I have recently decided that most wedding photography blogs are actually quite monotonous. (Certainly my earlier ones are!)
” So and so got married at wherever – the sun shone – the speeches were funny – blah blah blah.” Yawn !
So Ive been asking my couples to tell me a bit about their back story – the bit before the wedding – and hoping the blogs have a little bit more interest for you.
Josie and Andy recently got married at The Manners Arms Knipton. I was so desperate to hear their back story. They are the most down to earth, warm hearted couple you could ever hope to meet. Josie isn’t a “girly girl” – she is much more comfortable in a pair of jeans with her head either inside a clapped out Landrover, or riding her beloved horses. But of course on her wedding day she wasn’t allowed to get away with that (although we found a way round that with a Rock the Frock shoot- read on !)
When I asked for the details for their back story Josie and Andy surprised me again by actually writing the blog for me. So rather than pull out bits I have given you the whole story – in their own words. Enjoy!
Josie & Andy’s Story – as told by them!
“We met off the internet back in 2009 – my friends all encouraged me to try online dating as I had been quite unlucky in love…. so I put together a profile, and I also added a ‘shopping list’ as to what I wanted in a man.
He had to be Tall, Outdoorsy, good with his hands, likes animals, and didn’t mind a big bum!
My profile outlined me as, keen horse rider, can be often found under the bonnet of a landrover, at the time a young farmer too, so enjoyed a pint…. Then… occupation Engineer – enjoyed my job in the cement industry. Not a girly girl but easy to please with 10mm sockets or beer!
So, after about a month, up pops Andy’s profile: 6ft 8 ( I thought WOW) enjoyed rebuilding his landrovers, enjoys the outdoors …… Prefers a lady with curves (likes a fat arse!) I thought YES!!! Winner !! This could be the man for me ! So I dropped a few messages and after a few weeks we met up. He opened the door and before me stood this man mountain …… I thought to myself bloody hell Jos’ Jack pot! Do not cock this up – be cool…. and then …. he spoke……
I was expecting a really deep gravelly manly voice – he looked handsome he was such a man mountain…… what actually happened was, Andy squeaked a hello at me and I died laughing because I wasn’t expecting him to have such a high pitched voice – I immediately tried to curb my inner chimp but it was too late, and I think he appreciated my brutal honesty!
And thus our relationship began or so I thought!
We started to date and a few weeks before the big agricultural show ‘The Royal Welsh’ Andy dumped me saying I was a bunny boiler ….A BUNNY BOILER! How rude!
I thought to myself, w hat did I say to make him think that, so I scrolled through all of my drunk text’s to ensure I hadn’t dropped the ‘Love’Bomb… which I hadn’t, I had merely said, I miss you…. #Bam! Bunny Boiler material right there …………anyway, I had promised him and his family tickets to the Royal W elsh so I honoured that promise and gave him the tickets despite him dumping me for being a nut job!
In true young farmer tradition we attended the show and at the Royal Welsh I was on the 100 pint beer challenge and was doing rather well with my other competitors!
Andy arrived at the show and had the bloody nerve to disrupted my beer attempt on day 4 and made me meet his mum in the morning – bearing in mind It was Thursday – I was well oiled and had just brushed my teeth with a tin of cider. But I can assure you, I made a great impression ( I think) and his mum was lovely! During that day he then decided he did want me after all and we began our relationship – properly…. And we had a very happy year dating in Wales.
After about a year when I was offered an amazing opportunity to work as a Safety & Environmental Manager in Nottingham, so we moved to the Vale Of Belvoir to start chapter 2!
You’d usually find us both hunkered under a Range Rover in the garden and quite often accompanied by the horses tied to the side of the house at the weekends when they’d come and visit the house for a pamper session. We always enjoy each others company – him bossing me about trying to find a tool in his shed which was right next to his foot. Me, directing him when it comes to stacking hay in the summer – it’s a fine art and it has to be Juuuuust right !!
We’d been together for quite a few years and in 2015 we made the decision to book a holiday as we haven’t been away on holiday together before. So we booked a little villa in Gozo just off the Island of Malta in the October.
It was beautiful, the sun was shining and we were adopted by the local ‘little old ladies’ swimming group next to where they harvest sea salt – it was very charming and we felt like we made another new family! Seeing as neither of us had seen the Mediterranean before and me being the daughter of captain Pugwash [many years of canal boating under my belt] we decided to hire a small private boat so we could explore the island on our own.
As we got around to a secluded part of the island I was all ready to put my flippers on and dive in for a snorkel session when Andy looked all sweaty and nervous?! I thought, oh bugger he’s not sea sick is he! I really didn’t want to clean that mess up or swim near it! YUK!To my utter shock and surprise he took my hand and steady as a rock he got down on one knee and proposed.
Well, Bugger me! One and Only time I’ve been speechless, it was perfect, crystal blue water, beautiful fish swimming past, gorgeous sunshine, and my man making my dreams come true. That moment in time, will forever be the most perfect moment, a split second.
When you get to know myself and Andy you will appreciate that we have to remember these split seconds purely because they don’t last long before it all goes Pe-tong!
So, I got my beautiful engagement ring. I then dived into the water for a paddle and then I decide to climb back into the boat so Andy could have a paddle….. As it turns out the ladder wasn’t very long and I couldn’t get back into the boat. So as graceful as a dancing Hippo, Andy grabs my backside and flips me into the boat where, I somehow manage to cut my knee open and proceed to bleed over everything LOL
Yes – this was a perfect moment shortly followed by normal Morrissy/Shereston service!
