DIY Derby Wedding

bride and groom walk through darley park

A DIY and Handmade Wedding in Derby

Sara and Pete asked me to photograph their DIY Derby Wedding after loving the photos I took at Lisa and Torsten’s wedding earlier on in the year. Sara and Pete had planned a ceremony at the council house in Derby, followed by them rowing up the river in a canoe to Derby Rowing Club which would host a picnic-style lunch and the wedding reception.

I met Pete (and his beloved flat cap) outside Derby council house, where he was excitedly greeting their guests. It was chilly for a July morning, so the guests quickly gathered in the lobby of the council house, were they chatted, caught up with family and fixed button holes until it was time to take their seats upstairs.

Sara arrived with a huge smile on her face (one that would remain for the whole day!) and after taking a moment to compose herself, made her way up the grand staircase to the ceremony room. Pete and his flat cap were waiting, and when he saw her, his jaw literally dropped. I have photographic proof!

Rowing to the Reception Venue

One of the things that most intrigued me about this wedding when Sara was telling me about it, was their plans to row from the council house, up the river to the wedding venue. I was slightly concerned about being asked to accompany them with all my kit, but thankfully for me, it was bride and groom only. As they set off to a barrage of cheers and confetti from the bridge, me and the guests made our way to the rowing club.

I arrived in time to capture the newlyweds moor up at the rowing club and shed their un-weddingy life-jackets. The guests gradually started arriving, some by car and others who had chosen to make the most of the dry weather and walk along the river from the council house. Drinks and canapes were served to tide everyone over before the wedding picnic.

Wedding Picnic and Park Games

The guests (and yours truly) were treated to a spectacular picnic-style wedding lunch, which totally suited Sara and Pete’s summer wedding. As the last of the posh crisps were polished off, it was time for the speeches, starting with a heartfelt one from Sara’s mum. During Pete’s best man’s speech, he was surprised by a flat cap salute from all the male guests. Brilliant idea!

Once the speeches were finished and the plates were cleared, it was outside to Darley Park for some park games. The sun obviously knew what was happening as it made an appearance! First up was a massive tug of war, which after some initial disputes over where the markers should be placed, Sara’s team won….twice! Rounders was meant to be on the cards, but the ball had mysteriously disappeared, so delving back to my school days, I suggested football rounders. A sure-fire winner for any summers day down the park!

Folk Music and Dancing

As rain stopped play outdoors, we hurried back to the safety of the rowing club for a hog roast and some music courtesy of some friends of Pete’s. They filled the room with quirky folky cover songs, while people took to the dance floor with their kids. Did I mention there were a load of kids here? Well, there was, and it was fantastic! I didn’t see a single parent running after their kids with a look of desperation on their face. Everyone was genuinely loving having their kids along. So lovely to see.

Sara and Pete cut their wedding cake before taking to the dance floor for a couple of verses of their first dance, after which they invited (or dragged, in some cases) their guests to join them. This soon turned in to a sort of dancey wrestling match between Pete and some of the guests. And then there was the flat cap balancing contest. Amazing!

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