Marie Louise Gardens Pre-Wedding Photoshoot ~ Dan Barlow Photography

Jamie & Huw & Cathy

Jamie and Huw’s reschedule of their pre-wedding photoshoot meant that we got all this gorgeous sunshine to play with on their recent evening photo session at Marie Louise Gardens in Didsbury, as well as the opportunity for me to meet the lovely baby Cathy. Mixing the pre-wedding photoshoot up with a family photoshoot was a great way to see how we will approach the formal portraits at their upcoming wedding, as well as giving Jamie and Huw a precious record of their first child. Click here to read a little more about pre-wedding photoshoots and why I think it’s such an important thing to consider before your wedding day.

After all this warm summer sunlight, I cannot wait for their autumnal Thanksgiving wedding!

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The Pinewood Hotel Pre-Wedding Photoshoot ~ Dan Barlow

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Rachel & Dom

Rachel & Dom are getting married later this year at The Pinewood Hotel which is where we are for this pre-wedding photoshoot.

They had quickly outlined that they want relaxed, naturally posed photos so we choose secluded spots around the gardens so they felt comfortable to show me what they could do. They quickly relaxed in front of my camera once we had reviewed some of their photos and talked about the process taking place – entirely what I’d consider to be the key point of a pre-wedding photoshoot (as well as getting some superb portraits together!).

Here’s a small selection of Rachel & Dom’s set:

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Castlefield, Manchester Pre-Wedding Photoshoot ~ Dan Barlow

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Helly & Andy’s Pre-Wedding Photoshoot

Back at the start of 2015 I ran a competition to win my services for the day; the lucky winners were the lovely Helly and Andy, a pair whose wedding plans sounded so outrageously cool that it had to be them who won. And because their venue isn’t quite finished yet, we decided on this spot around Manchester to squeeze in a pre-wedding photoshoot, regardless of rain or shine.

The metal, brick and industrial feel of this place stands in total contrast to the rural, rustic feel of their wedding venue; the similarity is that it is just as secluded which meant that Helly & Andy could relax in front of my camera, receive some beautiful photographs, see what works for them and see how I work first-hand, just some of the reasons why I offer a pre-wedding photoshoot.

The photos run in time order and you can see how Helly & Andy became more at ease – they were strongly encouraged to mess about and we had a lot of laughs and fun!

Please see their wedding day photography here

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Manchester Town Hall and Midland Hotel, Pre-Wedding Photoshoot ~ Dan Barlow

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Anwen & Adam’s Pre-Wedding Photoshoot

Anwen & Adam met with me in Manchester city centre for their pre-wedding photoshoot to get a flavour of how I work on a portrait session and to build a bit of photo confidence ahead of their Manchester Town Hall wedding next month. We chose a secluded spot in the Town Hall which meant we could run through posing at their own speed before we planned out how their portrait session would work on the day. We then headed on to The Midland Hotel which will be the second venue of their wedding day, getting to know the building and adding a few more unexpectedly beautiful and dramatic locations for portraiture. Seeing this lovely couple become comfortable enough to choose poses themselves was a wonderful thing to see and allowed me to shoot unobtrusively and keep the photography fun, relaxed and natural.

You can see Anwen & Adam’s wedding day photographs here.

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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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Sandall Beat Wood Pre-Wedding Photoshoot ~ Dan Barlow

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Ashley & Brent’s Pre-Wedding Photoshoot

Ashley, Brent (and Layla their dog) took me along to Sandall Beat Wood for their pre-wedding photoshoot ahead of their wedding later this summer. This secluded spot was chosen by Ashley & Brent as it’s not only peaceful and pretty, but one of Layla’s favourite places. By picking a familiar place, Ashley and Brent could relax a little while we practiced posing and building a bit of photo confidence; as you can see from the photos, there was a lot of messing about and laughter, the best thing for overcoming nerves when having your photo taken!

See Ashley & Brent’s wedding day photographs here.

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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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