Sunday, 12 June 2016

Wedding ends with flashes and bangs!

It was one of those days where a photographer is on tenterhooks. Perfect for photos, a little overcast, no bright sun but will it rain? We hope not. I found Shona in one of her 6 bridesmaid's new homes in Leeds. Three of the girls were sprawled out, relaxing and enjoying a glass of fizz and there was Shona in the hot-seat, having her hair done by Harj Flora whilst Sarah Kay was working her magic on one of the bride's maids in the kitchen. The flowers had arrived already and were looking good in a long box. The bouquets had beautiful, pastel peach roses and orange rosebuds set amongst cream freesias and gypsophila supplied by Blooming Fantastic of Tingley. One of the bridesmaids took me upstairs to see the dress but she had to make an exit before I debagged it as none of them were allowed to see it before Shona had it on. It was a bit tight for space but I managed to hang it up on the landing for a quick photo. It was a lovely white lace-up with a lace neckline going over the shoulders with a net overlay covering the skirt. Shona says she tried on lots of dresses but she knew the first one she tried at Gowns UK was the right one for her. The bridesmaids' dress looked really elegant in a rose pink colour from Little Mistress.

On to meet up with the chaps at St Michael's Church in East Ardsley. The chaps were there looking good being videoed by Ken and Carol from Phase 5. Did the best-man have the rings? Yes, we are off to a good start. Aiden told me he bought Shona's ring from Earnest Jones and his came from Warren James. The chaps all wore grey tails with cravats to match the bridesmaid dresses and a pastel peach rose button hole to compliment the girls' flowers. Suits supplied by the Groom's Room in Ossett. It wasn't long before the first set of bridesmaids arrived. Unfortunately they could not all get in the car so Philip from Cartwrights was forced to make 3 trips instead of the planned two. I let the vicar know that the bride would be quite late because of this slight problem and he entertained the guests in church I am sure whilst we waited for the bride. The car took the bride's father from the church to meet Shona at her friend's home, so I didn't get to see the look on his face but I am sure there would have been a few tears as he was an emotional chap and Shona looked amazing.

The service was really lovely and I was kindly allowed to take photographs from the front of the church capturing all of the formalities. After the obligatory confetti and lots of hugs and kisses we toddled off to Bagden Hall in Scissett. A message had come through that the M1 was snarled up so it was a case of taking a long detour via Wakefield. Bagden Hall is a lovely venue  with plenty of grounds for group photos, a lake far enough away from the hall to get great photos with the hall in the background and of course the Folly which reminds me of the witch's house in Hansel and Gretel. The wedding breakfast room was stunning. There were hanging lanterns above the tables supplied by The Hanging Lantern Company, twinkle backdrops by Wedding Venue Lighting and huge martini glasses stuffed with flowers made the table centrepieces by Emma of Unique Wedding Flowers. The cake was emotional - it was in tiers, produced by Celebration Cakes.
So on to the evening reception with more guests arriving at 7.30. They loved our Photo Booth with its greenscreen and video. The resident DJ, Gary of Rhythm of your Choice plays cracking music and really make the guests feel welcome and in the party mood. First Danceat 8.30 was "How Long Will I Love You?" by Ellie Goulding. These two were loving it! There was even a fireworks display and oodles of sparklers but we had to wait until about 10.15 as the days are long in June!

The couple met during History Lessons at High School and that's where the romance blossomed. Shona was having her 21st birthday at Longleat Safari Park when out of the blue Aiden got down on one knee and said those all important words almost exactly ten years ago. So what next? A honeymoon in Mexico and a long and happy life together to look forward to. All our very best wishes to both of you.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Amy and Gareth tie the knot

Wow, was this the young lady I was speaking with only a few days earlier at Waterton Park? Her hair and make-up were finished when I arrived at about 10.00am on 27th May. She looked stunning, stood in her white bride-2-be gown. Kym Hurst had really made Amy look radiant. Her dress from Confetti and Lace was hung on the wardrobe waiting to be slipped on. It was a lace up and semi-fishtail style. It looked so slender hanging there. Amy told me that she went shopping with her Maid of Honour; she spotted the dress and told her to try it on. "When I did both her and the shop assistant burst into tears. That's how I knew it was the one". The bridesmaid dresses also came form Confetti and Lace and these were in coral taffeta. The flowers arrived later brought by Mum and these were pastel roses in cream and coral to match the dresses. The bride had a teardrop bouquet, all supplied by The Flower Shack.

