I love the sense of drama that the holiday season adds to a wedding. These special days are beautiful in their own right, but when you add the colours and sparkle of Christmas together with a magnificent setting it makes it a great pleasure. Gina had her heart set on marrying in St Albans Cathedral and Abbey and was happy to wait for a date to become available. This cathedral holds particular significance for christians as it is where Britain’s first saint, Alban, is buried. Despite its size, the abbey is a warm and welcoming space, holding not only Church of England services, but also Catholic, Russian Orthodox and Lutheran ones. Gina and Graham could not have made a better choice for their big day.
With the splendour of the cathedral and the razzle-dazzle of the Christmas season, Gina and Graham wisely stuck with the classic combination of winter white and burgundy for their colour scheme. Graham’s burgundy suit was the perfect contrast to Gina’s stunning off-the-shoulder dress made from raw silk and delicately embroidered with seed pearls. The bridesmaids looked amazing in their long dresses with the deep shade of red suiting both of them perfectly. Faux fur jackets for the bridesmaids and a matching shrug for Gina was a stylish and practical solution to the winter chill.
The cathedral is magnificent. As the oldest place of continuous christian worship in Britain, it features a mix of architectural styles and boasts the longest nave in England, and is a delight to photograph. The ceremony took place in the smaller, more intimate Lady Chapel which dates from the 1300s and features decorative tiled floors and amazing stained glass windows that were illuminated beautifully by the winter sun.
The couple cleverly incorporated many personal touches into their special day, such as Graham’s cufflinks which had been custom-covered with fabric, and Gina’s addition of a photo of her father tucked away in her wedding dress next to her heart.
Graham and Gina’s special day was a lovely family occasion. Graham’s daughter acted as bridesmaid, and many of their family and friends gave readings during the service or made speeches at their reception, which took place at nearby Freddie’s restaurant.
The happy congregation exited through the chapel’s decoratively carved wooden doors, showering the couple with confetti made from dried rose petals. We took the group and family shots, before getting Gina and Graham to pose on the grass in front of the Abbey. As the reception venue was so close, we took advantage of the festive backdrop of the Christmas Markets and got some great shots of the newlyweds walking to the restaurant.
A delicious meal was followed by speeches before the room was cleared of tables ready for the evening’s dancing. The entire day was full of love and laughter – two things I hope the couple enjoy for the rest of their lives together. Congratulations!