Sportshotel Schloss Velen, Germany – it shouldn’t happen to a wedding photographer!

Ok -  so we’ve had a couple of requests for more videos – so I thought I’d embed this one for you all to see.  All our weddings are special to me but this one still ranks amongst my favourite to date.  There are lots of reasons for that but the main reason is because of the people involved.  By that I don’t mean “just” the bride and groom or even the bridal party.  I mean everyone.  I have never been to a more friendly wedding where literally everyone seemed like one big happy family.

But before I start telling you about the guests, let me tell you about the Priest – because I’m sure you’re all dying to hear the story behind the title!

We were honoured to be asked to photograph Bernhard & Celias’ wedding – they travelled all the way from Germany to see and book us, the one remit for their wedding being that they wanted “an English style wedding in Germany” and for that they also wanted an English photographer.  They explained that although there are some very good photographers in Germany most do not stay late and cover the bridal preparations.  To Celia and Bernhard these were very important – along with a family barbeque on the eve of the wedding.  When we photograph a “destination wedding” (i.e. one taking place outside of the UK) we like to arrive a few days early in case of travel delays.  Celia & Bernhard’s wedding was no exception.

We had arranged to meet our couple the day before the wedding in order to have a last-minute planning meeting and to drive the route from Schloss Velen where Celia was getting ready to the Church where the ceremony was taking place.  The idea was also to meet the Priest.  We were in for a shock!  The Priest scheduled to conduct the ceremony had the previous week been on a walking holiday in Austria.  Whilst on a hike a small avalanche had resulted in his skull being fractured.  As the paramedics were carrying him off the mountainside he handed them a piece of paper with a name and number on it and said “Tell Celia and Bernhard to call this Father Andre – he will help them.”

Now you might think that it was above and beyond the call of duty for the Priest to do this but it was more extraordinary because Celia and Bernhard’s wedding ceremony was to be conducted in English and German!  Father Andre was the only other Priest in the area who was fluent enough in both to be able to step in at the last-minute and take over.  Amazing!

The wedding weekend was pretty amazing too – from the barbeque on the Friday night through to the time we left on Sunday.  I have never known people party so hard.  Maybe I’ve led a very sheltered life (my daughter says I have!) but these folks just got on with the job of enjoying themselves in each others company.  There were people of lots of different nationalities – the couple were both from Germany, the best man was from the Netherlands,  the best mans’ wife from the UK (she was fantastic helping us to translate where necessary!), the Chief bridesmaid was from Switzerland with guests from the UK, Italy, Spain and Austria to name but a few.

When we left the wedding celebrations at 2.30 am on the Saturday night/Sunday morning the band were still going strong!  There had been an open bar all evening but very few people appeared drunk or disorderly.  Everyone was just having a fabulous time celebrating a great marriage.

Just before I stop writing and let you see the video I must mention the venue.  Schloss Velen is a watercastle.  It dates back to medieval times and has a moat.  It’s a fantastic place to celebrate your wedding.  When night fell the driveway was lit by flaming torches – as you will see from the video.  The whole thing was very magical and a wedding we won’t ever forget.

Oh and one last thing too – Shaun the Sheep came as a special guest star.  We were asked by Koos, the best man to make sure we got a photo of him.  There’s a complimentary portrait shoot at our studio in Boroughbridge for anyone who spots him and can tell me where he makes his appearance.  A clue – there’s a close up shot of him and then a few frames later he’s in a long shot.  I want to know exactly where he was when we took his picture.  The most accurate answer wins – watch carefully you see him 2 or 3 times but he doesn’t move!

Enjoy the show! :-)


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