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Congratulations Philip & Clare!

On Saturday I was back at it again and it was the same stunning venue I was at the week before…Ashfield House, YES! This time it was the wedding day of Philip and Clare who I had met up with a little while ago to discuss their big day in great detail. It’s crazy how fast these occasions creep up on you πŸ™‚

So Saturday arrived and at 10am I made the grueling 2.8 mile journey up to begin the day by documenting the Bridal Preparations. Clare and the Bridal party were enjoying the morning having their hair and make-up done in the sitting room whilst indulging in some bacon butties, pancakes and of course a little fizz! I started with a couple of shots of it all happening but I swiftly headed outside to capture some shots of the gorgeous surroundings the venue has to offer. The colours are absolutely wonderful at this time of year and we’re lucky that we haven’t had any severe storms to blow all the leaves out of the trees, it does make for lovely backdrops! After 10 minutes I headed back upstairs to document the reminder of the morning whilst getting those all important photos of the smaller details including the wedding shoes, wedding flowers, wedding jewelry, wedding dress etc. As usual around 30 minutes before the ceremony was to begin I headed downstairs to meet up with the Groom and to make sure their wasn’t any specific requests from the Registrar.

I photographed guests having a drink and make those last minute adjustments before Josh, the wedding coordinator for the day invited everyone to head inside the ceremony room and take their seats to await the arrival of the Bride. Clare’s Dad waited for his Daughter at the bottom of the staircase so he could see her for the first time in her beautiful wedding dress, it was a lovely moment!

The Paige boys and Flower girls started proceedings by making their way into the ceremony room. They were followed by the Bridesmaids and finally Clare next to her proud Dad who was smiling away to family and friends. They made their way towards an anxious Groom although nerves had seemed to have lessened once Clare was stood next to Philip. Vows and rings were exchanged along with a kiss to ‘seal-the-deal’ and after 20 minutes the signing of the register was complete and they were already making their way back down the aisle although this time as Husband and Wife.

We moved straight into the confetti photo and formal groups as I had previously looked on the weather report for the area which was very mixed and unpredictable. I wanted to get what we could outside just in case it took a turn for the worst but fortunately it held off. We even managed to get those more intimate shots of the newly weds together before they remained inside for the afternoon and daylight slowly diminished.

Everyone looked like they were having a blast especially with Magic Matt keeping everyone entertained. He provided amazing showpieces and had everyone in stitches as he performed out of his skin. After an hour or so it was time for all of the wedding party to take their seats in the wedding breakfast room ready to receive their Bride and Groom. Josh formerly announced the happy couple into the room which was followed by loud cheers and clapping. The speeches were first and to begin the formalities of the afternoon was Clare’s Dad who offered loving words towards his Daughter and wonderful words towards most in the room. Next up was Philip who did his duty as the Groom and thanked those in attendance for sharing his and his Wife’s special day. Finally was Philip’s Best man who done a great job in sharing funny stories πŸ™‚

The evening was upon us and with guest heading out of the room for the staff to turn it all around for the evening it was the perfect opportunity to grab hold of Philip and Clare and complete the photos of them both although we were to do this inside the venue but the interior decor is unique and provides wonderful backdrops for me to use. I only kept them for around 20 minutes as I always want to ensure they have plenty of time with their guests and not with their photographer πŸ™‚

I stumbled across Matt who was the DJ for the evening and provided by DFC Lancashire. He set up his equipment so quickly and before we knew it Philip and Clare were heading back in to officially cut their cake and on request, Clare was to dance with her Dad. After Father and Daughter shared a few wonderful moments together, Clare was handed over to her Husband to share the dance floor for the first time as Mr & Mrs Topping.

The day was so enjoyable capturing it all for such a lovely couple and helped by being surrounded by amazing and friendly guests. I hope everyone had a memorable day and I can’t wait to begin the editing of their wedding photographs. For the time being I have chosen and edited a small selection of my favourites, Enjoy!

Thanks…

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Congratulations Andrew & Aimee!

On Saturday I was super excited to be heading up to Ashfield House again which is just up the road from me in Standish, Wigan to document Andrew & Aimee’s big day! After a short absence from this hidden gem I was excited to see any changes which has made this national award winning venue what it has become.

It all began at around 10am where I arrived to capture the Bridal preparations. Aimee and her Bridal party were having their hair and make-up done when I arrived to which I swiftly got out the camera and started documenting the action. After 10 minutes I walked around the venue both inside and out to get inspiration for potential shots later in the day. It was a glorious frosty but sunny Autumnal day but I knew the weather was going to be a factor with both the formal groups and the more intimate shots of the happy couple together. Experience has always told me to get everything in before the wedding breakfast as daylight diminishes very quickly leaving no option but for shots indoors! After 10 minutes of getting what I needed I headed back up to the ‘sitting room’ where I began photographing the smaller details but waiting for the dress shots until there was a little more room later on.

