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At the beginning of 2020, we had a full year of weddings booked in. But of course, 2020 had other ideas! We have ended up photographing around 5% of the weddings we had expected to. It’s been a hard year and we can’t deny it – for us and for all our couples. Many couples chose to wait and postpone to 2021 – we understood this and supported them completely. But for a few couples – such as Sophie and Matt – waiting wasn’t an option.  Sophie and Matt were determined to go ahead and have their wedding and 2020 be damned! Their plans changed a little, sure – but all our plans have changed this year, haven’t they? However the changes didn’t diminish their enjoyment of the day whatsoever – it was such a wonderful celebration. Below you’ll find our favourite images from this beautiful York ‘micro wedding’, which took in walks through The Shambles, autumn rain and rainbows – and dancing in the streets as a busker played on. You can read the full story behind planning this perfectly intimate 2020 wedding day.

Micro wedding photography

‘Micro wedding’ has become a term ever more used in our industry this year. However the word ‘micro’ suggests a wedding somehow lessened. This could not be further from the truth! Sophie and Matt’s day was smaller in scale than they first envisioned, but it was immense when you measure by a barometer that looks at more than scale. Look at the intangibles that make a wedding special – love, smiles, happiness, tears of joy – and Sophie and Matt’s day is quite simply, well, huge!

A memorably intimate wedding day

This wedding shows you don’t need hundreds of guests to have a memorable wedding day. You just need the most important people to you to be present; and that’s exactly what Sophie and Matt ensured when drafting their guest list. And then they planned something unique in the historic City of York. We spoke to Sophie and Matt and asked them to tell us all about their expectations and plans for their wedding day. So, thanks to Sophie and Matt for answering our questions for this blog – and thanks for being such an awesome couple! Your wedding day really was a joy to photograph.

Overcoming the challenges of a 2020 wedding

Sophie and Matt told us: “Getting married in 2020 has been a REAL challenge for us. We began planning our wedding in 2018 but no amount of ‘Excel’ spreadsheets could equip us for the hurdles that we were due to be facing. As we are both from large families, we opted for a light and airy barn-style wedding at a venue in Cheshire, closer to our families. We had organised a menu and attended our tasting, booked a live band and began selecting their set-list, bought table decorations and wedding favours for 120 people – and then COVID-19 happened. As everyone knows, there were some really big changes with local and national restrictions, including limits on guest numbers and ban on wedding receptions and live music. Our wedding was on a knife-edge and we felt we needed to take back control of the ever-changing vortex of probability and risk, making the difficult decision to cancel our large wedding (120 guests) and plan another smaller wedding (10 guests) that would go ahead, whatever the restrictions.”

A less traditional wedding day

Matt explained: “We definitely threw away the rule-book when it came to our wedding and we are so pleased that we did. Unbeknown to us at the time, we felt a little bit of pressure to have a more traditional wedding; big guest numbers, formal ceremony and wedding breakfast, the first dance, the cutting of the cake. During the first lockdown, spending lots of time at home together and away from our parents and closest friends, our priorities changed entirely. We took the opportunity to focus on the things that were most important to us… our parents, our best friends, the city we love and the food we like to eat. Since re-planning the wedding – although our original plans were great – we’ve realised that our do-over was much more ‘us’ and – for Sophie and I – that’s all our wedding day should be all about.”

A very dapper and well turned out groom!

Matt told us all about his outfit choices: “I purchased both my suit, and the groomsmen’s suits, from Suit Direct at York’s McArthur Glen Designer Outlet. I originally opted for visiting the outlet as there would be lots of options however as soon as I saw the Racing Green suit, which is one of my favourite clothing brands, I immediately knew that I absolutely loved it. The woollen grey suit was reminiscent of tweed, but much more understated and classic, and looked great when teamed with a pair of brown brogues. My tie was forest green, which matched Sophie’s bridesmaids’ dresses, and I bought a rose gold and brown leather watch from Nordgreen Copenhagen which complimented my rose gold wedding ring and shoes really well.”

A beautiful wedding gown with bridal accessories

Sophie explains how she picked her bridal gown: “My wedding dress was actually a high-street purchase. I didn’t really know what style I was looking for, but found out that Monsoon had a bridal range, so headed there to try a few on. It was the first shop I went to for a dress, but it ended up being the only one in the end as I bought one on that first visit. It wasn’t too big (I’m only 5ft tall, so didn’t want a meringue), it was really comfy and easy to move/dance in and fit in with the overall look of the wedding (both original venue and revised venue). My shoes were a lovely sparkly pair by Jenny Packham (purchased from Debenhams) and both my bag and coat were from ASOS. When we found out that we had to change out plans, I wanted to make sure I’d be warm in November and that I had a way of carrying a face mask and hand sanitiser around the city, so these were great. The bridesmaids wore coordinating dresses from Wed2B, but chose their own dress styles, chose their own coats and shoes, and how they wanted their hair and makeup. I really just wanted them to feel comfortable and to look like themselves.”

