Friday, 11 November 2016

Kelly and Simon sitting in a tree.....

What a luxury for me this would be. Kelly lives within two minutes walk from my home so I could pop round in the morning to see her with her two bridesmaids, flower-girl and ring-girl, no problem. But first I had to go to Tankersley Manor to set up our photo-booth so it would be ready for the evening celebrations. Everything was quite calm when I arrived at the bride's home. A bit of music and hairdresser Lucy Kemp was brushing and combing and beautician Megan Lewis was beautifying away and it looked like everyone was loving it!

The flowers had already arrived from Millie's, our local florist. They looked amazing. A mixture of pure white roses with white freesias (these smell divine) set among gypsophila and other tiny buds that I did not recognize. Kelly had three small cameos of grandparents embedded in her bouquet. Ken and Carol from Phase 5 arrived just as I was photographing Kelly's dress. Kelly had bought it from Its Bliss along with the bridesmaids. Kelly's was ivory with a bejeweled bodice top and a layered net bottom and a long flowing cathedral veil. She should look good. The bridemaids were coral chiffon. The flowergirl and ring girl were going to wear cute little ivory dresses found ont' tinternet. I even managed to get photos of the rings. Kelly obviously would not trust the fellas with them! Both in white metal. Simon was going to have a plain band with a brushed finish from H. Samuel and Kelly was going to have a band studded with diamonds from F. Hinds. Kelly said that as soon as they both saw them they knew they were exactly what they were looking for.
A few final photos once the girls were ready. They looked amazing. Kelly's mum, Kim, looked amazing in her new cream dress but getting her to stop busying for two minutes for photos was a challenge! Then Dad arrived - I hope he wasn't going to get them roaring - Megan don't go yet you may be needed! But it was Dad, David, who needed the Kleenex! What emotion! I asked Kelly to make a message for Simon and OMG it was me who nearly made her cry as she poured her heart out to Simon!

Tankersley Manor was only ten minutes away. Simon was there, cool as a cucumber with his best man, Jason. Both looking very dapper in bright blue suits with ivory waist jackets bought from Slaters. The button-holes were very delicate, mainly gypsophila, with tiny freesias and hydrangea petals all in white. A few photos and then it wasn't long before the girls started to arrive.

Beth and Charlotte, daughters Summer and Sophie and the two Mums, Kim and Julie, arriving first in one of Tyson's limousines. The driver was then to return for Kelly and her Dad. We were OK for time. Simon and Jason had gone to see the registrars (they are so good from Barnsley register office) and the guests were now settled in the Pennine Conservatory being entertained by a harpist - I must find out who she was. Sam from Glamourpuss Weddings had prepared the ceremony room - it looked amazing and also the Tankersley Suite for the evening reception. She was there early with me.
Kelly arrived in good time with her Dad and we had time for a few photos before going in to say those immortal words. Kelly and Simon had always thought they would get married abroad but when they viewed Tankersley Manor they knew it would be perfect for them and provide everything they wanted.

The ceremony was really lovely. The newly-weds came out of the front doors to be greeted by a guard of honour by the guests with confetti, cheers, lots of hugs and kisses (of course).

A few photos and then it was back in for the wedding breakfast and some very kind words from Dad, Groom and Best-Man. It was quite emotional, even the cake from Amanda's was in tiers. The celebrations continued into the evening in the Tankersley Suite. How many friends? The room was packed to the rafters! The couple opened the dance floor with a dance to Feels Like Home by Chantel Kreviazuk and Kelly dancing with her dad to I Loved Her First by Heartland joined by Simon and his mum dancing to Isn't She Lovely by Stevie Wonder. The guests made good use of our photo-booth - lots of fun! The DJ was fantastic - "One of the best DJs we have ever heard. Our guests said the same. He was brilliant".

Kelly and Simon met through mutual friends whilst enjoying a night out in a night club. They have now been together for eight and a half years. Kelly received an early Christmas present - a proposal and a ring on Christmas Eve! Kelly says she loved every minute of the day and wishes she could do it all again (best get some overtime in Simon). It was truly perfect - "Honestly, the best day of our lives". Kelly admits she was a bit stressed (OCD coming out!) and her tip to others is DON'T because on the day the little things don't matter. Your day will be perfect, no matter what. Photographer, Rob, was brilliant with us. He knew exactly what to do to get the perfect photos so we are now spoilt for choice.

After trying on over 30 dresses I finally found the one. I always knew I was going to be a nightmare! Everything has to be perfect. Although I did end up with exactly what I said I didn't want - A big sparkly dress LOL!!! I tried every style possible. Lace, plain, fishtail, you name it. When I put my dress on my Mum said "Kel, that is so you". So even though I set off not wanting that style, when I put it on I knew instantly it was the one and perfect for me.

