Saddleworth Hotel Wedding // 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

wedding guests laughing wedding guests at saddleworth hotel wedding photography at the saddleworth hotel wedding couple at the saddleworth hotel saddleworth hotel grounds wedding at saddleworth hotel bride and groom and the sun epic photo of bride and groom wedding couple walking in father of the bride speech bride laughing at her dads speech groom speech at saddleworth hotel mother of the groom laughing best mans speech bride and groom laughing at wedding speeches bride and groom hugging moody wedding photo in the woods saddleworth hotel wedding photography black and white first dance photos

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

Saddleworth Hotel wedding photography by James Tracey © 2016

Rivington Hall Barn Wedding Photographer // Laura and Rich

Rivington Hall Barn Wedding Photographer

Wedding Photography at Rivington Hall Barn

I was looking forward to shooting Laura and Rich’s wedding as a Rivington Hall Barn wedding photographer as it meant a return to a venue I really enjoyed working at back in 2014 when I shot Leanne and Mark’s wedding. I really enjoy wedding photography at Rivington Hall Barn but the weather could not have been more different from my first visit though as it was a cold, wet and windy February day for Laura and Rich (in comparison to a lovely warm August day in 2014). However, that’s usually what winter weddings in the UK are like, and to be fair, quite a lot of summer weddings suffer the same fate and I’m more than used to battling less than favorable conditions. Bridal preparation was at Laura’s parents home where the morning started with Laura cracking open a couple of bottles of champagne and enjoying a relaxed morning of pampering whilst I quietly snapped away (in between grabbing more than a couple of handfuls of Haribo’s that were on the kitchen side). It was a lovely moment when Laura walked in the room and her family saw Laura in her dress for the first time (especially her very proud dad!)

The marriage service was nearby at Rivington Church where I caught up with Rich as he sneaked a quick chaser from his hip flask before Laura arrived under an umbrella. Rivington Church is quite compact but I was allowed full access at the top of the church to shoot the wedding service and it was great being so close to the action which meant I missed none of the jokes, laughs and perhaps the occasional tear during Laura and Rich’s marriage service. A quick confetti shot took place before we drove (literally) around the corner to Rivington Hall Barn. I love being a Rivington Hall Barn wedding photographer. It’s a huge barn (the clue is in the name) with exposed beams and a fantastic team who run the day flawlessly. The Highgate String Quartet were entertaining the guests (as they had at the church) with the highlight being their performance of the Game of Thrones theme tune, which was brilliant (but a little scary if you’ve ever watched the show!)

Natural, Relaxed, Couple Photos

With the rain insisting on joining the wedding for the full day, Laura decided she wanted to brave the weather for the couple photos so we went outside to grab a very quick session of couple photos in less than glamorous conditions. However, Laura and Rich made the absolute most of their time together and we got some lovely natural, realxed, couple photos outside Rivington Hall, even if it Laura’s feet got a little soggier than we’d have liked! The speeches were brilliant, with Rich’s best man absolutely tearing him apart. I absolutely love the shot of Rich with his head in his hands as his best man delivered yet another story that had the wedding guests (and myself) in stitches.

Once it had turned dark the rain decided to back off, so Laura and Rich came outside for a few more photos with some off camera flash before we headed back inside for the cake cutting and first dance. With The Deadbeats Party Band on duty, the evening reception kicked off with Laura and Rich’s first dance with the dance floor quickly filling up as the Deadbeats really go the reception going as my day as a Rivington Barn wedding photographer came to an end. It was a brilliant day with a super relaxed couple who were great company to be around and I can’t wait to return to Rivington Hall Barn!

So here’s my day as a Rivington Hall Barn wedding photographer at Laura and Rich’s wedding. Music by Camera Obscura, photos by me…

bride opening champagne bridesmaids laughing bride make up bride laughing father of the bride getting his flower put on brie having make up before rivington barn weddingfather of the bride smiling bride walking down stairs family saw Laura in her dress for the first time proud father of the bride rivington church groom drinking from a hip flask bridesmaids waiting for bride bride getting out of wedding car bride walking to church under an umbrella bride outside church in rivington

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Rivington Hall Barn, Rivington, Bolton, Lancashire BL6 7SB. 01204 697738

© 2016 James Tracey, Rivington Hall Barn wedding Photographer

The Midland Hotel Wedding Photography // Lauren and Barry


Lauren and Barry’s Midland Hotel Wedding Photography

Lauren and Barry’s Midland Hotel wedding photography was one of my favourite weddings of 2014. Their service was held at Manchester Town Hall, which is probably my favourite wedding venue in the city, before their reception at one of the leading hotels in the city, The Midland Hotel.

