Michelle and Thomas. Destination Wedding, Portugal.
Posted: Aug 14 in featured
Where has the time gone? Exactly two months to the day (Happy Anniversary folks!) I was in Portugal shooting the most amazing wedding of my two besties Michelle and Tom. My tan didn’t last long, infact some would argue that it never arrived in the first place, but the memories are as strong as ever and as I sat editing these shots I was reminded so many times on what a great day it was.
I wasn’t just the photographer on the day. I was also man of honour to Michelle (no dress jokes, heard them all) and film maker. Some of you my already have seen the little movie I made for them but if not I’ll post it below. To cut a long story short – I had made a little movie for Sophie’s (Michelle and Tom’s baby) first birthday last year and knowing that they liked it thought it may be good to capture some of their day on video too. They agreed and gave me total freedom to capture what I thought was best on video and as well as stills.
So, here’s the video and I’ll continue the rest of the story after the jump…
So, then. To give you a bit of background. I used to work with Tom and Michelle for many years in HP. I’ve also been flatmate to both of them before they started dating and you could say I was their matchmaker. “My mate fancies you” kinda thing. They in turn have been two of the best mates you could ask for. They were super supportive in my quest to become a photographer and every day as I used to catch my lift to work with them (thanks Tom!) they’d ask – “Any more bookings?!” to which there would be a big cheer if I said yes. Michelle was my breakie, lunch and afternoon coffee (and minstrels) buddy – Tom was usually always too busy solving HP’s problems to join us. He’ll be CEO one day. Put it simply, they’re two of my best mates so I knew their wedding day was going to be special, a lot of fun and probably (because I’m a softy) emotional. Cliché alert – It was all that and more.
Everyone who had travelled to Portugal for the wedding was a close friend or family member so this made the whole thing very intimate and it was great to hang out with people for a week and build up some really lovely friendships. Donal, Theresa, Mags and Phil – you’re all legends and I cannot wait to meet up with you in September to relive the good times.
So, I should tell you about the wedding. Everyone was staying at the Monte Santo Resort in Carvoeiro and it was here that Tom and Michelle got ready. I spent most of the morning with Michelle (I had duties!) and the atmosphere was great. Tunes were on, champagne was poured (normally I don’t drink when I work but c’mon, I was a guest too!) and there was lots of laughing. When that dress went on, Michelle looked absolutely stunning. It was perfect. From the day Michelle got engaged I’d been forver talking about how I love shooting brides with short dresses. Not just do I love the style of a shorter dress but the hassle it saves the bride has a lot to be answered for. Michelle’s looked just perfect on her.
The ceremony was held in the most beautiful little location. An outdoor venue called Quinta do Pomona situated between two orange orchards. A long cobblestoned drive was now the aisle which was flanked either side by tall palm trees. To keep guests cool upon arrival, they were offered cool drinks and those palm trees offered light relief from the searing hot sun. The venue was simply breathtaking, and its everything that I had imagined a Portugese estate to be.
The ceremony itself was so sweet. If you watched the video above you’ll see that I filmed quite a bit of it and holding the camera steady was a challenge as I could feel myself welling and also having a giggle, especially during the vows which were personalised by Michelle and Tom. As soon as the ceremony was over it was just up a few steps and we were now officially at the drinks reception. It was brilliant!
Due to a Portuguese law, Tom and Michelle then had to go through a very short legal ceremony in a private room with just the witnesses. They had chosen to do this separately and away from their guests as really it’s just a matter of dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s for 15 minutes. I have to say, for me it was rather welcome as I was really beginning to feel the heat of that sun and the cool, dark indoors was a relief.
The rest of the day was just about having fun though. Various games were dotted around each table and Jenga was being taken as seriously as some of the Olympic sports with elimination’s being dealt out with fierce brutality! You know who you all are! The music started early too with Beto Kalulu and his band keeping our feet tapping and our hips (Phil…) shaking all night long. One of the best wedding bands I’ve ever heard.
As for the food – the choice was bordering on the ridiculous and I’m sure I stress tested my plate to the limit. Dessert heaven too!
After dinner the sun was finally getting low in the sky so we decided to a very short portrait session and the light was just beautiful. Soft and glowy and those orange trees gave us some beautiful dappled light to play with. Mind you, taking photos of two people you know far too well is rather weird and quite funny. Tom was forever making me laugh and I’m sure when he sees some of the shots that I darn’t share here he’ll remember why I was laughing so much too. Hilarious stuff
Really though, that just sums up the whole day. Filled with happiness, laughter, love and some seriously awesome dance offs. Jim, you win.
I wouldn’t have missed it for the world and I’m pretty sure everyone who was there would say the very same. Congrats guys. That was one seriously amazing day.