Reportage wedding photography at St Etheldreda’s church
St Etheldreda’s Chapel and the ICA ( Institute of Contemporary Arts ) were the settings for a London wedding in October. Kirsty-Anne and James’s wedding ceremony was a relatively late one for this time of year, with a 4pm kick off time. This meant a race against the light and the rain that hung over London once the ceremony had finished. The rain did fall but it held off enough to get some portraits of Kirsty-Anne & James on The Mall, before it became too dark.
Oldest Catholic church in London
St Etheldreda’s is a fantastic venue for a wedding ceremony with a fascinating history. Once part of a vast palace, it was the chapel for the Bishops of Ely. “It is the oldest Catholic church in England and one of only two remaining buildings in London from the reign of Edward I” (Think ‘Braveheart’ for the time period) The palace is long gone and now the church sits squeezed in between smart office buildings, down a small gated cul-de-sac off Holborn. Many would never know it was there. It is pretty dark but also is actually quite nicely lit – a very warm, cosy place for a ceremony compared to many stark and cold churches. It certainly lets the modern digital cameras show how they can work at high iso.
The other surprise is the access you get as a photographer. Often you are told you ‘can’t stand there, shoot that, be here’ ( see the recent coverage at The OBE Chapel at St Paul’s – shooting through the chapel door ). But despite the excellent access I’ve got at many Catholic weddings ( compared to some CofE and registrars ) I was still surprised when the priest suggested he would stand to one side so I could get a shot of Kirsty-Anne and her father walk up the aisle. Shame this isn’t always the case. ( As for when Kirsty & James walked back out – I was all lined up – and then all there was in the frame was an usher with his camera standing in the aisle – could you feel the metaphorical daggers Billy! 🙂 )
ICA wedding Reception
On to The Institute of Contemporray Arts for the evening reception. Drinks, food and dancing. The speeches spilt, with some held as everyone stood around, drinks in their hands. Dancing followed, as people chatted on the balconies, with a view of Big Ben.
Coverage began with Kirsty-Anne getting ready at The Goring Hotel next to Buckingham Palace, with her mother and two bridesmaids. A short cab ride then up The Strand to St Etheldreda’s, where James and his ushers were waiting for a previous ceremony at the church to finish.
Here are a few images from the day…