The Great House, Sonning Rachael & Paul

September 13, 2019

‘These are absolutely amazing! We can’t thank you enough for capturing the day perfectly! What a wonderful surprise too, receiving them less than a week after our wedding. They are better than we ever imagined!’

At some point during the vicar’s address to the congregation at Rachael and Paul’s wedding, something triggered a flashback to a scene in Four Weddings and a Funeral. Specifically, it’s when Hugh Grant’s character gives his Best Man’s speech and says the following:

‘I would just like to say this. I am, as ever, in bewildered awe of anyone who makes this kind of commitment that Angus and Laura have made. I know I couldn’t do it and I think it’s wonderful they can.’

I am of course referring not to the wonderment of marriage, but the exceptional discipline, stamina (both physical and mental), and competitive spirit one needs to regularly take part in marathons/Iron Man competitions/generally exerting oneself beyond the distance of 200 meters. By the end of the day, I realised just how much this was a part of both of their lives. It reminded me of just how valuable it is to not only share a sense of humour and adventure, but a passion too. Be that pushing the boundaries of the human body, or in my case standing on the sidelines while my kids do that for me.

So how did their day unfurl? Well it all started where we ended up, at the gorgeous The Great House on the river’s edge in Sonning…

Rachael and her entourage started the day at The Coach House with nibbles, the odd nip from a hip flask, and a pampering session. Meanwhile David Cliff (second photographer extraordinaire) captured the boys getting ready at the Malmaison Hotel in Reading. Once ties were tied and dresses donned, it was just a short drive into Reading and on to St Laurence Church. The light was amazing, the atmosphere and welcome warm…this was going to be a good day!

After the ceremony was complete and Rachael and Paul went from ‘getting married’ to ‘just married’, there was a mini-reception in the church itself with cake and a glass of fizz to start the celebrations. But on a glorious day like this, who wants to be stuck inside when we could be taking a river cruise? So we did. The guests made a beeline for The Great House and I jumped in a taxi with the couple to a boat that was to deliver us in style to the awaiting confetti brigade. And yes, they got well and truly pelted.

Dinner and speeches followed and it’s always one of my favourite parts of any wedding. Tears, laughter, and everything in between. When dinner came to a close we took full of advantage of such a perfect day and went for a stroll to get some more intimate shots of the couple. I would say it was the perfect way to end the day, but that came later with the party. There’s dancing, and there’s wedding dancing. The latter is fun to photograph.

Congratulations Rachael and Paul, an amazing couple and a wonderful day!

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