It's not unusual for a papa to contribute generously to make his beloved daughter's big day a really special one, but this was the first time I've been given as a present brother to brother. When my friends Alison and Rich got in touch to tell me that they'd in effect be wrapping a big pink bow around me and my kit and posting me down to Brighton to capture Rich's brother Matt marrying his beautiful sweetheart Ella... well I was kind of excited.
My excitement, it turned out, was entirely justified.
Travelling down from London on the morning of the wedding amid endless threatening clouds and even darker prognostications of storms and flooding I wondered what in heaven's name I'd signed up for... Arrived at the seaside hotel to find a preternaturally relaxed bride to be and her mama and two lovely sisters sipping coffee and having their hair done 60s style. Their calm somehow transmitted itself to the forecast and the sun came out and stayed out... a LOT.
Ella travelled to Brighton Bandstand (honestly, could the day get any cooler?) in a lime green vintage VW campervan (the traffic was so bad thanks to the Lovebox festival I wondered if I'd be getting there after her... possibly even after the ceremony), floated up the steps and into Matt's arms. The pair of them grinned like mirror image Cheshire Cats all day. Gorgeous and touching ceremony then everyone headed down towards the beach for a few fun group shots. At which point the day got cooler. Ella is an air traffic controller (so is Matt actually... I leave you to guess how they met)... and she'd secretly arranged for a flying-instructor friend of hers to put on a natty display for us.
Oh, and then we played ping pong.
This pair are pretty damn amazing people. They overflow with love and happiness, and although it was only the second time I'd spent any serious length of time with them they drew me into their day and filled me with their happy energy.
One more cool thing, before I let you cast your eye further down to the shots... neither of them, they confessed, are much inclined to get down and boogie (at least sober and in public), and the idea of a stumbling first dance in front of 90-odd people filled them with the kind of dread normally associated with annual appraisals and prolonged dental surgery... so they'd decided (another surprise) to get up on stage (uh huh... WAY less scary people) and sing Johnny Cash and June Carter's amazing duet - Jackson.
I don't need to tell you that they rocked it, do I?
Anyway, here are some of my favourite shots from the day. Hope you like too!