SS Great Britain Wedding Photography – Carina and Nathan

I’ve done a few weddings on boats before, but nothing on the scale of Brunel’s famous ss Great Britain. Sitting in a dry dock in the centre of Bristol, this ship was revolutionary when designed, built and launched in 1843 by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Made of iron and with a very powerful steam engine and screw propellor, it changed maritime history.

Before arriving at the ship Carina and Nathan got ready together at home in the Brislington area of the city. They then jumped in a classic Rolls Royce stopping off at Brunel’s other major landmark in Bristol, the Clifton Suspension Bridge, for a quick wander and a glass of fizz. On arrival at the ss Great Britain the wedding guests were lined up on the stern to greet them before taking their places below decks for the ceremony. Musical accompaniment for proceedings came from a sitar player, and there was a reading from Carina’s bridesmaid.

It was a gloriously sunny day, so after the ceremony everybody headed to the deck for the usual drinks and nibbles and a brief guided tour of the ship. Then it was back below decks for the wedding breakfast. There were Brunel-style sideburns and top hats everywhere, and an amazing volcano cake (Carina is an expert in geology!). After the meal there was a second tour for guests under the hull of the ship, then back inside for dancing.

Come back in a few posts time for more wedding boat action, on water this time!

Emirates Stadium Wedding Photography – Aisling and Matt

I shoot a lot in Islington, but this was my first wedding at the Emirates Stadium. I know what you’re thinking. “That poor bride” or “that must be one of those ‘Don’t Tell The Bride’ weddings”. Well, the choice of venue was completely in the hands of Aisling who (along with her sister) is a massive Arsenal fan. Matt doesn’t even support Arsenal! Aisling even had special ‘football’ shoes for the occasion.

Preparations for the day took place at mum’s house just up the road from the Emirates Stadium, before the action-proper started in the Woolwich Suite. For those in doubt as to the bride’s allegiance, she had red and white balloons at the house, red roses for all the flowers, red ties for the men and Gunnersaurus on meet-and-greet duty.

After the ceremony the couple were directed to a private box where, along with a few canapés and a glass of fizz each, there was a surprise waiting for them. The actual FA Cup just sat there on a plinth. After the obligatory ‘portrait with FA Cup’ Aisling and Matt got to wander the stadium for a bit before returning to the fold for more drinks and nibbles. Then it was time to eat before speeches and straight into the dancing. And I managed to get through the whole day without letting on to anybody that I’m a Newcastle supporter.

Barnsley House Wedding Photography – Kim and Amy

Back to the weddings, and back to the gorgeous Barnsley House in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds. Kim and Amy’s wedding was an international affair with a chunk of guests from Kim’s native Tennessee and another chunk from Amy’s native Guernsey. Each of the brides had their own compound within the grounds for them and their armies of bridesmaids to prepare, and each got their own grand entrance into the tree-covered (and unfortunately tent-covered thanks to fears about the weather) ceremony area.

There was a performance from Amy’s singing sisters before the ceremony came to a close and the party got started properly. After the usual drinks and nibbles everyone headed up to the teepee (provided by the lovely people at Papakata) for the meal and speeches. Due to allergies and preferences the ‘Cake of Cheese’ was joined by the lesser-known ‘Milk and Cookies’. The day ended back in the house with a very full dance floor, stick on moustaches and cocktails.

Keythorpe Manor Wedding Photography – Louise and Steven

Last time I visited Keythorpe Manor was on a very murky day just before Christmas in 2012, so it was nice to experience it in friendlier weather. After making her preparations in the on-site accommodation, Louise arrived in the barn for the ceremony to be greeted by a very emotional Steven. I think the music set him off!

After the ceremony there was a brief pause for confetti, then everyone headed over to the huge marquee for drinks and nibbles. For the second wedding in a row we had some very tasty looking cocktails, and soon it was time for the wedding breakfast. As this came to a close the guests got the shock of their lives as four of the waiting staff burst into song. Turns out that secret wedding singers had been embedded in the ranks, and they entertained until it was time for speeches.

Steven got particularly stitched up by his best men who had some very embarrassing photographs to share. The day ended with the opening of the last portion of marquee revealing the band and dance floor. Cue shape-throwing!

Hospital Club and Asylum Wedding Photography – Lucy and Richard

My third visit to Asylum, and my third different season. After doing summer and winter weddings it was time for a spring one, complete with the most amazing blossom on the big tree out front. This was my first ceremony-only visit to Asylum, and Lucy and her entourage were based at the reception venue for their preparations, The Hospital Club in Covent Garden. A perfect pair of venues for Lucy, a doctor.

