Charlotte and Ben

This year, I said to myself Ryan, as well as photographing loads of beautiful weddings, you’re going to blog loads of beautiful weddings. So, man of my word, here I am taking a good run at it! Charlotte and Ben’s wedding was back in July 2017 – that’s how manic things have been with me! I’m an entire year behind blogging! Their Dunkenhalgh Hotel wedding photography is some of the happiest and most natural I’ve ever shot. What lovely, friendly people they were! And so mightily laid-back I could’ve whooped with joy! The guests were a great bunch, which made it easier for me to get in close with my snap-happy camera.

I’ve probably mentioned this before, but, I am a MASSIVE fan of documentary-style photographs; minimal posing and lots of natural, giddy, touching moments. Famous photographer Robert Capa once said, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” And it resonated. Lucky for me, Charlotte and Ben’s wedding day proved to be all about smiley happy people hardly noticing I was there, they were far more interested in getting to the party…!

And when you get the chance to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance. – Lee Ann Mack

Combine 700-year-old Dunkenhalgh hotel with its original turrets, views across the staggeringly beautiful Lancashire countryside, a gang of wedding guests frothing over with excitement and two ridiculously loved-up people, and you have Ben and Charlotte’s fantastic wedding. And the dancing?! I always hope the dancefloor will be fit-to-busting! All ages throwing shapes with wild abandon, so I can photograph the fun after the serious bit! That’s what everyone wants at their wedding, isn’t it? Unbridled merry-making? People laughing until their faces hurt?! The Dunkenhalgh wedding photography can attest to the fact that this is what Ben and Charlotte’s wedding was all about.

Love is letting her charge her phone first. Marriage is buying a second charger – @XplodingUnicorn

Pretty much throughout preparations, the bride and her three bridesmaids laughed – at each other; at their mobile phones; at everything! TLC did hair and makeup amidst the mirth! The satin, ruched bridesmaids’ dresses were the perfect foil to a beaded lace applique bodice and layered tuile chapel-trained skirt. The cap sleeves on Charlotte’s Lacy Days wedding dress were stunning; a beautiful double string of pearls looped from them. Yep, I know my wedding dresses (comes with the territory) and I think Charlotte’s is one of the prettiest and most fairy-tale I’ve had the privilege of photographing. A bouquet of ivory roses, put together by Bury Flowers, complimented it beautifully.

Courage is a vitamin best swallowed with whiskey. – Jarod Kintz

Preparations with the boys were relaxed, involving the the odd cigar being handed round by the groomsmen and the best man filling a hip flask of whisky for Dutch courage! Judging by Ben’s massive, chipper smile, he didn’t seem to need it! The Dunkenhalgh Hotel wedding photography is packed with great photos of these boys, and let me tell you, That Ben one can certainly pull off a dickie bow! The stylish navy suits were courtesy of Jennis and Warmann , with tan buttons that I thought made for an awesome look. The groomsmen clearly all get along brilliantly and love Ben to bits. He was amongst friends who made him literally guffaw! Can’t ask for more than that on your wedding day! (although, obviously, don’t lose the rings!)

The best thing to hold onto in life is each other – Audrey Hepburn

As he waited for the bride to appear and make him even happier, Ben did have a flash of nerves – I’d say it’s weird if you don’t! Charlotte’s beaming dad (it was a real beam-filled affair!) walked her up the aisle, and Ben gave the most heartfelt smile! It was a great shot.  I couldn’t get enough of taking shots of the groomsmen and the wedding guests sharing laughs; there was a lot of joy in the room! A brilliant photograph of the married couple showered with confetti went straight on my Instagram!

Marry someone who laughs at the same things you do – J.D. Salinger

Cakes and Flowers by Yvonne’s 1950’s style bride and groom sharing a kiss, as cake toppers go, was a winner! Once the jolly bunch of guests were settled and a delicious wedding breakfast was eaten, the speeches began. Best man, Wayne, had the room erupting with laughter, whilst on more than one occasion Ben covered his face (this happens a lot with the groom!). Charlotte, however, chortled her head off! These guys have a tight bunch of friends, and they continued laughing throughout the day; in fact, it was hard to get a picture of them not all in stitches! That said, wedding photographs of people in stitches is what it’s all about!

I ushered Charlotte and Ben away from the madding crowd to take some gorgeous photographs amongst the picturesque grounds of Dunkenhalgh Hotel. Even then, I had the bride mucking about and getting her swig of the whisky!

Trust me, you can dance – Alcohol

As mentioned earlier, this was a wedding party keen to get into their dancing shoes! Following a very smooth first dance, egged on by the Stereo Soldiers, they invaded the dancefloor enmasse! I got in amongst the party people, camera in hand of course! (although it’s always hard not to have a bit of a jig! I don’t mean an Irish one, before stereotypes start forming!). Such a crazy whirlwind of singing, dancing and hugging; it left me breathless by the end of it! The wedding day, and the night for sure, were seriously good fun; I loved every second!

Ben and Charlotte, I want to thank you for letting me be part of this wonderful day. You two are going to keep each other entertained and smiling for the entirety of your long, happily married lives!