Sunday  the 2oth of March  was a real splash at the beautiful Manley Mere ,this has got to be a little-known jewel nestled discreetly in the Cheshire countryside it was a real first for Manley Mere, a wedding fair or celebration day as they described it they have never done one before.

Manley Mere Main Building

The room a blank canvas of white walls enlivened with a colour wash of up lighters, the top table on the raised platform that doubles as a stage held command over the room with our very own crystal white shimmering fibre optic providing a background and adding that special touch of class to the top table.

This event was a little different for us as we were not really in attendance promoting our wedding photography business mainly due to the presence of another photographer. That said, we did mention our “day job” as Warrington wedding photographers, and the venue is a bit of classic when it comes to pictures. Ok getting back on track and returning to the location, it does have some superb backdrops wild open water, manicured grounds for those all important  pictures. It is of course early in the year but when the foliage builds upon the abundance of hanging trees it offers backlighting magic.


Mike Byrne

We brought àlong our “LOVE letters” they were a big hit the room was presented and dressed
featuring a selection of Manley’s nominated suppliers which created a wonderful and at times decadent stylish look, with beautifully appointed tables with some original and unusual features, many very special and unique.Mike Byrne

The day was well attended with a host of couples taking the time to visit Mums Dads, Grandparents came along too. Manley Mere did not disappoint the water reflecting the blue sky on this glorious first day of spring, it all felt like one of those good to be alive days.

The wedding cars stood guard outside glinting in the sunshine the unmistakable Mercedes and the one I always get wrong the Chrysler that just looks like a Bentley, as you might expect, immaculately turned out with their Cadbury colour ribbons, Kraft colours just doesn’t have the same ring!

Manley Mere WaterManley Mere offers so much that is different but I will dedicate a sperate Blog to all of that, it is not for everyone but for something a little unusual for a different wedding experience this has to be on your check it out short list.

You know I almost forgot and it would be so remiss not to mention Alister and Kate the management team at Manley, their attention to detail is exceptional, not to mention the Tea, coffee cakes and sandwiches stashed in the kitchen for the exhibitors like me, I am a sucker for hospitality and when it is done well which is not that often these days it needs a bit of flag waving.
I am told they only  offer around 20 dates a year,  so, if my short piece here has whetted your appetite get a move on and get that little bit of exclusivity that your friends who are not reading this will be missing out on.



I suppose one of the things that can’t be planned on your wedding day is the weather and as one might imagine to most brides this is a real worry, even the time of the year gives no guarantee of that blue sky day.

I think it would be fair to say that most wedding photographers when they see a rainy start to a wedding day have a little concern, not that they won’t get great pictures, just that it makes things a that little bit harder.

I am sure it has been said before, but just so we are clear rainy days and winter weddings are no place for amateurs no matter what camera they have.

Ok, some good news is that it rarely rains in the UK all day, my mum’s old saying “if it starts before 7 it will be dry by 11” is surprisingly true.

Rainy Day Wedding Bride

Go With the Flow

So what should the bride do who wants to cover all the bases, well in many cases your professional seasoned photographer will have it covered, pardon the pun.

My first bit of advice is “to go with the flow” make the rain part of your day, your photographer will be geared up  with a couple of umbrellas and it is important to have bridesmaids and groomsmen on brolly duty._DSC9456


 Love the Light

Great images come from great light and that cloudy sky can produce fabulous soft-box lighting so much better than harsh sunlight. If the sun is shining through the clouds this has great back-lighting possibilities with glistening trees and foliage.
Bride Groom Back Light

Now to the venue, some wedding venues and hotels  have designated covered areas or patios as a contingency for poor weather but many don’t, the secret here is to be flexible and just watch for breaks in the rain they will come.


As for shooting pictures indoors, this has never been my preferred option but it can be really great at a country house location with its Chesterfields and open fires, but not so in the local modern hotel.


A bride recently said to me before booking “what contingency plans do you have for taking pictures if it rains on the day”  Well some I have mentioned earlier in this blog, but just for clarity.

Be Ready

I always have three white translucent umbrellas.

I survey the location before the wedding day to check for photo opportunities and inclement weather locations.

I bring along my studio flash strobes and large photo umbrellas just in case we need to do groups inside.

