Charlotte Balbier

stately celebrations. a winter wedding at samlesbury hall – tessa & joe

March 31st, 2015 | Rachel Parry

a winter wedding at samlesbury hall (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (26)

Today’s couple Tessa and Joe dreamt of a grand setting for their big day, and boy did they land on their feet when they discovered Samlesbury Hall.

Roaring open fires, historic wood panelling and regal chandeliers all contributed to this atmospheric winter wedding in the North West.

So join us as we cross the threshold of the gorgeous Samlesbury mansion to relive Tess and Joe’s fabulous day.

With images from Rachel Joyce Photography.

a winter wedding at samlesbury hall (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (3)

tessa says: Joe proposed to me on the 9th September 2014 in our front room. It is a funny story as we had just bought a house and were due to move the very next day. So it was a bit of a chaotic time and I came home expecting to see some progress made on the packing. I walked in the front door and saw that nothing had been done so started to tell him I wasn’t too impressed. I had barely started to speak when I noticed he was down on one knee. He had planned to have Ed Sheeran Thinking Out Loud playing when he asked but had accidentally muted it so was trying frantically to unmute it to be able to propose. To be honest I was so shocked I hardly noticed. I was so happy, even though he hadn’t packed a thing. Joe jokes that he needed an excuse to get out of packing. We then celebrated with lots of champagne!

We set the date for 7th February 2015. We had originally wanted a summer wedding. Neither of us liked the idea of a long engagement so had approached the venue thinking June/July for it. But they were booked up! So they showed us their dates and we noticed there was late availability for a February wedding. This was perfect for us as it meant a good price on the venue and we could have an open fire going during the wedding breakfast which looked gorgeous.

a winter wedding at samlesbury hall (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (6)

We got married at Samlesbury Hall in Preston, Lancashire. Like most people we had dreamed of the grandeur of a castle or the beautiful interior of a church, but obviously a castle isn’t always possible and a religious service was not what we wanted. So we thought we would struggle to get the real idyllic surrounding we wanted. We looked at a couple of venues in the south as that is where I’m from, but nothing seemed right. Joe and I stumbled across Samlesbury and thought we would have a visit and see. Well we fell in love with it straight away. It is a fantastic old Tudor style mansion with wooden beamed ceilings, open fire places, original furniture and an excellent story connected to it. It had the ceremony room (which used to be a chapel), then a parlour space for meet and greet, and then a fantastic great hall for the meal. We were smitten with it.

We didn’t really have a special theme instead we just chose colours we liked to style the day. Because we chose February as the month it meant that we had imagined a more wintery wedding. The building and the open fires added to this and so we went with a navy blue and champagne scheme to complement the venue and time of year.

a winter wedding at samlesbury hall (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (9)

I chose a traditional ivory wedding dress with a lace top and chiffon bottom. The keyhole back was the best part of the dress as it fit perfectly to my shape. I went dress shopping at Anne Whittaker Bridal Wear in Accrington with some friends who helped choose the dress for me, I remember it was one of the first ones they picked out. At first I wasn’t sure if it was the type of dress I wanted but as soon as I tried it on I loved it. Lindsay, from Anne Whittaker’s, was really helpful. Nothing was ever too much and she gave her honest opinion about each dress I tried without being pushy. I was very impressed with her prices and would definitely recommend her to any bride-to-be.

Joe chose a Prince Edward mid-grey suit with a white waistcoat and navy cravat. He also used Ann Whittaker’s as they had great outfits and offered a discount because we got my wedding dress from them.

The bridesmaids wore full-length navy dresses from Very.co.uk. I bought silver pashminas for my bridesmaid and grey for my maids of honour. The groomsmen wore the same as Joe, but had a different flower for the buttonhole.

a winter wedding at samlesbury hall (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (17)

I travelled in an ivory Morris Minor with navy ribbons to fit with the theme. It’s mine and my dad’s favourite car. He has owned one for as long as I can remember. I couldn’t dream of arriving in anything else. We hired it from Regent Classics. Geraldine was really helpful and thought of all the little details, for example having a ‘Just Married’ sign for photos after the ceremony and even provided a bottle of sparkling wine for us.

a winter wedding at samlesbury hall (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (37)

We used Rachel Joyce Photography for the wedding photography. We would absolutely recommend Rachel to anyone, we already have recommended her to three other couples. Rachel was an absolute pleasure to spend the day with, not obtrusive and so easy to get on with. Her photos speak for themselves.

a winter wedding at samlesbury hall (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (23)

I had a bouquet of red Tulips (my favourite flowers) with some leaves and wrapped in ivory voile. They were provided by Garlands Florist. Rachel and Simon from Garlands were absolutely fantastic. They made the day very beautiful and the whole process was easy. I’d definitely recommend them to anyone looking for flowers. Garlands also provided us with candelabras decorated with tulips, leaves and thistles for each table as well as a gorgeous top table flower arrangement and hurricane vases to line the ceremony room, which were just amazing.

