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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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Congratulations Tom & Kerry!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

After around 1.5 hours Kerry’s Dad was first speaker and he made a fantastic speech. Tom was up next and then finally the man that wasn’t looking forward to his moment at all, the Best Man. However, do you know what…he absolutely nailed it! He spoke from the heart, provided funny stories and came out the other side Β£20 richer!

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

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

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

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

Thanks…

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Congratulations Slawomir & Ilona!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks…

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Congratulations John & Jessica!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks…

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Congratulations Michael & Terri!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks…

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Congratulations Anthony & Tina!

I knew this weekend was going to be exhausting but I also knew it was going to be full of highs as I prepared myself for a wedding bonanza! Friday saw me down the M6 to Haydock where I was to document the wedding day of Anthony and Tina at the Mercure Haydock Hotel.

It all began with the Bridal Preparations where Tina, her Daughter and Anthony’s Daughter were having their hair and make-up done. I started off by capturing those natural shots that I absolutely love followed by a period where I photographed the smaller, yet very important details including the wedding dress, wedding shoes, wedding flowers etc. It was a later start for me but I still made sure I gave myself that all important time-frame of 3 hours to ensure I don’t rush things especially whilst the ladies are trying to keep calm and get ready. I left just before Tina was to get into her dress as time was ticking and I still had to meet up with Anthony and have a quick chat with the registrars.

The wedding guests were all having a drink and a chat in the reception area waiting for proceedings to begin. Anthony was invited into the ceremony room to run through the relevant and important information with the registrars. It was time for everyone to take their seats to await the arrival of the Bride. Tina was to be given away by her Brother who looked very proud to be by her side as they walked into the reception area to also run through the legalities.

I went against my usual positioning with capturing the Bridesmaids walking towards the camera and instead I hung back and captured them walking away as the light looked better. I did however make sure that I headed to the front for Tina’s walk towards Anthony as I wanted to get her emotional expressions. Tina was full of smiles throughout the ceremony which was great to capture but it was full of mixed emotions during the special occasion. A civil ceremony usually last between 20-30 minutes so it wasn’t long before the happy couple exchanged rings, signed the all important register to seal the deal and finally they were ready to head back down the aisle as Husband and Wife.

Unfortunately we didn’t have the fortune of the glorious, sunny weather that we have been experiencing over the last few weeks so I left the newlyweds to mingle with their family and friends whilst I scouted out an area big/good enough for the formal group shots. I decided to use the dance floor in the Reception room as it was roomy and offered good light. It didn’t take long to get through the photos and it gave Anthony and Tina enough time to again have a good time chatting and drinking with their guests. I did what I do best and what thoroughly enjoy which was capturing the natural moments.

The time had arrived for the Reception part of the day and with everyone at their seats the new Mr & Mrs Purves were officially announced into the room by the Master of Ceremonies. There wasn’t to be a sit down meal but there were speeches made by Anthony and his Best Men. Afterwards they cut the cake and then during the period from speeches to first dance I headed outside with Anthony and Tina as the weather was a lot better which gave us the chance to capture those more intimate shots of them together. They were great fun and I really enjoyed watching them have a laugh πŸ™‚

It was soon time for that all important first dance but firstly on request, Tina wanted a dance with her Mum and Anthony also with his Mum which was very touching! Anthony and Tina then made their way back onto the dance floor for the final official part of the day, the first dance!

I had an absolutely fantastic day documenting it all and I hope they did too. I can’t wait to begin the editing of all their wedding photographs but for now please enjoy these sneak peek shots.

Thanks…

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Congratulations Peter & Judie!

I was part of yet another mid-week Wedding of this year as the package itself seems very appealing to those on a budget and wishing to tie-the-knot during the week instead of a weekend. Peter & Judie’s big day started for me as I arrived at Best Western’s Park Hall Hotel in Chorley around 45 minutes before the ceremony was to begin. I like to arrive nice and early to settle in and do the necessary checks on equipment whilst reassuring the Bride and Groom that I have actually arrived πŸ™‚

Peter was speaking with the registrar who was to conduct the ceremony and guests were enjoying a swift half near the reception. There were only around 25 close family and friends who were to witness the happy occasion so I didn’t take me long to get a few documented snaps of them enjoying the build up. Everyone was soon invited inside the Medieval Banquet Suite to take their seats whilst the wedding coordinator headed upstairs to grab the Bridal party.

After a couple of confirmations between Bride and Registrar it was game on! I planted myself at the end of the aisle close enough to Peter and his Best Man to capture a moment of banter but far enough to ensure they felt comfortable and kept it natural. Judie and her Son headed up the aisle as the music began to play and as Peter turned around I’m sure he was lost for words at how beautiful she looked in her wedding dress.

The ceremony ran smoothly and once rings were exchanged and the signing of the register had been compete it was time to begin the reception phase of the day….which I love!

To begin with I always try and start with the confetti throw as it gets everyone feeling part of it all and I like to think it eases them into the formal group shots which follow. It was a great crowd and we flew through it all which gave the newly weds time to enjoy a drink and a chat with their guests. I checked out the locations of where I was going to do the more informal and intimate photographs of Peter and Judie in this time and after 20-25 minutes we then cracked on with them. It was very pleasant and enjoyable and we even had an intruder….’Derek the Duck’ decided to head towards us for a gander with what we were doing, haha!

