Jon and Laura's wedding day is one I shall remember for a very long time for so many lovely reasons. First of all, any wedding where I need to travel outside of my home county of Shropshire is always cause for great excitement (such a country bumpkin!) and Liverpool is such a special city, so I really was pleased to have the opportunity to shoot there. Secondly, Laura and Jon are such a sweet, kind, down-to-earth pair. They instantly earned extra brownie points for a shared passion in folk music and the simpler things in life, and I couldn't wait to see what their wedding would be like. My predictions of it being something very special were correct on every level and it was such a great day.
The wedding took place at the Ullet Road Unitarian Church, just a few minutes from the centre of Liverpool so I was able to hop on the train (I thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with my Scouse taxi driver, it was like being driven around by Ken Dodd!). The building itself is breathtaking, a huge imposing red brick structure. The church at one side is enormous...like really really big. A beautiful blue and gold bunting festooned corridor, where a table practically groaning with an impressive selection of home-baked cakes was set for guests, leads you over to a huge hall where the reception took place, incredibly decorated with a fantastic Spring-like yellow, gold and blue theme across long tables decked with paper stars, simple but gorgeous flowers in jam jars, and paper lanterns and fairy lights hung from the ceiling and walls. The church also has a modest but very beautiful garden bursting with bluebells as well as the last few sprigs of the years blossom. Just the perfect venue for an inner city wedding.
The ceremony was one of the most interesting parts of the day for me. I admit I had never even heard of the Unitarian Church before, and I was touched by their welcoming attitude of openness and tolerance of all faiths and beliefs. Laura and Jon are not religious, and they only intended originally to hold their reception at the church hall, but after talking with the minister (who Laura knew from her volunteer work with Amnesty International) and discovering they could personalise their wedding the way they wanted it, they decided to hold the whole event in this special place, and I felt a deep respect for that. The marriage ceremony consisted of vows and the lighting of candles to represent the coming together of two people as one, as well as personal readings and the singing of secular songs, in particular a really beautiful one by folk legend Kate Rusby, and few very special songs performed by Laura's father Graham. There wasn't a dry eye in the house.
The day had many more brilliant surprises in store, including braving a very dangerous climb up onto the church roof to take the group photograph, the ceremonious cutting of a Kransekage (a tower of iced marzipan biscuit rings) to honour Laura's 99 year old Danish Grandmother, hilarious family photographs, mis-matched and beautiful bridesmaids, a stunning Oxfam wedding dress, and of course really touching speeches.
Thank you so much Laura and Jon for choosing me to capture your unique and completely personal wedding day. It truly was a lovely lovely thing to witness and be a part of, and I wish you both all the luck in the world.