I remember very distinctly Ashleigh coming up to my stand at the Tatton Wedding Show in January 2011 to ask whether I was available and willing to work on New Year’s Eve 2011 to shoot her and Mark’s wedding. I immediately said yes as being a parent to a 3 year old, I have *no* social life most evenings and knew we wouldn’t have exciting plans for New Year’s Eve.
I met up with Ashleigh again a few weeks before her wedding – on a snowy Thursday in early December. She was so excited about the idea of a white wedding and I’m afraid the side of me that worries about logistical things (i.e. actually getting to the wedding in snow) rather hoped the snow would hold off, especially after the route I’d taken to Saddleworth had seemed quite narrow and hilly enough in the light snow we’d had. Thankfully in the end (sorry Ashleigh) it did hold off, though we had rain instead. It just shows you can’t win them all
The online gallery has been live for ages so I won’t worry about adding the link here. If you are a friend and haven’t seen the photos yet, you can contact me or Ashleigh or Mark.
The Wedding Day
After worrying about snow for a 3 weeks, I went into the wedding day hoping for it to be dry and bright. I was half right. It was dry and bright; unfortunately it lasted until the time Ashleigh was due to leave her house and from that point it was a rather cold and rainy day – as Decembers traditionally are
As usual, things began properly for me with photographing the bride, bridesmaids and her family getting ready for the big day. I try not to get in the way too much and my modus operandi is to be quiet and try and let people forget I’m there. This isn’t always that easy as sometimes rooms are fairly small and I’m not, but I think I do pretty well as hopefully the photos show..
I was really impressed when I found out that not only was Ashleigh going to be picked up by a wedding car sent by The Saddleworth Hotel itself, but that it was a beautiful Rolls Royce Phantom driven by Anthony (AJ), the owner of the Hotel. It was the first time I’d known of an owner doing anything like this and it spoke volumes to me about the care and personal touch that he obviously wanted to show to the wedding party. I’ll add now that I got the chance to chat to AJ during the wedding breakfast and he was a really lovely guy with some great stories to tell
The Hotel itself is a really amazing venue. It has a wonderful mix of the traditional and the ultra modern – from the authentic wooden panelling and fabulous fireplace downstairs to the glass/marble and steel upper level of the ballroom. I especially appreciated the under floor heating on a cold December day and the “stars” that came out in the ballroom ceiling at night – stunning. Anyway, I hope to shoot another wedding there before long and next time, hopefully the rain and mist will hold off and I can get more photographs outside, in the gardens and of the stunning views. As it was I tried my best to coax guests and the bridal party outside but only Ashleigh and Mark were game.
After the brief time outside, it was time for the wedding breakfast and a much needed break for me until speeches. I got treated to a delicious meal prepared by the Saddleworth team and got to chat with AJ, and then soon it was time to cover the speeches – as can be seen below.