We hired Wedding Creations to do the tables and chairs. We chose white and champagne for this to keep it elegant and simple. Jane from Wedding Creations was a dream to work with, she was very attentive and made everything a pleasure. She also provided us with a post box for the wedding gifts and some festoon lighting for the great hall.

a winter wedding at samlesbury hall (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (27)

A first we couldn’t think what to give as favours but then I thought it would be a cute idea to give everyone a scratch card. We partnered this with some heart shaped chocolate and put it inside a pillow box on everyone’s table space.

My mother-in-law made our wedding cake. She did fruit cake and sponge cake and decorated it with flowers and ribbon topping it off with a bride and groom Dalmatian cake topper (my absolute favourite dog). It was a gorgeous cake for which we were very grateful.

a winter wedding at samlesbury hall (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (36)

Samlesbury Hall did the catering for the wedding and it was outstanding. We also had canapés and fizz in the parlour room during the photos. For the evening they put on a great spread of chilli con carne or Lancashire hot pot, which our guests absolutely loved.

a winter wedding at samlesbury hall (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (41)

We had Simon from Garlands playing the piano for our ceremony, he was excellent. Joe, as a lover of jazz music, wanted to have some live jazz playing during the breakfast. So we hired a piano and saxophone duo who were absolutely tremendous. These guys we found through Dream Day Music. Then for the evening we hired Dave Lee to be the DJ. We cannot recommend Dave enough. He not only played the music we wanted, but was an excellent MC for the evening. He had a portal space set up for the months leading up to the wedding where we could select songs that we wanted for the do. It worked perfectly and everyone spent a long time dancing!

a winter wedding at samlesbury hall (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (20)

Joe contributed several special touches to our day. He’s a Blackburn Rovers fan and as such we had famous Blackburn players as the table names (people like Shearer and Colin Hendry) we also had Blackburn Rovers branded salt and pepper pots (sorry to any brides who now have their other halves asking for the same). From my side I had kept our exit music quiet from everyone in the build-up. We had chosen the Friends theme tune as it is my favourite TV show and holds a lot of good memories for me and my friends. When that came on we all had a giggle.

a winter wedding at samlesbury hall (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (39)

We would, and have already on a number of occasions, recommended our wedding venue to others. There aren’t many truly hidden gems left any more, but this is one of them. The team at Samlesbury: Beth, Lauren and Angela were amazing. The venue was so pretty and the food was brilliant. Even at the more popular prices of the summer we would have definitely chosen this venue. We will never forget our day at Samlesbury Hall.

a winter wedding at samlesbury hall (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (45)

We can’t name a favourite part of the day. The ceremony was so intimate and gorgeous. Obviously being walked down the aisle by my father was emotional. We had a moment when walking out of the ceremony room and into the parlour when it was just us two and we had just got married and were holding each other’s hands and a glass of fizz each – it was bliss.

a winter wedding at samlesbury hall (c) Rachel Joyce Photography (47)

For our honeymoon we went to Sri Lanka and then the Maldives. We spent seven nights in Sri Lanka where we visited temples, experienced real wildlife in the national parks and rode elephants. The hotel was metres from the beach and the sea. It was stunning and we really indulged in food and cocktails. In the Maldives we stayed at an island resort that measured just 500m x 500m. It was paradise. Here we just relaxed and enjoyed the 30 degree weather with great food, drinks and water activities. If you haven’t thought of visiting Sri Lanka, absolutely do it! You will not be disappointed. I think everyone has wanted to visit the Maldives and our advice is just go, you will have the time of your life.

My top tip to other Brides Up North would be just relax about the process. Your day will be perfect as long you are next to your new wife or husband. I always said to my friends I don’t really mind what is around me, what the venue is, the dress or anything else as long as I am married to Joe at the end of it (and of course as long as we are sat on a beach in Sri Lanka a few days later)!

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a certain magic. supplier showcase: Fairclough Photography

November 5th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Fairclough Photography (40)

Today I’m really proud to make your acquaintance with one of our lovely Brides Up North sponsors, Fairclough Photography.  Katie and James, the awesome husband and wife team behind these amazing images: fabulous photographers and all round lovely souls.

