Let’s get this one out of the way first. It was hot. Hot, as in not far off the UK’s highest recorded temperature, hot. I wouldn’t have changed one thing though. Pooja and Andrew’s wedding at Minley Manor was simply an explosion of colours, tastes, and sounds, and an Indian wedding deserves more than the predictably unpredictable weather that is the UK Summer. So even though the excessive temperature caused only the weather-hardened or the brave not to dive for shade, the day was all things that I love about shooting weddings.
Preparations for Pooja and co. started downstairs in the main house. It was a buzz of excitement, clothes steamers, superb sarees, and a few nerves quietly being beaten back. Once the Mandap was in place along with the seating and the soon to be popular cool drinks table, the guests arrived shortly before Andrew and his friends and family.
All were ready, so now it was just a case of telephone tennis so everyone could take their places. To the epic sounds of the dhol drummers, Andrew made his entrance to be greeted by Pooja’s family and the Pandit. Pooja, preceded by her Bridesmaids, joined the ceremony a few minutes later.
After a very special ceremony, it was time for everyone to seek a little light refreshment and the sanctity of the shade. It didn’t people long to realise that there was a perfect and constant draft where two quad corridors met. It was blissful. This was also the scene of The Stolen Shoes – or in other words the tradition of the Joota Chupai in which Andrew’s shoes are ‘temporarily borrowed’ during which he must bargain for their safe release.
Dinner and speeches were to take place in The Orangery, which was cavernous and blessed with a light draft. On this draft wafted the glorious aroma of what was to be served to the guests. The perks of my job are many, but one particular favourite of mine is that if you ask very nicely you might just get something delicious to keep the engine going. And so it was at P&A’s wedding. The food was the real thing and it was met by one hungry photographer with high praise.
The speeches accompanied dinner, as did Duncan James (a la Blue) for a short video message, further cementing the claims during her sister’s speech that as a younger woman Pooja was closet Boy Band addict.
After a pause in the evening whilst the room was turned around, Pooja and Andrew kicked off the celebrations with a first dance followed by what I can only describe as Bhangra to Beyonce. It was the perfect start to the final chapter of a wonderful and memorable day.
Congratulations Pooja and Andrew, and thank you for having me along to your VERY special day.