So, the 2014 wedding season kicks off and it was a belter of a wedding to begin it with too!!
St Paul’s cathedral, namely the OBE Chapel in the crypt, was the venue for Rhian and James’s wedding. A winter’s wedding, on a bright day but with a bitterly cold wind. Rhian would need to call on her Scottish roots later, as she braved the biting cold wind on the Millenium Bridge while posing for photographs. Not easy when she had a cough and a cold. Although the groom had a pocketful of Fisherman’s Friends handy – true romance!
Coverage began at Threadneedles hotel in The City ( a converted bank ) where Rhian, her bridesmaids and her niece, were getting ready. Actually Facebook had already kept me updated with events as I had traveled up to London, with images of the English breakfast they had had that morning. 😉 James, the groom, even made an appearance but not past the head bridesmaid, Donna, on door security. It was then a short hop over to the cathedral. James and his posse, led by Alex and the map, eventually found the entrance. 😉 Access to the crypt and the OBE chapel is through the cafe. But then nowhere else can arriving weddings guests file past the tombs of the Duke of Wellington and Horatio Nelson.
( The chapter of St Paul’s has tightened up their rules on photography. In response, they say, to the behaviour of wedding photographers in the past, who have since been banned. They didn’t say what the ‘behaviour’ was. So officially it is pictures of the arrival and into the chapel up until the first hymn and then nothing until the ‘posed up’ shots of the register signing. Back in 2011 I was allowed to shoot all of the ceremony from the back of the chapel – that junior Canon no longer works at the cathedral. St Paul’s is now in the minority with such rules these days. But having said that, the vergers, stewards and the reverend Sarah ( chaplain at St Paul’s) were the friendliest I’ve encountered at St Paul’s. Many are not! )
Once out of the cathedral and some pictures on the steps, the guests jumped on the bus ahead of schedule – it was too cold to hang around. Rhian & James still had the walk down to the Millenium Bridge through hordes of congratulating tourists. A wedding at St Paul’s is not a private affair. No time to wait for the bridge to clear or any sunshine or any elaborate shots – too cold. Time to head to the reception in the basement of The Folly Bar, near London Bridge. We were ahead of schedule – more time for beer! Somehow we ended up over an hour behind schedule by the time of the first (brief) dance – people were enjoying themselves too much. But before the dancing, there had been speeches. A nice break from tradition with both the chief bridesmaid and bride speaking. For Rhian the chance to announce that she hadn’t been ‘at the pies’ but that, all being well, come the summer, two becomes three. ( I wonder if somewhere there is a video of the brief speech made by her youngest nephew when he was given the microphone! Something about Willy? 😉 )
A lovely wedding, mixing the traditional and non-traditional, but most all it was relaxed.
Here are a few images from the day….an OBE chapel wedding…