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Our featured couple chose St Bartholomews Church in East Reading Berkshire for their marriage ceremony and wedding reception. This was in fact their "second time around" as they had already tied the knot in our bride's native Ukraine some three weeks earlier. Some girls just cannot get enough of all things weddingy!
St Bartholomews is an unusual church in so far as it is able to host not only the ceremony but the wedding breakfast and evening reception in its spacious interior. It is a handsome building both inside and outside, and has a decent lawned area to one side suitable for all those essential group photos. There is the enormous Palmer Park right next door which can also be utilised for photos. Surprising then that St Bartholomews is the scene of very few weddings. Our groom Michael is a member of the clergy and is looking to make much greater use of the church's facilities as a community resource including theatrical events.
The church has a small amount of its own parking immediately to the front but public parking in the area is in short supply so guests are advised to allow sufficient time for that.
We had a few rain showers on the day but nothing too disruptive. It helped that everything was to take place under one roof and so we could time our excursions into the churchyard to make best use of the conditions.
Our couple booked a short duration combined photography and video package which started immediately before the ceremony and finished mid-evening when the ceili dancing was well underway.
As might be expected there was a strong Ukrainian theme to some parts of the day.
We had two "special agents" from the Midlands to conduct the priestly side of things. There were no silly restrictions on professional photography and video and so Peter was able to shoot a good selection of both throughout the day.
The first photo below is the view of St Bartholomews Church as you approach its main entrance:
The spacious interior of the church was laid out in a picturesque circle for the ceremony, making maximum use of the buildings main area - we did not use the high altar area at all. The circular design did make photo/video coverage tricky when the guests were standing as it was not appropriate to shoot from within the circle:
We grabbed a few photos just before the ceremony started, including our bride with her sister:
Here is the first of many Ukrainian themes - the special cake:
Black and white character photos are always popular:
Religious wedding ceremonies are a long old thing for the little people. Just as well they had something to keep them occupied!
More Ukrainian stuff!
The churchyard to one side of St Bartholomews Church is very convenient for the various posed photos:
The high altar area inside St Bartholomews Church Reading looks great:
The speeches are always a great photo and video opportunity:
Interesting! Our bride can't say she didn't get the memo!
The Ukrainian national flag made its appearance later in the day:
Our couple entertained their guests with a few slides illustrating their earlier lives and their time so far together:
Our bride and groom changed into Ukrainian national costumes for the evening. We just had to get some photos of that:
The cake cutting was quite a spectacle - our couple used the sword which had belonged to his father and which he in turn had used at his own wedding:
The evenings dancing was very active. Goodness knows where the guests got all their energy from!
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