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Congratulations Ian & Charlotte!

Yesterday I had the immense pleasure of being part of Ian and Charlotte’s big day. Having had a very busy couple of months this was to be the end of an intense but amazing bout of weddings. I couldn’t wait to finish it off in style, and so we begin at Holland Hall Hotel.

I arrived nice and early to document the build up of the Bridal party getting ready and capturing some shots of those smaller details which I believe makes this part of the day so special. I was shown up to the apartment where the girls were having their hair and make-up done by Jaqui Hair Boutique and Lisa Rose & Chelsea and as I arrived at the front door Charlotte was there to welcome me in. I spent a short period documenting the action before heading into one of the rooms to begin photographing the wedding dress and accessories. Charlotte had taken my advise and organised everything into individual bundles specific to the Flower girls, Bridesmaids and of course the Bride. The morning was enjoyable which included plenty of smiles and laughter but soon enough it was time to head off to the church to begin photographing the next phase of the day.

I arrived at The Parish Church of Saint Luke in Orrell where Ian and the Groomsmen had just arrived in the wedding car which was provided by Churchtown Wedding Cars. I didn’t bother them at first as it was important to let them adjust before guests started to arrive so I headed for the Vicar to run through any rules he had regarding photography during the service. He was absolutely brilliant and understood the importance of why I was there but in return I made sure I didn’t overstep the boundary in getting too close to the action. After 5 minutes or so I headed back outside to get some shots of the stunning church of which I had photographed a year ago and then went back inside to photograph the inside especially as no-one was around.

Once Ian had a bit of time to settle and guests started to arrive I took a few shots of the Groomsmen together before again documenting everything that was going on. The time soon passed and the Bridesmaids were pulling up the drive and with most of the couple’s family and friends having taken their seats there were still a couple of stragglers but one of the Bridesmaids made sure that they also headed inside before Charlotte turned up. With the Bride, Bridesmaids and Flower girls all together again it was time for the main part of the day to begin and so I took up my place at the front of the aisle ready for the Vicar to officially announce the arrival of the Bride.

The ceremony was lovely with a couple of readings and of course the formalities which involved the exchange of rings and then the signing of the register. You could see how much it meant to not just the happy couple but also to those witnessing the marriage. After around 10 minutes it was time for the newly weds to make their way back up the aisle as Husband and Wife before heading into the confetti shot. As guests came outside I arranged everyone ready to throw the confetti which is an amazing shot of the day and it also includes everybody. Once everyone had passed on their congratulations I announced for everyone to head up to the reception venue to enjoy a drink whilst I went with Ian, Charlotte and their two Daughters, Ella and Millie across to Orrell Waterpark.

We spent around 20 minutes walking around a circular route whilst I captured some lovely documented photos of them all together. The sun was shining and the backdrop was perfect but there was only one thing on the girls mind and that was seeing the ducks. The park kindly offered Ella and Millie some duck food to feed the ducks which they loved and without getting the wedding dress potentially dirty Ian went closer to the lakes edge to feed the ducks with the girls. After 10 minutes it was time to go so I headed off before them to get some shots of the stunning classic car arriving at Holland Hall Hotel.

The whole wedding party were outside enjoying a drink around the back where you could get a clear view of Winter Hill as the weather was glorious. I gave Ian and Charlotte 10 minutes to spend with their guests before we had to crack on with their requested formal groups photos. I had just under 20 to get through so I knew I was against the clock! With time to spare I went into the wedding breakfast room to photograph the pristine decorations, flower arrangements and wedding accessories. The room was decorated by Suzanne of Premier Party Events and the Wedding cake was created by Pretty Bakes. Ricky Birchall was also singing as part of the afternoon’s entertainment. Once I got a couple of ‘mock’ cake cutting shots with the happy couple they were then hidden behind the curtains whilst everyone took their seats. The new Mr & Mrs Atherton were officially announced into the room by one of the Ushers.

I checked through my work whilst the wedding breakfast was in full flow. After a couple of hours I was ready for the speeches which was the final part of the day before we headed into the evening. The speeches were fantastic which included some cracking stories and offered a few teary moments. The sun was falling from the sky quickly so Ian, Charlotte and myself headed up the lane to the road where I captured a few shots of them together before the sun then disappeared behind the houses at the top of the hill. We finished off around the venue’s grounds before they then spent a short period welcoming their evening guests. The first dance was approaching very quickly so I set up my flashgun and prepped my camera with the appropriate settings. At around 8.45pm the DJ invited Ian and Charlotte to take their position on the dance floor for their first dance as Husband and Wife. It was a wonderful moment and after a couple of minutes everyone was also asked to join the newly weds for a dance with their significant others or friends.

I had such a great time documenting the whole day and I hope they had a memorable one. I wish them all the very best in their married lives together and I can’t wait to begin the editing of their wedding day photographs. For now please enjoy these sneak peek shots.

Thanks…

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Congratulations Sam & Karen!

