A bright and breezy wedding day at Cheylesmore Manor House

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Our first wedding shoot of 2020, and such a treat to be back with the people we already knew! We photographed Laura’s sister Rachel’s wedding last year, and it was super to be able to reconnect with a lot of the lovely people we met then.

Laura was getting ready at her parents’ home, “Wits’ End” (we didn’t ask), and Phil and I arrived to witness the car’s tyres being topped up for the journey to come. All three of Laura’s sisters were there getting ready together, which meant lots of laughs and relaxed fun for Phil to photograph. Phil mentioned what an absolute pleasure it was to be with the Boneham family again for another bridal prep.

It was soon time to travel to the ceremony, but there was a plan: a drive-through MaccyD’s on the way! This is the first time MacDonalds has been on our list of wedding suppliers to credit! It was a windy morning, which caused some Krypton Factor style difficulties on the restaurant car park, in getting the traditional ribbon affixed to the vehicle’s bonnet! Especially when the ribbon managed to car some car oil on it, and dangerously flapped near Laura’s dress. Surgical gloves to the rescue!

Meanwhile I’d arrived early at Coventry’s Register Office: Cheylesmore Manor, a historic medieval delight of a building tucked away in the heart of the city. The same winds that had made the ribbon-fixing a struggle at MacDonalds had caused a window to blow open, and envelopes for marriage certificates were fluttering around outside! I gathered them up and handed them to the lovely Barbara, who was there acting as usher. Barbara kindly showed me upstairs to the gorgeous Black Prince Room so I could get some establishing shots of the oak-beamed, chandelier-lit space where Laura and Adam would shortly make their vows to each other.

Family and guests started to arrive, and I quickly spotted some familiar faces from last summer, including Rachel and Harv. Rachel was commandeered by her uncle to help with the knotting of his tie.

With everyone gathered, including a last-minute sisterly bridesmaids’ arrival, the stage was set for Laura to walk up the aisle, proudly accompanied by her dad. It was a lovely ceremony presided over by the Coventry registrars, who made everyone, including me and Phil, feel very welcome. Our groom, Adam, was a little nervous as he said his declaratory and contracting words, and I suspect the phrase “awful leaded wife” might become a common one in his household!

We used the courtyard of Cheylesmore Manor for confetti in the wind, and our family and friends group shots. Phil then spirited Laura and Adam away to the iconic ruins of the old Coventry Cathedral for some really special portrait pictures.

Meanwhile, myself and everyone else had made the short trip to the Hare and Hounds at Keresley, the scene for the celebrations. There was an excellent meal, a busy bar, and lots and lots of dancing! As is tradition Laura's dad changed his tie for his speech. This time around he chose the Marvel Universe as the corner stone of his Father of the Bride speech. So he changed into a fittingly appropriate tie.The evening’s live music was provided by a fantastic band named Soultrain, who kept the dance floor buzzing, and gave me and Phil the opportunity to join in and get some great shots.

We also made use of the Hare and Hounds’ rural surroundings. Laura and Adam were great sports, and quite happy to brave the cold and a bit of mud, heading across the road into a field for some sunset shots. Laura wore Phil’s jacket over her shoulders to help keep her warm, and it was my job to whip it off and dive out of shot for each photograph! In the evening we repeated the process for some after-dark shots with our off-camera flashes, for something a little bit different.

Once all this was done, and it was time to put our cameras back into their bags, it was also a genuine pleasure to sit down with a pint and catch up with some of the people we’d made friends with last year. Both Laura and Adam’s families are such warm, friendly and welcoming people, and it was wonderful for Phil and me to be to be a part of their special day.

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CREDITS
Ceremony Venue: Cheylesmore Manor House at Coventry Register Office - https://www.coventry.gov.uk/coventryregisteroffice
Reception Venue: The Hare & Hounds - https://www.hareandhounds.co.uk
Hair Artist: Potion Hair and Beauty - https://www.facebook.com/potionhair/
MUA: Jessica Rhian Beauty - https://www.facebook.com/JessicaRhianBeauty/
Dress: ASOS - https://www.asos.com
Flowers: Sandra Wooton
Cake - M&S Wedding Cakes - https://www.marksandspencer.com/c/food-to-order/wedding-cakes
Entertainment - Soultrain - https://www.functioncentral.co.uk/band/soultrain

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