Manchester Town Hall, Midland Hotel and Hotel Football Wedding Photography ~ Dan Barlow

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Anwen & Adam

This was a big wedding day by anyone’s standard with no less than three different venues spread all across the city: we started at the Midland hotel, on to Manchester Town Hall for the ceremony, back to the Midland Hotel for drinks and the wedding breakfast, then taxis to Castlefield for a city centre cruise up the canals to Old Trafford’s Hotel Football.

The day turned very interesting around the evening at Hotel football as the lovely guests got very silly making their way up in the lifts, I’m not entirely blameless but it certainly demonstrated which way the wind was blowing when it came to what lay ahead! The band ‘Friends of the Bride’ put on a stirling performance and had a rammed dancefloor whenever they played their 90s classics; they must have also had an inkling that the guests would know what to do when Sit Down was played (you guessed it, they sat down…) and duly obliged with more of their three-piece magic, tailored to their crowd into the night.

What an incredible wedding this was, I’m hoping the photos will tell the story and convey the energy of the day, the kind of energy that had even the oldest guests dancing as I was packing my bags up around 11pm!

Apologies in advance for the amount of photos in this blog; there was always something lovely happening for me to take a photo of and my cameras were non-stop all day, this wedding holding my record for ‘most amount of frames taken’

Congratulations Anwen & Adam!

Suppliers

Bridal Hair: http://www.lisasimms.co.uk/

Band: http://www.friendsofthebrideband.co.uk/

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If you’ve enjoyed these photos, please feel free to write a comment below!

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Bolholt Country Park Hotel Wedding Photography ~ Dan Barlow

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Leona & Michael

This summer has been a busy one and I’ve been a part of many beautiful moments on different couple’s wedding days; you also meet a lot of cool people and Leona and Michael’s friendly, welcoming family fall neatly into this category. I was warmly welcomed by Leona and the girls who were making an early start at Rios hair and beauty salon where I could start with some natural portraits of their preparations before the ceremony at St James’s church in Oldham. Getting so many bridesmaids ready is no easy task and the staff managed to do the stunning job you see here amidst all of the laughs, emotional moments and bubbly on the go. After the ceremony, there was a dash over to Bolholt Country Park hotel in Bury with awesome videographer Paul Bamforth for the reception where we were serenaded with the singing talents of Steve Cole – I’ve not met many people who can get a room of over a hundred people all stood up, holding hands, singing ‘That’s Amore’ before they’ve brought out the first course! The evening portrait session gave us the softest light and led to the photos you see here.

Thanks for letting me be a part of your big day and for making me feel like one of the family.

Congratulations Leona & Michael!

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Ye Olde Bell, Barnaby Moor, Nottinghamshire Wedding Photography ~ Dan Barlow

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Ashley & Brent

Before this wedding party, Ashley and Brent had just got married for the second time in the UK having married a week earlier in Thailand – this meant Ashley got to look fabulous in her amazing dress a second time round!

Encountering two heavy rainstorms on the drive over to the Ye Olde Bell at Barnaby Moor from Manchester, I had no idea what to expect weather-wise or how it would affect the time we had planned for outdoor photographs; I knew I was geared up for shooting in the rain but I’ve not met many wedding parties who are as enthusiastic about it as I am! Luckily, the clouds and puddles did nothing to dampen any spirits and during the group photos we had lots of laughs and fooling about, I don’t normally include group photos in blog posts but these ended up being yet another spontaneously enjoyable part of the day and a great introduction to Ashley and Brent’s family and friends.

A video had been prepared so guests could see the ceremony in Thailand, it also meant that those lucky enough to have been there could relive what must have been an absolutely unforgettable experience culminating in Ashley & Brent’s wedding day. The video gave way to the first dance with a soundtrack provided by mighty 15 piece soul band The Soul Jam. They followed this performance with a formidable set of Soul classics, their big, live band sound filling the dancefloor (and hotel) all evening – Ashley even stepped in as a backing singer after a quick dress change! I never intended to stay so late but my exit at 11:30 might give you an idea how much I enjoyed this superb wedding party – thank you for having me as your wedding (party) photographer.

Congratulations Ashley & Brent!

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Broadoaks Hotel, Lake District Wedding Photography ~ Dan Barlow

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Amanda & Simon

Amanda and Simon chose a great way to get prepared for their wedding day at Broadoaks Country House Hotel – by having a mini holiday, surrounded friends and family in the North-West’s beautiful Lake District. At the end of this holiday came the special day retold in photographs below…

After a relaxed round of bridal preparations at Amanda’s holiday house, we moved onto Broadoaks where she could get into her amazing dress; look out for Simon, Dad and the guest’s expressions as Amanda walked down the aisle – I love them and think these say it all about how she looked!

