I can’t believe I haven’t blogged this wedding! It was AMAZING! To be fair, it was featured on Boho Weddings Blog soon after the wedding, so I did show it off a bit through that But here’s my full take on it…
Gorgeous bride and groom with the most gorgeous set of friends and family, 2 stunning venues, a ‘march’ through the city led by the bride’s Dad and brother on snare and bass drum respectively – and the most hilarious speeches – it was a truly amazing day!!!
Here are my favourite pics from Katie & Mark’s big day:
For the past couple of years I’ve done a round up of my favourite photographs from the previous 12 months, from weddings, pre-wedding shoots, other wedding related styled shoots and personal stuff.
I seem to have shot more than ever this year and with so many amazing things happening this year (Opening Love Bridal Boutique with Emma, winning North West Wedding Photographer of the year in The Wedding Industry Awards, working closer than ever with some of the UK’s top venues and wedding suppliers) I’ve decided to dedicate this blog purely to weddings. I didn’t want to water down the amazing wedding experiences I’ve had this year and so I’ll be adding 2 or 3 more ‘A year in…’ blog posts over the coming weeks…so watch this space…!!!
So, I’m sticking rigidly to the formula I’ve always used for these ‘Best of’ blog posts – only ONE image from each wedding I’ve shot in 2012 is allowed.
Which is hard.
I’m lucky enough to work consistently with brides and grooms who are 100% excited about their day. Not just about the photography, but about their venue, their entertainment, their videographer, their ceremony, their florist.
Which makes my life really easy.
I don’t have to convince people that certain things are a good idea – they’ve got their own ideas that they involve me in and we work on ideas and are creative together.
This is an awesome way of working And this means that I shoot A LOT of images at every single wedding that I absolutely love. And to cut them down to my very favourite, single image from each wedding is something that breaks my heart! But I do it because it’s fun too!
Some of the choices are really hard but I make these decisions with my head AND my heart.
What I love about them from a technical point of view in some cases, but more often than not, what I love about the moment, the look, the tears, the laughter, the feel of the photograph.
And there they are below.
Some of them were easy, some of them were really hard, for very many different reasons.
Some of them don’t feature the groom, some of them don’t feature the bride – some of them feature neither! (And they’re the REALLY difficult ones to actually finally make a decision on – but it’s just because something grabbed me that represents the overall day)
So one image, from every wedding this year, with a single line to describe why I love that image (and they’re in no particular order!)
Katie & Mark’s wedding at Manchester Town Hall and The Lowry Hotel. Seriously? You need me to tell you why I love this photograph?!?!? How much fun?!?!?
Katie & Kelvin’s wedding at Mitton Hall. I love this because Katie and her bridesmaids had brought umbrellas and wellies in case of rain – and then insisted on wearing them even though the weather was gorgeous!
Katie & Andrew’s wedding at Eaves Hall on New Year’s Eve. I’d promised them something spectacular ahead of the day…and didn’t quite know what that was going to be until it went dark…
Gemma & Matt’s Bartle Hall Hotel wedding. Because sometimes you’ve just got to embrace our wonderful British weather…
Carly & Ian’s wedding at Sandhole Oak Barn. Because we got weather like this in FEBRUARY!!!
So a very brief thank you to all my brides and grooms for being nothing else but awesome! And thank you for continually giving me the opportunity to have such an amazing day ‘at the office’ every time I shoot a wedding
I love Manchester. I really love shooting weddings in Manchester. There’s an automatic coolness attached to them, a very different feel to a wedding in the countryside (which I equally love of course!) but something that really feels a bit different. That you can really see the bride and groom’s personalities come through when they have a city wedding. I think it’s because you have to really be in love with the city to want to get married there, which means there’s a consistent excitement and buzz that runs through the entire day.
And I loved the sound of every detail of this wedding when I originally met up with Paula & Ben to chat about their big day.
I knew it was going to be awesome.
