Earlier this year Kate got in touch and asked if I'd like to shoot her July wedding - which would be a traditional Thai blessing with a Scottish theme held in a marquee at the lovely Sandridgebury farm.
Yup, I scratched my head at that one too, but there's nothing I like better than a challenge! Kate and Ton live in northern Thailand, but hugely fortunately she has a lovely twin sister, Lorna, in Harpenden and a hugely supportive network of family and friends who executed her wishes from afar (anyone who will voluntarily arrange an entire wedding without being paid is gold plated, 5 star, and needs some kind of medal as far as I'm concerned) and so the happy couple were able to arrive reasonably close to the big day and finalise last minute details
And we have a gorgeous day for it. Actually it's so gorgeous that if it wasn't for the pretty carved fans so thoughtfully provided by the bride and groom (who, one supposes, are at least used to 28 degrees and then some) I think half the wedding party might have keeled over :-)
In a Thai water blessing ceremony, the bride and groom sit at the front of the room, both wearing circlets of string linked together by a long thread and flower garlands around their necks. Each of their guests is invited to come up and bestow their individual blessing upon (and give advice to!) the couple by pouring water from a ceremonial conch shell over their hands, which trickles down into a basin filled with bright flowers. It's unhurried and quiet and personal. Kate and Ton sit smiling and laughing as their friends and family stop by one by one.
After a quick change into Western apparel (and 10 minutes for photos!) it's time for heartwarming speeches, the breakfast and then... the Scottish side gains ascendancy, girds up its kilt and, as a fiddle begins a merry tune, steps up for an almighty ceilidh! Man I love ceilidhs - they're the quickest way I ever saw to get strangers talking and laughing like old friends. I stand on a wobbly chair and grin my head off as couples whirl and dance.
A most unusual, informal and super fun day! Congratulations Kate and Ton - safe journey back to Thailand and all good wishes for your life together! Now... here are a few of my favourite shots!
- xxx -