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Merewood Country House Wedding Photography // Becky and Colin

 

merwood country house wedding photography

Merewood Country House Wedding

August 2017 was the busiest month of weddings I have ever had with twelve weddings, starting with Becky and Colin’s Merewood Country House Wedding. I love shooting at Merewood Country House Hotel, set back from Lake Windermere, it is a stunning location in the Lake District and one of the friendliest venues I have the pleasure of working at. The staff are absolutely terrific and I always receive a warm welcome at Merewood. Two years had passed since I shot Julia and Alex’s wedding at Merewood Country House Hotel, so it was nice to return to one of my favourite venues. Becky and Colin had their wedding on Tuesday the 1st of August as it both of their parents wedding anniversaries on the same date, so the 1st of August is a very special date for all of the family. Just to add, Becky is a photography teacher, so she really knows her stuff when it comes to all things camera related. No pressure then!

Views of Lake Windermere

I arrived in good time for the morning preparations and it was a very relaxed affair with Becky and her bridesmaids getting ready in the bridal suite (which has a stunning view of Lake Windermere). Colin and the boys were also in Merewood so I switched between the ladies and gents throughout the preparation. Colin looked a little nervous as her waited for Becky to arrive at the top of the aisle, but it was all smiles as Becky and Colin exchanged their vows, bathed in the beautiful light of the ceremony room at Merewood Country House Hotel. Confetti and hugs greeted Becky and Colin as everyone enjoyed canapes and champagne in the gardens of Merewood during the afternoon reception.

Heartfelt Speeches

Becky and Colin headed down to Merewood’s sister venue, Cragwood Country House Hotel (where I am shooting a wedding later this year) for a short session of couple photos. We made the most of the spectacular views over Lake Windermere. We are so lucky to have such stunning scenery in the Lake District, shooting wedding photography there is an absolute pleasure. The speeches followed the wedding breakfast and Becky’s father, Colin and his brother and best man all had the room in the palm’s of their hands with brilliant, funny and heartfelt speeches. With a short gap between the speeches and first dance, We nipped down to the jetty at Low Wood Bay for a few more photos before the cake cut and first dance kicked off the evening reception, which was expertly DJ’d by Gary Mills.

Luckily for me Becky’s sister and bridesmaid, Natalie has booked me to shoot her wedding to Antonee in April, so I’ll get to see Becky and Colin again soon! It was an absolute pleasure to be shoot their Merewood Country House wedding photography and a huge thank you to all the staff at Merewood Country House Hotel for their warm welcome, cups of tea and fabulous three course meal! It really is a wonderful wedding venue and one of my very favourite places to work at. So here’s Becky and Colin’s Merewood Country House Hotel wedding photography. Please let me know what you think in the comments below…

bride at wedding preparation at merewood country house hotel bridesmaid at wedding prep Bridesmaid in a mirror mother of the bride putting her make up on bride with champagne bridesmaid putting on lipstick groom having his flower put on groom putting a tie on his brother and best man wedding singer in nice light nervous groom as bride walks up the aisle at merewood country house hotel exchange of wedding rings at merewood country house bride and groom kissing at merewood country house bride and groom walking back down the aisle confetti at merewood country house hotelwedding guest laughing with bride big hug for the bride at merewood usher enjoying a beer guitarist tuning up wide angle shot of lake windermere bride and groom in front of lake windermere merwood country house wedding photography bride an groom in trees kissing father of the bride speech smiling groom during his speech at merewood country house embarrassed groom at merewood country house hotel bride laughing at wedding speeches at merewood sunset over merewood country house hotel bride and groom walking on a jetty on lake windermere bride and groom first dance at merewood country house hotel

Merewood Country House Hotel, Merewood, Windermere, Cumbria LA23 1LH. 015394 46484

© 2018 Manchester Wedding Photographer James Tracey

Saddleworth Hotel Wedding Photography // Hannah and Tom

saddleworth hotel wedding photography

Wedding Photography in Saddleworth

Hannah and Tom had their Saddleworth Hotel wedding photography at the end of May. I was delighted to be asked to shoot their wedding at one of the leading venues in the north west. I love wedding photography in Saddleworth, living in the area I know how amazing the scenery is. The area is beautiful and has plenty of great views that make for amazing couple shots!