Get them booked for your big day, and your wedding pictures could look as good as this little lot.

Katie and James are also offering a free 20” x 14” museum quality canvas print if you quote ‘Brides Up North Is The Best Wedding Blog!’ when making your booking.  Can’t argue with that!

All images by Fairclough Photography.

Fairclough Photography (10)

How did you get into wedding photography? 

We are both self-taught photographers; Katie’s passion for photography developed through a side project on her graphic design degree course, and after developing her street photography in New York as a student, discovered that people and emotional storytelling were her passion and inspiration to voice through photography. James fell in love with the photography of National Geographic, and after a lot of wet, muddy outings and ruined 35mm film, started applying some of his theatre experience and techno-geekery to the creative lighting we are constantly developing to use with our couples.

Fairclough Photography (15)

Why wedding photography specifically? 

Since getting married ourselves in March 2013, we have both been obsessed with weddings! We are fascinated by the whole process, from planning up until the ‘i do’ (and the shenanigans that come after that of course!) and the amazing people you get to meet. We just didn’t want it to end. So to combine both of our passions for photography with another love of ours is the dream.

Fairclough Photography (39)

What is your favourite thing about being a wedding photographer? 

There are so many things! If we had to choose one though, it would be sharing our Bride and Groom’s special day, it always feels like such a privilege to be chosen to share in such an momentous occasion. It always brings back lovely memories from our day too!

Fairclough Photography (37)

Fairclough Photography (36)
How do you get couples to relax on the day?

Having been recently married ourselves, we know how the nerves and emotions feel on the morning of the wedding – we don’t go in shooting away straight away, we just become part of the day right from the beginning, which let’s us all be comfortable and relaxed for the rest of the day.

Any advice to any brides who don’t like to have their picture taken? 

Definitely come and have a pre wedding/engagement shoot – it’s very important to get to know your photographers, and once you’re used to the camera being around, when it comes to the wedding day you’ll be a natural, and it won’t be such a shock to have a photographer around.

What sort of makeup should a bride wear to look great in her pictures? 

Any good make up artist will be able to work with you to create the look you want on your day – it can also influence the types of pictures you want to make on your day too – for example, if you create a film noir look with high contrasts, that’s really going to shine through in the pictures.

Fairclough Photography (35)
Anything to avoid which might look bad in the wedding pictures? 

Using too much fake tan can sometimes create an awkward contrast between skin and the white of the wedding dress – also under tungsten lighting in reception venues, it tends to naturally bring out the orange tone, which isn’t desirable for a natural look.

Fairclough Photography (44)
Which celebrity wedding would you most like to photograph and why?

Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter’s! We’re both huge lovers of their work and just imagine the type of wedding they’d have with both of their styles and imaginations fused together!

Any really memorable weddings that you have captured?

One of the most memorable was a really intimate, small outdoor wedding in cambridge, perfectly elegant, with the bride and groom walking down the aisle together. We love an elaborate wedding, but when it’s simply driven by the emotion of a tight group of close family and friends, there seems to be a certain magic we can’t get enough of.

Fairclough Photography (41)
Are you married? Tell us about your day.

YES! We said ‘I do’ in Ashton Memorial on 19th March 2013, a beautiful but freezing cold afternoon at the top of Lancaster. We chose the folly as we wanted a grand yet intimate building for our small party of 45, and after a beautiful and emotion-charged ceremony and portraits around Williamson Park, we retired to The Grand Hotel in our home town of St Anne’s for the reception. With a purple, black and white colour scheme, Katie pulled off a stunningly elegant look, with flowers by Flower Design throughout. We had a superb string quartet and a 5 piece jazz band for the evening entertainment, and then headed out to the seafront to let off Chinese lanterns to round off the evening.

Fairclough Photography (46)
Any funny stories to share? 

We were recently doing an engagement shoot with a lovely Bride and Groom to be in a little village called Downham in Clitheroe. James was stood in the river photographing (as you do) and Katie is at the side. A ‘lady’ pulls up in her car just beside Katie, gets out and very indiscreetly lets one off! James instantly (and very loudly) blames Katie! How very rude?! Luckilly the couple heard none of this, obliviously schmoozing on the bridge over the river.

Fairclough Photography (33)

What sets you apart from other wedding photographers? 

As a husband and wife team, we can be in two places at once on a wedding day, capturing twice the emotion and little moments which make the day special. Katie follows the bridal party from first prep all the way to the ceremony, while James hangs around with the groom and checks out the venue. We can then get two angles on the ceremony, and create more complex and elaborate lighting setups between us to really add some sparkle.

