The day started well, the forecast was good weather and I met our lovely bride to be in the bridal suite at Thorpe Park Hotel and Spa. She was supported by a sizeable but very competent and helpful entourage. Jo was very calm and, understandably, excited for the day and appeared to be more concerned for everyone else rather than herself with constant reminders for everyone to keep hydrated.
Preparations were already well underway, make up was being applied, hair was being tamed and the room was littered with 'things' for the wedding! So I began with capturing some of the details that Jo and Chris had carefully selected for their day. I love the attention to detail and thought that some couples put into their preparations and I certainly wasn't disappointed today!
Jo was supported by her close friends and of course her beautiful daughters, Jade, Taylor and Mia. Mia decided to play a game of hide and seek with me - which lasted for the whole day. Luckily I am patient and have a long lens!
In order to allow the girls some privacy and to try to clear my nose of the smell of hairspray I went off to find the boys. Chris was missing. Luckily I have never lost a groom yet and he was quickly rounded up with some assistance from his army of groomsmen, luckily he was only sorting out some last minute details. I suggested we head down to the bar for some photographs, and oddly the boys didn't complain!
Once the boys were relaxed enough I left them to return to the bride hoping for the first proper glimpse of 'the dress' and I didn't have to wait too long before it was unveiled in all of its glory. Final adjustments were made followed by the customary hugs, kisses and tears all round - not all of them from me!
Chris was waiting patiently in the ceremony room with his guests. I managed to squeeze into the front of the room which was pretty packed, but everyone was being kept entertained by the music of the string quartet.
The bride was customarily (slightly) late but the ceremony went without a hitch (apart from them getting hitched of course!) And then off we went for the drinks reception and formal photographs, where I earn my keep! The weather was glorious, indeed a little too bright at times so careful positioning to avoid squinting was needed.
After the formal groups and some more intimate portraits of the happy couple we maintained the tradition of throwing the bouquet. Followed by a slightly untraditional second throwing of the bouquet after Jo nearly managed to clear the building with a new Olympic record for 'flower hurling', luckily the second throwing went perfectly with a hotly contested battle to catch it!
The wedding breakfast was preceded by some very good and very funny speeches, which was impressive given that Chris had lost his speech earlier!
We grabbed a few more portraits of the happy couple before they managed to grab a short rest and then commence the evening festivities
The sunset was pretty spectacular but proved slightly elusive, however Chris and Jo were very amenable and followed me around the area chasing the light - even standing in the middle of the road when asked!
The evening celebrations began with the cake cutting and then, of course, the first dance. Cheered on by their guests and blasted from confetti cannons they led the dance before being joined on the dance floor by their family and friends. I left them to their festivities to allow them a little privacy as they began their journey as Mr and Mrs Burley.
Congratulations to you Chris and Joanne, it was a pleasure and an honour being a part of your day!