A Beautifully Cozy Middle Temple Christmas Wedding With Gemma & Sarah

When Gemma and Sarah reached out to me about photographing their Christmas wedding at Middle Temple, I was over the moon! I hadn’t photographed a Middle Temple wedding before but a quick look online got me really excited. The venue covered in wooden panelling with beautiful and packed full of history.

The wedding day itself was amazing and they certainly embraced the Christmas spirit! From Christmas trees and festive decorations to carol singers and the classic mince pies and mulled wine – they had it all!

Gemma and Sarah are two of the most generous and selfless people I’ve ever met. Not to mention a hoot and a blast to be around. They both work for the NHS making them some of the many heroes we should be especially grateful for this year (2020). Even in the week leading up to their wedding, Gemma (who was technically on holiday at the time) went into work to help a patient in need.

I have to give a shout out to Gemma’s mum for creating the most Christmasy home I’ve ever seen. From floor to ceiling every room was filled with statues, giant gift boxes, lights colours and all matter of festive decorations.

Speaking of mums, a big shout out to Sarah’s mum who is the one who found me and recommended me to Gemma and Sarah. Thank you Patricia! Without you I would never have photographed this amazing celebration.

And a final thanks to Gemma and Sarah for, not only trusting me with their wedding photos, but also giving me one of the best compliments I’ve ever received.

“Matt is like a warming cup of cocoa in wedding photographer form. Comforting, stress relieving, but always delivers.”

Gemma & Sarah

I’ll now hand over the mic to Gemma and Sarah as I’m sure you’ll find it more interesting hearing from them.

What made you choose your Middle Temple as your Wedding Venue?

Gemma’s parents are both barristers at Middle Temple, and Gemma’s father and Grandfather are both Benchers at Middle Temple. Sarah’s Dad was a policeman and his first ever beat was Middle Temple. He had the night shift patrolling the cobbled streets under the flickering gas lights. This made Middle Temple an obvious choice for the family links but the hall itself also felt the perfect location for the warm, winter wedding that we had wanted.

Plus, it was important for us to choose a location that was convenient for as many people as possible, and you can’t get much better for transport links that central London!

What was your favourite part of your Middle Temple Middle Winter Wedding?

It was 5pm and a really crisp, wintry evening. We were stood alone together outside the church doors waiting to enter for the carol service. We had got married in a civil ceremony an hour before and it was our first bit of alone time together. The stars were winking overhead. It was a special, private moment together.

We had chosen to walk in during ‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel’. We heard the first, haunting chorus begin, and then we were ushered in, emerging into the church from behind a giant Christmas tree. Walking through the church together was magical: seeing all our favourite people in the pews; the light sparkling from the candles, and the ethereal music radiating around us.

What made you choose your details, decor/styling and outfits/accessories?

We both love Christmas and knew we wanted a full-on, Christmassy wedding (think all your favourite 90s Christmas films translated into a wedding). Christmas also makes it easier for décor as the venues typically already have their own decorations that are already up, so you get more bang for your buck. We loved working with Mary-Jane Vaughn for the flowers, and felt that the fruit gave a richness to the atmosphere and created a sense of feast-like abundance to the room. The candles low light kept the atmosphere intimate.

Do you have any comments about having Matt as your wedding photographer?

We really enjoyed working with Matt. We knew we wanted a documentary style photographer rather than someone more stylised and his portfolio epitomised that perfectly. Gemma and I both have busy work lives and wanted to minimise wedding admin as much as possible. Matt was a dream to work with in this regard. His demeanour is so easy-going that you feel you are talking to a friend, but this makes discussions more productive.

His easy rapport meant that he got to know us quickly, and was then able to focus on exactly what we wanted. He was the perfect balance of impeccably professional (emails answered rapidly; no details forgotten; seamless service) whilst being extremely easy-going.

Some wedding vendors can need a lot of input, but Matt was effortlessly undemanding and efficient. We would both highly recommend him to anyone who wants to work with a calm individual and receive photos focused on capturing the event, minimal time spent posing, and true-to-life images.

If you could impart any words of wisdom to a couple planning their wedding day, what would they be?

We would advise anyone getting married to block-out as much time around the wedding as your work commitments will allow. Weddings are stressful! It’s a lot of admin which can be very frustrating. Having time clear before the wedding reduces time pressure adding to your stress and allows you to approach the wedding in the best possible frame of mind.

The actual wedding day also goes so fast so extra time allows you to extend and savour the good bits. For example, on the wedding day you will have all your favourite people in one room, but not nearly enough time to talk to them! We used our time off around the wedding for airport runs, and little meals/get-togethers with guests who had come from afar so we felt like we actually got to enjoy their company.

Finally, absolutely go away somewhere, anywhere, after the wedding! We now tell people that this should be seriously protected part of their wedding budget. To return to our first point, weddings are stressful! Make sure you carve out time as a couple to luxuriate in your newly wedded bless. It can be tempting to keep adding more and more to the wedding day at the expense of the honeymoon, but no-one will remember the colour coordinated napkins and you will always remember your honeymoon. Honeymoons are just as much fun as the wedding; make compromises elsewhere to keep the honeymoon fund strong!

Are you thinking of having your wedding celebrations at Middle Temple or another London location? Looking for a fun and relaxed style of wedding photography? Get in touch and let’s make it happen!