Fairclough Photography (26)

What can a couple who book you expect on the day?

We like to be as unobtrusive as possible on the big day and the fact that we’re a husband and wife team helps us to achieve this; neither of us has a set thing to photograph, we just lurk like photographic ninjas, capturing the fun and emotion in a spontaneous fashion. In the morning, Katie is hanging out with the Bridal party capturing the goings-on, whilst James checks out the venue and photographs the groomsmen’s antics. We then come together to shoot the ceremony. Whilst James is at the front with the Groom nervously waiting, Katie is capturing the emotional last moments before the Bride walks down the aisle. After the happy couple are declared Mr & Mrs, we love to take them away from the hustle and bustle of the wedding party for a portrait session that gives them time to reflect on ‘wow, we are married!’ Even though we’re there, our couples always seem oblivious to that fact and they tell us how magical those moments of alone time are – we always find we make the most natural beautiful pictures this way too. The rest of the day is usually party time, where we continue stalking the guests, photographing the laughter and fun up until the first dance as husband and wife.

Fairclough Photography (30)
What is included in your “package”?

Our most popular package is the Full Day Package and included in that is the following:

*A face-to-face chat about your wedding day and what we could do for you and then two consultations leading up to your wedding so we all know what we’re doing!

*Two photographers (Mr & Mrs Fairclough!) to capture each and every special moment of your big day (up to 12 hours coverage);

*Pre-wedding portrait shoot in a location of your choice – a fun way to build up to the big day and get to know us;

*Professional editing of your images;

*A private password protected gallery for you to view, share and download your images after the wedding;

*Large print quality images on a USB stick presented to you in a stunning presentation box (see the image below

*A CD with a slideshow of the best images from your big day.

Fairclough Photography (5)

Can you give us an idea on price? 

Our Full Day Package is £1,350

Fairclough Photography (43)
Any special favours for Brides Up North readers?

Of course! If you quote ‘Brides Up North Is The Best Wedding Blog!’ we would give a free 20” x 14” museum quality canvas print.

Fairclough Photography (50)
How can Brides Up North get in touch with you or see more examples of your work?

Our work can be seen on our website is www.faircloughphotography.co.uk and you can get in touch by calling on 07921 386761 or emailing us at info@faircloughphotography.co.uk

Fairclough Photography (48)

 Anything else we should know?

We also offer a package that includes an amazing quality 10” x 10” photo album; these are gorgeous hand-made, leather or hessian bound, chunky, lay flat coffee table style books priced at £1,700. There’s nothing quite like a printed photo album, we think it’s such a shame to just get your USB stick, watch the slideshow and then it gets shoved in a draw and hardly thought about!

Fairclough Photography (24)

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Fabulous Photographer: J Broughton Photography PLUS Album Upgrade Worth £200 For Wedding Blog Readers

October 29th, 2013 | Julia Braime

J Broughton Photography

One of my favourite parts of running and writing Brides Up North is the privilege of introducing my readers to the great local suppliers based right in their area.  Today I am proud to welcome Janet of North West based business J Broughton Photography to the blog, to tell us a little bit about why she does it, how she does it and why she’d be a great choice to capture your big day memories.

All images by J Broughton Photography

J Broughton Photography

How did you get into wedding photography?

Well believe it or not my background is as a Financial Controller! I spent many years just knowing that I was destined to be doing something else but not knowing what that something else was and then I discovered photography. What started as a hobby about four years ago quickly became a passion and I started to study with The Open College of the Arts at the end of 2009 since I was really keen to become the best photographer I could be. I suppose you could say that I accidentally fell into wedding photography after a chance conversation in the street with someone whose son was getting married, when I explained I’d never shot a wedding the response was “Well everyone has to start somewhere”. So I did it and loved it and went on to do some second shooting and some training with Aspire to gain experience and skills and have never looked back. When I lost my job at the end of 2011 I decided the time was right to launch my portrait and wedding business, I’m incredibly proud to have gone from Financial Controller to Professional Photographer winning national awards in such a short time. 

J Broughton Photography

Why wedding photography specifically?

I love to meet and photograph people and with weddings I get to shoot my two favourite types of photography at the same time, documentary and portraiture.

What is your favourite thing about being a wedding photographer?

The fact that no two weddings are ever the same and that no matter how prepared you are you can never quite predict how the day will go, it keeps you on your toes! I also think it’s a great honour to be able to capture such an incredibly special day for someone and to know that my work will be treasured and looked at for years to come.

J Broughton Photography

J Broughton Photography

How do you get couples to relax on the day?