The rain which had interrupted the group photos earlier had given way to some evening sunshine which gave us the opportunity to head out for bridal portraits, beginning the session on the hotel’s helipad/lawn (when we saw the sign, we thought it might be a joke but you really can land a helicopter here!) before taking a stroll around the gardens. When we met in May for the pre-wedding shoot, I felt Amanda and Simon had found what worked well for them when it came to portraits and it seemed to me that they picked up where they left off to make these beautiful portraits.

After the wedding, I was so happy to be called ‘The 5th bridesmaid’ by Amanda; she wasn’t sure which way it’d go down but I love it and reminds me of how involved I was in such a special day!

Congratulations Amanda & Simon!

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Barcombe, East Sussex Wedding Photography ~ Dan Barlow

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Gemma & Joe

Every one of these blogs that I post begins as a list of words summing up the day before it’s fleshed out with prose; this blog post started life as ‘bunting, puppies, new born baby, Bob Dylan, dance off’; an intriguing set of phrases I never thought I’d be using to start reporting this relaxed, unique wedding set deep in the Sussex countryside!

Arriving a bit too early for bridal preparations in Brighton meant I could soak up the sunshine and listen to the seagulls (the flying ones, not the football-kicking ones) before getting down to photo-taking-business of Gemma, her bridesmaids and flower girls. While Powder & Pin got busy with their hair and make up talents, the pretty bunting adorning the lounge gave me the opportunity to make one of my favourite images of the day (Gemma’s shoes) which happily tied in with the flowers and the bunting decorating Gemma and Joe’s venue at Barcombe.

At the pub, the sun did what it does best and shone throughout the service on the lawn while Gemma’s brother-in-law conducted the ceremony with such mastery and authority that I wondered for a moment if he did this for a living! After Gemma and Joe tied walked down the aisle, guests gathered for drinks on the banks of the River Ouse while I set about taking some unposed, natural photos of all the good times going on.

When we met in May, Gemma and Joe told me about all the games planned and knew these, along with the bouncy castle, would make for great photos – I’m not entirely sure what the bat, ball and strange wooden device game was called but it provided hours of entertainment and intense moments! Apart from the wedding breakfast and speeches, the rest of the day was spent outside where there were the aforementioned puppies and the youngest guest I’ve ever seen at a wedding at just one day old!

The sun set in spectacular fashion and we could break out the sparklers before heading into the marque for the first dance to Bob Dylan followed by a flamboyant dance off between the bridesmaids and the groomsmen. This was a such a fun, laid back day for everyone and I feel so honoured to have been a part of it; thank you so much for having me.

Congratulations Gemma & Joe!

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The Pinewood Hotel, Handforth, Cheshire Wedding Photography ~ Dan Barlow

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Kaz & Jon

I feel rather blessed being able to work alongside so many fabulous people on some of the most important days of their lives. Kaz and Jon are no exception to this rule – ever since they got in touch earlier this year, I’ve known that they would be awesome to work alongside and it has certainly been the case for their special day at the Pinewood Hotel in Handforth.

The photography started at Kaz’s Mum’s house where I spent the morning capturing some very relaxed preparations; there was even time between hair and make up (and champagne) for Kaz to present her bridesmaids with some very pretty necklaces with Jon’s daughter receiving an extra special one to mark the occasion.

Over at the Pinewood Hotel, I was greeted by Jon whose nerves just melted away as he first saw his daughter, then wife-to-be walk down the aisle. After the ceremony, guests were given balloons to release which was a really fun way to begin the group photos and get everyone out into the sunshine. Guests were then treated to entertainment from mind bendingly good magician Alan Hudson and talented caricature artist Mike Bryson while Kaz, Jon and I picked up what we were doing when we were last here and took in the gardens for their bridal portraits.

After the speeches came the part I had been really looking forward to. I’ve been a Northern Uproar fan since I was 14 so meeting the band then seeing them play live that evening was a massive pleasure and well worth staying around for. Leon Meya was on top form with his band, keeping the dance floor filled all night, a rare skill that you don’t see that often and one which made this an incredible night for everyone involved. Thanks for having me along, please find a few of my favourite documentary wedding photographs below.

Congratulations Kaz & Jon!

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Hawthbush Farm Wedding Photography ~ Dan Barlow

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Jenny & Sam

After doing some research into Hawthbush farm down in East Sussex, I knew Jenny & Sam’s farm-take-over wedding was going to be something a little out of the ordinary.

