Michelle and Faraz’s wedding at the church of St Mary’s in Reculver with far reaching views over the coast and the monumental towers and Iranian Sofreh Aghd ceremony at the Kings Hall Pavillion in Herne Bay was a delightful mixture of cultures that made for a truly memorable day, filled with tears of joy and much laughter.
Joined by Yasmin, we began documenting the day at Michelle’s family home in Herne Bay on the morning of the wedding to take a few shots of the bride’s preparations to find it teeming with people. Michelle had been joined by her parents and her sisters and Faraz’s sister who were all bridesmaids, her gorgeously cute little nephew who was a pageboy and various other friends and relatives, not to mention the family dog who was keen to be part of all the activity!
Faraz had proposed to Michelle in Disneyland, so this was truly a fairytale wedding which had inspired Michelle’s choice of bridal gown and her arrival on a horse drawn carriage – magical! Michelle and Faraz live abroad in the African continent so this influenced many elements of the day, including the bridesmaid’s dresses and details at the wedding breakfast, many of which had been lovingly handmade.
Then it was over to St Mary’s church in Reculver to photograph the groom and wedding guests before Michelle’s arrival. This ancient flint church is set in beautiful farmland overlooking the north Kent coast – an ideal location for a wedding photographer! There were a few happy tears shed as Michelle made her entrance, after alighting from her horse drawn carriage – I’m not surprised – she looked radiant. I was given plenty of leeway to take photographs throughout the church ceremony, enabling me to take my favourite images of the day – a shot of one of Michelle’s bridesmaids drawing her veil back from her face and a delightful moment of shared laughter between Michelle and Faraz just as the ceremony was beginning.
As Faraz’s family are Iranian, the next part of the day, at the Kings Hall Pavillion in Herne Bay, featured Sofreh Aghd – an Iranian wedding ceremony. Michelle and Faraz were seated in a sofa amidst an elaborate set up of decorations, candles and several kinds of food. A fine fabric scarf was held over their heads by the bridesmaids and during the ceremony, two cones made of crystallised sugar were softly ground together over their heads – a symbolic act to sweeten the couple’s life together.
Before the speeches, I was able to steal Michelle and Faraz away for some portraits of the new Mr & Mrs by the seashore, just below the Pavillion. We managed to time it perfectly – the sun was sinking over the horizon, casting a pink glow over the scenery before providing us with a magnificent golden ribbon of light across the sea – ideal for a silhouette shot. What an incredible barmy evening – few and far between in the UK!
As we were leaving, lights were twinkling across the sea, underneath a blue velvet sky. The perfect end to a perfect day.
Many congratulations you two. You were an absolute delight and what an incredible achievement to pull together such an amazing celebration from all those miles away! x