Dear blog, please forgive me as I've not given you much attention lately. I'll make up for it with an epic (and I don't use that word loosely) post now. It's a biggy - lots of words; lots of pics (making up for lost time).
I always feel like I'm apologising for lack of updates on my blog posts, and true to form am doing the same again today. It has been a fantastic summer with weddings all around the south of the UK, and I even managed to fit in a family holiday to France for nearly 2 weeks! From June through to mid-September, there was only one weekend off so it's been a brilliant, busy summer.
It's also been nice to have a few more local weddings this year, and not have to rack up quite so much travel. Louise & Rob's wedding at Deans Court in Wimborne, Dorset, was one such wedding, being only a few miles from my base in Bournemouth.
Having met with them a few months back, I knew this would be something special to look forward to. Deans Court is a hidden gem being literally just yards from Wimborne town centre, and then backing on to Dorset's rolling countryside. It ticked all of the right boxes for my favourite kind of wedding: countryside, festival feel, good music, good food, great people. Rob organises the fantastic FarmFest, and their wedding was going to be a great reflection of that, their friends and values.
On to it then, with Louise getting ready at Apple Cottage, in the Deans Court grounds.
Everything in Wimborne is within a few minutes walk, so a quick stroll and I met up with Rob and his crew enjoying a quick pint at the Oddfellows Arms. From here, another short walk and we were at the impressive Wimborne Minster for the ceremony.
As you'll see looking through the photos, the weather was a bit changeable to say the least. Umbrellas were definitely needed at certain times throughout the day, but it didn't do anything to impact the enjoyment.
Now personally I always prefer to get the natural, non setup photos of register signing, such as the first two that follow here. Church weddings are always far more accommodating and non-restrictive to get these than the often incorrect, inconsistent rules applied by some registrar weddings, but before I digress too far on that point, if you're going to have a setup registry shot (vicars still love these for some reason), then in my view it's better to lark around a bit. Nice one Rob.
And then we're off to Deans Court for the rest of the day! Because of the rain at this point, the wedding reception was held in the main house whilst I found some options and waited for a break in the weather for a few group photos. Huge kudos at this point to Flaming Peaches who provided a steady flow of delicious street food from their converted Citroen van.
Inside the sitting room, musical entertainment was provided by the incredible Flamenco Thief. It is difficult to convey just how talented the man is, or describe the music he creates. His main instrument is the guitar which he plays with deft skill, but what makes him unique is his layering of sounds using loop and effect pedals, and also percussive elements he plays on the body of the guitar. You wouldn't believe the scale of sound produced. Delivering all of this with excitement and so much energy, it was a perfect soundtrack for the afternoon.
After a ripping set from the Flamenco Thief which had loads people dancing by the fireplace, the rest of the wedding guests made their way to the marquee, whilst I took Louise & Rob out for some photos around the grounds.
By the time dinner was finished and the speeches were due to start it was dark outside, and not much lighter inside. Man it was dark. With little more than candles on the tables, and having to read speeches by smartphone torch, it was a challenge for me and the cameras!
Following the tears and laughter of the speeches, it wasn't long before the music began. With Rob's involvement with FarmFest, it was no surprise that they had drafted a choice roster of DJs from their group of friends. First dance was followed by a superb disco-tinged 80s set from Joe Duhig. It was at this point I knew it was going to be a struggle to get myself away, but at the end (for me) of an amazing day, I wrapped up my coverage and left Louise & Rob to enjoy the rest of their party