Michael and Jessica shine bright. It's always reassuring to witness a couple madly in love who connect harmoniously, with little effort. Seeing two people who were placed on this planet to find each other and demonstrate unconditional love is never a sight to be sorry about. These two are exactly that; they are a couple who laugh constantly. That is, they make each other laugh, and everybody else, always. Attending this particular wedding was like staring in a rom-com.
After a solid 1 hour 45 minutes on the motorway from Manchester, we arrived at the DoubleTree by Hilton Forest Pines Hotel in Scunthorpe. Greeted by Laura, we made our way to the bride's room where the action was taking place. Makeup was being intrinsically applied to the excited faces of each bridesmaid as the beautiful white dress waited patiently for the day to commence. It was great to meet and have a laugh with Laura and Lucie, a professional ice-skater. Something that's important to us is developing a strong relationship with as many guests as possible from the word go; it breaks the ice and relaxes everybody for the photos. Everyone feels more chilled when it's their friend behind the camera, so we make sure they feel that way.
Eventually, Jessica revealed herself in the most beautiful bridal dress - she looked flawless. Her mum - another incredibly happy, calm, positive individual - was there to see it all. This day was going to be unforgettable. We hadn't even met Michael yet.
Later, we arrived at Normanby Hall Country Park, the location of the ceremony. Hogwarts has nothing on that place. It's stunning, magical and holds a sort of vibrancy within its old walls - or maybe that was the energy we felt from the crowd upstairs waiting for the arrival of the bride. We knew the moment we entered the ceremony room that Michael was easy-going. We are a great judge of character and, well, with some people you just know you're in safe hands. We made sure he was too by instantly breaking the ice.
Coronavirus had recently spread across the country. Today was the last day Normanby Park would be open to the public for the foreseeable future due to the upcoming pandemic. It's fair to say being the venue's last wedding of 2021 was lucky. However, today wasn't a day for misery regarding the short-term future. It was a day for comedy, enjoyment and reminding oneself of the purpose of life. Love, and the long-term future.
So, we walked up the aisle and elbow-greeted Michael with a "Nice to meet you". The crowd laughed. We were all friends right at that moment, which means everybody was willing to smile for the photos from then on. The most important attribute of any Wedding Photographer is inclusivity, which means helping to unite everybody and provide an open-minded, friendly and professional approach to the day, without stealing the day from the bride and groom. It's an art in itself.
Jessica arrived. Michael smiled, still. After the vows, they replaced the first kiss with an unexpected elbow-greet. Everybody roared with laughter. This was going to be the new international way of greeting, and these two were the first two to enjoy it. Then they kissed properly. Beautiful.
The day went so smoothly that the events unfolding throughout the rest of the country were non-existent. Joke after joke kept the guests laughing and enjoying the day. The sun shone brightly as the down-time had arrived for Jessica and Michael. They took a stroll through the park's gardens, then we took some photos and video footage for the collection, all while conversing informally about the day, life and random things. The youngest of all, Tom, was a hilarious character too. He even performed a self-made presentation about the couple after the speeches. He told us it took him hours to put together. He's going to be a superstar. He already is.
Right through to the first dance, everything worked... perfectly. It was well-deserved for a couple who were changing lives simply by being themselves. Thank you, Jessica and Michael, for making our day so incredible.