Seychelles wedding – Garth & Rachel and a tropical beach

Yes I photographed a tropical Seychelles wedding. I know, how did this happen?! And it was everything I could have ever dreamed of too…

When I first decided to become a photographer, which was to be honest, on a bit of a whim (I’ll bore you with the details another time), I thought I would do well to make a living from photographing pregnant yummy mummies in Leeds. As it turns out there isn’t much demand for maternity photography in Yorkshire so that early goal didn’t really materialise. The thought that I would one day be travelling all over the world to capture incredible destination weddings, especially a Seychelles wedding, would have frankly made me laugh.

But I have arrived at that place. These places. And this wedding, Rachel and Garth’s wedding on Mahé Island in the Seychelles, is the epitome of more than I could have ever hoped for in my professional career. What sort of a crazy brilliant job is this! I’m so grateful.

How a Seychelles wedding happens…

This job came about because I’d photographed Garth’s sister Cally’s wedding to Raphael last year in France. I met up with Cally and Raph a few weeks after their wedding for a family shoot with their little girl and they told me about Garth and Rachel’s plans to get married in the Seychelles. I tell you, my ears pricked right up! They booked me and I made a week of it (no point going all that way just to come straight back again, I thought) along with my husband Karl and one of my children, Maisie.

The day started at the Savoy Resort in Beau Vallon where Garth and Rachael were staying. The wedding venue itself, Cap Lazare nature reserve, was a closely guarded secret – so secret in fact that the coach driver appointed to take the guests there couldn’t find it. It’s a tiny island, you’d think the locals would know every inch but apparently not! So the ceremony had to be put back an hour. Anyway, it didn’t matter at all and the bride and groom were so happy and relaxed and it was all worth the wait.

There was a breeze that day, a welcome relief from the heat and it made hats and veils more interesting too. I loved the simple tropical decoration and the informal delicious creole meal and just the whole lovely vibe of the celebration. There was no sign of the colony of giant tortoises which resides at the nature reserve. Maybe they’re not really party animals. But later in the week Karl, Maisie and I booked ourselves on an island hopping boat trip which coincidentally turned out also to include Rachel and Garth and most of the wedding guests (who, as ever, treated us as friends) and we saw lots of beautiful giant tortoises then.

This family is so lovely. Rachel is from Ireland and Garth is Australian. Cally (being Garth’s sister) is Australian too and her husband Raphael is French. So guests and family came from all over the world and were very united in love and friendship. Maisie was my second shooter and she did a fantastic job and I’ll definitely be using her skills again – we are available for more tropical destination weddings anywhere! Garth and Rachel were so kind and treated all three of us as guests and the whole experience was truly magical.

So, here we are, an actual Seychelles wedding that I photographed. Like a dream come true, for Rachel and Garth and for me…

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Garth Williamson - Great piece Susie. We’re so happy we were able to have you join us for an amazing experience. We felt that Karl, Maisie and you were our guests and are now part of our extended group of friends. We love your work and how you captured our culmination of planning and excitement. Your pics are amazing and we continue to re-live our wedding and time spent with loved ones through them. They capture our adventure, the feels and togetherness perfectly. Thank you again!

Susie Lawrence - Thank you so much for the lovely comment Garth. You and Rachel (and Cally and Raph and everyone!) are our friends for ever now, you won’t get rid of us and I’ll be tagging along on your further adventures given the merest hint of a chance xx

Seychelles sunset beach pre-wedding – Rachel and Garth

Paradise. Nothing less than paradise. Sunset Beach on Mahe Island in the Seychelles at well, sunset, of course. The evening before Rachel and Garth’s tropical wedding (more of which to come next). We went looking for a good spot and really every spot along the shores of Mahe is a good spot but I think we struck gold for this golden hour. There were palm trees and white sand lapped by the warm turquoise water, there were granite rocks and a stream cutting across the beach to the sea, there were islands in the distance as the sun set beyond them. And then of course there was that magic ingredient, the love between these two lovely people. It all sounds like a cliché but it was real. I felt like the luckiest photographer ever when I did this shoot. It set the tone for the next day’s celebration.

Perfect couple, perfect place.

 

 

 

 

Mikell Nielsen - So dreamy and romantic…stunning work Susie.

Yorkshire teepee wedding – Wharfedale Grange

The sumptuous Hotel du Vin in Harrogate was the location for Becky and Phil’s wedding ceremony. Then a double-decker bus whisked them and the guests (and me) to a surprise location for the reception, which turned out to be a teepee at the lovely Wharfedale Grange. I think a few guests thought we were going to Harewood House but for me, ‘a field with a tent’ was much more fun! This wedding had a bit of everything a photographer could dream of – the most amazing bridal suite for the preparations, a great room and courtyard for the formal bits and drinks, the bus! and then the rural wild-flower strewn grounds of Wharfedale Grange with a cosy camp-fire lit teepee to eat and dance the night away in. It’s the first time I’ve photographed a hog-cutting rather than a cake-cutting! Phil is South African and I’m hoping they’ll need me at the next stage of the celebrations which will be in South Africa as I rather fancy a safari to top it all off… Still a Yorkshire teepee and sunflowers did leave me quite content and the day started well with a Madonna singalong…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charente wedding – Annie and Adam

Annie and Adam were childhood sweethearts. They got married in the undulating Charente countryside, surrounded by sunflower fields and vineyards. Their two little boys and the gorgeous array of pageboys and bridesmaids were all kitted out in the cutest outfits and they provided a stream of entertaining and lovely moments to photograph. Annie doesn’t know  how beautiful she is. Adam knows…

 

 

 

Wedding at Le Chateau des Ducs de Joyeuse, France

Libby and Rob had a magnificent French chateau wedding at what would be ‘The Castle of the Joyful Dukes’  had it been in the UK. I love that. But ‘Le Chateau des Ducs de Joyeuse‘ was the venue and it was very French in flavour and very lovely indeed.

Libby and Rob’s baby boy was as dapper as his daddy. There were turrets and courtyards and lavender and lots of love and laughter. A real fairytale wedding in France.

The food, which I was lucky enough to sample, was among the best I’ve tasted at any wedding and having now photographed a lot of weddings in France with some incredible catering, that’s saying something.

Bon appetite enjoying this feast of photos…