NATALIE & JOSHUA | HOLMFIRTH MARQUEES WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER | WEST YORKSHIRE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY
In July 2019 I had the pleasure of being Natalie & Joshua’s Holmfirth Marquees wedding photographer. Here is the story of the build up to, and the joy of their magic day.
Josh and I was travelling around Italy, our favourite country. We have travelled around many countries around the world but Italy has always had a place in our hearts, maybe it was because it was the first place we ever travelled together? (we had been on many holidays but travelling is different I believe you see the country for what it truly is). Or maybe it was because the country is beautiful along with the people and the food!
Anyway we were in Capri watching the sun set on the beach with the opera in the background the song at the time was Time to say goodbye by Andrea Bocelli. Josh then got down on one knee shaking and asked me to marry him. Then we both started crying haha!
I wanted to get married in Italy but this was out of the question as Josh had two disabled grandparents who we wanted to be present on the day. As we both love festivals and being outside we knew we wanted an outside wedding. We both wanted the day to feel relaxed for others and for us to be able to have fun, feel relaxed and happy. We looked at a few venues online but nothing took our fancy. We had 8 months to plan and a 3 week period where all Josh’s family could travel over from America could come due to their school holidays. We found the Wedding Marquee in Holmfirth – It was the first venue we went to see and we instantly fell in love. We loved that the field was away from the main road, there were no houses close by and … THE VIEW! Sarah who owned the Marquee was accommodating and she was one of the reasons we said yes to the venue that night. Everything we wanted in our wedding Sarah was in agreement all the way.
I always wanted a Galis Lahav dress, I came across her a few years ago on Instagram and her brides have the perfect hippy but elegant look about them. I always wanted a backless dress too. I came back from Italy on the Sunday and on the Wednesday I went out for lunch with my closest friends in Uppermill where they persuaded me to go and look in the wedding dress shops. For many years I have walked past those shops looking through the windows of the brides to be trying dresses on and I knew was excited that it was finally my turn. There are 2 shops in Uppermill, I went in the first one and didn’t feel comfortable I was being pushed to buy a dress they wanted me in and not what I wanted. I then went to Adelle Howarth Winstanley but she was booked up for 2 weeks. She let me in quickly for a sneak peak whilst she booked my appointment between her last client leaving and her next client arriving. One dress in particular caught my eye and I told Adelle I loved it. Over the next two weeks I went to a large number of dress shops … over 20 with my sisters and friends but not one made the cut. My mum was on holiday so I had to do this secretly as I said I would wait for her to come home. I felt that I wasn’t going to ‘fine the one’ and became really frustrated. I was fed up of trying dresses on and stopped looking forward to going shopping. The day of my appointment came at Adelle’s, it was around 10am my mums flight had landed at 3am that morning, she was excited and looking forward to a day of wedding dress shopping… I wasn’t. I went in to Adelle’s shop and something changed within me, Adelle was really calming and reassuring, she listened to exactly what I wanted and made me feel so comfortable. Adelle was like my wedding dress angel! She gave me a few dresses to try on but I didn’t find ‘the one’. She then brought out the final dress and said I was keeping this one until last as you said you loved it.. I had completely forgotten about the dress and had forgotten I had said that… Well as soon as I put the dress on and she tucked it in in all the right places I instantly knew it was the one!!! I had to go to a few more shops with my mum so she could have the experience of seeing me try all different types of dresses on … but I couldn’t stop thinking and comparing it to Adelle’s dress. The designer was Watters and I felt it was expensive for a day… I always said I didn’t want an expensive dress but my Dad was having none of it… He handed the money over straight away and told me to buy it.
I recommend Adelle to everyone now… The only thing I was stressed about was my dress and as soon as I walked in her shop that second time she made the stress all go away!
THE GROOMSMEN’S SUITS
Josh and the grooms men along with my Dad got their suits from Slaters.. He got them ma personalised hip flask with their name and role on. The boys went trying their suits on several times.. I am sure this was an excuse to keep going to the pub really!
THE WEDDING DAY THEME
Our wedding theme was a mix between nature and festival theme. We had log slices on the tables with moss on top and I asked the florist to create a wild flower look in the jars that I hand decorated. We had wild flower seeds as one of our favours also. I handmade everyone a magnet made from a tiny log slice, I engraved their names in and glued moss on the side, this was a wedding favour and a place name also. Josh and I made most things for the wedding such as the seating plan, donut board, chalkboards. We decorated the marquee ourselves with the help from our friends. We didn’t really have a ‘colour theme’ but the dresses and bowties were dove grey. I wanted a neutral colour that would go well with the wild flowers. My original colour was dusky blue but the colour didn’t suit all the bridesmaids complexion so after trying on a few colours dove grey was the one. As said earlier we wanted a festival type theme so we had a live band, a wood fired pizza oven at night and hay bails and fire pits.
LA florist. I wanted to source everything for our wedding locally and this florist is a few minutes walk from my house (literally over the road). I initially had the florist in uppermill in mind as I have always loved their floral displays however as soon as I met with Laura the owner I knew she was the florist for me! I told Laura that I had a wild flower vision in my head and showed her a few photos that I had seen on pinterest. I told her my favourite flowers and what I did and didn’t want. I didn’t want my bouquet to be ‘perfect’ I wanted it to look wild. Laura choose the flowers with me and suggested things that I had not thought about. Laura also helped Josh choose his flower pin and his groomsmen which all tied in nicely together. I always recommend Laura to others and we now buy our flowers from her. Laura did all the flowers in the jars on the table too and I could not believe how amazing they looked, she took my vision and made it a reality … Well she actually made it better than I could have ever imagined. My bouquet was something I could only have dreamed about but again she out did my expectations. Laura also made a floral bracelet for my mother in law and floral pins for my mum and grandma, they all had their own ideas of what they wanted and again Laura pulled through. As you can see I cannot speak highly of her and her marvellous work!
