Yorkshire Sculpture Park, mini wedding
Kathryn and David’s wedding during COVID
At the end of October, I headed over to Yorkshire Sculpture Park to photograph Kathryn and David’s mini wedding. I had already met up with the bride and groom and done a family photoshoot at Yorkshire Sculpture Park – check it out here.
Planning at wedding in COVID
Wow, I really feel for all of the couples who have been planning weddings during these unprecedented times. My approach has been to be as flexible as possible and just do anything that I can to help out. Leading up to the wedding I had been chatting to Kathryn the bride for pretty much weekly updates. How stressful must it be for the couples though? The rules seem to change weekly, one day you’re allowed thirty guests, other times you’re allowed fifteen guests, how crazy?
Make it work
Kathryn and David’s approach was always to make it work! All they wanted to do was to get married, which was a fabulous attitude to have. They had to make so many rearrangements but their attitude was just do it!
The wedding day
This wasn’t the usual, turn up at the bride’s house and photograph her getting ready, due to COVID, Kathryn just had to use a room in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park offices to get herself made up. So, I arrived in the main ceremony room forty-five minutes before the wedding. I arrived and Kathryn’s brother looked to be deep in technology trying to work out how to live stream a wedding (as I said, these are crazy times) he did seem in his element though.
David the groom turned up, with the kids and it was straight into documentary photography. I’m certainly not used to photographing everyone in facemasks but it was an interesting challenge.
I think all of the guests were a little confused as to what to do. Usually, everyone comes in, has a drink, a chat, a cuddle/handshake but this wasn’t the case. People stood around with facemasks on trying to chat. From a documentary point of view, it was very interesting. Also, Kathryn and Davids’s kids are ace! They just cracked on having fun, doing kids things and it was brilliant to see.
Arriving early was great as it gave me a good opportunity to chat with the registrars. I’ve heard some horror stories about how registrars have been with photographers during COVID so I was expecting the worse. However, the registrars were lovely (I’ve not said that often) and they just let me stand at the front and capture the whole ceremony.
David started to show some nerves just before Kathryn walked it, once again it was interesting seeing everyone wearing facemasks. The music started and in came the bride. Kathryn looked fabulous and walked down the aisle with her kids who did their own thing.
The ceremony started and it reminded me of a normal wedding. Everything went well and the we had a new Mr & Mrs.
From a photography perspective Winter weddings aren’t for the faint of heart. Especially when a ceremony is at 4pm. The weather had been raining most of the day, but just after the ceremony finished the rain stopped. Kathryn and David had been through pretty much everything to put on the wedding so there was no way a tiny bit of rain would stop them going out. So, it was time to get outside into the dark to shoot some group photos (socially distanced). I dragged a couple of flashes with me and we went out to shoot some family pics which was good fun.
When Kathryn first mentioned about her wedding, she had mentioned to me an amazing sculpture – Solitário – by Joana Vasconcelos – which for the people who have no idea is a seven-metre high ring! Obviously, this was perfect for a wedding so I always knew it was important to create a picture for them which illustrated this sculpture. After the group photos, we headed over to the ring. The rain had just started again, just to make things a little more challenging. I knew we couldn’t be outside for too long. It had suddenly got really dark and I could barely see the ring so I had to create a little bit of magic just to create some fab pics.
We ventured upstairs to the main reception room. It was a bit of a crazy looking set up with all of the tables around the perimeter of the room, all socially distanced! There was a projector, with a live Zoom stream for some of the guests who weren’t allowed to be there.
The speeches still went ahead, they were all really good and heartfelt and thoughtful. David the groom got a little emotional but that’s just how a wedding should be.
The wedding was fabulous, everyone went with the restrictions and followed the guidelines and at the end of the day. Kathryn and David are married which is what a wedding is about.
A massive congratulations to Kathryn and David and thanks for bring me on the crazy ride.