It’s not often these days that I get to shoot at a new wedding venue in Derbyshire, because as a Derbyshire wedding photographer I’ve been to most of them multiple times. But last month I had the pleasure of photographing the wedding of Alicia and Jason at Rosliston Forestry Centre, near Swadlincote.
I arrived with Ben, who was second shooting for me, and found Jason, his Best Man Chris and his Dad Martin putting the final touches to the beautiful glade area of the forest. The Glade (as it’s called) is accessed by a private road off the main car park which leads to a round bowl surrounded by (not surprisingly) beautiful woodland.
There is a large marquee for the reception and a stunning handmade wooden gazebo for outdoor ceremonies, which is what Alicia had planned on using today. The weather gods were not necessarily smiling though, and rain was definitely in the air.
I caught up with Jason and then left Ben to shadow them like a hairy, bearded ninja while I went to find Alicia. She was staying in one of the amazing woodland lodges on the other side of the centre, getting ready with her Mum Jo.
I’ve seen some relaxed clients on the morning of the wedding, but Alicia may have stolen the top spot in my official chart of the top ten nerveless brides. She had been up early in order to prepare an enormous buffet for the evening guests. This hands-on approach was typical and reflected in pretty much every other aspect of the wedding – Alicia had made most of the decorations, including the bunting that adorned the marquee, and her bouquet.
Meanwhile, just down the road Jason and Chris were enjoying a pre-wedding drag race. On mobility scooters. Obviously. It was a tender, touching moment before the ceremony which Ben captured perfectly.
Back in the normal world Alicia’s father William had arrived and Alicia was putting the finishing touches to hair and makeup before slipping into her beautiful dress, with a little help from her Mum. It’s often emotional when the father of the bride sees his daughter for the first time, and I’m really pleased to have been able to capture this moment for them both to look back on.
Back at The Glade Jason and Chris had reluctantly parked their scooters and were prepared for the ceremony. It was spitting with rain, but Alicia had her heart set on an outside ceremony and she got her wish, accompanied by a few umbrellas amongst the guests!
We whisked the very new Mr and Mrs Elberts away for a few portraits amongst the trees, returning them back just in time for the speeches before dinner. The pressure was on Chris, as Best Man and one of Jason’s oldest friends, to entertain. He certainly did, creating a photo storybook of Jason’s formative years which was enlightening for a lot of people!
The evening drew in and after the first dance we headed out again for a few more portraits. It was a beautiful evening, and the perfect end to a lovely day. Congratulations again to Mr and Mrs Elberts!