Morning Preparations

First of all, the morning preparations took place at Hannah’s parent’s house in Ripponden. With plenty of laughter and prosecco during the hair and make up it was a fun start to the day. A highlight was when Hannah’s dad Nigel saw Hannah in her dress for the first time. It was a lovely moment and the smiles continued all the way to the church in Ripponden village. One of my favourite photos of the year was at the top of the aisle when Hannah saw Tom and her smile could not be wider!

Reception at The Saddleworth Hotel

After the wedding service we made the short journey over to Saddleworth for the reception at The Saddleworth Hotel. The Saddleworth Hotel is one of the leading wedding venues in the area because it is simply stunning wedding venue. With modern decor, fantastic food and most of all, cracking staff I can highly recommend you have your wedding at the Saddleworth Hotel.

Awesome Light

Another reason to have have your wedding photography at The Saddleworth Hotel are the beautiful grounds and stunning views. Hannah and Tom made the most of the amazing scenery for their couple photos as we went into the woodland area at the back of the Saddleworth Hotel. With a low sun setting over the Saddleworth hills, Hannah and Tom made the most of the awesome light. It was a brilliant day and I cannot wait to return to The Saddleworth Hotel. I’m also delighted to now be a recommended supplier by the Saddlworth Hotel, so I look forward to many more weddings at an amazing wedding venue.

Here’s Hannah and Tom’s Saddleworth Hotel wedding photography. Music by Christine and The Queens, photos by me…

dog photo bomb brides make up being applied make up being applied to bride bride in her wedding dress father of the bride photo groom at the top of the aisle bride walking up the wedding aisle saddleworth hotel wedding photography smiles form bride and groom wide angle of church wedding first kiss at wedding bride smiling outside church in ripponden string quartet at saddleworth hotel bride smiling at saddleworth hotel bride being hugged at saddleworth hotel wedding

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The Saddleworth Hotel, Huddersfield Road, Oldham OL3 5LX. 01457 871888

Saddleworth Hotel wedding photography by James Tracey © 2016

Fleece Inn Barkisland Wedding Photography // Ashlea and Dean

fleece inn barkisland wedding photography

Fleece Inn Barkisland Wedding Photography

I’d be looking forward to my first time shooting a wedding at The Fleece Inn in Barkisland for a few reasons. It’s a place Mrs T and I visit regularly as the food is terrific,it has amazing views over Calderdale and it’s run by Mrs T’s cousin Katie and her husband Mark, who also happens to be the head chef! As if that wasn’t enough, the groom Dean and I go way back, all the way to primary school as we’ve known each other since we were about 5 years old. So you can imagine how pleased I was that Ashlea and Dean asked me to cover their Fleece Inn Barkisland wedding photography at the end of August!

St Philip The Apostle

The service was held in Huddersfield at St Philip The Apostle where the vicar, Mary Railton-Crowder was very relaxed and allowed me to shoot the service as it happened. With plenty of emotion it was a beautiful, personal service and after a handful of formals in the church grounds the guests were loaded up onto a vintage double decker bus to make the journey to Calderdale and to The Fleece Inn. Once at The Fleece Inn, Ashlea and Dean joined me for some couple photos before relaxing with their guests. My thanks to Ashlea and Dean for including me in their wedding breakfast as I got to catch up with some old school friends and enjoy the fantastic food (thanks to chef Mark!).

Sunset over Calderdale

After some brilliant speeches, including a a lovely, heartfelt yet hilarious one from Ashlea’s twin sister,  the sun had come out over Calderdale and as it set over the valley, Ashlea and Dean made the most of the amazing night and had their first dance outside with the sun setting behind them. It was a beautiful end to a wonderful wedding and I loved my first time shooting as a Fleece Inn Barkisland wedding photography.

