I was contacted by Ian and Nicola not long before they were due to get married advising that unfortunately they had been let down by another wedding photographer and wondered if I was available. Thankfully I had the date free but more importantly, Ian was the Brother of a Bride I had documented the previous year! We discussed various things during our initial consultation including wedding venue, timings, formal group photographs etc band it was great getting to know a little more about them both.
I was to capture the build up of the Bridal party getting ready and so I headed over to Best Western Plus Lancashire Manor Hotel in Pimbo in the morning and as I arrived and walked through the door of the Chequers Suite everyone was having a laugh and of course had coffee in hand although there was a little fizz flying about, I mean, it was a wedding day! I began documenting those natural moments becoming that fly on the wall and trying to be as discreet as I could be and then moved onto photographing those smaller details including the wedding dress, wedding shoes, wedding jewelry, wedding flowers etc. It was lovely catching up with Clare who was now using her wedding day experience as a Bridesmaid to ensure things flowed smoothly when I wasn’t around. Ian arrived with his Best man and Clare’s Husband, Philip shortly before the wedding ceremony was to begin so he could finish off getting ready and was given keys to a room where they could do this, it gave me a good opportunity to get some photos before proceedings began. The boys were in high spirits but they couldn’t wait to get their jackets off as it was very hot and humid! After 10 minutes I headed back to the girls to finish off before heading downstairs to the ceremony room and get shots of the wedding guests arriving.
It’s always good to check over kit before a wedding ceremony begins and make sure you have everything you need especially with it being probably the most important part of any wedding day. Checking memory and battery power is a good check off the list but more importantly having a second camera is priority, this speaks for itself!
So with the beginning of the service only a matter of moments away I took my place at the end of the aisle as Ian and his Groomsmen prepared for the arrival of the Bridal party. I love seeing those natural expressions from the Bride (and sometimes the Groom if he briefly turns my way) as she walks towards her Husband-to-be along a proud person. Ian had some fantastic facial expressions during the service of which some I managed to capture and some I missed but it certainly kept everyone entertained. The service was lovely which included Phil the Best man handing over the wedding rings before the newlyweds signed the wedding register, they then walked back up the aisle as Husband and Wife smiling away to their family and friends.
After checking on the weather constantly throughout the previous 24 hours I knew we would only have a short window after the wedding ceremony to get a large group shot before unfortunately heading back in to finish off the smaller formal groups photographs. You can only plan so much and playing it by ear certainly becomes a skill worth having, after 10 years experience within the wedding industry it has definitely taught me to keep on my toes and grabbing every opportunity that comes.
After the formal groups were done I let the happy couple relax with a drink and enjoy some time with their wedding guests, I hovered and documenting events for around 45 minutes before heading back into the barn where the wedding reception was to take place. This gives me a chance to capture the wedding breakfast room before it essentially gets trashed once guests are invited to take their seats. All of the smaller details which time and money has been invested into sourcing by the couple is photographed to an inch of it’s life. I love to ensure this has been captured on camera as it’s memories which no doubt will be forgotten about in the distant future!
The afternoon celebrations involves the official announcement of the new Mr & Mrs into the room followed by cheers from their family and friends, the wedding speeches usually provided by the Father of the Bride, the Groom and the Best man but I have seen various people take on the prestigious role of the Father if he is unfortunately not available. I have also witnessed not just one but 3 Best men offer words of, well, fun facts and interesting stories about the Groom. Later on is usually party time and wedding entertainment takes over in keeping guests happy. This can be in the form of a wedding magician, wedding photo-booth, wedding caricature, wedding casino, wedding artist, wedding band.
The first dance between Husband and Wife seals the deal and is the final formality of the day. I’m there ready to go along with specific kit that has been set up for this moment, it also offers a moment for a Father-Daughter dance either before or afterwards. I always offer my personal advice on this and suggest a Father-Daughter dance before the first dance as it’s another moment where Dad can hand over his Daughter. especially if it’s something that wasn’t included in the wedding service earlier in the day. Nicola opted for this and it was a wonderful moment between them both. Ian had a surprise up his sleeve in the form of a saxophonist who provided fantastic sounds for the next hour or so…I got a couple of snaps during this time but it was soon time for me to head off and get some zzz’s!
It was unbelievable and a day which is up there with the best! I wish all the very best to Ian and Nicola and I hope they enjoy reliving their big day through the photographs I have captured fro them.