My heart is full as I write this blog post. Do you have a cup of tea or coffee in hand? as It’s a pretty long and special one. So here’s a heartwarming story for this Wednesday afternoon. This smiling face you see in the bath, Is Emma. I was nanny to her and Ollie (her brother), 24 years ago when I lived in London, and at the time, Emma was just 3! Looking back, with memories still so fresh, It’s hard to believe it was so long ago, and how quickly time actually drifts past us.
I took a train from London to Bexhill-On-Sea, a seaside town in South East England and spent the weekend with Emma, her close family, and friends. The Friday night there was so much excitement and such a buzz at the house, and Alison (Emma’s mom) put on a lovely dinner for everyone. The morning of the wedding was very relaxed, with Emma’s closest friends gathering in the kitchen with their coffees, and some upstairs with their bubbly, getting their hair and makeup done. A wedding day can be very overwhelming with emotions running high, but Emma’s wonderful bridesmaid Suzie was there to give her some reassuring words and squeezes.
I headed off to take some photos of the groom Ben, and his best man Declan at Ashbourne Oust. I’d never seen a oust house before and was told it was previously used to grow hops, as part of the brewing process. I’d met Ben a few years ago, and then again a few weeks ago when I did their couple shoot around London (click here if you missed it). He is an intelligent, grounded and kind guy, and I love how he makes Emma laugh so much.
Emma is a very kind, generous, and warm woman. As a tribute to her Grandma who passed away, she chose to arrive in a Morris Traveller, similar to the green one her Grandma used to drive. She also chose to wear a stunning necklace belonging to her Gran in Ireland, which contained a diamond from her Gran’s engagement ring, as well as dainty pearl earrings which her gran gave her for her 18th birthday.
Their ceremony took place in the cinema of the De La Warr Pavilion, an iconic Modernist building from the 1930s, which showcases contemporary art exhibitions. The backdrop was a ‘starry sky’ of hundreds of hanging lightbulbs which made the cinema feel intimate and romantic. Emma and Ben declared their love in front of all their family and friends and were then showered with confetti outside on the pavilion. While everyone enjoyed drinks and canapes on the roof terrace, I snuck off with them to do their couple shoot on the promenade and beach. We had the best weather and light, and just as we were heading indoors, the rain started. When all the guests were seated, they made their grand entrance, and Ollie kicked off with the first speech. Alison, Tony (Em’s dad) and Ollie had all worked on the speech and it was a wonderful mix of warm, sentimental, and hilarious. Ollie has previously done some stand-up comedy, so you can just imagine….
Ben, and then Declan’s speeches were so funny too, and they had everyone in stitches with their stories from the past.
Janet, Ben’s mom had made their beautiful wedding cake, and after it was cut, the newlyweds opened up the dance floor with ‘The Cure’s’, “Friday I’m in Love”. They had a live band, “Oomphf”, which were fantastic, and had everyone getting their moves on. It was so special to see so many familiar faces from over 20 years ago…some of Emma’s friends from when she was at school, and some parents I used to babysit for back then, that have also become friends. I feel in my lifetime, I’ve already lived many lives, and built so many incredible friendships, and grown an extended family around the world.
This wedding is one that will live on in me forever. One of those ‘life moments’ that is actually just too difficult to even put into words.
Here are some of my favourites from the day. And doesn’t Emma look absolutely beautiful?