Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

zoom in: picking the right wedding photographer for you

August 10th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

ZT Photography (2)

ZT Photography

We often mention on the blog how much of an important role a photographer plays in a wedding; not only on the big day itself, but also in the years that follow, with their images serving as life-long memories of the special event.

As such it’s super important that you like the style of the images that your chosen photographer produces, but with so many differing types of photography to choose, making a decision can be somewhat overwhelming.

To demonstrate the different outcome a wedding album can have depending on who is behind the lens, a talented group of North West based photographers got together at the stunning Ashfield House in Wigan, to shoot the exact same subjects in the very same location.

The results, which we’re sharing with you on the blog today, are all stunning but all rather different and, as intended, perfectly highlight the importance of couples choosing the right style and personality of photographer to suit both them and their wedding.

So prepare to be impressed and amazed as we hand over the blog to Katie Street, the owner of Ashfield House who came up with the clever concept for the collaborative shoot, plus the photographers who took part: Neil Redfern, David Stubbs, Andy Wardle, ZT Photography, and our very own Brides Up North Sponsor, the lovely Jonny Draper.

Andy Wardle Photography (9)

Andy Wardle 

katie says: The way couples pick a photographer was something I’d been thinking about for a long time before suggesting this shoot. Each time I heard “she’s a friend of a friend” or “my cousin used him and he was good” I got more and more frustrated knowing these couples could be missing out on picking a photographer that was more suited to their style. As an exclusive wedding venue, we work with a number of trusted photographers to capture the romance, emotion and fun of each wedding day, each with a totally different approach to their work. I wanted to give the photographers the same day, same backdrop, same couple but capture each photographer’s individual creativity and the difference in each set of images for all to see.

Jonny Draper Photography (10)

 Jonny Draper

At Ashfield House, we don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach to weddings and encourage our couples to be as individual and inventive as possible. We know that the best weddings at Ashfield play to the strengths of couples’ personalities, quirks and their passions. Photography is very similar. I’ve taken a keen interest in photography myself as an art form over the years, and am continually astounded by the quality and individuality of each photographer’s work who steps through the doors at Ashfield. My team and I stare in awe at the array of photographic work shared with us, and have often commented about the striking difference between styles and end results – even though the setting is the same. I wanted to show that picking a ‘good’ photographer isn’t enough, you need one that’s good for you.

D Stubbs Photography (9)

David Stubbs

Choosing suppliers who share your vision is absolutely key to an amazing wedding and, alongside your memories, photographs are the only thing you have left, so choose wisely! The photographers that took part were equally pleased with the final results as I was…

Neil Redfern Photography (9)

Neil Redfern

neil redfern says: Seeing everyone else’s different approaches and the way in which we each interacted with the couple was great. What I loved was that although we were all taking shots in the same location we each saw different things and that just illustrates how unique one photographer is to the next. I don’t think there was ever a time when we each wanted to take a shot the same as somebody else had.

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vintage pinks. art couture for an elegant wedding at ashfield house – liz & nick

July 11th, 2016 | Rachel Parry

An Elegant Wedding at Ashfield House (c) Stephen McGowran Wedding Photography (83)

Time to district you from those Monday blues with this gorgeous North West wedding.

Keen to make her day an elegant affair, bride Liz chose a timeless colour scheme of vintage pinks to complement the venue, which was decorated with beautiful and natural blooms.

In particular we love Liz’s luxurious satin A-line dress, as well as her bridesmaid and flower girl dresses too – they all look stunning!

With images by Brides Up North Sponsor Stephen McGowan Wedding Photography.

An Elegant Wedding at Ashfield House (c) Stephen McGowran Wedding Photography (46)

liz says: Nick proposed during a party that he and my family had organised as a surprise for my 30th birthday. During the night Nick surprised me again with a trip to Iceland (somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit), before asking if I would be his wife in front of everyone – not like him at all!

We set the date for 24th March 2016, which led into the Easter weekend and would give us about a year to plan.

An Elegant Wedding at Ashfield House (c) Stephen McGowran Wedding Photography (54)

Ashfield House in Standish, Wigan, was our chosen setting. It was the venue of the first wedding fair I went to with my mum and sister. I loved it and nothing compared after that. I took Nick and we decided it was the place for us.

We didn’t have a theme as such, we just wanted everything to be elegant and the venue style helped with this. We then chose a complementary colour scheme of vintage pinks which the flowers and other accessories were styled from.

An Elegant Wedding at Ashfield House (c) Stephen McGowran Wedding Photography (91)

An Elegant Wedding at Ashfield House (c) Stephen McGowran Wedding Photography (114)

I chose a champagne, satin, A-line dress by Art Couture, which I bought from Bride in Childwall. I didn’t think I would go for a half/half style dress but after trying this on I fell in love.

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great gatsby glamour. a 1920’s themed wedding in the north west – rosalind & michael

June 24th, 2015 | Rachel Parry

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (39)

Today’s bride took inspiration from iconic film The Great Gatsby when it came to styling her wedding day – and boy did she hit the nail on the head!

Rosalind pieced together her vintage vision bit by bit, incorporating a beaded wedding dress, fringe detailed bridesmaid gowns, posh transport and a feather-topped cake along the way for a fabulous 1920’s style big day.

Ladies, prepare to be dazzled!

With images by Stanbury Photography.

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (5)

rosalind says: Michael proposed to me on Christmas Eve 2012. It was perfect, we were at home with our little boy Jacob when Mike told me there was a present hanging on the Christmas tree. When I looked closer there was a small black box amongst the baubles and when I turned round he was on one knee.

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (9)

We were married in front of all our family andfriends at Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Haigh on 11th April 2015. This is my family parish so it was very special for us to be married in this church and by Fr Kevin.

