Reportage wedding photography at a Gherkin wedding
A Gherkin wedding – calling it this isn’t strictly true I guess. The wedding reception was at The Gherkin, in The City of London. The wedding ceremony though was a few miles and a lot of slow traffic away, in South London. Down in Sutton to be exact, at The Lady of The Rosary catholic church. But that’s not as pithy a title… So we’ll call this a Gherkin wedding, rather than it’s more official name of 30 St Mary Axe, as well. It’s where the bulk of the wedding was. But anyhow – it was a belter of a wedding! A very friendly and relaxed crowd, even when the timings went rather astray. Plus the sun shone! Which in April, in London, ain’t bad.
(This is a London wedding that for me, links back to another sunny London wedding in 2013. Hanna and Stephen’s wedding in Marylebone, see the post here. You can spot Robert outside the Swedish church in that blog post. Another very relaxed wedding. These two days are up there in my top ten of the best weddings I’ve documented. Friendly people, relaxed atmosphere, no fuss – plus a bit of sunshine. Not essential, that last bit, but it helps.The first bits, those are critical. The sunshine is an welcome extra. As you can see above). About half of my weddings this year link back to a previous one. Always nice to see previous bride and grooms involved in another wedding I shoot (once had four couples at one London wedding – with one couple only a few weeks since their own wedding).
So coverage starts of the family home in Sutton. I arrived a bit earlier than planned but Miriam was still all ready. (Miriam had already said that she wasn’t bothered about getting ready shots). The house was full of family, ahead of a short ‘blessing’, before everyone headed over to the church. The ceremony did take longer than planned (First time in all these years that I’ve been told I can’t photograph aspects of the ceremony in a catholic church. That’s ruined my pitch with obstructive CofE vicars. I’ve been arguing with some of them for years, pointing out to them that catholic weddings are more open to photography…….). So after a blizzard of confetti, the guests got into two red buses and I hopped into the front of Miriam and Robert’s smart car (driven by the owner, Robert’s brother Mike (also MC for the day), as we set off for The Gherkin. A sunny Saturday in London…well, it wasn’t quick. The metadata on digital cameras is useful – it took us 90 minutes to get up into The City. The plan had been for a quick picture before the rest of the guests arrived. They were hot on our heels.
So up to the top. What a view! Although with all the building work surrounding the Gherkin at the moment, the view is about to change somewhat. But there was also a thick layer of London dust/grime on the windows – this would prove useful with the sunset shots later! Drinks in the sunshine, as the timings were adjusted. Everyone arrived pretty much at the time they were meant to be taking their seats for dinner. At the very top, the wedding meal. But first the speeches, as the dropping sun scattered light across the tables.
Bride and groom portrait at sunset
So between the courses, a few quick pictures as the sun dipped behind the Natwest tower. This bit isn’t documentary but if you get this light, why not use it? Just get a couple to stand in the right place and then watch the light, bouncing off buildings, the floor, the dusty glass. (Bit Bladerunner like?) Once the sun went behind the tower opposite, it didn’t reappear.
Night had fallen. After a change of clothes, Miriam and Robert reappeared, cut the cake(s) and kicked off the dancing, with Captain Redeye and the hoods band.
Here are just a few images from the day. Miriam and Roberts Gherkin wedding…