So here’s Ashlea and Dean’s Fleece Inn Barkisland wedding photography

Credits:

Venue: The Fleece Inn
Hair : Bridesmaid Siamara.
Makeup: Ashlea (she’s a beautician)
Wedding dress: Essense of Australia
Boutique: Limelight Occasions
Flowers: Inspirations Flowers for You
Grooms: Owen Scott
Bridesmaids: Missguided
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Wedding bus: Yorkshire Heritage Bus Company
Cake: Caroline’s Cupcakes

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The Fleece Inn, Barkisland, West Yorkshire HX4 0DJ. 01422 820687

 © 2015 Fleece Inn Barkisland wedding photography by James Tracey

The Samling Wedding Photography // Mia and Pete

The Samling wedding photography

Wedding Photography at The Samling

The Samling wedding photography for Mia and Pete was one of the weddings I couldn’t wait for this year. The Samling is a stunning boutique hotel set above Lake Windermere with beautiful views of the Lake and a Michelin starred menu. I love photographing in the Lake District but I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little nervous too. Including Mia and Pete, there were just eight people at the wedding. This was by far the smallest wedding I had ever shot (although I would beat this record just five days later in New York) so obviously I was a little worried that I might not be as unobtrusive as I like to be with such a small guest list. I needn’t have worried, in fact, having such a small guest list turned out to be so much better than I could ever have imagined and I loved shooting my first ever wedding photography at The Samling.

Bridal Preparations

Having driven up in the heavy rain I didn’t have high hopes for the weather and the forecast for the day was equally underwhelming with rain and fog forecast for the full day. However, the Lake District looks amazing in any weather! When I met up with Mia for the bridal preparation in one of the beautiful rooms at The Samling I got to work alongside the super talented make up artist Rebecca Forshaw. I got some of my favourite preparation shots of the year, helped by having one of my happiest brides smiling all the way through the morning (despite the fine rain outside).

Sophie Tolli Wedding Dress

After Mia’s dad saw her in her Sophie Tolli wedding dress for the first time we made the short walk to The Samling to see a fairly nervous (but extremely dapper) Pete waiting patiently for his bride in his bespoke handmade suit by Richard Smith Bespoke in Manchester. With Maxine Molin-Rose playing the harp (Metallica if you’re interested and it sounded AMAZING) Mia walked into the tiny service room and I have to say, I was honoured to be shoot Mia and Pete’s The Samling wedding photography. It felt incredibly personal with so few people in the room. With emotion and laughter in equal measure it was one of my favourite services I have ever photographed.

Lake Windermere

After the service Mia and Pete were joined by both sets of parents and Mia’s brother and his partner, on the terrace at The Samling for a champagne reception with canapes. Fortunately the rain had stopped and the mist started to lift so we were treated to the stunning views of Lake Windermere. I stepped back quietly into the background on the 85mm prime lens to capture the laughter whilst Maxine played the harp in the background. Then, completely unexpectedly, the sun appeared and we had a glorious summer’s day. With a handful of family formals in the bag I took Mia and Pete down to the jetty of Low Wood Bay hotel (where I’d shot Laura and Rob’s wedding in November 2014) to shoot some couple photos. Mia and Pete were a dream couple to photograph, being relaxed and natural helped create one of my favourite ever photographs (that one on the end of the jetty). After a few shots by the lake we returned to the hotel for a few more minutes of The Samling wedding photography.

With a Michelin starred tasting menu to come for Mia and Pete and their guests I quietly left them to enjoy the rest of their wedding day in the stunning summer sunshine overlooking Lake Windermere. Mia and Pete’s The Samling wedding photography was one the highlights of the year for me and I loved their intimate and immensely personal wedding service. So here’s Mia and Pete’s The Samling wedding photography. Music by Bright Eyes, photos by me…

Credits

Venue: The Samling
Dress: Sophia Tolli at The Bridal Path
Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Accessories: Halo & Co by Liberty in Love
Groom: Richard Smith Bespoke
Make Up: Rebecca Forshaw
Flowers: The Floristry
Live Music: Maxine Molin-Rose
Cake: M&S

Mia and Pete’s The Samling wedding photography has also featured on leading wedding blog Brides Up North.

