Healey Barn Wedding Photographer Northumberland
I was venturing a little further north for Fi and Martin’s wedding celebration to a stunning barn and walled garden venue -The Healey Barn, just outside Newcastle. It was a first for me working as a Healey Barn wedding Photographer, and what a great experience it was!
My morning began with meeting up with Fi and Martin at Jesmond Dene House. Both settled within opposite ends of the hotel, with their respective bridesmaids and groomsmen in attendance. Make up artists were pretty much finished as we arrived, with the final stages of hair styling nearing completion.
Some of the sweetest moments to capture within a wedding day morning can be when small gifts, with hand written notes are exchanged. Whether they be between Bride & Groom, parents or bridesmaids.
This day, we had several. Fi opening her gift and reading her card from Martin, whilst her bridesmaids looked on. Then Martin opening a framed painting of the spot on Hadrian’s Wall, where he proposed to Fi. Then to top these two we had one of my favourite images from the morning, that of Fi and her Mum Mary, with Mary reading a card from Fi whilst holding hands. A great moment of connection, complimented by beautiful soft lighting within the room.
Healey Barn Wedding Photographers
Fi looked radiant walking down the aisle, with Martin looking quite every bit the handsome groom in his Scottish kilt. Emotional moments in abundance with bridesmaids shedding a tear or two, along with a great line of sight composition between Bride and Groom catching Mary whilst she was delivering her reading.
Yet, I had been drawn to something else present in the ceremony room, even before Fi had walked in. I had noticed a framed picture of a young man placed by a guests feet at the side of the aisle. I’d taken a frame, knowing there was a tribute, a sentiment and a story that may or may not emerge later, but the image never the less had importance.
The day moved on with moments presenting, evolving and blurring from one to another. Capturing them as they flowed until shortly after the wedding breakfast when a wedding guest approached me and asked “Mr photographer – would you take a picture of my son? I’ve got a picture of him as he couldn’t be here today!
The story behind the story – three inseparable friends
Quite literally without thinking, having been in my professional photographer mode of shoot the picture / ask questions later I asked in reply “Couldn’t be here today – why’s that?”… “He was killed in a car accident”
Bombshell dropped!… Without thinking I’d come back with a question, that quite probably, had I taken a little more time to engage my brain, only had one answer. Yet speaking to Maria, I quickly sensed she wanted to talk and share her story. Being able to listen and to understand a little more about the people I’m among, gives a greater insight into the why I do what I do. How the tears are every bit as important as the smiles of joy. Life is a journey that tests some people more than others.
Weddings are expectedly days full of joy and celebration but amid the ceremony and celebration there will always be those whose everyday experience can be literally worlds away. What a loss – to have a son and a friend taken in their prime. A mother and father attending their son’s best friends wedding, united in grief, nearly 5 years later.
Maria said how her son James had been inseparable from Martin and his Best Man, Albie. They did everything together. He wouldn’t have missed this day for the world!
Facebook knocked me sideways!
Several weeks later a post appeared in my FB feed, written by Maria – simply titled Week 247. It was a touching conversation between mother and son, recalling the wedding. Here’s a small extract…
So do you have anything sensible to say?”
“Mum, what do I need to say? Didn’t you see them? Those two are meant to be together. Look at the way they look at each other. Look at the happiness in their faces. They don’t need me to tell them anything. They just need to stay exactly as they are and they will be fine. They know what to do. But there’s more than that. Look at the way that they invited me into their wedding with open arms. Trust me mum. They have huge hearts and they love deeply. They love each other deeply and they love those who are in their lives too…….
You were honoured beautifully James. They had your photo on their table.
“I know, I saw”
You were mentioned in Martin’s and Albie’s speeches
“I know, I heard”
And Albie made a toast to you
“I know! At last, someone poured me a drink! Thanks mate!”
You were there weren’t you son?
“I was mum. I was in every kiss, in every smile, in every tear. And the best bit, unlike the others, I didn’t have a massive hangover the next day!”
You would have looked so cool in a kilt
“Yeah, I’m sorry I missed that experience. The boys did look so, so smart.”
Northumberland left a last impression on this Healey Barn Wedding Photographer
It’s the genuine warmth of family and friends that leaves the biggest impression upon me. Fi and Martin’s wedding being one of the warmest! I was aware that Martin didn’t like posing for pictures, and subtle documentary coverage was very much their thing. Hopefully my intuitive approach to leave the couple to fully experience the sharing and connection with their guests, pitched well.
I’m so glad to have been there to capture their day. A beautiful ceremony and day, full of tenderness, joy and laughter. Thanks for asking me along & congratulations Fi & Martin!
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