Brighton College wedding photography
Brighton College, an independent co-educational boarding and day school, in the Kemptown area of Brighton. The location for this wedding and the groom’s old school (this may explain the trouser dropping later…). Founded in 1845, the original idea had been to house the school in the Old Pavilion in Brighton but Queen Victoria said ‘no!’. So the architect Sir George Gilbert Scott was commissioned to build the school in the Kemptown suburbs (as they were then), a few years later. This was before he was knighted and before he became famous for designing the Albert Memorial and the Midland Grand Hotel at St Pancras station. In the years just before the school, he’d designed several workhouses and lunatic asylums – who else to come and build a school in the Gothic Revival style?
A wet day and windy day in October
Weddings in late October – either glorious autumnal sunshine or very wet and windy? The week before had been the former but this wedding caught the latter. After parking up in the school grounds (I love a venue that lets you do this, especially in somewhere like Brighton, it makes a big difference), a quick look around, I then walked down to the seafront – where Gina was getting ready with family and friends in a rented flat on the seafront. A few pictures of the getting ready – World Cup Rugby on the TV – I walked back to the college to catch the groom’s arrival. Gina arrived at pretty much the same time – bridesmaid shouting at Richard and his men to hide! Gina relaxed in the Library, before the walk across to the ceremony in the chapel.
Brighton College Chapel – the wedding ceremony
When you are at an English public school, founded in the days of the Empire – you expect a chapel wall full of plaques, flag and old swords, that reflect this era. Brighton College chapel doesn’t disappoint. Walls full of Old Brightonians who ‘served the Empire’. Like Capt William John Gill, a pupil from 1856 to 1861. Who travelled ‘collecting intelligence for the War Office’ – a spy. Part of the ‘Great Game’. His plaque goes on to say, ‘captured by an over-powering force of Bedawins (as spelt) and murdered in the Wadi Sudr, August 11th 1882′.
But back to the present. Gina and Richard were married by a family vicar – Richard’s uncle. He’d lost the dog collar and was back in civvies by the time of the confetti run. This was when the wind picked up, the veil became a nuisance and the rain started to fall. From now on, it was all inside. Outside it was dark, wet, cold and windy. Inside, drinks, food, dancing and marryoke…
Now I don’t make any secret of the fact that I prefer to document weddings with no videographers present. No having to compete for a key spot or feel you can’t move in to get a shot as you’d block their view. For the most part I don’t. Gina had always enquired about video, so I wasn’t surprised when she said she had hired a videographer. I was surprised when she said they would be doing marryoke…! I’ve never encountered this before, but I’d seen examples posted by other wedding photographers. The day seemed to be completely taken over with people miming along to the same soundtrack – for this day, a medley from ‘Grease’! But I have to say that Nick, from Moving media films, didn’t take over the day – so no pretending to sing, as they walked down the aisle. Guests were just quietly taken from the drinks reception, to another part of the college – to dress up and singalong for the camera. It actually gave me something else to photograph, just like when a magician is present, to break up the images of people chatting. As the guests made their way to the meal, so Gina and Richard did their marryoke segment, standing in the college quad, in the rain. This was when the trousers fell down… There would be another, en-masse marryoke, just after the first dance.
Here are few images from this day, when the wet weather didn’t really matter or affect the fun – a wedding at Brighton College…