Category Archives: London

5 reasons to have a small wedding in 2020

Chelsea Register Office wedding photographer Douglas Fry5 reasons to have a small wedding in 2020

Later this month with any luck the government will allow small weddings in England and we thought we would highlight the reasons why small weddings can be the ideal solution for couples that had planned a large wedding but now have to downsize and rethink their celebration.

1. Social Distancing in a crowded space is very stressful.

Everyone has had the moment in the supermarket when pandemic etiquette goes into overdrive, the awkward hesitation, then exasperation, lunging and grabbing the quinoa and profusely apologising for closing the 3 meter hidden exclusion zone. Imagine this pressure at a wedding when everyone is on social tip toes anyway, it would all be too intense. Instead, how about half a dozen guests who are all of a similar mind set who can all have common sense and just relax and enjoy the ceremony and reception? Sounds much better…stress free

2. Growing Number of Venues

The number of venues on offer grows too, all the smaller quirky hotels and Register Offices from downtown Chelsea to a quaint hotel room are now on your shortlist. All the guests can easily drive there for the day or stay over, no need to worry about parking for 50 cars, or where the Portaloos may be placed out of sight, or the complex seating plan…Of course the wedding celebration can take place later in the year when there’s a chance things will be back to normal. Couples often decide to make the most of this opportunity to have portrait sessions taken in front of a number of London’s well known attractions, from China Town to Tower Bridge and St Paul’s. Hire a taxi and with a good driver I can shoot up to 10 locations in one day. It really does make for a dramatic and unique set of images.

3. Delay but Don’t Cancel the Celebration

Don’t let something like a pandemic put a stick in the spokes of a celebration that’s been in the planning stage for many months if not years, talk about an emotional deflation! Just go ahead on or as near as the original date, make it small and intimate wedding and postpone the wedding party till the following year with friends and family who can all then mingle and catch up on news in a much more relaxed atmosphere.

4. Cost Savings

Simple economics may play a significant role this year too, so perhaps it is sensible to keep the wedding in the diary but make it a simple affair with immediate family. Exchange the vows, have that first kiss and make sure the Prosecco is on ice. This will still be one of the most significant days of your life and one to remember foreve

5. Small Weddings are Romantic

Remember too, a small wedding is a romantic wedding, a large venue with 100 guests has melodrama certainly, but half a dozen people gathered around a couple exchanging vows in defiance of all the difficulties going on around the world right now and seeing the lasting long-term value of marriage can only restore the faith in human spirit in all of us.

Do hire a photographer, when the Prosecco and cake have all been quaffed and eaten, the one thing that will remind of these extraordinary times and the day you put all thoughts of vaccines and isolation to one side for a short while, will be your treasured photographs. Don’t let a family member feel obliged to get out their iPhone and witness the day through the back of a screen. Wedding photographs are worth every penny in the years to come, so make them good ones.

By Douglas Fry Wedding Photographer

Elopement wedding photograph

Asylum Wedding Photography

So I’d seen wedding photography from this wonderfully dilapidated church venue in London called Asylum, and the light in there looked amazing. But it wasn’t until a colleague of mine, a news agency photographer in London, asked me if I was available for his brothers wedding there, that I got the chance to shoot there. I’d been looking forward to this wedding for a while, but before the ceremony there, I caught up with Kat finishing her bridal preps at the nearby Shangri-La at The Shard hotel. Another great London venue, I’d shot an engagement party there before, so knew what stunning views across London there would be.

Once finished there, I headed over to Peckham, where Asylum is located, to meet Rich greeting guests there already. It’s called Asylum, not about a lunatic asylum, but in the sense that it is a sanctuary. It used to be the chapel for some Almshouses that provided homes for retired pub landlords. It was heavily damaged during the war by an incendiary device, and then renovated and restored little by little through the decades. Now it stands as an art space and is available for wedding hire. As expected, the light was gorgeous inside and made for some great documentary moments before the guests boarded some London buses for the journey to Borough Market where the evening reception was at Roast Restaurant.

Here’s some more Asylum Wedding Photography for you to look through. Or check out my Documentary wedding photography portfolio.

Luxury Wedding at the Dorchester Hotel | London

There’s something about a wedding in the capital – the vibrancy, the buzz, and for Ijay and Tolu, the familiar landmarks of their lives and their love together. When you think of a wedding in London, there’s no venue more refined than the Dorchester, with its jewelled candelabras and glistening chandeliers. The celebration of this couple didn’t start at the Dorchester – it began in a small church nearby, a humble location that echoed the class of the bride and groom in every detail, from the pink and white hues of the floral arrangements to the matching pink traditional dress of their female guests – all set against a beautiful backdrop of stained glass windows. The delicate simplicity of the building was a pleasure to photograph, as were the wedding party, with a beaming smile in every capture.

After much singing and celebration, whilst the rest of the party waited at the Dorchester for their Bride and Groom, we took the opportunity to whisk them away to Knightsbridge for more photographs. Ijay and Tolu were so natural in their photographs, at first we were convinced they were professional models, but quickly realised we were watching the love do the talking, so evident, they needed no posing.

Stepping off of the streets of London and into the hotel’s 1930s ballroom as we caught up with the rest of the party was like taking a quick step back in time. Tall draping curtains, tables adorned with candles, a mix of roses, lillies and hydrangeas arranged in their centrepieces by NBFlowers, and a table full of pink candy put together by Gill from Sweet Hollywood, the creator of all the event’s sweet treats. Jennifer from Planned2Perfection had designed the room perfectly to suit Ijay and Tolu, and the low pink of the lights was the tipping of the hat to their theme. Traditionally after the meal came the speeches, so personal and heartfelt it was enough to make anyone emotional. We watched as they cut their classic six-tiered white cake, the groom’s arms lovingly around his bride.

Often forgotten about these days at weddings is the father/daughter dance, and we were lucky enough at Ijay and Tolu’s wedding to see such a lovely tradition, before the newlyweds took to the floor. As they began their first dance as husband and wife, beautiful petal confetti rained down on them, and it fell throughout the whole song. Capturing their happiness through the petals might just have been our favourite moment of the day, and no doubt one of theirs.

The couple’s portrait session later in the day went just as smoothly as the afternoons. We were wowed all over again by the nature of this couple, so lovingly photogenic, and there was just so much to capture with these guys that we ended up spending 12 hours sharing in their happy day. It was a pleasure to shoot for Ijay and Tolu, and we wish them all the best for their future.

Photography by: Jacob and Pauline

Lydia & Chris – Houses of Parliament Wedding, London

We love the opportunity to shoot in new locations and when we heard Lydia and Chris’s plans we were instantly very excited about their day! We’ve shot in London a few times now but the Houses of Parliament added a little extra pressure onto the never-ending traffic and people in the city!

Their ceremony took place at the beautiful Westminster Church where, 106 years prior, Winston Churchill was married to Clementine Hozier. It was a short trip across the road to their reception venue at Houses of Parliament where we (and all their guests!) had to be security checked and X-rayed. In the morning Chris looked after their daughter Clementine while he grabbed a late breakfast with his groomsmen, meanwhile Lydia and her maid of honour prepared in style with a hotel room overlooking some of London’s most iconic buildings. We always love how you can tell how in love a couple are on a wedding day, we follow them so closely and looking through our cameras all day we loved just how happy they obviously are together, the glances throughout the day and the smiles on each of their faces.

As we braved the horrendous evening traffic coming out of London, ready for our 4 and a half hour drive home, the thing we talked about more than anything wasn’t the buildings, or crowds or incredible weather, it was just how perfect for each other Lydia and Chris clearly are.

Chris & Verity