• Caroline Stocking

Theatre Style


Amongst the craziness that is the month of August, came the incredible Wedding of Richard & Dan.

The guys had first contacted me back in January 2017, when I took myself down to their venue in Portsmouth

I already knew the venue was a theatre, but that was all I knew.

On arrival, I was transported into a world of adventure, intrigue, costumes, and props. The theatre was amazing! It was intimate and full of character. And, as I then found out....owned by Richard!! This was gonna be epic.

The Big Day

Fast Forward 7 months, and the Wedding Day had arrived, 26th August 2017.

The Groundlings Theatre, Portsmouth was bathed in glorious August sunshine, and it was HOT!!!

The courtyard was laid out with a red carpet and a large door arch to welcome guests through.

A large white marquee housed an outside cocktail bar, and a giant table chess set. There was bunting, floral trellis, fairly lights, fake grass and picnic benches, it was just lovely.

The theme of the day was Great Gatsby. So the colour theme for the venue was Gold & Black. It looked stylish and classy. The whole venue was completely different and original to anything I had seen before.

The foyer seating and bar area had been decorated with a mix of 1920's style and many features from previous shows and themes that had been held at the theatre. There was such an eclectic mix of displays, I never got the chance to explore them all.

The ceiling of the foyer showcased a large long green vine, and bunting that had obviously taken a great deal of time to create, and stays up all year round. The variety of displays and art work are a credit to the hard work of all the staff at the theatre.

At the top of a beautifully decorated floral sweeping wooden staircase, stood the main theatre. Set with 100+ chairs with white covers and gold sashes. A stunning large floral alter arch was displayed at the stage end of the theatre, ready for the days proceedings to begin.

The stage area behind was a vision of monochrome and gold, with 2 fantastic, large black tie images at the centre. Dotted around the stage were a selection of 1920's style props and accessories.

The service was conducted by the lovely Hillary who was caring and passionate about the job she was there to do.

Half way through the service would be a sand blessing by Richard & Dan, and their closest friends and family.

This is a blessing where by different coloured sands are pored into a shaped vessel, to show love and commitment. It's kept by the couple for life, to show their bound to each others and their friends and family.

Dan & Richard had already had a private marriage service the day before with 2 of their dearest friends as witnesses.

So this days service would be a beautiful blessing ceremony, that they could share with others.

The service itself was full of Love, Smiles and Tears.

There were 2 readings....well monologues really, from plays. These were portrayed by 2 of the guest. Both performances were so heart felt, and acted beautifully. The 3rd 'reading' was in fact a song. Sung by Richard's Best Woman Marcia. This was truly breath taking. So much so, that even I started blubbing...I just couldn't help myself! Just sensational!

The service was followed by drinks in the bar area. The weather was so beautiful that it gave everyone a chance to be outside and enjoy the sunshine.

Many guests had arrived in traditional 1920's dress. These glittered and shone in the gorgeous August light.

Having the luxury of a large, private outside space meant we could really maximise the confetti shot. This was one tradition we were certainly not forgoing..

A magician helped to pass the time, whilst the family group shots took place.

Whilst the drinks were flowing downstairs, the theatre room was being turned back in time. Thanks to the design team, the theatre hall was transported back to the 1920's.

With the hand painted ceiling (Created by Richard), fairy lights, feather centre pieces, the whole room was a feast for the eyes.

The catering had been set up in a room just to the back of the main hall, and gave guests the chance to flow from on room to another.

The wedding breakfast and speeches ran smoothly and to time, which is always a bonus and a credit to the wedding planner and organiser.

I took the opportunity after dinner to grab the guys, and capture them. We had already discussed, that the day would be a relaxed affair, and Richard and Dan didn't feel a need for too many group shots or couple shots. However I wasn't going to let them get away with none! The theatre was such a special and original venue with so many lovely spots, It would have been a true waist not to utilise them.

As the evening began, extra guests arrived and it was onto Cake and First Dance.

What can I say about the First Dance??!! Well it wasn't your normal shuffle around the dance floor. It was a well rehearsed show dance, performed by the guys. Dan & Richard had no doubt put a lot of time and effort into mastering the dance. The guests loved it!!! The smiles on the faces of Richard & Dan were magical.

Once the guests had congratulated them on their star turn around the dance floor, it was my cue to leave.

It was the guests turn to let their hair down, and swish those 20's frocks and spin those bow ties. My day had come to an end.

What a Wedding! From 2 of the loveliest men, full of fun and love, through to the flapper 1920's theme...The whole day was fun, happy and super special.

My final thought

I love nothing more than an alternative wedding. They are a move away from the traditional, and give me a real chance to shoot something different and really express myself through my work.

Shooting in the manor I do, in a documentary style, means I get to capture all the moments. All the little touches that guests may not have noticed, but the couple have spent time and effort to produce. Alternative weddings are full of these quirky treats, and that why I love my job!

It was my pleasure to capture Dan & Richards Wedding at the incredible Groundlings Theatre. Thank You to them both, for allowing me into their world and their special day.

xCx


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                                Surrey & Carmarthenshire                              

                  

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