I had never met Sam until I arrived at the church but I had previously met Karen to discuss the day and packages. I already knew Karen however as I photographed her Sister’s wedding back in 2014 so I guess she knew what I was like and knew my style of photography. The wedding day started at Twelve Apostles R C Church in Leigh where I was to begin capturing guests arriving, meet and greet Sam and get some shots of the building inside and out. Sam arrived with his Groomsmen as they started to invite everyone inside to take their seats. The Bridal Party arrived around 15 minutes before the ceremony was to begin which gave them plenty of time to finalise any adjustments. Karen’s Sister Lindsay was a Bridesmaid and I quickly said hello before Karen soon arrived with her Brother. Emotions were running a little high as I briefly took some shots of them two together inside the car before I documented them exiting and heading for the entrance of the church.

I headed inside to get into place and prepare for the arrival of the Bride. The Bridesmaids headed down first before Karen followed at the rear smiling away with her very proud Brother by her side. Sam and Karen were reunited and the ceremony began with a hymn. This gave me the opportunity to move around and get some shots from using different angles and backdrops. It was a lovely ceremony which included readings, lighting of candles, exchange of rings and finally the signing of the register. After around 35-45 minutes Sam and Karen were soon heading down the aisle as Husband and Wife and before heading outside I allowed their guests to pass them so I could set up a tunnel of people ready for the confetti shot. It was magical and once everything calmed down we completed the requested smaller groups before heading off to our next location for the more intimate shots of the newly weds together.

Now even after discussing with Karen previously the location for these photographs I still manged to end up in the wrong area although at least I was only half a mile away form them. So we were to head for Pennington Hall Park but Google decided that I was to head for Pennington Country Park… oops, we lost a couple of minutes by I made this time up once arrived ๐Ÿ™‚ We spent around 20-25 minutes in the park before the happy couple headed off in their gorgeous classic car to their final destination – Leigh Miners Welfare Institute Club.

I struggled to park at first as there was a rugby game playing but after squeezing intoย  space I headed upstairs to begin the afternoon’s celebrations. The entire afternoon was spent just walking around documenting the occasion which included speeches after the hot buffet. Karen’s Brother started with some great stories of their childhood especially being ‘big bro’ and remembering it all well. Next up was Sam’s Best man who threw away his speech half way through and spoke from the heart and then finally a few words spoken by Sam thanking everyone before he dished out gifts to those who helped make the day what it was!

A casino table was booked for around 6.30pm which offered me some cracking shots of people having a little fun. The DJ was set up for the evening and a sparkly lit dance floor was assembled ready for those folks ready to bust-some-moves ๐Ÿ™‚ I had so much fun during the day surrounded by wonderful and very welcoming family and friends. I had a good laugh with most and I loved documenting it all.

I finished off a fantastic occasion photographing Sam and Karen during their first dance. They enjoyed a little slow moving song and invited their wedding guests to join them for the final part of it. I ended up staying for a little longer afterwards as the DJ knew exactly what to play to get the party swinging and it’s safe to say I filled my memory card!

I wish the new Mr & Mrs all the best in their married lives together and I hope they had such a wonderful and memorable day! I can’t wait to begin the editing of their wedding photographs but until then please enjoy these sneak peeks shots.

Thanks…

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Congratulations Paul & Naomi!

Well that was yet another awesome weekend of weddings! It all started on the Friday for Paul and Naomi’s big day as they were to tie-the-knot at the absolutely stunning Eaves Hall in Clitheroe, Lancashire. I had never been to this venue before but I had heard all about it’s photographic potential… I couldn’t wait to get stuck in!

So Friday morning had arrived and at around 9am I headed off from my home in Wigan up the M6, across the M65 and finally a few local ‘A’ roads later and I parked up right outside where I was to begin the day. All I could hear as I exited the car was a rowdy bunch of girls singing and laughing and knew instantly that I was where I needed to be ๐Ÿ™‚

The Bridal Preparations are great as they capture moments which are 100% natural and documented whilst also getting those shots of the smaller details. As soon as I walked through the door I was welcomed by everyone which was lovely, I soon got into the rhythm of what I do best and started downstairs as Naomi was having her make-up done by Lois of Color and Therapy Lounge. Upstairs was where the Hair was being done and it was certainly a full house with a large Bridal Party. As the prep was all happening in the Lodge away from the Hall they eventually had to make their way up to the Bridal Suite before the arrival of the Groom so around 12pm a couple of the girls helped Naomi take up her dress and accessories whilst I captured a few shots of one of the Bridesmaid dresses and the Flower girls dresses. After around 15 minutes I left the girls to then complete the detailed shots by photographing Naomi’s Dress and her accessories. Around 30 minutes later they all arrived to finish off what was an eventful morning.

Paul had arrived and was greeting all of their guests whilst enjoying a couple of drinks with his Groomsmen. I said hello briefly before seeing the registrar and getting photos of the ceremony room all dressed up. The time was ticking away and soon the wedding coordinator was inviting everyone to take their seats ready for the arrival of the Bridal Party. 1.30pm had struck and the flower girls were first up to walk down the aisle although it was too much for one of the little ones. They were then followed by the Bridesmaids and then finally Naomi walked down towards an eagerly awaiting Groom. The ceremony was lovely which included the ring exchange and the signing of the register and once that was all complete the new Mr & Mrs Andrews walked back past their family and friends up the aisle and outside for the next chapter of the day.

