This morning we join newly weds Sally and Stephen for their crazy, colourful (and all kinds of lovely) pre-wedding shoot on the North Pier, Blackpool. Time for a few candyfloss kisses…
May your days be merry & bright!
Images by James Jebson Photography.
sally says: A few weeks before Christmas, I told Stephen I didn’t think we’d made enough effort with our Christmas decorations. Arriving home late from a late shift, on a very wet and cold evening, I opened the front door to find our hall stairs had been covered in fake snow and glitter. My first thought was that Stephen had taken my ‘pimping the decorations’ briefing a bit too far, until I noticed an arrow of glitter directing me into the living room. All of the walls had been covered in fairly lights; there was more snow across the floor; the hearth was filled with flowers and there was a very large mound of glitter where the television should have been. There was also a champagne bucket with an iced bottle of Pepsi and a platter of cheese.
It is at this point I should probably explain that when we had first started dating we listed our five favourite things – mine were glitter, fairy lights, cheese, kittens and dancing (Pepsi would inch in at number 6). Over by the mound of glitter were two small kittens (not real ones!) with a sign pointing at the glitter and saying ‘shake me’. As I did, the glitter stuck to a piece of card and revealed the words ‘Sally Henfield will you marry me?’ Then Stephen popped out of the downstairs toilet (where he’d been hiding for 40 minutes because I was late home) and got down on one knew with a beautiful 1920s-style sapphire and diamond ring! I said YES, and then we did a little dance to Newton Faulkner – the song he first told me he loved me to. So, all five favourite things boxed off in one proposal.
The first time we met is a topic of hot debate. We both went to Newcastle University and some of our friend groups overlap, but we never actually met each other while we were there.
Stephen remembers meeting me in a box at a Newcastle United game in 2002, but I do not remember meeting him until he (via our mutual friend Chris) offered me and a mate a place to stay when we went to a wedding in 2006– in return for us getting the boys invited to the evening do. Stephen won’t mind me saying that he held a torch from then on, but we did not get together until the summer of 2012. Chris invited me to an Olympic party while I was on a secondment to London and Stephen was dressed as Fidel Castro. Then the next night we were abandoned by our friends on a night out and shared a can of Pepsi in Trafalgar Square…
After swapping number by Nelson’s Column, Stephen came to visit me in Preston, where I was living at the time. We had a fantastic weekend – we went to a beer festival, for walks in the park, drank Pepsi, visited museums. But after 52 hours Stephen had still not kissed me! It was only just as he was about to get his train that he finally made his move (with a very strong verbal hint from me!) He says he wanted me to know that he was in it for the real deal and hadn’t just come to Preston to get a quick smooch– a very gentlemanly approach.
Our engagement shoot was part of our photography package. We already knew our photographer James Jebson and it was a really good way to see how he worked ahead of the actual wedding. We picked Blackpool because we had been on one of early dates there and had danced down the North Pier in the moonlight when it was empty of tourists.
The engagement shoot was great fun, if a little chilly. We even got to go on a carousel! I had just bought my frilly underskirt from a vintage shop the day before and we had several old ladies come up to us to say how pretty it looked as Stephen twirled me round.
We love the photos – they are so fun and colourful (even if the weather was dreary!)
We technically got married at Lewisham registry office, but that was just the legal necessities!
We held our wedding over a long weekend so we could spend as much time as possible with friends and family. Our wedding ceremony was held at the Asylum, a disused chapel in Peckham, and one of our best friends Chris (who is responsible for bringing us together) acted as the ‘vicar’. It was so lovely to have someone who could give such a personal account of our relationship delivering the ceremony.
We then held our reception at Brunswick House in Vauxhall – this is a Georgian town house that is now used as an architectural salvage shop during the day and a great place for partying in the evening.
The following day we gathered for a picnic in St James Park and then we all boarded the Tamesis Dock boat for more dancing.
On the Sunday, Stephen and I took some time out to celebrate as just the two of us and went to the Chiltern Firehouse for brunch before catching up with family and then jetting off on honeymoon.
I love that Stephen will always get up on the dancefloor (and look good doing it); that he shares a passion for cheese and Pepsi; that he loves adventures, big or small; he looks fab in woolly jumpers; he loves creating ‘memories’; he remembers the little details of things that you have said so can buy amazing presents; he is funny and has a different laugh for when I am doing silly things; because he has the best eyebrows in the world EVER; he makes a mean fishfinger sandwich (potato waffles is the key ingredient)…the list goes on and on.
Stephen gave the most heartfelt groom speech I have ever heard (and of course I would say that – but he had most of our guests crying with his lovely words) and if I can paraphrase it for him here he said he loves me because I live up to the ideal of the Sally Henfield he has had since we first met.
Our biggest wish for married life is that there are even more adventures to come and that there is always time to dance with each other!
the big picture