Matt’s highlight of the day

“Apart from the ceremony itself – for me, the highlights were our first dance in the streets of York and the informal evening wedding reception. When we cancelled our first wedding and live band, we didn’t think it would be possible for us to have our first dance as we were travelling from our ceremony, through the streets of York to the restaurant in the mid-afternoon. As we walked from York Minster towards ‘The Shambles’, we serendipitously came across busker and local York musical legend, David Ward Maclean, who was busking on Kings Square… and this was our opportunity to have our first dance. Sophie and I looked at each other, encouraged by our friends and family, and we danced together to Sam Cooke’s ‘Wonderful World’ – sung beautifully by David. It was quite a moment. Additionally, our afternoon reception at ‘Enoteca by L’Uva’ was equally as incredible; relaxed, informal and ‘socially distanced’, with our nearest and dearest present.”

Sophie’s favourite part of her wedding day

“I’d have to say the dance too! But it’s hard to pick the best bit of the day really, it was all great. It was lovely to walk through the city where we first met (and then met again seven years later), it was heart-warming to hear the speeches from our nearest and dearest, and I still think about the meal more than I should admit. I could eat that truffle spaghetti every day!”

Matt’s tips for other couples planning a smaller, more intimate weddings

“I’d encourage any couples that are currently planning their wedding to take this opportunity to really make their wedding their own. Try not to feel pressured to have your day a certain way… and don’t be afraid to throw away the rule-book! Small, romantic and intimate weddings are so underrated, yet we had the most perfect day together. For couples who have had to cancel or re-schedule their wedding – often multiple times – please remember that your day will come. Stick together, support each other and, when the day comes, you’ll have the most incredible day.”

Sophie’s advice for planning a micro wedding

“Similar to Matt, I’d just reassure couples that downsizing a wedding doesn’t mean that you’ll miss out on anything. Many people have asked me whether I feel like I’ve missed out on the big day that we originally had planned, and my answer is always no; I wouldn’t change a thing, and almost feel lucky that we were given the opportunity to plan a day that was more personal and meaningful to us both. Top tips from me: pick your favourite restaurant, create a playlist with your favourite songs, treat it like a party with your closest family and friends and don’t feel pressured by traditions and obligations.”

Natural and beautiful wedding photography

We were thrilled to received the following feedback from Sophie and Matt: “We LOVE the photos! They capture the day in every way that you’d want; you see the laughter, you see the emotion, you see that things were different but that we had a good time anyway. And we look good in them too! M and G Wedding Photography have been amazing to work with. When we met in person, Patrick’s easy-going nature made us feel at ease in front of the camera. We can’t stop watching the slideshow on Youtube (very handy for sharing quickly with friends and family – thank you!) and looking through each photograph in turn. We’re honestly so incredibly pleased with how each and every photograph turned out and how Patrick was able to catch both the individual moments and the overall narrative of the day. Perfection. 2020 has been a real rollercoaster but our wedding preparations and our day itself was made so much smoother and less stressful with Patrick’s advice, guidance and presence.”

The best York wedding suppliers

“For the incredible food, we have to mention Enoteca by L’Uva. Georgia and Joe asked us what we wanted and created exactly that. It was a meal that we’ll remember forever. I have to mention Vicky M (bridal hair stylist) and Kate Howard (bridal make up artist) – the work that they both did on the morning of the wedding is nothing short of miraculous. For flowers and buttonholes we used Ello Flower, which is a York-based florist. Because of ongoing restrictions, I was not able to meet Janine before the wedding to discuss what sort of bouquet I would like, but from just a few pictures she was able to create perfection. And last but not least the busker, Dave Ward Maclean, our first dance saviour.”

M and G Wedding Photography

Thanks again to Sophie and Matt for answering our questions for this York Micro Wedding Photography blog. Special thanks for the most amazing feedback they gave us – we are so pleased you love “every single image” we took for you! That kind of feedback really do mean a lot to us.

Award winning wedding photography

I am delighted to have won This Is Reportage and Wedding Photojournalists Association award for images I took at Sophie and Matt’s day. This Is Reportage and WPJA awards award the very best in reportage wedding photography so we are over the moon won these awards! The first image won both a This Is Reportage and WPJA award. It was a lovely moment, Matt and his best man stopped to talk to some passers by who wished him well. Then out of nowhere a dog charged into the river, sending the geese on the river Ouse scattering. You can see the dog’s owners in the background. I had positioned myself in the hope the geese would fly away at some point – as I knew this would make for a striking image and funny moment. I didn’t expect for a passing canine to provide the intervention I needed however! The second image won a WPJA award and is a beautifully natural moment, capturing Sophie and Matt happily walking through the streets of York. Thanks so much to This Is Reportage and WPJA for the awards – and to Sophie and Matt for giving us the opportunity to capture these moments for you!

Booking us to photograph for your wedding day

If you’re getting married and are looking for a documentary approach to your wedding photography, we’d love to hear from you. Our natural and award-winning photography suits couples who want to forget about their photographer and just have the best day ever. We’re there for you, photographing it all in our trademark style. We photograph weddings all over the UK and abroad so wherever you are getting married, we’d love to hear from you.  You can contact us here to check our availability – we look forward to hearing from you!

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