So this wedding happened, and it really was a wonderfully eccentric English country wedding. On a hot bright summer’s day with disrupted trains and long tailbacks clogging the Suffolk motorways, this beautiful English wedding took as if on some quiet island of its own. Both the bride and groom were funny and engaging with the most amazingly expressive faces. George, for that matter, also has a brilliantly expressive voice. But that’s something I imagine you don’t have too much say over when your dad is Griff Rhys Jones. The sweet and hilarious faces Janessa made during the ceremony are also something to behold. This was the third wedding I’d shot for this particular group so they were starting to feel like friends, with familiar faces circling among the guests. As a result you start to pick up on group dynamics, personalities, bonds. You see who is catching up with whom and who saw each other last weekend.
The wedding took place at Griff’s country house, which, not to put to finer point on it, is pretty vast. The front garden stops at the church and the back garden includes a small alpaca farm where Griff took the children mid-afternoon after a spot of scrumping. There is an indoor swimming pool with a flume that leads directly down from George’s teenage bedroom. So that he could have quite literally rolled out of bed into the pool. However there was no sense of grandeur or egoism or status, I just mention it to provide a context for the backdrop to what was just a really fantastic wedding day. Janessa and George also had a young baby in a tiny little outfit with a tux print on it who seemed perfectly at ease with the day’s events.
The usual things happened, people got ready then got married, then drank and danced, let off fireworks. And, as I say, alpacas were fed with crushed mouldy apples and superstar literary agents were cajoled into the ball-pit of the soft play area. The usual. There was also a live karaoke set and then Janessa and George, who have a gentle geeky charm, suddenly got up and absolutely smashed it, and an enormous Scotsman in regulation kilt got up and did an all-out Rocky Horror Picture Show number that no one wanted to follow. The dancing went on until late, after which everyone, including myself, stumbled off to their tents that were dotted higglepiggledy around the ‘back garden.’ The temperature dropped sharply. One of the guests told me how cold it had been the previous night. His advice to get through it. “Drink A LOT of whisky.”