The formal groups are always an integral part of any wedding day but I believe there must be a sensible amount to ensure it doesn’t have a negative impact on guests waiting around for their number to be called out. Instead choosing a small selection of the more important people in a couple’s lives helps keep them timings down to a minimum and offers me plenty of time on the day to document those natural shots which we all love! Now as the weather began dry I knew that it was going to turn at any moment and so I needed to get everyone outside for one large group shot, followed by the smaller groups and finally get at least 10-15 minutes with the couple on their own. It was very much a ‘play-it-by-ear’ day. We cracked the large group in 5 minutes and I finished off with the other groups around 10 minutes later. Paul and Naomi’s pet dog or ‘furry child’ Keiser had turned up to pose with the newly weds and was wearing a very smart bow-tie ๐Ÿ™‚

We spent 10 minutes or so with Keiser before he went back home to relax which then gave me the remainder of our dry spell walking around the venue’s grounds and photographing the happy couple together. Lo and behold the weather turned but it didn’t stop our Bride throwing her bouquet before everyone retired inside. I carried on documenting the event but I also made sure that once the room had been turned around ready for the wedding breakfast that I got some photos of it all decorated. Sam Williams Flowers provided a backdrop behind the top table which was gorgeous.

All of Paul and Naomi’s family and friends were invited to take their seats ready for the married couple were officially announced in to take theirs. The meal was before the speeches so I had time to check through all of the images I had captured. After a couple of hours the speeches then began. They were generally brief but included plenty of thank you’s, funny stories and generated lots of laughter! The evening guests had started to arrive for the final chapter of the day which was party time… Johnny Ross Music which included DJ and Saxophone was the evening entertainment. They set up whilst I completed a mock cut of the cake with Paul and Naomi but once finished they hit the records and set off with an awesome selection of tunes… I knew that it was going to be an absolutely awesome night!

Paul and Naomi didn’t have a first dance but instead I stayed to capture people dancing away and enjoying the Saxophone player! I hope the happy couple had a memorable one and I wish them all the very best in their married lives together. I can’t wait to begin the editing of their wedding photographs but for now please enjoy these sneak peek shots.

Thanks…

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Congratulations Andy and Char!

Well where do I start to talk about such a wonderful weekend I had documenting the wedding day of Andy and Char…okay I’ll start at the beginning ๐Ÿ™‚

So I first had contact from Char who messaged me on Facebook to enquire about my wedding photography services after she noticed I had photographed a venue which she was looking at holding her big day at. What helped my case was that Andy is in the Military, in fact he’s an officer in the Army but I won’t hold that against him ;-P This helped with building a rapport between the three of us. We struggled initially to meet up obviously due to the nature of Andy’s work but eventually I got to meet them both. We enjoyed getting to know one another whilst Andy and Char had a good look through my work and the wedding ‘storybook’ albums which are included in each of my packages. I left very excited and I think they did too and during the build up to the wedding day we kept in touch and eventually organised their pre-wedding shoot.

The pre-wedding shoot was a couple of weeks before the day and they decided to have it a little closer to home. The location of choice is located on the Wirral and is the Sister venue to their wedding venue. So as I turned up to Hillbark Hotel my eyes popped out of my head as I saw this absolutely stunning 19th century building. The shoot went great and if you want to read more about it you can follow the link to my blog which includes a couple of sneak peek photos –ย https://samsandersphotography.co.uk/2018/07/31/andrew-chars-pre-wedding-shoot-on-the-wirral/

So the big day arrived! It all started at around 11am as I made my way down the long drive leading up to Haigh Hall Hotel. I hadn’t been here since February and they’ve certainly made a few changes. I parked up and headed into the reception area to be greeted by Sarah who is the wedding coordinator at Haigh Hall Hotel. I had been told that the ceremony was to be held up on the roof so after a quick hello to the Bride and her Bridesmaids I checked out what all the fuss was about.

Just WOW! as soon as you step outside the views across little Wigan are just spectacular and as the sun was shining you could see all the way across to Wales. I couldn’t wait till the ceremony to begin but the little matter of documenting the Bridal Preparations still had to be completed so I headed back downstairs to room 101. Char was having her Make-up done by a friend whilst the Bridesmaids were enjoying a little glass of fizz. I spent around 15/20 minutes documenting the girls having a good time before taking photos of those all important smaller details which included the wedding dress, wedding shoes and the wedding flowers which were created by the very talented Kelly Louise Floral. I also arranged with Andy for me to take a few snaps of him getting ready as he was preparing his uniform just a couple of doors down with his Groomsmen. I only spent around 15 minutes with the lads as they were very busy getting into their rig, last minute polishing of boots and drinking plenty of port. I finished off the morning with the girls as they got Char into her stunning wedding dress.

Wedding guests started arriving around 30 minutes before the ceremony was to begin and Andy was at the entrance with his Best man and Ushers as they welcomed them with a smile. Around 1.50pm Sarah invited all family and friends to head up to the roof to take their seats and get ready for the arrival of the Bride. Char enjoyed a quick drive out with her Dad before also making her way up those many steps to prepare to walk down the aisle towards her Groom.

