One of the greatest compliments that can be paid to a wedding photographer is to be asked to photograph the wedding of another member of a family. It means that the family trusts you implicitly to do the same fine job you did for their daughter/son and that they have complete faith in your ability to capture again all the romance of the day in its sparkling glory.
Several years ago, I photographed the wedding of Amy and Aziz in Marrakech (see “Amy and Aziz’s Marrakech Wedding” story). A few years later, Amy’s mum Penny asked if I would photograph her son Ben’s marriage to New Zealander, Claire. I was of course delighted and said “Yes”.
The wedding was held at the family house in Hampshire, where Amy and Ben grew up. Across several acres of rich green lawn two tents were set up, one for the ceremony and one for the dinner and dancing in the evening. It was a classically beautiful English wedding – understated, yet elegant and tasteful. But what really made the day truly unique from any wedding I’ve ever shot, was the surprise appearance of a troupe of traditionally-costumed Maori dancers doing their famous Haka dance, such as done by the NZ rugby team before a match.
After the dancers finished their routine, they invited family and guests to join in, which they did with uninhibited delight! What a sight to see Maori men and women in traditional outfits alongside men in tuxedos and women in their finest party dresses. It was a wonderful moment of exuberance and joyful madness that set the tone for the rest of the afternoon and into the evening.
I’ve seen a lot of wonderful and at times strange things at weddings, but I have to admit that the sight of these Haka dancers at Claire and Ben’s wedding is a sight I’ll never forget!