In early June I was invited to Sandhurst to photograph an Army helicopter pilot's wedding, it was the weekend of the Diamond Jubilee and so it had a distinctive Royal Occasion.
Having spent a year at the Royal Military Academy to train to become a commissioned officer, it was a sense of trepidation on walking the hallowed steps to take pictures rather than be paraded around by screaming Colour Sergeants. It was also an honour though, as the location is filled with historical and incredible buildings, with great locations for photography.
Despite the incredible late May weather the UK had seen, thankfully it became overcast on the day, which was a photographers dream, as if it was bright sunshine it will produce very harsh shadows, which is not flattering for the bride and groom.
The day started with the boys playing a game of touch rugby. With most of the Guard of Honour and Ushers being in the military, there was a good sense of competitive spirit. Thankfully it remained non-contact and the groom, Nick, walked away unscathed. The bride, Emily got ready in a fantastic hotel nearby, where I managed to get the detail shots as well as the pictures to really tell the full story of the day.
Em arrived in a beautifully resorted VW Campervan, named Ruby, which almost stole the show, but thankfully Emily looked incredible, and Nick was dashing in his full military ceremonial uniform. The service took place in the Academy Chapel, which is imposing and grand, and for anyone who has not visited was a real sight, almost cathedral like in stature. It gave me plenty of opportunities to get into many angles and shoot from galleries, which was very different from the tiny chapel I took pictures of in Australia.
The main bulk of the pictures were taken on the infamous Old College steps. This is where commissioning cadets walk up to signify an end to a long tiring year of training. Time was running short so it was quite a frantic time to get all the group shots followed by some couple shots, before the reception. Despite the overcast conditions I sweated buckets in the muggy conditions to pull off everything that the couple wanted from their shot list, and worked hard to give the pictures the grandeur of the location and occasion.
The reception was hosted in a beautiful light and airy marquee with plenty of light, which helped hugely with the various necessary shots inside. It was located besides a lake, which was very picturesque, and I managed to get the couple away for a few minutes to make use of the location, as it was stunning.
The reception went well and if anybody knows how the Army likes to party, this was no different. There was an incredible band, and some quite outstanding dancing, started off by the first dance. I hope I managed to capture the emotion and spirit of the day and did justice to the stunning setting that is Sandhurst as well the beautiful couple, at the start of a truly remarkable and memorable Diamond Jubilee weekend.
Here is a slideshow of the whole event;