Katy & Daryl

Katy & Daryl

Katy & Daryl

A Summer Wedding at Falcon Manor

Falcon Manor is a contemporary and very chic wedding venue in the beating heart of the Yorkshire Dales. The equally chic Katy and Daryl wanted to make the most of their day at such a sophisticated venue, and booked a pre-wedding shoot to get camera-ready and explore creative ideas.

Pre-wedding shoot

I wanted Katy and Daryl in a place they love and is important to them. Like the big day at Falcon Manor the engagement shoot was just as relaxed. Around their home in Halifax, Katy and Daryl chose some beautiful spots; quiet country lanes, lush woods and the grand vista of a reservoir. This simple walk and chat on a lazy summer afternoon soon captured some naturally spontaneous moments, and we knew the wedding was going to be a breeze.

Wedding Photography at Falcon Manor

I have been a regular at Falcon Manor for many years – in fact, I never go to the Yorkshire Dales without my camera! Katy and Daryl’s wedding photography at Falcon Manor was so easy after the engagement shoot. I went between their rooms to get both build ups. Excited nerves, the swapping of notes, gorgeous dresses, red socks and a deconstructed set of flowers yielded some quirky, spontaneous photography. Katy looked stunning in the Rafters room silhouetted in her dress while Daryl took it easy with the lads.

Falcon Manor Wedding Ceremony, Portraits and Party

The wedding ceremony room is intimate and beautifully set. Everyone had a wonderful view of Katy and her Dad as she walked down the aisle. After confetti the champagne flowed like the sunshine on the gorgeous lawn! Katy and Daryl’s portraits were shot in a perfect little lane by the side of Falcon Manor, and the bridesmaids and ushers got together for their own shoot; spinning umbrellas, jumping off walls and straight to the party. What brilliant energy!

If you like my wedding photography at Falcon Manor then take a look at my pre-wedding shoot offer and get in touch. I’d love to hear from you!

couple holding hands
walking down the road together
face to face in the sunlight
kiss on a bridge
together in the woods
kiss before the wedding
couple cuddling on the bridge
looking out together over the water
dancing on the bridge
together on the bridge

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Lauren & Phil

Lauren & Phil

Lauren & Phil

An Autumnal Wedding at Eaves Hall

Lauren and Phil wanted a blend of natural, documentary style photography and choice portraits to take advantage of this exclusive wedding venue with it’s glorious building surrounded by beautiful gardens set amidst the stunning countryside of the Ribble Valley. Being a regular wedding photographer at Eaves Hall I know where some fantastic photo opportunities lie. 

An Autumnal Wedding at Eaves Hall

Lauren was having hair and make up done with her bridesmaids in The Lodge. Cue gasps of amazement as the bridesmaids walked up to the Georgian mansion for the first time. It was up to The Kemple and The Ribble Suite where Lauren and Phil were preparing for the wedding ceremony. The bride and groom swapping letters was so emotional! The ceremony room at Eaves Hall is perfect for light; shining in as the father of the bride walked the beautiful Lauren down the aisle with a few words as he went. Then it was outside for some confetti and a royal wave from the balcony before the wedding breakfast. As well as some emotional speeches there was a quick game of Mr & Mrs organised by Kat & Georgie the bridesmaids. From one energetic moment to the next the day was captured naturally. Lauren and Phil then popped out for a couple of portraits as the autumnal sun set. I love the colours of the gardens at Eaves Hall and know fantastic angles to shoot from, so was able keep it simple, relaxed and use the natural light.

Photographing the Evening Celebrations

Eaves Hall looks amazing at night and the party, full of colour and energy, took hold. Lauren and Phil enjoyed a parade of sparklers before it was time to cut the cake and go for the first dance – not before the father of the bride also enjoyed a dance with his daughter. The crowd were in such wonderful form, everyone really emotional and taken by the partying so I sneaked Lauren and Phil out for a quick creative shot in front of the beautiful Eaves Hall lit at night. With some off camera flash wizardry we created the perfect touch to a perfect day.

