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!
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.
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
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!
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!