At 12pm Andy arrived and was to get ready with his Best man and Usher in a room down the corridor. As he was seconds away I asked Aimee if maybe he wanted some ‘getting ready’ shots before he headed downstairs to which she replies yes! I only spent 10/15 minutes with them as, let’s face it…us men only have a few things to organise and put on ;-P

The morning soon became afternoon and with around 15/20 minutes before the ceremony was to begin I headed downstairs to capture shots of guests arriving and Aimee’s arrival walking down the venue’s iconic staircase with her Dad by her side. The ceremony began on time and it included a couple of readings and personal vows to one another. A special guest was also in attendance which made the atmosphere that little more ‘smiley’ among guests because Andrew & Aimee’s pet dog, Rupert was observing the special occasion from the comfort of his own seat (well it was someone’s lap).

After rings were exchanged and the signing of the register was complete the new Mr & Mrs Donaldson were ready to head back up the aisle as Husband and Wife. They smiled away to their family and friends before being handed a glass of fizz by Josh the wedding coordinator. We swiftly cracked on with the confetti shot which led into a large group shot of everyone with myself on the balcony looking down to a fine looking bunch of people πŸ™‚ We then finished with the smaller requested formal groups.

Even though we completed the groups in record time I still needed the happy couple for their photographs before we lost the daylight. We were ahead of schedule however so I gave them 10 minutes to warm up inside with their wedding guests before inviting them back outside along with Rupert. They were amazing in front of the camera and I tried as always to keep it as relaxed as possible as I believe this is the best way to get those awesome natural looking shots! We walked around the venue’s stunning grounds and after 20 minutes we headed back inside where I had the opportunity to get those room shots before everyone headed inside for the meal and trashed the place πŸ™‚

Andrew and Aimee waited outside the room with the Bridal party as they requested a receiving line to ensure they said hello to everyone who was in attendance witnessing the happy occasion. It also gave those who didn’t know each other the opportunity to introduce themselves before the speeches later that afternoon. With everyone ready sat down, Josh was announcing the newly weds into the room.

After I had time to look through my photos it was soon time for the penultimate formality of the day, the speeches. Aimee’s Dad began with some lovely words towards his Daughter, this was then followed by Andrew who offered gifts to those who made a special contribution to the day and plenty of ‘thank yous’ to everyone for being part of their big day. Finally the Best man stepped up and came up with a cracking speech which involved an array of head wear. This was obviously a personal story which had laughter in abundance and by the end got a huge applaud!

So the day was nearly over for me but after an hour or so of capturing guests enjoying themselves and a sneak shot of Andrew in a kilt ;-P I set up my flash guns ready for the first dance. I was in the presence of one of the best DJ’s I had met to date, Ian who was the DJ of choice for the evening created a wonderful atmosphere and included some cracking songs to ensure bodies were on the dance floor throughout the evening.

Andrew and Aimee enjoyed their moment together dancing away surrounded by watchful eyes. It was lovely and the song was slow but it was afterwards where it got interesting as they essentially has a dance-off to ‘The O’Jays – Love Train’. It was epic and I loved capturing their expressions to a song which I thought was never going to end, haha!

I hope they both had such a wonderful day together surrounded by those who love them. It was an absolute pleasure being part of it and I wish you all the best in your married life together. Your wedding day photos will be edited soon but for now please enjoy these sneak peek shots πŸ™‚

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Thanks…

 

Congratulations Daniel & Sophie!

On Saturday I was part of Daniel and Sophie’s big day which saw me at a new venue. My batteries were charged and bags packed ready for a day which was going to amazing! I arrived at Ribby Hall in Preston where I made my way through the gates and to the far end of the complex where the Spa was located. Sophie and the Bridal party were having their hair and make-up done upstairs in a room which overlooked the stunning grounds. I began capturing all the smaller details although as the wedding dress was arriving a little later I waited patiently for its arrival. I documented the remainder of the time with two Bridesmaids turning up as the morning turned to afternoon. Sophie was very relaxed and taking it all in including indulging in a couple of glasses of fizz! It was great fun and I really enjoyed capturing it all but it was soon time for me to head down to the main building which was where the ceremony was taking place.

