As a destination wedding photographer based in Norfolk covering Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, nationwide and destination weddings, I have been privileged and mightily proud to photograph over 300 weddings in wedding venues of every shape and size. From bijou to the grand, in foreign embassies, foreign countries, royal palaces, romantic castles, stately homes and manor houses, windmills and village halls. With guest lists from 2 through to 1,000, which include guests from every walk of life, Kings and Queens, Princes and Princesses, celebs and confidential weddings, each individual and each different. Each holds a privilege for me to be able to photograph and document a wedding couples special day. However, nothing, nothing could prepare me for when it was my turn to be a Father of the Bride.
A destination wedding and a father’s pride
Back in May last year my daughter was married in a small village in Tuscany Italy, in a romantic medieval castle that sits a top of the undulating hills of the village of Poppi, Italy. An amazing week, an epic day, stunning wedding dress and my beautiful daughter. As mentioned earlier, there is nothing in this world that could have prepared me for the pure emotion of the day. I thought I would have been somewhat battle-hardened having photographed so many weddings. That was certainly not the case on the day. As a wedding photographer, I love the pre-wedding photography where I am very involved capturing the often intimate moments with the parents and siblings of the bride, the moment the Father Of the Bride sees his daughter dressed the finest of wedding dresses and the last moments before he gives his daughter away.
Now, this Viking-like, 6’3″ hunk of a big bearded wedding photographer, heart hardened after shooting near countless weddings was nothing much more than in an emotional meltdown on seeing my daughter in her wedding dress for the first time. We were all staying at the hamlet Pian di Filetto Poppi, quite frankly the perfect location for our families and friends to stay. I was kept pretty busy getting myself ready, not a five-minute job in itself and I was anxious as any family member would be in the build up to your own daughter’s big day. The rest of the family and friends took off to the castle to prepare for the arrival so I found myself pretty much alone. Now was the time to see my daughter, the wedding photographer knocked on the door. Finding myself standing at the bottom of the stairs in their holiday house the apprehension was killing me … then my daughter drifted down the stairs I saw her and I blubbed on seeing her looking a million dollars. When I say blubbed I mean my eyes were filled with emotion at this most gorgeous vision before me. We hugged wiped away a tear or two and made ourselves ready for the drive to the castle.
There are moments, monumental moments in our lives that stay with us for always and this was one of them. I knew the day would be emotional and it was and it lived up to that anticipation and more. Such pride … The drive to the village was a slow one, we actually, in all the emotion, forgot the payment envelope for the wedding organisers but luckily enough I had enough Euros in my wallet to pay, so we did not have to turn back. As it was after parking the car we were told by the organisers that the mayor, who was to carry out the wedding service was running late, hey we were in Italy … but as always, as with every wedding all worked out and I soon found myself walking down the aisle with the most gorgeous and most beautiful of daughters. A magical moment and further emotional eyes followed, real men do cry! (as I said, not cry as in boo hoo but, runny eyes!)
What was it like to be a destination wedding photographer and having another wedding photographer photograph your own daughters wedding?
You may have asked yourself this question , but to be honest it was not all that bad. My daughter had done her research and they did a great job on the day. Was I watching and thinking, would I use that angle, that lens, be in that position, sure I did but the emotion of the day sure took over any photographic anxiety I may have had. We as wedding photographers are all different on the whole. We have our own styles and ways that we shoot. Clients have choice, and that is important.
This is not the end of the blog and the matter of “fathers pride” – My daughter wanted me to take the romantic photographs after the ceremony. So once all the official photographs were taken and the photographer took some couple images in the castle it was my privilege, my pride and joy to take them around the village for some “Brooksie” specials …. I hope you like the images from these precious and unforgettable moments with the newly weds, my daughter and son-in-law.