With a small trolley-car marriage legalization ceremony in Amsterdam, followed by a Jane Austin inspired destination wedding at the idyllic Chippenham Park in England, Marianne and David's wedding week was just an all-around fabulous affair! Pulling together her wedding with resources from the UK and abroad, Marianne came across North Carolina based Tracy Turpen Photography and fell in love. Capturing the magic of the week's events perfectly, it seems photographers Tracy and Tyler couldn't have been a better match for Marianne and David!
The Newlyweds: Marianne and David
Junebug: What was the significance of the locations you chose for your legalization and blessing?
Marianne and David: The Dutch historic tram is around a hundred years old and rides on a special track behind our house in Holland every Sunday. We thought having our legal wedding there would be symbolic of the journey you embark on together when you marry. We also knew it would be a very photogenic spot, as the wooden inside of the tram makes you feel like you are in a time capsule of Holland 100 years ago.
For our blessing, we choose the UK because it’s a middle ground for our guests travelling from the US and the rest of Europe. And is there anything more romantic and relaxed than the English Countryside? We pictured our guests sipping chilled Pimm’s on a summery day, enjoying a beautiful garden yet feeling relaxed enough to take their shoes off and walk through the grass. Marianne was born in Cambridge, which is close to Chippenham Park. Also, my sister and I are named after the two sisters in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (Elinor and Marianne) and it was as if Chippenham came straight out of a Jane Austen novel and Mister Darcy could stop by at any moment! We loved the stunning house that dates back to the 17th century and its vast woodland park stretching 300 acres with lakes. It was almost regal yet natural. It’s a family home and we were the first non-family wedding to take place there, which made it extra special.
Junebug: What were your most important goals in planning your wedding?
Marianne and David: We wanted to make our guests feel special, taken care of and truly have a smashing typical English experience that they would never forget. Of course, we wanted the day to be fun and free flowing for us too, so no long sit downs or anything boring and mandatory.
Junebug: How would you describe your personal wedding style?
Marianne and David: We didn’t want to compromise and wanted the best of all worlds. This was hard work, as the blessing at Chippenham was a destination wedding with four months to organize it! While we live in Amsterdam and the wedding was in England, I got my dress in Houston, our invitations created in Seattle and our photographers came from North Carolina. We wanted it to be unique, but not in the least bit ostentatious. The wedding is a wink at Jane Austen, for example with the empire waisted bridesmaids dresses and my vintage headband, but without a pompous 12 horse drawn carriage entrée. Many of the things for our wedding were handmade, such as the sashes for the bridesmaid’s dresses, the invitations, the menu cards, the place cards, table numbers and goody bags. There was also a lot of thought put into what the priest at Chippenham would say and the readings at the wedding. With his help, we chose words that held much meaning to us and this made the ceremony incredibly real and meaningful.
Junebug: What three adjectives describe your wedding best?
Marianne and David: Old-Fashioned, gardenesque and genuine.
Junebug: What were you looking for in a photographer?
Marianne and David: Someone genuine, artistic and unposed.
Junebug: What specifically drew you to Tracy Turpen Photography?
Marianne and David: We did our engagement shoot with them and it actually spurred us to start planning our wedding. We felt inspired by the way they make romance look so non-cheesy and natural, I had never seen anything like it before. They portrayed the style that we wanted to convey, romantic yet real and unscripted. Tracy and Tyler’s pictures are so unique in that they have an incredible eye for photographing the spontaneous, the natural and the love. This is very consistent throughout their work. It’s such a joy to look at because it’s brimming with love and sparkle. They are also very good at using natural sunlight so that images look like fairy tales. When you look at the pictures they took there are so many real gems.
Junebug: What did you enjoy most of working with Tracy and Tyler?
Marianne and David: Working with Tracy and Tyler is not working but canoodling and having fun in a beautiful place. I believe how a photographer acts is very important. They are very good at encouraging you in a subtle way. I often heard Tracy coo ‘that’s gorgeous’ or ‘you two are so adorable,’ which makes you feel like a superstar and completely at ease in front of the camera. They both seem so relaxed and work so unobtrusively, but when you see their pictures they always had their eye on the ball.