As I walked through the sliding doors I was greeted by Daniel’s Best man and Brother, Michael who directed me to the main man himself. Daniel also seemed very relaxed as he greeted family and friends who braved the rain and blustery winds to witness these lovely people tie-the-knot. I briefly spoke with the registrars and got a couple of snaps of the room set up before guests were then invited to take their seats by the wedding coordinator, Natalie. Once the Bridal party arrived I knew I had to head outside to get some shots of Sophie making her way down with her Father in a very swish classic Rolls Royce, I got a little wet but it was so worth it having the spa in the background. With everyone ready and Daniel eagerly waiting at the end of the aisle it was time for the main event.

I took position as the girls began to make their way down the aisle before Sophie smiled away with her proud Father as they walked past family and friends. The ceremony was lovely which included a reading made by Daniel’s Mum before exchange of vows and rings. The signing of the register was the first formality of the day which I organised before handing over to everyone else to get their photos. The newly weds then made their way back up the aisle as Husband and Wife to receive a refreshing beverage and allow their wedding guests to congratulate them. As the weather wasn’t too good and very unpredictable I didn’t risk conducting the formal group photographs outside as it would have taken too long potentially waiting for breaks from the rain. Instead I picked a location with plenty of room for the requested groups I had on paper and had the Ushers help me get hold of those involved. We didn’t have too much time but we got through them within around 20 minutes which then gave us maybe 10 minutes before the happy couple checked the room which had been dressed for the wedding breakfast and even a couple of snaps of them outside with the Rolls Royce and in the gardens out the back.

I was so, so happy for Daniel and Sophie that they managed to have some photos outside especially as we would have lost the daylight after the meal which is something we always have to think about among many other things on a wedding day!

Natalie invited everyone to take their seats before officially announcing the new Mr & Mrs Yates into the room to cheers and howls. They began with the speeches which started with Sophie’s Father, Robert. He was followed by the Daniel who offered kind words and expressed his Thanks to those who attended their special day and finally Michael the Best man was to finish things off with some funny stories. Things had settled and everyone was enjoying a lovely carvery before an announcement by what looked like one of the staff members of the venue. It didn’t go down too well when he said the incorrect name for the Groom although this was then swiftly followed by showing his true identity in being a ‘singing waiter’. These guys are great because they create an eye watering story and make you believe they are causing a scene before belting out some tunes which usually gets everybody in the room on their feet and dancing. It is always an awesome time for me to get those all important documentary shots which I love capturing as I can blend well into the background and catch people off guard! πŸ™‚

The entertainment soon came to an end and everyone was asked to head back into the reception area where evening guests had already been waiting. The evening had arrived sooner than expected but this is what happens when you’re having a ball! I had about 10/15 minutes with Daniel and Sophie capturing photos of them together around the inside of the venue using certain backdrops before they were heading onto the dance floor for their first dance. I asked Michael to secretly set off a confetti canon during the first dance which didn’t go according to plan especially with it being a canon I thought it would go further, haha…

It was a lovely moment for the happy couple as they danced away in front of their family and friends before the DJ invited everyone up to also join the newly weds. It was a really enjoyable day and one which was great fun. I hope Daniel, Sophie and their wonderful family and friends had a memorable time and I wish them all the best in their married lives together. I also hope they have an awesome time away on honeymoon, it sounds amazing!

Enjoy these sneak peek shots, thanks…

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Congratulations Sophie & Nicky!

It’s great to be back at it after a couple of weeks away from the office and there was no better way to hit the ground running than being part of such a wonderful wedding between to fab people of whom are close friends πŸ™‚ I have known Sophie and the Williams family since I was a spotty teenager when I lived in Birmingham and even though I moved around due to work and family we still kept in touch for the most part, I was immensely honored to be asked to document the whole day!

So after an initial consultation (basically a good catch up in a pub) a year before their big day it was soon all happening and I found myself travelling down south from little Wigan. I had all of my equipment all packed up in the boot including overnight gear as I decided I wanted to ensure I arrived at the venue with no unforeseen issues. I charged my batteries and made room on my memory cards.

