A Wedding Story

I'd not shot at Ashfield House before I was lucky enough to be asked by Lynne & Dave to photograph their November wedding and I've been looking forward to going back there again ever since. It's a stunning family run wedding venue in Standish, Wigan. There's a tagline on their website "We're not normal" Wether you're talking about this beautiful country house built in 1755 and used as a wedding venue since 2009 or the fabulous staff working at Ashfield House that simply cannot do enough for you from the planning and organising right through to ensuring everything runs smoothly on your special day, as far as wedding venues go this one definitely isn't your normal wedding venue!

I arrived early for some Bridal Prep photographs, the weather had been awful running up to the wedding day and on the morning it wasn't looking great either, I suppose that's a chance you take with winter weddings in this country, the chances are it's going to be wet, windy or very grey! The Sitting Room at Ashfield house is perfect for the serious business of the Bridal Prep, there's bags of space, plenty of natural light and the decor is as stylish and classical as the rest of this stunning country house, it's the Holy Grail for shooting Bridal Prep photography. The Bride and her Maid of Honour, Heather where nicely chilled and relaxed without all the usual wedding morning chaos of Bridesmaids, Hairdressers and Makeup artists falling over each other trying to get everyone ready and various guests regularly popping in and out of the room to say hello. As the morning went by and as Lynne and the Heather finished getting ready, the weather finally broke, the rain eventually stopped and the skies cleared. Perfect!

head and shoulders side profile shot of the bride having her hair curled
wide shot of the bridal prep in one of the suites at ashfield house wigan
bride in her dressing gown standing looking out of the window
bridal bouquet sits on the dressing table in the bridal suite at Ashfield house
bride sits on the couch smiling during the bridal prep
detail shot of the lacing on the back of the brides dress
detail shot of the lace on the brides dress and bolero
maid of honour leaning on the back of the couch smiling and chatting to the bride
reflection shot in an ornate mirror of the bride sitting in her pyjamas during the bridal suite
bride putting in her ear rings during the bridal prep

The ceremony room at Ashfield House is something special, as they say on their website "getting married is what you came to do, it’s the main event and it deserves a spectacular space" and it truly is. The room is essentially a blank canvas but stunning at the same time with a fantastic vaulted ceiling along with various ledges on the walls it really has the possibility of looking absolutely amazing whatever theme you choose for your wedding. As Lynne made her way down the amazing ornate staircase you can see above, I headed into the ceremony room to join the wedding guests and husband to be Dave eagerly awaiting Lynne's arrival. Once the Maid of honour had made her way down the aisle followed shortly afterwards by Lynne's super cute flower girl niece carrying her little basket of petals it was Lynne's turn to walk down the aisle, escorted by her Brother to meet up with her Groom. You can always tell if the Groom feels he's won the lottery by the smile on his face when he sees the Bride for the first time and Dave definitely had a huge grin on his.

groom standing at the front of the room in front of the wedding guests turns to look for the bride
maid of honour walks up the aisle at ashfield house wigan
little flower girl walks up the aisle with her mother
groom turns to watch his bride enter the room in font of their wedding guests
bride escorted by her brother reaches her groom after walking up the aisle
bride and groom smiling at the front of the room in front of all their guests
bride and groom turn to face each other smiling
bride and groom holding hands in front of the celebrant and all their guests
close up of the node and groom holding hands during the wedding ceremony
bride and grooms first kiss as husband and wife in front of their wedding guests

Usually the majority of my work is what you'd call documentary style or reportage photography, photographing as many things that happen as I can on the day and as I say on my about me page, I really don't like having my photo taken at all and hate it when you're asked to pose for photographs, it can feel awkward and sometimes a bit fake but when you're given the opportunities that Ashfield House gives you to get some great shots, along with a cool couple, you've just got to take the chance and make the most of it. Unfortunately as I'd said earlier it had been raining most of the morning and it was a pretty cold November day so we couldn't get into the grounds to make the most of the lovely gardens, even though I did manage to convince Lynne and Dave to head out for some more shots later on in the night and it was definitely worth it but there's so many great locations inside you're spoiled for choice whatever the weather's doing outside

bride and groom enjoying a quick drink together before greeting their wedding guests
bride chats to her guests after the ceremony at ashfield house
brides brother takes a photo of his wife and young daughter sitting on a pillar in the ceremony room at ashfield house
portrait of the bride and groom stand on the staircase at ashfield house shot through the ornate spindles
detail shot of the rustic wedding cake with berries as decoration
surprise little present for the groom in a heart shaped box sits on his chair waiting for the wedding breakfast
detail shot of the pop up gin bar at ashfield house taken from the ground upwards
reflection shot in an ornate mirror of wedding guests laughing and chatting
atmospheric black and white shot of the groom sitting at the end of a desk indoor a floor lamp
groom sits on the arm of a large red couch looking at his bride sitting down next to him.

The Wedding Breakfast and the speeches are probably my favourite part of the day, not just because it's a chance for a break and to taste some great wedding food but it's when the pressure is off and the formal stuff is all done and then everyone finally gets to relax and have fun. The speeches are often a very emotional, there's happiness of course, sometimes tinged with the sadness of those that couldn't be there on the day, the laughter and the tears. I've heard plenty of wedding speeches as my time as a wedding photographer, it's always nice to hear what the father or in this case, the brother of the Bride and what the Groom has to say but there's always a sense of expectation when the Best Man stands up to give his, no pressure! It's sometimes too easy just to Google Best Man's speeches and use the same old jokes straight off the internet but nothing beats watching the Groom squirm and grinning, embarrassed in front of his new Bride when the Best Man pushes his luck telling stories about their exploits but in Richard's case you know the Best Man has nailed his speech when you're finally getting around to writing the blog a year later and you still remember how funny it was.

Note to all future Best Men, put the work in it'll be worth it!

bride sits at the top table smiling during the wedding breakfast
brides brother gives his wedding speech after the wedding breakfast
the groom stands up holding his notes to give his wedding speech
the groom in full flow during his wedding speech
the best man entertains the wedding guest with his funny speech
the groom laughing during the best mans speech
the best man holding his notes with his tongue out while giving his wedding speech
bride and groom laughing at the best mans funny wedding speech
bride puts her hand to her face to wipe away a tear during the wedding speeches
wedding guest laughing as the best man recounts the stag do during his speech

Well as I said earlier the weather hadn't been playing ball on the morning and it was a bit too cold, wet and muddy to make the most of the grounds at Ashfield House but we were able to nip out for a bit to get some amazing night time shots using the house as a backdrop before heading back inside for the cake cutting and Lynne and David's first dance as husband and wife, soon joined by all of their guests on the dance floor for one hell of a party! Thanks to you both for letting me be there to capture your special day.

So if you're looking for a wonderful wedding venue in the Wigan area, make sure Ashfield House is on the top of your list of venues to check out before deciding!

night time portrait of the bride her hand around his waist standing in front of ashfield house
night time portrait of the bride and groom standing very close together smiling in the doorway to ashfield house
bride and groom holding hands are introduced to their wedding guests at the evening reception
bride and groom smiling at each others they cut their cake in front of their guests
bride and groom take to the dancefloor at ashfield house wigan
black and white shot of the bride and groom during their first dance watched by their guests
bride and grooms first dance as husband and wife at ashfield house
bride and groom with their arms in the air as they newlyweds are joined on the dance floor by their wedding guests
bride and groom are joined by their guests on the dance floor during their first dance
bride and groom dance surrounded by their guests on the ashfield house dancefloor

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