I had the pleasure of photographing Sam an Matt’s wedding a few months ago, it was perfect, it was them and the one thing that really stood out to me was how incredibly happy they both were throughout the day! Sam literally beamed! The weather was questionable, we had sunshine, we had cloud, we had rain and we even had gail force winds! Still, Sam and Matt beamed with happiness, they laughed, they joked, they loved each other and everyone of their guests. They didn’t allow anything to ruin their special day.
They chose to have a church wedding and then onto a little cafe in Berkhamsted called I LOVE FOOD (great name right!?) Here they had a small, intimate dinner with their nearest and dearest. It was a perfectly low key and beautiful wedding day. Looking back at these images makes me feel as warm and fuzzy inside, real emotions, honest moments.
Sam has explained their story and why they both chose what they did….
“My then fiancé, Matt and I had been engaged for 4 years and were coming close to celebrating the 12th year from our first date. We finally got our act together and decided to get married on our anniversary. A mere 8 weeks away! Luckily this date was toward the end of March, not quite in full on wedding season. This meant that we were lucky enough to book what we wanted.
Time was urgent and I immediately phoned the church we wanted. They had availability and we booked it then and there. The same day, I went with my mum to a local wedding dress shop that was having a closing down sale. We went in. I tried on one display dress. This is the dress I wore on my wedding day and I bought it then and there for £300. One hour after booking the church.
Our wedding was on its way!
We wanted very traditional elements to our wedding to honour the ritual and have everyone we love involved, yet also we wanted an intimate and colourful wedding with a less traditional twist. And all of this on an almost non-existent budget by todays standards.
Matt and I decided to completely let go of any of our previous assumptions and expectations of what a wedding “should be” and tried not to get hung up on the little details. We concentrated on the aspects of the day that would be important to us – family, friends, fun, colour and love. Anything that didn’t fit this criteria ultimately didn’t matter.
With a small budget we had to prioritise where we spent the money. Our top spends we agreed to consist of flowers and quality photography to capture our day. The photography was really important to us because after the day is done you wont wear the dress again, the food is eaten and flowers wilt. The memories and photographs last forever!
We always loved the church we got married in, so that decision was a no brainer. The tricky bit was the meal and party. Everywhere we went to that would hire out a room either wanted to inflate prices as soon as we mentioned the “W” word or met us with such apathy that we felt we wouldn’t be looked after. We were stuck and the clock was ticking.
Matt phoned me one day over his lunch work break. He told me that he was sitting in our favourite cafe in Berkhamsted, I Love Food. Matt told me that he had spoken to them, and even though they hadn’t held a wedding there before they would help. Not only that, but when we met with them they were so accommodating and the quality was phenomenal! We only had to pay for the food and alcohol.
To top the night off we continued celebrations at our local pub. We reserved a few tables that took up about half of the space, and at no cost. I will never forget the look on peoples faces as we all turned up in our finery.
Everyone was so lovely and clapped as we walked in.
The day was perfect! Windy… yes. Rainy… yes! But colourful, fun and romantic. Everything we could have ever hoped for. All of our friends reflected that the wedding was “so you” and yet we did not spend a lot of money to achieve this. Neither of us feel like we missed out on anything. I am so glad that we didn’t spend years planning the day…I don’t think I could have handled the stress for that long. And I am glad that it paid off to approach a non traditional venue for our meal. We really did have top quality service for very little cost.
I am also so thankful that we entrusted Lucy with the task of capturing our wedding. We said to Lucy that we were interested in capturing the intimate moments of the day, and the ‘bits in between” the main events. She did this PERFECTLY! She made us feel at ease and she was able to blend into the wedding with ease meaning that we didn’t feel overly aware of being photographed all the time. This produced some stunning shots which we will cherish until we are old and grey!
If I had any advice for any future bride and groom to be, it would be: Be yourselves, let go of expectations (your own and opinions/demands of others), there is no such thing as ‘perfect’, you don’t need to spend a fortune and invest in the memories!
Share this story