Vintage Styled Winchester College WeddingJackie & Ed

Jackie & Ed

This blog post is a very different from all the others I’ve posted before. It’s a wedding, like most of the other posts I’ve written; it’s about a couple, a wonderful couple, very much in love, and a couple who had a wonderful wedding day. But this story ends differently as Jackie and Ed had only been married just 10 weeks when tragedy struck and Ed died very suddenly from a heart attack at the age of 36. I was deeply shocked and saddened to hear of Ed’s untimely death and with my usual introspection, revisited many moments in my mind from the wedding day and the times I’d met them both, looking through their wedding photos I suppose for clues as to why and how such a terrible thing should happen.

Jackie & Ed’s was very special love and so despite what had happened, I’d wanted to write about their wedding in the same way I would write about all my other couples weddings – the strength of their love was so apparent, so tangible that it had stopped me in my tracks several times that day. I could feel how much they loved each other by just watching them, seeing the way they were with each other and so I wanted to show some of their wedding images as a dedication in memory of Ed. Lovely Ed – this one’s for you x

A special Winchester College Wedding

I shot Jackie & Ed’s Winchester College Wedding last August on a gloriously sunny day in beautiful Winchester. I first met Jackie & Ed in January 2015 during a break whilst I was at a busy London photography conference. We chatted over coffee and they told me all about their wedding plans and Jackie had been through my work in such detail, reciting a long list list of things she loved which I was really thrilled about. An absolutely lovely couple and ideal clients – ones that really valued photography….. Later that spring, we met up again in Winchester as I was keen to take a walk around the college and see the chapel where their ceremony would be. Ed told me about the amazing coincidence that his school biology teacher was now the college chaplain and would be conducting their wedding service – they’d kept in touch over the years and Ed was really delighted about that. Having attended Winchester college, Ed knew so many things about the place and gave a fascinating running history as we walked, pointing out personal things like the places they had their school photos taken or funny little anecdotes of his school days. Memories.

The big day is finally here!

And so the wedding plans fell into place and their big day had arrived. As usual I started the day covering bridal preparations with Jackie who was with her bridesmaids and parents whilst Ed was with his brother, getting ready in a nearby hotel. I was delighted to have Adam de St Croix, a talented photographer work alongside me that day and he was with Ed covering his preparations. I don’t always work with a second photographer but that day I was so glad I did! Once Jackie was ready looking so beautiful in her incredible vintage French lace bespoke wedding dress, she headed off with everyone to the College Chapel in an impressive vintage Rolls Royce and I was due to follow in a pre-ordered taxi as Winchester is notoriously difficult to find parking in, but it didn’t arrive!! Eeek! It was too far to walk!!! But moments later, I was thankfully rescued by Jackie’s friend and make-up artist who was running very late so after scrambling into a tiny space in the back of her car we sped off to the chapel. We arrived literally, minutes after the ceremony had started and I received happy winks from the couple, glad to see I’d made it! The service was wonderful – so many loving glances between them, and the sound of the chapel’s heavenly choir rang out with beautiful sung hymns. And soon the bells rang out to announce the newly weds. Guests spilled out into the courtyard congratulating the newly weds. There were lots of hugs and very happy tears. Then a small number of family photos and of course top of Ed’s list was a photo with his groomsmen on the stairs they used to have their school photos! Memories.

Wandering in the college gardens

We then wandered off to some of the lovely gardens beyond to take photos of just the two of them before heading back to the university for their wedding reception in a fabulous gallery space followed by dinner in the halls. When you shoot weddings, you get to hear a lot of wedding speeches. I mean a LOT! Of course they mean a lot to the couples and their families but some are more or less memorable… who doesn’t love a cracking best man or groom speech that has the room in stitches! Ed’s was emotional. Very emotional. He held it together for most of his speech but it was so clear to see how deeply he loved his beautiful new wife.

Jackie had described the entertainment for the evening which was a whole lot of dancing but with a twist – they’d brought along friends who were part of a dance troupe called the Ragroof Players who were dancing their way through the ages starting with the 1920’s. They danced. Then they demonstrated the dances of the particular era and all those willing participants got to dance with them too. It was FABULOUS!!! The troupe were simply incredible dancers and they dressed and danced 3 eras that night – 1920’s, 1950’s and 1970’s. What a way to go – hot sweaty guests dancing their socks off!! I’ve never seen so many happy faces. At one point, Jackie danced over to me, hugged me and kissed me on the cheek and then danced off towards her lovely husband. Pure joy. That’s the only way I can describe it. The night ended with a big party, the bright lights went down and the flashy disco lights went on and they carried on partying and celebrating into the night. Cue my exit and an end to a great wedding day.

Sometimes 2 peas are lucky enough to find their pod. And Jackie and Ed had found theirs. Thank you for being such wonderful and special people x

 

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  • Lyndsey said:

    How desperately sad, such a tragedy. Beautiful photos Mona and I'm sure they mean the world to Jackie, and to Ed's family and friends.

    • Mona Ali said:

      Thanks for your kind words Lyndsey.

  • Adams said:

    Beautiful wedding, great photos, very emotional but sad. I guess your photos mean a lot to Jackie and families...

    • Mona Ali said:

      Thanks Adam - yes they've given them a lot of comfort.

  • Wonderful images. I'm sure that these photos will mean a lot to a lot of people for a very long time.

    • Mona Ali said:

      Thanks Kevin, appreciate that.

  • How tragic....but glad that they got to share this clearly joyous day together with family and friends before he passed. Not knowing Ed I still feel I can get a sense of his awesome character from your photos which is testament to your skills as a photographer. I hope the photos can act as a great source of value and comfort for his family.

    • Mona Ali said:

      Thanks very kind of you to say, thanks Matt.