Couples who book my album packages also get a free pre-wedding shoot which I think really helps on the day, they have had the chance to be in front of the camera and experience my approach which is very calm and relaxed. Whilst I can’t stop them worrying about all the other things that are going on I like to think that by the time the wedding day comes around they feel they know and trust me enough not to worry about the photography.

J Broughton Photography

Any advice to any brides who don’t like to have their picture taken?

Without a doubt it would be to have a pre-wedding shoot even though its more picture taking! I like to take my couples to a favourite outdoor location, I encourage them to interact with each other and not worry about the camera. I will give some gentle direction with regards to posing but it’s a very relaxed experience and helps even the most camera shy brides realise that it’s not something they need to be anxious about.

J Broughton Photography

J Broughton Photography

What sort of makeup should a bride wear to look great in her pictures?

Feeling great is a massive part of looking great in the pictures so I would encourage any bride to wear makeup that she feels comfortable with, don’t experiment with something totally different on the wedding day but have a trial run first and ask the people that know her well and she can trust to be honest what they think.

Anything to avoid which might look bad in the wedding pictures?

I can’t imagine anyone who puts a lot of attention into planning a wedding (as most couples do) choosing anything that is going to look bad! If your wedding is a reflection of yourselves and you stamp your own personality on it then it’s always going to look great.

J Broughton Photography

Which celebrity wedding would you most like to photograph and why?

I’m not really taken by the whole celebrity culture thing. Every couple getting married are stars, even if it’s just for the one day.

J Broughton Photography

Any really memorable weddings that you have captured?

I had a beautiful wedding recently where lots of things had been made by the families and there were meanings behind everything, it was very personal and lovely.

J Broughton Photography

What sets you apart from other wedding photographers?

I think it’s really important for a couple to like their photographer as a person as well as admiring their work and I like to meet for a coffee and talk about my approach before anyone books me. I also meet up again close to the wedding to discuss all the details and by this point we will also hopefully have done a pre wedding shoot too. I believe that having a very personal and friendly approach helps everyone feel at ease on the day and that can’t help but be reflected in the images. The personal approach carries on after the wedding, I’d hate to leave people to choose album images on their own from a gallery so I spend time with the couple and help them to choose the images that work well together to make up the album. My albums and wall products are sourced from quality UK suppliers, I love the thought of a beautiful album being looked at by future generations so they need to be of the best quality.

J Broughton Photography

What can a couple who book you expect on the day?

A calm and relaxed approach, unobtrusive documentary photography and some natural and relaxed portraits. My photography aims to tell the story of the day but without disrupting the flow of the day – I’m happy to give guidance on timings at the planning stage but wouldn’t dream of interfering with plans on the actual day. Many years ago we attended a wedding where the meal was significantly delayed by the photography and my husband still complains about it to this day.  I aim to only be remembered for the right reasons!

J Broughton Photography

What is included in your "package"?

Every wedding is different and I like to have the flexibility to price a wedding in a way that reflects the coverage that is required, for instance I’m more than happy to cover a small intimate wedding but I understand that this wouldn’t necessarily require a full day of shooting and I would amend prices to reflect this. Having said that no-one likes to contact a photographer without guide to prices so I do have a couple of packages that I can add to, or take from, to arrive at a bespoke package. As well as the day itself my album packages include a free pre-wedding shoot, those meetings over coffee, full size copies of all the images chosen for the album free of charge on a disc. Whilst I love the idea of everyone treasuring their images in a beautiful album I also respect that some people would prefer to have a disc and I also offer a digital only package.

J Broughton Photography

Can you give us an idea on price?

Yes of course! I have two album packages, one with a beautiful luxury linen covered album at £1395 and one with a leather covered premium Fine Art album at £1595.

Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?

Rather than a discount I would like to give something extra and I’d like to offer all Brides Up North readers who book a 2014 wedding a FREE upgrade from the luxury linen album to the premium fine art album (worth £200).

J Broughton Photography

How can Brides Up North get in touch with you or see more examples of your work?

There’s lots of my wedding and portrait work on both my website and my Facebook page – www.jbroughton.co.uk and www.facebook.com/jbroughtonphotography or I’m happy to talk weddings so give me a call on 07952 990642.

 

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2013 J Broughton Photography

J Broughton Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside! A Real Engagement In The North West – Chriss & Ritch

February 14th, 2013 | Julia Braime

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North West Weddings & Portraits |  Photography by Ashton Photography

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Happy Valentine’s Day my lovelies!  I’ve obviously written this post in advance, as I anticipated that I’d be far too tied up clearing the hallway of all those love notes landing on my welcome mat…

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In reality though, there’s only one man for me, so Happy Valentine’s Day to my lovely husband Alan – our last as a family of two! 

