Wedding: South London Pub

A Buddhist / Brazilian Ceremony at a South London Pub

On a perfect May Day I was lucky enough to be filming the wedding of Stuart and Elaine at a South London Pub. Weddings can be a great way to experience the coming together of different cultures, religions and nationalities. This wedding was a perfect example of this –  as Buddhist, Brazilian and homegrown London cultures met. I had great fun editing this wedding film as I had captured so many great speeches, emotional moments and jokes on the day.

The Couple

Stuart is from London and Elaine is from Brazil. The meeting of cultures was really great to see and it was easy selecting all the different moments from the day to present in the film. One of my favourite moments was watching all the Brazilians’ from Elaine’s side of the family singing and dancing along to “New York, New York” as it was crooned by one of Stuarts friends. 

The Venue

Like a lot of London weddings, the ceremony took place in a pub. This one was at The County Arms which is based in Wandsworth and has a really large beer garden, which was perfect for the guests to hang out in.

Buddhist Ceremony

There was also an added dimension as the wedding included a Buddhist ceremony. I’ve shot Buddhist weddings before and they are really unique. This one included lots of chanting in a ceremony called “Gongyo”. It also included a tea ceremony to mark the beginning of the marriage.  Filming and including each of these things added an extra dimension and uniqueness to the film. According to Wikipedia;

The word Gongyo originated in ancient China; although nowadays it is more often used in Buddhism, it first appeared in the Taoism classic Zhuang Zi. Its original meaning is “very hard and frequent walking/practice”.

The name of this makes sense to me, as the repetition of the phrase “Myōhō-Renge-Kyō” was repeated many times. Presumably, to enter into a trancelike state. I have to say, I found the whole thing very uplifting and heartwarming. The tea ceremony was equally as compelling and a great joy to film. As the sisters of the bride took it in turns to pour each of the bride and groom cups of tea.


I had so many great speeches and readings to chose from when editing this wedding. I like to use speeches as the backbone to my wedding edits and build the rest of the footage around them. I’d much rather have too many to chose from than not enough. For this wedding I had it all; lovely readings, touching speeches, funny ones – it was great!

The Photographer

As always, I like to mention some of the vendors I worked with during the wedding. This time I was shooting with the ever Green Paul Gapper.

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