The Photographers: Tracy Turpen and Tyler Stout of Tracy Turpen Photography
Junebug: How did you approach this particular wedding and what did you most want to capture during shooting?
Tracy: Amsterdam Legalization - It felt like Marianne and Dave were already our great friends because we stayed at their house in the spring when we photographed their engagement session throughout the streets, bridges and canals of Amsterdam. We got to know them really well as they showed us about the city and we have kept in touch with them since then. We approached the legalization in Amsterdam as an opportunity to capture the intimacy of the trolley wedding witnessed by their immediate family. It was a small gathering, but so full of love and those fleeting moments that drive photographers wild. It was great capturing all the interactions between everyone in such a small yet unique setting.
UK Wedding - Tyler and I were really excited to see all the effort that Marianne and Dave put into the wedding. Their wedding would be the first official wedding ever done at the Chippenham, which has some of the most extravagant gardens in Europe. When we went to scout the grounds the day before their wedding we were amazed by this gorgeous location they had found to get married at. The possibilities were limitless and Marianne and Dave are so creative. As the wedding day started it was so wonderful to capture all emotion that was so strong throughout and to do it in one of the most awe inspiring places only made it so much better. Marianne and Dave have such an obvious love and their family and friends support it so openly. As a photographer, that is what I was most excited to capture during their wedding.
Junebug: Were there any special photographic requests from the couple that made this wedding especially exciting creatively or personally?
Tracy: Marianne and Dave appreciate photography and just set us loose to capture those organic moments that spontaneously happen during a wedding. It is always exciting when the couple loves our shooting style, so to be confident that Marianne and Dave will appreciate their friends having a laugh during the cocktail is great peace of mind.
Junebug: What was the most fun part of this wedding for you to photograph?
Tracy: All of it! Honestly it was such a pleasure being able to document Marianne and Dave's wedding, so they can relive it image by image years and years from now. One of the funnier parts of the day was that every time there was pretty light, Marianne would come find Tyler and I to do a quick photo shoot with her and Dave. It was great knowing that the couple placed such a high importance on photography and that they actually loved to go bask in the pretty light.
Junebug: How did the locations available to you affect the type of images you shot and how you shot them?
Tracy: The Chippenham is such a grande place with many nooks about it. You love the Old English feel that it gives off and all the landscaping that it encompasses. The variety that was available to us greatly affected the pictures as everywhere you looked was beauty. You combine that with Marianne and Dave with all their family and friends then you have the perfect recipe for great photos.
Junebug: Were there any special locations you were able to choose that made for really great images?
Tracy: It seemed like the whole place was filled with special locations, but we really wanted to have that "English" feel to a lot of the photographs. There were really interesting hedges and trees around the grounds as well as the house itself that had striking brickwork to it. In the end though we believe the photo is about the couple rather than the scene, but that the scene should help compliment the love and emotion that is being displayed.
Junebug: What kind of equipment did you use while shooting this wedding?
Tracy: Tyler and I both use the Canon 5d Mark II. Our favorite lenses are the 35mm 1.4 and the 85mm 1.2. Throughout the day we shoot with natural light but when the sun goes down we utilize an off camera flash set up on a light stand. We feel that natural light is the most timeless and even at the reception we strive not to make images look "flashed."
Junebug: Marianne and Dave, is there anything else about your wedding you would like to share with our readers?
Marianne and David: Instead of asking for gifts, we asked our guests to donate to Unicef. It was important to us that while we were feasting, we were also giving something to others less fortunate. We choose Unicef as it was raising money for the children who face starvation in the Horn of Africa. We raised over 8,000 USD for the cause. Also, our wedding planner had the brilliant idea of giving our wedding flowers to a cancer hospice the next day.
Thank you so much Marianne and David for sharing your wedding with us, and Tracy and Tyler for the gorgeous images!
Learn about all the wedding professionals who contributed to these amazing celebrations on Marianne and David's page in our Real Wedding Library, and see more gorgeous images from this wedding and hear more about Marianne's experience working with Tracy and Tyler on her blog!
To see more of Tracy and Tyler's work be sure to check out their Junebug member brochure, website, and blog!