Rachael & Kevin’s Wedding at Consall Hall Landscape Gardens

To access the online gallery you need to go to Fairfield Photographic‘s proofing site, located >here< and register your self as a new user (if you haven’t already).  It’s painless and quick 🙂  Once done you can access the gallery itself by clicking on the link on the proofing site, or >this one<.  You’ll need to enter a password which is their surname in lower case, e.g. smith.

Rachael & Kevin’s Wedding at Stoke Minster and Consall Hall Landscape Gardens

I first met Rachael and Kevin at the Tatton Wedding Show.  If you haven’t ever been to this show, it’s a two day weekend wedding event (with the preceding Friday day used by exhibitors to set up).  There are well over 100 exhibitors, and generally the best of the North West’s suppliers can be found exhibiting there – including me 😉  The slight nervousness an exhibitor has with Tatton is that a decent sized stand like I have costs over £1k, so it’s a big outlay and you need to get work from it to make it worthwhile.  I had a GREAT show this January, and Rachael and Kevin were one of quite a few couples to book me on the spot 🙂

Flash forward to June and I met up with with Rachael & Kevin one Sunday for a pre wedding shoot and a scout round of Consall Gardens, as I didn’t really know what to expect.

I was blown away! Kevin’s suit was amazing! 😀  Seriously, Kevin wore a really flashy suit but even he was outshone by this amazing venue.  I don’t know quite what I was expecting, but it’s fair to say my most optimistic hopes were exceeded. It is an amazing venue, with glorious views pretty much everywhere, several lakes, follies, grottos, bridges, turrets….everything you could wish for as a photographer, or in my opinion, as a couple looking for a fab venue to get married at.  As you can gather, I rather liked it 😉  So I was already looking forward to the wedding when Rachael told me that they’d be having an owl ring delivery (courtsey of “Spirit” and the lovely Wendy of Flying the Knot), a caricaturist, a stand up comic, and a massive firework display over the lake! Wow!

The only downside was it was the same night as David Haye’s heavyweight unification fight against Wladimir Klitschko… I’m a massive boxing fan and was gutted to miss this. As you may be aware however, I needn’t have worried 😉

The Wedding

It was a slightly stressful start to the day for both me and the Bride! Several things had gone wrong at Rachael’s end (the cars were double booked, hotels had lost reservations for guests, etc) so when I called Rachael to tell herI was running late due to accidents on the M6 I think I was the least of the problems.  I then battled the endless one way systems near Stoke (WHY?!!) but in the end I still got to Rachael with plenty of time to spare for preparation photographs. Before long however, I was back into the one way nightmare to find the car park by Stoke Minster.  Luckily the sat nav worked a bit better here and I arrived before Kevin and almost all guests – phew 🙂

Guests – all the photographs I took of you outside the Church are in the gallery…

A bit about the photos below:

Kevin arrived before long in a very smart Rolls Royce convertible, and headed inside to do a practice run of the owl ring delivery with Wendy from Flying the Knot and her son. It must have gone well, as soon we were all allowed in and after a couple of photos of Kevin looking nervous I was back outside to await Rachael’s arrival.  She looked stunning as you can see!

I do love the picture I took of Rachael walking down the aisle and Kevin waiting for her. I was waiting patiently for Kevin to turn to look at her, and hoping to catch that moment when their eyes met, but he didn’t do it. Instead I got Kevin with a fantastic expression- raising his eyes to heaven, or thanking god or something else.  Only he knows what he was thinking but I love the photograph 🙂

The owl delivering the rings was a slightly tricky moment. As is often the case, I was asked not to use flash, and the centre of the aisle was a lot darker than it appears in my photo, which I’ve lightened. It was VERY tricky to get a good shot here, but I’m pretty pleased with my effort anyhow!

After the ceremony ended and the paperwork was signed, confetti was thrown outside, congratulations given and a few tears shed.  Rachael and Kevin (and the guests) seemed to really love the whole owl experience as I hope you can see from the next photo, below.

After leaving Stoke it was straight to Consall Hall Landscape Gardens.  They were every bit as special as I remembered, and the area round the terrace pool was already filled with guests relaxing and sampling some nibbles and drinks. Justin, the wedding coordinator at the venue, drove me and Rachael and Kevin in a golf buggy from one lovely spot to the next, and although it was very hot, this did make it much easier – thanks Justin! 🙂

As soon as we’d toured the beauty spots of the gardens we had time for some group photos and then it was the wedding breakfast, a fab bbq. On the way we got some great car photos and I took my normal shots of the reception room laid out for the meal.  The cake was amazing and rather fun to cut! 😉

After speeches there was short break then a fab comic (whose name I have forgotten, sorry) and then dancing, before we headed into the darkening night for the firework display. It really was fabulous. In fact, the whole day was just great –  thanks for letting me share it.





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My photography and advice to brides has recently been featured in several issues of Your NorthWest Wedding magazine, and in the February/March edition I am proud to have been chosen for the cover and a 4 page spread!!

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