Susan and Callum’s Summer Wedding at West Tower Manor House, Lancashire

June 29 2018

Venue – West Tower Manor House, Lancashire

Flowers – The Flower Studio, Manchester

Ice Cream – Ice Cream Dub

The weather in June in the UK can be anything really – cold, wet, sunny, warm – take your pick.  I guess I probably thought that the warm and sunny option was unlikely when I first met with Susan and Callum to discuss their plans but as the heat wave continues in the UK, it turned out to be a very warm and a very sunny day.  On this occasion my camera bag packing list included sun screen… It’s not often that makes the cut!  I’ve still not figured out if booking the ice cream van (Ice Cream Dub) was as a result of the bride and groom’s sixth sense for what the weather was going to be like or if they also understand (as I do) that there is in fact no bad time for ice cream and it would still be appropriate if it was cold and rainy.

West Tower is a lovely place for a wedding – no wonder it has won so many awards.  For six years in a row it has been voted the County Brides North West Wedding Awards Best Wedding Venue.  I love that Susan and Callum and their family and friends had the place to themselves and were able to wander around the grounds (in between the ceremony, dinner and dancing) finding ice cream, shade and thirst quenching beverages at the bars. Apparently air conditioning was one of Callum’s *mustcriteria when they were searching for a wedding venue and I have to admit, that was a welcome relief throughout the day from the sun and warmth.  Well done Callum.

Susan is probably one of the most organised people I know so the day ran like clockwork.  I enjoyed my time with the girls while they got ready in the beautiful bridal suite watching the guests arrive on the lawn downstairs.  The ceremony was simple and pretty with bright yellow flowers from The Flower Studio injecting a real summertime vibe.  Another highlight for me was Callum and his speech – that little waver in his voice when he turned his attention to Susan gave me goose bumps… even in the heat.  The sunset was also something pretty special.

Here are a few of the pictures that we took– Simon was very capably shooting with me throughout the day again.  I am always grateful for his perspective and  company.

Susan & Callum-4142Susan & Callum-4200Susan & Callum-4077Susan & Callum-4227Susan & Callum-4139Susan & Callum-Susan & Callum-4308Susan & Callum-4337Susan & Callum-4205Susan & Callum-4211Susan & Callum-4384Susan & Callum-4255Susan & Callum-4497Susan & Callum-4522Susan & Callum-29019Susan & Callum-4620Susan & Callum-4738Susan & Callum-4752Susan & Callum-2Susan & Callum-4526Susan & Callum-29313Susan & Callum-4644Susan & Callum-9642Susan & Callum-9682Susan & Callum-9683Susan & Callum-9706

Molly and James’ Spring Wedding at St. Thomas More Church, Coventry and Warwick House, Southam

Molly & James

April 7 2018

Venue – St. Thomas More Church, Coventry & Warwick House, Southam.

What a day this was to be a part of…

When I heard that Molly’s Dad would be officiating the wedding service in his role as a church deacon and that Molly’s Mum had made her wedding dress by hand, it was a given it was going to a pretty special day with lots of individual touches.  Then there were the wedding favours… beer made by James’ Dad adorned by felt flowers made by anyone that dared enter Molly’s parents house in the run up to the wedding  and the cake made by Molly’s aunt.  And if that wasn’t enough, the 80 year old veil that Molly wore had been her Grandma’s when she got married but had also been worn by her Mum when she got married.  Enough already – are you trying to make me cry…?

On the day, everything went so well from very timely getting ready of the ladies to the lovely service and precise organisational skills of the venue.  And unbelievably the rain that was forecast never materialised.  Thank-you Mr. Weatherman!

As I begin the process of editing the pictures that my most excellent second shooter Simon and I took throughout the day, I’ll leave you with a little taster preview.  Hope you like it!

Winter Wedding at Chester University

The 2017 wedding season finished for me in a very special way with the wedding of Natalie and Jamie.  It was Nick from www.crystallogicphotography.com leading the day in his most capable and chilled out way with me taking up second shooter duties.

Natalie and Jamie did it their way.  They got married in a very simple early morning service  at Chester Registry Office… with just two witnesses.  After the ceremony, we spent a couple of hours with the newlyweds wandering the city centre and hanging out in a pub.  Then Jamie left Natalie so she could get ready for a second time…. for their humanist service at Chester University.

It was the first wedding that Chester University had ever hosted but Churchill House on the Queen’s Park campus was an amazing wedding venue.  The ceremony was in a room with glass on three sides overlooking the River Dee.  Natalie entered the room to a James Bond theme tune looking amazingly sparkly and elegant – what an entrance.  Jamie’s use of a phone book to reach his new wife for a kiss was a hilarious and endearing touch and their  reenactment of their first web chat had everyone giggling away with them.  The speeches involved audience voting and a quiz and fajitas for dinner went down a treat.   The band was still rocking when I snuck away once I’d got what I needed to…

I don’t think I’ll ever stop feeling so privileged to be part of someone’s wedding day. Hope you enjoy having a look through some of my favourite pictures from the day.

