John and Amber...

Every now and then the opportunity comes along to shoot a close friend or a family member's wedding.

I always find it a little bittersweet when this happens, cause as enjoyable as getting to photograph any big day is, it’s just as enjoyable to be rubbing shoulders with the bride and groom as a guest, rather than having to take myself away from the action to snap a few pictures.

There was, however, nothing bittersweet about John and Amber's wedding, that I was lucky enough to be attending as a guest and as a photographer.

John and Amber are amongst the couples who’ve had their plans tipped upside down by covid, and I think prior to their marriage on the 17th of November, they’ve had to rearrange their plans at least 3 times.

Anyway… storytime.

Amber, is genuinely one of my bestest friends in the whole world. Whether it’s throwing insults at each other, drinking far too much on a night out, or sharing a silly amount of incredibly dark jokes and pictures over WhatsApp, it’s safe to say we get on like a house on fire.

She’s been there for me during some incredibly tough periods in my life, knows some of my darkest secrets, and has always been one of those friends that you know you can depend on when things go wrong, and for that, I’m incredibly grateful.

I met amber many moons ago when I was working as a robot in a call centre that dealt with PPI claims (Yes, I was that idiot calling you at 6 pm on an evening just as you were halfway through your dinner). I absolutely HATED that job with a passion, as it was just an onslaught of rejection and insults being screamed down the phone at you, not just on a daily basis, but on an hourly basis. It was hell. Amongst all of that though, I’ve genuinely made some of my closest and lifelong mates at that job, and Amber is one of those people.

Through that friendship, I’ve also had the pleasure of getting to know her now-husband John, who I’m lucky enough to count as one of my best friends too.

I’ve got a hell of a lot in common with John, we both dabble in a bit of laser engraving, both like to be Uber organised, and he’s nothing short of a lovely bloke who’s I’ve been lucky enough to share some real laughs with.

He’s also well into his pyrotechnics, and regularly attends competitions where he’s responsible for letting of an ungodly amount of fireworks. I mean who doesn’t want a mate whose hobby is blowing stuff up?! I’ve got the opportunity to go and help him out with some displays soon, and you can bet your life on the fact I’ll be going!

Myself and Rachel try to make a habit of seeing John and Amber as much as possible, which usually involves a takeaway, copious amounts of alcohol, and cards against humanity!

They’re both just the loveliest people, and I couldn’t wait for their wedding day to arrive so I could capture their day in all its glory.

I’m sure John won’t mind me mentioning, but he had planned the day out with military precision. I’m not exaggerating, he’d make an awesome wedding planner, as he’d thought of everything, and had accounted for every single minute of the day and where everyone would be at exactly what time. But, all jokes aside, he made a Stirling job and had Sean his best man well and truly earning his keep.

And then onto Amber.

Anyone who spends any amount of time around her will know, she’s completely selfless and puts everyone else before herself. Even the day before the wedding, she was texting me to make sure I was ok, even though she was probably stressed out beyond belief. Regardless of it actually being her wedding day, she was still busy making sure everyone else was ready even though she wasn’t anywhere near prepared herself!

In all seriousness though, they both looked incredible, and when it finally came to saying the “I do’s”, I absolutely, definitely didn’t have a lump in my throat.

After that, we all made our way outside, to a very cold, but nevertheless very sunny Wednesday afternoon to grab those all-important group shots.

Then it was time for a couple of quick shots of the newlyweds on their own, which is always an incredible moment to catch, as generally, it’s the first time the couple has anything like 5 minutes away from the wedding party since saying their vows.

I’m sure Amber must have been freezing, so it was a good job we finally got out of the cold and inside, as their incredible wedding breakfast was ready and waiting to be served.

I’ll tell you now the food was just sublime and was followed up by some equally perfect speeches from Ambers dad, John, and Sean the best man. They all nailed their speeches and any evidence of nerves was well and truly buried as they all lit up the room.

They say that time flies when you’re having fun, and the evening reception, massively crept up on me, as the cake cutting and first dance were swiftly dealt with. Before I knew it, it was time for me to down tools, change out of my photography gear, and relax into my role a little more as a guest.

I’m not going to lie, waking up the next morning was… painful to say the least. I’d definitely paid the price for putting away a decent amount of beer and champagne, and the morning's hotel breakfast was a welcome cure for a very sore head.

Waking up though, was particularly exciting as myself and Rachel were due to welcome a very furry new family member! (More on that next week though!)

On a personal level though, I want to use this blog to post a little thank you to both Amber and John.

Amber - You’ve been there for me through thick and thin, and I’m blessed to count you as one of my best friends. Thank you for always making time to text me back, listening to my nonstop ramblings, and forcing me to actually take notice of my watch's activity rings. Despite your white wedding dress, I’ll still always think you should have worn black… (Rawr), but regardless, you’re still cool, cool, cool, cool, and I’ll never tire of winding you up.

John - I applaud anyone who can put up with Amber, so top marks pal! Jokes aside, you’re an awesome mate, with some ungodly talent when it comes to anything explosive, Minecraft and spreadsheets! You’re also far better at cards against humanity than I am, and I’m anxiously waiting for the next invite to arrive so I can come and blow some stuff up with you!

And now as I’ve rambled on quite enough, it’s time for me to wrap this one up for this week.

Next week's blog is gonna be a sudden too, so tune in for that one, as I’ll be formally introducing the newest member of the clan, who comes with her own little heartbreaking story.

Peace, Love, and Photos.

Jono x

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