My wedding venue wish list: The Wellbeing Farm

When it comes to wedding planning, choosing your venue will most likely be one of the biggest, most important decisions you'll make. I've found that most of the couples I work with are very intentional about their venue choices because they want to get married somewhere meaningful, somewhere that reflects their personalities or just somewhere straight up extraordinary. Because if you can't do it on your wedding day, when can you?

As a lover of all things alternative, creative and aesthetically pleasing, I too find myself excited about certain venues so I've decided to share a few of my favourite wedding venues with you. First up is The Wellbeing Farm, a relaxed, rustic venue based near Bolton, available for exclusive hire on your wedding day.

The Wedding Barn at The Wellbeing Farm

The Wedding Barn at The Wellbeing Farm

I've loved this venue for as long as I can remember so I popped along to their recent wedding open day - a great opportunity to see the farm dressed in all it's glory. The set up included different themes and decor ideas to inspire the many lovebirds who came to have a nosey and there was bunting, lanterns and hay bales aplenty! Whether you're planning a day of family fun, a rustic celebration with a touch of glamour or a mad hatters tea party, The Wellbeing Farm has got you covered!

The best bits:

  • From sequin table runners and lashings of ivy to tulips in wellies and fairy lights in glass jars, this venue has all the rustic charm you could hope for and can be dressed up authentically for a stunning and unique day
  • The Wellbeing Farm benefits from a rural location, surrounded by rolling hills and countryside but theres also great space indoors too, meaning you're set for all weather (and can party into the night too!)
  • They know their food! With an award winning cookery school on site and butchers in the family, they take their scran very seriously and also provide the most amazing cheese wedding cakes! 
  • Celia (Founder of The Wellbeing Farm) has an ethos based on restoration, rejuvenation and most importantly, fun! You can't help but smile when you enter The Wedding Barn, admiring the thoughtful decor with bags of character and colourful charm.
  • The best is yet to come! They already have bow-tie wearing llamas, donkeys and a gin bar but they have big plans over the next 12 months to add more amazing stuff, including a permanent tipi, a fountain and a converted horse box cocktail bar to name but a few!   

The Wellbeing Farm is one of the most exciting, evolutionary wedding venues the North West has to offer and you are guaranteed a personal, caring & attentive experience with memories that will last a lifetime!

A huge thanks to Celia and the team for opening the doors to the wedding barn and their hospitality on the day. If you're getting married at The Wellbeing Farm and you're looking for a creative photographer to capture your special day, contact me to find out more about my special offer available for this very special venue.

Alternative, urban Manchester engagement shoot

I first met Claire & Mathew at the beginning of this year to talk about their 2017 wedding. They were planning to get married on Claire’s 30th birthday and were going to celebrate the occasion in style at Worsley Court House, a fabulous Tudor-style venue. We chatted over a brew and I quickly realised that they were a creative couple who love popular culture and contemporary art, so when I discovered they admired Manchester’s graffiti as much as I did, we couldn’t resist hitting the streets for their alternative, urban Manchester engagement shoot.

Anyone who knows me knows that I spend most of my time wandering, exploring and generally being curious. I try to look at familiar scenes from a different perspective and take time to notice the unnoticed. Even after 7 years of living in central Manchester, I never tire of discovering new things and factoring these things into my photography. 

Our tour took us to the top of multi storey car parks, backstreets that looked like New York film sets and we experienced the eerie calmness of out-of-hours Afflecks – an alternative indoor market and iconic member of Manchester’s Northern Quarter. I moved bin bags, we braved the elements and Claire & Mathew brought the glamour throughout.

Claire & Mathew are absolutely wonderful. It was great to spend this time with them to get to know them and try out some ideas in the run up to their big day. They are so well suited and completely adore each other - I cannot wait to photograph their big day next year! 

Autumnal celebration with afternoon tea, Woking

Emma & Oliver organised their wedding in just 4 weeks! Friends and family joined forces to help create a day of understated elegance with fun for all the family at St. John's Church in Woking (Oliver's family church). They're special day focussed on family with lots of DIY touches to give it a collaborative and personal feel.

Emma spent the morning getting ready at Oliver's parents house which was a hive of activity, filled with friends and family that had travelled from across the UK and overseas. Our bride wore a beautifully chic dress from Ghost (unbeknown to her it was the ivory version of the dress worn by Spectre's Bond Girl), teamed with a veil from Debenhams, shoes from New Look, her grandma's pearls and an autumnal bouquet from Ring-a-Roses

They were married by a close personal friend, a vicar who had travelled from his parish in Hull to lead the ceremony.

Although the day got off the a drizzly start, it brightened up later on, providing some outdoor play time for small and big kids alike! The groom and ushers wore suits from Hugh Harris.

Champagne afternoon tea was served in the adjoining function room where friends and family congregated to celebrate before the bride over a glass of bubbly and a piece of cake made by Oliver's mother. 

