Yesterday I spent the afternoon and early evening in the company of Dan and Sarah filming their Eastbourne wedding. As I am primarily a wedding photographer, I very much enjoy being the official videographer at weddings. It’s marginally less stressful than being the official photographer, who is usually higher in the order of importance than the videographer, with more eyes on him/her and more responsibility to deliver on the day. The videographer has the luxury of being able – and perhaps even a requirement – to blend in to the background, un-noticed.
This Eastbourne wedding began at St Agnes Catholic Church in Whitely Road, opposite Whitely Rec where I used to take my children to play when they were small. I have done a few weddings in Eastbourne, but all of them have been at the Registry Office in the Town Hall on Grove Road. This was my first experience of a church wedding in Eastbourne. Initially the weather had looked a little grim, but as the guests began to arrive the sun started to shine. In fact it became so bright that contrast and shadows became a real issue for the official photographer, who was a friend of the bride.
The groom, Dan, seemed very calm and organised as he waited for his bride to appear. If he was nervous it didn’t show. His best man too, appeared in control and relaxed. The little flower girl on the other hand was rather overawed by the experience and almost ran up the aisle throwing her petals! She had to be held back before she beat Usuain Bolt’s time for the 100 metres.
My previous experience of a catholic church wedding had been at a ‘Big Fat Gypsy Wedding‘ I photographed at St Peters in Brighton and Hove in 2012. This ceremony was very different! There were three hymns including ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘Guide Me Oh Thou Great Redeemer’, many of the prayers were sung and the whole feel of the ceremony was more formal than at St Peters. The priests ‘homily’ talked about the reality of marriage. The struggles and conflicts that are bound to occur and the difference between the love we have for, say chocolate or sport and the love we feel for our husband or wife. He also discussed the threesome in marriage of husband, wife and God.
If filmed pretty much the entire ceremony. No worries about battery life as I have recently purchased a spare, so I was confident I could continue filming for as long as necessary. Afterwards the bride and groom wanted to go to the seafront for photos. Their wedding breakfast was due to start at 3pm and it was now already 4pm, so a trip to the beach did not seem like such a good idea. However, Dan assured us the restaurant would be fine about it. So off we went. I drove to meet the photographer and the bride and groom at the Wish Tower slope.
The Wish Tower at Eastbourne is one a number of so called Martelo towers built as look out posts across the south coast to defend the country from the threat of invasion from Napoleon. There a some 25 still standing between Folkestone in Kent and Seaford in East Sussex. We took Dan and Sarah to the grass slope below the tower and the official photographer took shots of them with Eastbourne Pier in the background. As well as filming I took a few photographs of my own some of which are shown here.
The wedding breakfast and evening reception were held at La Laconda Del Duca, an Italian restaurant on Cornfield Road, Eastbourne. We did arrive very late and I wondered what time I might eventually finish, as I had only been booked to film the ceremony and speeches. Luckily for me, Dan and Sarah had decided to do the speeches after the starter and before the main course. This meant I finished filming by around 7pm. Dan, the groom, spoke very well although he was overcome with emotion when talking about those who could not be with them. The best man read his speech from his notes and it was very nicely done. If you are not great at public speaking, writing down everything you want to say is such a good idea. If you try to wing it, it is almost certain to fail.
This Eastbourne Wedding was definitely different to the others I have attended, but just as special and I know Dan and Sarah thoroughly enjoyed their day. I very much look forward to my next Eastbourne wedding whether as photographer or videographer.