In my experience, chilled out weddings often make for some of the best days. Weddings can sometimes be a huge production, so every time I meet a couple who want to take things slowly - who are more about just enjoying the day with their friends and family - I know I'm in for a lovely time. And Ana and Rachel's wedding, at the Radnor Rooms in Bristol, really was a gorgeous, chilled out day!
A PRE-WEDDING PHOTOSHOOT IN BRISTOL'S OLD CITY: WORKING OUT THE ON-CAMERA NERVES
Ana and Rachel first booked me all the way back in 2020. As I think we all know, that wasn't an amazing year for weddings, and in the end Ana and Rachel pushed theirs back to May 2022. I'm so happy that they decided to stick with me throughout those two years, because meeting and photographing them turned out to be an absolute dream!
We met on a fairly grey day in central Bristol for the pre-wedding photoshoot. This session was really important to all of us; Ana and Rachel described themselves as being camera-shy, so having a chance for them to get used to being on camera before the big day was extremely helpful (and as a side note, this is the main reason that I offer pre-wedding photoshoots in both of my wedding photography packages)!
We took half an hour or so to relax around each other over a drink, before heading off for a walk around the old city to take some photographs. There are so many gorgeous opportunities for photography around this part of Bristol, from interestingly textured brick walls, to colourful graffiti, to grand old buildings. I decided to keep things fairly simple to ensure that being on camera didn't feeling too pressurising, erring away from doing too many posed photos and mostly asking Ana and Rachel to just interact with each other. We came out of it with a set of really nice photographs, and the two of them feeling less nervous about being on camera!
THE CLIFTON SUSPENSION BRIDGE: JUST MARRIED ON A SUNNY AFTERNOON
About an hour before the wedding was due to take place, I met Rachel and Ana up at the Clifton Suspension Bridge to take photos of just the two of them. They had a beautiful vintage car booked to take them to the venue, and stopping at the bridge to get some photos with it seemed like too perfect an opportunity to miss! We did a few posed shots with the bridge in the background, a few that were more natural in style, and then finished up with the car driving across the suspension bridge so I could capture something really iconic!
A GORGEOUS, CHILLED OUT CEREMONY AT A HISTORIC LGTBQ VENUE
Something I didn't realise before photographing this wedding is that the Radnor Rooms in central Bristol has a long LGBTQ history behind it. The venue opened as a bar in the 1920s and, according to OutStories Bristol, was a gay bar by the 1940s - possibly even longer than that! With such a cool history, in some ways the Radnor Rooms is a perfect space for LGBTQ weddings!
The ceremony itself was super relaxed. Ana and Rachel had a friend of theirs conducting proceedings and acting as celebrant, and it gave the entire event a really special, intimate feel. There was a gorgeous reading, some tears, and a hell of a lot of smiling faces from the assembled guests!
The rest of the day was also spent at the Radnor Rooms - split between board and video games inside, and drinks, speeches and food on the outdoor terrace. I got plenty of opportunities to snap candids - something that was really important to Ana and Rachel, as they wanted natural images that captured the vibe of the day, rather than anything staged or formal. By the end of the night, the tables inside were cleared to make way for a dance floor, and I had such a great time taking photos of people slaying it!
It really was a brilliant wedding. Everyone was so welcoming towards me, and getting to know Ana and Rachel was so much fun! They were dream clients, and ultimately working with wonderful, lovely people is one of the reasons I love being a wedding photographer in the first place!