I recently watched a documentary on 'The Babies born of the Black GIs and English women in the early 1940's during World War II'. What got me thinking wasn't the mixed raced relationship but how, in the depths of the darkness of war-ridden Britain, the unknown of whether your street or town would be blown to pieces at any moment, love can blossom, even if it was a matter of weeks, love's light can shine through. It can survive and flourish in situations where even hope is lost. So in the 21st century is it any wonder that love can be exhibited in the form of marriage anywhere, even in your local pub?
As the wedding season comes around again, I wanted to show you that you don't have to spend tens of thousands to marry the person you love, but you don't have to suffer a beauty-less, classless wedding as you can see from Daisy and James' beautifully simple yet elegant wedding from September last year.
I have been to many weddings in my time, so from the moment I arrived to photograph Daisy getting ready and saw her home made bouquets of delicate white flowers wrapped in hessian and blue ribbon, I knew the little touches you expect to see at any wedding would be scattered in abundance.
The ceremony and reception venue was the Bayshill Inn, 85 Saint Georges Place, Cheltenham a local pub for many but on this glorious day in late September it was a wedding venue, exclusive hire for the event and no less than any grand hotel you'd expect to pay thousands for, for a Saturday wedding. The large marquee in the pub garden was partially set up with head table and a few guest tables to allow the guests and bridal party ease of access to the freshly decorated ceremony room.
Legalities had been arranged prior to the event, so Daisy and James simply had to announce their love and vows in front of their small congregation of guests. Daisy's Grandfather was a local celebrity, former Cheltenham Town goalkeeper "Mr Lido" Ron Coltman MBE. So in consultation prior to the day, Daisy and James had organised for us to visit the Lido for some photographs. The Lido staff were extremely helpful and organised for Mr Coltman's iconic bicycle to be accessible. Although the Bayshill Inn had space for the photographs, the Lido was sentimental and visiting this location for the Bride and Groom was a personal touch and something to treasure forever.
The three course meal at the wedding breakfast was traditional pub food, the main was the nation's favourite, fish and chips. The staff at the Bayshill Inn, Cheltenham were efficient and the food looked like it was being served at a stylish bistro.
If you were sat in the marquee at the hessian fringed tables you would never think you were in a local boozer. Everything was right, from the centre pieces to the charity badge favours, the theme ran perfectly throughout. The whole event was intimate and fun, including elements as you would expect from the ceremony to group photographs and speeches. The Great British weather was very kind to Daisy and James on the day, you would think that the wedding was in the height of summer not the cusp of October.
I personally love rustic and vintage, Daisy and James pulled it off perfectly, even the public walkway next to the pub had it's charm of autumn colours beginning to appear in the leaves of the trees, the wrought iron railings encasing the tree trunks and running opposite the warm red brick of the pub wall was picturesque. I think they alleyway symbolises the start of the journey down a path for the newlyweds, with their beautiful daughter Bella, from a rustic beginning which was their wedding day.
By using local pubs with function rooms you can save money, enable your guests to have food and drink and help local businesses.
Here are a list of pubs in Gloucestershire ideal for weddings:
The Bayshill Inn, St George Place, Cheltenham
The Brown Jug, Bath Road, Cheltenham
The Royal William, Painswick Road, Cranham
The Farmer’s Boy Inn, Longhope, Gloucester
The Beaufort Arms, London Road, Cheltenham
The Royal Oak, Prestbury
The Old Lodge, Minchinhampton Common, Stroud
Wedding of Mr and Mrs Pudryckyi, Photography by Vita Vestra Photography - www.VitaVestraPhotography.co.uk