A Wedding Story

Emma and Stuart's wedding was my first after the lockdown restrictions were finally starting to ease back in June, and my first since October the year before. There were still some existing restrictions in place however, there was a limit of 30 guests and face masks were still mandatory.

Looking back now it was still such a strange time for everyone.

Anyway, Bridal Prep started at Emma's Mum and Dad's house and it's not very often that the Bride is upstaged on her big day but Maisie, Emma and Stuart's daughter tried her very best to steal the show, so much personality in one little bundle, she really did have everyone running around in circles, keeping them on their toes and wrapping them all around her little finger.

It felt good to be finally shooting again!

hairdresser sprays hairspray fixing the brides hair as she sits down wearing brides pyjamas
photo of the mother of the groom in the garden taken through a window wearing pink and white striped pyjamas
little girl sits on the floor and puts her hand in her mouth
little girl pulls a face as if to say oooo sitting on the kitchen floor in the sunlight
little girl gets help to stand up with her legs stretched wide apart
mothers of both the bride and groom entertain their little grandaughter with a bridesmaid during the bridal prep
little girl looks excite and waves her wedding wand around held by the grooms mother
bride shows off her dress in the kitchen to her family for the first time
wedding group line up in a conservatory at home to see the bride in her dress for the first time.

The Ceremony

Once the Bridal Prep had finished and Emma was almost ready to set off, I jumped in the car and high-tailed it to sunny Southport and for a change it really was. It was lovely early summer's day, the weather on the run up to the wedding it was anything but and if there's one thing you can rely on its the unpredictability of the good old British weather but happily the sun was out to make the day. I met up with the Groom Stuart and a few of the wedding guests at the Prince of Wales Hotel on Lord Street just as they were getting ready to head off to the Town Hall to await Emma's arrival. Southport is an old stomping ground of mine while I was at college there so it was good to go back again and see some of the familiar sights from when I SHOULD have been at college but the town certainly has changed quite a bit since the early 90s.

Walking along Lord Street with the guests and then congregating outside the Town Hall before it was time to be called in gave me an opportunity to take some relaxed and informal shots of everyone mingling and chatting while they waited for the Bride. Once inside it was time for everyone apart from Emma and Stuart to mask up, it certainly makes it more difficult to capture the genuine reactions and emotions with the face coverings in place, luckily the newlyweds more than made up for it during the ceremony and once outside again it was masks off straight away.

wedding guests walking under a canopy of trees on the way to the wedding at southport town hall
groom and wedding guests walk along lord street in a line as they head to southport town hall for the wedding
bride and grooms young daughter photographed between stone pillars looks off to the side caught in the sunlight
wedding guest wearing a blue suit hands out face masks to the other guests outside southport town hall
little flower girl gets help to walk from one of the bridesmaids holding her hand in the town hall before the wedding
wide shot of the wedding guests wearing face masks inside southport town hall before the ceremony
bridesmaid holds hand with the little flower girl as they enter the ceremony room at southport town hall
groom smiles as he sees the bride for the first time as she enters the room
bride and groom sit smiling as the wedding ceremony gets underway at southport town hall
bride and groom facing each other as the groom puts the ring on her finger

Marine Lake

As the weather was in our favour (yay) and as I said Southport is somewhere I know very well, we decided to head down to the Marine Lake to get a few shots of the Bride and Groom, I don't like to pose couples, I just generally loosely point them in the right direction, give them a few ideas and then just let them get on with. It's a nice chance for them to take a breather after all the build up and nerves of the ceremony to spend a bit of time together, to let it all sink in and then just chill away from all the hustle and bustle. Once you get used to the camera (it can be a bit strange at first) you soon relax and it really comes across in the photos, no forced fun, no fake or awkward smiles to the camera and definitely no naff, silly poses.

Only the newlyweds enjoying spending time with each other!

bride and groom sit on a park bench and share a kiss in front of a large hedge brides hand on the grooms knee
bride and groom walk hand in hand in the gardens down by southport marine lake
bride and groom kiss in front of the marine lake in southport a large suspension bridge in the background
bride and groom sit on a bench in an ornate victorian shelter near the marine lake
standing next to an ornate lampost the bride looks off into the distance as the groom faces her smiling in the sunshine
taken from a low angle bride and groom facing each other stand on a balcony between ornate lamp posts
low angle of a bride and groom on an ornate stone balcony kissing in the sunshine
groom kneels to help the bride adjust her shoe under her wedding dress at southport marine lake

The Prince of Wales

Once the informal formals were out of the way we headed back to the Prince of Wales Hotel, did I mention the weather was nice? It was definitely time to make the most of the beer garden, it really had been such a long time coming thanks to covid, it was the first real opportunity for everyone to enjoy themselves in what felt like forever, it was so nice being able to socialise again and everyone was desperately in need of a good time, it felt like the planets were finally lining up and the day was meant to be! Even the fact the beer was off for a time didn't dampen the spirits too much.

I've seen quite a few different and unusual things happen at various weddings I've photographed and the handy thing about town and city centre weddings is there's usually a shop not too far away, with all the rushing about getting ready in the morning poor little Maisie was left without so Dad saved the day, I've never seen a Groom nip across the road to pick up a couple of pints of milk at a wedding before!

The Prince of Wales is a deceptively large old Victorian building in keeping with the historic mile long canopied boulevard, you certainly wouldn't realise there was a ballroom looking at it from the front. The ballroom is a stunning backdrop for your wedding celebrations, with a gorgeous wrap around balcony overlooking the dance floor and a huge ornate glass chandelier, it's ideal making one hell of an entrance, perfect for your first dance, even if you're not a trained ballroom dancer it makes for a great photo op! Best Wishes to Emma & Stuart for the future.

little flower girl plays with a colourful spinning windmill in the garden sitting on a picnic table
older couple smiling sit in a wooden arbour in the garden at the prince of wales hotel southport
newlyweds pose for a photo in bride and groom black and white face masks in the gardens at the prince of wales hotel
little flower girl shows her colourful windmill to a laughing bridesmaid in the garden at the prince of wales hotel
little flower girls pulls a funny face as she is given a crisp snack by the bridesmaid
groom is given a pint from another wedding guest in the beer garden at the prince of wales hotel southport
smiling little flower girl sits playing on the grass with her grandma wearing a colourful peach & purple wedding outfit
groom holds a pint of milk in each hand
mother of the bride in a colourful peach and purple outfit smiling shrugs her shoulder in the bear garden
mother of the bride in a colourful wedding outfit carries drinks in each hand across the beer garden wearing a face mask

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