|SO IN LOVE .. SHELLEY AND STEPHEN AT THEIR CHRISTMAS WEDDING AT LANGLEY CASTLE|
|LANGLEY CASTLE WEDDING: I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU .. STEPEHEN AND SHELLEY|
|HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY ....|
Firstly, take my advice ... STOP LOOKING FOR A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER, NOW!!!
You have found him.
If you are reading this on Dirk's BLOG or you are on his website you can relax.
You have found your wedding photographer, you can stop stressing - You will not find a better photographer, or more natural and breathtaking photographs so just book Dirk and concentrate on all the other exciting plans for your dream wedding. Stephen and I were never going to be conventional. We had both waited until our 40's to get married and never thought we would ever find love like this.
We met through martial arts. He was my instructor. I thought he was stern and grumpy. We often fight each other so you can imagine the "courting" was a bit different... He proposed to me at The Trevi Fountain in Rome and the planning began. He always told me that whatever the cost, I could be a princess in my castle and have the complete fairy tale!
We wanted a Christmas wedding in castle, we wanted snow, log fires, Christmas trees and some fighting on the roof with Samurai swords (no, really!). We chose Langley Castle near Hexham. It was perfect, absolutely perfect. Then started my search for a photographer. I had probably 6 or so different photographers come to our house where we poured over lovely albums, watched slide shows, listened to how the photographer would work and what the photographer would do. I found this daunting and intimidating. You know it is so important to capture that day, the best day of your life and it is such a huge decision. On recommendation we chose a photographer, despite my better judgement and things progressed. I sent this guy a cheque as a deposit. I then never heard from him again. Fortunately I cancelled the cheque and have since learned that he has swindled lots of couples out of their money and has not produced their wedding photographs for them. I was so relieved we didn't get any further with him and so my search started again!!! I came across a photograph in a north east wedding magazine, Belle Bridal, which showed a bride and her groom in a church yard with all her family around her. A strong gust of wind had taken her veil up and around her and was lifted around her family who were all laughing and holding onto their hats! I loved it.
The photographer was Dirk. This was a Sunday and was in fact Fathers Day. I considered not ringing that day but did anyway. I left a message on an answerphone. Stephen and I then went shopping at B & Q for a light fitting (Sunday / Father's day - I know....). My mobile rang and Dirk spoke to me in the lighting section..... I knew after the first two sentences that he was the photographer we would use. First impressions mean a great deal. He was funny, reassuring, charming and cheeky! (in a good way) Then came the meeting at our house. This was the first time a photographer had asked us how we wanted the pictures to look, what we expected from him, how we wanted him to work and what we wanted him to produce. None of the others had asked that!
This was a photographer who listened and was interested. One of the others had even suggested we change the time of our meal to ensure she could get her shots! He was genuinely interested, and I think a little bit excited that we were to be unconventional and there would be a martial arts influence with some of the North East's top Black Belts present! I think the sword thing must have sounded a bit mad as well :) It took no time or discussion for Stephen and I to agree and Dirk was booked. We had the most beautiful pre-wedding photographs done at Roker beach in Sunderland. It was so difficult to choose from those they were all stunning and we felt very reassured that we were going to get some tremendous photographs at our wedding. Dirk kept in close contact throughout and this settled me a great deal. Nothing was too much trouble. The evening before I stayed at Close House Hotel in Wylam with my family. During the evening it started to snow. I could hardly contain my excitement and texted Dirk a couple of times as it was too much to hope for, my castle with snow!! Dirk came the next morning amidst crisp white snow and took some photo's at Close House before we set off for the Castle. There was just enough snow! It looked fantastic and the photo's I have are beautiful! Really the day went so quickly and most of the time I did not even know Dirk was there. We did not want too many posed photographs and he has managed to capture natural images of everyone without (seemingly) any effort.
He coped so well with the madness that was my room full of bridesmaids just prior to the wedding and everyone loved him!
His manner was faultless, he was reassuring through out and was relentless! He stayed until really late, much later than I had thought and we have some of the most stunning photographs of Stephen and I outside of the castle in the dark with a full moon peeping from behind a cloud. I cannot tell you how delighted I am with our album.
I love that it is actually a book with far more photographs in than a conventional album.
I love that it is practicable and portable and won't end up under a bed or in the loft in years to come. I love that it tells a beautiful fairy tale, and I was absolutely a princess, with my claret and gold dress in my castle with my prince!
Each turn of the page still startles me with the easiness of it, the completely relaxed and fun moments are there for us. There is nothing that required any effort for us, Dirk had quite simply "nailed it"!! Our day was full of laughter and this is very apparent from our album.
Dirk charmed everyone and I can only reflect on our B & Q conversation and say that "it does what it says on the tin"!! He promised an album that would truly capture the day, he promised that we need not worry about the photography and he promised the photographs would be perfect. He did all of this and more. My testimonial may be a bit long but I could honestly write more. I will end how I started. Stop looking, he is it, you will not regret it I promise.(Oh and your mam and aunties might fancy him...)
SEE KATE'S WEDDING AT LANGLEY CASTLE HERE
DIRK VAN DER WERFF