DIY wedding photography, Huddersfield
Sophie and Liam’s DIY wedding in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
A few months ago I was lucky enough to be the photographer at Sophie and Liams amazing DIY wedding. This was a wedding that I had been looking forward to for ages and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Liam and Sophie had decided that they would get married in a field in a marquee thanks to Holme Valley Marquees, in fact, the wedding was actually a festival and it was named “Rootfest”.
As I mentioned I was really excited to be the wedding photographer for this festival wedding. I LOVE DIY weddings as there is something so free about them. The location was in a field overlooking the stunning backdrop of Digley Reservoir near Meltham, Holmfirth which was only five minutes from my house which is always a bonus. The day before the excitement was building as I kept seeing social media posts with the marquee going up and I was getting a few butterflies.
No posed pictures
My brief was no posed pictures! Just capture the whole story, no group photographs, no bride and groom posed pictures which were perfect for me. There was only one picture that was allowed to be a little setup, this was a picture of Liam and his groomsmen on skateboards, which I was fine with.
The wedding morning
It was an early start, I headed up to the field where the marquee was and parked my car and Sophie’s dad came and picked me up. When I was there I saw the sunrise and I knew it was going to be an amazing day from there. I met up with Sophie and she was in great spirits, just full of excitement and was awaiting the rest of team bride. All of a sudden the girls arrived and it was hugs all round. I spent the morning just capturing everything that was going on.
Huddersfield documentary wedding photograper
As I have mentioned I am a documentary wedding photographer. Basically, this means I capture wedding photography and not set it up. I see a wedding as a story with a beginning a middle and an end and the story is told around the people.
Read the situation
The wedding morning had been pretty chilled out, we had bacon and sausage sarnies, team bride had their hair and makeup done and there was lots of excitement and nice moments just like most wedding mornings. Sophie is brilliant at sewing (in fact she is going to teach my daughter how to sew) and she had made her own wedding dress. I was really looking forward to seeing Sophies dress as I knew it would be something completely different. I always stay out of the room when people are getting ready and just ask to be called once the bride is nearly ready, but it seemed to be taking a while. Then all of a sudden people were running around for needles and thread and I knew there was something wrong. As a documentary wedding photographer, I tell the story and sometimes people want the story of things going wrong to be part of the story. A part of me wanted to be documenting this but to my better judgement, I left it alone as I could see it was a high-stress environment.
Let the fun begin
Within minutes Sophie was dressed and ready and her dress was amazing, I love seeing wedding dresses that are personalised and you can’t get more personalised than making it yourself, I also loved Dr Martens which she was sporting. We headed outside and Sophie had the Scouts bus outside and it was now party time. Everyone jumped on the bus and had a sing-a-long for the five minutes drive. We arrived at the field and it was now time.
I jumped off the bus and headed inside the marquee to see Liam. Liam was pretty chilled, I think slightly nervous but mainly excited. I also walked in and noticed that the ceremony was organised in a circle which was really exciting! Then all of a sudden, I thought, where am I going to shoot the ceremony from? I’m used to winging it on a wedding day so I knew I would be OK, the only thing I don’t want to do during a wedding is to get in peoples way but it would be fine.
The ceremony was fabulous, a celebrant conducted it and even had a binding ceremony which is always a nice touch. What I didn’t expect is one of the guests to do a Disney Quiz during the ceremony which also included fancy dress which certainly is a first for me but I do love the randomness of a wedding day.
After the ceremony, everyone went outside and mingled. I love this time as it’s true documentary wedding photography where I just capture guests having a good time. Sophie’s dad Peter had arranged for his brass band – The Honley Brass Band to play lots of hymns. I love a brass band and I believe every Yorkshire wedding should have one, it was lovely to see Sophie dancing to her dad’s tunes.
The backdrop was absolutely stunning and I did double-check with the bride and groom to see if they wanted any couple shots or family photos but they didn’t so I just carried on capturing the day which was loads of fun. The kids were chalking on the Rootfest letters, people were doing tattoos and just having a lovely time.
It was time for food. I reluctantly call this a wedding breakfast as it was a buffet but either way the food was absolutely lovely. Liam is a chef so you would expect good food and it certainly didn’t disappoint. I always love the informality of a buffet at a wedding and it was certainly perfect for Liam and Sophie’s wedding. The speeches were great and not too long which is exactly how it should be and then it was time for the evening. One event that was going on which I wasn’t aware of was “Peggy Sue” I think the kids went on a mission to clip pegs onto adults, I almost forgot but I actually found a peg on my jacket after I had got home.
As expected Sophie and Liam went for something a little different for their wedding entertainment. They had their friends run an alternative karaoke which was loads of fun. Listening to Sophie singing “Golddigger and guests singing Beastie Boys “Sabotage” was great fun. However, nothing beats the two chaps that sang “Time of my Life” from Dirty Dancing complete with a terrible lift attempt.
There has to be a shout out to the Mac and Cheese truck that did the evening buffet. The evening was lovely with guests sat on haybales huddled around fire pits all eating gorgeous Mac and Cheese. It certainly was a festival feel and exactly what Sophie and Liam wanted. Everyone had a fabulous time and I was so happy to be the chosen photographer.
Congratulations Sophie and Liam and thank you for hiring me as a documentary wedding photographer.