And it didn’t disappoint
Here’s a few of my faves from their Manchester Town Hall and Room Restaurantwedding…
I’m so lucky to work with so many amazing brides and grooms and I love it so much when you find yourself working within a set of friends or family and you see the same people at different weddings – it’s so much fun! I actually met Ruth the first time I met Alexis off of Alexis and Adam’s Mitton Hall Wedding which is a long time ago now! Ruth wasn’t engaged at the time, she was just helping Ali out in the search for her wedding dress, but by the time Ali & Adam’s wedding came round, her and Paul were well on the way to tying the knot and I was delighted when they booked me to shoot their big day!
From the first time I sat down with Ruth and Paul to chat about their day I knew that it was going to be awesome. No two ways about it. They knew what they wanted, how the different parts of the day would work together and how they wanted me to fit into it. They were having an intimate ceremony at Manchester Town Hall followed by a table of 20 at The Restaurant Bar & Grill’s Private Room – followed by a massive bash at The Victoria and Albert Marriott that evening where numbers went up to over 100 – ace day!
I started off at Ruth & Paul’s apartment in Manchester and then headed off to the town hall for the ceremony…
Ruth and Paul’s gorgeous daughter, Zara Minnie…
Ruth just looked amazing…
Aaah…the girls! Ruth with the gorgeous (both of them!) Alexis and Charlie…
Then the short walk down John Dalton Street to The Restaurant Bar and Grill…
After the wedding breakfast I walked through Manchester to The V&A with Ruth and Paul and we shot some gorgeous images along the way…
We even had time to swing by their place and get a couple of shots outside their front door…love it!
Congratulations Ruthie & Paul! Thank you so much for having me along on your special day – it was amazing!
Have a brilliant time in Barbados too…I’m not at all jealous…
I spent a great afternoon wandering round Tatton Park with Ruth & Paul for their pre-wedding shoot. It was a beautiful spring afternoon and we rounded it off the way all pre-wedding shoots should be rounded off – with prosecco & beers! Marvellous!
I’d been looking forward to Ruth & Paul’s shoot for ages – I’ve known them (especially Ruth!) for quite a while now. I first met her the first time I met Alexis off of Alexis and Adam as Ruth was helping Alexis with wedding dress shopping and I happened to be at an open evening at Dreamcatcher Bridal in Kirkham – which is quite a while back now! Ruth and Paul were then at Ali & Adam’s wedding, so it was great to see them there as well as when I’d met them when they booked me to shoot their big day. I love it when you get to see brides and grooms a few times before their day!
So…onto the pre-wedding shoot – we had a lot of fun! We took advantage of some local street urchin’s mild vandalism and we shot some gorgeous images along the way! I really can’t wait for Ruth and Paul’s big day in Manchester now – they get married at Manchester Town Hall and then are having an intimate reception at The Restaurant Bar and Grill before a MASSIVE evening bash at The Victoria and Albert Hotel – it’s going to be awesome!
Here’s a few of my faves from their Tatton Park pre-wedding shoot…
Here it is! My TOP60 of 2011! (I tried to make it TOP40 but I just couldn’t cut it down any further!) Another amazing year at Jonny Draper Photography filled with awesome experience after awesome experience. Another year of meeting some of the loveliest people you could ever possibly wish to meet and another year of working at some of the best venues and with some of the best suppliers in the wedding industry. To all of my brides and grooms and to all of my wonderful wedding friends – thank you for making 2011 an absolute joy. I’m looking forward to more of the same this year!
So without further ado, my favourite images in no particular order. As with my 2010 review, I set myself a couple of simple rules so as to (hopefully!) not bore you to tears reading this blog post and instead let you just look at and enjoy the images. The rules were: Only 60 images (I worked out that I shot over 100,000 images last year so it’s been a bit of a task to cut them down again!) and only a simple line about each one. Here we go…!!!
