I once asked a bride what was the one thing she’d always dreamt of as a little girl with regards to her wedding. The answer was the Wedding Recessional:
“Walking down the aisle. And I don’t mean at the beginning, I mean at the end – with my new husband and when I can see the smiling faces of all my friends.”
That actually side stepped me a little as I was sure it would be entrance of the bride, or the first kiss or the dress.
It just so happens that the wedding recessional (that’s what it’s officially called you know!) is one of my favourite parts of the day too and I love it when the bride and groom take their time to wander down the aisle.
It really does give them a chance to take in the moment – for it often is just moments – where all eyes are on them, and they can see those eyes too.
It’s actually a very challenging part of the day to photograph.
I really want to get a great shot during this time, and if the moment occurs, I want to be ready to shoot it.
Occasionally, there might be an over-enthusiastic guest with an iPad wandering into the aisle ahead of me and so I need to be able to react to those eventualities too.
It’s quite likely, also, for one of the couple to stop to hug or kiss someone as they pass up the aisle. I LOVE it when this happens – purely because I love the interaction, but again it presents me with issues. Often other guests will start congratulating too and the whole wedding recessional can fade out. It’s a great thing to photograph and often sets the tone for the rest of the up coming wedding celebrations throughout the day.
In some cases, when the environment demands it, I’ll plan on taking a wider shot to include incidental features such as the musicians or paintings.
At the end of the day, the wedding recessional is a key part of traditional weddings and its a part of the day that I really love to see as the celebrations start to kick off. I’m always looking out for those relieved glances between the newly weds that says “Phew! We’ve done it!”.
One thing is for sure, as a documentary wedding photographer, I’m never going to intervene or contrive this moment (or any others in fact). These are the the very embryonic memories of the the new marriage and I want my couples to remember those as they happened.
I’ve randomly picked a small selection of images from weddings I’ve shot in 2015 and present them below.
Each of them offers a slightly different take. Each of them will hold very special and unique memories to the brides and grooms involved.
I hope you like them.