Christopher Western Photography Yorkshire / Lincolnshire / Cheshire Oxfordshire / Kent / Gloucestershire
Hina & Matt
1st October 2017 - The Heath House, Staffordshire
To be asked to photograph a wedding at such a beautiful venue as The Heath House is always a real treat. What made this wedding extra special was that Hina & Matt were having a Hindu ceremony within this beautiful Gothic built family home! To make things even more wonderful, you couldn’t meet a nicer, more humble and down to earth couple than Hina & Matt.
It was such a beautiful, stylish wedding. Everything felt effortless, which is a massive testament to Hina & Matt's organisational skills. It’s no mean feat to mix such a quentisentially british venue with such vivid, vibrant asian colours and festivities in such a beautifully juxtapositional way.
I always love photographing those bursting asian reds and oranges. Everything looked so harmonious framed in the afternoon light seeping in through the windows.
I can’t thank Hina & Matt enough for making me feel so welcome. What a totally incredible day, Even though it rained most of the afternoon…but hey this was the end of the British summer and that’s often how things pan out.
If you think Heath House looks like the sort of stunning venue you’d like to get married in, you may just be in luck as this family home has recently started accepting more weddings for years to come.
I try not to bring any expectations with me when I photograph a wedding. I want to find inspiration from what is in front of me, not just arrive with a pre-arranged bag of photographic tricks. I love documenting what is genuine and real. I need to be ‘in’ the moment if I’m going to take pictures of ‘moments’. It all sounds very obvious…but it's taken me years to reach this conclusion. Expectations are the killer of authenticity. Especially within a creative field.
It would have been very easy for me to bring those expectations to Rachael & Steve's wedding at the Richmond hill Hotel. The weather forecast for the day was pretty much consistent rain, then to add to this I was shooting at such a beautiful London venue. But do you know what? None of this mattered. You just stay in the moment and photograph what unfolds in front of you. The true story of their day. Come rain or shine….and sometimes fate might just throw you a few bones.
As luck would have it, I did indeed get thrown a few bones. I guess the bone I got thrown was with the weather, we got sun that afternoon which gave as a brilliant gap for couples portraits overlooking the Thames. Without a doubt though, the biggest gift I was given as a photographer on this day was Rachael & Steve and their admiration for each other, these guys really were madly in love (and it shows in the shots). I can’t thank them enough for being such great sports and for trusting me that we’d get some beautifully natural shots.
the whole day had such a warm, family orientated feel to it. A wedding where it seemed as though everything that was put in place was for them as well as their families. Its rare to find such closeness in weddings these days.
8th June 2017 - The Old Viarage, Elkesley, Nottinghamshire
Some weddings just seem to have the sun on their backs and the wind in their sails, you get swept up in it all and taken along for this amazing ride and hopefully take a few pictures along the way. This was definitely the case with Victoria & Andrew's wedding in and around Elkesley in Nottinghamshire.
When your wedding revolves around the fundamentals such as love, family & friendship you know it’s a recipe for success. What makes any wedding stand apart from another isn’t money, it’s effort. It’s the huge amounts of time and energy that the couple, their family and friends have all spent to make the day just so. A little example of this is the tiny D.I.Y details these two had introduced to their day, such as the table plan and hundreds of origami birds scattered in the grass . Which I guess is the point, great things don’t just happen they often require a bit of effort…it’s a clumsy metaphor but it’s a bit like marriage.
I think you can probably tell by now that I was a big fan of this wedding and a big fan of Victoria & Andrew. I loved photographing their beautiful church ceremony in one of the most picturesque churches I have been to in some time. I also particularly enjoyed rolling up my trousers and paddling in the river of the Old Vicarage Wedding Venue getting shots of the duck race that appeared to be a very strong tradition to the venue! I remember Victoria asking if there was a chance I could do some natural pictures of her and Andrew by their custom made swing if there was a nice sunset…and boy did we get a nice sunset.
29th April 2017 - Gorse Hill Hotel, Surrey, London
It’s sometimes a bit strange writing about a wedding from quite a few months ago (the perennial problem of a wedding photographer…you’re just too busy during the summer). As the months roll on you tend to forget who was the designer of the dress, who made the groom’s suite, if the cake was a fruit cake or a sponge but what you’re left with is far greater and far more enduring. You’re left with the feelings and not the bare facts. If I had one aim with my wedding photography, it would be to capture those feelings from the day and not just the facts. That’s the journey I’m on.
It’s a bit of a cliche amongst wedding photographer to harp on about how amazing all the couples are who’s weddings they photograph. In the case of Chloe & Sam and their wedding at Gorse hill Hotel I’m afraid to say this cliche is so very true. Such a friendly, generous and warm couple, and that’s the overriding memory of their wedding that I’m left with. Not a single bad memory to have lingering around from the day!
I was welcomed so warmly, not just by Chloe & Sam but also their friends and family too. This makes such a huge difference not just to my pleasure of taking the photos during the day but also to the photos themselves. If people are relaxed around me then it always shows in my work from their day.
the grounds of the Gorse Hill Hotel provided us with plenty of space to play with when it came to the couples portraits and the interior of not only the ceremony room but also the rooms was filled with such flattering light.