If you like my wedding photography at Eaves Hall then get in touch. I’d love to hear from you!

wedding dress at the top of the stairs at lodge at eaves hall in clitheroe
designer hanger with brides name on and wedding date
bride and groom walk up the steps at eaves hall
bride and bridesmaid walk up to the eaves hall georgian mansion

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Ash & Sam

Ash & Sam

Ash & Sam

A Humanist Wedding at The Out Barn

To be a wedding photographer at The Out Barn, Clough Bottom is to immerse yourself totally in this secluded place in the Ribble Valley countryside. A view of Pendle Hill in the day turned to a star studded moonlit sky at night under which the elliptical cedar clad shaped barn was lit in purple light. The scene was a perfect blend of nature and contemporary architecture in which to spend the perfect day. 

Wedding Photographer at The Out Barn

The Out Barn is family owned and run and has its original roots in the 17th Century as a traditionally stone built barn. Ash and Sam decided to do the legal wedding beforehand and have a humanist ceremony on the day that was all about their family, traditions and roots. The bridal preparations, with Proseco, tears and laughter took place at The Old Dairy Wedding Cottage. Ash and Sam swapped heart felt letters. Documenting these moments tells the real, authentic story. Sam and his best man, Pete, were staying in the nearby village of Waddington. After a nip and a splash of aftershave the lads had a few photos. I was a bit like Reservoir Dogs had come to Waddington.

Capturing The Wedding Day Celebrations

The humanist ceremony was so emotive. Still shooting through the lens I could feel a few goosebumps and the odd lump in my throat, too. After the ceremony I left Ash and Sam to see their guests and just captured the day as it happened. Whether people chilled outside or inside you always felt together as a wedding party. Once the wedding breakfast was set it was time for The Singing Waiters and the speeches. If the singing waiters caused an outrageous amount of dancing – and frames! – then the speeches were something truly unique. The best man, Pete was a Kiwi. He did no more than perform The Haka in front of Ash and Sam. Photographing such a spontaneous moment (he could have warned me beforehand!) was such a buzz! Wow! Just, wow! It was so electric and full of emotion that after everyone just chilled outside in the summer sun.

Natural Wedding Portraits

As with all my weddings I like natural photography that is un-staged and unposed. With little guidance I just took Ash and Sam for a wander with Pendle Hill as a backdrop. It was so easy going. I could feel how they were just enjoying the day and I just let that unfold in front of the camera lens without hardly saying a word. It was so beautiful. 

A Photographers Story at The Out Barn

And so the evening drew in and the party just went on – and on! Italian and Mexican food with plenty of champers kept the wedding guests fuelled and so to the cake cutting and first dance. Surrounded by everyone under the purple lights of The Out Barn, Ash and Sam took to the oval barn’s intimate dance floor and shared special moments with their friends and family. As I left them I saw the shot to complete the story. The dark moonlit sky provided the perfect contrast with the purple lights of this wonderful, contemporary wedding venue. It was a fitting final frame.

bride and bridesmaid take selfie getting ready
mother of the bride and bride
bride has hair done
broom and best man have a drink
groom wears special cuff link

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Rachael & Kyle

Rachael & Kyle

Rachael & Kyle

A Marquee Wedding at Thornton Manor Lake Side

It was my first time photographing a wedding at the Lakeside Marquee at Thornton Manor in The Wirral and I couldn’t have asked for a better couple to be with than Rachael and Kyle. Now, they were fun!! It all started up by the Thornton Manor lodges where all of the bridal and groom prep kicked off the day. Then down from the Groom’s Cottage and Bridal Suite there’s the Lakeside Marquee situated in the grounds. What an amazing place to have your wedding breakfast and party and what a place to be a wedding photographer at Thornton Manor. There was the boat trip around the lake for a unique experience, the decking all around for the bridal party and the wedding guests to chill out on and the the super huge marquee for a beautiful light and bright ceremony, the breakfast and then a big party under the starry dome of the marquee at night.

