Shanghai Yacht Club Wedding Photographer.
Sometimes I can hardly believe I even went to Shanghai. It was such a fleeting visit that I feel I probably didn’t do the city justice. That I didn’t have time to shoot everything I wanted. But then life as a wedding photographer means that you fly into a city, stay a few days and fly out again. Your body doesn’t have time to catch up on the jet lag, you rush around in a daze trying to figure out public transport and foreign money. And by the time you’ve unpacked, you’re re-packing and heading to the airport again.
It’s both exhilarating and frustrating in equal measure. But I feel so fortunate to be able to say that I can fly across the world with my camera in hand, because I’m a wedding photographer. It’s something I never take for granted and there are times (such as standing on the banks of the Bund in Shanghai), that I wonder how I even got here.
And so, in October, armed with a couple of cameras, and a whole load of memory cards, I boarded a plane to China with my trusty servant and Tea boy, Ian Wallace, to photograph Yiren and Sean’s wedding at the Shanghai Yacht Club.
And we landed in the city on the busiest weekend of the year!
Military police had installed a one way system for pedestrians (yeah we were the idiots trying to cross the road and getting told off by the guys with guns!), pavements heaved, the Bund was like Piccadilly Circus on New Years Eve, and the underground was full to bursting. It was all slightly crazy and amazing at the same time. My highlight was hearing Ian declare that he had 4G, underground on the train!
Yiren and Sean were the perfect hosts and gave us a brilliant tour of some of their favourite landmarks (whilst we did a little pre-wedding shoot) as well as giving us the 5 star treatment at The Dragon and the Phoenix where we dined like kings and I drank my body weight in tea, whilst staring out at the neon of the financial district.
The next day we headed to Shanghai Yacht Club and Yiren’s family home in the country. There was a traditional informal dinner where we met cousins and friends from afar, and devoured more food than a normal human is capable of. I declined the crazy Chinese liquor, but Ian gave it a bit of a go!
The yacht club sits on the banks of Dianshan Lake, possibly the biggest lake I’ve ever laid eyes on, and is surrounded by lush woodland and gorgeous greenery – quite frankly, you couldn’t get a more perfect spot for an outdoor ceremony. Yiren, looking absolutely incredible in her Oscar de la Renta gown,, arrived by boat along with her three bridesmaids, her cute flower girl and paige boy. Escorted by a flotilla of two yachts and the whole of the youth sailing club, she was cheered into dock by 200 guests. It was quite the entrance!
By the time she walked down the aisle on the arm of her beaming father, the sun was almost below the horizon. There was some Shakespeare, some rings, some traditional songs and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. There was laughter a plenty and a few happy tears.
It was one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve ever photographed and it went by in a flash.
A huge thank you to Sean and Yiren and their parents for their perfect hospitality, running round after us to make sure we had everything we needed, feeding us delicious food, and for being so gracious – you are all wonderful!
I failed spectacularly to bring home tea – I hang my head in shame! But it does give me an excuse to go back right?
Here’s some of my favourite images from Yiren and Sean’s beautiful outdoor ceremony. Thanks to them both for giving me the opportunity to be their Shanghai Yacht Club Wedding Photographer. Watch out for their wedding film in a few weeks time!
Shanghai Yacht club, Shanghai wedding photographer, Shanghai photography by Shelly Mantovani at Toast of Leeds. If you’re having a lakeside outdoor wedding in the future at Shanghai Yacht club or elsewhere in Shanghai, get in touch by visiting my photography website at www.toastofleeds.co.uk or you can find me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. I photograph weddings across the UK, Europe and further afield, in tipis, barns, country houses , iconic hotels, Industrial warehouses, town halls and cool city boozers . For more information and to check availability, contact me now.