I positioned myself at the front so I had a good view of Char and her Bridesmaids as they were to walk down the aisle. Just before however Andy’s reading which was on a piece of paper and under a glass of water somehow managed to blow away but luckily his Best man was hand to retrieve it! The girls made their way down before Char and her Dad followed. I had a great view being at the front and I was able to capture everything that was happening. The ceremony itself was a blessing but rings were exchanged and words were exchanged to each other. There were touching words spoken by both Andy and Char and before we knew it the time had come for the happy couple to kiss, turn towards their guests and prepare to walk back up the aisle. They were greeted by a member of staff who had a cold glass of fizz ready for them which they clanged and enjoyed before being congratulated by their family and friends. Everyone had 20 minutes to chill out during the reception drinks which included canapes before the speeches. Char’s Dad had the honor of speaking first which was followed 10 minutes later by the main man himself, Andy before handing over the reins reluctantly to his Best man. There were loving words and funny stories exchanged which flowed nicely into the formal groups. Andy and Char wanted a large group of everyone which I loved as the sun was in the perfect position behind everyone and there was plenty of room for the 70 bodies that filled the roof space. After a few more smaller groups we all headed downstairs where we conducted a confetti shot outside the main doors which for those of you who read my blogs, is my favourite shot of the day! The pillars provided a fab backdrop as Andy’s oppo’s (Army comrades) presented themselves very smartly in a staggered formation with swords extended into the air. I had been in this situation before after photographing a wedding for Matt and Caroline in Southport last year as Matt was also an Army Officer and wanted this shot. I placed all family and friends next to the ‘Guard of Honor’ with plenty of confetti to share and after the Bride and Groom made their way forwards a quick countdown was triggered and confetti was thrown.

The formalities were complete and I even managed just over 5 minutes with Andy and Char outside before the weather was to turn. I felt it was important to at least get a couple of snaps of them together outside as I knew once they sat down to eat they wouldn’t get the chance again with what was forecast. I photographed the room in which they were to sit down for their wedding breakfast and it was all set out beautifully by Kelly Louise. Before I knew it Sarah invited guests to take their seats as she was also ready to announce the happy couple into the room to a specific song they chose to dance to. I obviously checked my photos up on the roof before the expected rain arrived, it was very peaceful ๐Ÿ™‚

The evening part of the day followed and I wanted to get some more photos of Andy and Char together but instead we were to have a little walk around upstairs as it was quiet and dry! We spent around 20/30 minutes with the more intimate photos before they headed downstairs to relax and enjoy the remainder of the evening with their family and friends. I prepped my gear for the first dance at 9pm but before that I thoroughly enjoyed documenting guests who had some sharp dance moves… okay I lie, Awesome dance moves! I loved getting among the action as they didn’t have a care in the world which made the photos even better ๐Ÿ™‚ From start to finish Andy and Char’s family and friends were lovely and I loved spending 5 minutes here and there talking to a few of them throughout the day!

So the first dance arrived and after we finally found Mr & Mrs Hesketh they were announced in by the DJ and enjoyed a wonderful moment with each other as they smiled away. I couldn’t help but stay for a couple of more songs afterwards as the dance floor was bouncing but I knew eventually I would have to put the camera away and say my goodbyes.

I had such fab time documenting it all and I hope Andy and Char did too. I wish them all the very best in their married lives together and I can’t wait to edit their wedding photographs as the weeks go on, but for now please enjoy these sneak peek shots.

Thanks…

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Congratulations Lewis & Emma!

It’s been a cracking weekend of weather around the North West and I’m so pleased that we enjoyed plenty of sunshine yesterday for such a lovely couple’s wedding day! I met up with Lewis and Emma earlier in the week to show them the wedding albums on offer in each package and at the same time briefly ran through timings for the day. They were very excited and so was I!

So yesterday I arrived at Emma’s Parent’s home in Haydock where I began capturing a couple of documentary shots of the Bridal Party having their hair and make-up done. The conservatory was a little full so an over-spill area was created outside for the hair stylists to work their magic. I headed upstairs after a short while to document those all important smaller details. I love this part because not only does it give the girls a little breathing space from the camera being around, it also gives me the chance to show the wedding dress, wedding shoes, bridesmaids attire, flowers etc in all it’s glory. I use the natural light to my advantage with these photos and create the shots I feel would really make these items shine! After being upstairs for a bit I headed downstairs to finish off documenting the morning. As we approached noon Emma was helped by her Bridesmaids, Mum and Mother-in-law into her stunning wedding dress before she walked into the living room full of excitable flower girls and of course her Son, Max.

I headed off to the Church which was just around the corner to ensure I arrived with plenty of time to get some build up shots, speak with the Vicar and of course speak with Lewis to make sure he was okay. As I approached the Lychgate I saw Barry of Diamond Lights Wedding Films doing what he does best and as always it was a pleasure to see him again. I knew Barry was going to be there as we always keep each other in the loop of what weddings we will be seeing one another at. Lewis headed inside along with family and friends as the Bridal Party began to arrive in small groups. Emma and her Dad arrived last and after a couple of shots we took our positions inside and enjoyed documenting the ceremony. Max walked down first with a sign whilst holding the hand of a Flower girl, it was lovely. Emma followed with her Dad who was beaming with smiles as she walked towards her Husband-to-be.

