Martina & Amri – A winter wedding at the Merian Gardens

The first wedding of the year is always something special. And this wedding was even more special for me as a photographer. As it can happen, Martina & Amri originally had no intention of hiring a wedding photographer. But then Martina saw my LinkedIn page almost 2 weeks before the wedding and contacted and hired me. I love spontaneous gigs, and since the wedding took place in January, the date was fortunately also feasible.

The bride and groom organized the whole wedding and wedding party themselves. The celebration took place in the orangery of the Merian Gardens in Basel, quite simply with warming fire in front of the building, a DJ for the party and, typically Swiss, Raclette for the guests. Yes, Raclette at a wedding is quite unusual, but it was a great match for both. The bride and groom did not want any photos of the celebration itself, nor of the ceremony at city hall, just a a handful of bridal couple photos outside in the gardens in front of the orangery. We reserved an hour in total for this.

I know the gardens inside out, so it wasn’t a problem for me to plan the right locations for the photos at such short notice. Only the season was tricky, because in winter the gardens don’t bloom as brightly as usual. Luckily I don’t live far from the gardens, so I quickly drove past with my camera and tested the various spots for their suitability in winter.

On the day of the wedding, the weather was really wintry and typical of Basel at this time of year: cold, gray, cloudy and there were a few drops of rain every now and then. Moving the whole photoshoot to an indoor area was not an option at short notice and was also not desired by the newlyweds. Martina & Amri didn’t let the weather get them down and were highly motivated. Cold? No matter! Wet? That’s what extra pairs of shoes are for – one for walking to the photo locations and the nice ones for taking pictures.

I waited in front of the orangery for the two who arrived to the location directly from city hall in their own car, slightly later than planned. It should also be mentioned here that the bride was 7 months pregnant on her wedding day, but no way this would slow her down. The bride and her two kids planned and made all the table decorations, seating arrangements and everything. Since the guests would appear not too much later, this decoration had of course to be put on the tables before the shoot. The scheduled hour for the photos shrank continuously every minute. But the bridal couple was still super relaxed and chilled and joked happily with each other.

And then it was time to start the photo shoot. Jacket on, extra pair of shoes on, picture perfect shoes in the hand and off we went. All in all, we had just a little over 30 minutes for the photos and we used them well. Fortunately, the planned photo locations were all close together. So we quickly went to the first and furthest location, then moved to location number 2 and then closer to the orangery to location number 3. And in the end there was even enough time for a few photos with the kids in the orangery itself.

Little time for an outdoor shoot with changes of location and cloudy winter weather is quite the challenge. You have to work quickly, but still keep an eye on the details and most important of all: to keep calm. Of course, a big setup of studio lighting is not possible in such time, so one simple on-camera flash had to be enough. We made the best out of it all and managed to get a few very nice photos from that day.

And the newlyweds? They were always relaxed, happy and super cheerful. I am sure, they also had an amazing and festive wedding party the rest of the night.