Such a Perfect Day captures magical moments from real weddings. Be it planned with precision or a spontaneous affair, the first dance always has special resonance – and for Belinda and Henry this moment became a classic for the photo album
Photography: Andy Le Gresley
For Belinda and Henry their wedding day in Jersey blended time-honoured traditions – such as church, bouquet throwing and cake cutting – with very bespoke elements. Rather than a sit-down dinner, they had designed a finger-food menu based on the culinary traditions of Jersey, where Henry grew up, of South Africa, where Belinda grew up, and of Australia – where they met and fell in love while both studying architecture. They planned their wedding at the end of a year working on the island and before they headed off in a 1979 Talbot motorhome for a three-month trip around Europe. With so much adventure behind them and so much still to come, this photo became a classic for the album. Henry, and photographer Andy Le Gresley, describe how it came about.
“Ten seconds after this photo was taken we were heading up a conga line around the room”
Henry: We had chosen La Mare Wine Estate as not only is it a beautiful location in the Jersey countryside, but I had a connection, having worked there in my early schooldays. It seemed to fit well with our ideas for the day. We wanted a somewhat informal reception and our finger food menu based on the foods of Jersey, South Africa and Australia was designed as a connection to our past, present and future. We were both fairly nervous of the first dance. Belinda had the most experience in dancing, but that isn’t exactly saying much! We had chosen ‘Lovesong’ by The Cure, then just made up a ‘safe and quick’ routine that would not exactly impress anyone, but at least we wouldn’t be too worried about pulling it off on the day. The lifting up at the end was the only impromptu bit, hence the look on Belinda’s face. By this point, we could really stop thinking and just enjoy. And a complete surprise to both of us was the local drumming band that followed – so ten seconds after this photo was taken we were heading up a conga line around the room. A huge thank-you to Andy for his skills! He was also hugely generous in the run up to the wedding in assisting us with hints and tips. We followed everything he said, and it all just fell into place. We were both on an absolute high for the entire day – while this moment was a particularly memorable one, it really does sum up the spirit of the wedding for us.
Andy le Gresley: Henry and Belinda’s lovely wedding took place in St Brelade’s church, followed by a relaxed and informal reception at La Mare Wine Estate. This shot was taken towards the end of their first dance. It didn’t look as though they had prepared this dance move specifically, Henry just took Belinda by surprise and suddenly started spinning and lifting her around the dance floor. The delight on Belinda’s face was obvious and all of the guests seemed to be enjoying this special moment just as much as Belinda and Henry.