It was the day before the wedding, just around the time I begin making sure everything is on charge, memory cards are backed up and formatted, and my lenses are all polished. I got a call from Paul. He was stressed out.
Laura had found out that morning that their Wedding Venue was closing up that day – without any notice, and basically that their Wedding was off. Its every brides worst nightmare! She and her Mam had been enjoying a pre-wedding day relaxing in the venue’s spa, when a teary eyes manager had come over to speak to them. Laura said as soon as she found out from him that not only had he lost his job, but he had also be given the awful task of breaking the news to her, she simply had to get in a room on her own to catch her breath and then call Paul.
After tears and initial shock the power couple put their heads together and decided that there was no way this was going to stop them. They worked with the now-unemployed staff to see if any other venue could help them out. Thrilled at the news that Beamish Hall would happily come to their rescue, everyone pulled together to move all of the suppliers and subsequent arrangements to the new place.
Back to the call. I was more than happy to re-work my plans into the new schedule, it really didn’t involve much upheaval at all from a photography perspective. I’d simply be where the couple were, and that was that. I learned during my chat with Paul that sadly because the new venue wasn’t in the same county as originally planned, that by law they’d still have to get married in the original venue. And this is where the problem lay, no one knew if the venue would be open, and this still left the entire ceremony hanging in jeopardy. We all agreed that we would somehow make it all happen, and then agreed the new timings of the day ahead.
On the morning of the wedding the usual air of nervous excitement and giddiness was slightly clouded by that element in the unexpected. Whilst Laura and her bridal party had enjoyed a huge welcome at the new venue, none of us were sure what would happen if after making the big journey back to the original venue, where the ceremony would take place. We agreed that if the wedding had to simply take place in the grounds next to a blocked up door, then that would just be how it would have to happen.
As we pulled up to the original venue, Laura was desperate to see where it was she would actually be getting married. We were all set of an impromptu al-fresco setting (thankfully in the springtime sunshine) but none of us could see where the Wedding party was.
We were greeted by old staff who had come in to the venue to open it all up, despite their having lost their jobs and no longer technically being staff. The sense of relief that Laura would in fact be getting married in the exact part of the venue as planned was overwhelming for all of us.
Laura made her own entrance into the venue’s basement chapel and just before she reached her groom Paul her Dad gave her a little support in the last few steps up the aisle. Such a beautiful moment.
Paul was delighted.
Then after all of the drama, shock and disappointment, the couple set about the more usual nervous part of their day. Their vows. Given the circumstances, these went perfectly – completely without a hitch.
With the ceremony complete, the couple posed for me signing the register. A part of the wedding where the commencement of celebrations really begins.
Paul had planned to surprise Laura with some white doves just after they were married. She couldn’t believe it. Here is Paul showing daughter Amelia, just before they released them.
With all of the surprises out of the way, I managed to catch Laura and her Mam having an excited and happy cuddle. I love that you can see they have the same smile.
Posing with her besties.
The party all indulged in some drinks before making the journey to the new venue.
Just as she had planned, the new team at Beamish had made sure that Laura’s vision for the room was detailed in Pink, with an original touch.
With a quick dash up to a vantage point, I then got the party to pose for me together with some confetti shots and giggles. This is always one of my favourite shots to capture at any wedding.
Laura had her two sisters and a best friend as bridesmaids. They supported her thoroughly throughout the day.
A friend brought their sports car along to the Wedding, and we all took advantage of some uber cool pictures.
With their delicious meal coming to a close, I then set up to capture the speeches. Paul here, going over his notes.
Laura and Paul had a wishing tree for all of their guests to sign personal messages. Such a cute idea for a wedding. A great memory to look back on over the years.
So like a Phoenix rising out of the ashes, this Wedding went from a disastrous Story into a real Fairytale, in a matter of twelve hours. I know the couple were so grateful to all of the staff who stepped in along the way to make this happy ending come true. Instead of this being a scandalous story of woe, I know that Laura and Paul wanted this all to be documented as a magical story of everyone pulling together to make something marvelous happen.
And lets face it, if you can get through this as a couple, you are bound to be able to handle anything that comes your way during marriage.
Congratulations to a wonderful couple, I know you will have a very happy life together.