The wedding ceremony ran smoothly with a couple of hymns and one reading which was read by the Vicar. Lewis and Emma smiled continuously which made fantastic photographs. Once rings were exchanged and after that all important kiss to seal-the-deal it was time for the newly weds to sign the register. Myself and Barry prepared ourselves for the newly weds to walk back up the aisle as Husband and Wife before they were overcome by their wedding guests who congratulated them. There was no confetti allowed inside the Church grounds and with the Lychgate right on the roadside we gave it a miss for ‘Safety’ reasons ๐Ÿ™‚

I headed off with Barry to the Reception venue as time was ticking away and we were running slightly late. I arrived at Best Western Plus’s Lancashire Manor Hotel in Pimbo where I prepped my kit near the entrance and also the area in which the wedding car will stop. A couple of photos were taken but it was straight onto capturing those formal group photographs which we all love! I always try and get through them as quickly as possible yet I ensure they are done correctly and look spot on as we only get one shot at it. 20 minutes later all 10 groups (including a large group of everyone) we were done and let Lewis and Emma go and enjoy the time they had left before the wedding breakfast with their guests and a LARGE glass of Gin (or two)

The room was set and as always I captured photos of the stunning decorations before the wedding coordinator invited everyone to take their seats and then officially announced the new Mr & Mrs Hardman into the room. The speeches were first although we waited for Dad to arrive before proceedings began. A few moments later he appeared to a few cheers and howls ๐Ÿ™‚

We enjoyed the speeches from Emma’s Dad, Lewis’s Mum, Lewis himself and then finally his Best man which they all contributed with loving words and funny stories. I checked over my photos during my break and had plenty of water as it was extremely humid. After a couple of hours we watched all of the wedding party exit the room for it to be turned around for the evening part of the day. Some headed outside to enjoy the sunshine and some stayed closer to the bar. I hadn’t done any photos of the happy couple together nor did we complete a confetti shot, so we did these all within 20-30 minutes.

I documented evening guests arriving before one last push with Lewis and Emma to just spend 10 minutes just outside of The Great Hall as the sun was low and glorious. We got some gorgeous shots and as promised after a short time away from their family and friends they returned. 8.30pm had arrived and it was time for the first dance between the newly-weds. They had a LOVE sign which was great as a backdrop and looked great in the photos. Lewis and Emma smiled away together and after a couple of minutes they were joined by those waited around the edge of the dance floor.

I had an absolutely amazing time documenting their big day and I hope everyone had a memorable time. I can’t wait to begin the editing of their wedding images but for the time being please enjoy these sneak peek shots.

Thanks…

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Andrew & Char’s pre-wedding shoot on the Wirral!

Hi everyone,

I’m having an absolutely awesome time at the moment documenting weddings all across the North West of England but on Sunday I enjoyed a little trip out to meet up with Andy and Char as they were down from their home village of Catterick seeing family. They previously booked in for their pre-wedding shoot after we discussed about having the session on the Wirral. The weather was looking a little iffy but we persevered and knowing we had the option of using rooms inside of the venue of choice helped with the final outcome.

I turned up to Hillbark Hotel and OMG, I…was…blown…away!! The photos online just didn’t do this place any justice. When you’re standing outside and there is just detail everywhere you’re a little lost for words. Thankfully Andy and Char were running a little late so I had the pleasure of walking around in awe whilst looking for potential hot-spot locations with the photos I was going to take (which clearly wasn’t going to be difficult).

Andy and Char soon arrived and joined me in the Bar area. Getting into discussion I found out that Char used to work at Hillbark Hotel which I guess aided in the decision to have her pre-wedding shoot there but also it is the sister venue to the location they will be holding their wedding at in just under 2 weeks time…Haigh Hall!

We caught up and even though I could have chatted for a while I didn’t want to keep them but also the weather improved and so we headed outside to get what we could. We couldn’t have planned it better as the rain had set in when we headed back inside to finish off their photos indoors. Char was telling me a few interesting stories about the building’s history and one which just blew my mind but I won’t go into detail however if you’re interested then follow this link:ย http://www.hillbarkhotel.co.uk/the-hotel/history/

I had an absolutely enjoyable time and I hope Andy and Char did too. I can’t wait until their wedding day in just under 2 weeks time but until then please enjoy a couple of selected images I’ve chosen which I loved from their pre-wedding shoot ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks…

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Congratulations Tom & Kerry!

On Saturday I had the pleasure of being part of Tom and Kerry’s wedding day. It all began in Aspull which is located quite close to Haigh Hall in Wigan. Kerry decided she wanted to go ahead with my Gold package which included the Bridal Preparations so after a conversation to confirm all the details of the day I was to arrive at 9am at her Parent’s home which was several doors down from where they were to get married…Handy ๐Ÿ™‚

I parked up just around the corner and after knocking on the door I was welcomed in by Kerry’s Dad. The Bridal party were well into having their hair and make-up done and as it was quite crowded I decided to crack on with capturing the shots of the smaller details first. With a little help I had everything organised in one room which helped to ensure I never missed anything I would usually snap. After a little while I headed back downstairs where it was a bit quieter but the hair stylist and make-up artist were still at work doing what they do best! The morning was great but time soon crept up on us and I had to head round the corner to The Parish Church of Saint David Haigh and Aspull.

