Darrell and Claire's wedding at Lillibrooke Manor in Berkshire, was one of the most heartwarming wedding celebrations of the summer.
We knew that Claire and Darrell's wedding was going to be a blast when we first met them, due to the fun engagement session with did with them in April. The idea of featuring their dogs Flo and Mavis, and the Star Wars recreation image was a big clue.
I don't know who was more excited and anxious for this wedding day to arrive, Claire or myself. It's always amazing when a Bride chooses a dress that is out of the ordinary, but Claire took it to another level with a gorgeous Maggie Sottero gown in a rich dusky pink with beaded corseted bodice. On the laces of the bodice, Claire laced in two rings you will see in the photos below, one was her grandmother's wedding band, the other was a little toy ring Darrell gave her when he proposed. A very unique and sweet touch. But that dress! She was breathtakingly beautiful in it.
The inside story about the Pink Wedding Dress, is that Claire loves anything Pink. Anything. Seriously. So much so that Darrell teased her weeks before the wedding saying "You didn't get a pink dress now did you?" Kudos to Claire for keeping that secret as well as she did, LOL. That wasn't the only secret Claire kept from Darrell however, more about that later ;)
The day of the wedding, was one of the rare Saturday's in August 2008 that didn't get rain. There was a strange orb in the sky that glowed bright and warm. We arrived at Claire's house as the Best Man, David, had just finished styling Claire's hair. Yep, the Best Man. Even before I did Claire's make up, she looked incredible. Claire and her Stepfather Chris waved the bridesmaids off as they zoomed away in the skyblue VW 1960's Camper Van that Darrell arranged as the wedding car from Dubs & Bugs. Then David and I followed them to Lillybrooke Manor where the wedding was to take place.
There was so much excitement in the air, as we all waited outside the venue for the van with Claire to arrive. When the music was cued for the bridesmaids (The Prime Minister's song from Love Actually), the guests thought it was to be a nice, subdued ceremony. But once the bridesmaids were in place, The Theme from Star Wars started, and that set the tone for the rest of the day, joy, fun and happiness for two very special people. So much laughter, it was very infectious.
There were just too many wonderful moments to write about them all here, but a few favorites for me were the speeches, When Chris (Claire's Stepfather) finished his, I don't think there was a dry eye anywhere, including myself, Darrell's speech really showed the deep love and playfulness he has for his new wife, and David (the best man aka hairstylist extraordinaire) killed us all with his speech, which included all of Darrell's former partners/lovers/romantic interests turning in their key's, raised eyebrows as a couple of dudes turned theirs in reluctantly, lol.
Another great moment was the cake cutting with Darrell's light saber, that was a first for us, and it was great!
David and I love to capture images of all the little details that went into the day, from the flowers, the table settings, favours, place cards, etc. But as we were photographing the interior of the Barn where the wedding breakfast and reception was to be held, we noticed that a female guest had laid her black hat on the bar. It made for a fun photo we thought. Later we found out that it didn't belong to anyone there and no one at the venue knew where it came from, it actually ended up vanishing by the end of the evening, so this is the 'haunted' wedding hat below, lol.
Both Claire and Darrell have families that were just amazing, especially Darrell's grandad (who is nearly 100 years old), who was one of the youngest at heart on the day. I lost count of how many sweet young things I caught him flirting with! I was so pleased that there were 5 generations represented at the wedding on Darrell's side.
Lillibrooke Manor in Berkshire was such a wonderful venue, the owners of the manor, Joseph and Mary (yep, for real), were the sweetest people ever, and so welcoming. Just lovely people.
Congratulations again to Claire and Darrell, can't wait to see you when we Trash Claire's gorgeous pink wedding dress!!!
*Update* Claire and Darrells 'Trash The Pink Wedding Dress Session' New Forest Wedding Encore Photography Session :)
*Update* Claire and Darrell Trash the Pink Wedding Dress in the Forest!
Get in touch with Teri and David call 01202 519659 or via the main website Murakami Photography
You can also keep updated with Teri and David via their public facebook page :)