So by now I hope from what you have read, you get the impression we’re not your A typical couple, or maybe we are but just a bit more honest about it? – we don’t take things too seriously and we certainly don’t like being in the limelight.
So our wedding…..crap yes, we forgot about that bit! Andy, in his mind had planned for a 10-20 maybe even a 30 year engagement! Me – I had 1 year in mind and a compromise of 3 – so we went with 3!!
Andy and I both hate being in photos, he looks awkward being 6ft 8 and I am a chunkie monkey and have never worn a dress in my life! Well getting married seemed like the right thing to do, !!! What were we thinking?
So, we started looking for photographers, EVERYONE wanted to sell us an engagement shoot as part of the package.
Yeah but we don’t want that really?
Its standard, we could take you both to a park, and you could hold hands under a big tree and kiss and they look lovely…
What?! We’ve never gone walking like that its very false, and anyway who’s looking at those photos? Could you maybe if we had to, take photos of us in our natural environment messing with Landrovers and the horses?
Oh Yes, we can take photos of you galloping down the beach hand in hand blah blah….
Forget it – this isn’t for us, we’re usually on our drive in bright orange overalls on with a few nags tied up somewhere drinking copious amounts of tea!
So we got quite frustrated, until we met the wonderful Sharon at Symply Photography who I might add does offer this service, however she offers so much more, i.e. if you don’t want it, you don’t have to have it!
It was a revelation for us and we immediately knew Sharon was going to understand our ridiculous needs and expectations.
So job 1, Done….
Next the dress…..
IM NOT WEARING A DRESS, IM WEARING A TROUSER SUIT!!!!
Is my standard stock answer to everyone – Never worn a dress in my life.
So I found a lovely shop that specialises for people like me, and I walked in to this shop and I am faced with dresses…. Everywhere……
….Hello, what’s your name, (me) …. I’m…. errr Jo
What’s your fiance’s name? (me)….. I can’t remember
I literally froze and panicked could remember the date of the wedding my name, Andy’s name .I was utterly useless ! Within about 15 mins of ice breaking I was in the dresses and feeling like a million dollars and I did find my perfect dress and it was very elegant.
The Venue – this was easy – we needed a nice venue that was not show-boaty, we wanted an intimate setting that felt classy and relaxed and had headroom and no low beams for Andy’s head! So we picked the Manners Arms Knipton – it is a beautiful venue and the team who work there are first class!
Now, I love tea – anyone who knows me will tell you a few things,
1) Im easy going and laid back
2) I love my Horses and Cats more than people
3) I drink Tea like I breath air!
So Andy suggested a tea theme for the wedding – See…. This is why I love him! So I quickly got some plans in place and I emailed Yorkshire Tea – and sure enough they provided me a bulk load of tea bags and I had another company make some bespoke messages for the packaging !
So Fast Forward July 2018!
So the wedding day… due to being practical I reluctantly left my horses out of the big day and I’m glad I did…it would have been a logistical nightmare …. The day was amazing as you can all imagine….The Manners Arms Knipton looked beautiful in the sunshine, birds were tweeting….and on the hottest day of the year, we were in a conservatory with no aircon sweating our…. You get the idea …..well, on the next drama because there is never just one!
Andy and I were so nervous and it was so hot – we couldn’t concentrate on our lines, despite the registrar reading slowly none of us could get our lines right – Andy fluffed his lines first though so that was brilliant – which was beautifully captured by Sharon frame by frame as we lost the plot – I then joined in and uttered the phrase soddomly and holy – so we did have to start over a few times- but Andy and I won as we did finally break the registrar and she gave in and married us… Thank goodness as I was feeling faint as so was our best man – he looked like he was going to keel over!
Hurray…. So we had a great party, speeches were amazing and the day was awesome…..
So a few weeks later we had arranged our rock the frock shoot… shamefully this was the photo shoot I was looking forward to the most. Having all three of my special boys and my toys around me!
We had an idea to have our photos doing what we do best…causing chaos with our range rovers and horses…. I’m sure Sharon though horses + bride = galloping down the field….. the reality was somewhat different!!
We were on our little estate tucked away in a village in the least likely scenario you expect to find horses!
Knowing we wanted some fun shots – and now knowing a thing or two about how to frame a picture – Andy did some minor tree surgery on the day and we cut a few branches off a tree to disguise the dog poo bin that would of been right in the centre of all the photos!!!!
So we start our shoot – now one of my horses is a natural poser and LOVES the camera – which happens to be Andy’s horse – My old horse has a snaggle tooth and love nothing more than snarling at the camera. But he did put on a good show and he tried his hardest to play ball and we got some beautiful shots of us all! These wont interest any of our family members but these mean everything to us!
So that brings us now to the present day – we’ve been married a new months now – our albums are beautiful the dress is still covered in horse snot grass stains and pimms – Andy is now happily growing his face fuzz again and all the animals are fit and well!
Our next life adventure will most likely involve a 10mm socket a welder a cuppa tea and lots of laughs kisses and cuddles and maybe a trip to A&E knowing us!!
Hope you have enjoyed our story, there is far more we could go into but those stories are better told in a pub around a nice log fire -here are a few of our favourite photos from our wedding day”