I woke up to a crisp, extremely sunny Saturday morning and from that moment I knew it was going to be a good day. There was not a cloud in sight and as I headed from one side of Birmingham to the other I found myself cruising nicely along a very peaceful M5 motorway. I only went a couple of junctions down near Bromsgrove area where I arrived at the stunning venue which was to hold the entire day’s events. Redhouse Barn was to conduct the Wedding ceremony, Wedding reception, Wedding breakfast and finally the evening’s celebrations. I turned up at around 8.30am with a strong black coffee in hand to begin the day and once I introduced myself to the Bridal party I captured some shots of the venue itself walking around the grounds. The morning was very relaxed as the girls had their hair and make-up done by Ruth whilst enjoying plenty of banter. After a couple of hours I began photographing all the smaller details including their Wedding bouquets which were arranged by Harriet Joseph before heading outside with both dresses to hang up around the grounds as it was so beautiful. Sophie’s Mum, Maxine arrived followed a little later by Sophie’s Brother, Jack. I hadn’t seen them both for quite a while but it was just like good old times and they hadn’t changed a bit πŸ™‚ With the Ceremony soon approaching Sophie and Nicky who were getting ready together then separated to get dressed into their wedding dresses as they hadn’t seen each others wedding attire beforehand.

It was 1.45pm and I was getting myself prepared whilst all of the wedding guests were arriving and enjoying pre-drinks. I spoke with the registrars and finally waited as everyone took their seats. The Ceremony room was set out so both Brides were to exchange words to one another in the centre of the room. The Bridesmaids entered the room at the rear which is the main entrance to the room and after a short delay Sophie and Nicky along with their Brothers were walking towards each other and entering on both sides of the building and threw the large sliding windows. The Ceremony was beautiful with one reading made by Maxine and after vows were exchanged and rings were securely placed it was time for the newly weds to officially sign the register. Once photos were complete I waited at the entrance to the room where they were to walk past their family and friends as Wife & Wife and have a celebratory drink.

A VW Camper was waiting outside which was to become a prop for the couple to have their photos around which we managed to squeeze in before the formal group photos and the confetti photo. Once all done I left them to enjoy a little time with their guests whilst I captured photos of the Wedding breakfast room looking fab with very unique centre pieces. Time was flying and I was thinking further into the day and photos of them together outside especially with the daylight slowly shortening due to the time of the year. Thankfully we were pretty much on schedule and started with the wedding coordinators getting guests inside to take their seats around 4pm and ready for the arrival of the Brides which led into the Wedding breakfast.

The speeches were to begin after coffee was served and fizz was poured, first up was the Mother of the Bride, Maxine. Now traditionally it is the Father who offers words about his Daughter but Sophie and Jack’s Dad, John sadly passed away a couple of years ago so both Maxine and her Son, Jack offered loving words and funny stories on behalf of John. Sophie was to say a few things but mainly included thank you’s to everyone who could share her’s and Nicky’s big day. There was also other close family members who sadly couldn’t witness the happy occasion and one of those special people was Nicky’s Dad, Tom. Nicky’s Brother, Spencer shed a few tears but proudly stood up to offer words on behalf of their Dad. Finally Bridesmaid Julie made her way to the top table to pass on some hilarious items which touch base on how the newly weds met etc. All of the speeches were amazing which included mixed emotions of primarily absent family but everyone knew they would have been immensely proud!

The sun had set and I asked Sophie and Nicky to quickly head outside when they were ready so we can catch the remainder of the days light. The sky was something else, I have only seen it sooooo beautiful on a handful of occasions. The sky was on fire and so were the girls, even though they weren’t hugely photogenic they did great and seemed very relaxed. I could have spent ages walking around the venue’s grounds capturing the happy couple but unfortunately we only had around 15-20 minutes outside.

I had a short while of documenting guests enjoying themselves whilst supping on very fine brewed ale produced by the couple’s very good friend, Mark. Guests were finally invited back into the room which had been turned around for the evening and as I finished setting up my flash stands it was soon time for Sophie and Nicky to be announced onto the dance floor for firstly the cutting of the cake which was created by the very talented ‘Iceability’ and then their first dance as Mrs & Mrs Clark-Williams.

Now as the lyrics came on singing…”Now I’ve….had….the time of my life, No, I never felt like this before” you would think were heading into a gentle and heartfelt moment between two people but we were certainly in for a surprising treat as the DJ mixed into……The Macarena!!!! It was absolutely amazing and I just wanted to jump right on in there and join in but someone had to take the photos, haha! They were immediately joined by those who may have known about it prior but certainly there were folks like myselfΒ  who just wanted to dance to a bit of quality 90’s cheese! This was

It was a memorable day and one which I will never forget! I truly hope Sophie, Nicky and their lovely family and friends had a superb time taking it all in and also capturing photos of such a happy occasion. They are away on Honeymoon which I’m sure they’ll thoroughly enjoy and I can’t wait for them both to see their sneak peek shots. I personally can’t wait to edit the remainder of the images but until then enjoy and take care πŸ™‚

Thanks…

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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 πŸ™‚ 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 intoΒ  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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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 –Β 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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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:Β 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 πŸ™‚

Thanks…

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