On some rare occasions I won’t have had the opportunity to meet with my clients before their wedding day arrives…and one of those couples were Gareth and Samantha. They found me through the joys of social media and from there were directed to my website where they had the chance to have a really good look through my wedding portfolio. The decision was made and they asked if their date was available, finally they were popped into the diary and it was all secured with a deposit payment, as simple as that! The next time they heard from me (other than questions or queries they may have had during the process leading up to their big day) was a week before to run through all of the details I had on record. This gives me the opportunity to pass on my experience in how the day will generally run. As much as I don’t want to spoil the magic surrounding a wedding day I personally feel offering a break down will help keep them slightly in check especially when time is of the essence and they may have asked for requests after the wedding ceremony and the wedding breakfast…this is what we call the critical period!
The day itself started at Samantha’s parent’s home in St Helens around the corner from Victoria Park. I knocked on the door and headed upstairs to where the girls were having their wedding hair and make-up done. It was great fun and full of laughter until Gareth’s thoughtful wedding gift along with a lovely worded card arrived, that’s when the waterworks slightly opened but I guess it was happy tears! All of the wedding details including Samantha’s wedding dress was upstairs in her bedroom. I went up to begin capturing those specific type of shots which (for me) make the Bridal preparation photographs what they are. I love using backdrops which are part of the location I’m at instead of using a blank white wall, this shows many things which is appreciated at a later date especially when maybe you’ve moved home or redecorated in the meantime. Egg sandwiches were being made downstairs and I couldn’t resist getting some close up shots of these, yum! I knew the wedding church was only round the corner but I didn’t want to leave it till the last minute to arrive so I got come shots of Samantha getting into her wedding dress before setting off.
I arrived and managed to find a parking spot. For the first time I met Gareth and briefly introduced myself before heading inside to say hello to the Vicar and set up my camera equipment. I managed to get some documented shots of guests arriving and the Groomsmen making final adjustments before the Bridal party started arriving in a classic car. With a final check of the watch, Gareth stood alongside his Best man watching his Wife-to-be walk down the aisle with her Dad by her side. The church was stunning from the inside offering plenty of light through the stained glass window at the one end. There were readings offered by various people from the wedding party which were followed by the exchange of rings, prayers and then the signing of the wedding register which was conducted next door out of site from everyone except witnesses and parents. A Disney music piece was the choice for walking back up the aisle as newlyweds dancing away as they smiled to their family and friends. Before exiting the church I popped them to one side and allowed the Ushers to guide everyone outside and create a tunnel like effect ready for the confetti shot!
After the fun of throwing the wedding confetti it was time to redirect those heading for the wedding reception to make their way to Ruskins which was also round the corner from where we were, handy. We were to drive the other direction to Victoria Park for some photographs of Gareth and Samantha together. They requested prior to have some photos in the park and I can understand why upon arriving. We walked round having a good chat whilst I was looking for hot-spots, we spent a good 30-45 minutes capturing wonderful moments of the new Mr & Mrs together but it was time to head off for the afternoon’s celebrations at Ruskins, St Helens.
Everyone was waiting for the happy couple to arrive and once they did we quickly got through the formal group photographs before the wedding breakfast and wedding speeches commenced. Before all of this however there were some technical issues with the music and the ‘handyman’ on duty made it look like a scene out of Laurel & Hardy! Samantha’s Dad offered some cracking stories of his little girl growing up but what caught mine and I think everyone else’s attention was an art project she did at school which showed a picture of her hamster…well you can see for yourself in the photo below what I’m getting at, haha! Gareth probably offered the shortest speech I’ve ever witnessed but he did want his food and Guinness and then finally Samantha took the Best man’s role of saying some words and took the opportunity in thanking family and friends for celebrating the day with them.
The evening involved a final walk around the venue getting some ‘Golden hour’ shots before we lost the sun, Beer-Pong and then the first dance which was performed by a wedding band. The whole day was amazing and I thank Gareth and Samantha for allowing me to document it from start to finish. I wish them all the very best for the future!