After bridal preparations and admiring one of Sam’s gifts to Jenny – a painting by Nina Fraser, we took a short walk which led us to a clearing in the forest which had been prepared for the ceremony and that’s where we found Sam and the rest of the wedding party. The ceremony was lots of amazing things – Moomin-based readings, vows from Sam which had Jenny (and the bridesmaids. And even some of the ushers) crying before they planted a tree to mark the occasion (I’ve never seen this before but absolutely love it!) Walking down the aisle together in a shower of natural confetti, they made their way to the main barn for the next part of the wedding day.

The rest of the wedding was both indoors and outdoors with lots of people catching up, playing games, admiring bunting, visiting the very nicely planned tea tent and attending the well-stocked-bar. At the wedding breakfast, guests found personalised wedding favours in the form of vintage Ladybird books selected just for them by Jenny and Sam before being treated to some wonderful food and beautifully touching speeches. Before the first dance, the cake was cut, which was actually a selection of pork pies skillfully made by Jenny’s mother, stacked atop one another; for the food alone, this wedding is going to be hard to forget!

Congratulations Jenny & Sam!

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Farbridge, West Dean, Chichester Wedding Photography ~ Dan Barlow

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Louise & Dave

Shooting at a new venue is always very exciting and when you have a beautiful bride like Louise getting ready in an idyllic countryside setting like Farbridge, the whole day becomes a pleasure to photograph. After Louise & Dave’s pre-wedding photoshoot in nearby Arundel, I knew there would be lots of laughs between them and you’ll see from the photos below that the laughter didn’t stop – this was a hugely enjoyable wedding for everyone involved!

When I arrived, Dave and his groomsmen were decorating the barn with the lovely individually crafted, handmade touches – Dave (like any proper music lover should) loves vinyl and this was reflected in Louise and Dave’s record-themed table decorations, alongside local meadow flowers and a super cute wedding day patchwork quilt. Over in the bridal suite, I got a chance to sneak a peek at Louise’s gorgeous dress while Louise, her mum, sisters and best friend Kathryn were getting ready. You’ll see from Louise’s dad’s reaction to Louise in the dress how incredible she looked in it.
After the ceremony and the formal group portraits, I could follow my brief of photographing the rest of the day unobtrusively and this was no trouble at all with so many happy people and beautiful backdrops. The rest of the day was a riot of fun and it’d make for a long post to cover everything that happened – so here’s a short version: the bridesmaids and I moved onto the serous business of chasing some sheep, Louise established who was boss with a riding crop during the speeches and Dave danced the Macarena; there was so much dancing, singing and fun, I didn’t leave until the end…

Congratulations Louise & Dave!

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Bellavista, Milnrow, Wedding Photography ~ Dan Barlow

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Hayley & Steve

I was very pleased to hear that Hayley and Steve were holding their May bank holiday wedding at Bellavista in Milnrow, it’s a venue I love coming back to as it overlooks rolling countryside, has a beautiful garden and lets a lot of light in through those big windows – Hayley and Steve even mentioned this as one of the reasons why they were marrying there as they knew it could only be a good thing for their photos!

After the ceremony, guests were treated to a posh afternoon tea served in vintage china cups followed by the formal wedding breakfast. Hayley and Steve used the time between these points in the day for their bridal portraits session in Bellavista’s gardens which saw us spoilt for choice with pretty backdrops; also, as an accompaniment to their vintage theme, there was even a little time for shooting some photographs on film.

After the wedding breakfast and speeches, we managed to get out again in the evening sunshine for a few more portraits before Steve whisked Hayley away on a surprise pre-honeymoon minimoon.

Congratulations Hayley & Steve!

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Manchester Art Gallery Wedding Photography ~ Dan Barlow

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Liz & Matt

Liz & Matt’s fantastic Manchester city centre wedding was one which I’d been looking forward to for quite some time, it was going to be a little different with it’s evening ceremony at Manchester Art Gallery happening after the bridal portraits, in order to launch straight into the reception and partying at Rain Bar later that evening.

Liz and her bridesmaids started the bridal preparations at The Midland Hotel in Manchester’s city centre in the afternoon before Liz went down to the lobby to meet Matt for a ‘first look’. This gave us a chance to take a little longer on the bridal portraits than we would’ve otherwise been able to do and it also took a whole load of pressure out of the day knowing they were done! There were no less than two drinks receptions: one at the The Midland Hotel then one prior to the service in Manchester Art Gallery; then, it was time for the ceremony.

After the ceremony and group photos in the lobby, there was just enough time for a few more photographs outside in ‘The Lost Gardens of Manchester’ before a short walk to Rain bar. This walk to the reception yielded even more photo opportunities and Liz literally held up traffic for the photo on the road into Manchester’s Chinatown! At Rain Bar, there were speeches, dancing, many cakes and then a whole lot more dancing; you can see how much fun everyone had throughout the photos below, right until the very end of the night!

Congratulations Liz & Matt!

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