Coombe Lodge Bristol Wedding Photography
Chinese & English Fusion Wedding
Although I'm now a Shropshire wedding photographer and have moved away from Bristol, I'm always over the moon to be asked back to the beautiful part of the world that is the South West. This was my first time at Coombe Lodge but fingers crossed not my last.
When I got Ruby and Graham's enquiry early last year I have to say I was very excited. They were planning a Chinese-English fusion wedding incorporating different elements, traditional and cultures into their day. When we got chatting online they told me about the dragon dance, tea ceremony and all the wonderful Chinese games that were planned. Needless to say I was 100% on board and VERY keen to see it all come together.
One of the things they made really clear in our first Skype is that they were looking for a documentary photographer - someone who was going to blend in and capture the day without intrusion. They (like most people nowadays) weren't a fan on the posed and contrived images and just wanted everything to be very natural and happy! As you can imagine this was music to my ears as I love nothing more than pure candid style photographs of people.
Although it was pretty touch and go about having the ceremony indoor or outdoor, Ruby got her wish and despite the looming clouds these guys just about got away with it being dry enough to have it outdoors.
Being part of the tea ceremony was wonderful, to experience another culture and tradition from the Chinese and it was a pleasure to photograph the emotional ceremony with them.
Another Chinese tradition is the bridesmaids setting 'tasks' for the Groom before he can take his bride - a series of challenges he has to complete. This was absolutely hilarious. The girls had done a great job in mostly humiliating Graham and making sure everyone had a lot of fun before he could see his beautiful bride again, this time in traditional Chinese dress.
For our couple photos I kept it to a minimum, I knew these guys weren't a fan of direction and much preferred the natural style, so this combined with the fact it started raining hard after about 4 minutes means we kept these to a minimum! As always I'm happy to be directed by the couple about the length of the couple's shoot - some people prefer an hour and some prefer 2 minutes!
After some grub began the speeches... and what speeches they were! They overran by at least an hour as everything was translated from/to Chinese afterwards but this just made it feel even more inclusive for everyone and meaningful. I love some of the reactions I captured here!
After the speeches there was a little impromptu piano concert from the very talented Graham - a tender moment which all their guests really enjoyed. Moments like this that aren't planned but just happened because the timings/feeling is right are wonderful and are why I never put down my camera during the day!
After the cake cut and first dance I left them all to sing the night aware with the Marreoke band - but not before I saw Ruby in yet another dress of the day! (4 - beat that future brides!)