The Midland is very, very nice. If you recently watched Restaurant Wars: The Battle For Manchester you’ll have seen The Midland starring in the show as they recruited one of the world’s leading chefs, Simon Rogan in a bid to grab a Michelin star in their restaurant The French. In fact, the cameras were at The Midland on Lauren and Barry’s wedding day as Channel 5 were filming a new fly on the wall show to air later this year. However, the TV crew were very much banned from Lauren and Barry’s wedding, much to my relief. After my experience of shooting a wedding on a TV show (Holly and Anthony’s Don’t Tell The Bride wedding in 2013) I was pleased to know there wouldn’t be any extra cameras to negotiate around!

Before I became a wedding photographer I had previously worked at The Midland. Back when I was in the Police I spent four days as part of the team protecting the Prime Minister David Cameron and the Cabinet during the Conservative Party conference. The PM was staying in the hotel and I had the glamorous job of making sure people were wearing their proper ID (the real protection stuff was left to the highly trained specialist officers, not me!) However, that’s how fancy The Midland hotel is. Good enough for the Prime Minister, definitely good enough for me!

Lauren and Barry got married at Manchester Town Hall and we took ten minutes to grab some couple photos there before we made our way back to The Midland for the reception. During the speeches I finally got to meet Kieron and Dominic from Rock My Reception who were entertaining the evening guests. Rock My Reception are winners of multiple Wedding Industry Awards and having now seen them live in action, it’s easy to see why. If you’re after a duo to perform live during your wedding then you’ve got to contact Rock My Reception, although you’ll have to be quick as they’re mega popular now!

Before I knew it, it was the first dance and I was leaving as the guests partied late into the early hours. Lauren and Barry had a brilliant, fun filled wedding at two of the best locations in the city. So here’s their day, music by Glen Hansard, photos by me…

midland hotel wedding photography bride and groom facing each other inside manchester town hall

The Midland Hotel, Peter Street, Manchester M60 2DS. 0161 236 3333

The Principal Hotel Manchester // Kate and Chris

bride and groom kissing underneath an invader in manchester

Principal Hotel Manchester Wedding Photography

“They’ll be a death at this wedding.” Yep, a real quote from Kate and Chris’ wedding day. I’ll come back to that pearl of wisdom shortly. In 2013 I shot Laura and Adam’s wedding in Manchester city centre and I must have done something right as Laura’s bridesmaid (and also Adam’s sister) Kate booked me to shoot her Principal Hotel Wedding Photography. It was also nice to see plenty of the same bridesmaid’s faces again during the bridal preparation. I knew the girls pretty well after Laura’s wedding and they knew what to expect from me, so I was confident this was going to be a great wedding.

Kate and Chris had their wedding at The Principal Hotel on Oxford Road in Manchester. The Principal Hotel (well the Refuge Association Building as it was originally known) was designed by Alfred Waterhouse who famously designed Manchester Town Hall and The Natural History Museum in London. It’s easy to see the similarities in the hotel to The Town Hall and it’s a fantastic venue for a wedding. The reception was held in The Tempus Bar before Kate and Chris headed out onto the streets of Manchester for the couple photos. With the couple more than up for some gritty urban shots we found an Invader before I decided to get a shot of Kate and Chris on the junction of Oxford Road. Totally committed to getting the shot, I dodged the oncoming traffic and ran into the road as the lights changed red. Whilst Kate and Chris were safely on a traffic island one or two drivers gave me a blast on their horns and one more ‘senior’ passer angrily pointed out that “They’ll be a death at this wedding.” Luckily Kate and Chris thought this was hilarious and thankfully she was very wrong.

There was some cool Graffiti near to The Principal Hotel which made the perfect backdrop to some more couple photos before we returned for the speeches and the first dance. It was good to see the chaps from The Live Lounge Duo again who were just as brilliant as the first time I worked with them. They’re a brilliant duo who filled the dance floor and I’m looking forward to working with them later this year at a wedding at Middleton Grammar School.

So here’s Kate and Chris’ Principal Hotel Manchester Photography. Music by Saint Motel photos by me…

bride and groom sharing their first kiss at the palace hotel manchester bride and groom kissing underneath an invader in manchester bride and groom stood in front of the cornerhouse cinema in manchester bride and groom stood in front of graffitti in manchester city centre bride and groom stood in front of graffitti in manchester city centre bride and groom first dance at the palace hotel manchester bride and groom first dance at the palace hotel manchester

The Principle Hotel,  Oxford Street, Manchester M60 7HA. 0161 288 1111

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!




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