Catherine and Hamilton's Wedding at St Patrick's Cathedral Manhattan
We arrived into New York in the middle of a September heatwave to photograph Catherine and Hamilton’s St Patrick’s Cathedral wedding in downtown Manhattan. It felt tropical and at times felt unbearable in the busy tourist lined streets. The added bonus of persistent rain and an incoming storm scheduled for the wedding day made things just a touch more exciting.
I was booked to shoot Catherine and Hamiltons wedding at St Patrick's Cathedral on the Saturday but arrived early on Thursday to acclimatise and scope out the locations well in advance. I travelled with my wife Kat and we had booked a week long vacation in the city. The first 3 nights we'd spend at Ink48 hotel and for the remainder of the trip we moved over to Greenpoint in Brooklyn.
Catherine and Hamilton’s day was planned to be a pretty simple affair. Their wedding at St Patrick's Cathedral on 5th avenue was obviously the main event before a return to Ink48 for a rooftop drinks reception at the press lounge restaurant. No huge meal or party or toasts. Just the always successful combo of music, alcohol, food and great people.
I met Catherine and Hamilton the day before the wedding. We jumped in a car from ink48 to the cathedral in downtown manhattan. If there's a rehearsal happening, no matter how small I want to be there. When it's a wedding at St Patrick’s cathedral in New York it's kinda essential.
Weddings at St Patricks Cathedral from a photography perspective aren't that simple. The last Catholic wedding I'd photographed took place at St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican but in terms of do's and don’ts, shooting at St Patrick’s was a whole new level of strict.
Before photographing any wedding at St Patrick’s the photographer is sent a list of rules months in advance. They MUST be signed and returned. I won't lie, the list of rules and regs, combined with a hand of ever present security guards made me feel slightly nervous. I needn’t have worried though. Experience in this game prevailed and I captured enough creative angles without breaking any rules or infuriating anyone from the Catholic Church.
The wedding day started pretty relaxed at Catherine and Hamilton’s penthouse in Ink 48. I'd agreed to arrive early and film some interviews with them. Hopefully, you'll have watched the short photo-film above but my intention was to create an almost hybrid wedding film. A grown up, documentary style piece that overlayed my wedding photography with the story of Catherine and Hamilton’s relationship journey.
Preparations in the penthouse ran over schedule as they more often than not do. I managed to grab a few frames of Hamilton and his best man getting ready before orchestrating a quick ‘first look’ on the private rooftop the penthouse ink48 offered. After a pretty relaxed start to the day, the chaos that comes with almost every wedding began to kick in.
We left the hotel pretty much on time to head to the wedding at Patrick's cathedral but we'd heard that there was a rally in 5th avenue which would inevitably affect our journey time. Outside ink48 we were collected by our driver (see pics) who managed to navigate us expertly through the busy streets of Manhattan. He also told us he'd been married 6 times which kinda made me chuckle on route to a wedding ceremony!
Catherine and Hamilton's wedding at St Patrick's Cathedral was the last ceremony of the day which allowed a little flexibility with our arrival time. We were dropped off a few blocks away and made our way on foot towards the Cathedral, grabbing some casual shots en route.
Catherine arrived just 25 minutes later and was allowed a few quiet moments with her mother whilst the last few guests arrived and took their seats. As Hamilton watched on from the main Altar, Catherine along with her Brother and Mother made their way down the huge aisle, almost dwarfed by the grandeur of the surround architecture. Catherine and Hamilton’s wedding at St Patrick’s Cathedral unfolded seamlessly and after exiting through the huge wooden doors onto 5th avenue they were greeted by cheers and applause from dozens of onlookers, keen to grab a glimpse of the wedding.
Following Catherine and Hamilton’s wedding at St Patrick’s Cathedral we spent around 15 minutes in the immediate area grabbing a few photographs before jumping in the car and heading back to Ink48. The rooftop bar (the Press lounge) was already filled with the couple’s closest family and friends awaiting their grand entrance. The vibe was chilled and informal with DJ’s, food and cocktails taking centre stage over stuffy speeches and sit down dinners.
I spent a further week in the city with my wife Kat. We walked the streets, tried (but failed) to avoid tourists hangouts and ate way too many buffalo wings. We spent our final few nights in Greenpoint, Brooklyn editing the images from Catherine and Hamilton’s St Patrick’s Cathedral wedding and checking out as many local breweries as we could healthily do so in a single day. New York always captures my heart but being able to work and travel alongside Kat is something truly special.
Until next time NYC.