By Paola De Paola
CHRISTMAS is to me synonymous of togetherness, family, friends and celebration. So, when Geoff and Mark asked me to photograph their wedding on 31st December, I felt honoured, excited and blessed to have met such a lovely couple.
Not only did they invite my whole family, that is my five children and my husband, plus my sister and her family to spend the New Year’s Eve with them and their guests, but they also paid for our family room at the Selsdon Park Hotel in South London!!
It felt so special to spend time with my family and my wedding couple. Let’s face it, it doesn’t happen that often to experience something so unique. Geoff and Mark are no longer just one of my wedding couple, they are now my very special friends.
So many memories, this wedding will without any doubt remain with me for a long, long time.
I felt accepted and welcomed. Sharing time with Geoff and Mark's family and friends was so special.
The wedding day
Geoff and Mark had the lovely idea to decorate the Christmas tree at the wedding reception with pictures of friends and family that for various reasons couldn’t be present on the day!
I adore Harry Potter, so when Geoff mentioned that they liked the venue because they felt in Harry Potter’s world, I was super excited. So many little details made this wedding a memorable one, from their matching light up dancing shoes, matching tartan kilt, fireworks display at midnight, wedding favours made by them, and the surprise drag queen performance at the end of the day.
From the lovely couple….
Why did you pick this venue and was there any significance to the space?
We had been to a few Christmas events there, as well as a wedding fair and as they were very accommodating towards us as a same sex couple. We felt very comfortable having our wedding there, also the team at the hotel were very excited to be holding our wedding once we had booked it.
What was your favourite part of the day?
Very hard question to answer as every part was amazing. One event does stand out, that was spending time together with just our photographer, walking outside in the grounds, having our pictures taken before the ceremony and celebrations started. This gave us time to relax and take in what was about to happen. Our photographer helped us to relax and enjoy every moment that was about the take place.
What songs did you play at your wedding?
Fire Stone ( firework version) by Kygo featuring Conrad Sewell was our first dance. Because it reminds us of a special Holiday in Turkey.
Photographer - who and what made you decide he/she/them were the right choice to capture your special moments?
I met Paola at a wedding fair and was instantly attached to her personality and warmth. Her pictures really tell a story and we both wanted a team of people working on our wedding that wanted to be there and not just about the money. We would have never picked anyone that didn’t accept us as a couple, and trust me we had come across a few suppliers that didn’t feel comfortable that two guys were getting married, so they soon were crossed off our list.
Cake - tell us all about it! We had an amazing seven-tiered cake will chocolate, lemon and plain sponge cake. Our designer hand painted the same tartan onto one of the tiers, that we both wore on our wedding. Even the handcrafted sugar flowers matched the flowers that we had on our tables.
Advise - any little pieces of advice you would like other future couples to benefit from your personal experience... How to enjoy the day stress-free.
Get a toastmaster! Without Peter, we would not have taken in half as much. People say your wedding day goes past very fast. But a good toastmaster will pull you back and ensure you watch what is going on around you. Makes sure you are both in the right place at the right time. He is worth his weight in gold.
Of course, getting married on New Year’s Eve was the be excuse to party with all your family and friends and also gave me the chance to tell them what to wear. We made it a Black Evening Dress with Silver Bling for the woman and Black Tuxedo for the Men. Also not having a bride to up-stage meant the woman went to town with their outfits. Fireworks at midnight made the day even more special!
Lovely Geoff and Mark, I will not forget how you made me feel, so special and welcomed.
So happy our paths crossed!
For more information or to book Paola De Paola to be your wedding photographer you can view more of her work and contact her Paola De Paola, Gay Wedding photographer with G Wedding Directory