Andy & Michelle’s marquee wedding at Kelmarsh Hall

July 1, 2014

Andy and Michelle’s wedding was all about family, friendship, not letting the rain get in the way and having a jolly good party.

Andy & Michelle and their wedding

I first met Michelle when she was a bridesmaid to Rachael whose wedding I photographed in 2012. Michelle got in touch about her own wedding photography because, more than anything else, she’d hardly noticed I was there. That’s a good thing! Being discreet and blending in is something we strive for so that’s the greatest compliment I could ask for.

Andy and Michelle chose to get married at the same church that Michelle’s parents married at and they brought Michelle’s parents’ wedding album with them when we met for their planning meeting. Looking at their wedding photos seemed particularly poignant as Michelle’s wedding was approaching. Michelle asked if we could recreate one of the ceremony photos for her and Andy – the start of a lovely tradition I think.

Andy & Michelle both come from large Irish families and have strong family values so family photos were important to them and their parents; but being all about their family and friends they wanted to spend most of the time on their wedding day simply being with their guests. That’s just the way we think it should be too.

The reception was at Kelmarsh Hall. It’s a venue we work at a lot but the grounds are so vast and the gardens continually changing with the seasons that there’s always a spot we haven’t used before. We like to keep locations fresh and unique to each couple as much as possible. Storm clouds were brewing so we stayed close to cover at the front of the Hall for Andy & Michelle’s pictures together.

Andy & Michelle’s wedding style

A gorgeous bright coral was the basis for Andy and Michelle’s wedding style. Coral is bang on trend at the moment and it’s a great alternative to pink. The strong typography in their stationery was thoroughly modern too.

Favourite wedding photos

Michelle got ready with her Mum, sisters and bridesmaids at her parents’ house where she grew up. There’s nothing quite like the atmosphere of  a Bride getting ready in her childhood home; loaded with family history, meaning, sentiment and significance. This was especially strong at Michelle’s parents’ house surrounded by family photos from big events and milestones on every bit of wall. No pressure for the group photos that day then!

I immediately felt the family’s warmth with mugs of tea, the smell of bagels toasting and lots of chatter. Their emotional warmth and family bond was obvious too. There was lots of laughter over tales from previous family weddings.

Michelle and Andy got married at St. Aidans Catholic church in Kingsthorpe, Northampton. This was our first wedding there and, as is often the case with Catholic ceremonies, Abby and I were able to photograph everything, including the signing of the register as it happened. We had great vantage points too; I was discreetly hidden away behind a wall off to the side at the front whilst Abby worked from the balcony at the back.

Andy and Michelle have lots of nieces and nephews who provided us with lots of great fun moments to photograph during the ceremony (and for the entire day in fact!).

If there’s a ‘right’ time for it to rain on a wedding day, it rained at all the right times for Andy & Michelle! The rain was torrential in the morning and continued well into the ceremony. I had to smile at Michelle tentatively putting a hand out of the door after the ceremony to see if it was still raining and her obvious joy when she realised it had stopped. Perfect timing Mother Nature!

Michelle and Andy’ chose Kelmarsh Hall in Northampton for their wedding reception.

We’d planned a low key amount of portraits and group photos so these were done as quickly as possible so that Andy and Michelle could get back to their guests. We’d planned to do these ‘formal’ photos a little later during the drinks reception but since there was a chance it could rain again at any minute we took advantage of the dry spell and got the portraits and groups done early.

As it turned out it stayed dry right up until everyone sat down for dinner. And then five minutes later a full-on thunderstorm started!

Dinner and speeches were in a marquee at the front of Kelmarsh Hall. As always the speeches provided lots of great expressions for the photographs!

Top tips for couples planning a similar wedding:

  1. Work with the weather for your portraits and group photos. Bring things forward or move them back if necessary. If you choose a photographer who will be with you all day you’ll have more flexibility over timings.
  2. Choose locations with the kind of atmosphere you want your wedding to have for getting ready, your ceremony and your reception. If you match your venue(s) to your personality that will shine through in meaningful photos.
  3. Let kids be kids. If they don’t want to be in a photo, look in a certain direction or smile on demand – let them be. Let them run around and get grass stains on their outfits. Let their shirts hang out and their hair get messy. Letting children be themselves will provide some great moments for your photographer to capture candidly. Those will be the winning photos.
  4. Groups. There’s no getting away from the fact that they take time and there’s ALWAYS someone missing when you need them. Keep your list short. Less time on formal photos means more time with family and friends as well as a more relaxed day.

Are you getting married at Kelmarsh Hall?

Hoorah! You have great taste! It’s stunning, isn’t it?

You might like to see more of my wedding photography at Kelmarsh Hall. It’s a great source of ideas and inspiration too!

And if you like what you see, please get in touch. An email from a couple planning a wedding at Kelmarsh Hall always makes me smile :)

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