Chinese Wedding Photography in London.
A Chinese wedding in London’s Mayfair was a new venture for me, but Sophie and Edward had thought long and hard about choosing reportage or documentary photography for their wedding photography.
I think it would be fair to say that Sophie had planned a long day, but I was so impressed with her attention to detail I knew that I wouldn’t have to add anything in terms of advice. Sophie had it covered in detail.
Sophie started her bridal preparation at 6am. Initially I had thought that a bit early, but keen to learn and understand as much of the tradition as possible, 6 it was.
One of the key features of an where it significantly differed from a western style wedding, was the Edward the groom and his ushers, arriving at Sophie’s to be “tested” by the bridesmaids. I started to feel a bit sorry for the guys as they were made to dress up in ladies underwear, sing, perform press-ups and finally make monetary offerings in order to be completely vetted and found worthy by the bridesmaids. It does mean however that that Chinese wedding photography can differ greatly from the norm.
Next was the first of two teas ceremonies and it was a hugely moving and heartfelt time. Dads shed tears and the sentiments were palpable within the room.
The whole party, bride and groom then moved off to Edwards’s family home for the next tea ceremony. Gifts in lucky red envelopes where as plentiful and the love and emotion there also.
The civil wedding ceremony was held in the elegant Chesterfield Hotel, just off Berkley Square Hugely helpful staff who provided plenty of space and facilities for Sophie to change into her second dress of the day.
The evening reception for about 300 guests took place in the gentrified Millwall Dock on a floating restaurant. Family and friends went in and out all night making for a very vibrant atmosphere. Numerous traditions were explained to me as we all enjoyed the Lion Dance. I learned new meaning and respect for lettuce and oranges that day!
I’ve been asked on a number of occasions how can I possibly capture the significance of traditions and cultures I’m not familiar with. The answer’s simple and always the same. I photograph people, and I work really hard one every moment, so no matter it’s significance, I’ll always cover whatever the couple are involved in detail. So thats way, there may be something that hasn’t been explained to me but it’ll always be captured. I’ma people photographer, it just so happened that on this day I was engaged in Chinese wedding photography.
Speeches and drinks ensued.
I have to say bravo for the family for lasting so many brandy toasts as each table was visited and separate toasts received at each.
The night finished with traditional Chinese lanterns launched into the night sky over Canary Wharf. I’d been on the go for about 16 hours but its had felt like 16 minutes.
It was my first Chinese wedding in London and I sincerely hope there are more to come.
If you’re getting married in London and like my take on reportage and documentary photography, contact me today, I’d love to hear about your wedding plans.