The day began with a nice strong coffee in hand as I arrived at the Mercure Oak Hotel, Wigan and headed upstairs to begin documenting the Bridal preparations which not only involved Melanie our Bride and the girls having their hair and make-up done but to capture those natural moments as they have fun during this special occasion. I started with just capturing what was happening followed by a short period of looking for backdrops to photograph the smaller details and of course, the stunning wedding dress. With fizz flowing and nerves creeping in it proved to be a morning full of emotions but generally lots of smiles and laughing. I wanted to get some shots of the wedding ceremony room before guests were later invited to head in and take their seats so I sneaked off downstairs and during this I bumped into James who was among his chosen Ushers and Best men. They were sorting out their button holes so I thought I’d get some action shots, this was followed by photos of the boys outside before the sudden attack of a…..bumble bee! I finished up with the girls although they were nowhere near ready and with the wedding ceremony only a matter of time away they started to show a little urgency!
With everyone checking their watches and the wedding registrars advising that they will only allow one further minute before they have to leave for their next wedding the lift beeped and thankfully there was our Bride followed by her Bridesmaids, yes! The show could go on and so I placed myself at the front of the aisle and got ready to document proceedings. Due to us running behind, readings were cancelled which made for a short service but we had to catch up with the day as planned. Once rings were exchanged and the register was signed the newlyweds smiled away as Husband and Wife past their onlooking family and friends as I guided them out of the front doors to the Mercure Oak hotel for a confetti shot.
The afternoon involved a large group photo of everyone, a selection of smaller formal groups, close up photos of wedding decor, the wedding breakfast room including a wedding cake shot and then finally me just walking around capturing documentary photography shots of wedding guests enjoying themselves. I love moments where folks don’t have a clue that their photo is being taken at either at a great moment or the wrong moment but it all makes superb memories. I spoke with James and Melanie about doing the more intimate photos of them together later on and if transport could be arranged to get across to Mesnes park, thankfully one of the Bridemaids offered, yay!
Natasha who is the wedding coordinator of the Mercure Oak Hotel, Wigan officially announced the married couple into the room which was followed by howls and clapping from family and friends before taking their seats for start of the wedding speeches. To start was Melanie’s Dad who offered kind words including a little about his baby girl before handing over to the man of the day, the Groom. I really enjoyed listening whilst photographing James’s speech as it included some hilarious stories including the surprise gift to his Wife…a Liverpool football club home shirt with her new surname printed on the back, oh dear! Finally the best men shared the floor as they each had some words to share although it was fairly tame and nothing compared to the speech James had just shared, haha!
The evening had arrived and the sun was setting fast so the happy couple and myself headed around the corner to Mesnes park, driven by a very kind Bridemaid for some photos of the newlyweds together. It was very enjoyable and James and Melanie seemed to have enjoyed it. After approx 30 minutes we headed back and even though the sun was out it was too low as the treeline hid it from our view. However, as we arrived back at the hotel we got out of the car and lo and behold as we stood in the busy car park the sun was shining through a gap in the nearby buildings. This moment was so special and even though I had to get properly into a bush, the photos came out amazing!
With the ‘Mr & Mrs Whittaker’ letters lit up in all their glory on the dance floor it set the scene for the first dance. Before this I enjoyed walking around and capturing fun moments of guests having a good time dressing up for the photo mirror, you’ll see in the photos how good this is and was supplied by ‘Scene my Event’. So the first dance was The Courteeners – Not Nineteen Forever which was the perfect song to get the evening going and folks up onto the dancefloor!
I had such an amazing time documenting it all from start to finish and I wish James, Melanie and their families all the very best for the future!