Anyway enough of my photographer talk, here are some of the highlights from their day.
2nd September 2017 - Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Yorkshire
Vhairi & James' wedding was an extra special wedding for me to photograph, James has been a close friend for many years and I’ve known most of his other friends through our love for Volkswagens.
The wedding was very much a family affair with most of the day being centred around the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and its grounds. the day started with James and his groomsmen going out for a little cafe breakfast at Bare Coffee Leeds. Such a lovely relaxed start to the day before everyone dispersed separate ways to go and get ready.
Vhairi had chosen to get ready in a gorgeous small rental cottage in near by Denby Dale with had ample space and lots of great light for me to work with.
The wedding day was very relaxed with a strong influence of James' love for Volkswagens coming through in the use of his close friends buses for wedding transport. The weather really could not have been better all day and It was a day filled with fun and laughter and familiar faces that I had met over the years but not seen for such a long time.
I’m not sure if it’s because I knew them so well, or whether they were more emotive than usual, but I was close to tears several times during the speeches.
All in all a great day where I felt more of a guest than the official photographer.
29th July 2017 - Cannon Hall Museum, South Yorkshire
What a great day Alix & jamie had for they Canon Hall wedding. The sun was shining and when I arrived at the near by hotel where Alix was getting ready everything was going on time and according to plan. Alix was busy getting ready whilst her mother and grandmother ran round doing last minute preparations, including organising the numerous flower girl bouquets.
Shortly after Alix got in her dress, I headed over to Cannon Hall Museum in preparation for the bride arriving. I caught up with Jamie, who was greeting guests and spoke to the registrar. The ceremony was full of emotion with some tears, especially from Alix and Jamie. .
The drinks reception took place in a marquee to the side of the hall which held a massive spread of party food ranging from sandwiches to home baked cakes. the grounds of Cannon Hall Museum are always a pleasure to photograph in and with it being my local wedding venue we could use a fair few new spots I had discovered over the previous months.
What a fantastic day at Cannon Hall Museum. A huge congratulation to Sarah and Ben and a big thanks to all the venue staff and suppliers who helped the day come together.
Here are a few from their day.
Helen & Pete
27th May 2017 - Low Bradfield, Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Yorkshire has to be one of my favourite counties for rural weddings, I adore the drive there through all the lovely winding lanes with the scenic views over the countryside. It really appeals to my love of travel.
Helen & Pete had chosen a rustic countryside feel for their day. A big red london bus, Chapel on a hill and a barn dance style party in the evening. The mixture of elements made for a beautiful day, the floral decoration in the Chapel was just breath-taking.
The weather was scorching and the day was full of fun and laughter. ushers and groom travelled in their sports cars early in the morning to make final preparations in the chapel, followed by a swift walk to the pub before the guests started to arrive. the girls and Helen were all arriving via a beautiful vintage London Routemaster bus which was finding the hilly areas of the pennines a bit of a struggle.
the chapel itself was beautiful to photograph with its symmetrical lighting and large stain glass windows which framed the ceremony effortlessly.
The first dance has to be the most energetic first dance I’ve seen and to top it off Pete jumped on stage with his best man to sing a song to Helen which went down a storm with the crowd.
You can pick up the fun vibes this wedding just by looking at the shots.
Rochelle & Paul
7th July 2017 - Bar 315, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
There are not many Weddings I do where the day begins with a good walk out round the golf course, and to be honest I wish there were more. The morning breeze in my hair and numerous great photo opportunities of Paul having a game with his Father.
I then went on to meet Rochelle at Bar 315 that was to be their reception venue where she and the bridesmaids were getting ready and drinking champagne (of course) .I couldn't believe how relaxed everybody was.
They had their ceremony at Barnsley Town Hall which has such a beautiful interior space and great areas for shots. Probably one of the most under rated town halls inn Yorkshire.
We then travelled onwards to the venue which was a new one for me, 315 Bar and Restaurant in Lepton, it’s a fine dining restaurant with a lovely room downstairs for weddings and parties. The guests gathered outside as the sun was still out and everyone was enjoying a good catch up and drink.
What a great day, the relaxed atmosphere really comes across in the photo’s, here is a selection of my favourites.
13th May 2017 - Moorlands Hotel, Halifax, West Yorkshire
These two first came to me expressing how much they loved my work but mentioned they only had a low budget due to the birth of their first son Rory. I explained to them that I could create a bespoke package based on less hours and products that would cover their needs. we came to an agreement and I am very glad I had the chance to photograph their day.
Julia & Sam's day was a perfect example of a traditional church wedding. The day was very much focussed around friends and family which is always a great starting point when planning a wedding.
When I first met Julia & Sam neither of them were too keen on being in front of the camera let alone having to have a photographer follow them around for the entire day. By the end of the day though they really had caught the bug and the emotions and closeness of their relationship really came through infant of my lens.
Their day finished high above Halifax itself at the Moorlands Inn. The marque and drinks reception area looked amazing on the day and provided a welcomed shelter from the small flurries of rain.
Once the rain had subsided we explored the grounds and made use of the Beetle Limousine they had hired as wedding transport.
even with less hours coverage both Julia and Sam were over the moon with the outcome and went on to purchase an album to keep for years to come.