A Wedding Story
The Mercure Hotel Haydock is starting to feel like a second home to me now, I've shot a good few WEDDINGS there now and a bonus for me, it's practically on my doorstep, that said, it is a really great venue for your special day. Gemma and Dean's day for me started with a bit of Groom's prep, something I wish I got a chance to do more often, the lads tend to be much more laid back about getting ready than the girls and it's definitely not as hectic, easy when you can be ready in about half an hour give or take, a shave, a shower and get dressed, not much to it really! Us blokes don't know how lucky we've got it! After grabbing a few shots of the boys at home, it was a quick trip up the road to Gemma and the girls getting ready at the Mercure Hotel. Gemma's a horse fanatic and had one huge bruise on her leg from getting a kick from her horse, Dottyman and it must have hurt like hell, she was worried about me getting that whopper of a bruise in the photographs but not a problem! Everyone was nice and relaxed as I got there and the prep was well underway. I got a chance to grab a few of the detail shots, Gemma's shoes and of course the dress, her jewellery and perfume too not forgetting a shot of the rings, unlike the lads eh! ;0) It's really nice when the Bridesmaids rally around the Bride helping her get ready but Gemma's Mum especially wanted to play her part in helping Gemma finish getting ready, fastening her into her dress, fastening her necklace and giving her a last quick spritz of perfume and from the photographs, you can tell just how close these two are and how proud Mum is of her lovely Daughter.
Once the girls were all ready and it was time to head downstairs to the ceremony I went down ahead to grab a few shots of Dean and the guests waiting for the Bride and being entertained by a pianist before the ceremony. Gemma arrived soon after escorted down the aisle by her Dad, the Mercure is a bit different from other venues in that behind the couple and the registrar and up a couples of steps there's a raised area that gives a different perspective of the ceremony than you'd usually get, shooting from slightly above the couple and over the registrars shoulder and you've got the freedom of moving around either side to get shots of both the Bride and Groom depending on who's saying their vows and without the photographer and registrar getting under each others feet or pinned in a corner to one side like you'd get in most venues. Gemma and Dean had a couple of readings during the ceremony, including a lovely one from one of her Bridesmaids and then they continued on with their vows. The ceremony room at the Mercure Haydock has a gorgeous stained glass, domed roof light and I always like to get a shot of the couple walking up the aisle timed just as they get under it. Once the ceremony was over and Gemma and Dean were now officially Husband and Wife we headed to the front of the hotel for a few formal group shots and with the amount of guests they had, a confetti blizzard, if you're going to do a confetti shot, you've got to do it properly! We had a little walk around the grounds with the couple for their portraits, making the most of the fountain and the stone archway leading into the hotel and back in plenty of time, ready for the Wedding Breakfast.
When it came to time for the Father of the Bride and the Groom's speeches we had all the emotions, tears and laughter and toasts, Bridesmaids trying not to cry, all the feels. Then it was the Best Man's turn, slaying the room with a joke right at the end of his speech that was definitely NSFW but there was something about a trip to a certain place in Wales for Dean and Gemma, her face a picture in shock and Dean looking very red faced as you can tell from the photos, Mic Drop!! Gemma's poor Dad, I shouldn't laugh but it was funny though. The wedding guests made their way into the bar area to give the staff a chance to turn the marquee around and so the DJ could get set up ready for everyone to party long into the night, once Gemma and Dean had their first dance as Mr and Mrs of course. Congratulations to you both and Best Wishes for the future!