I was really chuffed when my friend Lynette Matthews Photography asked me to join her as a Quarry Bank Mill wedding photographer. Quarry Bank rightly claims to be one of the UK’s greatest industrial heritage sites. A National Trust site, the Quarry Bank Project began in 2015. One of the largest restoration projects in recent times, visitors can now discover all areas of this remnant of the industrial revolution. It also means bride and grooms can now enjoy an awesome wedding at this unique, quirky but classy wedding venue.
I met our groom, Matt, and his best man at their hotel just round the corner from their wedding venue. There was initially some confusion as I couldn’t get hold of Matt over the phone and the hotel were unable to find him in their records! Luckily, he came down into the reception just as I calling Lynette, panicking that I’d got the wrong hotel! Their room was quite modern inside, and lit by lamps. I quite like rooms like these because as it can give an art-deco feel to groom prep photos. Matt clearly had a keen sense of attention to detail as he inspected his wedding suit for blemishes. Neither Matt not his best man were experts when it came to ties so the relied on a instructional video on Youtube. This caused a bit of a laugh!
We moved over to Quarry Bank where Matt met his guests as they arrived to the accompaniment of a very talent string quartet. The ceremony room was decked out lovely and an old man fitted his flower to his suit in one of the nice comfy chairs. It wasn’t long before our bride, Sarah arrived. She was met by one of her best friends who ran up to the wedding car for a natter. The father of the bride was clearly very happy to see his beautiful daughter as she stepped out of the car, full of smiles. The ceremony was a short but sweet, romantic affair with plenty of laughter from both our bride and groom. I was very happy to photograph Matt’s reaction to Sarah being led down the aisle. The deal was sealed with a kiss and the a lingering hug which was actually more emotional.
We moved outside where Matt and Sarah enjoyed more hugs from their friends and family. Following a few couple photos inside the weaving room of this historic cotton mill, we all moved outside into the lovely grounds to enjoy drinks and some more classical music. Everyone was in high spirits and even more so when they showered our newlyweds with plenty of confetti. Lynette asked me to capture the shots of the guests while she photographed our very happy couple.
A little more walking round the beautiful grounds and then it was time for the wedding breakfast and speeches. Matt and Sarah entered the room to rapturous applause. The speeches were hilarious, full of laughter and emotion. However, it was a natural photograph of a child guest looking a little bored and cheesed off that I was particularly proud of. Documentary photography, photojournalism, whatever you want to call it, is all about capturing the real moments you see, and let’s be honest, a wedding can be a long day for children and speeches probably drag on a bit from their point of view!
Once all the food was scoffed and the room prepared, it was time for Matt and Sarah’s first dance and then a little boogie with their wedding guests. Some of the younger crowd however retired to another room where they played poker by the warm lamp light.
Massive congratulations to Matt and Sarah. I had an absolute blast being your Quarry Bank Mill wedding photographer!
Quarry Bank Mill, located in Styal, Cheshire, is a cotton industry museum and is one of the best preserved textile mills of the Industrial Revolution. A grade II listed building, the Mill was built in 1784 and established by Samuel Greg.
As part of the Quarry Bank Project, staff have been busy returning the mill to industrial site it used to be. This includes inviting visitors into the Greg family’s Georgian home and restoring a glass house from the 19th century. This process has transformed how the site tells stories of people who lived and worked at Quarry Bank. Mew galleries have been installed all around the mill and visitors can experience first hand working in a cotton mill in a new audio-visual centre. You can now see the life of the Mill through the eyes of its workforce.
Quarry Bank Mill offers the perfect venue for your dream wedding. The dedicated staff recognise that weddings are the most important experience a couple will share in their lifetime. They want to ensure that you, your partner, and wedding guests enjoy a spectacular day at their popular industrial heritage site. Surrounded by beautiful landscaped gardens, woodlands and meadows, Quarry Bank is no regular wedding venue, offering a splendid, picturesque location in which to tie the knot. It is particularly good for natural, relaxed and documentary wedding photography, as you’ve probably already seen :).