The Beautiful Wedding of Carmen and Dwain – Hanbury Manor
Date Of The Wedding – 25th June 2016
Bride – Carmen Minnott
Groom – Dwain Stephens
Bride given away by – Tyrese (her nephew)
Church – All Saints, Hertford
Rev – Ginni Dear
Reception – Hanbury Manor, Ware
Bridesmaids – Nicole, Stefania, Emma and Louise
Flowergirls – Casey, Leah and Taylor
Best Men –Trevor and Kevin
Ushers – Kenan and Robbie
Hair – Kerrie Andrews
Video – Spotlight
DJ and Entertainment – Mr H
Carmen and Dwain – Hanbury Manor
How we met.
Dwain is a very close friend to one of my couples whose wedding I photographed four years ago “Peter and Chenade Rowe” . Dwain and Carmen saw Peter and Chenade’s Storybook and then came to a Wedding show that I was Exhibiting at to see me. As soon as I met them both I thought “what a beautiful looking couple they were”.. they are both very healthy and into fitness, training and nutrition in a huge way and had trained that day so were slightly later than planned (personal joke.. about timings). We hit it off and within a 15 minute chat we were shaking hands and getting forms filled in and Spotlight our recommended video company were also booked. Dwain is a sponsored athlete, actor and male model – BEFFTA WINNER ( BEST MALE MODEL 2011). Carmen is a beautiful woman, absolutely stunning and she really does know how to pose for a picture. One of the things that I love about these two is the Story of how they met.. INSTAGRAM.. liking and then commenting on each others pictures, the next thing Carmen came down to London to see Dwain and the rest they say is history. This Wedding couldn’t come quick enough for me, I have been looking forward to taking the pictures for so long.
The Wedding Day.
11.00am. I started at Hanbury Manor in the room with Dwain, his two brothers Trevor and Kevin and his son Robbie. Dwain opened the door and was standing there in his trousers with his top off looking like he had just done a workout. The boys were very chilled ..the banter was good and it was great to meet them all. They started getting ready and then dropped their bags off to the car before walking up to the front of the Mansion to their Rolls Royce Phantom and leaving for Hertford to meet some of Dwain’s many friends.
11.30 am. I went into Carmen’s room, they were getting their hair and make up done and the vibe was good, I arranged the room for the pictures using the bed and natural light from the window Carmen got into the area to shoot in… and as soon as I hit the shutter on the first shot I could tell by her movements that she’d done quite a bit of modelling – her movements were very small and each one was different “easy for me” this was a professional. She then went through and got into her bridal underwear and posed for some amazing pictures before getting into her dress.
1.30 pm. I arrived at the Church Dwain had just arrived in a Black Phantom Rolls Royce. The boys were getting their buttonholes on and were chatting with reverend Ginni “great vicar and lovely person.. she gave me full use of the church because she knows that I would never cross the boundaries and take advantage, so I went in and set my position for the ceremony. Carmen was escorted down the aisle and given away by her nephew Tyrese and this was the beginning of an amazing 45 minute ceremony ending with the New Mr and Mrs Stephens walking out of the church together.
We shot the group pictures outside the church and then some pictures with the cars before heading to the hotel.
3.00 pm. The couple arrived at Hanbury Manor and whilst the guests were checking in we shot some lovely pictures with the cars at the front of The Main Mansion House and also some shots of them together.
3.15 pm. Went into the courtyard and shot a picture of the whole wedding party from the 3rd floor window this was then followed by the drinks reception with the guests.
3.40 pm. The rain started, I looked up and saw that there was going to be a break in the clouds and knew the sun would come through, so I made a decision to get the couple on a golf buggy and go across the golf course to get some beautiful shots across the lake. we pulled round and the rain stopped, the sun came out..”it was perfect”.
4.00 pm. We came back in and the guests all went through to take their seats for the meal, the staff at Hanbury Manor then poured the champagne so myself and Spotlight Video realised the speeches were before the meal so we got everything ready and took our positions. The speeches were amazing Dwain talked about how he met Carmen on Instagram and the love story that unfolded with her coming down to London to see him, then packing up her life in Scotland to be with him down here ..”an amazing and beautiful speech”. Then it was over to Trevor Dwain’s eldest brother he was brilliant and did a great joke of everyone having to return the keys they had to Carmen’s flat.. yep.. there was at 50 guys coming over handing them in “the room was in complete laughter”. Then Kevin ( Dwains younger brother and other best man) spoke, he was a natural speech maker and spoke so beautifully about his bro and how as a kid and growing up he wanted to be him.. everyone loved what he said from the heart, certain parts of it there were tears as he talked about Dwain and his life when he was younger…”beautiful words”.
6.30 pm. The meal finished, the couple and the guests went to freshen up and take in some of the breathtaking grounds of Hanbury Manor. We then did some fun shots in poles hall as it was now pouring down outside “we had missed the rain totally and been so lucky”.
7.45 pm. Cake cutting followed by the first dance. Dwain and Carmen danced beautifully together before all the guests joined them and Mr H got the tunes going with his two singers, a saxophone and bongo player, the party started and it was packed on that dance floor all night “Top Entertainment”.
10.15pm I took the couple out on the back terrace of Hanbury Manor and shot some pictures using off camera flash, they had a kiss together which was the final picture of the day for me and made a lovely finishing shot to use for their Storybook Album.
A Personal message to the couple.
Carmen and Dwain…..Saturday was an amazing day and one that in 22 years of shooting weddings I will never forget “ever”, it was perfect in every way…even rained at the right times. As you said Dwain your bro was looking down and arranged that sunshine for you. You two are beautiful people on the inside and outside and to have got to know you has been brilliant. During the meal and speeches the love in that room from your guests and family for you two was immeasurable and after spending the day with you I can see why. Dwain I would like to say thank you for the help and advice you has given me to achieve some of my goals in the gym and my nutrition and diet also.. your brothers both said it …you are a role model and I’ve felt that with you first hand, you give advice free because you want to see others do well also and you always listen before giving advice, not everyone is like you.. you are a great guy and top man.
Here is a selection of pictures that I have selected that are some of my personal favourites
See you both very soon..JP ?
Carmen and Dwain – Hanbury Manor wedding Photographed and written by © John Paul O’Donnell Photography. If you have enjoyed reading this post then please like and share it. I enjoy putting words to the pictures I take and when I see that people enjoy reading and looking.. I know that its worthwhile. JP