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I’ll let you into a secret – I absolutely LOVE Valentine’s Day.  Commercial racket yes, but so is Christmas (my other favourite holiday)!  Let’s just say I’m a marketer’s dream!  I think it harks back to the excitement of my school days: seeing if my of-the-moment crush liked me enough to pay a visit to Clinton Cards.  Generally not.  But hey!  I may never really have got any cards to write home about (except the ones from you, thanks Mum), but it was all about the anticipation!

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Today, we celebrate by meeting a couple full of anticipation for their wedding day, having all but given up on finding long term love before connecting online.  So dip something sweet in your cuppa and enjoy their love story, with images by Ashton Photography

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North West Weddings & Portraits |  Photography by Ashton Photography

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Chriss says:  We had booked a mini break trip to the beautiful city of Verona and had planned to visit all of the usual landmarks. I hadn’t been too bothered about going to visit the “Casa di Giulietta”, but Ritch really wanted to go, so reluctantly, I braved the hoards of French and Italian kids on Shakespearean educationals and we bought our two tickets into the house. Once inside and touring the various rooms it was thankfully quite peaceful as most of the crowds were gathering in the courtyard, staring up at the balcony or otherwise trying to encourage eternal luck and love by rubbing Juliet’s right breast! As we entered the room and waited for a group to leave the balcony, Ritch was hanging back and, with hindsight, I suppose seemed to be a little preoccupied. He encouraged me to go out onto the balcony; I looked down on the school kids in the courtyard… they looked back up at me.  I turned around to go back inside and Ritch was down on his knee beside me, with that little box in his hand: “Will you marry me?”

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Of course I said “Yes”! All very romantic and, for me, the perfect proposal…the boy done good!

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North West Weddings & Portraits |  Photography by Ashton Photography

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As soon as we announced our engagement one of my best friends offered to host our special day in their beautiful home in West Lancashire – a truly unique venue. We planned it for October 6th 2012 and can’t wait to share our wedding photographs with Brides Up North soon!

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North West Weddings & Portraits |  Photography by Ashton Photography

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North West Weddings & Portraits |  Photography by Ashton Photography

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North West Weddings & Portraits |  Photography by Ashton Photography

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After years in the relationship wilderness, we have both said that we had all but given up.  Our first date was “last chance saloon” for the on-line dating game!  Good job that evening in June 2010 was successful!

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North West Weddings & Portraits |  Photography by Ashton Photography

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We arranged to meet half way between where we both lived and our first date was at a riverside hotel bar where we sat outside and laughed about each others’ online dating experiences – always and good ice breaker!  There was definitely a mutual attraction at first sight, love, however, took a little longer

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North West Weddings & Portraits |  Photography by Ashton Photography

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North West Weddings & Portraits |  Photography by Ashton Photography

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I knew Ritch was the one for me when I received my first pair of shoes from him – what girl couldn’t fall for a bloke that buys her shoes?

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North West Weddings & Portraits |  Photography by Ashton Photography

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North West Weddings & Portraits |  Photography by Ashton Photography

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We’ve waited a long time to get lucky in love, so our biggest wish for married life is to stay happy and for it to get better and better.

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North West Weddings & Portraits |  Photography by Ashton Photography

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North West Weddings & Portraits |  Photography by Ashton Photography

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We didn’t have any decent photographs of us together and neither of us felt very comfortable in front of the camera, so the option to have an engagement shoot was a great addition to the wedding package and a chance to get a bit of practice in. Steph of Ashton Photography gave us a few tips on how to get the best photos – but she did all of the hard work. 

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North West Weddings & Portraits |  Photography by Ashton Photography

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North West Weddings & Portraits |  Photography by Ashton Photography

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We had a great day out with Steph. We live in Blackpool and spend a lot of time with our dog Jack, on the beach and prom.  Ritch is also a hard core cyclist who clocks up many a mile up and down the sea front on his two wheels; this was the natural place for us to use as a backdrop for our pre-wedding shoot.

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North West Weddings & Portraits |  Photography by Ashton Photography

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Even for someone that works within wedding industry and who knows what to expect, planning your own wedding can still be very daunting! The thousands of pages in the (very expensive!) glossies and limitless web coverage available to brides and grooms is overwhelming. I’ve found Brides Up North to be an invaluable place to get real ideas and real information from real people relative to the area that we live in… great weddings happen Up North – fact!