The gorgeous Poppy at Styal Lodge modelling for our ‘Future of Vintage’ shoot as featured on English Wedding (you can see the whole shoot HERE) We could have been in Ibiza the weather was that good! One of my iconic images of 2011 – so much so that it is about to be hung on our lounge wall!
Katie & Colin’s Grange over Sands wedding – I love a happy and full dance floor!
Bev & Phil’s pre-wedding shoot. Seedy? Nah….!!! I love the colours! (And so did they!)
Bev & Phil’s wedding at The Ashes in Staffordshire. Taking a few minutes out at their stunning venue…
I’ve heard rumours about photographers not allowing guests to take pictures at weddings they shoot – obviously I don’t roll like that, but even if I did, I’d have struggled to stop Lisa & Eric’s guests at Thornton Manor!!!
Alexis & Adam’s wedding at Mitton Hall. Wowsers. What a gorgeous evening for the the most gorgeous couple. Ali & Adam REALLY loved everything about their wedding and the photography and were so keen to use their amazing venue to it’s full potential. As with all the images in this post, I could have used hundreds of images from their wedding, so it was tough cutting it to this one. But I’m sure you’ll agree it’s a worthy entry!
Another Mitton Hall wedding, this time Jenna & Chris’s big day (that’s not Chris on the left by the way!) – I just loved Jenna & her bridesmaid’s matching Vivienne Westwood shoes!
Ridiculous gin based behaviour at Kate & Ant’s wedding. Love it!
Chips by the river for Carrie & Rob and their bridal party at their wedding at Oddfellows in Chester – don’t think I need to say anything else!
Chrissie off of Chrissie & Louis at their pre-wedding shoot at Tatton Park – how gorgeous?!?!
Catherine from Catherine & Will arriving at church. Who cares that it’s raining? This is a gorgeous shot!
Awwww…Jacqui & Will at Styal Lodge – I love them so much! They are the nicest couple in the world!!!
Vicki off of Vicki & Stuart having a race with her bridesmaids at Browsholme Hall. As you do!
One of my all time favourite images. The gorgeous Ruth at The Ashes in Staffordshire. It’s just so ethereal and beautiful!
Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. Just because it’s so iconic.
A rather special moment at Louise & Tom’s wedding in Bristol where the ‘do not climb on the cow’ sign was very much ignored…
The first shoot I did for Black White Denim in Wilmslow, Cheshire. My favourite model who’s not a model, Ella…
Jess & Mike’s Manchester pre-wedding shoot. Because it doesn’t get cooler than this…
Charlotte & Teddy’s (and Ellie-Belle Balbier!) Tatton Park engagement shoot. The loveliest couple on a stunningly beautiful and colourful autumn day…
Another of my all time favourite images taken at Hannah & Jason’s Styal Lodge wedding – I LOVE a moody sky!
Big red wedding bus at Steph & Kris’s Manchester Town Hall wedding! Love it!
I think it’s the colours that do it for me. And the expressions on Ali & Adam’s faces! A BRILLIANT pre-wedding shoot at Fletcher Moss Park in Didsbury…
Because people only smile like this when it’s the best day ever… Polly and Paul’s Albright Hussey Manor wedding…
Rebecca & Andrew taking 5 minutes out on the beach on their way to Lytham Hall. Because they could. I love a bride who loves her dress but doesn’t worry about it!
Mrs Angela Doran. Because Emma & I love you!
One for the boys AND girls. A sports car (Lotus Exige for anyone who’s a car geek like me!) AND a man in uniform! What’s not to like?! Mike from Jess & Mike outside Styal Lodge…
Lisa & Alex’s ‘secret’ West Didsbury wedding! I love this shot of them enjoying fish and chips inFrankie’s Fish Bar on Burton Road!
Laura & Simon’s Thornton Manor wedding – you can feel the atmosphere in this shot, I just love it…
Louise & Andy’s Mitton Hall wedding – Bags of attitude!
Vicky & Jamie at The Lowry Theatre – how cool is it that we were allowed to shoot in the theatre?!?!
