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 🙂
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 – http://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 🙂
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 🙂 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.