St Alkmunds Church Wedding in Whitchurch
I feel so blessed to be a wedding photographer in Shropshire, and as I live here too I get to photograph weddings all over this gorgeous county. I am proud to be recommended at many of the wonderful venues in and around Shropshire, North Wales and Cheshire too. So imagine my delight when Jess got in touch about her and Ben’s special day when she told me where her ceremony was to be, well words failed me. Their wedding was to be held at St Alkmunds Church in Whitchurch
The magnificent St Alkmunds Church, in Whitchurch, Shropshire.
I had admired this gorgeous building many times when passing through Whitchurch, and when Jess first told me she was getting married there, well I couldn’t contain my excitement…and then, when she also told me her plan was to walk there, well that was just like all the planets aligning!
Jess and Ben are the most wonderful young couple, so laid back that it truly was an amazing blessing capturing their day. No awkward posing they said, no uncomfortable group shots, just chilled and relaxed please. So who was I to refuse?
As I may have mentioned previously, my speciality, as a wedding photographer, is to observe, anticipate and make compositions of real moments that happen on the day. Forever searching for those creative angles, those reflections and patterns to do just that. I approach each and every wedding with honesty and integrity, meaning all my images will be part of their story, unforced, natural and also, creative too. This is then coupled together with a set of more formal photographs that are driven by my couples. Jess and Ben’s special day was to be no different, and my laid back approach was just what the doctor ordered. You see, both Jess and Ben’s parents are Doctors and so too is Ben, who is training to better the world by his own career, such is the warmth and generosity of spirit that surrounds these guys, I hope it comes across in these following images.
One of the greatest compliments I was ever paid was by another bride who wrote…
“…Your enthusiasm for your profession shines through in every photograph, and your ability to make a couple feel that their big day is just as important to you is a truly special one…”
I can only hope that Jess and Ben feel the same, I know they had expressed some reservations heading into their wedding, nervous over what to expect, some past experiences perhaps at other weddings that were playing on their mind? I can only guess but,as is the way these days, I got back in touch with Jess and Ben to find out. I asked them a few questions and got them to tell us all about their experience with me at the helm….so pull up a chair, grab a drink and let’s see what they had to say about their beautiful Shropshire wedding.
Nothing to fear, just chilled, natural, relaxed storytelling imagery.
First up I asked Jess and Ben for a favourite shot from their beautiful Shropshire wedding Day:
I honestly could give you a commentary about each individual shot and what I love about it. Every time I go back and look at them I notice more incredible details
that you have so excellently captured, you truly are an artist!
If I had to nail it down, Ben’s favourite is the dancing one at the end, we are looking respectively at our oldest friends, groomsman and bridesmaid.
You can just tell the unbridled joy and happiness, it is such an emotive picture for both of us!
I am not sure I can pick a favourite, the first ones I think about are those from the very beginning, it’s just amazing how they mirror each other so perfectly even though we were in totally separate places, I LOVE THEM.
Then there’s one that reminds me so much of a picture hanging in our family home of my mum and her bridesmaids taken at my grandmas house.
Then we come to those that capture the joy of seeing myself all bridal and so excited for the day ahead!
Both walking to church pictures are EPIC. Then there’s those where I am praying with my dad, moments before entering the church. Such a precious memory and bonding moment that I treasure.
The other pictures are just joy joy joy, getting married to my best friend, in sight of God and all our closest friends and family.
It was the best day of our lives.
Thank you from the depth of our hearts for capturing it all.
Well there’s quite a few there Jess, but let me pick one out of those you mentioned…this is when, for me as an artist and storyteller, I knew how special this day was going to be, it speaks of a true moment in time, where your twin sister is following closely behind you as you walk those few final steps to the Church….I just love it.
HOW DID YOU MEET?
Ben and I met when we were 16 on a sailing holiday/easter holidays camp in The Lake District, Windermere. You could opt to either wind-surf or sail and Ben picked wind-surfing so he could spend time with me! (v cute).
TELL ME YOUR PROPOSAL STORY:
Six years later, for Ben’s birthday we took a trip to The Lake District for a weekend away! We decided to go on a walk that we would do annually at the camp we had met on. It was a beautiful day but the route was totally deserted and so on top of the hill, overlooking the beautiful lakes and countryside, Ben got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife️!
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO HAVE YOUR WEDDING CEREMONY AT ST ALKMUNDS AND RECEPTION AT MARSH FARM?
