Being the recommended and preferred wedding photographer and wedding supplier of Holland Hall Hotel gives me superb flexibility in how I work and what I can capture on camera for those getting married and/or holding their wedding reception at this superb wedding venue. The staff that work here are amazing and have become like family, their hospitality is second to none and it is a real pleasure to work with them in creating a magical occasion for clients.
Two lovely people contacted me after I was recommended by Joanne, the wedding coordinator and they asked to meet so we could run through packages and details surrounding their big day. We scheduled in to meet in the pub at Holland Hall Hotel where we could discuss things in a relaxed environment and straight away as I met with them I knew that were going to be great fun! The banter was unreal and they didn’t know this yet, but they were going to be so good in front of the camera. My new packages had kicked in and they were the first couple to book with my Deluxe package which although now didn’t include a wedding storybook album, it did include a presentation USB box, a selection of prints and a complimentary photographic session before the wedding day.
The pre-wedding or Engagement shoot is something I wanted to incorporate into all of my available photography packages as I know not only will it help the couple get used to being in front of the camera but they’ll have a better understanding of how I work and what it will be like come their big day. Keith and Jayne decided to their’s at the church they were to get married, St Michael and All Angels church in Dalton. I had been here before and it is a stunner of a church in a just as stunning setting. I usually spend around 45-60 minutes taking my time capturing the lovely couple together and getting some wonderful photos for them to use as they see fit. As I knew they would be, they were naturals in front of the camera and just being themselves proved to be the best method in creating natural photographs. We said our goodbyes but only for a matter of weeks as I would be seeing them to document their wedding day.
The big day arrived and I planned to head to Keith first and get some shots of him and his Groomsmen taking in the build up at the Hotel before starting to get ready although before they started stripping off I took my leave and made my way to Jayne and the girls as they were getting ready at their home in Dalton. Jayne was having her hair done in the kitchen whilst her Sister was organising things for later on, Jayne’s Son was enjoying the day by playing on his computer with a recent purchase of the latest Modern Warfare game. Jayne’s nieces were there also who were Flower girls for the day and were having plenty of fun. I mixed between getting shots of the smaller details and the documentary photos depending on what was happening at the time. The wedding transport soon arrived in the form of a very nice black Bently provided by Holland Hall Hotel, this was to take everyone to the church and then onto the wedding reception. Jayne soon got ready and into her stunning wedding dress, once I got some shots I made my way to the church to get some photos of Keith and the wedding guests arriving. I also picked out a great spot for when the wedding cars drove pas which included the road names. I do love to incorporate names, dates and timings into photos if possible. We were pretty much on time but it didn’t stop Keith and his Best man checking their watch a couple of times before the organ started playing for the arrival of the Bride.
A wedding ceremony is always enjoyable to watch even though I’ll be capturing those precious moments as they happen but I think it is important to take in a moment of love and joy. It’s such a momentous occasion for the couple and one which I am eternally grateful for the opportunity, so absorbing it and smiling away will show them that it means something to me too and not just a matter of work! Of course Keith and Jayne would wind each other up during the service because that is who they are and that is what makes them comfortable so I just snapped away and caught the action on camera. The wedding ceremony included lighting of some candles and once this was complete it was onto signing the wedding register. We were all good with timings but I wanted to keep things on track until we got to Holland Hall as you never know what could happen when travelling on the roads between venues, always play it safe. With this in mind we done the confetti shot followed by a large group photo and finally the smaller formal group shots before getting into our cars and heading for the afternoon festivities at Holland Hall.
The staff were ready with some arrival drinks for the newlyweds and having done the formalities which can take most of the time during any wedding day I left Keith and Jayne to enjoy some time with their guests whilst I headed into the wedding breakfast room to capture the wedding decorations and a first for me…a caterpillar cake! Yes you heard me correctly, a caterpillar cake for the wedding cake, it was amazing! The afternoon involved the wedding speeches and the wedding breakfast, during this time when everyone is eating I check over what I have photographed and make some room on memory cards ready for the evening.
I knew the photos of the happy couple together needed to be done but I wanted to wait until a little later when the sun was low in the sky. I checked the weather throughout the day which was showing plenty of sunshine so I knew I was safe but I had to grab them straight after as it was the end of October and the sun would be disappearing around 6pm. I loved the 30 minutes we had as I captured some wonderful photos of them together. The light was perfect and Holland Hall Hotel installed a new water fountain which I couldn’t pass on the opportunity. This was my last wedding of the year which is always a little emotional for me but it certainly was the occasion to go out on a bang!
The first dance arrived and I was ready with my kit, set up raring to go. The new Mr & Mrs Neale danced away before the DJ invited everyone to join them on the dance floor which is a common thing especially if the couple feel a little uncomfortable. Another good one is having everyone surrounding the dance floor, this offers a superb atmosphere and creates lovely shots, it also gives me a chance to offer a little perspective shooting between people’s heads. I had such an amazing day and I do hope I keep in contact with Keith and Jayne!