I meet with Layne and James on their actual wedding morning, not before! I was really looking forward to photographing an Oriental wedding. I knew Chinese wedding photography was very different to wedding photography in Western society. I was curious for insight and the opportunity to photograph a different culture. This was however still a western styled wedding shoot.
Chinese Wedding Photography
Chinese wedding photography in China is about drama. A big studio style themed shoot and elaborate customs and sets. It is often staged pre-wedding so the couple can share their wedding photos on their wedding day with guests.
When I state Layne and Jame’s ‘wedding’, this was to be a blessing in the Norman style chapel at Ettington Park, a second wedding blessing, one of four to be held, yes four. One couple, four weddings!
The couple had already married in Hong Kong. They were to hold a separate ceremony in mainland China, where the bride originated. A third event to be staged in Shanghai and a fourth at Ettington Park Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon, close to where the groom’s sister was living. Yes, the sister organised their day.
Meeting the couple I was immediately struck by how extremely polite and eager they were to work with me to achieve the very best from their wedding photography. They also seemed so in tune with each other and so much in love. Clearly practised, Layne and James knew exactly how to stand and pose and this is massively helpful as their ideas gave me ideas!
I loved seeing some of the traditional cultural values on their morning. The serving of tea to the parents and immediate family pre-ceremony in exchange for wedding day gifts, cards and blessings. The church service caught me smiling as although it was held in Mandarin like most English weddings, it was clear that no one seemed to know the words to the hymns!
I also loved that EVERY GUEST was presented with a ‘Thank you’ card for attending. Each card, a hand-written and special and personal message inside, including me, their photographer! So thoughtful and considerate. It was also wonderful to see the mother of the bride speak at the wedding breakfast.
Layne’s wedding dress was a chic 50’s style-led full skirt wedding dress. Her shoes with slub silk royal blue “Manolo” Blahnik’s, with gorgeous jewel details. The groom wore a tux.