A Secret Retreat – Wedding Photography Workshop

I was completely intrigued when I heard about the Secret Retreat wedding photography workshops (www.the-secret-retreat.co.uk) from a fellow photographer.  The workshops take place in Italy for a week in September and are directed at women photographers who want to grow their business and develop their photography skills.  I found the reviews about it being a life changing experience,  giving an unrivalled boost to your business as well as offering the opportunity to make lifelong friends along the way very appealing.  I stared at the workshop dates on the calendar when they were announced and watched as the limited spaces that were available filled up like a rock concert.  Although I knew it would certainly be worth the time and money, this year I just couldn’t justify it so I let the opportunity pass.

Then I heard that the Secret Retreat intended to run a one day workshop right here on home soil called the Secret Retreat – Fireside (www.the-secret-retreat.co.uk/fireside)…  When the bookings went live, I managed to secure the last available place (… they actually ended up setting up a second days training due to the popularity.)

The workshop was held at Ponden Hall (www.ponden-hall.co.uk) in West Yorkshire at the end of November.  The Hall appears to be the inspiration for Cathy’s home in Wuthering Heights and Emily Bronte may have written a large part of the novel at the Hall when she visited with her siblings – drawn by a friendship with the people who lived there and a very large library.  With its remote setting in the middle of the Yorkshire moors, it felt untamed and very much in keeping with the imagery of the novel and the tortured romantic Healthcliff.

There were 14 of us eager students who listened to and participated in some great discussions about the business of wedding photography.  Lucy (lucywoodrow.co.uk) prompted us to think about our personal values and how they were reflected in our business.  Claire (www.clairepenn.com) talked about pricing and Andrea (www.andreaellisonphotography.com) talked about the “perfect” clients.

In the afternoon, we headed outside with our models – Casey and Mark.  They are getting married next year and Claire and Andrea are going to be their photographers.  They were great at enabling us to direct them (after some very useful tips on ways to do this from Andrea which I will definitely be adding to my “tool kit”).  Casey was so cool – up for being out in the rain and getting wet in a little dress while us photographer types stood around all dry and toasty in our wellies and winter coats!   When we got back into the dining room, there were four great cakes (great in both size and nature) waiting on the table for us.  My only disappointment at cake time was the fact that I couldn’t try a piece of all four.

Melisssa (www.thedesignspace.co) gave the final presentation of the day focusing on websites.  She also gave me a bit of a personal critique on my website which was invaluable in providing me with some great suggestions to take the space forward.

We finished by heading down the road to a pub called the Old Silent Inn (oldsilentinnhaworth.co.uk) where we ate yummy food.  As well as some down time with the people we had just spent the day with, we also met some of the others who were joining the following day’s course – a lovely bunch of people.

I left the day feeling inspired by the experience and with my brain full of ideas of things I want to do with Flying Canadian Photography.  Thanks to the Secret Retreat – Fireside and my fellow trainees for making this such a fun experience.

Oh yeah – and I got some cool pictures too!

Casey’s hair and make-up by Jenn Edwards & Co. Hairworks. Flowers by Stems Design.

 

Antonica and Rob’s wedding at the MacDonald Portal Hotel, Tarporley

I had a little trip out to the Macdonald Portal Hotel in Tarporley (www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk/our-hotels/macdonald-portal-hotel-golf-spa/) to help Nick (https://www.crystallogicphotography.com) capture the wedding of Antonica & Rob.

As I drove up to the venue down their access lane, I was treated to a breathtaking view of Cheshire.  Wow.  The wedding videographer, Joel (www.joelparry.co.uk) was just arriving as I was.  We headed up to see how the hair and make-up preparations were going and how the bride’s nerves were.  I have become used to the usual air of chaos that greets me when I enter the bridal preparation on these occasions and Antonica (aka Tikka) and her girls were no different.  Pretty much all stages of readiness were plain to see before us…  Tikka’s sister was still in bed feeling a little rough after a heavy night the night before whereas Mum was pretty much ready aside from getting her dress on!  Tikka and Rob’s daughter, Tillie was also well into the swing of things with her hair done and her matching dressing gown on.
We took a little trip down to check out the ceremony room when there was a gap in proceedings with the girls.  Rob was understandably nervous and I’m pretty sure his pre-ceremony pacing may have caused some permanent damage to the carpet in the ceremony room…  Soon the 12 o’clock ceremony was upon us.  The kids came in first (cue the ahhs) and then the girls in their lovely pale blue dresses and then finally (much to Rob’s delight, relief) Tikka.
After the ceremony, the rain very kindly obliged and stopped just in time to enable us to get the group shots.  We would have really struggled to get a full group shot inside the hotel so someone was definitely looking after us.  We grabbed Rob and Tikka for a little wander before heading into the wedding breakfast and the speeches.  Tikka’s Dad spoke so fondly of his little girl and Rob did the same of his new wife.  Rob’s best man was a little close to the edge at times but totally manage to pull it off.  I think that is probably what a perfect best man’s speech is – on the edge but still managing to be acceptable to all.
After dinner we had a bit of a break before the evening festivities started.  So Nick got his new drone out out to get some shots of the venue.  The flight was plagued a bit by high winds and spots of rain but he still managed to get some nice footage of the venue for the wedding highlights video he puts together.
The couple took it well when the DJ played the wrong song for their first dance.  The first dance was interrupted by Tillie bursting in and doing a very cute dance with her Mum and Dad instead.  This encouraged everyone to get onto the dance floor.  Once I’m sure I’ve got the shots I need, I like to try something new or do something a little more creative at each wedding I go to.  This time I tried out a new flash set up during the first dance…
You can check that out – along with the other pictures from the day…