the hens day

So two of my very good friends got married earlier this year. I've never really had great friends get married, so I've never really been exposed to the kind of insane preparation that goes into planning the event and surrounding occasions. Imogen and Ben put immense time, effort and (no doubt) funds into planning their gorgeous union. But they also needed help.

For my part, help was twofold: first, allow Imogen's hens day to be held at our house; second, take some photos at the wedding. More on the second part later.

The first part was easy. Imogen's wonderful bridesmaids literally did everything; all we had to do was have our house in reasonable shape and ensure that it was available to them. And they did a glorious job. Granted, our courtyard provides a nice setting, but the little touches that the girls put into the decoration and planning made our house look better than we've ever seen it; their thoughtfulness shone through in every detail.

Imogen looked just beautiful. While in these two photos the afternoon sun is giving her a radiant glow, it must be said that her humble pleasure at being the centre of attention among those closest to her emanated from her regardless of the sun. Imogen's sister and mother look gorgeous here too - as everyone did on the day. This was quite a feat: it was forty degrees.

Looking at the photos of these four, it's hard to believe that it was sweltering, because they all look so fresh and lovely. It reflects the mood of the day, which is in turn a credit to Imogen's marvellous bridal party for organising such an enjoyable event.

As the day descended into a balmy evening, the decked-out patio continued to set a gorgeous scene for the bride-to-be and her girls. These longish exposures happily capture the warmth, both literal and decorative, that permeated the atmosphere.

The yellow flash came out for the after-dark shots of people. I love using the yellow flash lately for several reasons, but in this instance it is especially suitable because it carries on the mood present in the daytime photos, namely warmth and summer.

It was the first hens day I had ever attended, and I wasn't sure I would enjoy it; I tend to associate the term with male strippers, drunk women wearing tacky veils, and cock paraphernalia. But it was none of these things. It was just like Imogen: modest, classy, creative and warm - and just a little bit silly and charmingly drunk.

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