My great friend Howard Wing getting a ‘Love Train’ going at Paula & Andy’s Barton Grange wedding – that was before the speeches had even started! That’s how good he is!
Little Lola Fox. Cute as you like!
Hayley & Matthew’s Blackpool pre-wedding shoot. The wanted the glitter ball to be a feature. So that’s what we did! Ace!
Rachael’s portfolio shoot in Manchester. Because we got her to sit on a wall on the 5th floor of a carpark and she was up for it…
Dawn & Phil’s Sandhole Oak Barn wedding. We shot some gorgeous images of them after the wedding breakfast and this one of them having a few minutes to themselves is one of my faves. What a lovely couple they are too…
Catherine & Richard. It’s all in the look…
Emma & Pete and a couple of their hilarious mates – what’s not to like about this pic?!?!
Jess & Terry’s wedding. Another wedding where I could have used hundreds of images for this post, but this was my fave (sorry you didn’t feature Tez! Although you DID like it so you DID go and put a ring on it!!!)
Jordana & Ben at the windmill on the green in Lytham. Because Jordana still has it as her profile pic on Facebook – I’m glad she loves it as much as I do!
Nicky & Graham at Styal Lodge. I wanted to give them a different perspective to the now famous ‘platform’ at Styal Lodge – and it worked beautifully!
Louise from Louise & Andy on their pre-wedding shoot at The Inn at Whitewell. They wanted to do something a bit different. So they got REALLY dressed up and then we went for a walk in the country! Cool hey?!
Tiz & Rich – once again, it’s all about the look…
Andrea & Andy’s Inn at Whitewell wedding. Just to prove that even hotel corridors look awesome in wedding photographs…
Ashley Margolis shoot (Ricky from Hollyoaks) Ash wanted something a little bit cooler than his usual headshot/agent card images so we spent a morning shooting some properly cool stuff around Castlefield…
Mel & Jivko’s Conwy Castle wedding. Check that view out!
Katie & Nick’s big finish to their first dance at Albright Hussey Manor! As choreographed by my good friend Ailsa Baker!
Tanya & Paul’s Bartle Hall wedding – I love them stealing a minute away from it all just before their first dance…
Check out that smile on Nat’s face! Proof that rain doesn’t dampen spirits on anybody’s wedding day!
Jamie & his groomsmen at Stirk House having a little loosener before the ceremony!
Recently featured on their wedding ‘sneak preview’ on my blog – I love this shot of Ali & Adam kissing under the mistletoe at The West Tower…
Another Black White Denim shoot – featuring the very lovely Charlotte. Simple, elegant and incredibly beautiful…
Weddings are all about interactions and reactions – I love the look on Maria’s face as her and John are applauded into the room at Rookery Hall…
Sophie in a stunning gown from The White Closet at The Styal Lodge Open Evening. Because it was such a fun evening!
Julie & Jamie’s pre-wedding shoot in Liverpool. A ‘Friends’ moment…!!!
The gorgeous Stacey on The Vintage Wedding Dress Company shoot forThe White Closet at Willow Pool in Lymm. As featured on Love My Dress HERE!
Carly & Ian’s Manchester pre-wedding shoot. Because they drink alcohol that is on fire. And they’re particularly gorgeous and lovely!
This seemed a particularly appropriate image to end on! Lucy & Ian’s friends at their Lyme Park wedding getting stuck into Jagerbombs! Cheers!
So there it is. My 60 favourite images. Beautiful brides and grooms, wonderful moments, new friends, I loved every minute.
A huge thank you to the following people for their continued support and for contributing so much to such an incredible year:
Chris & Pete Draper
Jo, Paul, Megan and ‘Bump’ Pike
Katie & Anthony Roberts
Keith & Pauline Latham
Jane & Jason Thompson
Richard, Sarah, Georgie, Poppy & Franny Higham
Nikki, Rich, Jessica & Charlie Graeme
Charlotte Balbier & Ed Bedford
Jo Davies, David Bell, Charlotte, Lucy and all the girls at Black White Denim
Helen Corr & Pete Ruane
The Northwest Photographer ‘drink up’ massive
My lovely mates
And last but my no means least, all of my amazing brides and grooms!
