build and thought how one might navigate said stairs after an afternoon of brandy and cigars. Like Elephants slumping up the stairs I could almost picture them. I arrived on the top floor to find none other than…Churchill’s Bar…see what I mean? Something society like about it.
I then found out that it is in fact home to the National Liberal Club, it is private members only, but has both men and women as members, which is good to hear. Progressive ideas are most welcome in modern Britain, lets keep moving forward, discussing ideas freely and moving towards a better, inclusive future for absolutely everyone. Well then, what better location to host this wedding of two delightful gentlemen, celebrating their union at the capitals home of liberalism. Supposedly members would finish their evenings in the late 1800’s by jumping in the Thames, this evening didn’t end in quite the same fashion, but some rad shapes were certainly thrown on the dance floor. I’ve always had difficulties with the labels of ‘gay wedding’ or ‘same sex marriage’, love is love, a wedding is a wedding, to make a distinction based upon gender I don’t agree with. Weddings/unions/marriages, whatever you want to call them are celebrations of the connection that two people have, as a progressive society we should strive to normalise the language of ‘a couple’ being all inclusive. It would be amazing if we could evolve as a society and develop a way of looking at love in the same way that the Greeks did. Love has subtleties and nuances that we may never fully understand, one person can love one person, one person can love themselves and many people all at the same time. Love is a good thing, let’s keep trying to spread it.
I didn’t expect all of this to flow out of me when I started writing. I think that seeing the connection that these two share, coming from different cultural backgrounds and finding each other at opposite ends of the earth has enlightened me on some level. Man, Woman, non-binary, gender fluid – love is love, it should be embraced and celebrated by all. The world is a tough place to be sometimes and if you’ve found someone who you can navigate it with and find happiness, then you should have a party, and tell the whole world about it. :)
Destination Wedding – Barcelona
Barcelona conjures images of the magnificent Sagrada Di Familia, Casa Batllo and to many probably the Bernabau Football stadium. On the edges of this most wonderful Catalonian city lies a beautiful town called Sitges, and that dear readers, is where this tale unfolds.
Destination wedding photography is often seen as a mark of prestige for some reason, I don’t know why, I’m just as happy travelling to other countries as I am working at the venue next to my house, it’s the people who make the event. Destination wedding posts on other blogs always seem to be filled with couple portraits and not much else. We went to Barcelona to party, and that’s what we did.
When all the guests tell you this is going to be the wedding of the year, it sets a level of expectation. Post wedding, I don’t think they could have over-hyped it, this day was epic. Laughs, tears, men in dresses, it had it all. Weddings are deeply personal celebrations, they are an opportunity to open your relationship up and show it to all of your friends and family, it shows them how you live, and how you love. These guys live life how it’s supposed to be done, big hearts, big emotions, honesty and joy. Celebrate like it’s the last time, every time. Tell people you love them and how much they mean to you, often. Make meaningful connections with those around you and surround yourself with positivity and light. I learnt a lot from being here, these journeys are about the couple of course, but there’s always opportunities to find out about who you are along the way. Seeing unbridled joy like this reminds me that I take life too seriously a lot of the time, missing out on experiences in my own life because I was too scared to say yes. It’s wonderful that my work affords me that opportunity.
Seeing emotions like this also makes me think about my future family. Emotional dads never fail to make me cry, it’s almost as if I’ve got a daughter of my own out there somewhere in the Ether, waiting for Jen and I to find her…
It’s no secret that the number of couples choosing to get married in the UK is on the decline. A shift away from religious ceremonies makes sense in this day and age, but I don’t see a decline in the desire to share the joy of union, all I see is the financial burden it can place on couples. If you’re thinking of getting married and wondering how to do it without ruining your finances, check out this wedding for your blue print (fun fact, blue print comes from an alternative photographic process called a Cyanotype – look them up, they’re cool). Getting married in a registry office can save you plenty of paper, and no it doesn’t detract from the special nature of the ceremony. Find a beautiful location where you can host a party – it doesn’t have to be a “wedding venue”, you can hook up gas for cooking and all the other bits you need dead easy. Bring in your own furniture – these guys found all the chairs on Gumtree and covered them with blankets, easy. Hire a quality caterer. Hire a quality DJ. Bring your own drink. Party. Hard. Don’t be put off by thinking you need to find specific things for elderly guests to do, they were young once and also love partying. Shaving a message into your chest hair is optional, but is definitely a genius idea.
I’ve written a blog post on all the destination wedding photography faq’s I’ve received over the years, hopefully it helps with your planning!