Lauren & Dan’s engagement shoot at Botley’s Mansion was on the blog a few weeks back and now we’re feature the main event; the wedding itself, this time at another Bijou Weddings venue, the beautiful Cain Manor. I’ve shot a number of Cain Manor wedding days, but never for a winter wedding before. Lauren & Dan live in South Africa and, as such, arranged much of their wedding long distance. It must have required some serious vision. Summer in South Africa and a Christmas wedding in an Elizabethan manor house 5500+ miles away are about as disparate as you can imagine! Despite the remote planning, with help from their UK based family, in particular Lauren’s tireless Mum, they pulled together an extremely stylish celebration. The décor for the ceremony and wedding breakfast was particularly special – I’ve never seen the Music Room look so good.

I enjoy a wedding with some free flowing emotion. That’s the point right?! Lauren looked stunning in her Suzanne Neville wedding dress and the tears had begun to flow from all sides, including from Lauren herself, before she reached the top of the aisle. Following the ceremony, with the light fast diminishing, we braved the cold for portraits, and were suitably rewarded with a wonderfully vivid sunset. Despite being late December the weather was crisp and beautiful with not a drop of rain all day. Winter weddings in the UK really can work!

Dan’s family are Jewish, and while they chose a civil ceremony, come the evening, it seemed only fitting that the second dance of the night was the hora, complete with hoisted Bride & Groom! I’m not sure if Lauren & Dan were aware that this was coming, based on the look on Lauren’s face I’d guess no (!), but either way, the first I knew of it was as it got underway! Schedules and plans are great, but from my point of view there’s something tremendously fun about reacting to an unexpected situation as it develops. That’s true photojournalism and, while it can be mildly terrifying in the moment, it’s also a total rush.

Right, enough chat. Time for some pictures; they’re the real story-tellers!

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