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The Gray Manor Hotel Autumn Wedding - Shannon & Nick

My lovely friend Lizzy Morris Photography was delighted with the news that her and her husband were expecting their first baby, however she was due at the end of September meaning she then needed cover for her October wedding in Salisbury, fortunately I was available and more than happy to cover it for her.

Before the big day Lizzy set up a video call so I was able to meet the lovely bride Shannon and chat about her day and just discuss exactly how things would work. This meant I was then Shannon & Nick's associate photographer, what happens with this process is if the chance your original photographer is now unable to attend they will get an associate to cover the day, they will then photograph the whole wedding day and give the RAW images back to the original photographer for them to then edit. It's a super easy process and us photographers sort everything out without you needing to worry.

Shannon & Nick's big day was at The Gray Manor Hotel in Salisbury, Wiltshire. On my arrival I took a little stroll around the hotel to get my bearings and begun taking photos of the beautiful rooms as they were all set up. Afterwards I went to find the groom and his bestwoman and dragged them outside for some quick snaps by the gorgeous autumn colours. Then I set off upstairs to see the bride and her lovely bridesmaids whilst they got ready. Before long Shannon was getting in her dress and it was time for the ceremony.

Both the bride and groom are originally from South Africa and a few family and friends were unfortunately unable to attend, so the wedding party set up Zoom calls for them to be able to share the day, this was such a lovely moment to see. It was then time for the flowerman and bridesmaids to make their entrance just beautiful the beautiful bride walking down the aisle with her brother. At the end of the gorgeous ceremony the registrar said Nick was now allowed to kiss his bride before he totally threw me off guard! He spun Shannon around and dip kissed her, meaning I only was able to capture his back and it set me in to complete panic mode that I'd missed the moment. Fortunately the registrar realised my panic and asked them to kiss again.

Once the ceremony was over I got the happy couple to hide away whilst I organised the rest of the guests outside ready for the confetti throw, which they all absolutely smashed, it made for some fab photos. We then got set in to the group photos so everyone could then relax and drink away, then I whisked the bride and groom off for some time together. We we so fortunately with the stunning autumn colours on the trees that I took full advantage of this - especially knowing that Lizzy would also love these colours! After some stunning photos were captured we then set off back inside for them to eat their amazing wedding breakfast.

In between courses speeches were held from the couples nearest and dearest, usually I'm not a big fan of this as it can be difficult for me to eat, but this lovely pair had me sat down on a table with their guests giving me time to finish my food before speeches begun. During this time Shannon & Nick also cut their cake, they decided to only have a small cake as they really wanted pastel de nata's, which were really scrummy. After tears and laughter were shared there was little bit of downtime before the first dance giving me the opportunity to snap away some candids of the guests.

Wow is all I can say about the first dance! Shannon & Nick had given me a slight preview when I was taking their photos, but I still wasn't expecting what I saw, it was so amazing! They honestly had so much fun together and you can just see the love and passion in their eyes, which made it such a special moment for everyone. Shortly after their first dance Shannon ran off and I was wondering where she'd vanished, but then she ran back in and had a dress change to make it easier for her to have a good old dance around with her guests.

Not long after we had the bouquet toss and sparklers outside, and then we went straight in to the garter. Before this wedding I hadn't seen any couple do anything with the garter, and these two just made it so much fun! I loved that they did it, especially with what happened afterwards! Nick threw Shannon's garter in to the group of men and her brother caught it, him and his boyfriend were celebrating over how he'd caught it, only for one of the other guests to be stood there holding it! It turned out, Shannon's brother had only caught the ribbon that had fallen off the actual garter!

The evening ended on such a high with lots of dancing and wonderful moments. I honestly had the best time! Going in to the wedding I was so incredibly nervous, this was the first time I'd been an associate for another photographer and I felt it was actually more pressure than if I was shooting my own wedding. But, with the confidence of Lizzy and the warming welcome I received from Shannon & Nick and their guests I would happily associate shoot a wedding again, which I will be for Lizzy this year which I can't wait for.


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