I don’t really know where to start with Rachel & Adam’s Ness Gardens and Everyman Theatre wedding! It was jam packed full of love. emotion, tears, smiles, activities, entertainment and gorgeous details! From the moment I entered the Titanic Hotel in the morning I was literally swept off my feet and carried along on a wave of fabulousness! It was a treat for the eyes as well as the soul!
Rachel is a photographer herself, specialising in analogue photography and training, (check out her site here) so I knew I was in for a treat but WOW! From the beautiful bouquets with paper roses made from vintage organ music including A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the Wedding March as a tribute to Rachel’s Nan (Adam’s buttonhole incorporated paper roses made from the footnotes of one of his favourite books, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell) to the vintage Ronald Joyce dress that Rachel found and had altered to fit her vision for the day, I was in photographer heaven, and that was only the bridal prep!
The morning flew by in a flurry of excitement, with a few tears thrown in thanks to Rachel’s oldest friend Sarah face-timing from Australia and a lovely letter and forget-me-not brooch from maid of honour Emma who couldn’t actually make the wedding as she was about to give birth to twins! All of Rachel’s beautiful jewellery held special sentimental value as it was either given to her by her beloved mum or friends. Amy and Emma did an amazing job with hair and make-up and I spent a good part of the morning just admiring their artistry!
Once everyone was ready it was time to make our way to Ness Gardens and what better way to do it than in a vintage car called Hilda the Hillman for the bridesmaids, Niki and Meryl and a 1954 Rover 90 for Rachel and her dad?! And how dapper did the chauffeurs Nigel and David look?!
Now anyone who follows my work regularly will know that I shoot quite a lot at Ness Gardens, good job I love it! Every time I go Jen and the team there are always so friendly and professional, really going out of their way to make sure everything runs smoothly for the couple and their guests. The gardens themselves looked as stunning as ever but with it being an autumn wedding it was really interesting to see how different it looked to my usual spring and summer weddings! We got really lucky with the weather so the outdoor ceremony could go ahead as planned.
Rachel and the bridesmaids made their way over the little foot bridge to an acoustic version of “Intro” by The XX played by their friend Simon. Rachel and Adam then read their own vows during a beautiful, funny and emotional ceremony. They also incorporated readings from The Velveteen Rabbit which was one of Rachel and her mum’s favourite childhood stories, expertly read by their friend Helen, and an extract from Love in the Time of Cholera chosen and read by Steven, Adam’s oldest friend.
Once the ceremony was finished and all the tears wiped away the couple had time to relax with their loved ones for afternoon tea and a smattering of bubbles instead of confetti! The guests were then taken to have their portraits taken by John and Kate of The Victorian Photographer. These were not any old portraits (like the ones I do!) oh no! They were made using a technique called wet-plate photography. Well what did you expect from Rachel?! The whole process is time consuming but just take a look at the results, bloody stunning!
I then had some time alone with the newlyweds so we took a little walk around the gardens, giving them time to breath and take it all in while I got the portraits I wanted! Rachel also brought a couple of her analogue cameras along so I could get a few shots for them on film (Rachel had to load the film though as it’s been a while since I shot analogue!) I hope they turn out OK!
From Ness the guests were transported back over to Liverpool on a vintage double decker bus while I raced ahead to photograph the interior of the Everyman before it filled up with people. The venue was styled by the couple’s friend Alice, check out the table runners Rachel and Adam made from a copy of The Complete Works of Sherlock Holmes! Real ivy and foliage were brought in from Adam’s mum and dad’s garden in Wales and all the guests (including me) received a Little Black Classics book by Penguin! Chalkboards and the giant ‘colour-me-in’ mural (which stars the couple’s dog Marcie) was designed and drawn by the couple’s art teacher friend Stef!
The staff at the Everyman really looked after everyone, the atmosphere was warm and cosy and nothing was too much trouble, we even got to go on the balcony later on to take some night shots, followed by a trip over to the Metropolitan Cathedral for a bit of light painting!
Once everyone had been fed and the speeches concluded the party really got started! I have never been to a wedding where the bride and groom have done a “First Set” rather than a first dance and the bride has then played violin with her band, The Manhattan Vinyl Club, to entertain the guests! The whole day was AMAZING and really just one of a kind!
Thank you so, so much Rachel & Adam! I had a BALL!!!!! Lots of love xxxxxxxx
Hair & make-up – Russell & Brown’s Vintage Hair
Flowers – Dovedale Florist
Paper flowers – Lorna’s Pretty Things
Dress – Ronald Joyce
Shoes – Abigail’ by Irregular Choice
Bridal prep venue – Titanic Hotel
Wedding venue – Ness Botanical Gardens
Adam’s suit – ASOS
Shoes – Chuck Taylor II by Converse
Catering at Ness – Mini afternoon tea by Mosaic Catering
Bus – The Big Red Bus Company
Reception venue – Everyman Theatre
Engagement ring – Amy Ridyard
Wedding rings – Helen Leigh Dolan