Ijay and Tolu’s wedding at the Dorchester Hotel in London was a stunning day in the heart of Park Lane, and a real treat for us to be able to shoot in the city that we call home. The Dorchester Hotel is one of the most iconic hotels in London, if not Europe, with an understated elegance which makes it the perfect setting for a wedding day.
The wedding ceremony itself took place close to the hotel, in an airy, bright nearby church with breath-taking stained-glass windows. The towering ceiling provided plenty of natural light, which is the opposite to most churches – which can be dark and a little dreary – whilst the gilt-edged altar provided a vibrant backdrop for our photographs. This was probably the most beautiful church we have ever shot wedding photographs in! The altar had huge bouquets of pastel flowers on either side, framing Ijay and Tolu as they exchanged vows. This was one of the longer ceremonies that we have photographed, and came with an unusual twist. All of the guests matched their outfits to the beautiful decorations in the church, which meant that the elegant theme of the wedding could be seen in everything from the floral arrangements to the guests themselves!
After the ceremony, the guests departed for the Dorchester Hotel in red London buses. Their colourful procession was followed by Ijay and Tolu in a classic snow-white Rolls Royce. Ijay and Tolu joined us for their first segment of couple’s portraits, which we were able to shoot at one of our favourite London locations – a picture-perfect street around the corner from the Berkeley Hotel. This square is the epitome of London opulence, with pristine townhouses curving around a quiet road.
Posing for portraits came very naturally to both Ijay and Tolu, who were so photogenic and completely at ease in front of the camera. We captured some beautiful photographs of the couple in front of the timeless wrought-iron railings. Ijay’s exquisite dress with its flowing train made a theatrical contrast against the grey London pavement, resulting in some striking portraits which were a pleasure to shoot.
We joined Ijay and Tolu’s guests in the ballroom at the Dorchester Hotel, where the décor had been inspired by a royal wedding we had photographed in Qatar some months before. A tall, flawlessly white wedding cake surrounded by roses took pride of place, whilst tables were festooned with colourful bouquets. Candelabras with crystal droplets provided subtle light, and warm candles were dotted between table settings. This was a very decadent wedding, but it never felt overdone. The décor was gorgeous, whilst remaining classic and tasteful. The fact that the guest’s outfits matched the lights and décor was a dream come true for wedding photographs!
The guests sat down to eat, and were treated to rousing speeches – especially from the groom, who had tears in his eyes as he spoke. Ijay and Tolu’s first dance was punctuated by a stream of confetti from the ceiling, which of course, matched the theme perfectly!
The bride then shared an emotional dance with her father, looked over by their loved ones, which was an incredibly touching moment. This was followed by traditional dances with other family members, before the party could begin!
We managed to sneak away with Ijay and Tolu one more time, to take some more couple portraits during the so-called blue hour – just before the sun went down. We went up to the roof of the Dorchester Hotel for these, with incredible vistas over the city. The rooftop was filled with flowers, ringed around an ornamental fountain – an oasis of tranquillity above the pulsating Park Lane.
Ijay and Tolu were a very kind, loving couple, and we so enjoyed working with them on their spectacular wedding day. It was an absolute pleasure for us to shoot wedding photography in such a stunning church, and with such photogenic subjects! Their beautiful wedding at the Dorchester Hotel in London is one which we will remember forever.