I felt very lucky when my friend, the lovely Lynette Matthews photography, asked me to join her as a Briars Hall Wedding Photographer. Briars Hall Country House Hotel is a former 18th century manor house that provides historic charm with quality of service and comfort. Surrounded by over 5 acres of gardens and woodland, this lovely wedding venue is the perfect setting to celebrate your special day. Not just weddings and civil ceremonies either, Briars Hall also caters for Conferences, Seminars, Banqueting an corporate events.
One of the most splendid manor house settings in West Lancashire, Briars Hall is well adapted to host your dream wedding, special occasion or celebration. Unsurprisingly, it has gained a well deserved reputation for providing excellent bespoke wedding celebrations to suit every taste and style.
On this occasion I was second shooting for my friend, the lovely and very talented, Lynette Matthews Photography. When a couple requests two photographers, their photographer will often hire a ‘second shooter’ to help them photograph the day. I was really happy when Lynette asked me to help her photograph James and Sarah’s wedding.
I headed over to James’ house to meet him and his extended family while Lynette headed over to join Sarah. James’ house was very busy and we were on a pretty tight schedule so I whipped my cameras out and shot like crazy. All the groomsmen and children were helping each other affix their flowers and hankies to their suits. Our groom helped out his sons mostly, but they were more interested in their tablets!
I wandered through into the kitchen and was in awe of James’ impressive music collection. There were several guitars, drums, and even a large keyboard. I learned that James and his family had a shared love of music, and some of his groomsmen would even be performing as Sarah walked down the aisle. James found a guitar for one of his younger groomsmen who would also be taking part in the performance, and I was able to captured one of the smaller children having a cheeky bash on the drums. Everyone ready, we set for the hotel, with James and his best man in their swanky wedding car, driven by James!
Some guests were already at the hotel when we arrived. With the groom and his friends here it suddenly became very busy and everyone hit the bar, but not before giving and receiving plenty of hugs first! The band went next door to set up and I was able to capture a few candid photos of this moment unique to James and Sarah’s wedding. I also spotted plenty of tender moments between guests and a personal favourite is between grandma and one of her sons.
All the wedding guests congregated in the ceremony room ready for Sarah’s big entrance. The bride was quite emotional as she was led down the aisle by her son, but she was soon given a warm welcome by James and they shared a kiss even before the exchange of rings! The ceremony was lovely and in a charming moment our soon-to-be’s had a group embrace with all of their children. It was all very emotional and there was even a few tears from some of the younger wedding guests.
The first kiss done and the register signed, everyone moved outside for a little confetti and a play on the swings. I had a lot of fun lying underneath a set of swings to get a unique angle on children playing on them. It wasn’t as risky as it sounds, but probably a little strange for anyone watching. The things we do to achieve our natural wedding photography eh?
It wasn’t long before the ice cream van arrived and there was a rush to get some cornettos. And then, a first for me, the gaming lorry rocked up. A gaming lorry!! That’s right…..the back of the lorry was kitted out with a load of gaming consoles for adults and children alike to take part in some friendly digital competition! Some of the reactions were priceless and I had a lot of fun capturing those. What an awesome idea for a fun wedding activity!
Rather than have a traditional first dance, Sarah and James opted for some karaoke! And then shortly after, it was time to hit the dance floor…while still singing karaoke! There were a lot of fun dance moves and I had great fun photographing those. I was also able to nip outside and capture a fun game of football happening for both children and adults. Chasing a football around the field gave me some much needed exercise.
Congratulations to James and Sarah, and many thanks to my friend Lynette for having me along.
With a dedicated event management and wedding coordination team, bride and grooms will not go wrong at this classy countryside venue. The Banqueting managers have over 20 years experience between them, while the lead wedding coordinator has been helping couples plan their weddings for over 10 years.
There are several rooms available for use by those tying the knot and their guests. Overlooking the orchard Lawn, the Ellerbrook Suite is the largest room available and is at the rear of the hotel. With pastoral coloured walls and oak panelling, this beautiful room brings a traditional country house style. It can cater for up 170 seated guests and 200 standing. The Pavilion gives Briars Hall the opportunity to offer garden weddings. Set the in the hotel’s private garden, it is here that your family and friends can watch you exchange rings and say your vows is the most unique and romantic of settings. Finally, the Orangery is a modern extension designed to allow as much natural light into the room as possible. Designed with smaller wedding parties in mind, this location is popular for civil ceremonies and more intimate wedding ceremonies. It holds up to seated and standing guests.