BBCs Don’t tell the Bride
with Simon Everett
Today saw very unique opportunity not only photographing a wedding. But a wedding being televised on the BBC Don’t tell the Bride. Being filmed in Bedfordshire for the wedding of David and Elle BBC Don’t tell the Bride.
I was asked by David’s friend Bradley, an old work college of mine if I would be interested in photographing their wedding for the show but of course and why not as this was an opportunity not to be missed. I spoke to David the (Groom) with literally a couple of days to spare before the event and to go through some details, Times and the date of the big day itself and how he was dealing with everything at the last minute.
Having never met the couple at all, was very different from the everyday weddings I normally photograph, but being so dedicated to my photography it was a very unique challenge indeed and something I could not pass up.
The real day:
Didn’t start as I expected to. As I always leave enough time for any wedding or shoot that I am doing I had planned to arrive at least an hour and half early which would give me time to to look around the surroundings and the main mansion building situated in the old warden park in Biggleswade, Bedford, as I have never been to this site before, However what I didn’t plan on was the M25 accident that had just recently happened of which I was now arriving at!… Sitting in a standstill of traffic for 2 hours was not what I had in mind for this unique wedding day.
Fortunately the traffic started to move again after only 2 hours and I was able to arrive at the venue with literally minutes to spare.
I Arrived at 2:15 pm for a 2:30 guest arrival and 3pm venue start as having literally no earlier plans it was a turn up and here we go style shoot :/ tongue in cheek moment.
I met up with David and we had 15 minutes to debrief and get the game plan as well as introduce myself to someone I had only spoken to twice on facebook…
We spoke of the plan and that Elle would arrive in a particular direction of which I was now in place I was now set and ready to shoot…
First to arrive was the Bridesmaids not by car or limo, but David had thought of some a little more lets say different A WW2 U.S army truck no less which looked fantastic i might add, Which was very different as I was not expecting that which added to the mystery of the day.
With BBC film crew covering the arrival as well as myself, I had to make sure that I could get the images I needed, as snap shots are something I don’t do as a rule of thumb, if your going to do something do it well I say. Being a professional photographer I look to get the best results I can every time.
Soon after the Bridesmaids arrived Elle arrived in style in a Mercedes for her Grand Entrance, little did she know that all the guests and the Groom were waiting the other side of the main mansion building waiting to greet her, However David’s Greeting in a full size balloon would be quite a shock for Elle but a great surprise as well to see her reaction click here and have a look at their day in photos.
After Elle walked proudly by her mum and then escorted to David by a close friend, Elle climbed aboard the Balloon for what would be the first stage of the ceremony , the ceremony was video recorded by the BBC film crew and then at the same time shown to the guests waiting below watching and waiting for the big moment as David and Elle exchanged vows & rings, with a huge cheer from the guests watching on a huge television below them David and Elle were now one.
Once David and Elle returned to earth they were shown to the registry signing office where I had time to capture some close up personal photos of the couple, who at this point looked exhausted.
It was now onto the formal ceremony on the grounds this time, with all the guests and family close friends around them. Trying to capture photographs here was a bit of a challenge as the enclosure was quite small and space being at a premium what with the BBC film crew at every angle, but I guess they are covering the venue just like me.
I managed to capture several images of the couple in the register room together as well as exchanging vows again along with their witnesses.
And now it was time for the family photos, I spoke to David and Elle and we got together the bridesmaids and best men along with the parents and managed to capture them all together.
David had a marquee laid on for everyone to enjoy for the evening with a buffet style dinner and bar area, this is where capturing the main speeches took place via Elle’s Mum and David’s bestman as well as David himself. The marquee itself was amazing everything you could want under one roof with countryside feel to it went down perfectly.
The whole day was an amazing one, with great people and a great atmosphere I could clearly see both David and Elle were pretty exhausted, but was enjoying the their family and friends around them by the time the evening had started they looked more relaxed.
As far as photographing the event I loved it, sometimes it’s great to just arrive and shoot as it breaks up the wedding photography tradition of months even a year or so of planning pre-wedding images consultations style of photographs bridal prep oh the list goes on etc.
The BBC film crew
Dealing with the film crew, I had no issues in dealing with the film crew or producers they all seemed pleasant enough and chatty, obviously we are all there to do a job and to capture film and stills of the event, after all it’s for the couple I did not feel out-of-place or had any form of hard time trying to get a good spot to shoot we were all professional enough.
I took with me my two camera bodies with a 24-70mm f/2.8 on one and 70-200mm f/2.8 on the other also a speedlight for low light conditions which was used on some occasions, as well as carrying plenty of spare batteries and memory cards, is always a must, as I was without an assistant on this occasion I wanted to travel light and not have to worry about carrying too much equipment.
Even though the BBC came ready with plenty of their own Equipment Including a UAV Drone…
Must get me one of those..
Would I do another “Don’t tell the Bride”
Of course why not I had lots of fun I found no stressful situations what’s so ever, as being used to weddings and people and studio shoots having worked alongside the public all my working life was not a problem for me.
It can be a Daunting thought at first for anyone who is not used to wedding photography, but once your their camera in hand it runs as smoothly as you want it to, as long as you communicate with the couple and have a general outlay plan of what you want to capture on the day, as most wedding photographers always do, not too much can or does go wrong.
My congratulations go out to David & Elle thank you for wanting me to take their wedding photographs on their special day. I hope that they will bring you happy and timeless and unforgettable memories for many years.
I’m pleased that I was there to help document forever all the thought that went in to the day, and convey the genuine effort that David had put into this day. They both looked undeniably happy and in love. it was simply a wonderful wedding.
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