MANCHESTER WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER – WENTWORTH CASTLE GARDENS FEMINIST WEDDING
“It poured down all morning, my family were in utter chaos, things were forgotten and so many of the details went wrong, but we surrendered to what was and how lucky we are and we had one of the most wonderful days together, with the people we love. A reminder that there is joy to be found in the chaos.” – Megan
As the last story came from London, I thought I’d just stay in England, traveling in time to September 2017 and way up north from London to Northern England. To Barnsley to be more precise, located east of Manchester and North of Sheffield. Meg and Westy had chosen the beautiful Wentworth Castle Gardens to be the venue for their wedding ceremony. Definitely a good choice for the Brit born, in Melbourne living couple, to return home to for their wedding. When Megan initially got in touch with me, she told me a friend of mine she met in Australia had told her about my photography and here’s something Megan wrote to me: “Long before I was interested in weddings (I wasn’t much), I loved the aesthetic, the warmth and togetherness of the images you seemed to capture so effortlessly. I loved the grittiness, the darkness, the reality- this was not pretty, easy to swallow love, this was real, heady, all-encompassing beautiful, terrible love and this really appealed to the (optimistic) realist in me. From the moment we decided to have a wedding, we knew we didn’t want a glossy, cheesy photographer-we wanted the real thing, documented totally beautifully, yes, but not fake, none of the hand-holding, pretend smiling for the camera bullshit, thank you, just what really happened, please. That’s why we wanted you. You’re seeing the beauty, where another would easily miss it.”
Like always I’m not gonna tell you what happened, as this is told through the photos, I’d much rather tell you what I loved about documenting Meg’s & Westy’s wedding and why I hope this will inspire many more couples to come. First of all, when talking on Skype for the first time, we totally clicked and I loved hearing about them, their lives, their ideals and their ideas concerning their wedding. I loved learning about Meg’s feminism and being on the same page with her on that. Following her Instagram from that day on I came to agree so many of the things she shared on there, like this excerpt on same sex marriage: “marriage is about love, trust, commitment, faith in another human, and the mundane everyday things, that we all share, regardless of what factors separate us- I don’t see what gender has got to do with it. For me, and for many others, marriage is not about religion, it is about partnership and it is not so much about tradition, as forging and celebrating something loving, that fits our lives, in the here and now.” Wonderful, right? To me it is.
I also found the special connection between Megan and her mom. The distance between Australia and England may be tough to deal with, but their love for each other is so strong. It’s special. Even between moms and daughters.
Maybe I gotta add one thought on the actual wedding day, it started in a very untypical way for me, as most of the time I get to spend time with the brides and their bridesmaids while documenting their getting ready while, in comparison, time spent with the grooms is way shorter. This time I spent all morning with Westy, his brother and some of the couple’s best friends while Megan was not around. This, really a few weeks later, got me thinking about if we as wedding photographers, even being modern and dealing with couples on eye level often treat grooms as some sort of prop. It’s definitely something to think about and I might be blogging some thoughts on this soon if I find time to do so.
Anyway, I’m not telling you about the ever so drunken +1 who took a beer right out of my hand, later took a piss on Meg’s dad’s car and even later found himself on the wrong transfer van as this is something quite common we all see quite often and it’s nothing special, yet real.