The wedding that changed everything...


All weddings are special. But Joe and Holly's sun-drenched London micro-wedding just hit different. This wee wedding was monumental for me; it taught me to forget all my preconceived ideas of what wedding photography should be, and instead to document the day completely as it is.


Alternative wedding // DIY London wedding // urban wedding // weddings in pubs // documentary-style wedding photography // candid wedding photography

Sparkling rosé being poured into champagne flutes at a relaxed London micro-wedding in a London park | London Micro Wedding | Danielle Watt Film + Photo | Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, Europe + Destination Wedding Photographer
Guests gather for a relaxed, colourful micro-wedding in a London park | London Micro Wedding | Danielle Watt Film + Photo | Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, Europe + Destination Wedding Photographer

As soon as I read Jo and Holly's enquiry I knew this would be a good one. A relaxed, intimate ceremony in Southwark registry office, fizz and scampi fries in the park, dogs, games, a pub dinner at their local the Camberwell Arms, a bit of rioting (their words, not mine) and then the tube home. These were my people! We arranged a call to chat more about their day and it became pretty clear that my initial enthusiasm had been well placed. This was going to be fun.

Candid couple portraits at a relaxed, colourful, summer micro-wedding in Lucas Gardens, London | London Micro Wedding | Danielle Watt Film + Photo | Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, Europe + Destination Wedding Photographer
Candid couple portraits at a relaxed, colourful, summer micro-wedding in Lucas Gardens, London | London Micro Wedding | Danielle Watt Film + Photo | Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, Europe + Destination Wedding Photographer
Candid couple portraits at a relaxed, colourful, summer micro-wedding in Lucas Gardens, London | London Micro Wedding | Danielle Watt Film + Photo | Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, Europe + Destination Wedding Photographer

Okay okay, this all sounds great, but what was so monumental I hear you ask.


Well, it was a massive learning curve for me; and I don't mean in any technical sense. This couple taught me to forget all my preconceived ideas of what wedding photography should be, and instead to document it completely as it is. 

This was nearly three years ago. Before this point, I had been photographing weddings with certain "must-have" images in mind. I'd arrive at the venue already knowing where I'd want to place couples for their portraits and where the group photos would be. The detail shots, the dress shot, the rings, the kiss, the group photos, cake cutting, first dance... they were all on my list.


Of course, I know these moments are hugely important, and I'm not saying they shouldn't be captured on your day. I'll be the first to admit it, I love a creative flat lay for details, and I'd be a pretty shoddy wedding photographer if I didn't take a photo your first kiss! What I'm trying to get at here is that approaching the day as a to do list doesn't allow for a whole lot of creativity. In fact, it totally stifles it. By focussing so much on what I thought were "must have" images, I was overlooking what was really important for the couples who had booked me to document their day. The subtle interactions, those in between moments, the messy details and unplanned shenanigans.

Joe and Holly weren't bothered about tradition for tradition's sake. They didn't care about the perfect dress shot or instagram-worthy backdrops. And to be honest, neither do I. Every element of their day was completely and utterly true to them – fun, colourful, creative, full of life and a wee bit crazy (in the best way possible!) – so of course, the photos had to be too.

Confetti toss at a relaxed, colourful, summer micro-wedding in Lucas Gardens, London

What am I trying to say here? Perfection is unattainable. Not only that. It's boring! Let's be messy, candid, unposed, chaotic and real. Sure, that perfectly choreographed portrait of you both walking off into the sunset together will make for a beautiful image. There's no denying it. But I guarantee you it won't mean half as much to you as a truly spontaneous moment that maybe isn't quite so perfect.


So that's my takeaway from this day, and it's informed every wedding I've shot since. I no longer enter the day with so many expectations, and I always have my eye out for those fleeting moments and little details that tell the true story of your day, messy bits and all.


But don't just take my word for it, here's what Jo and Holly had to say...

"Danielle, What can we say about these photos? You have surpassed our wildest expectations and more. My gosh they capture the day so perfectly. They really feel like us, fun, alive and naughty ha! 

Your card also made us weep. We are so utterly overjoyed with your work & you were such a delightful addition on the day. Everyone loved you. Thank you thank you thank you!!!! 

It’s so great to see the little gaps in between moments. And the snippets of life we missed on the day. My sister rehearsing her speech is one that comes to mind. So many of these photos will be adorning our walls at home. Glorious!

What a wonderful job you did. It means the world to us. Thank you so much! And hopefully we have you for round two in May.*
J xxxxxxxx"

* They did in fact have me for round two in May, but I'll save that story for another blog!