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The Samling, Ambleside Rd, Windermere, Cumbria LA23 1LR. 015394 31922

Briarfields Wedding Photography // Tor and Damien

bride and her father walking down the aisle at a wedding in norfolk

 

Wedding Photography in Titchfield

On a Friday afternoon in early September Mrs T and I jumped in the car and made the long journey across the country to Titchwell in Norfolk to shoot Tor and Damien’s Briarfields wedding photography. Now Mrs T doesn’t normally join me on my wedding expeditions, but as Tor was one of her old York student house mates she was also invited along for the day. Tor is a life force unlike any other person you’ll ever meet. When I first met her, within seconds, it was like I’d known her for 20 years, she’s a huge character, up for anything and someone who is always laughing, so I knew this wedding was going to be one of the highlights of my year. However, it exceeded even my lofty  expectations and became one of the best weddings I’ve ever photographed!

Brancaster Beach Photos

With an Aussie who hails from the Gold Coast and a location right by the sea, there was only one place for the couple photos, Brancaster Beach. It was whilst shooting the couple photos that I noticed Damien was a total natural in front of the camera and I even complimented him on how good he was. An hour later I felt like a bit of a clown when I found out that Damien is something of a celebrity in Brisbane as he’s an investigative journalist for Seven News in Brisbane. So it’s no wonder he knew what he was doing in front of the camera.

Briarfields Wedding

The rest of the day was fantastic, with lively bridal prep followed by a laughter filled church service in Wells By The Sea. Once we’d grabbed the couple photos and a handful of formals we had the wedding breakfast which was fantastic.  The chef at Briarfields has since made it through the semi-finals of  Masterchef: The Professionals, which tells you how good the food is! In fact the whole team at Briarfields were excellent all day long and they couldn’t have been more helpful with me if they’d tried. To round the day off I managed to get one of my favourite ever first dance photos, which pretty much summed up how amazing the whole day was. I can’t do Tor and Damien’s wedding justice in this blog, it just worked and it was one of my wedding highlights of 2014.

So here’s Tor and Damien’s Briarfields wedding photography. Music by George Ezra, photos by me…

bride and her father walking down the aisle at a wedding in norfolk bride holding her bouquet on brancaster beach bride laughing holding her bouquet on brancaster beach wedding couple walking on brancaster beach wedding couple stoof behind a sandcastle at brancaster beach in norfolk first dance at briarfields in titchwell first dance at briarfields in titchwell

Briarfields, Main Rd, Titchwell, King’s Lynn, Norfolk PE31 8BB. 01485 210742

2014 // The Best Bits…

So that was 2014. Another incredible year. I’ve shot 46 weddings, all different, all unique, all amazing. I’ve traveled over 7143 miles to Scotland, North Wales, Yorkshire, The Lake District, Northumberland, London and Ibiza. The Nikon’s have fired their way through 64438 photos. I’ve worked in castle’s, country houses, a working metal works, boutique hotels, a swimming pool, on a bowling alley, on the beach, country pubs, town halls, tipis and on Concorde. Every wedding has been different and I’ve been so lucky to have worked with relaxed, creative, and most importantly, fun couples throughout 2014. Without you guys I wouldn’t get to do what I love and I can’t thank you all enough for asking me to tag along on your day. It’s you guys who make me look good!

I’m already excited about 2015, I’ll be back at some of my favourite venues, taking in a bunch of new and exciting places all over the UK and there may even be a trip abroad for something very exciting

It’s been tough to choose the best bits of 2014, but after much deliberation, here’s a hand picked selection of my favourite wedding photos. I hope you like them too!

 

 

 

Elixir Ibiza Wedding Photography // Vicky and Matt

Elixir Ibiza Wedding Photography.

