Majestic St Mary’s Church Nantwich Wedding Photography
The Story behind the Day
We first met Emily & Sam in November last year when they told us all about the huge wedding they were organising with 140 guests for the Ceremony & Reception, another 20 at the Evening, plus 6 Bridesmaids, 1 Flower Girl, 2 Best Men & 3 Groomsmen, we were excited to be a part of such a big celebration. The Ceremony was to take place at the beautiful St Mary’s Church in the centre of Nantwich with the Reception, a few miles away at the stunning Wrenbury Hall.
However, as has been typical of this year, a couple of months ago we had the conversion about them having to move the date to March 2021 due to the virus and we settled the details for then.
We just did it!
Then, last Tuesday, we had a call from Emily to say that their vicar had managed to get a Special Licence for the first day Churches were again allowed to open their doors and what better way to celebrate than with a wedding!
The Ceremony with just close family
This was great news to us as it had been nearly 3 months since we last got our cameras out and headed off to a wedding. Only thing was, the new date for the Ceremony was in 4 days time, Saturday 4th July 2020, just a week after their original wedding date. Emily asked if we would be free to pop down to take a few pictures of just the Ceremony and their immediate families, 11 guests in total. Actually, it was great to have a reason to charge up our camera batteries and get back to doing what we love, photographing a wedding!
We didn’t want to just pop down to take a few photos though as we wanted to make this different kind of celebration a bit more special for Emily & Sam as best we could, so we did the photography, as arranged, but also offered a Highlight Video & Live Streaming too.
The Highlight Video would be in 2 parts, the first half at their marriage in July this year and the second when they return to get a Blessing at the Church in March next year with (hopefully) a church full of guests this time, followed by the Reception at Wrenbury Hall.
The Live Streaming (a new experience for us at a wedding) would mean that the 129 previously invited guests not able to attend in person (including the Bridesmaids, Flower Girl, Best Men & Groomsmen) could watch the whole ceremony in the comfort of their own homes.
To make it more special for Emily & Sam, we invited their guests to dress up for the occasion and have a glass of bubbly (or favourite tipple) to celebrate with them and send in photos. We loved receiving the ones we got but didn’t realise so many guests (including the Bridesmaids, Best men & Groomsmen) would actually come to the Church and watch the ceremony Live as they sat outside on the steps or enjoyed a picnic on the grass.
We set up the cameras and Live Stream as everyone sat in the first few pews, well spread out and I placed microphones on Sam and the Lectern for audio. Emily, who had chosen not to wear her wedding dress for this day, looked stunning in a Grecian style white dress, sparkly shoes, and blue & white bouquet.
With no choir, no singing & no organ, the only music was 3 tracks from Sam’s iPhone played across the church speakers. The Service, however, was really lovely and Reverend Hart, the vicar, made it personal for Emily and Sam. He was so good, making everyone feel a part of his service (even us) and with a bit of humour too!
Then came the vows and the exchange of rings and the words ‘I now proclaim that you are husband & wife’. The vicar encouraged a cheer from everyone in the church in celebration, which we did, all 16 of us and then a few seconds later (with the delay when Live Streaming through YouTube) there was a much louder cheer from outside!
This was great to hear as the happy couple hadn’t realised just how many of their friends and family had come along to enjoy the occasion with them, despite not being able to enter the church.
Reverend Hart said ‘this is like a Royal Wedding with the crowd cheering outside the Church!’ which made everyone laugh!
After the Signing of the Register, with both mums as witnesses, (Sam’s dad having also stepped in as Best Man & Ring Bearer) the newlyweds left the church to a well spread out but very enthusiastic crowd.
The wind caught the confetti so Sean had to be quick to capture this, especially as everyone was stood a lot further away than usual. Luckily, some guests had the forethought to bring Confetti Canons (I can see these being a big part of wedding confetti shots in the future) so this helped, showering Emily & Sam with glitter! Great for a photo, not so good for getting out of your hair later!
After some time mingling (at a distance) and free ice creams from the Ice Cream bicycle man, the family and friends came around the side of the Church for a few group shots or Bubble shots as they are now called. Then, as everyone went on their way, we borrowed Emily & Sam for some lovely portrait shots, just walking around the centre of Nantwich with passers-by shouting their congratulations and men in white vans leaving the Open Air Market pipping their horns all the way along the road!
The Happy Ending
I cannot describe how special this day was! The positivity, the relaxed atmosphere, the impromptu assembly of family and friends outside the church and the amazing memories of a wedding with a difference.
Thank you, Emily and Sam, for inviting us to be a part of such an incredible wedding. We look forward to meeting you all again, and the virtual guests we didn’t, when we are back at this beautiful church and then onto Wrenbury Hall in March next year!
Original Venue: Wrenbury Hall
Church: St. Marys, Nantwich