The bride and groom then made their way to start their honeymoon at a local hotel & spa before heading off on a romantic trip to Venice.  What a perfect end to a perfect day!

Vegas-themed wedding reception, Manchester

Danielle and Andy opted for an intimate wedding in Las Vegas which they tied in with a honeymoon in Mexico so they celebrated in style with family and friends when they returned to the UK. Their venue of choice was Monton Sports Club with the cake and decorations provided by Cakes & Celebrations and Love in Lights NW and food provided by Blacksticks.

Ukrainian wedding in the 'Field of Dreams', Derby

I first met Myroslava & Callum when Myro & I were both stallholders at an arts & crafts fair a few years ago. An illustrator operating under the name Myro Doodles, she had fantastic handmade cards and canvasses and was drawing henna-type patterns all over peoples hands. I knew immediately that she was my kinda girl! Fast forward a couple of years and I was thrilled to be asked to capture Myro & Cal's special day. I knew it would be lovingly styled with the most fabulous little details and it didn't disappoint!

Myro roped in her family and friends to help with the decor for the day. Between them, they decorated 200 bottles and jars for their centrepieces, made wooden signs to pay homage to their favourite watering holes, sewed sequin and lace table runners and cut 500 meters of bunting from grandma's old net curtains. Myro made her table plan from her grandad's old suitcase and made her own confetti from flowers in her grandmas garden. She designed and illustrated wedding guides for all the guests, explaining the many Ukrainian traditions and opted for hand-drawn doilies instead of place settings.

The setting for the day was Tarasivka (affectionately know as the Field of Dreams) which is a piece of land owned by the Ukrainian Youth Association and a spiritual home for Myro and more recently Callum. They had a Ukrainian wedding ceremony, packed with traditions at a beautiful outdoor chapel, surrounded by their nearest and dearest.

Myro wore a shell pink custom made dress from Erica Stacey Bridalwear and her bridesmaids wore pink and gold dresses from Chi Chi London with flowers from Ivy Florist. The chaps wore grey and blue - a nod to Callum's beloved Coventry City FC.

Food played a big part in the day with homemade Ukrainian delicacies, a hog roast, a huge paella, curry and a fabulous Ukrainian inspired wedding cake by Yolk. There was plenty of vodka flowing and a combination of traditional Ukrainian dancing and the fine sounds of the Twisted Tubes took us right through to the wee hours.

I’ve known Amy since her street photography days and I am so proud to have her not only as our wedding photographer but as our friend. She adapted to the crazy Ukrainian wedding style like a duck to water and listened to exactly what we wanted from the day. She has such an eye for those special candid moments which are so easy to miss – we are beyond in love with the photographs she took.
— Myro

Spanish sun-kissed destination wedding

Gemma & James got engaged in Spain so it seemed fitting to return to tie the knot. Accompanied by their nearest and dearest, they spent a week at Villacana, Estepona and their wedding celebrations took place overlooking the sea at Tikitano Beach Restaurant & Lounge.

This stunning wedding goes to show that you don't have to spend a fortune to have the most perfect day. Gemma wore a stunning lace dress was from BHS, the chaps outfits were from H&M and the bridesmaids dresses were found on Amazon. But who can resist some super special shoes for their big day? Gemma added a bit of bling with some killer heels from Kurt Geiger. Feast you're eyes on this! 

Pendrell Hall country house wedding, West Midlands

Alex & Joe tied the knot at Pendrell Hall, a beautiful country house in the West Midlands. Alex looked fantastic in a Minna dress with golden gladiator sandals and a gorgeous 'English rose' inspired bouquet from Ellenhall Flowers. It rained all day but they didn't let the weather dampen their spirits with a day jam packed with fun for all the family.

Amy, you made my day today! A lovely surprise in the post. Lovely pics, beautiful words. A day to treasure and look back at thanks to your artistic flair!
— Alex & Joe

2015: Just the beginning

This time last year, I decided to do something different - something that was both scary and exciting in equal measures and something that would take me waaaaaay outside my comfort zone. Yep, thats right, I decided to enter the wonderful world of wedding photography! And what a year it has been! 

This year has taken me all over the UK: from a country house in the midlands to a beautiful church in Surrey, a boutique hotel in a walled city to an old army barracks, now referred to as the 'Field of Dreams'. I even made it over to Spain for a fabulous sun-kissed ceremony by the sea!

I love all the little details that make a wedding day so special - the flowers, the cakes, the decorations. I've had the pleasure of working alongside some of the most talented wedding creatives and it's really helped to inspire my photography further.

There's been laughter and there's been tears. We've raised a glass to absent friends and partied long on into the night. And it's been a privilege to be there to share those beautiful moments and document them as a timeless memory for generations to come.

So here's to a future full of happiness and health to all my fabulous 2015 couples and to all those who have helped me through my first year as a wedding photographer. Thanks so much and fingers crossed for an equally marvellous 2016!