You know your wedding is a pretty big deal when:
a.) Traffic gets stopped by a police officer for your wedding party
b.) the town mayor attends in official dress (even if he shows up late!)
c.) …when the the local press decide to write a feature on it (yes, they really did!)
I think I only had about 3 hours kip on the night of this ‘can-only-be-described-as-epic’ wedding, before I was woken up by some loud banging and chatter in manly Italian at 6am on a Saturday morning.
But I was not peeved.
Instead, I had a lovely warm feeling in my belly that I had just woken up from one of the best weddings I have ever been to. I highly recommend a destination wedding in Sicily, by the turquoise sea, rugged mountain back drop with ‘make-your-eyes-melt’ villages and colourful little streets. And the food…………………..I’m craving the fresh fish, Arancini and roasted pistachio gelato as I type!
You may remember Sarah from an earlier post when I documented her part 1 hen do in Berlin (part 2 took place in another capital city!) – looking rather not-dashing in a pair of jumble sale grandad shorts and spectacularly-80s shell suit top. I am pleased to say she looked the complete opposite of how she was styled (if you can call it styling!) on her hen do compared to her wedding day – elegant, lady-like and Hepburn-mighty-gorgeous.
One thing I usually take to heart greatly as a wedding photographer is whether I successfully deliver an album of pictures that reflect the vision inside my client’s minds. Not everyone’s vision is the same when it comes to wedding photography, sometimes it can’t be clearly articulated, sometimes they don’t even know what they want – or they turn around and tell you they hate their photos being taken. Well, John and Sarah told me exactly that. But they did know their vision (one that would get me very shutter-happy):
(Two weeks prior to the wedding)
John: You won’t make the pictures look too pretty will you?
Me: (super-puzzled look) what do you mean?
John: Well the reason why we chose the location is that we love the fact you could be admiring a gorgeous view and then you turn around and there’s a rubbish heap on the street…(I can’t remember if these were the exact words but it’s how I remember the conversation starting…)
I knew from this point that apart from avoiding making them pose for their photos (in the end they did do some off their own accord!), a street photography approach was the way to go and make sure that the charm of the various locations were captured – oh and making sure there were plenty of natural shots, mostly people seen enjoying themselves (which is just what I love capturing – it’s what a wedding party is about, right?!). This earlier conversation explains why a big bin and not-very-wedding-y shots feature in the following storyboard.
Sarah and John tied the knot (in Italian verse) at the town hall of Letojanni in local style (late – but not late by them, rather the town mayor who decided it was ok to delay the ceremony by about 40 minutes!).
Over hearing Sarah mention that it was rubbish that she would miss out on seeing John for the first time as she gets walked down the aisle by her papa (because they had to follow some admin procedure together at the office minutes before the ceremony), I jumped at the chance to offer them a ‘first-look’ shoot where bride and groom would be escorted with their eyes shut to a meeting point and make an event out of seeing each other for the first time before anything else happened. I’m SO glad they agreed – just check out what happened in the pictures! I’m not sure if they loved it more or if I did!
The day was nicely spread out starting with the formal town hall ceremony. An impressive local Italian nibbles and bubbly spread catered by the friendly staff at Niny Bar (if you ever come across this place, you must take a peep inside the grand church directly opposite in the square for it’s impressive decor) came after, followed by a lovely long siesta which allowed guests to have a snooze, play in the sea and freshen up from the sweaty temperature. It also allowed me some time to explore and get on with some street photography!
The evening do started with a little walk to the coach point ( I love walking pictures) which hauled us up some curly wurly mountain roads into the charming village of Forza d’Agrò, one of the film locations for the classic mafia trilogy ‘The Godfather’!
I. fell. in. love with the place, I can’t recommend it highly enough for a little walking adventure!
Finally, a MASSIVE thank you to Sarah and John for allowing me the honour of photographing their awesome big day and welcoming me as a guest.
I wish them a lifetime of happiness together, peppered with glorious food, sunshine and adventure.