Clare and Michael booked me to be their Smokies Park Hotel wedding photographer, and I was very happy that they did. Located between Oldham and Ashton Under Lyne, this wedding venue has consistently achieved excellent reviews due it’s high standards of comfort and hospitality. It is proud to boast that it is one of the highest rated 3 star hotels in the Oldham area. Just minutes from the M60, this wedding venue is a convenient location for bride and grooms to host their special day. There’s no excuse for guests not to come when this hotel is so easy to get to!
Judging by the amount of laughter coming from behind the bridal suite door, I think Clare and her bridesmaids had been on the champagne for some time before I even arrived. I was flattered as they celebrated my arrival by cracking open another bottle. Hair and makeup was completed to the sound of more laughter, interspersed with hugging and kissing among family members. One of the younger bridesmaids developed a headache and I was happy to give her a few painkillers from my emergency medical stash which I make sure to take to every wedding. No wedding photographer should be without one!
I left Clare to capture the groom, Michael, outside, attaching his flower with his groomsmen and welcoming guests with hugs and laughs as they arrived. I quickly nipped back to see Clare, and on the way say one of the flower girls having a quiet moment during a game of hide and seek. The father of the bride was clearly well made up when he saw Clare in her wedding dress for the first time. Just enough time to down one last glass of champers (the bride I mean, not me) and then we ran down to the ceremony room to wait for the marriage proceedings to begin.
I think the whole family burst into tears as Clare walked down the aisle. Michael kept himself together, but then let everything go just as Clare reached him at the bottom of the aisle. The ceremony was emotional as you might expected. One of the bride and groom’s children was very interested in the exchange of rings and walked through the happy couple repeatedly. Not that they minded. This was an occasion that was clearly all about family and friendship.
We moved outside for a little down time and some booze and then everyone went inside for the wedding breakfast. The wedding speeches were the shizzle. I think pretty much every guest received a gift and everyone was in hysterics as Michael’s best men ribbed him again and again. There was plenty of feeling too, as Michael’s dad retold emotional stories of their family’s sometimes painful past. Everyone was very grateful that they had come through it stronger and tighter, all so they could celebrate this truly special occasion.
The cake cut, it was time for the first dance. I have to say that this was one of the most unique first dances I had ever photographed. Never before have a I seen the brother of the groom storm onto the dancefloor so soon in the song. Still, Michael and Clare absolutely loved it, and the dancefloor was soon packed with their wedding guests. The night ended with awesome music, a full dance floor, plenty of booze, and most importantly, a very happy couple.
Congratulations to Clare and Michael. Thanks for having me along guys, I had a blast as your Smokies Park Hotel wedding photographer!
The hotel has 73 en suite bedrooms, all with king0size beds and luxury extras. The “Eat…@Smokies” Restaurant offers modern cuisines using fresh foods which are locally sourced. Alternatively, the Filament Lounge caters for a more informal dining experience. There is even a ‘Trimnasium’ which includes a sauna and steam room, which can be used by guests at their leisure.