Final words - The reception was wonderful. Speeches were fantastic. Food was lovely and all the guests commented on it. Tankersley Manor was so accommodating to everyone's needs. So it was off to Crete, somewhere the couple have not been before. An amazing holiday - the hotel was out of this world (are you sure it was not Mars?) We just want to add that we wish to thank all the people that helped make our day one to remember, forever!!!

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Elizabeth and Julius say I do.

What a lovely couple. Young, good looking and full of life and loving life. I knew when I first met them that their wedding would be special. Getting married at my local church - Christ Church, Brampton Bierlow and going on to another favourite, Rogerthorpe Manor.
I caught up with Elizabeth at her home to see Kim Law and Janine Clarke preparing the bridal party's hair and Katie Daley, Beth Carney and Sam Williams doing the make-up. It was nice and relaxed and the beauticians seemed very well organised and of course the bride and her bridesmaids were already looking amazing. The bride's dress was hung up and looked good supplied by Cupid Connections of Barnsley. The six bridesmaid's dresses and the flower girl's in pink were ordered off the internet. The flowers arrived from Petite Fleurs. I am no flower expert but these looked really good, pink and white carnations in a cloud of gypsophila and pink throngs. I just had time to grab a couple of photos with the girls all dressed and of course with mum - she looked stunning. In fact the entire bridal party looked amazing with Elizabeth being the focus. The dress really was the icing on the cake, it really showed Elizabeth off, she had picked the perfect dress for her. Cartwright's Cars with my good friends Kevin and Philip were waiting outside and the car was gleaming. Dad arrived and he was stunned when he saw his daughter. She knew she was pulling at his heart strings and a few tears started to come through.

No time to loose, I had to get to the church. Julius was there with his chaps, all looking very smart and in good shape just like myself. Another first class supplier, Top Mark had supplied the suits. Three piece, modern style in bright blue contrasting nicely with the flowers and pink colour scheme. The best man had the rings from James Hadley's Find Diamonds. A plain white band for Julius and a delicate half eternity, diamond studded ring for Elizabeth.

Our vicar was Carol. She told me that she normally does not allow any photographs in the church but very kindly she said she would allow me to get a photo of Elizabeth walking up the aisle with her father and from the gallery at the back of the church. I am always respectful of the clergy's wishes in church. It is a religious ceremony and that should be the focus. It is not a performance but I also feel it is an occasion that couples will wish to remember and relive those moments by looking at photos. Personally I have all but lost the memories of my own wedding and I would have loved to have seen some of the highlights in print but it was not to be. Anyway the bride arrived and the service was beautiful. We had a guard of honour at the front of the church and some family photos in the grounds. Christ Church is a splendid church and it looked beautiful with flowers bathed in warm afternoon sunshine.

On to Rogerthorpe. Elizabeth asked me to do one of our special heart-shaped group photos so that was my priority on arrival then a few group photos. It was sweltering! It was a case of using the shade as much as possible with the use of some fill in flash for most photos. I asked the couple if they would leave their intimate photos until after the wedding breakfast when the Sun would be lower and the light a little kinder. Wedding breakfast was good as it always is at Rogerthorpe, with Karen looking after the wedding details for the hotel. Speeches followed. It seemed such a shame to cut the cake. It was very unusual and magnificent made by Lindsay Marie Cake Designs.The piano was played during the wedding breakfast by David Robertshaw.

We grabbed a few more photos in the grounds later. The gardens at Rogerthorpe are some of the best in the area and more than enough to keep any photographer happy. We even managed to get a few photos in the farmer's field next door as the Sun went down. The couple were radiant.
Later in the evening the wedding party made good use of our photo booth. This ended the day with quite a few laughs! The first dance was to Nathan Sykes - Over and Over Again followed by Elizabeth dancing with her dad to I Loved Her First by Heartland to be joined by Julius and his mum.
DJ was Pro Sounds Discos. I asked the couple how they met and it seems they knew each other for most of their lives right from playgroup and on to school. Really becoming close friends during the past 15 years. Julius proposed using a special jigsaw puzzle - very unusual! Elizabeth said the special part of the day was for her being escorted by her father up the church aisle to see Julius peering back at her and the whole church ceremony. She loved it. Carol had become a good friend and her service was beautiful.
It truly was one of the most amazing days of our lives, everything went smoothly. The weather was great and everything and everyone looked beautiful. A day we will never forget.

So what advice can the couple offer others? "Go with your instincts and enjoy every moment. The dress was important. I knew it was the one from the first moment I saw it. Once I was in it I felt like a princess; beautiful and confident. It made my Maid of Honour cry. I was worried how I would feel being photographed but I felt so at ease and so natural. The food at Rogerthorpe was amazing and there was plenty - but I knew it would be as we are regulars at Rogerthorpe! Looking forward now to spending our honeymoon in Lanzarote for the third time with our 3 year old daughter, Sydney".
All of our best wishes for a long and happy life together.