Sam & Dan’s Wedding at Belle Époque Hotel, Knutsford
A Unique Hotel
The Belle Époque is a unique venue; full of interesting artefacts and character. Set against a backdrop of Art Nouveau splendour, it is a breath-taking setting for a truly individual wedding – think Italian glass mosaic floor, original copper Art Nouveau fireplaces, sumptuous red leather upholstery or in the warmer months its incredible Mediterranean roof garden. The Ceremony room is the most romantic setting with low lighting and candles.
The hotel is in the heart of Knutsford town centre on a narrow street, sandwiched in between two pubs on either side. It has a small but perfectly formed garden, which is excellent for photographs. I had visited the venue previously to the wedding to get a feel for the place and scope out the best places for photographs and also to check the lighting, as I knew the ceremony room would be quite dark.
The Big Day Arrives
It was a fresh winters day and I arrived in Knutsford at 12pm to meet my photographic assistant and we had a look around the venue to confirm where certain shots would take place and discussed our final thoughts on how we would set up the lighting for some of the more complex shots.
My assistant, Danielle, went to meet the Bride in her hotel bedroom to take some shots of the flowers, the Bride herself and her Bridesmaids all getting ready; including: the wedding dress, shoes, jewellery etc. Whilst this was happening, I went to meet the Groom and his Best Man who was his 18 year old son Shamus both of which were looking very smart with brown brogues and waist coasts.
Danielle and I then took our places for the ceremony, I positioned myself right next to the registrar’s desk on the same side as the Groom so that I would be facing the Bride on arrival and be able to see her face and capture her expressions throughout the service.
When Sam arrived at the top of the altar she looked stunning and was smiling from ear to ear. Her Dad was on her arm and looked really proud whilst Dan waited patiently; clearly emotional at the opposite end.
It was now time for some family group shots and couple photographs. I had discussed with the couple previously where these would take place and we started to gather the guests in the garden at the rear of the building, which was green with trees and grass.
I took some more couple photographs on the garden but I wanted to display the fact we were also in a town centre so I captured some of the couple walking hand-in-hand down the street with the old historic buildings by their side which looked brilliant.
The Speeches and Evening Reception
The speeches were emotional and ended with Shamus singing a personally written song with his guitar, which captivated the audience and something I’ve not seen before.
After the speeches, we took a few more photos of Sam and Dan inside using some creative lighting with the vintage wallpaper used as a backdrop to great effect.
When the evening guests arrived it didn’t take long for the party to start with everyone piling onto the dance floor before the first dance had even started! Once the first dance was done it filled up with even more people and the party was truly underway!
A memorable wedding, my first of 2017. It was good to get back in to the swing of things and I thoroughly enjoyed the day and got some great photographs that the family will be able to treasure forever.