I will always remember Amy and Matt's wedding for one very distinctive reason - the cows!!
In my time as a wedding photographer I've worked with a variety of different animals, (and people for that matter!) but none have been more fun than the cows of Minchinhampton Common. They are beautiful beasts but frighteningly large, and hats off to Amy for not running a mile when a particularly friendly cow started nuzzling at her wedding gown!
I'll start from the beginning.
Amy and Matt were childhood sweethearts, their love of the countryside, (and each other) brought them back together again after time spent apart at university.
Fast forward ten years and Amy and Matt found themselves at The Old Lodge, Gloucestershire, the venue where they were to marry, chatting to me, their wedding photographer, about the plans for their small but charming wedding. During our friendly and informal pre-wedding meeting they talked about how they would like their three year old chocolate lab, Poppy, included in the photos and then they casually dropped into the conversation about how they would like the cows on the common to be included too. I've had a lot of unusual requests in my time as a photographer and that was certainly up there with the best of them, however, when we walked around the grounds I found the cows to be very willing subjects.
On the day the weather was a mix of sunshine and showers. Not a disaster by any means; the overcast day provided beautiful light, especially as the day wore on.
Amy's elegant and understated wedding gown matched her simple and straight forward character perfectly. I think I even caught a few of the cows turning their heads as she walked down the aisle to her adoring husband to be, Matt.
After the simple, yet touching ceremony, guests congregated in the gardens outside. The sun came out and we bathed in beautiful warm sunshine. The ice-cream parlour that Amy and Matt had organised was the perfect compliment. I even got to sample one! You couldn't have asked for a more idyllic setting.
After the group shots, (and Poppy's appearance!) there was just enough time before the wedding breakfast for some intimate shots of Amy and Matt, taken in carefully selected locations around the grounds that I had found during my pre-wedding venue visit. Sadly the cows weren't playing ball and were still mere dots on the horizon.
As luck would have it, just as the wedding breakfast was coming to a close, I noticed a small heard of cows grazing on the edge of the common. I dashed inside to tell Amy and Matt and within minutes, half the wedding party had congregated outside to get a closer look at these beautiful animals.
The ten minutes that followed were tremendous fun. I'm sure the cows were finding it all very entertaining as they watched Amy, Matt and I dance around them, darting this way and that, trying to find the best angles before they moved on to their next patch of grass.
And finally, before I left, there was just enough time to take some really very beautiful photos of Amy and Matt on the common; as the sun shone and the rain fell, the lighting in those few photographs is really some of the best I've worked with.
"Just a quick email to say thank you very much for the DVD with all the pictures, they are absolutely fantastic. I have finally managed to have a proper look at them and they are just great, so thank you very much."
For the full story, click on 'Cattle on the Common' wedding under Wedding Stories.