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Toasting the Tetleys

June 28, 2011

The summer wedding season is in full swing and I’ve been really lucky to photograph some corkers again this year.

From simple family affairs to some rather lavish dos, it’s been a blast so far and to give you a little taste, here are some of my favourite images from a wedding I did at Hampton-in-Arden a few months back.

Ladies and Gentlemen please be upstanding for the bride and groom – Mr & Mrs Tetley…

Warwickshire bride and groom kiss spontaneously

Victoria & Doug Tetley, Hampton Manor, Hampton-in-Arden 26th March 2011

As Victoria and Doug both work in London, the job of finding a photographer for their big day had fallen largely to Victoria’s fab mother – Cindy. She was such a great character and we immediately hit it off when she came for coffee at the studio – then after I’d met Victoria during a recce at the venue, I was really chuffed to be officially commissioned.

I’m often asked to cover the bridal preparations but it was nice on this occasion to go over early and photograph the groomsmen getting ready too. So the first stop of the day was at the family home, near Fillongley, where I captured a few images of the boys making bacon sandwiches and ironing their shirts.

Groon and groomsmen prepare for the wedding

Doug and his groomsmen prepare a breakfast fit for champions and Jack Russells

After an hour or so with the boys I headed over to the lovely Hampton Manor Hotel, where Victoria, Cindy and the bridesmaids were beginning their somewhat more elaborate preparations.

Contemplative bride by the window

The calm before the storm

I love shooting these moments – people are generally preoccupied and soon forget I am there with the camera and there’s always lots of energy, excitement and emotion, which I think is great to capture.

Young bridesmaid looks on while the bride gets her hair done

Charlotte the flower girl was real a cutie throughout the whole day

Bride, bridesmaid and the bride's mother

The three graces

Intimate moment between the bride and her father

Wedding day moments between Dads and their little girls are always special

Flowergirl perches on the edge of a hotel bath

A timeless shot of Charlotte perched on the bath

Bride's mother makes filan adjustments to her daughter's wedding dress

A few finishing touches to the dress from a proud Mum

Once everyone was ready, there was just time to take advantage of the hotel’s tasteful interior and snap a handful of more formal portraits while we waited for the car to arrive.

A formal portrait of a beautiful bride

Victoria's dress was lovely and really suited her – very elegant with some lovely detail and a lace bolero

The ceremony was a short ride away in a small church in the manor grounds. It’s at these points in the proceedings that I really get my exercise, making sure I get there before the bridal party to get shots of them arriving.

Bridal party arrives at the cur – caught on camera my reportage-style wedding photographer Rachel Spivey

Arrivals and entrances are important images that help tell the story of the day

Every vicar has his or her own rules on photography. Some are very strict, others, give you a free reign. Here I was restricted to a few interior shots from a distance and not during the ceremony itself.

Bride and groom inside the church

Not being close to the action doesn't necessarily mean you miss out on good shots

Bride and groom in the church with the vicar

A suitably chuffed looking bride and groom win an admiring glance from a member of the choir

Once the ceremony over it was back to the venue for the newlyweds and a bit of jogging behind the car for me!

Bride and groom approach Hampton Manor for their wedding celebrations

Working up a sweat was worth it for this shot

Generally speaking people book me for my informal approach to weddings, though there are always a few obligatory groups. The key to a good one is a nice backdrop and a loud and forceful best man to help herd all the people who’d rather be in the bar.

Wedding group photography

The assembled guests in their entirety and Victoria and Clare let off some steam

With the formalities over I am left to my own devices to take candid shots of the guests as they relax and have a drink.

Two generations of wedding guests

I love how the all the different generations of families and friends get together at weddings

Candid photogrpahy of wedding guests taken at Hampton Manor hotel by Rachel Spivey

There's something great about capturing people as they really are

Children photographed at a wedding reception in Solihull

Kids always make fab subjects – whether they are running riot or bored stiff

Little details recorded for posterity by R Spivey

I always snap the little details too – once the cake and champagne are gone, the photos still remain

When everyone is seated, I put the camera away for a while. No-one wants to be photographed while eating, and no-one wants Auntie Flo with a fork in her mouth in their wedding album anyway.

Though once the speeches begin I’m clicking away again to make sure I don’t miss anything.

The father of the bride speaks at the top table

The classic 'I think I left my speech on the sideboard' moment

This wedding was a real pleasure to do, not least because the Victoria and Doug were so much fun to work with.

Big thanks to them for letting me share their day with you here.

RS x

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