Our first Christmas Wedding was spectacular. Never having photographed at Soughton Hall just in-land of Wales' North Coast made it more spectacular. The Hall is a Grade II listed country house hotel in Sychdyn, Flintshire, built by Edward Conway in 1714. At first glance you would be greeted by a sight that resembles Downton Abbey. Pristine architecture made up of brick and around 30 stunning windows lining the front of the building. Even nature admires the building, according to the flora that has inhabited itself along the wall.
Walking inside, it's clear the building has been kept in impeccable condition for the last three centuries. The interior offers a welcoming, up-market, warm feel featuring an old fireplace which heats up the lobby in no time. The polished wooden floor stands strong below the feet of the Hall's pleasant staff members. Greeted by Tom the receptionist, we were instantly amazed at how kind its employees are. They worked tirelessly all day and night, making sure that the Wedding couple were kept happy and stress-free.
After snapping our usual several creative photos of the venue inside and out, we finally had the pleasure to meet with Jennifer, the bride for the day. She would soon be marrying Matt, a serving man in the British Military. Upon entering the room, we were greeted not only by Jennifer, but by three make-up artists and several bridesmaids. No stress, only laughter. At that point, we discovered that no other individual was occupying the Hall; only guests of the Wedding. The entire establishment for themselves! Once we developed a strong rapport with everyone present, we continued on to the Wedding ceremony room. It was flawless - decorated from the ground up, and completed with the stunning interior design courtesy of Mr Conway all those years ago.
Eventually, we met up with Matt who seemed a little nervous; there's a lot to think about! But after reassuring him that the entire day would go smoothly, we left him to get dressed and get ready. Heading down to the bar, a number of guests had already arrived. We captured as much banter, smiles and joy as possible and soon enough, the time Jennifer and Matt were due to be married was upon us.
The ceremony ran more smoothly than you could imagine. The candlelights flickering and the natural light from outside piercing the beautiful room with warm through the side windows viewable as we approached the site that morning. The two ladies conducting the ceremony were lovely: relaxed, supportive, patient and encouraging. They let us do our thing, and we let them do theirs!
The rest of the day was great fun for everyone. Yes, the rain started falling during the time of formal photographs; we made it as efficient as possible. Everyone came outside, went crazy for the camera, and then skipped back into the warmth. Following the formals, we got creative. One of the Wedding guests, who works for Jaguar, had a brand new Jaguar present at the venue. We of course incorporated it into the Wedding album by staging a posed photograph the couple couldn't wait to have snapped! And it turned out great. There was a '69' number plate which we replaced with their surname. Then, we replaced it with our company name for marketing (we couldn't let that experience fade away!)
From that moment on all the way up to the evening, there wasn't a moment of boredom among the crowd. But after dinner had been served and the final plate of pudding was placed on the table, something happened... A waitress dropped a large case of cutlery on the dance floor. Smash! Gasps all round. Then, out of nowhere, she pulled out a microphone and started singing. A second song began and another waiter joined in - turns out they weren't waiters at all, but professional singers. For 30 minutes, everybody was up on the chairs dancing like crazy to songs like 'Shut Up and Dance' by Walk the Moon. We couldn't help it: between snapping we had to join in! The atmosphere was second to none. Unforgettable. Then came the cake cutting and first dance, to a song from The Greatest Showman (we love that musical!) Smiles all round.
After capturing more of the party, we headed off into the darkness, along a number of narrow country roads and arrived back into Manchester. Having backed up all the photographs already, we could sleep knowing that Christmas was about to top off what we had just experienced. What an incredible day!
Thank you to Jennifer and Matt for everything. We're glad we could deliver your photographs to you on the morning of Christmas Day, right before you jetted off to the Maldives! Alright for some!