Phil and I love shooting weddings at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, particularly in the summer. For Hannah and Pete’s wedding last year we wore our cool linen trousers, short sleeved shirts, and plenty of sunblock, as we knew there was going to be a lovely sunny day ahead of us.
Hannah loves flowers, son to get married at the Botanical Gardens was a natural choice for her. When Phil arrived at Hannah’s house to photograph the preparations this penchant for botany was evident in her beautiful garden. Phil asked Hannah where he should start taking pictures, and the answer was immediate: the garden, and the two cats! Fortunately, Hannah’s feline friends were happy to pose in the sun amongst Hannah’s stunning flowers.
Meanwhile, I was at the venue, taking some establishing shots, and meeting up with Pete and his son, both looking very cool in their long-tailed suits. The ceremony was deliciously air-conditioned, which the guests appreciated as they arrived.
Then it was Hannah’s turn to arrive at the Gardens. This necessitated Pete and is sun very briefly hiding in a supply cupboard, so he didn’t see his wife-to-be before she walked up the aisle. If Pete seemed surprised that I followed him in there with my camera, he didn’t show it!
The ceremony was ably led by two Birmingham registrars, and had two readings chosen by Hannah, and personal vows as part of it. I was particularly impressed with a rendition of Edward Monkton’s “The Lovely Dinosaur”, complete with funny voices. Now we KNOW how the Fierce Dinosaur, and the Lovely Other Dinosaur actually sounded!
After Pete and Hannah were declared husband and wife, we all headed out into the sun for guests to enjoy drinks and canapés, and lots of soap bubbles in lieu of confetti. We all enjoyed the beautiful plants, the views out over Edgbaston, and the squawking parts in the aviary! There was also an important football match going on (I can’t remember who was playing whom). If those guests thought they could craftily watch it on their tablets without being spotted, they were mistaken!
Lots of fun and surprises were laid on for the reception back inside. There were plenty of games on the tables to keep everyone amused, face painting for the kids, and a lovely meal followed by some great speeches. The wedding cake was, of course, florally-themed, and looked absolutely amazing.
As we got closer to the evening, we discovered that a special surprise had been arranged for the happy couple. Pete is a member of a martial arts group that also does Chinese lion dancing. Two of these fearsome beasts entered the room and took to the dance floor for an absolutely amazing performance. Even though you know there’s two human beings inside, these lions were truly awesome. I was crouched at the edge of the dance floor to get some dramatic low-angle shots, when one of the lions leapt forward at me. I fell back onto my bum with a shriek! Yes, Phil caught it happening with his camera.
Shortly afterwards it was Pete and Hannah turn to take to the floor, for a much more relaxed, and very elegant first dance. They were soon joined by their guests, some carrying inflatable guitars and champagne bottles, for plenty of dancing and fun.
Here’s some of the photographs we took of Hannah and Pete’s special day. Watch out for those lions!
Currently looking for relaxed and natural wedding photography? Get in touch!Credits
Hair stylist: The Works, Atherstone
Shoes: Irregular Choice
Florist: Flower House, Atherstone
Dress: Hagley Bridal Studio
Bridesmaids’ dresses: The Wedding Centre, Atherstone
Groom/Groomsmens’ suits: Peter Posh
Venue: Birmingham Botanical Gardens