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Zoë & Ben - St James' Elstead

Zoë & Ben were married a couple of weeks ago in Elstead, Surrey. I seem to book a lot of work by recommendation these days and Zoë's bridesmaid Caroline was also the sister of, and bridesmaid for, Jenny whose wedding to James I photographed back in May.

Zoë & Ben's wedding was all about the fun. Zoë's parents have a gorgeous house in Elstead and having met Zoë & Ben there twice for our consultations I was pretty excited about the day as I saw all the preparations coming together. Zoë spent the morning at her parents house before heading off to St James' Elstead for a stylishly late arrival. We'd been worried all week about the weather but as she arrived at church looking truly stunning the clouds parted and the sun shone!

Wedding days mostly follow the same pattern but it's the small differences and details that really make each one personal and unique. From saying "I do" when you mean "I will" to a set of superb readings and a cameo of tremendous organ freestyling by the Best Man, Zoë & Ben's service flowed between the intimate, joyful and downright funny in all the right ways. I was sporting a massive grin throughout!

Following the service we headed back to the house in a convoy of cars back lead by Zoë & Ben in Ben's mum's recently refurbished, and achingly cool, open top Morris. I had a shot in mind of the Morris whizzing past me on the bridge out of Elstead. I got it, but I didn't bank on how far away the bridge was on foot. I figured it'd be quicker to walk it than load the car, drive down there, jump out and shoot the picture, so like a fool I decided to walk it. With only a couple of minutes headstart and realising it was more like a 10min walk than a 3min walk I decided it was time to break into a fast jog/run for fear of missing the shot. Clearly those days of my youth spent in the cadets saved me. Running while laden with two large cameras, lenses and a belt pack is remarkably similar to a tactical march with rifle and bergen! I apologise Elstead. The sweaty photographer of some weeks ago was I.

The run was worth it. Zoë & Ben came flying past, hooting and waving, the top down and rain nowhere to be seen!

The reception was held in a wonderfully decorated marquee at Zoë's parents. Zoë's mum Gillia did all the floristry - which looked superb - and the combined team effort that went into themeing and decorating the garden was fantastic. Zoë's dad and brother were putting the finishing touches on things when I arrived in the morning, but not a moment of panic or time pressure was evident and we arrived back to a seriously funky reception.

The evening was a complete blast. One of the best receptions I've ever shot. Amazing energy, fun, good times and love shared by all. As for the speeches, everyone killed it. In particular Best Man Dan produced a blinder with a speech so good I think he should start writing for the Queen at Christmas.

I know I've written a mini-essay here, apologies for that. It's really down to the fact that I simply loved this wedding. It's always nice to work with a couple who have a real vision for their pictures. It really helps when you know that you're on the same wavelength as your clients. Thank you to Zoë & Ben for letting me be a part of their day, for being truly welcoming and utterly game when it came to pictures. I immensely enjoyed myself and I hope you did too.

Below is an extended selection of my favourites. Enjoy!

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