The Wedding Season is upon us. From May to September is when most people who are getting married actually choose to do the deed. But why? Is it just the thought of more reliable weather? Here we are in April basking in the sort of weather we would normally expect in June – so what on earth can we look forward to in June? Weather people (meteorologists) say it’s going to be the hottest Summer on record. So what does that mean for all the happy couples getting hitched this year?
Let’s just think about that for a moment. Layered, fully structured wedding dresses aren’t exactly chilly garments. Nor are wool suits. Or top hat and tails. Or indeed anything most people are likely to wear on their wedding day. This in turn means that the happy couple may be less than happy as temperatures soar into the high 30s. Their guests won’t fare much better in their suits and posh frocks.
When I got married it was on the 5th August, and all the antiperspirant in Christendom wasn’t going to prevent my lovely pure new wool suit from Next becoming a sodden rag by the end of the day drenched in fluids that had hitherto represented at least a stone of my body weight. My bride was in turn melting into her own little pool in the overcrowded registry office in Elm Street. Yes. Elm Street. Bit of a nightmare. Haha.
Outside it wasn’t much better. Most marriage ceremonies take place in the middle of the day, and that, as any good geography student knows, is when the Sun reaches its highest point. Everyone was being boiled alive in the bag. Or grilled by the radiant heat from the sticky black tarmac pavement. If I had been the photographer, it would have been ten minutes of torture at the very most. But this was my wedding, and the photographer, chosen by my mother-in-law of course, was going to make sure that his job of work was executed at speeds only measurable on a geological timescale. And with extreme violence.
Yes, this man couldn’t possibly allow anyone else with a camera to take a photo. No, no, no, this was simply too much. He leapt into the fray, pushing guests aside, often with the aid of elbows cracking ribs. Needless to say, they were bloody awful photos too, but then more on that subject at some point later. When it came to lining up the hot, sweaty, injured people attending our wedding, each photo took around ten minutes to arrange and frame before he finally opened the shutter on the scene of carnage. Not a natural smile to be had. Just lots and lots of shine and too much redness. And squinting – lots and lots of squinting. Horrible.
When we split up we didn’t even notice what happened to the wedding album. Who knows where it languishes now.
The moral of the story is don’t let your mother-in-law organise the photographer. Or anything if you can possibly help it. And don’t necessarily think that a Summer wedding is going to be better… for anyone.
What’s my favourite time of year for weddings? I like Autumn. It’s a lovely time of year. You still get lovely sunny days, but the light is more oblique, the shadows longer, the colours more golden. It’s cooler, and so are the bride and groom, and indeed their guests. But even weddings around Christmas are lovely too. Your guests will treat it as a welcome diversion from their retail festivities, and there’s lots of nice decorations and lights around to brighten the day. But best of all, nobody will be melting, overheating, sweltering or squinting. Just glowing nicely in the firelight around the Christmas tree.
Jon Silver is a wedding photographer in Brighton & Sussex, Kent & Surrey.