December is GO. This was to be a crazy month with 7 weddings and the small matter of Xmas and New Year smack in the middle. Can’t think of a better way to start than with these two though. 1st December, Susie and James, Gate Street Barn. What’s not to love? I’ll tell you. Nothing. Not a single thing.
It’s been some year this. The so-called ‘wedding season’ has run from the beginning of February and would end on 31st December. After the summer heat comes the winter cold. To shoot across the seasons is special. The ebb and flow, the light and shade. Amidst all of this change runs one constant – people like Susie and James at venues like this in the heart of Surrey.
We begin in the drizzle of that early December day, at the Barnet Hill Hotel. Susie and her girls busy getting ready. The quiet chaos of a wedding morning. James was just a few miles away and soon they’d be together at for the ceremony at St. Mary’s in Shalford. An enormous thank you to the ace Vicar there, Angela, for allowing me total freedom to shoot (side note, the absolute silence of these Sony A9’s is proving a total hit with both the clergy and registrars and removes noise as any sort of issue. Game-changers, genuinely). Just a beautiful ceremony with real tenderness ever-present. We exit to DRY SKIES. Oh yes. Dry. Skies. Thank you weather Gods.
A short drive down to Gate Street for the remainder of the day and we’re chasing the light. This is always a factor with winter weddings. Work fast, make the most of the light before it goes at 4pm and then feel the warmth of that cosy pre-Christmas embrace. That seasonal shift I mentioned above, the subtle passing of the days. Susie and James know what that means and they showed it today. We’d met for the first time on a baking hot evening in the summer for a pre-wedding shoot. Them and their gorgeous dog, Ember. I drove away knowing today would be special, and so it was. Surrounded by friends and family, this fiercely intelligent, deeply in-love, utterly laid-back couple threw a party for the people who mattered to them. The sort of couple who, after you make a passing remark about a whisky, send you a bottle a few days later. Jaw on the floor.
Days like this are only made better when you have a team of absolute stars alongside you. Step forward India and everyone at Gate Street Barn. To Carol and her team at Tandem Catering. To Rollercoaster. To Gill Pike. All at the top of their games, and all a total pleasure to work with.
And a final thank you to the reason we were there. To Susie and James. For being all that you are, and for loving as hard as you do. It was a blast. All of it.