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Congratulations Daniel & Laura!

I may as well pitched up overnight at Macdonald Kilhey Court Hotel on Thursday as I was up early the following day after Tony and Liz’s wedding to begin photographing the wedding day of Daniel and Laura. I arrived very early as I was to document the build up with the girls for the Bridal Preparations.

As I arrived I was greeted by the Bride herself, Laura, as she opened the door to the suite they were all in eating breakfast. It helped with having everyone in one room and with all of the smaller details which I was to photograph throughout the morning. I organised with them that I would document a short period of Daniel getting ready as him and the Groomsmen were also prepping themselves in the hotel. I don’t spend too long with the gents as I usually see them around 20-30 minutes before the ceremony begins anyway which gives me a good opportunity to capture shots of guest arriving, briefly speak with the Registrars and the surrounding area of the venue.

The time was getting ever so close to the start of the Ceremony and so once I photographed the wedding dress in one of the Bridesmaid’s room I made my way down to the Lakeside suite to set myself up. I came across a familiar face who I do enjoy working with, Barry of Diamond Lights Wedding Films. He was filming at the entrance as I arrived but we were soon catching up although after 5 minutes guests were being invited into the room as a brass band was playing.

Daniel and his 3 Best men were waiting patiently as the girls slowly made their way from their suite, down the staircase and finally entering the Lakeside before Laura ran through legalities with the Registrars. A little later than scheduled the Bridesmaids entered one-by-one to the instrumental of ‘Braveheart’ and then finally a beautiful Bride with her Father walking together and smiling away down the aisle. It all ran smoothly and after a short time I was soon photographing the signing of the register and getting ready to receive the new Mr & Mrs Hyland back down the aisle and heading for a celebratory drink as Husband and Wife.

Both myself and Barry knew we had to get both the formal groups and the intimate shots of the couple complete before darkness arrived. We managed to get through 10 groups, around 20 minutes of couple’s shots and even a confetti photo before it started to become too difficult to do any outdoor photographs. We also captured the room all set up in its stunning glory whilst guest enjoyed chatting and drinking next door.

The afternoon comprised of speeches by Laura’s Dad, Daniel and finally his 3 Wise men (Best men). It was followed by the wedding breakfast which I always take the opportunity to look through everything I have to date and remove those files which won’t make the cut!

Once bellies were full it was the queue for Pier Fun Casinos to enter the room and introduce themselves to a smiley Bride but very surprised Groom. Laura booked the entertainment giants a couple of years ago as a lovely surprise for her hubby for when they were to tie-the-knot. He loved it that much that he never moved from one of the tables as he was having so much fun, and even bagged himself a bottle of bubbly!

Eventually it was time for Pier Fun Casinos to leave at which point gave us the perfect time to head off and finish those more intimate photos of the happy couple together. We used the reception area as it’s lit well and includes gorgeous backdrops including the staircase. They were easy to photograph throughout, laughing a lot which provided me with beautiful photos of them.

The evening arrived and once the room had filled up and the DJ finally got ‘Dolly Parton’ on we were ready for the newlyweds to cut their wedding cake and head onto the dance floor for their First dance as a married couple. It was fab and being huge Killers fans (like myself) they asked for a couple of tracks to follow! They were dancing whilst my foot was tapping away capturing the moment but as always I soon was packing up and saying goodbye.

I had a blinding time and I’m sure Daniel and Laura did too. I wish them all the best in their married lives together and I look forward to editing their wedding photographs. For now please enjoy looking through these sneak peek shots…

Thanks!

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Congratulations Tony & Liz!

So my penultimate wedding of 2018 saw me up at Macdonald Kilhey Court Hotel in Standish, Wigan. I was to document the wedding ceremony of Tony and Liz and after charging batteries and packing the car I was heading up the road to begin the afternoon’s proceedings.

Their family and friends were travelling from across the country to be part of their big day and once I arrived I started to document the build-up. At the entrance sat the vehicle which brought Tony, Best man and 2 Ushers from their home…it was only the Trotter’s Reliant Robin! Liz surprised her Husband-to-be as he is a massive ‘Only fools and Horses’ fan although I can only imagine with Tony being a big lad that it may have been a bit of a squeeze, well at least they all arrived on time!

Everyone headed down to the Lakeside suite but I stayed waiting for Liz to walk down the stunning staircase in the reception area as requested. Liz, her Bridesmaids, Flower girl and Father slowly made their way down towards the ceremony room. Tony was waiting along with family and friends who were watching on and before we knew it the Bridal party were walking down the aisle.

The ceremony was lovely and once rings were exchanged and the register had been signed they were walking back up the aisle as Husband and Wife. This time of year proves challenging with ensuring that I fit in everything before the wedding breakfast due to daylight and so once their wedding guests congratulated them we began the formalities. First up was the group photographs, this was followed by the more intimate shots of the happy couple and then after interest had be shown towards doing a confetti shot all guests were making their way outside. I set up everyone on the steps and with just enough light to create this moment I did a countdown and those with confetti let rip!

I managed to get some photos of the room all dressed up whilst Mason King did some stand up Magic and before the wedding breakfast was to begin. Tony and Liz organised a duo of wedding singers from ‘Ntertain’ to entertain everyone after the desserts had been served and they didn’t disappoint with most getting involved.

The evening arrived and Karen from ‘Pier fun Casinos’ was on hand to invite those who were feeling lucky to have a go at a couple of games. This gave me the chance to finish up with the newlyweds and make sure that we got enough shots before the day concluded. They much preferred the more candid photography however that I offer as it captures people’s true emotions and so I concentrated more on this!

The evening was just starting but I knew I would be leaving the day’s celebrations in full swing after the little matter of a first dance to document. They started off dancing away together but were soon joined by their children and finally their family and friends.

The whole occasion was thoroughly enjoyable to photograph and I hope Tony and Liz had a wonderful and memorable time. I can’t wait to edit their entire wedding day’s photos but for now I leave you with these sneak peek shots…enjoy,

Thanks!

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Noah’s Cake Smash with Luna-bear!

So earlier this week I was invited to photograph Noah for his first Cake Smash photo shoot…this was also my first experience of this popular type of portraiture so I was very much looking forward to it!

I was in contact with Rhiannon (Noah’s Mum) on the lead up to the day with advice on what would look good as part of the backdrop. She decided to get a variety of props which involved balloons, pom-poms, bunting and of course the cake itself. We arranged to do a few shots of Noah with his ‘furry’ Sister, Luna. Now Luna has been a subject of mine in a previous shoot when she was a pup. She is absolutely gorgeous and I always love capturing shots of pets as part of my work especially as I am a lover of all our fluffy companions…and let’s face it, they are family!

Time was taken to make sure it all looked good but once checks were complete we had got into it and with the help of Rhiannon and David (Noah’s Dad) we had an enjoyable morning 🙂

I treat my photo sessions just like I would during a wedding. I am there to document the occasion but just with slight adjustments when needed to help make the shot look that bit extra special. I also throw a LOT of patience into the mix as this is what will make the experience a happy one for not just me but those I’m photographing too.

I can’t wait to edit the rest of the morning’s photo session but for now please enjoy these two chosen ‘sneak peek’ shots!

Thanks…

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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 🙂

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 🙂

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 🙂

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 🙂 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 🙂

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 🙂

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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! 🙂

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 🙂 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 🙂 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 myself  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 🙂

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 🙂 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 into  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 🙂 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 🙂

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 🙂

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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