What can I say about Bec and Andy? If you saw their pre-wedding engagement shoot that I blogged a few weeks ago you’ll know that I just think they’re brilliant. So nice, so friendly and such fun to spend time with. I was so excited for their wedding day at Dunsley Hall in Birmingham and it didn’t disappoint.
I met Bec with her mum and bridesmaids at the Beauty Rooms in Wombourne, a really lovely little village just south of Wolverhampton where Bec grew up. There was an air of excited calmness around, Bec was ultra calm and it made for a really lovely atmosphere.
A croissant and a glass of the bubbly stuff while you have your hair done – that’s the way a bride should be looked after on her big day!
Bec’s gorgeous headdress and handmade veil by hmveils.co.uk…
Hair and makeup done, I followed the girls back to Bec’s parent’s house for the final stages of her preparations… And the incredible Rolls Royce was already waiting outside for her.
As Bec enjoyed her final moments as a Miss, I headed over to St Benedict’s Church in Wombourne where Andy was nervously awaiting his bride… Andy’s family are Scottish, and Bec had booked a bagpiper to welcome him and the guests to the church.
As Bec got out of the car and walked up to the church, the emotion hit her, but Dad knew how to get her smiling again. A perfect moment.
Inside, the emotion had hit Andy too as his three kilted best men looked after him…
There’s lots more of the kilts to come but I loved this shot as soon as I took it in the church.
In keeping with the Scottish theme the best men had all been given personalised hip flasks of whisky… Ladies and gentlement (left to right) – Siggy, Mowgli and Moo! I actually know ‘Moo’ better as Mark as we were best friends and parners in crime for five years through high school, it was great to see him again after losing touch for 12 years!
After leaving the church, I stopped off with Andy and Bec at a local poppy field. Bec came prepared with wedding wellies, Andy came prepared with dress-carrying-arms.
This next one is one of my favourites from the poppy field (although I love them all). There’s just something about it.
They love each other these two, you know. Seriously adore each other.
After all that poppy-filled goodness we headed for Dunsley Hall where they were having their reception. Dunsley Hall is a gorgeous country house venue in Kinver. I’d visited with Andy and Bec a couple of months earlier and couldn’t believe the photo opportunities there.
Now then, the boys in the kilts. Andy, his Dad and his three best men. Did they have anything on underneath? Well you’ll have to wait and see – all will be revealed – I promise!!
Andy and his Dad both had kilt pins and cufflinks from their own clan.
And the gorgeous Bec and her girls!
After the group photos, I nipped into the wedding breakfast room before the guests to capture some of the beautiful details. Bec and Andy’s table plan was beautiful, and I’m sure the female guests were delighted with their Jo Malone favours on the tables, decorated with beautiful pastel flowers. All very tasteful, and very classy.
Their rings were engraved inside with ‘My Love Forever’ – Bec’s in English and Andy’s in Gaelic.
Best. Speeches. Ever. Honestly – all five of them! I get a lump in my throat again just thinking about them. I found myself laughing one minute and getting teary the next. It was an emotional rollercoaster! So lovely, these two are so lucky with their families and friends.
I never would’ve predicted as a 15 year old at a South Manchester secondary school that 15 years later I’d be taking photos of my best mate, in a kilt, as best man at a wedding in Birmingham. But there I was and here he is. He was hilarious. I taught him everything he knows.
I told you all would be revealed!! What were they wearing under their kilts? Boxer shorts, personalised with a big photo of Bec across their behinds! Priceless!
Siggy/Paul had told me earlier that he was worried nobody would laugh at his speech. He’d written a poem that was beyond hilarious!!
Andy is a fireman by day, and so are best men Paul and Adam. I get the feeling that firemen who work together become like brothers. And they’ve been through a lot these guys. When Siggy finished the humorous verses of his poem and got into the heartfelt stuff, Mark had to help him through it. Someone must’ve been chopping onions right next to me because my eyes were seriously watering at this point!
Adam wasn’t supposed to be making a speech but he got up and said a few very hearfelt words about Andy and Bec.
After the speeches, we headed outside for a walk around the Dunsley Hall grounds in the glorious evening sunshine. Apparently flare is a bad thing according to the text books. I don’t care much for text books.
Best Man TV! I’m not sure if this is a well known concept but I’ve not seent it before. Siggy as cameraman and Mowgli as interviewer, they went round and interviewed the guests for stories about Andy and Bec – it was hilarious. A great alternative to the usual guest message video idea.
While on their stag do (in Dublin I think) the boys had made a music video to Wham’s Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go and it was given its world premiere before the first dance. It was pure genius!
Possibly my favourite photo of 2011 so far.
After the first dance, Bec had a dance with her dad. I love this.
Some slightly more edgy portraits of Andy and Bec around Dunsley Hall.
I love this one of Bec. Really love it.
Chinese lanterns… There’s something so poignant about 100 people releasing lanterns into the evening sky.
What better way to finish the night than with your best man singing Michael Buble? Again, Paul had told me he was terrified about this but he needn’t have been – he was absolutely superb and you could tell how much it meant to Andy and Bec.
I’ve rarely been so tired at the end of a wedding day! After big hugs from this brilliant bride and groom I packed up and headed back to my hotel nearby and fell asleep within seconds of looking through the photos on the back of my camera (I can’t go to sleep until I’ve looked at them all!).
Andy and Bec – I loved being your photographer. I’m so glad to have met you and captured your special day for you. You belong together, you’re made for each other and I wish you all the happiness in the universe for your married life.