What a Unique Wedding Venue
When London locals Hugh and David first got in contact with me to talk about their Battersea Arts Centre Wedding, I was super excited. I had never been to the arts centre before but a google quickly showed me what a stunningly beautiful and historic venue it is. (Oh yes I would love to shoot your wedding guys)!
I was blown away with Hugh and David’s warm natural enthusiasm and desire to create the perfect day for both themselves and their families and friends. Hugh told me he was “ridiculously excited!” about their big day. I couldn’t wait.
Crying Photographer at Battersea Arts Centre Wedding!
I love what I do. I love getting to know, working on and shooting each of my couples weddings. What an absolute privilege. But the Battersea Arts Centre Wedding of Hugh and David certainly resonated and stirred me in a way I just quite wasn’t expecting. As a result, it had me in tears during the speeches. (Don’t worry I still got the shots!). Here is why. Love and pride.
Unknowingly or maybe it was a coincidence I am not entirely sure. But Hugh and David ended up choosing the exact same date for their wedding as London Pride. Hugh spoke about it in his amazing speech. Whilst talking about his love for David, he somehow also made a powerful statement about same-sex marriage and equal rights and the importance of pride and the fact that just down the road from us tens of thousands of people were marching and celebrating their London Pride. His 130 friends and family cheered and cried. It was an emotional moment for many reasons. I felt it. (Check out the speech photos below).
Fascinating Political and Creative History
Hugh and David choose the Battersea Arts Centre because it was “local, historic, the right size to do everything under one roof, and supporting an arts venue and community asset”. Their wedding ceremony, reception and the party were all held in the same stunning wood-panelled Council Chamber. This huge airy space oozes character, creativity and well, pride.
The Battersea Arts Centre has faced fascinating and challenging times in it’s past. It was built in 1893 as the Battersea Town Hall. In 1907 Christabel and Emmeline Pankhurst used the building for their debates. Fleetwood Mac performed there in 1968. The Town Hall closed in 1965 and the arts centre was created in the 70s. Tragically in 2015, the Grand Hall was destroyed by fire. Since then it has been restored and brought back to life through the power of community. What a venue for a wedding.
The beginning of the day
I arrived at the Arts Centre to meet up with my friend and colleague and awesomely amazing photographer, Tinna who was to be my second shooter buddy for the day. We had a quick chat and reckie around the massive building talked about our plan for photographing the day.
The guys arrived separately and got ready separately in rooms on opposite sides of the Council Chambers. Tinna was with David and his family. I was with Hugh and his family. This was great as we both were able to soak in the atmosphere of each room and capture some beautiful and fun, pre-wedding-nerve-wracking moments!
The rustic Council Chambers looked absolutely stunning with light streaming in and the beautiful floral arrangements that had been prepared by David’s mum Steph.
The Battersea Arts Centre Wedding Ceremony
Hugh, David and their supporting family entered the chambers, simultaneously from opposite doors. The look of sheer joy and excitement on Hugh’s face when he entered with his mum and sister was heartwarming. The civil ceremony that followed was simple and beautiful with some lovely readings from Hugh’s Mum Pamela.
After the ceremony, the champagne corks were popping for the drinks reception. But soon it was time for me to take some portraits with the couple outside, whilst Tinna stayed in and captured the drinks reception.
Relaxed Couple Portraits
The Battersea Arts Centre is a fab backdrop for outside photographs. There were plenty of walls and backgrounds for us to play with and the time whizzed by. We captured some excellent natural photos of the lads.
Hugh and David then had time to say some hello to their guests and then it was time for the reception meal. The couple made a lovely entrance to the Council Chambers via the gallery – to much applause and cheering!
Yet another beautiful moment from this wedding.
Superb Speeches – humourous, heart-felt and full of love
David wanted to capture some photos of him with some of his closest friends so we decided to head up top and have their own little photoshoot which was great fun!
The Cake Cutting and the Dancing Begins
Thank you so much, Hugh and David, for having me at your Battersea Arts Centre Wedding. I loved being your photographer (and so did Tinna). It was such a pleasure to be with you and your lovely friends and family for such a beautiful and happy day.
Second Shooter: Tinna Wedding Photos
The Venue: Battersea Arts Centre – The Council Chambers
Flowers: Steph Smithson (David’s mum!)
Cake: Marks & Spencer
DJ: DJ Li@m (Liam Martin)