This delightful affair was the wedding of Ben and Xiaoli. It was on a Friday and a very intimate do with just a handful of important friends and family. With the lovebirds recent arrival from their home in Shanghai it was all go-go-go to arrange the final few bits in a short space of time so I was very happy to be able to help out. I rocked up, not really knowing what to expect and not not knowing the bride and groom for that matter, but I was instantly welcomed in and one of the team. Xiaoli was a real pleasure to be around and is such a natural in front of the camera (it loves you Xiaoli!) of course it helps when you’re so beautiful, but her beauty is also definitely on the inside too, such a sweet and funny lady! And what an awesome friend the couple have in Julian. Everyone needs a Julian at their wedding! Not only is he a lovely individual, he is incredibly talented and designed (and made!!) her beautiful and truly unique dress, and was generally on hand to make the day go without a hitch. What a legend!
The service was at St. Michael’s in Pirbright (such a pretty church and location!) and was brilliantly conducted by Revd. Christine Musser who was the friendliest lady and couldn’t have been more accommodating. Everyone then took a short walk back to Karen's (Ben’s mum) house for a reception/garden party and thankfully the weather held out. After some drinks, nibbles and general milling and merriment, the speeches commenced and of course, hilarity ensued. You can’t help but double over when the best men (Craig and James in this instance) produce picture evidence of the groom’s finest (worst) stages in his life and worryingly also create a photo-fit of your potential offspring. It was unbelievably funny and I think I can safely say, unexpected. Their speech had everything from Ben’s love for Arnie, to his ‘eclectic’ taste in music, to his ‘body-building’ / ‘championship swimmer’ and ‘Kevin’ days (I’m sure his mum loved that phase ;-)) but most importantly they also talked about how great he is and his genuine love for Xiaoli. Awwww I hear you mutter. Awwww indeed. And Emma Quin (bridesmaid extraordinaire) also gave a little speech about growing up with Xiaoli, and how she taught her how to ride a cow (!!!). Moooo. It was a very funny and heartfelt speech which is incredibly impressive when the language you’re giving it in isn’t actually your first. Bravo all!
All in all, this wedding was a lovely reminder that weddings needn’t be big or glitzy or cost the earth to be incredibly special. All you need is a couple so happy and in love, a few friends and family, some tasty fodder, load of boooooooze and laughter. What is more important that that? Oh yes, and perhaps a photographer ;-).
So here’s to you, Ben and Xiaoli, you gorgeous pair. I wish you both all the very best life has to offer. May it be full of amazing things like Arnie posters, techno, muscly abs and cow riding ;-).
Go forth, be happy and enjoy!
With love and best wishes to you both,