I love weddings where loads of my wedding friends are involved! Steph found her amazing Charlotte Balbier dress at The White Closetin West Didsbury and it was actually Emma who looked after her (and I believe sold her the dress!) on her visit there!
I was really looking forward to Steph & Kris’s big day – a lot of thought had gone into how the day was going to run and specifically about the photography and how that would fit into the day. Steph and Kris had loads of ideas of there own – I really get a lot out of working with creative couples!
So I started off meeting Steph at their house in the morning where I was greeted by much Charlotte Balbier gorgeousness…
On to Manchester Town Hall to meet Kris and all the guests…
Steph was early!
Before we left town, we popped down to One Central Steet – where Kris & Steph first met!
Mere Golf & Country Club…
It’s rare I’d show off a cake shot – but what a cake!
So I’m starting to take this great weather for granted…(not really! I am maintaining my pessimistic attitude towards weather when it comes to all things wedding and I just ordered 6 new white brollies to replace last year’s which have got a little bit shabby…hopefully this year’s set won’t see quite as much action…!!!)
I had a gorgeous day up at Heaton Park in North Manchester with the very lovely and gorgeous Steph & Kris – they get married at Manchester Town Hall this August and having heard more about the details now, I can say it’s definitely going to be awesome!
So a little sneaky peek at their pre-wedding shoot on this Royal Wedding Day – which I don’t think will have a patch on Steph & Kris’s big day! Especially as Steph is a gorgeous Charlotte Balbier bride! (She’s been and seen The White Closet girlies who hooked her up with one of ‘The Goddess of Bridal’s’ amazing gowns – she’s going to look stunning!)
A very quick post of a couple of great images from yesterday’s uber cool city centre wedding. Sarah & Dan got married at St Ann’s church in the middle of Manchester and then had their reception at the hugely cool Radisson Edwardian (5 stars!) hotel in Manchester. What a truly amazing day! The snow had gone but the rain stayed away, all the friends and family were great fun to be around and absolutely lovely – I had a blast!
Sarah & Dan stole a moment together on King Street amongst all the sale shoppers…
The Christmas markets have left Albert Square but Santa was still there…
So here’s the full story from Michelle & Nick’s amazing wedding at Our Lady and St John’s Church in Chorlton and then at Manchester Town Hall!
It was a truly spectacular and emotional wedding and a pleasure to be involved in. Every little detail had been considered and Michelle & Nick had worked so hard to ensure that their personality’s as individuals and as a couple came across in everything on the day.
I started out at Michelle’s Mum and Dad’s house in the morning…
Nick had bought Michelle a wedding present – a beautiful diamond necklace that matched her engagement ring! Lucky girl!!!
It was then over to The Horse and Jockey on Chorlton Green in time to meet Nick and the lads on the short walk round to church. Nice brolly Nick!
On to the town hall…
Before the wedding breakfast, I spent a few minutes with Michelle & Nick wandering the beautiful corridors of Manchester Town Hall…
The big introduction into the room!
The inimitableCole Page made sure the wedding breakfast was great fun!
Skeletons and closets spring to mind…!!!
What a fabulous day at an amazing venue!
It was also great to work with one of my top wedding pals – Tom Harrington fromSilk Wedding Videos. Tom and I work together a lot, so you’ll see his name mentioned quite a few times! His work is absolutely spectacular and really shows that wedding video doesn’t have to still be shot like it was 20 years ago. Similar to my opinion on photography to be honest. I really do like working with him because our styles are very complimentary and because we know and understand how each other works, it’s a very easy job on the day too!
So finally, congratulations Michelle & Nick – thank you for inviting me to be part of your special day and all the very best for the future.