With beautification complete and fancy rags (and very fancy shoes) donned we had a much more straightforward journey to Asylum than my last one! The amazing light in Caroline Gardens Chapel didn’t disappoint, and we even had a gospel choir to liven up proceedings. After the ceremony we all headed outside to add some confetti to the layer of fallen blossom, and then a short drinks reception back inside the chapel with more singing.

Then it was time for everyone to return to The Hospital Club on a pair of Routemasters, with a short unplanned walk thanks to a police roadblock. Time for cocktails before the wedding breakfast, and post-dinner Jägerbombs for the grandparents, before the speeches. Finally, everyone headed upstairs for some late-night dancing on a very full dance floor.

Hope Street Hotel Wedding Photography – Tory and Andy

Tory and Andy’s big day saw first ever wedding in the city of Liverpool, halfway between the two cathedrals at the fantastic Hope Street Hotel. The weather wasn’t great, but that didn’t matter as everything was contained within the hotel, including both the bride and groom’s preparations. Cue lots of lift journeys and running up and down stairs for me as I spread my time between them both.

The ceremony took place in the mainly glass room on the roof of the building making for nice light and fantastic views across Liverpool. Tory was slightly delayed after becoming a bit emotional before entering the room, and was then unsurprisingly emotional again as she walked down the aisle. There were more tears as her brother succumbed during his reading, but eventually we made it through the ceremony. Then everyone headed downstairs to the basement for the reception, before returning to the roof for the wedding breakfast.

More emotions were on show during the speeches, and more of Andy on show than anybody needed to see on a mug that was doing the rounds! Then it was back in the lift to the basement for the cake-cutting and the dancing.

Asylum Peckham Wedding Photography – Laura and Pascal

My last wedding of 2014 was a long-awaited return trip to Caroline Gardens Chapel in Peckham, otherwise known as Asylum. Last time I was there it was the middle of a July heatwave and the building became a huge sauna. This time there was the gentle red glow, and not so gentle roar, of a pair of industrial heaters keeping the gathered guests from freezing solid.

First of all I had an adventure that began in London Fields where Laura and her bridesmaids were preparing themselves. Once ready we all climbed into the huge vintage limo and set off on the journey south of the river. As we sped through the Limehouse Link Tunnel there was a wisp of smoke from the bonnet. “Nothing to worry about!” the driver reassured us. As we headed out of the tunnel the wisp turned into a cloud, and then started coming through the dashboard, and finally the car juddered to a halt and fell silent. Luckily for the people of London we were out of the tunnel. Bridesmaid of the year prize goes to the girl who (very) quickly commandeered the car behind us to transport Laura and her crew. Unfortunately there was no room for yours truly, so I had a slightly stressful walk/run for a mile down the Old Kent Road.

Thankfully I made it in time for the ceremony, which was followed by a drinks reception, and then possibly the last meal I will shoot at Asylum as it becomes a ceremony-only venue later this year. After a few speeches it was time for possibly the most haphazard and out of control ceilidh I’ve ever seen. This wouldn’t happen in Scotland, or would it…

Assembly Rooms Bath Wedding Photography – Nicki and Simon

Just time to squeeze in a couple of Christmas weddings before summer gets going properly! It was my first time in Bath for Nicki and Simon’s wedding at the very grand Assembly Rooms. Preparations took place at a fantastic boutique B&B by the name of Grays. Then, after wrestling with parking in central Bath on one of the last Saturdays before Christmas, I met the rest of the wedding as they were gathering in the Octagon room for the ceremony. There was music from some theatrical friends of the couple, and then the guests gathered in the bar for drinks and nibbles.

The meal and evening party took place in the Tea Room, with the bride and groom introduced by a family member on toastmaster duty (red coat and everything). The meal was followed by the usual speeches, with some performances from an adolescent Simon courtesy of his best man’s media presentation. With the cake cut, the band struck up, and the dancing began.

Just one more 2014 wedding to come!

Zetter Townhouse Wedding Photography – Amber & Declan

My second very small wedding of the autumn, and a return trip to the Mayor’s Parlour at Islington Town Hall. Amber managed to get dressed in record time after her hair and make-up appointment over-ran. In the end the ceremony was held up by the late arrival of her brother and dad! A short taxi journey into Clerkenwell, and everyone got comfortable in the unique dining room at the Zetter Townhouse, across the courtyard from the Zetter Hotel. My short time with the wedding got me a glimpse of the naked cake (very on trend for 2014), a taste of the fantastic canapés and a chance to be the couple’s excuse for a few private minutes away from the family to enjoy a toast to their new married status.

