A Wedding Story
Another new venue for me this year, Ribby Hall Village. I didn't know what to expect on the drive up the M6 and as I drove up to it I couldn't believe the size of the place, it's huge and there so much to do, you're spoiled for choice and I definitely wouldn't mind going back there for a mini holiday The day started with me arriving for the final throws of the Bridal prep, Charlotte and the girls were just having the final touches of having their hair and makeup done. Charlotte slipped into her stunning wedding dress just in time for her Dad (already suited and booted) to knock on the hotel room door to see her in her dress for the first time, always an emotional moment and mum quickly stepped in to wipe away the tears and save the makeup while Dad joined the Bride Squad and grabbed a celebratory drink of bubbly. It was time to set off for the ceremony shortly afterwards and it's the first time I've had to drive from the prep to the cemreony at the same venue, Ribby Hall Village is that big! I managed to park up and jump out of the car in time for the Bridesmaids and of course the Bride and her Father to be chauffeured from the hotel to the ceremony suite. making sure I jumped in and snapped a shot of Charlotte and her Dad in the back of the old Rolls Royce.
Arriving at the ceremony suite I found a nervously excited Groom and definitely an emotional one when he saw Charlotte for the first time escorted arm in arm with her Dad. Fortunately I'd already been tipped off that Charlotte and Elliot had a rather unusual ring bearer for the ceremony, their dog Yogi. It didn't take him long to make his presence known barking and growling every time the camera was pointed at him. He did his job very well though, flying up the aisle right on queue carrying the wedding rings to the soon-to-be-weds.
After the ceremony we had the Rolls Royce chauffeur us, me included, back up to the hotel and spa for a few formal posed couple portraits, making the most of the lovely pond complete with ducks and the big water fountain shooting water high into the air in front of the spa. As I arrived at the venue I'd immediately noticed the balcony used in these shots covered in ivy and due to the time of year it had already started turning a gorgeous red in parts and I was determined to make the most of it if I could and luckily as it happened, it was actually the balcony to the room that Charlotte had been getting ready in and they were able to get out there and get some amazing shots! I'd had a good walk around the area before I started shooting the Bridal prep and was hoping to take the newlyweds off to a gorgeous woodland area (I said it was a big place!) for some more portraits but Charlotte was desperate to get back to have a play on the fairground they'd arranged to entertain guests and I can't say I blame her, I was dying for a go myself. They had a hook-a-duck, a coconut shy, ringtoss game and one of those strength test things were you have to ring the bell to name just a few, the guests were loving it and some off them very competitive too, brilliant fun, you don't get many fairgrounds at weddings, such a good idea!
The funfair theme continued throughout the wedding breakfast with bunches of little helium filled balloons and Ferris wheel cupcake holders as centrepieces, order of the day for the guests, a wishing tree and sweets table all with the same fairground bunting and logo throughout, even the wedding cake had a fairground theme with a carousel, a really nice touch. There was the usual mixture of laughter and tears during the wedding speeches, laughing one minute and crying the next, just as it should be. The Best Man's speech was certainly a memorable one, the Groom being gifted a pack of Tena incontinence pads and the Bride a bottle of Febreeze, for freshening up, well I'm not quite sure what!?? I'd been tipped off by Elliot's Mum that there was going to be a surprise for the newlyweds during the wedding and breakfast and once everyone had enjoyed their lovely meal, one of the waiters carrying a wine bucket full of cutlery hit the deck, wedding guests turned around shocked to see what the commotion was and if he was ok as well as the usual cheers of "whaaaayyyyyy" only for him to jump, microphone in hand and start belting out a song. It's the second wedding I've shot where these guys have been there and they're just awesome, the guests really get into it and join in, in what can sometimes be a bit of a flat part of the day as people are milling around and often head off and check in but with these waiters you can guarantee a party atmosphere and nobody wants to miss out by heading to their room. I was certainly singing along while capturing all the action.
One thing I do have to mention is the dancing, just fantastic. There was no way that the lads were going to be outdone by the girls on this dance floor and came up with an impromptu dance routine, each of the Groomsmen in their suits taking centre stage to show off their moves and finishing off with Elliot the Groom, a fishing fanatic, casting out a line and hooking his Bride, reeling her in as she struggled on the line (no too much)! The waiters finishing off with all the wedding guests twirling napkins around their heads as they all sang "I Love You Baby" Elliot jumping ion his chair to show off even more of his dance moves! That set the tone for the rest of the night then and made the DJs life a lot easier as he played the dance classics from Cotton-Eyed Joe, the Cha Cha Slide and Wigfields's Saturday night but from the dance moves in the photos you could probably tell what the songs were anyway! A big big thanks for Charlotte and Elliot for letting me be a part of this fantastic day, thank you guys! Best Wishes for the future.