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Mona & Craig's Blackpool Wedding


     We'd already done a  recce  in Blackpool of the place.the place in question,The Great Hall at Mains,a timber framed building,built to replicate the original banqueting hall that stood on the exact site some 500 years ago ,that's some history.  The Great Hall was designed by  Adele and Roger Yeoman , in 2004 and was constructed as a purpose built venue to replace an older and smaller building once affectionately known as The Royal Garden Room.                                So we'd been to check on  the venue for the group shots and the bride and groom shots, the venue and gardens were smaller looking than on their website and we were glad we had the opportunity to check the place out.                                                                                                             This was no ordinary wedding,it was a double wedding ,both sisters getting  married at the same time,a first for Avanti,we were only commissioned to photo Craig and Mona getting wed,but we were looking forward to getting as much of this event on camera as we could we might never do another again! 




Wedding Photography in Darwen

Winter weddings are always prone to dodgy weather,but think of it you can include some of our summers in that too.As a wedding photographer in Darwen you have to use any good weather opportunities that come along on the day ,also the length of daylight is a factor too and if you throw in a venue that is Sunnythurst woods that doesn't get much sunlight even in mid summer then your creativity in the lighting department is called on even more.

I started bridal prep mid morning in Blackburn and also did groom shots too because they were only a few houses away,all shots were inside as the weather was nasty out.The classic Rolls Royce's  turned up for the bride and bridesmaids at 12 noon, all ferried to the cars under umbrellas as I took shots getting soaked in sideways rain

,its not all glamorous being a wedding photographer. The ceremony was at St Peters Church in the centre of Darwen,I must admit I'd no idea it was there until we did a recce the week  before,but it was an impressive building anyway,I always prefer a church only because the shots are easier to do in terms of backgrounds ,they just look right with a church.

I usually use a second shooter these days,my other half Leanne,she's quite adept these days with a canon.She took up her  position on a balcony overlooking the whole wedding and I waited for the bride to arrive in the car. After taking shots of her walking in I took up position  to the left  hand side of the vicar at the side and told I couldn't move around,usual conditions for a church.Everything went to plan we did the fake registry signing and then did some shots of bride and groom leaving the church,just using available light.It was bitterly cold out so we decided to take some group shots inside in front of the alter.

After this we packed our gear up to move onto the venue,The Olde England Kiosk | Sunnyhurst Wood | Darwen ,when we got there the weather was dry and we had a hour to do bride and groom shots with off camera flash in pre selected places,planning is everything in this game .The shots were beautiful and we'd do some more later after  the wedding breakfast and speeches,though it was now dark in the woods.We'd practised a sparkler shot that the bride and groom would draw out half a heart each,we did about 5 takes on this to get a good one,they're a bit hit and miss because you're relying on the couple forming the shape right .We got a got a good one in the end and then some more group shots though to lock focus you do need some light so Leanne used a torch to spot the target up and it worked a treat.Something else we've learned from a wedding ,sparklers and focus lock in near no light.We moved inside and caught the cake cutting and first dance  before we gathered our kit up and left for home and a well deserved brew.



Samantha and Thomas

The morning of Thomas and Samantha's wedding was blessed with beautiful light,a clear blue sky,always a good start as I made my way to the bridal preparation at Edenfield near Ramsbottom. On arrival via an awful tight farm track I was spoilt with such a beautiful location , a converted farmhouse with a external building sat at the end of a finely kept  large lawn.All this was sat in the hillside overlooking Helmshore on the other side of the valley.The bridal party were getting ready in the external building,more like a large playhouse made from pine,with all mod cons. There was plenty of room in the garden and the building to get some great shots,I did some candid ones of bridesmaids getting their hair and make up done,then when everyone was ready I set up some shots in the garden with off camera flash,the bride and her bridesmaids were stunning,the location, view,weather was perfect,you have to make the most of these moments at weddings.

Before setting off to the venue I captured the brides father's first look at Samantha in her dress,very emotional moment,and also a photo of the bride and her father in the wedding car, a fast looking Mercedes AMG.

Well ,I got to the venue,The Fishermans Retreat  in quick time where Leanne had already arrived and had done the customary shots if the ceremony room,I awaited for the wedding car to get here,to capture Samantha walking down the aisle with her father. After the ceremony there was the usual champagne reception ,after this we started the group shots,of a pre written list  all managed by Leanne, first one the entire party and then work down to just the smaller group pictures,we get the tricky ones done first then the smaller group ones are straight forward,we just have to make sure the symmetry is right and the standing  lines are straight otherwise the extreme left and right of the picture can look distorted .After these group shots we got ready for the bride and groom shots,the Fishermans Retreat has an iconic pier on a small lodge , this is one of the shots,we did  on the prewedding shoot so it was quite straightforward,we set Sam and Thomas on the pier with a flash on a lightstand facing  at them (this is removed post edit) we measured the light with a lightmeter ,then got the setting for the camera before I moved to the other side of the lodge so I'd get the lodge ,pier,Sam and Thomas ,and the Peel Monument silhouetted on the other side of the valley in the frame.

We finished off more bride and groom shots before continuing taking candid style shots of the wedding party bathed in the glorious evening sunshine,Before the sun fully set,we set up a sun set shot with and without a light umbrella . a prop we love using.Though we just managed this as we nearly couldn't  find the bride and groom.

Well that was our day done,we said our goodbyes , a top day ,top bride and groom,top venue and top weather,on way to car we'd decided to have a look at the view from the other fishing lodge,with a tripod and camera in tow,we took a long exposure shot of the venue and the surrounding area to capture the party in full swing.


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