Elixir Ibiza Wedding Photography

Sometimes I can’t believe how lucky I am in my job. Being booked to shoot Vicky and Matt’s Elixir Ibiza wedding photography was definitely one of those moments. I’d met Vicky and Matt when I shot Debbie and Karl’s wedding at The Saddleworth Hotel in 2013. At the time Vicky was thinking of heading off abroad for a destination wedding and she asked if I traveled (which I emphatically said yes to!) A few months later Vicky and Matt had found their dream venue and had set their hearts on Ibiza and Elixir Shore Club. So I booked a Jet2 flight and in the middle of August flew out to the White aisle for my first ever Elixir Ibiza wedding photography job!

Wedding in Ibiza

Vicky was getting ready in Cala Llonga so I met her there for the bridal prep before sharing her taxi over to Cala Codolar to Elixir Shore Club. What a venue. A shabby chic paradise, set high on the cliffs over a small beach, Elixir is something else. Vicky was walked down the aisle by her brother before Matt and Vicky shared their wedding blessing in front of the stunning views of the sea. With glorious sun shining down it was one of the those moments where I had to remember I was actually working. A totally amazing service finished and the open bar started (so I knew it was going to be an amazing wedding). Although it did get a little hot (even the staff said it was a little warmer than usual, peaking at just over 40 degrees), everyone soaked up the sun and prosecco before I took the wedding party down to the beach for the group shots. Vicky and Matt didn’t want anything boring or stuffy, so we set the lads up to look cool and the girls to have fun. I LOVE the group shots, easily some of my favourite I’ve taken.

Ibiza Sunset

I was then invited to eat with the wedding party and I can hand on heart say this was the best wedding food I’ve ever eaten. A barbecue to beat all barbecue’s. It’s worth having your wedding at Elixir Shore Club for the food alone it’s that good. Then, as the sun started to set I grabbed Vicky and Matt and we went back down to the beach to get the classic Ibiza sunset in the couple shots. It was a spectacular experience and I think the shots do the sunset justice, before we headed back to the speeches and a huge party (which I get thoroughly involved with when the Nikon’s were packed away!)

Without doubt, the coolest wedding of the year and one of the highlights of my wedding photography career. Ibiza is a brilliant venue for your wedding blessing and Elixir is one of the best venues I’ve ever worked at. A stunning venue with amazing views and it’s run brilliantly by the team there. I cannot recommend it highly enough and if you are planning on heading out there, I’m more than up for a some more Elixir Ibiza wedding photography.

So here’s Vicky & Matt’s Elixir Ibiza wedding photography. Music by Fenech Soler, photos by me…

 

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Elixir Ibiza, Cala Codolar, 07829 San José, Islas Baleares, Spain.

Healds Hall Hotel Wedding Photographer // Claire and Chris

bride and groom stood in front of sunset

Healds Hall Hotel Wedding Photography

I love shooting the weddings of my friends, so I loved it when Claire and Chris asked me to be their Healds Hall Hotel wedding photographer at the end of August. I’ve known Chris, or as I really know him, Lenny, since we started playing in the same five a side team back in 2005. Chris was our star goal keeper and as I have somewhat dubious footballing abilities, he regularly saved my skin after some of my (regularly) questionable defending. Since we became friends I’ve also used Chris in his more professional capacity to provide carpets for me. In fact I can drop a shameless plug in here for his and the best man Ryan’s company The Carpet and Vinyl Showroom, as they do a cracking job at a great price, so much so plenty of my friends and family have also used them!

In fact, it was whilst fitting carpets that he met Claire, who was the daughter of one of his clients. In between expertly re-fitting her parent’s house he also managed to chat Claire up and the rest is, what do they say, history. Since then they’ve had Jess and after about 8 years Chris finally popped the question. I was absolutely delighted to be asked to shoot their day, especially as Chris explained that they wanted to keep the day personal and only use suppliers they know. Which leads onto why they chose their wedding venue, Healds Hall Hotel in Liversedge as Claire used to work there and has remained great friends with all the staff. So much so that it was like the staff were guests too and everything felt like one big house party all day long! Surrounded by a cracking group of people, with stunning weather and a best man’s speech that had me streaming with tears of laughter behind the cameras, this was a brilliant wedding and I loved every minute of it.

