I met Sam & Will, two of the loveliest guys, last year in June at Royal Victoria Docks, London. After being together for 10 years they had decided to get married. Their wedding was in August, they had really worked hard to plan their wedding and where now looking for a photographer. We met at the plush Crowne Plaza Hotel, where they were to have their ceremony in August. The hotel is a new building and has a really cool modern stairway with a large glass balcony which would be ideal for photographs. It’s also in a great location, as we discovered when we walked outside, discussing what type of photographs they would like on the day. It’s near the Emirates Cable Car and further along there are 20 grade 2 listed cranes which would make a perfect back drop for their portrait photos. There is also a stretch of wild plants surrounded by some interesting out buildings which would also make a cool modern urban back drop.
Moving on two months the day of the wedding arrived, 11th August 2018, it was a nice clear warm day with a little cloud perfect for photographs. I arrived early had a coffee and prepared for the day and as the guests started to arrive, I got to work. Will and Sam were staying in the hotel but only wanted me to photograph them when they came down to greet their guests in the mezzanine. The red carpet was rolled out; it was time for Will & Sam to arrive.
One of the things I like about living and working in London is its immense diverse communities and this couldn’t be more represented than at Sam & Will’s wedding. Sam & Wills affection & friendliness knew no bounds the warmth for everyone shone through all day. The Hotel is in the London borough of Newham. The registrar, Momtaz Basith arrived to do the pre ceremony interviews, it was as if the guy’s had known Montaz for years. They greeted each other with such fondness. Sam told me afterwards, that they had only met at Newham registry office and hit it off straight away.
It was time for the guests to move into the ceremony room. It was a modern room with neutral coloured walls, a large tv screen, and two matching tables each with vases of flowers. The guests stood up, Sam & Will arrived and went at the end of the room and faced Momtaz, then turned to each other and held hands, Montaz started to conduct the ceremony. Sam & Will looked into each other’s eyes, their friends watched avidly. After the ceremony and the statutory first kiss they signed the registrar and had their photos taken, then it was time for us all to go outside.
We all stood on the side of the dock with the impressive O2 shimmering in the background. I lined the guests up in two rows for the confetti shot, I love a good confetti shot and what could be better than having such an iconic building in the background.
Confetti shots finished the guest went back to the hotel while the three of us went to spend some time doing the portrait shots. Sam & Will stood under the cranes. They were treated like film stars by some of the strangers that passed by, who would come up to congratulate them on their wedding day it was such a great thing to see and a privilege to photograph. We then moved passed The Emirates Cable Car to the patch of wild grass at the other end of the docks. I posed them next to some interesting building back drop to get that urban feel. Then we played in the small wild flower patch, they were natural at having their pictures taken.
After many more portrait photos around Victoria Docks we headed back to the Hotel, on the way more people congratulating the newly married couple. Back at the hotel it was time for speeches and cake cutting.
Speeches finished and cake cut, it was time for me to go and let the guests enjoy their dinner and party the night away! I can’t believe what a great day it was and how the day went so well especially the congratulations they had from strangers we met outside.
Thank you so much to the wonderful Will & Sam and your lovely family, I had a great time. xxx
Venue: Crowne Plaza Hotel