A candle-lit wedding at Normanton Church: Anna and Mike
I always look forward to photographing weddings at Normanton Church – it’s such an iconic building and it’s location on the banks of Rutland Water is hard to beat – but in the build up to Anna and Mike’s big day, I was a little nervous as this would be my first wedding lit by nothing but candles. Moreover, to help make the most of the low-light ambience, the couple had timed their wedding so it would end just as the sun was setting. A candle-lit wedding as the sun was going down – the romance of the idea would be hard to beat, but would me and my cameras be up to it?
In event, my cameras coped admirably (and I hope I did too – I guess that’s for the couple to decide!) – a combination of fast lenses and occasionally resorting to manual focusing meant I captured all the moments I needed.
Candle-lit Wedding Ceremony
When Anna, her young daughter and father walked up the aisle, the ambiance in the church was spellbinding. Candles flickered all around, bathing the couple and their guests in a soft, warm light and a reverential hush fell over the building. The ceremony was genuinely beautiful and full of emotion – I’m pretty sure I saw tears in Anna’s eyes – and it was a huge plus for me that I could switch my cameras to work with an electronic shutter, making them literally silent, and so allowing me to work with as little impact as possible on the scene.
Straight after the ceremony, the newly weds and their daughter came outside for some very quick portraits at sunset. Making them quick was essential – despite the surprisingly fine weather, the wind by the water was probably the coldest I’ve felt this year and for their sake (and for my by then literally numb fingertips!) we were soon making our way up to their wedding breakfast.
The wedding reception at Normanton Park Hotel
Happily for us and the guests, the reception took place at the blissfully close and always lovely Normanton Park Hotel, so it was only a matter of minutes before the wind was nothing but a memory and glasses of warm cider were warming once cold hands.
Following a very buzzy drinks reception in the bar area of the hotel, it was time to sit down and enjoy the speeches. Before the wedding, Mike had showed me his tie pin, complete with grimacing Lego mini-figure whose job was to ‘take the fear’ for him. Well, the good news was that it seemed to work – Mike’s speech went down brilliantly with the guests, and most importantly with his new wife. The best men followed up with two fine speeches and then it was time for the wedding breakfast to begin.
A little later it was time for me to go. With the main course eaten, a lively atmosphere was building in the room and as I left it was lovely to see the bride and groom mingling with their guests, clearly making the most of this most special of days.
I’d like to thank Anna and Mike for giving me the chance to photograph their beautiful candle-lit wedding at Normanton Church. It was an unforgettable experience and I hope my photographs have captured at least some of the memories and ambiance for them. Good luck to both of you and hope you have a long and extremely happy marriage!
Photography from Anna & Mike’s lovely candle-lit wedding at Normanton Church: