Wedding / Lake Garda – Italy / Jess & James
Jessica & James
Wedding Photography at MALCESINE, LAKE GARDA
So, I had to take to the skies to get to this wedding (terrifying) in Italy! As the first destination wedding I have ever photographed, I was pretty spoilt for scenery and culture! Malcesine, in its quaint water-front location, has streets lined with artisanal shops, pizza and pasta on every menu in town, and those warm earthy colours that define Italian architecture.
I took my assistant, Amanda, with me as I:
a. need more than ‘Kalms’ to keep me calm inside a giant metal monster in the clouds;
b. knew that there would be more photographic opportunities here than I could take advantage of on my own.
We planned in fine detail how we would manage the wedding together to maximise coverage of the event. I was so relieved to have her with me to assist with my photographic equipment through the beautiful but perilous cobbled streets, and also to help me to navigate the unfamiliar territory (I’m one of those people that goes thrice around Bluewater without realising)!
Alhough, of course, I had met with James and Jess before we flew out to Italy, we met again on the day prior to the wedding and caught some casual pre-wedding photos which were as much for me as it was for them, to get an idea of the location. Amanda and I spent the rest of the day orientating ourselves and working out our route and final timings between each location for the actual wedding day (over copious amounts of pizza and ice-cream, of course). Their Italian wedding planner made the process feel very smooth and considered. Bride, Jess, will be writing an extra special blog post for my website for all those considering a destination wedding and she will also be sharing her experiences of working with me on all three shoots we have now undertaken together – engagement, wedding, and also a subsequent ‘rock the frock’ shoot (photos coming soon – she hasn’t seen them yet but I know she will love them)! She’ll share with you her tips on travelling with your wedding dress, planning with a foreign wedding company over email, how she managed with hair and make-up, as well as other little destination wedding insider secrets to help you more easily plan your own big day abroad. If you have any specific questions you’d like to ask Jess (and James!), post them in the comments below!
The wedding day itself was epic, much like a Disney film. Imagine… bride and groom walking separately towards each other through historical streets as onlookers smile and cheer, past traditional shops and pretty boutiques, dressed in their finery, meeting at a sunset ceremony atop a castle overlooking the lake and mountains. It was jaw-dropping and breathtakingly romantic. Jess’ mum’s new hat did blow off the battlements but, staying true to our Disney theme here, the men dashed to the rescue, fighting their way down the castle steps to venture into the crowds, eventually heroically restoring the crown to its rightful owner!
I have no hesitation in recommending this ‘getaway’ style wedding. The celebration extended beyond the wedding day as their intimate circle of family and friends stayed on to continue their time together whilst exploring and enjoying the surroundings. The following day, Jess and James actually launched themselves off a mountain to do some kind of extreme paraglide thing, which wasn’t quite as Disney, but hey, still a pretty cool experience to mark the start of their married life!
Next year, Amanda will once again be reminding me to breath when we embark on our next destination wedding in Santorini for Keri & Scott. I hear it’s just as beautiful. The cool part is that it will be exactly a year to the day after Jess & James’ wedding. I’ll be wishing them a happy anniversary from the slopes of Santorini and raising a glass to both couples living happily ever after…
– The End –
(Cue credits and epic Disney music.)
A few words from my assistant, Amanda:
Being a photographer’s assistant requires someone organised, able to anticipate the photographer’s needs and have the ability to spot potential photo opportunities which the photographer might otherwise miss. It also means carrying all the equipment or at least knowing where it all is, and rounding up family members and friends for those important group shots.
At one of our first weddings working together, Kate gave me a camera to see what I could do. I loved it and surprised myself with the results. I have learned to complement Kate’s style and I now act as her second shooter. This gives Kate additional photos to use of angles and moments she would otherwise have been unable to capture.
When we went to Jess and James’ wedding, I wanted to take full advantage of the idyllic Italian setting. Travelling to our first destination wedding took the organisation to another level, especially as we had another wedding immediately on our return to the UK. Both weddings were planned like military operations and itineraries printed for both so we knew exactly what we were doing and when. That’s my role, to prompt Kate with timings and the order of events.
In Lake Garda, I was responsible for taking shots of the groom’s preparation before the wedding which included dashing through the streets of Malcesine as he and his groomsmen walked to the castle where the ceremony was held. It was nerve-wracking because I didn’t want to let Kate down (or the happy couple) and there was no one to check camera settings and so on with! Happily, these photos made the edit and have given Jess and James pictures they wouldn’t have had since Kate was busy capturing the bridal preparations.
I feel very privileged to capture people’s happiest day. Can’t wait for the next destination wedding!
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