Kim and Jason have collectively worked something crazy like 100 times more weddings than I have so to be asked to film their day was really special, and a bit frightening! When they mentioned that they were getting married at Spring Grove House which is located in West Midlands Safari Park I got really excited. The house itself is from the outside looks like many others but as soon as you walk inside it really shows it's character, fire places, paintings, murals, the most epic of staircases, a sight to behold. Even for the wedding breakfast the bride and groom had their own lion themed wooden thrones, rather epic indeed, but more on that later.
My day started meeting the bridal party at a hair salon close to the park for hair and makeup, laughs and fun were in full swing and it was a great start to the day. We moved onto a hotel where everyone was staying the night previous where I managed to grab some shots of the shoes and dresses, and also Kim and Jason's young son who was jumping around on the bed. I couldn't stay long before having to head to the church to set up for the church ceremony. I usually always have to leave Bridal prep earlier than a photographer for example as setting up for the ceremony takes a little time, I now try to use 4 cameras and as many audio sources as possible. When you're filming an event in real time, and it only happens once, it's better to have too much than not enough. The ceremony went by smoothly and Kim and Jason left for their reception in a horse drawn carriage.
Having never shot at Spring Grove House driving to the venue I was a little stressed that I might get stuck in safari park traffic and accidentally end up driving around the lion enclosure for hours on end missing everything but, and obviously, the staff were on hand to wave us through the relevant gates and get to the venue in great time. As I've already talked about above everything about Spring Grove House is just a bit epic, the outside, inside, all the little details and Kim and Jason knew how to bring out each element to it's best. We hand a steel drum band playing music during the drinks reception, some great shots to be had with the wedding car and horses, the gardens around the back of the house were an ideal locations for a quick couple shoot, the steps around the front made the big group shot a breeze. Grabbing great shots was made almost easy as the venue just lends itself to fantastic imagery.
During the wedding breakfast I grabbed a bite to eat then whilst everyone was indoors managed to wonder around and get some shots of the exteriors and little details. These all do wonders for setting the scene in any film, not the most important shots of the day but I really like getting them when I can. Then it was on with prep for speeches but before we got to that Kim and Jason ran down to the theme park below and I managed to get some brilliant shots of the happy couple on a carousel, again epic!
As far as the Groom knew there were going to be three speeches, Father of the Bride, Groom, and then the Best Man but Kim had other ideas. She'd organised a Del Boy impersonator to interrupt the speeches and generally cause havoc and he didn't disappoint. I'd been told about his appearance in advance so as soon as I saw him sneak in I got a lapel mic on him so the audio was perfect as he ran around poking fun of the wedding party. I'd never seen anything like this before at a wedding so I didn't really know what to expect but it was a really fun experience, he stuck around for several hours to chat to guests afterwards which resulted in some really funny shots.
A cake cutting with a cake made of cheese, the first dance, and some sparklers later it was time to call it a day and head home. I had a really great time filming for Kim and Jason. You can check out their highlight film below.
I worked alongside the great team of Shepherd Photography who were a pleasure to get along with and you can view their website HERE.