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North West Weddings & Portraits |  Photography by Ashton Photography

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Congratulations Chriss & Ritch!

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Get in touch to share your love story with Brides Up North!  Here’s how.

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  – Images © 2013 Ashton Photography

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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Fabulous Photographer: Richard Milnes Photography PLUS Free Album Upgrade For Brides Up North Readers Worth £250!

December 6th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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Richard Milnes Photography

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This afternoon I am thrilled to introduce you to one of my super talented Featured Suppliers, fabulous photographer Richard Milnes Photography.  This North West based wedding photographer is just as happy rubbing shoulders with Hollywood royalty (get him!) as he is working all over the UK and Europe. 

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He’s recently been accepted into the WPJA, the Wedding Photojournalist Association, an international network of vigorously vetted professional photographers and is the recommended photographer at some of the North West’s most prestigious venues including Sandhole Oak Barn, The Monastery, The Mere, Quarry Bank Mill and Colshaw Hall.

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More importantly though, he wants to meet you and shoot your special day.  Let’s say hello!

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Richard Milnes Photography

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How did you get into wedding photography?

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I was working for a creative agency and was made redundant, at more or less the same time my girlfriend, now my wife, bought me a digital camera for my birthday. I quickly fell back in love with photography and was taken on at Affleck’s Palace in Manchester to create a photographic document of the place before it was sold to a development company. This lead to several exhibitions including one at Urbis.

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It was some years later that I discovered that my aunt had worked as a photographer and had a book published with her work shot in the Sahara. Not only that but my grandfather (from the same side of the family) had been a photographer when he lived in Jamaica before the war. I guess it must be in the blood!

I’m entirely self taught and I now have the pleasure of teaching other photographers, which is a great thrill and something I thoroughly enjoy doing.

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Richard Milnes Photography    Richard Milnes Photography

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Richard Milnes Photography

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Richard Milnes Photography

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Why wedding photography specifically?

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I’ve always loved photographing people, I guess that I’ve always enjoyed watching people’s reactions when I show them a picture of themselves that really blows them away. I’ve also plenty of experience working in the fashion industry, for commercial agencies and for magazines, all of which require a specific set of skills and all of those skills can be applied to pretty much every wedding I ever shot!

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I often hear other photographers state that they would never shoot weddings, well for me a wedding is one of the few opportunities as a professional photographer I can really let the creative juices flow and be entirely honest with the work I produce. I love weddings, absolutely love them!

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Richard Milnes Photography

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Richard Milnes Photography

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Richard Milnes Photography

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What is your favourite thing about being a wedding photographer?

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I enjoy the freedom that being a wedding photojournalist allows me, my philosophy has always been ‘do less, do it better’ and being left to my own devices allows me to anticipate a ‘moment’ before it happens, and to be ready for it.

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Meeting couples for the first time who are enthusiastic about photography is always a genuine pleasure and some even save up or make savings elsewhere to hire me, which is a always a real privilege and an honour.

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I honestly think that I have one of the best jobs in the world, I’m very lucky.

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Richard Milnes Photography

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How do you get couples to relax on the day?

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Like many photographers now, I use an engagement shoot as a great way of breaking the photographic ice with a couple before the actual wedding. On the wedding day itself, I work in a very calm, professional manner. I make sure that I’m available if needed and out of sight when I’m not. I have also been known to help out with the occasional little ’emergency’ such as opening a particularly stubborn bottle of champagne, fixing a dodgy stereo system or offering some last minute advice to a nervous groom, bride or, more often, the best man!

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Richard Milnes Photography

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Richard Milnes Photography

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Any advice to any brides who don’t like to have their picture taken?

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The majority of brides tell me that they don’t really enjoy having their photograph taken and I think it helps when I explain to them that it’s perfectly normal. Occasionally a member of the wedding party – even the bride – may make it known that they are feeling uncomfortable when they are in front of the camera and I always take the time to explain that if they see me taking a photograph, they can relax in the knowledge that it will be a great picture, otherwise I simply wouldn’t be taking it.

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My journalistic style enables the bride and the wedding party to enjoy the wedding knowing that they won’t be expected to pose for the camera, smile when they might not feel like smiling or be made to stand out in a field for the best part of an hour shivering!

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Richard Milnes Photography

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What sort of makeup should a bride wear to look great in her pictures?

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Now I’m no expert on make up but I would recommend using a professional make up artist for obvious reasons – it can also provide excellent opportunities for candid shots! Whatever you choose to do, I would recommend that you stay close to your comfort zone and try and avoid reflective make up as this can sometimes show up with flash photography (again, apologies for my lack of correct cosmetics terminology!)

