I don’t need to tell everyone how the pandemic affected the events industry as a whole, nor specifically, the wedding industry. But I thought I’d take the opportunity to reflect on some of the amazing opportunities I had around this time last summer. The first is a day that’s hard to forget. The venue: Polhawn Fort, Cornwall. I arrived late the evening before to a tiny village pub. As a quick side story - I didn’t get to bed when I should have that night because I was taking this photo. Not the only favourite of mine to be captured on this trip.

In the morning, I head over to the fort where Brad and Sian (soon to be) Harris were to have their big day. It’s strange to have arrived somewhere in darkness and then awake to a blisteringly clear, sunny day. Little had I been able to see how beautiful this location is. Of course, Cornwall isn’t short of it, but few can claim an old fort with its own direct and private beach access that faces the setting sun! (As we’ll discuss later!)

Over the drawbridge (yep!) I find Brad and his ushers playing croquet while Sian relaxes in the bridal suite. The hot day is quickly cooled in the thick stone walls and arches where the bridesmaid dresses hang.

Polhawn fort entrance, draw bridge

Guests arrive over the drawbridge

polhawn fort, inside, indoors,
polhawn fort, bridal suite

The rooms are a warren, separating the parties. As the guests arrive the welcome takes place on the roof. The high walls subtly hide the beautiful vista that they will soon be led down to.

Sian reveals her dress to her Father by walking down a private stairway that leads from her room. Dad looks out to sea before turning around and I’ll be honest, I choked up. I’m just one of those people at weddings.

polhawn fort, garden

Vows are taken with some shaded reprieve from the sun before the lawns play host to buffets and entertainment. Formals are held in the sanctuary of a wise old oak tree as guests stare out across the bay.

polhawn fort, ceremony
polhawn fort, ceremony
polhawn fort, lawn, entertainment
polhawn fort, lawn, formals

Speeches are held back in the cool walls of the fort. Outside the sun is beginning to set and so we take this opportunity to create what I feel are the highlights of the day. With the backlight of gold the couple walk the beach - but the new Harris’s aren’t the type to stand and stare. After piggybacks and paddling, the disco lights up and I soon take my leave.

polhawn fort, beach, photoshoot
polhawn fort, beach, photoshoot, bride
polhawn fort, beach, photoshoot
polhawn fort, beach, photoshoot
polhawn fort, beach, photoshoot

I have to be honest, I was exhausted. But much like the feeling of accomplishment after hiking a mountain or the adrenaline buzz of a workout, it was a brilliant exhaustion. I knew in every moment that I was documenting something special and it wasn’t the venue; it wasn’t the weather. Those were icings on the cake. It was the couple. Smiles never left their faces and the warmth of all those attending radiated from that core feeling that these guys were meant to be. Fate could not have lined their time up better and I was privileged to have been part of it. Alas, I hope to see another day like this soon!