Sarah + Miguel | Thames Rowing Club wedding
There’s something rather special about photographing the wedding of somebody you already know – in my case, Sarah the bride – and when she told me more details about her and Miguel’s wedding plans, which centred around where they live, I was so excited for their day to arrive!
Sarah and I used to work together back when I was a corporate high-flyer (er, yes?); she and I had similar roles and when I’d work from our London office near Cannon Street, we sat opposite one another. At that time she’d talked about Miguel, a little about how they’d met and his travels since moving from Madrid, Spain. When she and Miguel became engaged, a short time after Sarah and I were sadly no longer colleagues, I’d assumed they’d be marrying in Madrid (I’m always on the lookout for a destination wedding) but as it transpired, they were marrying in London because, as Sarah mentioned in her wedding speech, that’s where she and Miguel had made their life together.
Whilst their wedding was firmly planted with a love for London, their day had plenty of Spanish influences throughout the day; for starters Sarah wore a Pronovias dress along with shoes made by Fran Jul Madrid, along with some brill Spanish tapas and wine at the reception (see more later).
On the morning of the day I headed to Barnes, near Richmond to photograph Sarah and her bridal party getting ready at home. Sarah’s bridesmaids, her parents and both brothers (plus the two cats) spent the morning getting wedding ready alongside the River Thames, whilst Miguel the groom enjoyed a little solitude before the madness commenced, around the corner at a nearby hotel. (Scroll down to read more)
Miguel’s family and friends had flown from Spain for the wedding, and it was great to see all the guests that were able to take the trip over to London. It was clear they were just as good-humoured and fun as I’ve come to know Miguel is 🙂
Sarah had already done the bizarre walk back from the hairdressers in Barnes – chapel-length veil and all – before she’d started getting ready, and once she was in her dress, it all got rather exciting. I will never, ever, get over the emotions on a wedding day that accompany seeing a friend in their dress for the first time. I don’t ever take for granted the privilege it is, to be there capturing these moments.
Once the world’s shortest wedding ceremony was completed (sorry Sarah, but you know this is accurate), the new Mr & Mrs were bombarded with an absolute storm of confetti, before hopping onto a classic routemaster double decker along with their guests, transporting them alongside the river, to Thames Rowing Club in Putney. It was brilliant to be right in the epicentre of all the boat race preparations, with Oxford and Cambridge rowers carrying their oars and boats from training around the guests and the bus as they got in and out of the river!
As guests enjoyed some Spanish and English tapas for canapés (including some ridiculously good jamon which I basically rugby tackled a waitress for), music came courtesy of The Tricks, who provided a fab acoustic and electric set at the venue. Spanish wine adorned the gorgeous banquet-style tables with beaut green foliage, and it basically looked like a bloody dream.
Though the tide was coming in rather fast, we did manage to get a few group shots and portraits down by the river. It’d been fairly overcast at Thames Rowing Club but for a few minutes the sun burst through the clouds… so once everyone had sat down for dinner, I took a couple of minutes with the newly-married couple to get some shots outside – by this time the tide was in so far it’d nearly submerged someone’s car on the road!
After dinner, Sarah’s dad commenced the speeches, and did so in rousing fashion by addressing all the guests in Spanish, welcoming everyone to Sarah and Miguel’s day. As much as we enjoyed Charles’ lingo, he continued the majority of his speech in English, but making sure everyone understood the union that had taken place, by brandishing Real Madrid and Leicester City football scarves – much to the delight of everyone! (Except for one person who gave a thumbs-down, which I can only assume was an Atlético supporter and not someone who objected to the actual marriage.)
One of Sarah’s bridesmaids, Emma, gave a great speech just before Miguel’s best man and brother, Alberto, took the microphone. Whilst Alberto’s speech was in Spanish, translation wasn’t necessary as it was clear he was talking from the heart. Finally, the bride and groom themselves rounded off the speeches, with Sarah doing the English part (not quite fluent in old Espanyol yet eh) and Miguel in his native language.
After the cake was cut, The Tricks again provided a brilliant evening electric set, to which more guests arrived and everyone enjoyed having a drink, using the photobooth and generally letting their hair down. I was so sad to eventually go home, as this really was the best of times, and it was so lovely to spend time with them both once more. Enjoy!
Venue: Thames Rowing Club
Dress: Pronovias from Teokath
Bride’s shoes: Fran Jul Madrid
Suits: Camille de le Mans
Groom’s shoes: Russell & Bromley
Band: The Tricks
Photobooth: The Photobooth Guys