Annie & Kyle’s London wedding marked the beginning of wedding season 2018 for me as a photographer, and it was the perfect way to start another exciting year. The wedding itself was taking place in central London at the Westminster Quaker Meeting House, just a stones throw from Trafalgar Square. This is where I met Annie that morning. She was getting ready with her bridesmaids in an apartment above the Meeting House, and the three of them were very relaxed as the preparations went to plan. Kyle was getting ready in a hotel with his family by the Thames, so I wandered down to photograph his morning chapter in the story of the day. It was then time to take a short taxi ride to the Meeting House. I’d never been to a Quaker ceremony before, but Annie & Kyle let me know how it would unfold and what to expect. To tell the truth I knew next to nothing about Quakers, so did a little reading before the wedding to learn a little more. I wasn’t permitted to photograph the ceremony, so instead decided to sit in as a guest and experience a Quaker wedding, which is rather different to a traditional Church of England or Catholic wedding, to which I am more accustomed. Annie & Kyle arrived in the ceremony room together, rather than the Bride and her father walking up the aisle as is more familiar for most of us. Instead of a priest, vicar or registrar leading the ceremony, the guests sat around in a circle in silence. There were no readings, hymns, prayers or anything from a script. Instead, whenever somebody felt moved to speak – whether to offer some thoughts, advice or loving words – they stood up and spoke. It was a beautiful ceremony, full of emotion, honesty and reflection.
After the ceremony was complete, we took a short stroll down to Trafalgar Square for some photos. As this was the first warm and sunny day of the year, and also a Saturday, Trafalgar Square was packed. It was so much fun though. I love the juxtaposition you can find with London weddings, as rather than being secluded in a country hotel or estate, you’re in amongst the vibrancy of the city. We picked out a few photo spots, and managed to capture a few family photos on the steps leading down from the National Portrait Gallery. Everyone then boarded an old Routemaster bus, which took us on a bit of a sightseeing tour around central London (Kyle is American and lots of his family were visiting who are less familiar with London). The final stop for the bus was Hackney City Farm, a venue I’d heard lots about but never had the fortune of visiting. This is where the reception and party would be. After the drinks reception and a little explore of the working kitchen gardens, it was time for guests to take their seats at the tables decorated with plenty of rustic charm. The speeches didn’t follow the traditional format either, and we had moving words from the a range of people in the wedding party. Once the tables were cleared the evening was in full swing with lots of dancing, including a Tennessee tradition performed by Kyle’s American female family members – a dance routine in which the newlyweds were given a bottle of moonshine – just what every party needs!
This was such a fun London wedding to be part of. Annie & Kyle are two wonderful, generous, humorous and heartfelt people and make a wonderful couple. I wish them all the best in their married life together, and thanks for choosing me to be part of your beautiful day!
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