Tom was waiting inside as guests began to arrive and whilst I waited for the Vicar to arrive I photographed parts of the venue and grounds. Tom looked a little nervous as he waited at the front of the aisle with his Best man but occasions like this are a momentous chapter in most of our lives. Family and Friends were slowly filling up the church so I knew we were getting to that time of the day, the ceremony!

The Bridesmaids, Flower girls, Paige boy and Kerry’s Mum had arrived in a lovely classic car provided by Horgans before it turned around to head back for Kerry and her Dad. After around 10 minutes the entire Bridal Party were together and were making their way to the entrance of the church. The Vicar greeted them and as he was talking through things with them I made my way to the front of the aisle near Tom to capture shots of the arrival of the Bride.

The ceremony was relatively short with no hymns but it was absolutely wonderful! Vows and rings were exchanged so it was a matter of just signing the register for the newly weds. There was just Tom, Kerry, Best man and the Maid of Honor who was present which made things a little easier with the room we had to work with. Once the formalities had been done I left them to gather themselves and prepare to make their way back up the aisle, For Tom and Kerry they were to walk past their Family and Friends as Husband and Wife for the first time.

Before they exited I had them come to one side of the doors where they would be congratulated by those who had just witnessed the special event and once words were exchanged I would set them up one-by-one either side of the doors outside to conclude with a confetti shot. This moment is essentially staged in the sense that I position everyone to how I feel looks right but the moment the happy couple walk out together and the confetti is thrown it’s just a basic countdown with natural ‘smiley’ expressions… I LOVE IT!

I spoke with Kerry before the ceremony regarding the formal group photographs. We spoke about it because BBC weather had shown that for each hour of the day it was going to be a mixed bag so fundamentally I knew it was all going to come down to ‘playing it by ear’. We decided to do the formals after the service but the weather had perked up so much that I was willing to risk it for a better backdrop. So the decision was made to move on to the Reception venue where we were to begin the group shots.

We all eventually headed off to The Willows at Blackrod where the afternoon reception and evening celebrations were to be held. I arrived and waited for the new Mr & Mrs Woolstencroft and after a couple of photos we went straight into to next part of the formalities, the groups! So I would usually get the Ushers to help as they generally know a lot more people than I would and it helps this time go smoothly. Kerry was happy with the list I sent over to her prior to the day so it was to take around 15/20 minutes to complete including a photo of everyone together. To arrange the shape I threw in a ‘Friends’ quote in there which only one guest picked up on afterwards. For those hardcore ‘Friends’ fans out there all you need to know is the word used was ‘PIVOT!’ ๐Ÿ™‚

Unfortunately due to the layout of the venue I didn’t manage to get my usual room shots as guests had already made themselves comfortable but I did get some close ups of the flower arrangements which were stunning and some hand-made logs for place names. I do love the location of the wedding venue with it overlooking Winter Hill.

I met with Paul Munro who is a Singer/DJ and along with providing music for the duration of the day and night he was to act as the Master of Ceremonies. His first official moment came when he announced Tom and Kerry into the room as guests cheered and clapped. Once sat it was time for the Wedding Breakfast to satisfy those hungry bellies ๐Ÿ™‚

During this time it allows me to look through my work, make room on my memory cards for the moments to come and I can also have a little time to recuperate before heading back out for the speeches.

After around 1.5 hours Kerry’s Dad was first speaker and he made a fantastic speech. Tom was up next and then finally the man that wasn’t looking forward to his moment at all, the Best Man. However, do you know what…he absolutely nailed it! He spoke from the heart, provided funny stories and came out the other side ยฃ20 richer!

With the formalities complete it was time for everyone to relax although for me I was just about to get into the flow of what I do best. I love documenting those natural moments by becoming a ‘fly on the wall’. These moments are forever cherished by my clients because it is a person’s true personality which they pay me to capture. Sometimes I may want to help instead of snapping away but I judge this based on the present atmosphere.

Whilst Tom and Kerry were out with me for those more intimate shots of them together a Magician had done the rounds by entertaining folks although we weren’t out long with the weather on and off so they also had the opportunity to enjoy a few card tricks. We managed to get photos at the church so I didn’t need much of their time so I spent the remainder of the evening just walking around capturing those candid shots.

The last thing to do for Tom and Kerry was to cut the cake and enjoy their first dance as Husband and Wife. It was beautiful with a little choreographic detail added by Tom but smiles were in abundance! Kerry invited her Dad up for a dance afterwards which I’m sure pulled at a few heart strings. They looked happy but before the song was finished Tom and Kerry came together again but this time with their Children, it was the perfect finale before I headed off.

I had a thoroughly enjoyable day capturing everything from start to finish and I wish the newly weds all the very best in their married lives together. I can’t wait to edit their wedding photographs but for now please enjoy these sneak peeks shots from the day.

