Becci and Ben | Westgate Hall and Dancing Man Brewery

“Espresso please.” As good a way as any to start any wedding day. The cramped, cosy, bustling reception/cafe/restaurant/greeting hall of the Pig In The Wall in Southampton was my warm up. Nerves are a part of all weddings for me. Nervous of the new people I have to perform in front of, nervous of the timings, nervous of will any of this work. I sit and read the latest news, songs from the journey here still jumping around in my head among fifteen other things. The coffee is gone in an instant (although so good as it was it must be anything but instant) and I am off into the hotel. Up the stairs, the huge window pouring Southampton’s grey, overcast day into the stairwell. I reach the door and all of the nerves are gone. The thoughts, anxieties evaporate and I am greeted by Becci and her 2 bridesmaids, Natalie and Sam along with Ben’s mum Yvonne.

First job when I arrive is to turn off the lights. The orange glare from above is anything but flattering. How some make-up artists manage to do their job with an orange cast on their subjects face is quite a feat. Becci’s make-up specialist had this covered, chair positioned in front of the huge windows which bathed the room in the most gorgeous light. My job was becoming a whole lot easier.

Becci is just a special being. Fragile, quirky, and with her pouting smile (of which was made comment during the speeches) you can’t fail to be drawn in. I love photographing this girl. Becci and Ben’s pre-wed shoot had been the starter, today was the main course. Watching and capturing make-up, hair, dress, finishing touches I struggle to find a bad shot. The light is killing me. If I could bottle this hotel room and take it with me in my bag, for ever more I would be happy.

A short walk from the hotel is Westgate Hall, built in the old walls which surrounded Southampton, this venue is one of the rarities which again has fairly good light. Ben and the guys were chatting, making sure all was in hand. Ben I could tell was somewhat nervous so I took advantage to take his mind off the wedding and take a few frames with his pals. We made light work of it, Ben in his wool blend suit worked a treat, I could already see the portraits later coming together.

After the short and intimate ceremony it was off for the portraits and then another short stroll to the reception venue – The Dancing Man Brewery. Located in the old Wool House built around 1338(!) this micro brewery is a dream to shoot in. Great light, fantastic staff, quirky, alternative and vintage decor, I could see straight away why it fit Becci and Ben so well. A meal, some speeches, and it was into the evening. I love wandering around an evening reception, looking for stories and characters and tales to tell.

Music is a huge part of Becci and Ben’s lives. They had thought long and hard about the first dance choice (Baby I Love You, covered by the Ramones) and the music for the evening. It worked so well. This wedding was a slight alternative to the usual. Two people who know who they are, what they like, what they want, and they created it. I loved each and every frame I captured here.

Becci and Ben.