We chose Ashfield House for our reception venue as it has such lovely features and grounds. The distance from the church to the venue was perfect. When we arranged our first appointment all the staff were so friendly and helpful we knew this was the venue for us. Throughout the whole experience the staff were brilliant, none of our requests were too much trouble, plus the food was delicious too!

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (10)

Our theme was 1920’s, I love everything about this era from the hair and makeup to the clothes and styling. When I showed Mike some the ideas I had found on Pinterest he agreed that this was the theme for us.

In terms of the colour scheme, our bridesmaids were dressed in a light pink/peach colour and the flowers were a range of pink, peach, lilac and a hint of cream. We introduced silver into the stationery too.

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (12)

For my wedding dress I chose Lauren by Eliza Jane Howell. It’s a 1920’s vintage inspired beaded dress with silver detail. I purchased it from Knutsford Wedding Gallery, Joy and the ladies were so friendly and welcoming. As soon as I tried the dress on I knew it was the one for me. I chose a replica of Daisy’s headpiece from The Great Gatsby and my veil was cathedral length with crystal embellishment around the edge by Amanda Wyatt. This was also from Knutsford Wedding Gallery. I chose all my jewellery from Swarovski.

I love makeup and hair so this was a very important factor for me. I found The Vintage Beauty Parlour online and booked a trial soon after. Anna listened to what I wanted and made me feel amazing. They are so professional and know vintage styles like no one else.

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (16)

Mike hired his suit from Whitfield and Ward in Wilmslow. They were brilliant, after seeing them at a wedding fayre we decided to book an appointment. Craig asked what we wanted and when we told him our theme he dressed Mike in his suit. It was just how we had imagined him look. Craig and Nicola are very friendly and we would definitely recommend them to anyone looking for lovely suits with great service.

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (17)

My bridesmaids dresses were made by my mum who is brilliant at sewing and their headpieces were bracelets that we adapted from Debenhams. The ushers were all in similar suits to Michael, also hired from Whitfield and Ward.

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (19)

We chose the two brilliant ladies behind That Special Day Stationery to design and make our stationery. We discussed ideas and they made sample designs for us to look at. They made the most perfect save the dates, invites, order of service, place cards and table plan. They were brilliant and we cannot recommend them highly enough.

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (24)

Our florists, Margaret and Janet from The Gilded Lily, were also amazing! Flowers were so important to me and I had a lot of ideas. I knew on our first appointment that The Gilded Lily was the florist for us. We have had so much fun planning the flowers with them. They listened to our ideas and created the most beautiful arrangements. We purchased our own crystal candelabra’s and Margaret came up with different ideas for them. The top table arrangement had all my favourite flowers in, such as pale pink peonies, hydrangeas and roses including, Norma Jean and Rosalind. My bouquet was made up of roses as well a pink peonies and stems of wheat to give a wild effect. Brides looking for a brilliant florist with lots of great ideas should visit The Gilded Lily!

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (29)

David and Jane of Stanbury Photography were our photographers. They photographed my sister’s wedding three years prior to ours so they were the only choice for us. They are so talented at what they do that we had complete confidence in them to photograph our wedding day. They capture moments that you can’t even remember happening and the attention to detail is second to none. They were with us from getting ready in the morning to our first dance and we hardly knew they were there. We are blown away by how good the pictures are and we cannot recommend David and Jane highly enough.

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (32)

For our transport we used a company called Classic Wedding Cars. Jim there has an amazing collection of cars, we chose a black and ivory 1920’s style Bramwith and an ivory vintage Rolls Royce. Jim was so professional and friendly on the day and the cars were immaculate too.

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (35)

I have a very talented aunty who made our dream wedding cake as our wedding present. Vi incorporated the silhouette design from our stationery to add to one of the tiers and we bought some feathers to add a 1920’s feel to the top tier. We loved everything about it and everyone commented how delicious it was. We can’t thank her enough.

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (38)

My best friend and bridesmaid Kirsty is a graphic designer and so we asked her to design cards as favours for our male guests which entitled them to a drink on us at the bar. We hired a barrel of cask ale from Problem Child Brewery in Parbold for the bar. They allowed us to rename the beer ‘Prymul’ which incorporated both our surnames; Pryle and Mulligan. Kirsty then designed a crest to put on the hand pull which incorporated the silhouettes and various shapes from our invites.

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (11)

My dad died suddenly three years prior to our wedding and I really wanted to make him a part of our special day so I gave our florist Margaret a small picture of him in a frame to include in my bouquet. I also borrowed a cameo that my dad had bought for my mum and asked her to pin it to the stem of the flowers.

We had pictures of dad and Mike’s aunty who had died the week before our wedding in church with a lit candle. The next day we distributed the wedding flowers on family graves in the cemetery.

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (41)

To entertain our guests we had the Brixi Singers choir singing various hymns in church throughout the service and we asked them to sing I Will Follow Him from the film Sister Act when we were leaving church. They were great and performed beautifully on the day.

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (54)

It was the Grand National on the day of our wedding so we used the same cards designed by Kirsty to give all our guests the name of a horse running in the race. The race was played over the radio and the three winners were given a small prize announced during the speeches.

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (52)

We enjoyed the whole day, but my favourite part has to be walking down the aisle and seeing Michael and all our family and friends.

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (51)

We haven’t managed to go away on honeymoon yet as we were back at work soon after the wedding but will be looking to go somewhere in summer, which gives us something to look forward to.

A Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding (c) Stanbury Photography (62)

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be don’t get too stressed when planning, think of what’s important to you and book that first and then you can add extras. Also, have confidence in your suppliers as they really are brilliant at what they do!

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