We thought we had seen it all. Anything can happen at a wedding. But this time it was certainly different. Shock, horror! No sooner had the reception ended on a hot summer's late afternoon at a smart Bournemouth hotel on the East Overcliffe, then it was time to celebrate with drinks all round when suddenly one of the Ushers had a splashing idea ......

What fun would it be, nudge-nudge, wink-wink, to chuck the Bridegroom into the swimming pool to cool him off, in full view of all the guests who were enjoying their drinks at the poolside while Renate was preparing for the romantic photographs on the beach when three mischievous Ushers decided that the time had come to grab the Bridegroom, drag him over the edge into the pool and all go for a swim together.

Laughter, screaming and hand-clapping alerted us to the fact that all the lads were splashing about in the swimming pool in full morning dress. The hotel manageress appeared screaming: "What's going on here? We can't have this! Get out of the swimming pool immediately!"

The three Ushers grabbed the bedraggled Groom and hauled him out of the water, all soaking wet, looking like naughty schoolboys. Glancing at Renate I could see she was trying to figure out what to do next, as the scheduled romantis photographs were due to be taken.

All was not lost however ( due to quick Teutonic German thinking ). Renate spied the 4th Usher who had been behaving himself in his smart dry suit making a phone call. She suggested a quick change of clothes between the one remaining dry Usher and the Bridegroom. The Bride who had been watching the drama unfold suddenly rushed off upstairs followed by the horrified Bridesmaids. Realising there was no time to waste Renate quickly followed them upstairs.


I was absolutely determined to get the planned romantics into the can as I knew that the Bride wanted to go down to the beach for some very romanic shoreline shots on the golden sand, with the sparkling blue sea and the wonderful white puffy clouds.

But this was a tricky situation! I had to be extremely diplomatic trying to coax her out of the Bridal Suite where she had taken refuge as she had been crying her eyes out. She was also very angry indeed, "How could he have done this to me? How could he? " - she sobbed.

As all the comforting and sympathy by the Bridemaids was obviously in vain for the moment, I suddenly had a brainwave! Just suppose I was to use my film-acting experience, telling her that she should turn the whole sorry saga around by pretending that what had gone on downstairs outside had been just a dress rehearsal and that her big scene was just about to take place.

"What do you mean?" she asked, - obviously becoming intrigued. "Well" I replied, "go down and make a big entrance, put on a brave face, just when everyone is expecting you to look angry and weepy! Give your naughty husband a big kiss and a cuddle, entertain your guests and thank the Ushers for all the fun they've provided. Life is a cabaret" I continued, "so just play along with it and enjoy your Happy Day!"

Guess what happened next? The Bride refreshed her make-up, marshalled her Bridesmaids and marched down the big hotel staircase into the reception room where people had gathered in confusion, and she made the big entrance. And I shall never forget the smiling faces of her family, her guests and the whole audience. They all cheered, clapped hands, hugged each other and the Bridegroom, who had feared the worst, ending up leaning on the bar, raised his glass and said: "That's my girl! That's my wife, that's the strong woman I married! Let's go for it, let's go down to the beach!"

The moral of this story? Don't let the Ushers throw you into the swimming pool!


A perfect fairytal wedding

Wedding Shock

We’ll never forget that wedding in a Bournemouth centre church five or six years ago while we were waiting for that magic moment to photograph the arrival of the Bride and her proud Dad escorting his lovely daughter to her Wedding Ceremony. As the splendid white Rolls - Royce slowly approached the church entrance and the chauffeur opened the rear door for the Bride and her Dad, a loud voice was heard from within. “Where is it?” she yelled. “Where have you put it?”

“Where the hell are my beautiful flowers?” she continued . . . (We quickly sensed that all was not well.) “I thought you had them with you dear. Aren’t they on the front seat?” replied Dad. “Of course not” she ranted on . . . “You silly old twit” (or words to that effect). “Isn’t that just like you?” she continued vehemently. “You were carrying them when we came down the ruddy stairs!”

“Oh dear” said Dad, “Whatever are we going to do now?” – “I’ll show you what I’m going to do!” screamed Sally. With that she grabbed the two-foot long strip of plastic flowers from the rear window of the Rolls. She then angrily exited the door the driver was holding open, stomping off into the church clutching the plastic blooms with Father following closely behind.

There we were, trying to get that special photo of the Bride’s arrival at the church and all we could see was Sally’s back disappearing into the church being chased by her anxious Dad. We had to forget the shot at the porch entrance, as we followed Dad and Sally into the church. “Do slow down Sally! Be careful, - calm down!” said Dad. “Don’t you worry” she replied as Dad reached out to try to help her. At that very moment he must have inadvertently trodden on her long trailing veil. Suddenly the whole lot came away, and with it her expensive hairpiece plus her beautiful bejewelled tiara! Sally stood stark still, frozen to the spot and so did we. Her 4 bridesmaids rushed to her side to try to help.

“Oh Lord!” groaned Dad, (but I fear there was no help coming from that quarter!) The congregation having been asked to stand, all turned round, many in eye-popping horror and disbelief as the Reverend rolled his eyes to the ceiling and stopped the organ playing Here Comes The Bride.

“Please be seated for a moment”, he said and ”peace be upon you all”.

When Sally was finally ready she left the plastic flowers where she had dropped them, grabbed Dad’s arm and walked down the aisle with a smile to the applause of her guests. The ceremony then proceeded after one of the ushers had been asked to retrieve the Bride’s real bouquet from her home on his motor-bike.

But all’s well that ends well and despite the “blip” we got some super photographs of that wedding after the Bride’s bouquet had been safely returned to her, the tears had dried and she had forgiven her poor Dad.