“Love is friendship that has caught on fire.” Ann Landers.
Documenting this wedding was extra special because I’ve known Vanessa since the 90s. I don’t remember the date or how old we were exactly, but Vanessa arrived mid-way through a high school year which was as terrifying as it sounds. She didn’t stay at our school long, but we became friends and made some memories. I’ll always remember galloping around her wrap-around garden with her younger sister and having her lovely mum always about for a chat. Since then, our worlds have never really collided until Vanessa contacted me saying she was getting married. And the best bit, they’d chosen Bath Botanical Gardens! How could I refuse?!
Weather in April can be unpredictable from snow storms to blistering heat, but thankfully the gods were looking down, and we got the later. I joined Vanessa, her beautiful son and bridesmaids at The Bath Priory for sips, stories and a little powder!. Even on her wedding day, Vanessa was making sure everyone was well looked after. Her compassion for others has always been endless, so I suppose it was written in the stars she’d become a doctor.
After the quickest outfit change (she does not faff about), Vanessa appeared in the most elegant lace gown and a veil so beautiful, it turned me into a veil junkie! I blinked quickly to get rid of the rising tears and remembered my job - photograph moments like this!! There’s something so magical about that moment when a bride puts their dress on, like they still can’t believe it’s actually happening. Just WOW!
Soon enough, Hettie, their hired VW Beetle showed up to take Vanessa to the ball so I made haste to meet Mike at the Botanical Gardens. His huge smile instantly put me at ease. I liked him immediately and knew why Vanessa was on her way to nab him! Arriving at the altar, it seemed the sun had saved all of its rays to shine down on their vows. Every word was heartfelt as was the clutching of their hands. Next came the most magnificent first kiss - sooooo Hollywood, it nearly floored me!
After the adrenaline-pumped confetti chuck, drinks were served in the gardens and everyone just had the best time. It was so freeing to see kids climbing trees, and guests drifting from familiar faces to unknown ones with just the same enthusiasm. There was something so special about this wedding that I hope my words do it justice. There were no frills or faff - just big-fat, bona fide, real-ass connection! In this life, we’re all going a million miles an hour but this stunning day was a reminder to slow things right down, take it back to basics and just enjoy one another. What a way to start married life guys!