Wood Norton Weddings album 15
Wedding Photography by Lee Webb

Wood Norton Weddings

Wedding speeches and the beginning of the wedding breakfast in the orangery

At this stage in the sample album that I have produced for the Wood Norton, we're getting to the latter parts of the day. The couple are now married, they've walked through the wedding confetti, they've had their drinks reception and formal photos, they've seen the orangery and had their couples photos - but now's time for the party to commence!

Whether you have your wedding speeches before or after the breakfast is entirely up to you. There are two schools of thought - having the speeches after the food is traditional, but if it's a warm day and you've had a three-course meal, your guests are going to sit there trying not to fall asleep. And falling asleep is something that happens regularly during wedding speeches believe it or not. The second option is to have your speeches before the food is served. If you ask me, this is how I prefer to see things done for a couple of reasons. Firstly, people are hungry and you know as a speaker that the longer you make your speech last the hungrier your guests are going to get. Secondly, chefs are very angry people, and if your speeches run over, you're going to have an angry knife-wielding man to answer to. Finally, it's a good ice-breaker and stress-reliever. If you get the speeches out of the way at the earliest opportunity, you don't have to sit through all three courses in fear of having to deliver your speech at the end. I've seen many a best man not be able to eat a bite of their food for being nervous. They go hungry, and that meal has probably cost you ninety five or one hundred pounds and it's gone to waste!

The speeches are one of my favourite times to photograph at a wedding. Not so much all photos of people talking - after all, people who are talking tend to look the same in every image. Instead I much prefer to point my camera at the people who are listening to the words. You get everything from tears of sadness to tears of pure joy. These are all emotions that happen naturally and you cannot fake them as much as you try. The images just feel so raw and so real. I often end up making a selection of speech photos black and white as the lack of colour removes any distractions and you end up with just the purity of the image itself.

Location: The Wood Norton.

Keywords: Pure documentary wedding photography (24), Wood Norton Weddings (129).