A long time coming, the Weller Wedding at The Crowne Plaza Hotel Felbridge, here we go…
Neil & Leanne came to me back in 2018 regarding their original wedding date for 2020. The pandemic hit and everything went out the window so to speak. Poor things put their wedding off twice and thrid time lucky it went without a hitch!
‘Nelly’ as many know Neil, is a long time family friend of mine. As children we grew up across the road from each other. We’d play in the street and help each other when we needed it. Like a family member.
Neil is a fantastic lad, a gentleman with his heart on his sleeve. He’d do anything for you, and Leanne struck gold with him. They now have 2 fantastic children and you can sense the family love straight away.
As soon as Neil was brave enough to ask Leanne to marry him I always hoped he’d ask me to photograph his wedding. Sure enough, he did and I must say what an honour it was.
The day started with Leanne’s preperation photography. On arrival to the Felbridge Hotel, now known as the Crowne Plaza, it was a bright sunny fresh Spring day. Perfect.
Leanne was calm, but excited. The girls were getting all dolled up. I snapped away, capturing the make up and hair. Flowers arrived, the dress was hung, jewellery polished and shoes were at the ready. All photographed.
Nelly’s daughter below, quickly inspecting the cake lol
Then the call came from Neil, he was on his way! Now people who know him, know that he’s got his own style. Steaming down the road you could hear him before you saw him. Neil has a thing for tractors. Not modern ones, but retro vintage ones. He’s two that he’s restoring at the moment, but today’s pride and joy was called Harold. Harold is a fast little tractor, strong and rustic looking.
Steve the best man and Neil made their way to the courtyard and had drinks and photos. A time to relax but a time also to reflect on what was to come. Neil grew nervous as all Groomsman do. A quick beer to settle the nerves and welcome to the guests as they arrived.
So back up the Leanne who was just about to stepp into the dress. Mum and the bridesmaids helped her in. She looked like a princess. A beautiful long white dress with train and veil.
It was time. I made my way to the guests, snapping frantically. It’s pretty low lighting in the bar areas, so there wasn’t much to do. I entered the marriage room and Neil stood along with Steve and waited patiently for the bride.
Leanne and her father walked down the isle after the bridesmaids to meet the groom. Emotions nearly got the better of the both but they kept their composure. The ceremony was smooth and simple. They knew what they wanted to say and must have rehearsed it many times.
The signing of the ceremony we decided to swing the couple round to see all their guests in the background.
Once back down the isle, followed a drinks reception. The guests spilled out into the courtyard sunshine. What a fab day to have a wedding!
Fluffy white clouds drifted by whilst the guest chatted and laughed about old times. Kids running around playing and climbing Harold.
A few group shots followed along with some beautful couple shots of the newley wed.
After a short while the room was laid ready for the 80 or so guests for food and speeches.
Another Tractor bonnet was decorated and specially painted for the seating plan. Nice touch Neil!
The cake was sitting in the corner, I didn’t count how many tiers, but you can see it’s a whopper.
A few speeches and laughs were had, I can’t repeat some of them, but they were so funny. Steve pulled some corkers out the bag about Neil when he was younger, and even more recent funny events and things he said in the style only he could!
Coffee and cake were served.
Evening guests arrived and the nightime celebrations were under way. With a fantastic photo mirror set for the guests to enjoy and some HUGE illuminated letters that spelt Mr & Mrs Weller dressed the room where the dance floor and dj set was.
The Crowne Plaza has a fantastic way that the walls that divide the massive ballroom in two can be retracted and hidden. Thus opening up the wedding breakfast into the dance floor. Allowing the guests to relax and watch the celebrations being had, to watch some dad dancing and the girls doing the Macarena.
Next was cutting of the cake and then straight into first dance.
They both enjoy a little Country music which went well with a first dance, and then a father and daughter dance for Leanne with her dad. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room!
To sign off, I’d like to thank everyone at the wedding, it was my absolute pleasure. Not only was it great to see some friendly faces and talkk about old times, but also to see a life long friend tie the knot to his beautiful bride.
I wish you both the best in married life and I’ll be seeing you all soon!
Congratulations to the new Mr & Mrs Weller x