So off to see the chaps. Of course they were over the bridge in Walton Hall. I expected to find them in Charlie's Bar but they were being good chatting in the sunshine at the front. The best man didn't have the rings - these were being guarded by Amy - just in case! They had chosen these at H Samuel. The fellas really did look smart. Gareth looked amazing. I don't think he is used to suit and tie but the suits from Top Mark made him and the fellas look like proper gentlemen.

The ceremony went really well. The registrars from Wakefield are always so kind and gentle. Amy read a lovely piece to Gareth and there were also tear-jerking reading from Amy's Mum and her partner. Really lovely. Later to be followed by a wedding breakfast and more tear-jerking words from Amy's Mum and a few words from Gareth which truly showed how much he adores Amy. What a gentleman he is. Wedding venue lighting supplied the aisle runner, twinkling arch, twinkling cake table, swags and twinkling top table swag.
Then the party! Dancing to Ed Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud".  "Gaz heard this song before it was even released and said he immediately thought of me so that's why we chose it" Resident DJ Shane kept banging out the tunes until midnight.

I wanted to know more about these two! Amy told me she met Gareth about 8 years ago through mutual friends. Gaz put rose petals all over Amy's bed on her birthday and then got down on one knee when she saw them. How romantic.
So how did you enjoy the day? "Waterton Park is an amazing place with lovely staff. It has been the best day of my life - a lot better than I ever imagined it would be. The food was excellent and our three children made a speech which made me so proud and made me cry."
Any advice for others Amy? "Don't stress, enjoy the planning and the run up because it flies by and before you know it the day has been and gone. I don't normally like having my photograph taken but on the day I was really at ease."
Honeymoon? "We are just having a little weekend away. Just the two of us in Leicestershire".

All of us at Altered Images wish you both every happiness and a long life together. What an amazing couple.

Salvation Army does this lovely couple proud.

Wow, what an amazing day for this lovely couple. The sun shone and the birds sang! Two soldiers, Rachael and Nick set sail on the sea of life together as Mr and Mrs Hamlett. The bride looked stunning in a really elegant dress - "Persia by Modeca" supplied by the Bridal Gown in Otley. The bridesmaids were a close second only really surpassed by the bride herself, wearing teal dresses from Lindy Bop. The flowers were a blend of roses and freesias in a variety of pastel hues and these really were the finishing touches to the beautiful outfits; supplied by Cathryn at Methley.


The couple were married at the Central Leeds Salvation Army Hall. This is a magnificent venue. The hall itself is huge with a beautiful stage large enough to accommodate an orchestra and a huge gallery at the back to rival the very best theatres in the city. Gospel Roots Brass Band had set themselves up off the stage and were entertaining the guests as they arrived with well chosen and quite mellow pieces. The stage was reserved for guitarists and singers. So on to the groom and his men: Nick was really well heeled; real dapper, proper smart! The suits were from Suits Direct and the chaps carried them well - not unlike myself I must say when I was their age.
What a beautiful ceremony. Really amazing and the Salvation Army really did go the extra mile to make this couple feel like a prince with his new princess. Married by their own friends and lieutenants - I am sorry I cannot recall their names - but also a lovely, genuine, young couple. I knew they would be there longer than they planned! Of course they would be, with the hall packed to the rafters with family and friends all wanting to wish them the very best life can bring. But eventually through the guard of honour, we left for Denton Hall in Ilkley.

Me, being me, nosey or rather curious, I was interested in how Nick and Rachael met and got to know each other. They told me they were brought up to be good honest people attending different churches connected with the Salvation Army but it was at a music camp in 201l when their eyes met and that was to become the start of their beautiful relationship with each other. Three years later whilst on holiday in Cyprus, Nick had mustered enough courage to pop the question. He took Rachael on a romantic drive up into the Troodos Mountains. Rachael says the spot was idyllic, secluded with beautiful views of the ocean in front of them with the perfume of pine from the forest behind them. That is when it happened! Down on one knee, Nick asked the big questions and with tears in her eyes Rachael said YES! Now having known each other for almost 6 years, from their first meetings when Rachael was 19 and Nick 23 we can now present the new Mr and Mrs and we wish them every kindness and joy this life can offer and to grasp every opportunity to make the world a better place for themselves and everyone around them.
Photography by Altered Images.