A Wedding to Remember

IMG_8685Last Sunday our darling daughter, Sophie, married Ashley at Hever Castle on a beautiful and memorable day. It was the first dry day in weeks and a weather writer in The Times newspaper commented that: ‘After days of showers, Sunday brought a gloriously dry and sunny day over much of the country’. It had been touch and go all week as to whether it would be dry but the prayers of many were answered and the sun really did shine on our parade.

I was a very proud man walking my daughter, who looked absolutely stunning, up the red carpet to the outdoor ceremony on the loggia in the Italian Gardens, overlooking the lake at Hever Castle. Hever looked its absolute best.


After signing the Register

There was a very special vibe throughout the whole celebration, generated by the large number of Sophie and Ashley’s friends who were present. Some of those friendships extended as far back as Nursery School and the entire occasion was buoyed up by the warmth they accorded to every aspect of the day, including the Father of the Bride’s speech.

Celebrations continued long into the night.


I’m going  to end this Post with three short paragraphs from my speech because I think they sum up the three primary strands of what I said:

Firstly, reminiscing about the past: “It’s the memory of things we’ve done together that I cherish the most. When you find that both your children share, without pressure, the same pleasures and interests as you do, then that is one of the great joys of parenthood.”

Both our children have become keen photographers and when they were teenagers both of them spent time in our home darkroom with me, learning how to produce black and white prints, and sharing the magic of watching an image appear in the developing tray.

And both also share their parents’ love of Switzerland. Together we have walked hundreds of miles together and marveled at the views, we’ve mountain biked, and we’ve climbed some of the major Swiss Peaks (with me as guide). Those are special memories.

Secondly, a confident statement about their relationship: “A successful marriage is not about finding someone you can live with but finding that one person who you can’t live without and I am confident that you have known each long enough to know unequivocally that you have each found that special one.”

And finally, our hopes for their future: “Enjoy life – you only get one shot at it. Don’t grow old with regrets and a bucket full of unfulfilled wishes. Be bold, but temper boldness with common sense.”

And there was a final quotation (very slightly amended) from Hunter Thompson, a well-known American journalist and writer: “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a cloud of smoke, glass of bubbly in hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and shouting: Wow! What a Ride!”

We wish them well, we have so many very happy memories and I am sure there will be many more to come.

Some of my other images have already been published on Instagram where you will find me as ‘andyhooker’. I wish I had had more opportunities to take my own images, but I was already trying to be in three places at once and the fourth dimension was one dimension too far. There was a professional photographer on hand throughout (he had a very long day) and I am looking forward to seeing his record of this wonderful day.

[Please read the copyright notice in the Rt sidebar – and with deference to the Professional Photographer you may not print any of the images in this Post for commercial use].

To view the gallery below, click on the first image and then navigate through using the arrow keys.


About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'.
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15 Responses to A Wedding to Remember

  1. Chillbrook says:

    Andy I’m so glad the day was an absolute success. As I said to you, I was studying the satellite imagery on the day, hoping for fine weather and it looked like it might just happen. I’m so glad it did. I really enjoyed the clips from your speech and the last quote I think was just perfect. Your daughter looks beautiful and clearly very happy which is lovely to see. Truly and fabulous day for you all to cherish and remember always! 🙂


    • LensScaper says:

      Thank you so much Adrian. The weather had us worried right up until the night before the wedding and then finally it looked as if the bad weather would stay south of us – and it did. I can’t remember where I found that final quote originally, but it’s been in my collection of quotations for several years just waiting for a suitable occasions!


  2. Super photos Andy, and many happy memories I’m sure.


  3. John says:

    What a happy day for all.

    And nice photos: good looking people and good looking location.

    I like that last photo with the tapestry guy (almost) pointing at the cake… too bad the photo was not framed a bit camera right.


    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks John. Everything looked good in the sunshine, we’ve waited over too long for a decent day of summer weather and finally it arrived when it was required. If I could have done, I would have moved the table (plus cake) a few feet to the left to get the pointing finger lined up, but there are some things you just can’t interrupt or amend!


  4. shoreacres says:

    Of course I was hoping there would be photos, and the collection is completely delightful. I kept scrolling through the images, trying to identify a quality that seemed apparent everywhere, but that I couldn’t put a name to. Finally, I did: impishness! I would bet that your daughter shares your sense of humor, and that both you and your lovely wife have nurtured that quality. Despite the surroundings, and all the hoopla attendant on any wedding, everyone seems perfectly self-possessed and natural. That alone would make a perfect day.

    I really like the photo of the group around the fountain, and the one showing the empty room where the ceremony would take place. And of course I have to note how beautiful her dress is — just lovely.


    • LensScaper says:

      Lovely to hear from you about this special day, Linda. Weddings can be such stressful days but we were spared much of that because Sophie and Ashley organised the day themselves down to the tiniest detail. It felt a very natural, relaxed day because the vibe was so good. We knew very few of their friends but they were all so welcoming that we felt that we were among friends. And they were so generous in their appreciation of my contribution with a great sense of humour. As a family unit we all get on so well with each other and shared interests add so much to life. For instance this coming week Richard (son) and I are off to hear Don McCullin (world famous war photographer) speak in central London.
      And Yes – Sophie looked stunning in that dress.


  5. ShimonZ says:



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  7. seekraz says:

    Yes, congratulations, Andy…and what a sweet day for such a beautiful event!


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