Frederick’s Islington Wedding Photography – Greg & Michael

The autumn included a couple of the year’s smallest weddings, both involving return visits to Islington Town Hall, the first one being Greg and Michael’s bash. The ceremony took place in the small but grand Mayor’s Parlour, after which we were treated to a German wedding tradition I’ve not come across before. A large sheet with a heart drawn on it is held up, and the couple have to cut out the heart with scissors and pass through the hole.

With the formalities out of the way the small gaggle of guests headed down Upper Street to Frederick’s Restaurant on Camden Passage. After a drinks reception on the decking area in the garden the wedding party headed upstairs for dinner including a speech by Michael’s brother that triggered the tears!

Yorebridge House Wedding Photography – Linzi and Paul

After that brief interlude, back to the last few 2014 weddings. Yorebridge House is nestled in Wensleydale on the edge of the village of Bainbridge in the North Yorkshire Dales, and surrounded on all sides by beautiful open landscape. On top of that it’s right next to a pretty bridge over the river Ure and makes the ideal setting for a wedding. Linzi & Paul set up camp at opposite ends of the building, with Paul’s young daughter working as a go-between. Lines was focussed on her hair and make-up, Paul may have been distracted by the Formula 1 qualifying session. Good for me as I got a rare opportunity to watch it live!

Once ready there was an emotional ceremony in the orangery, followed by drinks in the bar and out in the gardens. The happy couple went for a little wander over the bridge, and got cheered at by some passing dirt bikers. Then everybody got comfy in the marquee for dinner and speeches. After that it was time for dancing, and with the first dance (and second dance to ‘Let It Go’) out of the way Paul took to the wheels of steel for the best 80’s disco I’ve heard in a long time.

Peckforton Castle Wedding Photography – Caroline and Dave

I’ve been keen to work at Peckforton Castle for some time, so it was great to hear from Caroline and Dave just a few weeks before their wedding at this amazing venue in Cheshire. Caroline got ready separately from her bridesmaids, collecting them on her way to the ceremony.

After the civil ceremony they enjoyed a slighty precarious tandem ride over to the chapel for a blessing. They then made the most of the autumn sunshine during their drinks reception, and found time for a quick wander in the woods surrounding the castle.

After the wedding breakfast we were treated to speeches, including from three of the parents. Then the cake was cut (with a sword as is only right and proper at a castle) and the dancing began. More castles please!

1 Lombard Street Wedding Photography – John and Gez

I’ve done weddings at Islington Town Hall, and at The Drapers Arms, and weddings with gospel choirs, and Choccywoccydoodah cakes (the wedding before last!), and Routemaster buses, and bagpipes, and grooms in kilts, and grooms with a best woman. However, John & Gez’s wedding was the first time I’ve seen all of these things together at the same wedding!

New things: It was my first ever wedding with two grooms, my first wedding at 1 Lombard Street (lovely venue, lovely food) and the first time I’ve taken family group shots in the middle of a London street.

So after getting ready at the Threadneedle Hotel in the City, John and Gez and their respective best people travelled up to Islington for their ceremony, which was accompanied by the London Youth Gospel Choir in fine voice. Then after a quick pint the couple joined their guests at The Drapers Arms for Pimms and nibbles before jumping on to a pair of buses for a quick tour of London. The tour ended in the City again at 1 Lombard Street where the florist had left a serious mark, Choccywoccydoodah had left a serious cake and the kitchen served up some serious food.

Butley Priory Wedding Photography – Jo and Glenn

When it comes to music, some of you may be aware of my leanings toward the heavier end of the spectrum, in fact as a teenager I had hair down past my armpits and a wardrobe darker than The Crypt in Ely Place (one for the wedding photographers). It’s always nice to work for kindred spirits, and so the trail led me to Suffolk for my second ‘metal’ wedding of the year. It was also my second wedding at Butley Priory, the first being way back in July 2009.

We started at a salon in Ipswich where Jo had her hair filled with orchid flowers, and then we headed over to Butley where Jo brought new meaning to the phrase ‘it will take a while to do up my dress’. Luckily the dressmaker herself was on hand to do the job correctly. After the ceremony, during which a friend of the couple played Metallica songs on an acoustic guitar, everyone headed in to the gardens at the back of the priory for drinks and nibbles. Then it was time for the wedding breakfast in the marquee, and everyone got their first sighting of the amazing Choccywoccydoodah cake (another one of these soon).

The evening began with the arrival of Jo & Glenn’s pet dog who was very excited, and continued with the usual photobooth antics, and some very strange dancing. Considering the couple’s taste in music I wasn’t expecting such perfect renditions of YMCA and the Macarena, but I do like surprises. And smoke machines. Give me surprises and smoke machines and I’m a happy bunny.