Pembroke Lodge
Jennifer & Alex

September 14, 2021

A&J’s wedding had it all. And then some. As a wedding photographer, you sometimes have to go ‘on the hunt’ for something that will make a great photograph. Be it a show of emotion, or a drama that might give the story of the wedding a twist. I didn’t have to hunt on Tuesday the 14th of September. Tears, laughter, a traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony, a dragon stampede on the dancefloor backed by a deafening cacophony of beaten drums, and sparklers. With so many stories within picture, weaving together a narrative to reflect the experience was always going to be rewarding.

After a quick recce at Pembroke Lodge, I headed off to Richmond Hill Hotel where both families were preparing for the day. Occasionally I get greeted at the door with immediate apologies for the mess/noise/number of people, but actually I embrace that with open arms. All of that just adds to the story, and it makes for an immersive series of moments. So when I joined Jennifer, I was in my element from the off. Plenty of family, friends and youngsters were there to all join in, and it made for an explosion of photographable moments.

After I had back and forthed a bit between Alex and Jennifer’s rooms, the Tea Ceremony began. It’s always a special moment to photograph and there was as much laughter as there were tears – I knew this was going to turn into a very special day. When the ceremony was over, Jenn prepared for the next chapter of the day, so it was on with the dress preceded by a little time out with the girls for those finishing touches. And then we were off…

The weather was not doing what it was supposed to do when we arrived (i.e. it was strangely dry), so guests gathered out on the terrace and did a bit of catching up before taking their seats for the ceremony. Moments later, Jenn appeared in THAT dress and we were under way. After an emotional ceremony and a confetti attack, the couple and their guests were led outside and the celebrations were on. A while later and after everyone had had a chance to congratulate the couple and share the moment with them, we headed off for a few intimate shots of A&J.

Dinner and speeches followed which was as always, an emotional rollercoaster. Alex’s sister Crystal was in charge of translating for her father, and they had an absolute ball seizing the moment. As did everyone else. Speeches led into a bit of down-time for the guests as the room was turned around for the party. The party, as mentioned earlier, was joined a little later by an unexpected guest. And so, to the triumphant sound of drums, the dragon appeared. And they were good too. Very, VERY, good. I’d never really pondered over the fitness, dexterity, and strength required for this kind of performance, but for my eyes, it seemed on a par with gymnasts.

Sparklers were the final chapter and this really summed up the day for me – friends and family all having a bloody good time! Congratulations A&J, this was truly awesome.


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