Here’s Claire and Chris’ day, music by Wild Club, photos by me…

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Healds Hall Hotel, Leeds Road, Listing Drive, Liversedge, West Yorkshire WF15 6JA. 01924 409112

All Star Lanes Manchester Wedding // Neil and Ryan

Gay Wedding in Manchester

Neil and Ryan’s wedding was my first gay wedding in Manchester, at a venue I’ve worked at a couple of times before, All Star Lanes in The Great Northern. Same sex couples have been able to enter into a civil partnership since 2005, however back in March the law in England was finally changed to make same sex marriage legal in England, allowing same sex couples to enjoy the benefits of marriage, which are slightly different from that of a civil partnership.

All Star Lanes Wedding

Neil and Ryan had decided to have their wedding at All Star Lanes in Manchester and found me after seeing the styled photo-shoot I did with Jean Jackson Couture last year. Neil’s a proper northerner, hailing from near Middlesbrough whereas Ryan was born in Canada. Having both settled in Manchester they decided to get married in the city centre and they were very keen not to have anything too traditional, or in Ryan’s words ‘boring’, leading them to All Star Lanes where they were going to get married stood on a bowling alley. Safe to say that it wasn’t traditional or boring!

1950’s Themed Diner

All Star Lanes Manchester is a very cool 1950’s themed diner, but boy is it dark. I mean really dark. Coupled with my dislike of flash (which blows any documentary photography right out of the water) there was only one thing for it, to go with prime lenses and really high ISO. For the photographers out there, most of these shots were taken at 6400 ISO on my Nikon D800 using a rented Nikon 24mm 1.4G ED. It was the first time I had used this lens and it is absolutely stunning. It’s become the number one lens on my kit wish list, at £1500 it’s not cheap but based on how good it was for this wedding I’m certain it won’t be long until it’s added to my kit bag!

Low Summer Sun

Even though this was a July wedding, and the week before had been glorious sunshine, come the wedding day huge thunderstorms were forecast right after the wedding service at 6pm. To combat this we decided to grab a handful of couple photos before the service and as we walked back into All Star Lanes the rain started. The early couple photos seemed like a great idea as the clouds darkened and the rain started to pound down. However, I have no idea what happened in the 20 minutes during the service, as Neil and Ryan mingled with their guests the sun was out and it was out in force. So we quickly headed back out into the city and made the most of the long shadows the sun was casting over the streets. A great call it was too as I managed to get one of my favourite photos of the year as Neil and Ryan walked down St John Street with the low sun casting their shadows behind them.

So here’s Neil and Ryan’s day, music by HAIM, photos by me…

 

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All Star Lanes, The Great Northern, 235 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4EN. 0161 871 3600

Don’t Tell The Bride Wedding Photography // Holly & Anthony

Don’t Tell The Bride Wedding Photography

Last night a new series of BBC Three’s super popular wedding series Don’t Tell The Bride started, which prompted me to look back on last years wedding between Holly and Anthony Richardson, my very own Don’t Tell The Bride wedding!

It was a long day, with the service at Stapleford Park and the reception at the National Space Centre in Leicester. Anthony’s into all things space you see. I’m sure you know the premise of the show, girl and boy leave each other for 3 weeks, boy plans wedding of his dreams with £15,000, girl has no say at all. Car crash TV!

I’ve looked at plenty of fellow photographers who have also covered a Don’t Tell The Bride wedding and the general consensus is that working around a 10 strong film crew is challenging. Coupled with the breaks for filming, the day is a long one, the first dance wasn’t until midnight! However, I loved it. I’m a fan of the show, as it proves the only thing you need on your wedding day are your friends, family and each other. No matter what setting the groom picks, the brides always love their day and it was no different with Holly and Anthony.

My video from the day is here.

Don't Tell The Bride wedding Holly and Anthony