Leanne and Danielle were our first same-sex couple of the year and their wedding was a truly emotional occasion. The had chosen Crook Hall & Gardens as the venue for the ceremony and the Quayside Exchange for the reception. When Steve and I scouted the venues for places to get pictures we were really inspired. The mix of the rural charm of Crook Hall with its eclectic decor and beautiful gardens and the Quayside Exchange with its urban vibe really excited us and we couldn’t wait for Leanne and Danielle’s big day.
We both started the day with our respective brides to record them getting ready. I love this part of the wedding, you really get to know the brides and their families, particularly as you are often in their houses. My favourite shot of the morning was when I made Danielle approach the mirror from the side I could capture her reaction when she saw her hair and make-up for the first time.
The dressing rooms at Crook Hall could have been designed by a photographer. The mix of classic charm, oak beams, eclectic furniture and full-length mirrors make it a photographer’s playground. It was an amazing place to get one last, naturally-lit, shot of Danielle before heading down to the main room.
After an emotional ceremony where the brides lit candles, it was time to get the outdoor shots. What a stunning backdrop Crook Hall is with its wooded areas, numerous seating areas, pond, themed gardens and swing. There had been a special request from one of the mums to get a shot of Danielle and Leanne on the swing. There was a hilarious moment when they nearly fell backwards.
For their “This is us” personality shot we went for a superhero theme as they are both big fans of the Marvel movies. We managed to grab some awesome capes and masks from an online supplier and sneaked them away to the Sunderland riverside to get some stand-out shots of Danielle and Leanne being superheroes.
On the way out in the car, I’d spotted the blue door to the building next to the Quayside Exchange that was perfect for a multi-image montage. I took four shots that aimed to tell the story of how they came together – starting as strangers, meeting, falling in love and getting married.
It’s one of my favourite pictures of the day.
Steve and I must give a shout out to the staff at the Quayside exchange for being really helpful. We decided we wanted to photograph the cake cut in the middle of the dance floor so we could get a view of the guests photographing them from the opposite side. They were happy to help – having great venue staff really makes a difference to the day so thanks guys. I particularly loved being able to get a full view of the top table as it’s sometimes hard, in the smaller venues, to get far enough back to get everyone in.
Was it an emotional day – absolutely. Did Steve and I shed a couple of joyful tears too – I’ll leave that for you to decide. You are an awesome couple we wish you many happy years together.