Wedding photography, Holdsworth House, Halifax, West Yorkshire
Gaynor and Richard’s wedding at Holdsworth House in Halifax
I love weddings when the whole thing takes place in the same location and Holdsworth House in Halifax is the perfect location. I was really looking forward to Gaynor and Richard’s wedding as they just wanted down to earth, chilled out documentary wedding photography which is how I work.
I headed over to Holdsworth House early doors to meet up with Gaynor, her kids and her mother having their hair and makeup done. There was a lovely chilled out vibe and the morning was really relaxed. When I am photographing a wedding my ultimate goal is to tell the whole story around all of the people. Gaynor the bride was very relaxed and her daughter was a ball of energy, she was running around like a whirling dervish. I love wedding mornings as it’s a great opportunity to get to know everyone better.
As mentioned earlier Holdsworth House is perfect for weddings as everything and everyone can be in one place. It was brilliant to be able to walk and see what both the bride and groom were up to during the morning preparations. I went to see Richard and his best man and they were in good spirits. I love to be able to capture both sides of a wedding story so this was a perfect setup. Richard didn’t know he was allowed to leave his room so it was great to be able to give him some words of wisdom and let him know the score. After Richard left his room I spent a little time capturing pictures of him greeting guests etc.
Time for things to get real
There becomes a time during the morning when things start to get real. Even the most chilled out weddings have a moment where panic sets in. A wedding day is a roller coaster of emotions and I love capturing all of this. Gaynor looked stunning in her dress so I took a few minutes to capture a few informal portraits of her.
The ceremony was short but sweet but there was a really nice atmosphere. I could see that the couple had a lovely connection with everyone in the room. The whole wedding had a fantastic, family, friendly vibe.
As I have mentioned Gaynor and Richard wanted documentary wedding photography so during the drinks reception I headed around and captured lots of smiling people. Unfortunately, the weather outside wasn’t on our side which is a shame as Holdsworth House has some fantastic grounds and is perfect for group photos.
With the weather not behaving itself, it was time for Plan B. Winter weddings are no place for amateur photographers as you have to think quickly and also know how to use lighting and off-camera flashes. Fortunately, with a good fifteen years of being a professional photographer, I can come up with solutions very quickly. Tracey the wedding coordinator (more on her in a minute) told me that she had cleared a room for me to shoot the group photos. I headed into a room with a lovely lit open fire which was perfect to shoot the group photos.
I have said this before but having a fabulous wedding coordinator on the wedding day is so important. Tracey was absolutely amazing, it’s so much easier to photograph a wedding as a team than on your own and Tracey was brilliant. Communication is so important and she made everything look effortless.
Wedding breafast and speeches
I must say that the room main room looked absolutely stunning and it was easy to see how much effort Gaynor had put into planning everything. Everyone was getting a little merry and the day was going well. I noticed that there was a girl on one table getting everyone involved in drinking games so I knew we were in for a fun evening.
The speeches were fantastic and pitched perfectly. Even the best man’s speech which included some interesting pictures of the groom went down well. There is a fine line when it comes to wedding speeches and everyone nailed it.
Five minutes and done
I pride myself on the fact that I can get some nice bride and groom pictures in very little time, so I headed outside to the courtyard and set a couple of flashes up. Gaynor and Richard were happy to brave the cold, wet weather so we grabbed a few quick portraits. I always try my best to encourage my couples just to have a few minutes of time to get some special pictures for themselves.
Party time is one of my favourite times during a wedding, it’s the time when everyone lets their hair down and let everything go. I personally believe that it’s an important part of a wedding story. Gaynor and Richard had asked their friend Ady to do some wedding singing. It’s funny how people transform and Ady had been at the wedding all day as a guest and seemed quiet, but when I chatted to him before he started he was hilarious! He was rocking a 1980’s getup with a shiny jacket and I certainly had my doubts if he could pull it off. Ady was fantastic! He created an amazing 80’s vibe for the party.
First dance time, I am never sure how great a first dance is going to be, the majority of weddings I see couples do a ten-second shuffle. Gaynor and Richard certainly rocked the first dance! I don’t think it was a set routine but they both certainly know how to move and it was a pleasure to capture.
After Ady had finished his set the fabulous Emi Hall provided the tunes with her DJ skills. Everyone was on the dancefloor busting moves which was fantastic to see and capture.
Richard’s crazy legs
I had been told about Richard and his crazy legs so I was happy to see that the rumours were true. I waited and waited for an Elvis Presley song to be played but when it did it was worth the wait. I love to see people doing crazy dancing and I wasn’t disappointed. Once again for me, wedding photography is all about storytelling and me capturing Richard dancing is part of it.
The wedding was amazing! There was such a wonderful atmosphere all day and a real family vibe. I had a fabulous and captured some great pictures.
Congratulations to Richard and Gaynor and thank you for choosing me to photograph your wedding.