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Cheynne & Donna - Blake Hall, Ongar

Cheynne & Donna were married at Blake Hall near Ongar in late September. It’s been a busy couple of months because it feels like ages ago! I came to know Cheynne & Donna through Cheynne’s sister Kelly, whose marriage to Danny I photographed back in June 2012. They are all (both Cheynne & Donna and Kelly and Danny) quite lovely people.

There’s nothing quite like a wedding for getting to know people fast, especially when it’s your job to document the day. After photographing two Edmonston wedding I feel like I know these guys particularly well. Cheynne and Donna chose a small ceremony with only their closest friends and family in attendance and then, come the evening, threw the doors open for a big party. Kelly & Danny did something similar on their wedding day and both resulted in beautifully intimate, personal occasions. The depth of sheer love and feeling between Cheynne & Donne was abundantly clear and there were moments during the wedding where the air simply crackled with intensity and emotion. To be entrusted with photographing a wedding like this, so loaded with gravitas, remains a genuine thrill. It was electric.

The weather was meant to be glorious, but it didn’t behave itself and as the ceremony itself approached there was a certain amount of back and forth as we tried to figure out whether indoor or outdoor was going to be the order of the day. Eventually showers forced us inside, but photographically I had no complaints as the window light mixing with the mood of the barn made for simply outstanding light. I’ve said it before, but speeches tends to be the part of the day that I find most moving. This bunch of families really know how to give good speeches. I’ve heard Cheynne’s father Cleve speak twice now at weddings and on both occasions he’s judged the mood to perfection. Cheynne is a wonderfully down to earth guy, frank and straightforward, but when he stood up to give his speech there was poetry in the words and fine oration in the delivery. It was pretty special.

My thanks to Cheynne & Donna for their warmth and hospitality, photographing a day like this is a true privilege. As usual, below is a curated selection of my personal favourites from the day. Enjoy and feel free to leave a comment!

Finally, a shout out to Sinead Carey of PaperGrace. Sinead was Kelly’s bridesmaid back in 2012 and in the course of a single year she’s built a company from scratch specialising in fantastically stylish wedding stationery. Not to mention she’s a lovely person and catching up with her was a real treat. If you need a Wedding Stationer, check out PaperGrace!


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