It’s always great to return to Claridges as wedding photographers in the heart of London’s Mayfair. It’s probably the most famous and iconic hotel in that area, and always a real pleasure to work in. What was also a pleasure was to find that the lovely couple Xanthe and Steve lived just two streets away, so that made it pretty easy to meet up and discuss a plan for the day!
This particular wedding I did on my own (David) as the entire wedding party was a very intimate seven people, which I personally really enjoyed. It meant I got a real sense of what the people involved were about, and I believe it subtlety helped me photograph them even more sympathetically.
St Olave’s is a very special church with a rich history so I was excited to shoot there. I’ve photographed a great many central London and home counties churches but not this one. This was Samuel Pepys local and most favourite church, in fact he and his wife are buried there. The building as it stands today dates from around 1450, and managed to survive even the Great Fire of London. Xanthe and Steve’s service was conducted downstairs in the intimate crypt . The vicar told us that this was the original medieval street level, which is way below what we walk across today. With incense burning and one of St Olave’s best choir members singing unaccompanied, it was truly memorable.
Afterwards a few bottles of champers were cracked open and we took twenty minutes with the couple to shoot some shots around the surrounding streets. After that it was time to head to Claridges for the reception of afternoon tea, impeccable served by their staff of course! The couple were pleased to be sitting near Whoopi Goldberg because as anyone who is familiar with Claridges will know it is very popular with celebrities and of course those that can afford it!
I had a further ten minutes to discreetly get some shots in the hotel, before waving goodbye to the wedding party and heading off into the sunset.
By David Green.