A fun family focused wedding day at Birmingham Botanical Gardens

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"On our wedding day Phil and Toby were frankly unbelievably good."

*counts on fingers* Five locations on a wedding day? This means it can only be Rachel and Harv!

For this blog post I’m taking you back to spring 2019 and a totally amazing wedding day, which covered a fair bit of Birmingham.

Phil and I arrived at the genteel Victorian setting of Birmingham Botanical Gardens to start capturing all the fun with our photos. We discovered Rachel relaxing with her family and bridesmaids in the throne-like chairs that adorn the reception area, and I immediately spotted Rachel’s AMAZING Mickey Mouse high heels. The shoe game in this one is strong indeed.

The marriage took place in the lovely Loudon Suite with close family and friends in attendance. Rachel was escorted up the aisle by her dad, preceded by her very cool bridesmaids in navy blue and gold-spotted dresses. It was a lovely ceremony, with some well chosen and well-read readings.

We then made our way out into the warm spring sunshine, which is of course just the sort of thing you’l want to do if you’re at the Botanical Gardens. There were loads of opportunities for fun candid shots, and some family groups on the lawns. These were upstaged, however, by the appearance of an extremely inquisitive peacock, who was fascinated by his own reflection in my camera lens. We also had the chance to spirit Harv and Rachel away for a few minutes for some “just the two of you” portraits.

That was location Number One. We then moved on to the stunning black and gold art-deco lounge of the Edgbaston Hotel, for afternoon tea! There were cocktails and canapés; Phil and I got to try some of the latter - they were wonderful. This was also the setting for some really clever, funny, and heartfelt speeches, including a rapid change of tie by Rachel’s dad!

Settings Three and Four were both on the same road where Rachel and Harv’s families live. Here, our bride and groom got changed into traditional costume, and had madhuparka: a honey-based drink that’s offered to a bride and groom as part of a Sikh ceremony.

Back out in the street a big green coach had appeared to take everyone to Venue Number Five: the Manor Grove banqueting suite in the city, for a massive party! There was a fabulous meal, with some of the best curry I have every tasted. The evening dance floor was absolutely packed, and I quickly realised that the only way to shoot this would be to go hand-held with a remote flash, and dive in myself! It was great fun, and yielded some fab shots.

With so much going on during a wedding day, and with so many locations, it would have been easy to get overwhelmed, but the lovely thing to see was for Harv and Rachel it all boiled down to one simple thing: the two of them becoming married. They looked out for one another the whole time, and it was a privilege to witness and record such a special day for the two of them. I hope you’ll enjoy looking at a selection of their pictures as much as Phil and I enjoyed being there.

We'll leave you with a few words from Rachel, and some photos of their day.

"Harv and I met at school. He was the only boy who didn't know me that came to say hello in secondary school when I somehow was the only girl in the all boy badminton PE lesson. Whatever happens, I know I picked a goodun."

"Our wedding venues reflected different aspects of us. The Botanical Gardens ceremony to focus on what was most important, family, friends, and foliage. Edgebaston Hotel High tea for posh Britishness and speeches on how great everyone is. The Boneham Household for a prep and luck ceremony, The Bharj ceremony for more of the same. Manor Grove reception to have a blast and start married life with a Bang!"

"What can you say about our ceremony, a moment so good? Harv said his own vows to me, my sisters reading for me was heartfelt and loving, everyone coming for pictures at the registry signing was awesome. My parents faces as I looked at them, My new family's welcome when we had finished. I will cherish these moments for ever. Walking up the aisle is probably one of my favourite memories. When I got to the front and thought 'I'm going to get to marry this one. I'm a very lucky woman.' Then walking out and starting to get the hugs...I love the hugs."

"Our first dance was Owl City, Fireflys. It's one of the first things Me and Have agreed on. We had danced so many times in our house to it when no one was watching it was an obvious choice."

"My advice for other couples preparing for their wedding; it doesn't matter if you get no sleep before because you're stressed, It will all melt away on the day you're marrying your best friend. That and make sure you get what you want as well as keep everyone happy."

"On our wedding day Phil and Toby were frankly unbelievably good. For a start, out of nowhere, Toby knows how many beans make five. I can not tell you how awesome this makes him. It was a condition of marriage that Harv learnt this. They went out of their way to make all of us, every single one, comfortable. They knew more about the marriage process then either my husband or I, and Phil was able to get us time alone we didn't know we needed until we got there. They captured simply epic pictures with all the ground work they laid. In short they just made our wedding day even more enjoyable. They went above and beyond and I am incredibly grateful. I'm contemplating getting them to document a random Tuesday for me just so I can catch up with them and say hi."

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CREDITS
Venue: Birmingham Botanical Gardens - https://www.birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk
Decor/ Venue Dresser - Beau Venue Decor - https://www.beauvenuedecor.co.uk/
Cake - Very Vegetarian Cakes - https://www.facebook.com/veryvegetariancakes/
Entertainment - Party Rocker Roadshow - https://www.facebook.com/teampartyrockers/

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