I ask the venue if a location is available for photographs if the weather is poor.

Towels for the kit, if it gets wet.

Some lens wipes in my pocket at the ready.

I have a rain coat, with lots of pockets.

I hope these few words offer some comfort, remember it’s your day love it, enjoy it, let the rain be part of it!

Share it if you like it, if I can help bob along to the contact info below and drop me a note.

Let’s be honest Weddings Fairs can be a great event. You get loads of neat ideas, beautiful dresses, and the chance to see your potential venue decorated, and then there is always the freebie food.

But to a potential Photographer, it can be a minefield. Photographers are to all intents and purposes artists, each with their own style and reflection, which can make choosing one, a very time and energy-consuming event. After all, when the wedding day is done and becomes a series of memories, you want something tangible to show people who may not have been able to make it.

So how does a Photographer peak your interest in the 30 seconds it takes for you to walk past the stall, while others a vying for your time? The truth is it is hard, more so these days with the capability to “Book Now” instantly on the likes of Facebook & Twitter.

This brings me nicely to the point. What makes for a successful set of photos from such an important event; The Photographer! Anyone can buy an expensive camera, lights, meters, lenses etc and look the part, but the skill and passion and experience for their art is what sets a true wedding photographer apart from someone with a camera.

So why do we go to Wedding Fairs? To build a relationship! Anyone can undercut a price, or offer a deal but what that first and subsequent meeting should be about is the rapport with your photographer, that they understand your vision and that they can take that vision and bring it to life through their lens.

At a recent event one potential customer (who later became a customer) suggested they were not having a photographer but just a Photobooth.

Now I admit I love Photobooths, they are so much fun, allowing you to don a costume and take silly pictures with distant family and friends as a reminder of the time spent together on this great day.Fun Photo Booth Image


Yet when it comes to your future family, or people you wish to show how magical your day was, would you really want to turn up with just some fun snaps?

To me the two offerings go hand in hand, entertainment for the masses with a Photobooth, while a Photographer can truly reflect all the effort that went into the dress, the makeup, the venue setup, or even as simple as the passion conveyed in the first dance.

So as you go through your wedding fairs, and I do recommend trying the cake! Have a chat to the photographers, make sure you’re comfortable with them and that they make you feel calm and reassured, and do remember when it comes to the day, and getting the right shot. Only a person can truly understand what you hope to achieve for the Photos that will inevitably take pride of place on your wall.

In a show of shameless publicity seek why not join us here!

Wedding Fair Flyer


Well I have finally succumbed to the world of blogging, it is strange really as I used to write stuff for a living and yet I find this whole process a little counter intuitive, that said: Can you believe it is February already, The Champagne corks and kisses of “Happy New Year” are just a distant memory and wedding planning is taking to the stage, exciting stuff hey!

So to the blog; this month’s Village Hotel wedding open evening on Thursday, buzzing just like January, We were in attendance displaying our wedding photography services as we are on the first Thursday in every month.

What a really good night, the free champagne was flowing, and the orange juice and the finger food kept on doing the rounds, I have to confess, I snapped a few prawns as they went by.

So far this year things are going great, for Day and Night Weddings, and 2017 the diary is filling up already, lots of couples to chat to at the opening evenings and a real laid back atmosphere, not the frenzied hustle of traditional wedding fairs.Leanne & Paul Wedding Photo S-60

Our sister company Jamm Entertainments brought along their “Love Letters” which are fast becoming more popular than us at weddings. I have got some really cool ideas for “love letter pictures”, but it does involve the Bride and Groom in a little gymnastics, any offers?

Love Letters

Now enough about us, there are always on hand a small number of handpicked suppliers, well there is Carl working his Magic, no, really he does “Magic.” The Candy Cart Girls with their sweets of delight.  Must mention the Cottons with mannequins so impeccably dressed for the part. Wonderful handmade invitations and cards, cakes to die for, and I probably will, not to mention, the ubiquitous photo-booth.

All bound together by the lovely Nicky and here incredible creative room dressing and table features!

You can check some of the guys out below!         



So that’s what you missed if you would like to come along to next month’s just turn up any time 6 till 8pm, first Thursday every month (tell them Mike sent you, no, you don’t need to do that!)Village Hotel 110 Centre Park Square, Warrington WA1 1QA