Bath photographer captures Sylvanian couple's lockdown wedding
A photographer has released pictures of the most exclusive wedding to happen in Bath in 2021 so far.
Tabitha and Jonathan were married on Sunday 7 March, surrounded by friends, family, and more guests than have been seen in months.
They were able to gather under the current lockdown restrictions because they are not actually people but characters from the Sylvanian Families collectibles franchise.
Joe Short, who captured Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding in 2018, was commissioned by his nine-year-old daughter Juno for the special day.
The 49-year-old said: "I have been stuck for work for lockdown. I did a few micro-weddings last year but nothing like the amount you’re normally covering in a year."
"My daughter Juno is nine and massively into Sylvanian Families. When she came out of her room one day and said ‘we’re having a Sylvanian wedding’, I got really excited about it."
Juno took weeks planning the fuzzy couple's big day, even borrowing extra guests from a friend to make it all the more special.
Joe spent all day lying in the garden, working out how to get the best angles of Tabitha and Jonathan. The family dogs were the only fly in the ointment, as they wandered into shot and even "took a pee behind the marquee" while the oblivious Sylvanians partied inside.
After getting some romantic snaps of the new Mr and Mrs, the photographer then waited until darkness fell to catch the couple's first dance.
Joe said: "It was fun to be working again. Some of the genuine techniques I would use in a human wedding, I dusted down and used.
"Those who know Sylvanian Families will recognise a lot of the characters and it takes people back on a nostalgia trip. The loyalty is strong.
"When I'm working human weddings, I do like to take a day a bit more lightly. I think it should be fun and everyone should be relaxed."
The highlight of the evening had to be Jonathan and Tabitha's first dance - to 'that song' from Dirty Dancing. Joe caught the moment Tabitha leapt into Jonathan's arms for that famous lift.. but landed on his head!
The images have proved very popular on social media.
Joe said: "I think it's struck a chord. We had no particular plans to do so but it has provided people a bit of relief and a release, which is great."
Joe's work has been hit by the pandemic but he did qualify for a grant which has helped. He said he is looking at his business resuming when lockdown restrictions are expected to ease further but "everyone is a little guarded" given the uncertainty of Covid-19.
He said he really feels for couples having to wait to get married but does expect that he will be kept very busy in August and September.
In the meantime, his Sylvanian wedding shots are raising a smile or two.
You can find a full account of the day and extra photos on Joe's website.