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 had 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 🙂