I met Rob and Becky back in September of last year at the wedding of Jane and Graeme at Hope Street Hotel in Liverpool. The wedding was held at Trinity Methodist church in Widnes, a place which holds significance for the family and the reception was held at Oddfellows Chester. The wedding was full of warmth and laughter which really echoed throughout the day and was a result, I think, of the way the Becky and Rob were loved and supported by their family and close friends. To be in a position to observe this is always a privilege as a photographer and something that really brings me down to earth.
How did you meet?
It all sounds rather sickly sweet and stuff that girly movies are made of but we both work in family businesses…next door to one another.
Over a period of months we got to know one another after Becky’s shops post kept being accidentally delivered to Rob’s shop and Rob would bring it in; at first just handing it over, then staying and chatting a while, and then not wanting to leave! Eventually he plucked up the courage to ask her out and the rest as they say is history.
Planning the wedding
As soon as we visited Oddfellows we knew it was the perfect venue for us, the food was amazing, the interior design stunning, it was big enough to hold all of our guests but small enough to feel intimate and just the right side of quirky.
We are extremely lucky to have very talented family and friends and knew from the outset that their creativity would help make our day as special as it could possibly be. After discussing our vision for the wedding we were confident in giving them the freedom to create what they wanted, we have so much faith in them! The results certainly did not disappoint.
Our intricate invitations were designed by Rob’s best friend and graphic designer Sam Luk. Being an introduction to the day it was important for the invites to set the scene and an oversized playing card with a nod towards Alice in Wonderland certainly did the trick.
Live music at both the Church and Oddfellows was performed and arranged by good friends and award winning composers Lucy Pankhurst and Paul McGhee. Lucy even wrote and performed a beautiful piece which she played whilst we were signing the register. At Oddfellows things got a bit more funked up with quite a few of our favourite songs and TV theme tunes being blasted out by the brass band.
Our fabulous cake was created by best friend Lynsey Hamlett, it had to be fruit as it’s not only traditional but Becky’s favourite. The cake was decorated with 225 hand piped roses, it was a stunning focal point and adding real gold leaf was just the icing on the cake!
The story of how the rest of the planning came together literally only began a few weeks before the wedding. We had vague ideas of what we wanted to do which included getting an old yellowed-paged book, ripping the pages out and sticking them to a board to create the background of our table plan…this didn’t happen…
After a long, laborious day and with further plans for the evening Becky just couldn’t take anymore, so Rob took her home, ran her a bath and promised to go and find the book she wanted –
“perhaps an Alice in Wonderland book…but nothing too fancy or expensive, anything will do, ultimately it’s going to be ripped up” she shouted to Rob as he left the house.
Now there is a rather curious little shop piled high with millions of books not far from where we live, which is where Rob went for the desired book, it was the end of the day and the shopkeeper was as shocked as Rob was on entering this labyrinth,
“Do you have any Alice in Wonderland books?” Rob asked the milk-bottled bespecked, mole like old man,
“Follow me, they are in our Specialist Section”
Squeezing past the piles and trying to not choke with the dust, they came to the Specialist Section, the old man pulled out a ragged and much loved copy of ‘Alice in Wonderland’, £85.00 and inscribed ‘Jean, with best wishes from Mummy & Daddy, Christmas 1921’
“Beautiful though it is, sadly I only want it to cut up” Rob tried to explain.
“If you buy it, it’s yours to do with as you wish, look it’s not in the best condition and a few of the illustrations have been coloured in, I’ll do you a good price £60?” was the old man’s reply,
“Oh thank you, but I really can’t I just know my wife-to-be wouldn’t cut this up,”
“Your wife to be?”
And so it transpired that Rob explained to the old man exactly his plan for the book and why he couldn’t possibly buy it,
“Oh go on then, you’ve twisted my arm, £25?”
Rob didn’t have the heart to argue any further, he really hadn’t tried to barter with him, he just knew Becky would never cut the book up, but for the sake of an eager yet tired looking old man and £25 he just couldn’t keep saying no.
Becky never cut the book up.
Instead we worked with the book and it became our inspiration for the rest of the wedding, we used photocopies of the beautifully illustrated page boarder for the table plan, with a photocopy of the bookend for the top table, photoshopped to include all our names on the spine. We picked out our favourite passages and used them for the card box sign, and again the illustrated page boarder for all the other notices around the venue, dancing shoes, a jenga guest book and hangover kits for the guests staying over. Alongside the book we used the font Sam had found and used so beautifully on our invites, bringing the initial start of the wedding back in to all the little details, even the cheese flags and favour tags.
We had the time of our lives both planning our wedding and the day itself, everyone seemed to truly enjoy themselves and the day was filled with such love and laughter. We wouldn’t change a thing.
Oddfellows Wedding Photography
It’s not every day you get the opportunity to glue the bride and groom to the ceiling for the sake of photography, but Becky and Rob were up for anything so we gave it a go. Chester is such an interesting place and contained within it, towards the edge of town, you will find the even more interesting Oddfellows Hotel. With it’s quirky Alice in Wonderland styling it’s certainly one of the most unique venues I’ve been to. There was so much to incorporate into the photographs that it just wasn’t possible to shoot all of the interesting scenes and backgrounds available. But there was so much going on that it didn’t matter. For me it’s far more important to capture the events of the day as well as the emotion of the occasion through a more journalistic approach.
The day was so relexed and everything went off perfectly… Until the boquet toss. Just watch out for that chandelier I said… After a few jabs with a walking stick it was dislodged with no (or very little) damage to the light fitting (!) and thrown again.