|SHOTTON HALL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER:|
BECKY AND JONNA TAKE TIME OUT FOR TEMSELVES AT SHOTTON HALL NEAR PETERLEEE COUNTY DURHAM
|SHOTTON HALL WEDDINGS PHOTOGRAPHY:|
BECKY ALL NICE AND RELAXEDAS HER SISTER FIXES HER HAIR
|SHOTTON HALL WEDDINGS:|
BECKY IS DEMONSTRATIVE WITH HER CHIEF BRIDESMAID AS THEY GET READY TOGETHER
|TAKING IT EASY: BECKY CHATS WITH HER BRIDESMAIDS AND MUM|
|BECKY'S RONALD JOYCE WEDDING DRESS WAITING FOR CENTRE STAGE|
|BLING!! WEDDING SHOES AT THE READY|
|EASY DOES IT .. THE DRESS COMES TO BECKY!|
|GIGGLES GALORE .. BECKY AND HER BRIDESMAIDS HAVE FUN|
|THE VILLAGE GATHERS FOR THE WEDDING|
|LAST MINUTE ADJUSTMENTS AS BECKY ARRIVES AT ST MARY'S CHURCH IN HORDEN COUNTY DURHAM|
|SECONDS BEFORE BECKY COMES DOWN THE AISLE, JONNA AND HIS BEST MAN CAN STILL SHARE A JOKE|
|BECKY AND HER FATHER COME DOWN THE AISLE AT ST MARY'S CHURCH IN HORDEN|
|SWEET SMILES FOR JONNA FROM BECKY|
|THE IMPOSING CHURCH OF ST MARY'S HORDEN WAS THE VENUE FOR JONNA AND BECKY'S WEDDING|
|FINE GOOD LOOKING YOUNG MAN!|
|JONNA THANKS HIS BEST MAN FOR HIS SUPPORT AS BECKY SIGNS THE REGISTER|
|A VERY HAPPY COUPLE LEAVE THE CHURCH|
|SO IN LOVE ...|
|CLASSICAL MUSIC INTERLUDE ON THE LAWNS AT SHOTTON HALL|
|THE GIRLS ...|
|JUST WHEN THE BOYS WERE LOOKING COOL, THE YOUNG LADY NEEDED SOME ATTENTION ...|
|BECKY AND HER SON ... GROWING FAST!|
|SISTERS .... SISTERS ... THE BABY OF THE FAMILY GETS MARRIED!|
|CENTRE STAGE AT SHOTTON HALL|
|MORE DETAIL FROM THE CHAIR COVERS ,|
|BECKY AND JONNA'S CAKE|
|CLOSE-UP DETAIL FROM THE WEDING CAKE|
|DETAIL FROM THE WEDDING BOARD|
|HAPPINESS FROM GRANDMA|
|SMIES FROM JOONA'S MUM ..|
|JONNA IN FULL FLOW . LOVING IT ALL|
|BECKY'S MUM JOINS IN THE FUN|
|CHEEKY MUNCHKINS ENJOYING THE SPEECHES|
|SISTERLY LOVE ..|
|EMBARRASSMENT FOR BECKY AS THE BEST MAN LETS JONNA HAVE IT ....|
|AAWW NO .. JONNA'S PAST COMES TO HAUNT HIM DURING THE SPEECHES|
|BECKY LOOKING FANTASTIC AT SHOTTON HALLL|
|JONNA HAS FUN WITH ONE OF THE HAIRDRESSERS!!|
|WHOOPS! JONNA REALISES HE HAS SWORN IN FRONT OF HIS GRANDMOTHER|
|THE YOUNGEST GUESTS ENJOY THE DANCE-OFF WITH JONNA!|
I photograph weddings there maybe once every two or three years - the majority of brides and grooms who marry there or who have their wedding reception there seem to prefer 'traditional wedding photography'.
Some know no better, they have been brought up in generations to believe that you should stand around all day having 'official pictures' taken, and that it is 'normal' to be away with your 'official wedding photographer' for an hour or more to 'have photographs done'
For Becky and Jonna, as Rebeca and Jonathan came to be known to me, their eye opening moment was at Lynne and Ian's wedding at Seaham Hall the year before. They were good friends of the happy couple-to-be, and I was a small but important part of their celebrations
They realised that there WAS another way to take wedding photographs .....
