I hadn’t shot a wedding at Quarry Bank Mill in Styal in a few years, so when Rebecca & David got in touch to chat about their wedding, I was super excited. The colour scheme was a vibrant blue and yellow which I thought would look amazing on a really bright sunny summer day. The wedding was in April though, so what the weather was going to be like was anyones guess, but we were in luck! When you look through the photos, I think you’ll agree this is pretty good for a peak summer day, let alone April!
If you’ve seen the film ‘Love Actually’, you’ll know that during the wedding ceremony in the church, a surprise had been planned where musicians had been hidden among guests and started playing, one by one, to the surprise of the couple and guests.
But back to Rebecca & Davids wedding… Rebecca & David both played brass instruments and were part of a brass ensemble and band. During our venue visit, the couple explained that the rest of the brass ensemble would be playing at the start & end of the ceremony, so that sounded pretty cool and I was looking forward to shooting that!
A few weeks before the wedding, I received an email from one of Rebecca & davids guests telling me all about the surprise he was planning with the band, so I shared with him the timeline of events, and we worked together to ensure the couple did not now about the surprise. Smuggling a drum kit in to the ceremony room was going to be tricky, so the plan was that I would take Dave & his best man for some portraits on the other side of the mill when the instruments were being loaded. The venue coordinator and registrar were in on the surprise too, so with a team effort, everything went to plan and it was great seeing the couples faces, especially when the drums started!
If you’d like to plan this sort of ceremony surprise, here’s my 5 top tips to help things run smoothly:
Find out who the wedding photographer is! Often they are closely involved with planning and timings on the day, and will be working closely with the venue coordinator, so can work with you to help you pull it off.
Speak to the wedding coordinator at the venue. They will be able to help with planning & access.
Be mindful of time – Registrars often have other weddings to go to afterwards, and wedding breakfasts do need to start on time to ensure everyone’s food is perfect, so keep surprises short & sweet.
Keep it quiet! the fewer people that know about it, the less chance that someone will say something to the couple.
If the couple have not hired a videographer, get a guest to film any planned surprise so that the couple can re live the moment. This person should work closely with the photographer to ensure they can both get the best coverage without getting each other in shot!
Check out the photo gallery to see how it went!
Love Actually Style Wedding Ceremony Surprise Gallery: