Where and When On Friday 20 June 2014 I had the pleasure of photographing Charlotte and Jon's wedding at The Watergate Bay Hotel. Jon's birth place is Newquay in Cornwall so it was the obvious choice to marry the woman he loves at this stunning coastal resort. It was going to be a wedding to remember for a long time to come. The Watergate Bay Hotel is on the north Cornwall coast and a surfers paradise. The weather was spectacular, I had to keep reminding myself that I was in the UK and not the South of France. An ideal place for beach wedding photography.
Jamie Oliver's Fifteen
Watergate Bay is also home to Jamie Oliver's Fifteen restaurant. It really wouldn't have been right if I didn't experience a meal there and support Jamie's quest to empower unemployed young people in Cornwall with the kitchen skills and experience to flourish in the world of work. With views across the bay you feel like you are part of the vista. The food is exquisite and extra special attention is applied to presentation and detail. The atmosphere relaxed but professional, a fantastic recipe for success. The restaurant sits above The Beach Hut which is part of The Watergate Bay Hotel, I look forward to going back to try this place as it came highly recommended!
What the Bride Wore
Charlotte's dress was chosen with the location in mind and was a delicate chiffon pink under skirt and cream top skirt with lace bodice and delicate buttons at the back with a bow. Designed by Naomi Neoh who works from her design studio in Dulwich, South London and bought from Victoria Allinson Couture in Limpsfield, a stones throw from Oxted. Her three bridesmaids complimented her in blue and mother of the bride in a deep blush pink with contrasting lace bodice, all colours reminiscent of the seaside. Shoes were by Jimmy Choo. As we were going to be on the beach for some of the photographs and it was National Flip Flop Day the bridal party changed into theirs!
Photographing The Wedding
The wedding photography started with Charlotte getting ready in the bridal suite, the beautiful ocean views really leant itself to available light photography, shooting on a high ISO which added to the high key nautical feel. We had access to all areas of the hotel and took advantage of this. The ceremony took place in The Events Space with the windows folded back so it felt like you were elevated above the beach with nothing but blue skies to look at and the walls decorated with bunting made by Charlotte's mum. The chairs in the aisle graced with a delicate pink rose all set the scene for this fairy tale wedding. For photographing groups on the balcony after the ceremony with the seascape as the background and backlit by strong sunlight (remember it was like being in the South of France), it was important to use flash at maximum output so they weren't in silhouette. As June 20th was the day before the longest day we took full advantage of the sunset and now was the time to get that silhouette with the sunset as the backdrop. For anyone wanting to recreate this you'll need to turn off the flash and expose for the background light. I always shoot in manual mode and don't rely on the cameras internal metering and use my judgement and experience to get what I'm looking for. You can try bracketing the exposure of this and choose which works best for you, experimenting is the ideal way to learn.
Silhouettes convey an emotion that the imagination can decide upon.
I am so glad I got to be a part of this truly magical day and toast Charlotte and Jon to a lifetime of magic moments.
Watergate Bay Hotel is the perfect location for a beach themed wedding.
Thanks for reading, my next newsletter will be in two weeks time.
Bye for now.