A blog post from Marisa and Ruairi’s wedding that will come in two parts; the first part being their St Paul’s Cathedral wedding ceremony and part two will be the reception at Stationers’ Hall which will follow soon.
It is fairly obvious why couples would choose to get married here. Everybody has heard of St Paul’s Cathedral – it is an iconic building in the heart of the City of London with its vast dome dominating the London skyline. The original church that was built on this site dated back to 604 AD but the current building that was designed by Sir Christopher Wren is actually the fourth church to have been built on this site following the Great Fire of London in 1666.
So here are a few observations about the place from a photographer’s point of view. The ceremony takes place in the Chapel of The Order of the British Empire which is situated in the Crypt. I was able to get a couple of shots of Ruairi (the groom) chatting with his groomsmen inside under the dome before they headed down to the Chapel. Marisa’s bridal preparations took place at the Club Quarters Hotel St Paul’s, a short three minute walk from the venue. With so many people hanging around in the vicinity, it made for some nice shots walking up. Once entering via the North Transept, you come under the watchful eye of the Virger. You are permitted to get a couple ‘posed’ photos inside which I used to compliment my documentary coverage. I followed the wedding party, led by the Virger, down to the door of the Chapel in the Crypt. It’s dark down there, very dark. Once Marisa had walked up the aisle, for me, the ceremony was almost over. I was allowed to get a couple of shots from the back before the ceremony started but once it had, I had to sit down at the back with the other guests and not photograph. This is frustrating as it’s a big part of the wedding that goes unrecorded. I was allowed to pick up the camera again for the official ‘posed’ signing photo. Again, too cheesy for me. Not something I enjoy but photograph for the couple so they have a record of it. I usually find that the actual signing of the register always looks better and I can usually incorporate some architectural feature into the shot to give it some depth and sense of place.
I was allowed to photograph Marisa and Ruairi as they exited the chapel and also got as much as I could when they came up to ground level before exiting the North Transept door. Once all the guests were outside on the entrance steps it was back to normal and I just did my thing. A large group shot finally came together once a few stragglers had been rounded up. I love seeing the general public react to occasions like this – many of them are tourists visiting St Paul’s and they end up seeing a wedding party at the same time.
The guests then made their way back to Stationers’ Hall (which is a couple of minutes walk away) for the reception and Marisa, Ruairi and myself had a wander around the outside of St Paul’s to get some informal couple shots. The backdrop is there of course and I just needed to find a few different angles to show it off with the two of them taking a few moments out before they rejoined the rest of the group back at the reception.