On a fairly ordinary Wednesday, I got a rather unordinary phone call. It went something like this ‘Hi Erica, My name is Nathan, I’m planning my wedding for this Sunday and was wondering if you are available. By the way, I’m being filmed for Don’t tell The Bride“. Yikes!
I was pretty darn excited to say the least and for the next three days my emotions flittered between amazement and shear panic. I was about to shoot a wedding that would be aired on BBC three, there would be a film crew of 10 to work around and a whole wedding party that were in the dark about the days events. I had a groom that I had spoken to only twice and a Bride that had no idea I was booked. It was going to be an interesting day!
I had no real idea of what was to follow so the day before I took a trip down to the venue ‘Stationers Hall’ which is tucked away in the shadows of St Paul’s Cathedral. It’s a grand location full of history and charm, giving me my first clue about the couple I was about to shoot. Well the groom any way!
On the morning of the wedding I headed over to a house in Essex where I was met by; 1 runner, 1 sound man, 1 camera man, 1 director, a makeup artist, the bride’s Mum, the bride’s Dad, the 4 Bridesmaids, and of course the bride, Nikki! I was expecting mayhem, but instead it was calm and Nikki was beaming from ear to ear. After a very warm welcome Nikki was really happy to know that Nathan had booked a photographer for the day. After seeing the flowers, bridesmaids outfits and Nikkis stunning dress, it was pretty clear Nathan had made some good choices. Knowing the location when everyone else didn’t gave me this strange responsibility. I knew that if I gave them a tiny little clue, it would help ease the suspense, just a little. Instead I had to watch helplessly as Nikki and her lovely mum struggled not knowing any information. If any questions came my way about the venue I tried my best to give nothing away, showing them all my best poker face, scared the crew would pounce on me if I let anything slip!
So for most of the morning Nikki seemed like a happy bride to be, a slight contrast to the scene when I arrived at the venue. On one of the hottest days of the year, dressed in period costume it was clear Nathan had the weight of his big day on his shoulders. After a quick introduction it wasn’t long before I was on a mission to find him some tablets for his pounding head ache. I honestly can not imagine the stress he must have been feeling at that point. I have been a fly on the wall at a number of weddings and you get to see just how stressful things can get, so to have arranged the a whole wedding, in just three weeks, without any input from Nikki, and have the whole process filmed for the BBC. I was truly impressed.
Witnessing ‘Don’t tell the bride’ first hand really makes you appreciate what an emotional challenge the show can be for the couple involved. When Nikki and Nathan saw each other for the first time in three weeks it was a pretty special moment and a genuine reflection of how much they mean to each other. The whole room felt their emotion, I even saw the director wipe a crafty tear from her eye!
After the service I managed to steel the couple for 10 minuets to get a few photos of them alone. During these shots it was pretty clear that they had been apart for a while as these two couldn’t keep there hands of each other. With time so tight we stayed within the grounds of the venue, which was fine as I think the blue door at Stationers hall gave their smooching a pretty cool back drop.
Working around the BBC’s crew was a little tricky but wasn’t as tough as I had expected, yes they stole the best spots for all of the key moments but that didn’t stop us getting great photos of the day.
I really enjoyed being part of their wedding and feel so lucky to have been involved in such a crazy process. Nathan did such a great job and I’m still so chuffed he picked me to be his photographer. Congratulations Mr and Mrs Bones!!