When Madeleine and George got engaged late last year I don’t think anyone was more excited than my fiancée, not even the bride. Actually, scrap that; my fiancée’s mother was more excited. That’s because Madeleine is her sister, my sister-in-law, and although she has been with George around four years now we certainly hadn’t guessed he was going to pop the question at the time. What got my fiancée even more excited is that the couple were not keen on hanging around and organised their amazing wedding in just four months, meaning we celebrated in style just a few weeks ago in February. Given the time frame you would think they would keep it quick and simple but that wasn’t really their style either. They decided on having two separate ceremonies to reflect their British heritage but also Madeleine’s Vietnamese roots and so had a stunning Vietnamese tea ceremony followed by a beautiful civil ceremony. Fitting two ceremonies into one day meant a relatively early start and so the couple decided to have a two night wedding event meaning they could relax and welcome their guests the night before the ceremonies. All this would seem like a tall order for a location but the couple luckily they found their ideal Somerset wedding venue in St Audries Park; an incredible fairy tale manor house nestled at the base of Quantock hills.
I was of course flattered when the couple told me they didn’t want to entrust their documentary wedding photography to anyone else and asked me to take it on. Of course there was a little pressure but it was also great to be able to be a part of their wedding day in this way.
The night before the wedding the venue laid on an amazing hog roast as the couple welcomed guests from Bristol, London, Essex, Belgium and the US. Lots of introductions were made and there was lots of catching-up as well as getting to know each other among the guests but George, very responsibly, ensured the couple had an early(ish) night ready for an early morning start.
The oriental and tea themed styling of the wedding was planned and executed by the bride with some help from friends and family. Madeleine had no fewer than eight bridesmaids; four for the Vietnamese tea ceremony, wearing traditional Vietnamese dresses, and four for the civil ceremony. This made for some great shots capturing the hustle and bustle as all the bridesmaids met and got ready throughout the morning. At one point they actually thought they had lost four of the bridesmaids somewhere within the sprawling grounds but luckily a quick disperse-and-recover mission located them wandering along the minstrel’s gallery looking a little lost.