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Anything to avoid which might look bad on the wedding pictures?

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My job as a wedding photojournalist is to make sure that you have an honest, beautiful and emotional document of the greatest day of your lives to keep for ever. It is also my job to ensure that I capture the laughter, the tears, the fun and games, all of the ‘moments’ that you may have missed.

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All you need to do is to relax, be yourselves and enjoy. I will take care of the rest.

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Richard Milnes Photography

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Which celebrity wedding would you most like to photograph and why?

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I’m fortunate enough to include a few celebrity names amongst my clients, both in the UK and the US, so don’t think it would be fair to choose one!

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I was recently both the best man and the photographer at a wedding in Beverly Hills, California and amongst the wedding party during my speech were some big Hollywood names including Harrison Ford and Calista Flockheart – now that’s pressure – Ricky Gervais eat your heart out!

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Richard Milnes Photography

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Richard Milnes Photography

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Richard Milnes Photography

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Any really memorable weddings that you have captured?

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There are so many to choose from for all kinds of different reasons, some of my most memorable moments at weddings have been entirely unexpected – at a recent wedding in Cheshire, the bride had recently lost a close friend, who had planted an apple tree in her garden. She had a single apple amongst her flower display on the top table which was the only apple that the tree had ever produced. Moments like that can really stay with you. I photograph a lot of military weddings and often there are some incredibly emotional moments at these weddings, for obvious reasons.

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As for dramatic and stylish, one of my very first weddings was for a member of the US Olympic team and her husband who hired me to photograph their wedding in the Algarve. The celebrations were spread over three days, with the first day being a mini-Olympics on a beautiful beach, which became quite competitive with all of the athletes who were in attendance! The wedding itself was in a picturesque 12th century chapel and the final day was spent chilling out aboard a private galleon. Wow!

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Richard Milnes Photography

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Are you married? Tell us about your day?

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Yes, I married my wife Cass in 2008 and I’m ashamed to say that we did away with tradition and travelled to Las Vegas (without Elvis) for a week of hedonism and escapism which was just brilliant. The day itself is a blur of amazing food, champagne and machine guns – seriously!

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Any funny stories to share?

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A bride once me told me that she had been to see a husband & wife photographer team before she came over to see me. Unfortunately for them, they inadvertently called her and left her a long, explicit voicemail message of themselves blaming each other for missing some important shots whilst returning home from a wedding! Ooops!

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There was also a registrar last month who was unable to pronounce the bride’s name correctly, despite repeatedly trying over and over again – this brought the house down and even the bride and groom were in tears laughing by the time she got it right. It happens!

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Richard Milnes Photography

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Richard Milnes Photography

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Richard Milnes Photography

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What sets you apart from other wedding photographers?

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There are so many wedding photographers now that even I find it difficult to tell them apart, so it must be a very difficult job for brides to make a decision on who to book. One of the reasons that my work stands out is that I produce very honest, emotive images which are edited in a very straight forward way. This means that whilst the latest editing trends and styles may come and go, my photographs will hopefully remain timeless and won’t appear dated a few years down the line.

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What can a couple who book you expect on the day?

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A very professional, fun and entirely painless experience. I see my role as documenting the wedding, not influencing it, so it’s important for me to work in the background and keep a low profile throughout the wedding wherever possible. I am a very sociable person however, and I do enjoy talking with guests, many of whom will have their own cameras with them and I’m always happy to offer advice to the budding photographers amongst them!

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Richard Milnes Photography   Richard Milnes Photography

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Richard Milnes Photography

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Richard Milnes Photography   Richard Milnes Photography

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What is included in your "package"?

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My package includes;

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  • Full day coverage, 2 hours prior to service until first dance
  • A handmade, Italian Wedding Book, 40 pages, 120 images, crystal cover
  • Two duplicate parent books
  • High resolution images
  • Social media pack.
  • Personal website
  • All contracts, invoices and wedding information stored & signed digitally

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Can you give us an idea on price?

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My album package starts at around £2,300. 

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Can you do a discount for Brides Up North readers?

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I’d be delighted to offer an album package upgrade worth £250.  Please quote Brides Up North when booking.

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Richard Milnes Photography

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How can Brides Up North get in touch with you/ see more examples of your work?

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For my professional images, www.richardmilnesphotography.com

For a mixture of professional and personal work, www.richardmilnesblog.com

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  – Images © 2012 Richard Milnes Photography

Richard Milnes Photography is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier and this is a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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