Once the time had arrived for the wedding breakfast guests were seated and everyone enjoyed a lovely three course meal. The speeches were afterwards although it was only a couple of lovely words said by Peter to thank everyone for coming πŸ™‚

It was a wonderful day and I hope not just the happy couple but also their family and friends had an amazing time especially throughout the evening! I wish Peter and Judie all the very best for the future and I look forward to speaking with them after they return from their break away up in Lancaster….it sounded very nice ;-D

I also look forward to sending them their wedding photographs from the day but for the time being please enjoy these sneak peek shots

Thanks…

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Congratulations Phil & Kate!

The weekend was a busy one seeing me at Heskin Hall on Friday and then I had the pleasure of being part of another amazing day at Macdonald Kilhey Court. Being the preferred wedding photographer at Kilhey Court in Standish, Wigan gave me the opportunity to meet with Phil and Kate who enquired after seeing my portfolio of photographs captured over the years at the stunning North West venue.

Kate wanted the Bridal Preparations before the ceremony began so I planned to turn up around 0900hrs where I was to document the build up. There was Kate, Kate’s Mum and Kate’s Bridesmaid who were all having their hair and make-up done by two familiar faces. Laura-Jane was on make-up and Lauren was on Hair styling. I got a couple of natural shots to settle myself in to it all before heading upstairs to capture the smaller details including the wedding dress, wedding shoes, wedding jewelry etc. Half way into the 3 hours I am usually around there was a knock at the door, it was Cath of Rathbones Upholland Bakery who stopped by to wish Kate good luck and to let her know that the wedding Cake had been delivered to the venue. I also met Kate’s Dad who arrived to get ready and to see his Daughter in her beautiful white wedding dress.

The Bridal party were ahead of schedule which gave me enough time to head to the venue, get a parking spot near The United Benefice of Saint Catherine’s Church in Scholes, Wigan and meet with Sam who was to take charge and conduct the ceremony. I also had the pleasure of working with Barry of Diamond Lights Wedding Films which was great as always! Phil had headed inside with his Best man along with all of their wedding guests whilst I waited outside for Kate to turn up in style. She booked two Volkswagen Camper vans from Love Bus Wedding Company for transportation from their home, to the Church and then onto the Reception venue.

With everything set and ready proceedings began and I enjoyed documenting it all πŸ™‚

The ceremony was lovely with a couple of readings, hymns, vows and of course the exchange of rings before the official signing of the register. It was approx an hour in total before the new Mr & Mrs Altree headed back up the aisle past their family and friends who were smiling away to exit the Church for a couple of photos. We didn’t hang around as me and Barry knew we had a few things to organise before everyone arrived at Kilhey Court.

With the wedding party arriving in ‘dribs & drabs’ we tried our best to direct people towards the green where we were to begin the formal group photographs. Time is always a major factor in anyone’s Wedding day and I always try and ensure I’m ahead of it! We made sure of course we got some lovely photos of the happy couple in and around the glorious transportation before they headed off.

We cracked on a began the formal groups which actually went smoother than I thought which was also Kate’s words to me after they we complete πŸ™‚ Still conscious that I needed to get some room shots me and Barry headed inside to do this before Ash the Wedding coordinator invited everyone inside to take their seats for the official arrival of the Bride and Groom. So before the wedding breakfast it was time for the speeches and first up was Kate’s Dad who offered a slideshow of selected photos from his Daughters childhood leading up to her at University which enjoyed by all. Next was the main man himself, Phillip who had a few jokes up his sleeves and delivered them perfectly. Finally there was Phil’s Best man who had a mixture of jokes and touching words towards not just Phil but Kate too πŸ™‚

During the meal me and Barry waited outside checking our photos and footage whilst we heard cheers due to the ongoing World Cup game between Sweden and England who were playing each other for the Semi-Final spot. Thankfully England were on top and doing well.

Once things calmed down and bellies were full we invited Phil and Kate to head outside for the more intimate shots of them together which I love as I treat it with a total relaxed approach πŸ™‚ We headed all around the venue’s grounds inside and out, taking in all the sunshine on offer whilst the newly weds enjoyed some time together. It was great but time had moved on and with the kids playing on the bouncy castle and the DJ playing some tunes the evening part of the day was just beginning.

Phil and Kate prepared for their first dance but first there was a matter of a cutting of the cake and also Kate wanted to throw her Bouquet. Most of the Women including a couple of the kids who wanted their chance of catching the stunning bouquet of flowers rounded up on the dance floor. It was a great moment and with most people already up the newly weds had their first dance together. It wasn’t long before everyone was invited up to join them.

I had a really enjoyable day capturing it all. I’ve got to say that even though there was 160 guests everyone was on form especially with the formal group photos πŸ™‚ A shout out to No. 10, you know who you are ;-P and I hope everyone had a memorable day especially Phil and Kate. I hope you have an amazing time in New York and I look forward to speaking with you on your return. For now please all enjoy these sneak peek shots.

Thanks…

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