Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

heavenly history: a vintage wedding styled shoot at chetham’s, manchester

May 4th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

A Bridal Shoot at Chethams (C) Stephen McGowan Photography (41)

If you’re currently on the venue hunt for a setting that has both beauty and character, this afternoon’s blog post could just signal the end of your search. As the styled shoot that we’re sharing today opens up the doors to one of the oldest buildings in Manchester’s centre, which also happens to be one of the newest venues to join the city’s splendid wedding offering.

Dating back to 1421, Chetham’s is a unique setting that boasts beautiful old sandstone walls and magical medieval features. Keen to show off its potential to brides and grooms-to-be, wedding photographer Stephen McGowan got together with a group of fellow North West suppliers to help inspire couples who are currently on the venue search.

The result is a wonderful set of images with gorgeous blooms, styling and lighting, which showcases both the building and the team’s skills beautifully. To tell us how it all came together, we’ll hand over the blogging reins to photographer Stephen…

With images by our lovely Brides Up North Sponsor Stephen McGowan Photography.

A Bridal Shoot at Chethams (C) Stephen McGowan Photography (25)

stephen says: Chetham’s is a new and exciting venue available to brides and grooms looking to get married in a gorgeous medieval Manchester city centre setting.

Our overall aim was to complement the medieval ambiance and architecture of this unique wedding venue and so I chose to photograph using natural light inside the main hall as I absolutely loved how the light fell on the models’ faces through the large gothic windows in the Baronial Hall.

A Bridal Shoot at Chethams (C) Stephen McGowan Photography (48)

In terms of styling we wanted to keep things simple and fresh with undertones of 1920s and 30s bridal styling. The models were therefore dressed in stunning Charlotte Balbier gowns supplied by 7th Heaven Bridalwear. We picked designs that we felt worked well with the historic setting and stuck to fresh, natural makeup looks created by makeup artist Emma Culbert, that didn’t detract from the dresses or surroundings. Hairdresser Jessica Shelley then styled the models’ hair to complement our 1920s theme.

A Bridal Shoot at Chethams (C) Stephen McGowan Photography (46)

Verdure Floral Design were brilliant and let us have a choice of three bouquets, along with floral headpiece and table centrepiece, to use in the shoot. We wanted the floral colours to subtly complement our look but not to overpower and Verdure Floral Design fully understood the brief and pulled this off perfectly.

A Bridal Shoot at Chethams (C) Stephen McGowan Photography (35)

To complete our shoot backdrops we borrowed some ‘Mrs’ light up letters and a light up tree from Love Lights the Way.

A Bridal Shoot at Chethams (C) Stephen McGowan Photography (16)

Overall the day of the shoot went brilliantly – and speaking for myself, I found myself like a child in a sweetshop! Chetham’s is more than 600 years old and looks something like Hogwarts inside. We were in love with the venue the moment we set foot into the hall and so putting a bridal shoot together here just had to be done!

A Bridal Shoot at Chethams (C) Stephen McGowan Photography (28)

It was our goal to show the venue off and demonstrate the opportunities and potential this gorgeous wedding venue has, and I think we’ve achieved that perfectly!

the big picture

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about the author

Rachel Parry
Rachel joined the Brides Up North editorial team as Features Editor in February 2015. Rachel draws on her news reporting background, experience in features, bridal & lifestyle editing for previous regional titles and time spent working for Yorkshire’s most successful PR agencies. Yet to tie the knot herself, Rachel's own wedding looks set to be very, very pretty...

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