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A post-lockdown wedding at Alderford Lake, Shropshire

It’s been a hard struggle for the wedding industry over the last few months, particularly with the announcement earlier this week that weddings will now be reduced from 30 guests to just 15. However, I had the pleasure of shooting Damian and Rosamund’s wedding back in August before Coronavirus restrictions tightened, meaning their beautiful wedding for 30 guests was able to go ahead at Alderford Lake in Whitchurch, Shropshire. It was my first post-lockdown wedding and I couldn’t have chosen a better one to shoot.

 

About Alderford Lake

Alderford Lake is a stunning scenic area in Shropshire, near Whitchurch, with around 47 acres of land where you can swim, canoe, kayak and more. Set beside the lake is a marquee that can be hired out for weddings and more! Damian and Ros chose this beautiful setting to hold their small and personal wedding reception.

 

The wedding of Damian and Ros

Ros chose to get ready at her beautiful home which meant I got some really lovely shots of her with their pet cat, Phoebe. This isn’t something that happens often but pets are certainly as much a part of the family as anyone else!

 

The bride on her wedding day sitting with the cat

Bride having her make up down by a makeup artist wearing a mask

 

Bride's wedding dress hanging from a doorframe

 

Her dress hung from a doorframe next to the family chalkboard. On the board, Damian had written:

24 years ago I walked to school with you. Today we walk down the aisle!

The remainder of the board was covered in drawings from the children, hearts with arrows going through them and family messages. It was such a lovely touch, I couldn’t not get a photo of the board and the dress together.

 

Bride reflected in a large window mirror while having her make up done

 

The theme was quite autumnal, one of the main colours being a deep, maroon red. I love this photo of her doing her son’s tie for him.

 

Bride doing up her son's cravat on the wedding day

 

Once ready, the ceremony itself was held at St Peter and St Paul’s Church in Wem, Shropshire. The church was absolutely beautiful and I managed to capture some shots from above, which is quite rare for a church wedding. Not only does this angle highlight the bride and groom but also that beautiful parquet floor!

 

Bride and groom from above getting married in a Shropshire church

 

Bride and groom in the church with guests wearing masks behind them

 

During the ceremony, the guests wore masks when inside the church while also seated in their individual households so they were sticking to social distancing guidelines. The wedding, though small, felt completely safe and they even maintained a certain distance from the vicar.

 

Gorgeous stained glass window in the church with the bride and groom in front of it

 

Flower girls peeking out from behind the large church door

Bride and groom in the doorway of the church

Bride and groom kissing while her veil blows in the wind

Groom holding up face masks reading Just Married

 

They fully embraced the masks, which I suppose is the only thing you can do, and even got some that read ‘Just Married’ on.

After the official bit, the couple and their guests moved on to the marquee at Alderford Lake. The marquee was beautifully lit and dressed with tulle chair covers, white tablecloths and huge floral centrepieces made from green foliage and pink flowers. Even the bottles of wine on the table had a pink label to match.

 

Marquee with gorgeous wedding dressing and large flower centrepiece

Wedding cake covered in white chocolate and strawberries

 

The wedding cake was a drip cake, topped with chocolate-covered strawberries and a cake topper that reads ‘Mr and Mrs Whitehurst’. Surrounding the cake were lots of little cupcakes, also covered in strawberries. The effect was simple but so beautiful.

The couple didn’t have the best weather and the evening was filled with rain, but that didn’t stop us from getting some stunning outdoor wedding photographs. As a wedding photographer, I can generally shoot for every eventuality, including rain!

 

Bride and groom for Shropshire wedding under an umbrella

 

Bride and groom outside on their wedding day

Bride and groom by the lake at Alderford

 

So if it rains on your wedding day – don’t panic. The images will still be spectacular.

They then danced the night away on the dancefloor in the marquee, complete with a ‘Crazy in Love’ lit up sign behind them

 

Bride and groom during their first dance with a 'Crazy in Love' sign in the background

 

Damian and Ros definitely didn’t let Coronavirus get in the way of their wedding. Despite the reduced numbers, the day was absolutely beautiful.

 

Bride and groom wearing Just Married face masks

 

 

 

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Magical Marquee Wedding

When Jess and Dom Carter were looking for their dream wedding venue, they didn’t have to venture far. Jess’s family farm, near the market town of Frodsham in Cheshire, with its stunning views over the River Mersey was simply perfect.

“My family used to grow Christmas trees in the field so I have many happy memories there.  We also wanted somewhere local for the Grandmas!” Jess told me.

“We started looking at local marquee companies, Steve at Posh Frocks and Wellies came to meet us and see the field. We built up a good relationship with Steve and knew they were the company for us. The marquees are stunning! Which also really helped when it came to decorating…it didn’t need much! Just the lighting that comes with the marquee and then the greenery that decorated the king poles”

Even the loos were really posh!

Jess and Dom are an amazing couple, as are their family and friends. Although they didn’t have a specific theme for their wedding, they took inspiration from their romantic trip to Rome where the two got engaged, and every element had a personal touch.

 

They collected flowers and props from family and friends, Jess’s uncle made the wooden boards that went on the tables, the flowers at the venue were arranged by her Godmother, Sarah, the cake, a delicious lemon with white chocolate and lemon ganache, was made by a family friend Jenny and Jess’s hair and make-up were done by another close friend.

“It really made it for me to have my wonderful friend Dawn there in the morning helping me, along with my mum and bridesmaids of course!” Jess said.

 

 

In the week running up to the wedding, I was worried that the weather would be unkind as the forecast was so changeable. The day before was a total washout, but Saturday dawned with glorious sunshine. With the magnificent marquee up and decorated with flowers and twinkling lights, the stage was set for a fairy-tale wedding.

Guests were seated on their country style ‘pews’ (hay bales from the farm!) as Jess and Dom exchanged their vows in a joyful ceremony led by Celebrant Marie McDonald.

 

The beautiful scenery lent itself to romantic, dreamy shots of the happy couple, and I was so pleased to be able to capture the special bond between the bride and groom.

 

After the ceremony everyone was treated to a fabulous feast, including Sue Coward’s famous steak pies, each individually handmade and served with new potatoes from nearby Warburton’s farm.

 

After the ceremony everyone was treated to a fabulous feast, including Sue Coward’s famous steak pies, each individually handmade and served with new potatoes from nearby Warburton’s farm.

 

“Food was super important to us, Ian Beckett did all the catering for us – amazing canapes, gorgeous olives, bread and oils for the starters, and yummy puddings. It felt really homely and great to make use of local suppliers, especially when they taste so good. The Coward and Warburton families have been in Frodsham a very long time, just like my mum’s family, so that felt special,” said Jess.

As the sun began to set, it was time for the first dance, and since it was such a balmy summer evening, Mr and Mrs Carter took to the dancefloor outside, with all the guests joining in with the singing and dancing.  I don’t mind telling you I got goosebumps as I took their photographs against the backdrop of one of the most amazing sunsets I have ever seen.

 

This truly is one of the most magical weddings I have ever photographed, one that stole a little bit of my heart.