RSA wedding – Carolyn & Richard

Saturday’s groom, Richard, said in his speech that after proposing to Carolyn, he imagined a small wedding. Maybe a fish and chip supper after and a cup of tea. He got the tea. Carolyn had other ideas though for the wedding! She got an RSA wedding.

Taking place in the Georgian elegance of The Royal Society of Arts building, just off The Strand in central London, this was a colourful wedding. Carolyn had warned me. Imagine a multitude of ‘colour bombs’ thrown into the Benjamin Franklin room, and the Great Room.  Downstairs in The Vaults, a London themed tearoom before the ceremony, complete with newspaper vendor, was followed by a ‘jazz club’ feel in the evening. It’s the first time I’ve seen a registrar get out his smartphone to photograph a ceremony room. ( The other registrar was more concerned about the oversight of there being no table and chair for her to sit at and fill in the registry details as the ceremony took place – they always have this. )

Elegance, colour, champagne, tea, music and FUN – that just about sums up this wedding.

( It was also, with a 5pm ceremony start time, largely indoors and in vaults with no windows, going to be a technically challenging wedding for photography. Especially in colour.  As an available light photographer, you are at the mercy of the lighting design and have to adapt what and how you shoot accordingly. eg: the wedding photographer’s dread – red and mauve lighting! The sensors ( as did film) hate this part of the colour spectrum. The coloured light burns out details. )

Coverage began on the fourth floor of the prestigious Savoy hotel. Carolyn got ready with family and friends in a ‘room with a view‘ – overlooking a London panorama of Waterloo bridge and along to the Houses of Parliament. A very short distance away, deep in the Vaults, Richard was meeting the wedding guests for tea, amid the London themed backdrop. Time for a cup of tea and a chance to peruse the inventive newspaper style order of service.

The ceremony itself took place in The Great Room overlooked by large painted panels depicting The Progress of Human Knowledge. These were begun the year after the USA declared independence. After the ceremony, it was drinks in the lobby, some pictures outside and a call to Richard’s mum, who couldn’t make the ceremony. Then into the Benjamin Franklin room for the wedding breakfast. First though were speeches from Richard and his best man. The latter, more a funny stand up routine than the traditional character assassination of the groom ( “London are a hard crowd!”)

Then back down to the Vaults for the rest of the evening – cheese, tea, drinks, a photo booth, jazz and dancing.

Ah, this was the bit where the first dance wouldn’t happen, according to Carolyn – not Richard’s thing. ( As with probably 90% of grooms ) But Richard had a surprise for his wife – today, he would dance! The warm up act went first though, Carolyn and her girlfriends line dancing. This was a chilled out, relaxed wedding.

Here are a few images from the day…

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As Carolyn’s dressmaker this was my commission of the year. It was such fun working with Carolyn,from our initial foray to Joel & Sons famous fabric emporium – we chose the fabrics in about 20 minutes flat and sketched the design on the back of the proverbial envelope – to the last detail of sewing beaded flowers I brought back from Istanbul onto the bridesmaids dress. Via corset shopping and deciding just how blingy the shoes should be. Quite a lot! Most brides have a bridezilla moment but not Carolyn who was enthusiastic at all the fittings and very patient while I stuck pins in her and fiddled around with the drapery. It was a great pleasure to be invited and wonderful to see Carolyn and Richard looking so happy.

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