Thanks…

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Congratulations Slawomir & Ilona!

Last Thursday saw me up round Bury and Rochdale for the Ceremony and Reception of such a lovely couple. I met Slawomir and Ilona towards the beginning of the year where we sat down, had a coffee and chatted about their upcoming wedding day. Obviously the bulk of it was about photography and how I can help create some special moments throughout. They loved my work and decided to book my mid-week package!

So I arrived around 30 minutes before proceedings began where I quickly had a briefing by Hugh who was to take charge of the ceremony/formalities. Slawomir had already arrived and he was sat with his Best man as they waited patiently for Ilona to arrive. Guests came in small groups and were also asked to swiftly take their seats. Around 10 minutes before expecting the Bridal party I perched myself on a nearby wall and waited…I had been told to expect a vehicle to pull up on the driveway although you have to be alert at all times in this game as Ilona and her Bridesmaid sneakily came up behind me and I nearly missed the opportunity of them walking both walking together!

The ceremony kicked off and I was asked to stay at the rear of the church and document the occasion from there. It all ran very smoothly and after around 30 minutes had passed it was time for the newly weds to officially sign the wedding register. A few snaps later and I was ready to capture some photos of the new Mr & Mrs Zegan as they made their way back up the aisle as Husband and Wife.

Guests came out to congratulate the happy couple and one member even had her own confetti in the form of rice, sweets and coppers (money). As this was an international gathering of family and friends there was a variety of traditions with this being one. It made for great photos and I don’t think Slawomir and Ilona were expecting it. The kids even jumped at the chance to rake in some goodies! Once things calmed down a little I gathered everyone for the formal groups shots which were fab and was complete in a matter of 20 minutes. The last thing to do was to announce on the Bride and Groom’s behalf for everyone to head over to the reception venue which was The Royal Toby Hotel in Rochdale.

I headed off to try and get there in good time whilst all family and friends were transported in a coach. We arrived and I decided to document everyone enjoying themselves with a welcome drink whilst soaking up a little sunshine. 20 minutes had passed and I then asked Slawomir and Ilona if they wanted to have a walk round for the more intimate shots of them together which they were more than happy to do.

We captured some gorgeous photos of them together and as we came back round to the entrance of the Hotel we were shadowed by Ilona’s Son Mark. I welcomed it as it helped the happy couple to relax a little more and I even had Mark pull some funny faces and even dance around ๐Ÿ™‚

Time was coming to a close for me but I took some photos of the wedding breakfast room in all its glory before taking a few snaps of the wedding cake and then had Slawomir and Ilona pose behind it for a mock cut. Before the wedding coordinator officially invited everyone into the room I headed off leaving everyone to have an absolutely memorable time as the afternoon celebrations were just about to start.

I hope Slawomir and Ilona along with their wonderful family and friends who came from around the globe had a fantastic time and I can’t wait to begin the editing of their wedding day photographs. For now please enjoy these sneak peek shots.

Thanks…

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Congratulations John & Jessica!

My last wedding of the weekend was on Sunday and was again all going to happen at Holland Hall Hotel. I was very excited for this one and as I arrived at the accommodation around the rear of the hotel that the Bridal party were staying in I could see that they were also very excited ๐Ÿ™‚

They were all having their hair done by a professional stylist whilst make up was being done individually. I began by capturing a couple of natural shots of the girls enjoying themselves and having a drink before heading into the bedroom where all of the wedding attire and items were ready for me to position and photographs. I spent a short time in there before heading back out into the main room to finish off more natural shots of everyone getting ready! It was soon time for the main event and so I headed to the Hotel where all of the wedding guests wereย congregating and having a drink.

I caught up briefly with John as he was mingling with guests and then was finally invited into the ceremony room to take position. I waited for Jessica to arrive in style as she was being chauffeur driven in a gorgeous Bentley with her Brother who was to give her away. The Bridesmaids were waiting in line just outside as Jessica was speaking with the registrar but the time had come and I took position near John with camera in hand.

The ceremony ran smoothly and included personal readings which they read to one another and once rings were exchanged and the official signing of the register was signed they head back up the aisle as Husband and Wife. They were offered a glass of fizz to celebrate although John preferred an ice cold pint which he enjoyed during the warm weather we had. After family and friends had congratulated the new Mr & Mrs Cafferty I decided to get the formal groups out of the way as quickly as I could and began with the smaller groups before leading up too the larger group shot of everyone. We finished with a confetti photo which was awesome and everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy it!

John and Jessica then were escorted into the Reception room to check over the room whilst guests enjoyed some relaxing time to chat, drink and enjoy the fine weather we were having. Karen and her team at Holland Hall then invited everyone to take their seats in preparation to receive the newly-weds. John and Jessica were announced in style and entered the room to an enormous roar and cheer from their lovely family and friends. They all enjoyed a fab 3 course meal as part of the wedding breakfast which then led onto the speeches.

