A Military Marriage – Marlene & Alan

21 Jul

We have a number of firsts with Marlene & Alan’s lovely January wedding. Not only was it Rob Grimes Photography’s first wedding photo shoot, it’s also my first Military wedding. Marlene & Alan make such a sweet couple!

I think it was back in November of 2010, I was away working with the Army on an overseas exercise in Kenya when I was sat one late evening chatting to a friend over a late night cup of tea. Alan and myself had been talking about his forthcoming wedding to his long term girlfriend Marlene and the problems she had been incurring with the wedding photographer she had employed, the stories I was hearing of this so called professional photographer not returning emails, phone calls or anything considering she had already taken a part payment as a deposit was horrific to listen to. The conversation continued with Alan asking me if I was interested in taking the place of the photographer, he quoted that all of his family and friends loved my work and images and would love for me to be the official wedding photographer. After much thought and consideration I agreed to be able to cover their wedding on the 7th January 2011, to be honest I think this was the break I was waiting for as I had rejected other offers before for me to cover a wedding, but this offer felt right and the timing of it felt right.

The planning of the wedding was easy as the bride was in constant communication from the outset and meticulous in her planning and preparation, constantly keeping me up to date with everything in needed and what she wanted me to know, even to the point that we were chatting via email while on holiday in America during the winter of 2010. So fast forward to the 6th January 2011 and after a small journey from New York, via London to Birmingham and onto Belfast I landed and was kindly collected by Alan and taken direct to the Ramada Hotel at Shaw’s Bridge in Belfast. A great location on the outskirts of Belfast that provides everything needed to host a wedding and reception, the hotel itself is modern, well kept, resourced and the surrounding area provided some great picturesque settings for backdrops to the wedding images.
I managed to meet the bride and her bridal party that evening for a meal, chat and a few pre wedding glasses of red wine and decided to retire for the evening and prepare myself for the main event, the Wedding of Miss Marlene Mulholland to Mr Alan Scott. I awoke that morning to the fact that I was shooting a wedding by myself (my first wedding), so no pressure was on me to perform my duties that day, and so after a small breakfast and loads of coffee I set about my work, first port of call was the brides room, this room was like the M6 of weddings, there was so much activity going on so it made a photographers heaven. I started shooting straight away trying my best to capture the feel of energy in the build up to the event. After capturing a few images of the bride and bridal party, I managed to sneek away to capture images of the Groom and Best Man, they were already prepared to military precision and after another few images, I finally made my way back to the Bride. Then without knowing that the time had been flying, it was time for the bride, bridesmaids and brother (giving away the bride).
The main event, of the wedding, reception, group formal images, meal and speeches, cutting the cake through to the first and many other dances was a day to be remembered, for me as a photographer, it was a great day of shooting, capturing memories that the bride and groom don’t get to see in the hustle and bustle of their wedding day. The main thing for me, was the planning we had put in before the wedding, ensuring i had a list of what images the bride wanted, what images I also wanted to capture in certain areas, how the day was to flow and also building a relationship with the wedding organizer from the hotel, which helped to make my life easier, the other thing that helped was, having a list of must have shots, names of all the party, this all helps to save time and makes the wedding party feel at ease. I now print all this out, hole punch it and attach a piece of string to it to wear around my neck so I don’t ever lose any names or which shot to take – helpful little tip!!!
After the wedding, the time spent on editing their wedding images, showing them the completed set of around 300 images for them to choose from, designing their wedding albums, through to the final print and collection by the wedding party was a complete and utter joy, I just hope every wedding and bride will be as good as this. So for my first wedding of 2011 and my new career, I not only learnt everything I needed to learn, but made a new complete group of friends.
So the world of wedding photography is still alive and kicking..I’ve added the comments I received on my Facebook photography page from the bride, I think she explains it better than I can;
” Not only a talented photographer, Rob is a pleasure to be around. Booking him was very simple and throughout the lead-up to our wedding he was clear and efficient, asking what we wanted and guiding us through what was needed to get it.

On the day, he was unfailingly polite and friendly to everyone he came across, and yet invisible most of the time. He really just let us, and all our guests, get on with enjoying the day – it was crucial to us that we could actually enjoy the results of all the effort we’d put into planning it, and although Rob was always at our disposal, it was so nice to just let him get on with it!

Rob has an incredible talent for capturing a feeling in an image. Going through our photos, you never fail to get a sense of the atmosphere at each and every stage of our big day. And that’s exactly what we wanted – not a complete collection of snapshots of our nearest and dearest, but a record of our big day as a whole, something we could look back on and remember how every step of the way felt.

Rob delivered a beautiful set of images, and 3 beautiful photobooks, an A3 for us and 2 x A5 albums for our parents that capture many very happy memories and bring a tear to my eye every time i turn the page – we will continue to enjoy looking through them for many years to come”.
I have to finish off now, by letting you all know that Alan is due to be deployed soon again for his second tour to Afghanistan in a matter of weeks for over 6 months, he will be leaving behind his newly married wife Marlene and their young son. I wish them all the best for the next few months as a young family and i’m sure you will all wish Alan, the safest of tours and to come home safe soon!
Such a touching wedding. I wish Alan a safe trip and send big hugs to Marlene and their son. Congratulations on becoming Mr & Mrs Marlene & Alan Scott and all the best for your future together! Also a big thank you to Rob Grimes.
Laura x

6 Responses to “A Military Marriage – Marlene & Alan”

  1. Something Navy July 21, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

    Love her hair and dress! Beautiful!

    • BonfireNightBride July 21, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

      Marlene is such a pretty bride isn’t she? Her bouquet is beautiful too 🙂

  2. Abby Grace Photography July 21, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    LOVE the bride’s fascinator!

  3. Rob Grimes July 21, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

    Great Article!!

    • BonfireNightBride July 21, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

      Thanks Rob, I’m so glad you like it 🙂

  4. Rob Duncan July 21, 2011 at 8:29 pm #

    Great images.. very inspiring as i,m heading into wedding photography myself.. Enjoyed read how Rob’s day went ahead.. also the planiing, very professional.!!!

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