Wedding Photographer at Thornton Manor

The beauty of photographing in the marquee is that all the events that make up a wedding day are around you. And when you have such brilliant, chilled out wedding guests then the two combine for the perfect blend of real, natural documentary wedding photography that creates the best memories. Rachael, Kyle and I went off mid celebrations for a quick wander and found a little monument plus a bank and massive hedge, and together, those made for some really unique wedding portraits. Just while I was shooting those and without looking up from my camera, a flock of geese from the lake flew over the hedge and, bam – got it! I wasn’t long before we were partying away. The first dance started with a big reveal of “R&K” on the dance floor under a starry roof and it was easy to photograph because everyone just piled onto the dance floor full of energy and the shots – both from the camera and from the bar – kept flowing!

welcome signs at thornton manor lakeside
hair and make up in the mirror
bride gets ready with bridesmaids
wedding dress hangs in the light
hairspray on bride

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Which Wedding Venue?

Which Wedding Venue?

I was inspired to write this post after meeting a host of couples and a lovely bride-to-be and her mum at my latest wedding fair at Eaves Hall. Now there’s a beautiful venue in itself which I’ll come onto shortly. But first I had the dilemma of thinking about the pro and cons of Peckforton Castle or West Tower? In short they both have brilliant aspects to them so it depends on what details or features appeal to your plans. Below is a list of 5 considerations you might think of when choosing and then 12 venues that I’ve photographed at to give you a wedding photographer’s perspective. Check out the full wedding links to see the venues in full.

Considerations for your wedding venue

  1. Venue Size – Might sound simple but you need to fit your guests in! The average wedding party size is about 75 guests in the day and then going up to 120 in the evening. Make sure you count for the full list but most venues accommodate this number and a few more. If you’re having over 200 guests then you need to get on the case asap because there are much fewer venues with that capacity and therefore you have less options. If you’re in that space try Kilhey Court, and Haigh Hall in Wigan or Thornton Manor Lakeside, Cheshire.
  2. Room Configuration – Check out the size and placing of the rooms. Where’s your party room? Your ceremony room? Your wedding breakfast room? Some venues use one room for all three! That means as each part of the day passes the rooms get turned around and reset for the next part. In that case you and your guests will have to go elsewhere while that’s being done. The other consideration is whether you want a room for older guests or young children while you party on with the tunes going off the decibel scale!! On that note, think about your guests being together in the one place. Fewer rooms means everyone is all together and not getting lost somewhere else! Somewhere like Eaves Hall has different rooms but are all close together.
  3. Exclusivity – Fancy meeting another bride in the same building!? A handful of venues do run more than one wedding on a day but a good deal are still open to the public and have other guests. You’ll be caught up in the whirlwind of the day so being in your own part of the venue will feel exclusive in any case but exclusivity means it’s just you and your party. The only drawback is that you may have to pay extra for exclusivity. Some venues are exclusively wedding venues so what you see is what get – and pay for! For exclusive wedding venues try Ashfield House or West Tower.
  4. Location – Where are you guests who live farthest away coming from? Maybe one thing to think about when choosing your venue. How does everyone get there? And where are people staying? Most venues have rooms and if you have exclusivity they are all yours. Most family and friends will plump for a local B&B or Premier Inn if close by, so worth a scan of the surrounding area when checking venues. As they’ll be spending most of the day/night with you it’s probably just to sleep over and they may well need a cab at the end of the night so factor this in too. Going abroad!? This is a whole new ball game! Please get in touch as I have worked abroad.
  5. Food – In the true traditions of weddings the celebrations are around feasting, so food and the wedding breakfast are so important. Plus I love my food and I have had the pleasure of dining with a lot of my couples on their big day – so have had the same food as they have. My top tip for any restaurant or dining venue? Always go by the veg dishes! The average chef can cook a steak but the better ones know how not to serve mushy, over boiled veg. If you get a taster menu offered to you by your venue, maybe take a vegetarian with you!? They’ll be a good indicator to the quality of the menu! I’ve worked at Mitton Hall, Clitheroe quite a few times and can highly recommend their veg – and the rest of their menu!
  6. Photography! – Well, I had to have this as a consideration! In all truth whatever your location you’ll get the best photography from me. Yes, location provides photo opportunities, but it is people and personalities that will document your day naturally and be at the heart of your photography. That said the location can offer varying opportunities – if you want a set photo in part of the venue, then we’ll do it. Think of somewhere like Eaves Hall, Clitheroe with seven acres of beautiful grounds, compared to somewhere like Victoria Warehouse, Manchester with its funky brickwork. If your venue has grounds with lots of nooks and crannies and pathways and trees I can shoot behind then that’s all good. If you imagine going for a (romantic!) wander in the grounds for a wee while – simple and nice and relaxed – then the backdrops that will be in the photos are all around you. Maybe you’ll want the house or venue in the background with the grounds. Also think that’ll you’ll be in your dress and dapper suit. You’ll be more aware of your wedding dress on the day. Will you be ok if there’s a bit of a dusty old track en route? It may have rained the night before and be a bit muddy. So maybe take some other shoes and think of how you’ll get there if you’ll want to keep your dress relatively clean. Also, think about how far you want to go and how long you want to be away from your guests. I think 20-30 mins is ample for some gorgeous and funky portraits but you may need to add on a few mins to get there. So beautiful grounds next to your venue is great. If there’s a few drops of rain on the day is there somewhere inside for some photos? I like to visit your venue with you beforehand as well, so if I do not know it well already, I will by the day and we’ll go through all the options to make sure your photography will be perfect.

