When you decide on an autumn wedding, there’s only location to host it: a forest! Emily and Jay are, it’s fair to say, fans of woodland settings. The table place names on their beautiful reception tables were each given to a forest or wood which they had visited; and now they have one more special location that will remain close to their hearts for the rest of their lives: Rosliston Forestry Centre.
Emily and Jay met at friend’s birthday party, and during the next few years their relationship flourished as they overcame job relocations and living at opposite ends of the country – so planning a “simple autumnal wedding” was never going to present a challenge to these two! The real challenge arrived for Jay midway through his brother/best man’s speech – but more on that in a moment!
Mel and I arrived at Rosliston bright and early on a warm October morning. Both Emily and Jay were getting ready in separate woodland lodges in the grounds, and the marquee for the reception was already dressed and full of the autumnal details that the two of them had picked. The humanist ceremony was held outside – a brave choice for the time of year, but not a drop of rain fell! Emily provided me with one of my favourite-ever pre-ceremony photos (see below!), and then Jay surprised her by managing to weave a Roald Dahl quote into his personalised vows while Emily made a very public promise regarding cups of tea…
I always enjoy listening to the speeches, and the best man’s speech is often a highlight. As a wedding photographer, I’ve heard a few! However, I’ll never forget this one! Jay’s friend Stewart made up one half of the best men duo, and tore into Jay’s split loyalties on the rugby pitch (being a proud Irishman and working for England Rugby!), and then it was Gavin – Jay’s brother – who took over the reins. Apparently, Jay had been Gavin’s best man, and during his speech he had presented Gavin with a banana-and-mustard ice-cream split, and made him eat it. But what could Gavin make Jay eat? He feared there was nothing that Jay would turn his nose up at. Not to be denied his revenge, Gavin turned to his brother’s biggest phobia. Thus, part way through his speech, two very nice ladies arrived carrying a smallish tank containing a very big spider! Much to everyone’s delight, Jay overcame his terror and managed to hold his new furry, eight-legged pal for a few seconds. Afterwards, the guests were also able to have a cuddle with the spider, and earn a “I held a spider” sticker!
The rest of the afternoon and evening passed in a whirl of smiles, dancing and sparklers! Congratulations again to Emily and Jay, and thank you for letting us share in such a memorable and beautiful day!