The cutting of the wedding cake is usually what gets the evening receptions at weddings underway. At the Wood Norton, this is usually done in the Orangery immediately before the bride and groom take to the dance floor for their first dance. Some couples however elect to cut their wedding cake earlier in the day, between their main course and dessert in order that the cake can be served afterwards with coffee or tea (which sounds ideal to me!)
Once the cake is cut, it is removed and prepared by the catering staff, and that's when the party can really begin!
The top left image for this double page spread of the Wood Norton Weddings sample album shows Nicola and Andrew cutting into their three weddings cakes. These wedding cakes were a complete surprise - a friend of theirs, who just happened to by a Michelin-star chef had offered to make a cake for the couple as a wedding present. Aside from agreeing to the cake being made, the bride and groom had no input on the cakes so the final result was a complete surprise to them both. I have eaten a lot of cake in my time, at both the 350+ weddings I have been to and the sheer fact I like nothing more in this world than cake, and I can honestly say that this wedding cake was by far the best cake I'd ever eaten. The best part was there was enough cake for 200 slices, and only 50 wedding guests - I'll let you do the math!
The next image in from the left on the top row shows Amy and Richard's wedding. This is a completely natural moment that I captured with the two of them, and I really like how Richard is reacting to seeing his wife with a knife in her hands!
In the third image we can see an image from Richard and Nikki's wedding, and what I can only assume was an attempt at dancing by a wedding guest and a bridesmaid. He seems to be having a great time, as does the bride... but I'm not so sure for the bridesmaid.
In the 4th image we see a photo from Amy's father-daughter dance which, when they happen, is always a favourite thing of mine to photograph as they are usually really emotionally charged. This one was no different, and I'm glad I nailed this shot perfectly with the lighting and the framing of the image.
Finally on the top row we have a photo from Carly and Henry's wedding, where the bride and groom ended their first dance with a big lift. The thing I particularly like with this image is how my flashes in the background along with the lights from the DJ booth really feel like the disco is in full swing, or that it's a still from a movie even.
On the bottom row, on the far left image we see a man jumping so high he's actually jumped clean out of the frame. I find weddings exhausting and I have no idea how some wedding guests are still so active so late in the day. I want to be in bed, fast asleep at this time! I really like the synchronicity between the bride and the other guests in this image, clearly the music is pumping and it's a popular song, as they're all thrusting their hands in the air at the exact same moment.
Next along we have another image from Nikki & Richard's Wood Norton wedding. I don't know who the gentleman in the image is, but he really was the life of the party, for better and for worse at times. Still, he seemed to be enjoying himself and everyone looks happy enough in this photo!
Following on, we have another image from Amy and Richard's amazing wedding. It was a beautiful end to what had been a challenging day, with the mother of the bride falling and breaking her shoulder just before the couple were due to marry. My favourite thing with this image is the light itself. It's actually a light from one of my flashes, which can be overpowering when you shoot directly into them. Here however, I got lucky (even though I'd like to call it 'skill') and just a small-enough amount of light made it between the couple to create this star-burst effect. It's like you can see the spark between them, if you excuse the terrible pun.
In the very last image on this double page spread we can see an airborne bridesmaid. This was taken at Nicola and Andrew's wedding, during their cèilidh (brownie points for correct spelling there?!) These traditional dances are usually so frenetic that they are by nature very difficult to photograph. In the darker evening settings, even modern cameras take a fraction of a second longer than usual to focus, and when you have a moving subject it's harder still. When you have 30 moving subjects, it's a different matter altogether! Again, images like this likely fall more under the 'luck' category than skill.
Location: The Wood Norton.Keywords: Photographer-directed image (135), Pure documentary wedding photography (14), Wood Norton Weddings (129).