12 wedding venues to consider

I’ve worked in many, many wedding venues. These are not meant to be ‘the best’ but ones that I think are worth considering for a variety of reasons that I’ve mentioned above. 

Lodore Falls Hotel, nr Keswick

Lodore Falls Hotel has a spa, is a very plush hotel and also has one specific wow factor; location. Right on the banks of Derwent water and among the fells of The Lake District, photo opportunities are in abundance. There is The Surprise View and the iconic Ashness Bridge just a few mins away with a jetty going out into Derwent Water itself. The gardens outside themselves are perfect for natural, documentary style photography and if you wish they have a gazebo outdoors under which to make your vows! Check out Amber & Dan Wedding I shot there.

Guest Count: Day +/- 75, Evening +/- 140

Falcon Manor, Settle

Part of the James Places group there is something special about this venue. In the glorious setting of The Yorkshire Dales it is a beautiful manor house and gardens with perfect room configuration, great staff, brilliant food and tasteful decor. The bridal suite is a great size, too, with a grand chandeliered staircase. Also, it has massive fluffy lampshades in the main room. Enough said. Check out Katy & Daryl’s wedding there.

Guest Count: Day +/- 75, Evening +/- 120

Eaves Hall, Clitheroe 

Eaves Hall is classy, extremely well run and has seven acres of gardens as well as a set of elegant rooms all in one beautiful Georgian mansion. It offers so many opportunities in the gardens and fantastic when guests spill out onto to the grounds. The Lodge provides a special space to get ready and the rooms in Eaves are magnificent for prep. Check out Lauren & Phil or Sarah & Martin’s winter wedding I shot there.

Guest Count: Day +/- 75, Evening +/- 120

West Tower, Ormskirk

Wonderfully quirky. West Tower are a dedicated wedding venue. The main room and bridal suite are fantastic and the gardens are close and intimate with an east facing horizon for a glorious sunset. Check out Laura & Greg’s or Claire & Mark’s wedding I shot there (look out for the ‘walk’ to West Tower from The Birches Brow hotel where guests and the bridal party can stay…)

Guest Count: Day +/- 75, Evening +/- 160

Rivington Hall Barn 

Rivington Hall Barn lies at the bottom of the hill to Rivington Pike. It’s surrounded by beautiful countryside. Rivington will house an over average amount of guests. There’s a great ambience to the barn space for the ceremony and wedding breakfast and some fantastic photo opportunities outside. Well run and great food, too. Check out Sarah & Sam’s wedding or Natasha & Shaun’s wedding there.