St. Alkmunds is the anglican church in the town that I grew up, my dad is the pastor of another church in the village and we are personal friends of Rev. Judy and many other of the church staff. It is also a beautiful setting and the only venue in the town large enough to seat all of our guests! We wanted to invite as many friends, family and people from our community as we could to celebrate with us.
Marsh farm was the perfect low key and private venue that we could make totally our own. Again, we rented the land off friends of ours and the setting was beautiful. Both Ben and I grew up in the countryside so it really was the perfect setting for our reception celebrations. Also the small lake was a lovely homage to where we met.
WHAT WAS IT YOU LOVED ABOUT YOUR OUTFITS AND ACCESSORIES THAT MADE YOU CHOOSE THEM?
Some of my most favourite pictures are of my eldest sister Beth helping me fix the veil, the same veil she wore at her wedding. It was such a significant and meaningful moment between us, it felt like such an honour, it is a memory I will treasure for many years. The bridesmaids bouquets I love because one of my oldest and dearest friends Emma made them for us, she has such an artistic gift, they were absolutely beautiful. My own bouquet makes me laugh as it was hurriedly ordered a few days before the wedding as I needed something more “draping” to cover up my fluorescent pink cast!! The last accessories to mention was the stunning pearl earring that my mother leant me, my something borrowed. My mum is the rock of the family, wearing her earrings was such a privilege and a joy. As for Ben’s outfit and accessories…he looked so handsome I don’t have much else to say. He wore gold cufflinks that my parents bought him…some sort of dowry probably (kidding!) and he and his groomsmen all wore matching ties and pocket squares that he even picked himself!
TELL ME ABOUT THE VISION YOU HAD FOR YOUR WEDDING INCLUDING YOUR THEME/COLOUR SCHEME/STYLING/FLOWERS:
We didn’t have much of a clue about themes, we just knew we wanted it to be totally joyful and fun. We both love dancing and laughing and being with the people we love so that was always the goal. My saint of a mother spent a year lovingly planting and maintaining all of the flowers and plants that helped decorate the church and reception venue!! It looked absolutely stunning and in the end we embraced a rustic, natural theme…save for the rainbow tissue paper bunting that I spent a year neglecting my degree in favour of crafting! I think it all came together perfectly.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST DANCE AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE IT?
Our first dance was Lovely Day – Bill Withers.
Just listen to the lyrics and you can see why we chose it. Just after we finished the first dance my parents came up to us and said that that was the first record that my dad ever bought for my mum, we were totally unaware, it made the choice that bit more special.
WHAT WERE THE MOST WONDERFUL PARTS OF THE DAY FOR YOU?
Oh my goodness…can I say the whole thing?
I think waking up and realising that the planning is over and today is the real deal, that was a pretty amazing experience.
Seeing Ben waiting for me at the end of the aisle and knowing that he was about to be my husband. I would give anything to relive that moment.
The first dance was amazing, we could so tangibly feel the love from all of our friends and family and from each other, it was incredible.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE PHIL FOR YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER AND WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE OF YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY ON THE DAY?
We chose Phil because you take breathtaking photographs, we loved how real all the pictures felt there was nothing awkward or staged, it was just pure happiness. Also our first few email interactions and meeting you was just great. You are a great communicator, incredible work ethic and genuine passion to capture memories without compromising your personal style.
We love you! < This really made my day 😉
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR BEST BIT OF ADVICE TO OTHER COUPLES PLANNING THEIR WEDDING?
Protect time together where you don’t talk about wedding planning!!!!! It can totally overtake/ overwhelm your life and relationship. Also it’s cliche but it truly is just a day, look forward to it and cherish the memories but keep it all in perspective. A joy filled, supportive and fulfilling marriage is the goal, the wedding is just the amuse bouche.
Ben and Jess xx
Well That’s a beautiful read and I do hope you all enjoyed reading through Jess’s thoughts as much as I did. What a truly wonderful and gorgeous couple they really are, supported by an amazing network of family and friends. Now I will leave you guys to enjoy a brief selection of images from their day, one that truly embodies everything I do, and strive to do, no fuss, no pressure, no awkward posing, just good, honest story telling.
If you like what you see, well here are a few more links to check out, and if you’d like to know more about my services as a wedding photographer in Shropshire, then feel free to ping me an email,
I am always up for a chat.
Thanks again for stopping by.