Jessica’s Brother had the pleasure to start proceedings by offering some touching words which did include a few funny stories. The main man himself, John then followed and he didn’t disappoint. Finally John’s Best man was to conclude what was a great variety of wedding speeches although John made us aware that a back up speaker for ‘Best man’ was ready in the wings in case he wasn’t happy ;-P

The sun was slowly dropping from the sky which I love as it offers low light shots and creates stunning backdrop imagery. I invited John and Jessica to head up the lane to begin the more intimate shots of them together. They smiled non-stop which I absolutely loved and I could tell John was enjoying himself the big poser ๐Ÿ™‚ On a serious note they were great and I was really getting into capturing some gorgeous photographs of them!

After around 30 minutes I let them enjoy some time with their family and friends before the final part of the day which included the first dance. As the DJ was resident to the venue we kept it pretty much to the same timings as usual which gave evening guests the opportunity to arrive and settle.

John and Jessica were finally officially announced onto the dance floor where they smiled away and enjoyed a couple of minutes in each other’s company before everyone was then asked to join the happy couple.

I hope they had a absolutely awesome and memorable day and I wish them all the very best in their married lives together. I can’t wait to begin the editing of their wedding day photographs but for now please enjoy these sneak peek shots.

Thanks…

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Congratulations Michael & Terri!

My second wedding of the weekend saw me down the road at Holland Hall Hotel. I’m so pleased to be the recommended photographer of this wonderful venue and I really enjoy taking photos of weddings around the stunning grounds that it offers. The start for me was upstairs with the Bridal Party capturing the build up of the girls getting ready. After a couple of natural shots I moved next door where the wedding dress and wedding accessories were all together. I love moving things around to get the best shots and also including items in the room as it is all part of that moment. Terri had arranged the dress perfectly and after a few tweaks I had captured some shots of it over the bed. I moved back into the other room where the girls were having their hair and make-up done for the final part of the Bridal Preparations.

It was time for me to make my way downstairs and head towards the noisy group of people who were to witness the ceremony of the soon to be Mr & Mrs Middlehurst. Family and Friends had gathered in the Deanwood Suite where they were having a good time chatting and drinking but before long Martin the Master of Ceremonies was inviting them all into the ceremony room to take their seats. Michael was eagerly waiting at the front of the aisle with his Best Man and Ushers who were keeping him occupied whilst Terri and the Bridal Party was running through the legalities with the Registrars.

A short walk around the the Atrium where they waited outside for the official announcement. I popped into position and got myself set with camera in hand. The Bridesmaids headed down first followed by Terri and her Father as they smiled away. The ceremony was lovely which included their own readings and once complete they exchanged rings, signed the register and then prepared to walk back up the aisle as Husband and Wife. They never stopped smiling which was great to see ๐Ÿ™‚

I held off with the formal group photos for 10-15 minutes as we had a little time kill and I also wanted the wedding guests to have their moment in congratulating the happy couple. We only had 5 groups to complete so I knew we had plenty of time which made me happy as I could walk around capturing funny moments without people knowing I was around!

The group photos were complete which included a shot of everyone which I manged to get by standing on a set of wooden ladders and then it was immediately followed by a confetti shot. I love this moment as it gets everyone involved in creating a cracking moment. We all headed back over to the Deanwood Suite whilst Michael and Terri made their way into the room where the Reception was to be held to make sure they were happy with how the room was presented. They loved it and I got some lovely photos, it also gave me the opportunity to get some mock shots of the cutting of the cake. It helps me get this photo at this point as later when the newly-weds actually do the official cutting they don’t need to worry about where to look ๐Ÿ™‚

Holland Hall Hotel have a great way of officially announcing the wedding couple into the room which surprises their family and friends and creates a great moment for those ‘what a way to make an entrance’ photographs. They all enjoyed a lovely 3 course meal as part of the wedding breakfast whilst I looked through the many photos I had captured so far and check over my equipment ready for the final phase of the day…….the speeches.

So after a couple of hours everyone was full and happy but it was time to enjoy the next formality involving usually the Father of the Bride, the Groom and finally the Best Man. Terri’s Father was a little anxious but did a sterling job reading his speech and set the bar for those that followed. They were all great in the end and included funny stories and wrong dates ;-P

With the weather still playing ball and showing no signs of the ‘R’ word we headed back outside again although this time it was just Michael and Terri who were going to have the more intimate shots of them captured. We headed up the lane which overlooked a gorgeous field which had a golden glimmer. Dodging a couple of cars for about 10 minutes I decided to have them walk back down the lane towards the hotel. We stopped a couple of time for photos on the way down and around the hotel before finishing up at the rear of the hotel in the garden area. At this point I could see the slow decline in concentration as they could smell the hog that was roasting just a couple of feet away from them ๐Ÿ˜‰ We were done and I got some cracking shots of them both!

They headed back round to their guests which were starting to make their way back inside to prepare for the final formality, the first dance. I set up my gear and liaised with the DJ to make sure we had the correct time. At around 8.30pm Michael and Terri made their way onto the dance floor to enjoy a few minutes together whilst dancing away to their preferred song of choice.

I hope they both along with their family and Friends had a truly memorable day and I hope they have an absolutely fantastic time away in Paris!

Please enjoy these sneak peek photos before I upload the remainder of their wedding collection very soon ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks…

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