Guest Count: Day +/- 85, Evening +/- 175

The Forest Side, Grasmere

A magical retreat surrounded by the stunning countryside of Wordsworth’s beloved Grasmere, The Forest Side is a high end, exclusive choice. With a Michelin star menu, this venue exudes class and comfort. The rooms make for the perfect bridal suite, the decor is tasteful and chic as a backdrop and the grounds are compact yet beautiful. I love gardens with lots of layers to produce intimate portraits and with the house as the backdrop it works wonderfully. I shot Sally & Matt’s Christmas wedding here and it was very, very special.

Guest Count: Day +/- 75, Evening +/- 120

Mitton Hall, Whalley

Run by the same management as Eaves and Falcon, Mitton Hall is a fantastic venue. It has a good size for the larger wedding party and the whole feel is classic and tastefully done. Great food, good room sizes and extremely well run. The outside gardens are fantastic for some intimate photos as well as the inside with it’s authentic manor house feel. Check out a host of my Mitton Hall weddings here.

Guest Count: Day +/- 85, Evening +/- 150

The Out Barn, Clough Bottom

A modern, purpose built wedding venue. Renovated from an old barn this venue is in the middle of the countryside with views of Pendle hill on the horizon and will be exclusive on your day. So many opportunities to explore for photos. There’s a purpose built lodge just behind the main building for bridal prep and guests can stay nearby in Waddington. Check out Ashleigh & Sam’s wedding here.

Guest Count: Day +/- 85, Evening +/- 175

Peckforton Castle, Tarporley

Well, it’s a castle! And it has all the feel of what you’d expect inside. The main rooms are big and plentiful and, on the whole, well connected. The main hall and rooms are beautifully grand and the whole experience exudes class, authenticity and romance. This venue fits the larger party as well – with a 250+ capacity in the evening. If you want to search around the grounds there are unlimited photo opportunities. Amazing. Check out Nadia & Andy’s wedding here.

Guest Count: Day +/- 165, Evening +/- 250

The Daffodill Hotel, Grasmere

The Daffodil Hotel is located near the Lake District village of Grasmere. With it’s own banks to the lake and flanked by Lough Rigg fell and The Lion and The Lamb the grounds of The Daffodil have some beautiful photo opportunities. The modern interior design contrasts the rustic landscape outside and will host huge wedding parties. from September on the sun lips over the hill around 6pm, so maybe one for the summer but The Lakes has it’s own beauty anytime of year. A quick 5-10 min drive and we can be in multiple places for special photographs but the grounds offer lots of angles anyway.

Guest Count: Day +/- 120, Evening +/- 250

Thornton Manor Lake Side, Cheshire

Great venue for a big party! Right by a (you guessed it) lake..it offers a big marquee which hosts the ceremony and the night do. Couple that with some secluded walks and a boat to take you round the lake then you have a brilliant wedding venue. There’s even the use of the Lodges (a dedicated Groomsmen’s Lodge!) at the Manor house for both groom and bridal prep. The night is partied out under a starry backdrop with a big first dance reveal. Check out Rachael & Kyles wedding here.

Guest Count: Day +/- 100 Evening +/- 250

Haigh Hall, Wigan

I love this place! It is quirky, off beat and a hidden gem. It is an ongoing project and gets better each time I’m there. A grand house set alone with a brilliant vista, a long sweeping drive and woodland nearby the whole exclusive mansion feel is there but maybe the best aspect are the rooms and decor. Each room is big, different and colourful. Add a brave eclectic quirky twist to the decor and you have a unique venue. Can also house the larger wedding party up to 200. Check out Becky & Dan’s wedding here.

Guest Count: Day +/- 150 Evening +/- 275

Ashfield House, Standish

Ashfield House is a dedicated wedding venue run by the lovely Katie and co. It offers the perfect room configuration and the grounds are all neatly plotted around the building. There’s a beautiful centrepiece staircase and this leads to a beautifully big bridal prep room. One of the best aspects of this as a venue is its dedication to constantly evolving the updating the decor. It’s done lovingly and with first class taste. Check out Tia & David’s wedding here.

Guest Count: Day +/- 120 Evening +/- 220

 

 

I hope you found this useful. Please do get in touch as I’ve photographed all over the Uk and destination weddings abroad. The guest counts are a guide so please check in with the venues for the latest info and happy venue hunting!

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