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This year's challenge was...
'Capturing Unique Moments in a Humanist Ceremony'
Wicked Wedding Photographer 2022!
'The Name Reveal'
Featuring Charlotte and Jake
So, the theme of this year’s competition is ‘Capturing Unique Moments in a Humanist Ceremony’ and there certainly weren’t no shortage of those in Charlotte and Jakes colourful ceremony.
Tash caught this thrilling moment when we revealed Jake and Charlotte’s new name to their guests. Just look at the sassy smugness on their faces, free to finally shout about a secret they’d been holding so close to their heart. To give you a bit more info, I’m going to quote directly from the ceremony…
“Charlotte and Jake have got a bit of a surprise for you. As part of this ceremony, they are observing some ancient customs, but they are not afraid to stray from tradition to do what’s best for them. They’ve spent a lot of time pondering this one and they feel confident and joyful about their decision.
Jake and Charlotte firmly believe in equality so, to them, Charlotte taking Jake’s last name didn’t feel right. Similarly, reversing the trend wouldn’t’ve achieved the level of balance they desired. So, they have opted to each take on a brand-new name. After much deliberation they’ve settled with something rather splendid. Earlier we mentioned that these two spent a magical evening on Limeslade Bay where the fate of their future was sealed. So, after today Charlotte and Jake will become Mr and Mrs Limeslade, which I think is marvellously magnificent.
This is a bold and beautiful choice that they are both proud of and ‘The Limeslades’ has a rather elegant ring to it. But what’s most important is the meaning that laminates their new name: two equal partners joining forces to take on the future, together.”
One of the things I love about humanist weddings is you have opportunity to explain your decisions to your nearest and dearest. I regularly work with couples who chose to take a more modern approach to their married name and feel concerned about how the news will be received by their family. There’s bog all wrong with deviating from the norm (and I encourage it!) but being able to contextualise your choices so they are not seen ‘strange/weird/different’ is s o helpful. I guarantee that understanding your choices, though your lens, will get your guests (even the tightly laced traditional ones!) rooting for your innovations.
@katherine_and_her_camera is Charlotte’s very talented sister, so they drafted in @natashajayphotography to steal the shots on the day then Katherine trifled with all the techy stuff afterwards. I hope you’ll agree they make a superb team.
Featuring James and Bethan
There were a myriad a of unique moments in this ceremony…
Bethan and James live in Canada so, as they couldn’t transport everyone they loved there, they brought a bit of Canada back to Wales. This bizarre piece of equipment is called a shot-ski (a ski with two shot glasses attached to it!), which is the fiesta fuelling tool of choice in the après-ski scene over the pond. They needed a suitably Canadian drink to match so decided on a delectable delicacy named after the moustached master and 70s sexy symbol, Burt Reynolds.
A Burt Reynolds is made by combining butterscotch flavoured liqueur and spiced rum and is hands down the most popular piss-up prop in Calgary. The best bit is it can be ordered by simply placing your index finger under your nose, mimicking the classic caterpillar that decorated the burly actor’s upper lip. So, while these two supped simultaneously from the shot-ski I couldn’t resist asking their guests to adorn a Burt Reynolds finger-tash!
Other unique moments included the couple hosting a mid-ceremony quiz and we had an amusing musical interlude from two of their friends wearing masks of the Bethan and James’ faces which was cringeworthy and side-splittingly hilarious all at the same time!
Katy well-deservedly picked up the prize for ‘Best Wedding Photographer’ at the Welsh National Wedding Awards. Her style is beautiful and breath taking and she did a great job of capturing the moments of meaningful madness of James and Bethan’s ceremony.
'Wet and Wild'
Featuring Becx and Mark
Mark and Becx are outdoor adventure leaders and decided to rip up the rule book for their big day and their ceremony was overflowing with unique moments!
The first half of the ceremony took place at Clyngwyn Bunkhouse, a stunning venue in Waterfall Country, South Wales. Mark glided in (not so gracefully!) on his flying machine, Becx and her dad rocked and rolled down the aisle, the kids joined us (wearing replicas of their parents outfits ☺️) and the four of them exchanged bracelets made of climbing ropes. Lots of laughs and a couple of tear jerking moments.
But to make their promises, the dynamic duo wanted to be right next to the river that has brought so much joy and fulfilment to their lives so we made the tricky descent to Sgwd Clyngwyn. There, surrounded by their nearest and dearest (and a handful of bewildered tourists!) Becx and Mark vowed to stick by each other through thick and thin and keep doing what they are doing! Oh... And they jumped off a few waterfalls too! In all their fancy clobber!
This SENSATIONAL shot was captured by the very talented Chris @walking_waters. Chris is not a traditional wedding photographer, he’s more at home amongst nature and it shows. He had lots of technical challenges to contend with on the day, but he still snapped some stunners, the light was not one his side and he literally had seconds to seize this shot.
I’ve worked with a couple of photographers whose focus is not usually weddings and they always bring a different perspective and exciting edge, Chris’ photos were vibrant and lively. Of course, there are so many awesome wedding photographers out there but don’t be afraid to dabble with someone who deals in a different discipline, in my experience they bring can open up different dimensions to your pictorial keepsakes. Sterling stuff Chris!
'Tug of Love'
Featuring Daphne and Michael.
If you have been following me for a while, you are bound to have seen some posts feature handfasting. It’s an ancient Celtic tradition that involves tying chords arounds a couple’s joined hands and is where the phrase ‘tying the knot’ comes from. More and more couples opt to include handfasting in their ceremonies so the act itself is not unique. However, every single handfasting I perform is unique because the ritual is so customisable and can be embellished with many tiers of meaning. It’s versatile, visual, tactile, highly symbolic and is a great way to honour our Celtic roots.
Everything about Daphne and Michael is BIG and BOLD so every part of their ceremony needed to be as BIG and as BOLD as them. For their handfasting they asked 16 friends and family members to wrap their hands and impart messages of love and hope – it was super emotional. As the binding was happening, we realised we were one strip of material short so Michael ripped off his tie for one of the binders to use instead – I love these moments of sheer spontaneity! There were so many layers of material cocooning the couple that I really didn’t know if they were going to be able to pull it through to form the all-important knot. They did… just, but it was a real wrestle, and this photo captures the frenzied hustle fantastically.
Ken is a teacher @devonphotographyschool so is experienced in a wide range of disciplines and is passing on his skills, knowledge and wisdom to a new wave of artists... love that. His photos of Michael and Daphne’s mega festival wedding are just as vivid and voluptuous as the crazy couple themselves. Great stuff Ken, thanks for this shit-hot shot!
'Strutting their Stuff'
Featuring Cari and Adam's bridesmaids
Dancing down the aisle seemed like the thing to do in 2022, a fair few of my couples had electric entrances emerging with an enlivened entourage, but Cari’s and Adams entrance was truly epic. Adam and his gang of guys were first on the scene and cooly cascaded the carpet bopping to a bit of breakbeat. Once the chaps were all through, Cari and her crew allowed the intro to Fat Boy Slim’s ‘Praise You’ do its job and spike the atmosphere then it was their time to shine.
The bridesmaids strutted in with all the sass, paving the path for a confident Cari and her proud pappa. Their guests raised the roof off the barn with triumphant cheers, so the ceremony started on the highest of highs. It was monumental.
Babs’ photos are typically romantic and dramatic. She’s a pro at using landscapes as beautiful backdrops. What I love about this shot is the energy she’s captured within in, I can almost see those silky dresses shifting as the girl’s hips are swinging, it’s so dynamic.