Ahh, this one takes me back This is the gorgeous Emma and Chris and I was delighted when they asked me to take their Didsbury House Hotel Wedding Photographs before Christmas.
I’ve known Chris for a long time – we grew up next door to each other! And when I introduced his Emma to my Emma, they hit it off straight away and next thing we found ourselves at their wedding as guests as well as working! And we even stayed over – which took us right back to the night after our own wedding just over 6 years ago when we stayed at Didsbury House Hotel the night before we flew off on honeymoon
This is my great friend and TOP make-up artist, Gemma Hallowell, her husband Jon and their beautiful daughter, India.
They’d booked me for a family session and we decided to use fab hotel and wedding venue, Mottram Hall (Gemma’s got some contacts there, so we didn’t get thrown out!) as our location.
We got very lucky and had a beautiful spring morning to play out in. I approached the shoot as I always do when it comes to shooting people. Trying not to over complicate things with excessive posing and just allowing them to interact as a family and capture some genuine, loving moments between them.
How gorgeous does little India look here?! I shot top make-up artist Gemma Hallowell‘s family a couple of weeks ago atMottram Hallin Cheshire. We got some really beautiful stuff and it will all be on the blog soon!
Michelle, Laura and I have all been involved in Bridal Fashion shoots in the past and we wanted to do something a little bit different this time. Previously we’ve used professional models to wear the gowns and obviously we’ve got some great stuff as a result of this. But it can often not feel quite ‘real’. Our brides and potential clients can of course look at these sorts of shoots and take inspiration from the shots, get an idea of the kind of work we can all produce, but they can sometimes fail to connect with the models and certainly can’t imagine being in their shoes on their own wedding day.
So we wanted to use real girls. Beautiful girls who look great in wedding dresses that real brides can connect with and think ‘yes, I can look as amazing as that’.
Enter Ailsa and Claudine – the two most excited girls in the world because they got to spend a day playing around in beautiful wedding gowns! And have both since told me how boring they feel their ‘normal’ clothes are now!
The day started in the Lodges luxury ‘Wedding sitting room’, which we used as a normal bride would to get the girls ready. It’s a gorgeous space, with huge windows to let in natural light, a VERY cool en suite shower room and great facilities for brides to use whilst getting ready.
We had six dresses and six different looks to create. Gemma and Nic had been working together in the build up to the day to create completely unique styles for each gown. One of the main reasons for doing a shoot like this is to offer inspiration to brides, to get them thinking about their look on the day. To give them ideas and to show them what can be done if you choose a great team of creative and inspiring wedding professionals.
Laura had worked closely with Michelle in order to produce beautiful bouquets that would truly complement the beautiful wedding gowns.
And we all worked together when it came to shooting each look. Suggestions were passed around as to what might look good in which parts of the venue – as we really wanted to show off the venue to the best of it’s potential and show how unique it can be.
We also got very lucky with the weather which was against us right from the start! Every time it looked like it was clearing up and we might get to go outside it rained again! Until we got a window of about half an hour to nip outside and show a different part of Styal Lodge.
Michelle making sure every detail was perfect:
Then Claudine’s turn!
A new look for Ailsa!
And a new look for Claudine!
Who says it’s no fun spending the day wearing wedding dresses!?!?
Laura’s bouquet’s really are beautiful – pieces of hand crafted art:
Ailsa’s gorgeous last look:
And Claudine’s equally gorgeous last look:
So finally a big thank you to everyone involved, Sarah and Georgina, Michelle, Laura, Gemma, Nic, Claudine and Ailsa. It was a genuine pleasure to work with such creative and inspiring people!
You’ll remember Katie and Rob from their pre-wedding shoot I posted a few weeks back. They got married at The Ashes in Staffordshire – a fabulous barn conversion owned and run by husband and wife team, Ben and Sarah Reeves. Ben and Sarah oversaw the whole day and did a fantastic job of making sure everything ran smoothly.
The Ashes has it’s own special bridal prep suite where I met Katie and the girls on the morning. The wonderfully talented and lovely Gemma Hallowell looked after the make-up, while the equally talented and lovely Nicola Woodhouse from Hair-raising designs was Katie’s hairdresser.
With Katie getting ready in the bridal room, I had to make sure I didn’t go wandering past the window with Rob!
Rob and his two best man (who are also his brothers) Pete and Andy loved the ‘mean and moody’ look!
Once all the guests had arrived, it was a simple walk across the courtyard for Katie and into the beautifully converted barn!
The west barn is a truly beautiful space.
A little bit of confetti!
Pimms on the lawn! VERY lucky with the weather!
Katie and her very lovely bridesmaids, Gemma and Liz.
Katie and Rob had a traditional line-up and got the chance to say hello to all their friends and family on their way into the wedding breakfast.
The gorgeous east barn set up for the wedding breakfast
Katie and Rob had their speeches before the wedding breakfast – I’m seeing this more and more these days and it really does work very well. It means the groom, father of the bride and the best man actually get to ENJOY eating their meal!
And then the real fun began! The wedding breakfast was a surprise ‘Host a roast’ which is a great idea! After the starters, Katie and Rob distributed chefs hats and aprons to one person on each table and they were then delivered a beautiful piece of beef to carve for the rest of their table!
After the meal I spent a few minutes in the fading evening light with Katie and Rob shooting some beautiful wedding imagery that really captured the beauty and atmosphere of The Ashes.
And then for the first dance!
And then more fun and games with a barn dance! (I’m a big fan of the old Barrrrrn Darrrrrrrnce!!!)
Congratulations Katie and Rob – what a fantastically, fun wedding that I thoroughly enjoyed being part of!
I had the great honour and pleasure with working with some amazing wedding professionals recently at this shoot at brand new venue, the very cool Styal Lodge in Cheshire. Far more detail to come about who was involved, what we shot and why we did in the next few weeks, but for now, a little sneak preview of our gorgeous models (who actually aren’t models, they’re real, normal, beautiful girls who look amazing in wedding dresses) Claudine and Ailsa.