My assistant and I packed the car with our equipment nice and early and set off from my studio in Marbella heading for Granada and the Hotel Barceló La Bobadilla on this lovely fresh clear skied day. There are so many reasons I set off long before someone else might, from a simple puncture, breakdown, an attempt to lower the amount of speeding fines that come straight out of your bank here in Spain… I think I’m getting off of the subject here, OK needless to say, there are far too many reasons to mention why it is worth leaving early. After a long drive we reached Barceló La Bobadilla where the beautiful Kelli was preparing for her big day, but we decided to go straight past and on to the Private Villa in Iznajar where the ceremony was to be, OK you are probably wondering why, we were lost surely. No, the gap that I get to relocate from the final stages of preparation to capturing the Groom at the ceremony destination as he waits for his Bride who is now all ready is extremely short in most cases, it makes sense really as the Bride is not going to sit around with all her make-up and everything perfect. Anyway, I have to ensure that I am no less than 1 million percent ready to catch her as she approaches the ceremony with whoever will be giving her away, so if I’m not sure precisely (and I mean precisely) where that second location is then I am going to miss something at least. So we passed Kelli and we eventually found the villa hidden up on the side of a valley and up a ‘campo’ driveway, by that I mean woodland with no road a such, 4×4 country as you can literally only just get a regular car up it. It was a lovely quaint ‘finca’ type villa though, with lots of character so happy it was the right place we flew to the hotel that we had passed 10 minutes back down the road and I went up to Kellis’s room where she was very relaxed and I captured some images of her getting ready, the gorgeous dress hanging in the window and anything else of interest that I saw, including her declaration to Marcus that I mentioned at the top of this page. Now at the time of the wedding I of course did not know that these promises were to be locked away for 10 years and I very nearly uploaded images here of both their declarations, now that would have been awful I’m sure, but it does prove why I always keep my wits about me on everything outside of the photography even. Armed now with some lovely images and Kelli almost ready I ran downstairs to my assistant who had the engine running already to fly to the ceremony.
The day was getting warm already as Kelli arrived, driven up the extremely steep driveway in a Colin McRae rallycar fashion with dust filling the sky from the spinning wheels as the tyres tried to get traction on this loose and very dry dust that covered the tree roots. She looked absolutely gorgeous as she walked up the stairs with her Father, looking down to ensure her dress was not scuffing along the path but she was maybe looking down from being overwhelmed also by the amount of people staring at her. The blessing itself was conducted by a friend of theirs and was perfect in every way, such a mixture of laughs and tears at the same time and with some very emotional and personal vows to each other. Kelli smiled and passed Marcus a tissue at one point, happy to see she is marrying a real man that is not ashamed to show his feelings I presume. They each exchanged rings, causing more tears from the guests and their families as I think it was very safe to say that they were two separate but very close and loving families, coming together as one through the link of Kelli and Marcus.
Everybody headed up some stairs to the pool area to congratulate the happy couple and some champagne, cocktails and fine wines were served for all to enjoy. Marcus’s parents are extremely proud of their beautiful home so we were carefully trying to avoid upsetting any of the large amount of flowers and plantation that was often in between us and our desired photo subject, this was hard and the size of this venue was making it very difficult to shoot. I suggested to Kelli & Marcus that we capture some romantic portrait shots and I would have loved to go to the nearby lake but there wasn’t really enough time for that, we found a couple of nice backdrops and I am still happy with what we did get anyway. The patio area was now being set up with a long table, ready for a beautiful banquet of tasty food to be served, so people came down to sit as the sun had moved round fast and the table was already in the shade. We guessed that being in a valley that the sun was going to disappear over the hill very quick and we were right as there were just time for some touching speeches before the food came out and everyone started to get stuck in to this wonderful selection of food.
The music played from a sound system in the entrance porch of the house and people got up to dance and enjoy themselves. Unbeknown to any of us, Marcus had a remote control in his pocket and was jumping to songs he thought would be better, great idea as no music line up will be perfect for every environment, but it also meant he could choose when he and his beautiful bride would perform their first dance as a married couple.
A beautiful day, and well worth the speeding tickets, erm… I mean the long drive, let’s see what is in the box in 10 years time. I bet Kelli’s says “It’s been 10 years, so… When are you going to put that bloomin’ shelf up Marcus!”!
I really wish Kelli and Marcus the best of luck in America and all the happiness in the world, thank you for allowing me to tell your story in pictures..