Sure it was a lot more expensive, sure they had to trust and have confidence in the photographer and YES, he DID take family group photographs like 'normal' wedding photographers, they just realised that it could all be done really naturally, with respect and with a relaxed atmosphere that enhanced their experience of their wedding day.
I loved photographing their wedding, a true community coming-together from the old pit (mining) village of Horden and their closest friends and family of 120 people gathering to celebrate their commitment to each other.
Jonna is the funniest unintentional comedian I have ever come across, just such a funny fella.
Becky is a delight, true and loyal to her friends with a sharp brain that got her a law degree and a quiet maturity and confidence that can contain Jonna's madcap antics and fun.
Being offered a cup of tea when entering a house in the north east of England is expected, and it was first thing on the menu from Becky's lovely Mum's I walked through her front door.
The weather was lovely - most unexpected in a summer of dark, dank clouds and persistant rain, and inside, Becky and her bridemaids were chilled to the bone!
I chatted with her the day before and she confirmed that her wobble had happened, as I predicted, I've seen it so many times that it almost always is the day before the bride's big day that the panic and stress hits home.
I also predicted that on the day of her wedding, she would be 'In the zone' .. and to her eternal surprise and happiness, she was.... more chilled than she ever believed possible!
Her Ronald Joyce dress was a dream dress, one of those dresses that contains itself, threatening to almost become too much to handle, but the quality was outstanding and she carried it off beautifully.
Time galloped on, I headed off to St Marys Church, just a few streets away, celebrating its 100th birthday at the heart of a community, where Jonna and his SEVENTEEN male attendents were gathering .. from tiny wee things to father's of the bride and groom, all decked out in their wedding finest!
There were a few tears as Becky came down the aisle with her father and met Jonna and his best man at the front of the huge church - she looked stunning, and Jonna thought so too from the look on his face.....
It had been raining quite heavily as Becky had arrived in her car with her father, but it was like mid-summer in Greece when we cam out of the church .. really hot - it boded well for the rest of the day.
We headed off to Shotton Hall, along with all the other guests and because the weather was so nice, the majority headed off onto the beautiful lawn at the back surrounded by parkland and trees.
This allowed the relatives and guests to chill out completely and really relax and get into the wedding spirit. I roamed freely capturing lovely natural moments friendship and happiness.
I made sure before the wedding that Jonna's parents and Beckys as well, knew that I would capture every important family photograph they expected, it's just that I wouldn't be doing them in a 'traditional' manner, all in a block, calling auties and uncles and friends of the bride and groom out one by one .. it's just not what I do .....
Once they understood that I wasn't going to let them down, that I would capture all those important family heirloom images, but spread across the 10 hours of the day I was with their families, they were able to relax and chill out completely too.
So, after an hour or so with the familes, capturing natural images as they reacted and interacted with each other, I made sure we had photographs in the bag with little ones and grandparents too in case either became irritable or tired later on, made sure that we got some cool relaxed images without posing too much with Jonna and his 17 suited-and-booted attendents and that Becky and Jonna had their photographs taken with key emebers of the family - but quickly and with some fun too.
On to the wedding breakfast (thanks folks - appreciated!) and the speeches which turned into the Jonna show .. he brought the house down along with his superb best man. Crackin' fun!
By this time, Jonna was on a roll .. he was having THE BEST time, so Becky and I gathered him up together with her sister and headed off for a few quick bride and groom shots .. after that, more guests were arriving for the party and even though the sun was high in the sky, the main room at Shotton Hall was tuned into the biggest party disco and the fun really began........
What a GREAT day for family and friends, an honest and true wedding day, bringing together communities and families and friends can't be a bad thing to celebrate a lovely young couple's commitment to each other.
If you would like me to capture relaxed, happy images of you at play with your closest family and friends during your great day of celebration, ring me NOW on 0778 7150966 and tell me all about your plans and CHECK YOUR DATE!
I only photograph a limited amount of weddings across the UK and abroad each year to make sure it never becomes a production line.
You're NOT just another bride and groom, and I'm NOT just another wedding photographer.
DIRK VAN DER WERFF