THE HAIR & MAKEUP
My hairdresser Nathanial Mills did my hair. He has been doing my hair for as long as I can remember, he is the head of hair for Pretty Little Thing and I’d trust my hair in his hands any day.
He just knew how to do my hair as he knows me so well. I also told the bridesmaids they can have their hair however they wanted as long as it was up… They all choose different styles but they all looked equally as fab. This is the same for the makeup artist. My makeup artist is called Laura Bardsley. We were became best friends at the age of 12. As we grew older our lives took us in different directions but it felt special having someone who used to be so close to me doing my makeup. There was no doubt in my mind when I started planning the wedding that these two would be my glam squad. The bridesmaids also loved their makeup, again they choose how they wanted it to look and again they all looked beautiful.
My best friend and maid of honour had already made a list of possible Holmfirth Marquees wedding photographer options for me to look at before I had arrived home from Italy! There were 12 on the list and as soon as I saw David’s work I wanted to meet him. We had only arranged to meet with David out of the list and one other photographer who we met at a wedding fair. Both photographers came to our house and we met them 2 days apart from each other. We instantly knew David was the person we wanted to shoot our wedding day. We spoke to David about what we wanted and his enthusiasm really drew us towards him. We also had a second shooter as we asked David for two as we also wanted photos of the groom and grooms men getting ready. David spoke to us about Christina and I am so happy he choose her because she also took some amazing photos. At the wedding David was hit with the guests, his humour and personality came out and it was like he was another of our wedding guests. I know that I am biased as it is my wedding but I think my wedding photos are the best I have seen haha. David captured our big day so perfectly and I can never thank him or recommend him enough.
The only negative thing to mention is that David takes so many amazing photos it took us around 6 months to pick the ones we want for our album haha!
I was so calm and relaxed all day however as soon as I started walking down the aisle it hit me that it was my wedding day. All I could see was Josh and my heart filled up with so much love. Walking down the aisle with my Dad with all of our closest friends and family who have travelled from Australia, America, Devon and many other places made me the happiest woman alive. I wish I could have bottled that feeling up and shared it with others!
I will always remember when everyone had left and it was just my Dad and I at home. That was a really special moment for me and one I will cherish forever. The one moment that I remember fondly is the speeches. Again I know that I am bias but I think they were the bet speeches I have heard, going back to David he captured them perfectly, we can see people laughing, cheering, crying and hugging etc as they were an emotional rollercoaster!
THE WEDDING CAKE
We didn’t want a traditional wedding cake as were not ‘cake people’ … however we both LOVE cheese and pork pie so we decided that we wanted a cheese and pie cake. We met with Andrera from the Saddleworth Pie company and she designed the cake exactly how we wanted it. We had our favourite types of cheese along with a pork pie, a spicy pork pie, a cheese and onion pie and a feta cheese, leak and spinach pie… Everyone still talks about our wedding cake to this day. We also had a ‘naked wedding cake’ that was three layers of different flavoured sponge cake, the top layer was a lemon drizzle cake, the middle was a chocolate one and I think the bottom was traditional Victoria sponge. Anna who is a chef at Josh’s mums café Station Brew made this for us. This also went down a storm… It was delicious! Again Anna made our vision a reality … but she made it better than we imagined. Her dad had also hand carved the log that the cake was sat on, this is something we will cherish forever and a beautiful surprise.
RachAls Kitchen based in Meltham did our catering. Despite being in a a field in the middle of nowhere I wanted a three course meal that with three options that people could choose from. Most cateres told me this was impossible. We finally found Rachel and Al and nothing was too much for the dream team! They came up with the menu choices after listening to out theme and what we like in food… They also set up a table for us at their lovely home and made the meal for us to try one evening. Their food was amazing and everyone told us how much they enjoyed their food. Most guests were pleasantly surprised at how smoothly it all went to say it was made in a tent in a field. There was not one single complaint. I highly recommend this company! Both Rachel and Al are genuinely lovely people from the inside and out and nothing was too much of an ask.
We also had a wood fired Pizza oven for the evening. Again they gave us a choice and people could have as much pizza as they waned.
Both caterers catered for a vegan guest, lactose intolerant guest, nut allergy guest and vegetarians.
Venue Holmfirth Marquees
Photography David Conway Photography
Dress Shop Adele Howarth-Winstanley Bride
Florist LA Florists
Hair Stylist Nathaniel Mills from Pretty Little Thing
Makeup Laura Bardsley
Caterers RachAl’s Kitchen, Meltham
Wedding Cake Saddleworth Pie Company
Band The Styles
THE FIRST DANCE
Take over the World by the Courteeners. This has always been our song since we got together at the age of 18. I remember feeling butterflies and my heart overflowing with love and happiness. I loved it when all our friends and family joined in but even when they did I just felt like it was us two in our own little fairy-tale bubble.
We had a band that were from Liverpool. We wanted an Indi-style band as that is the music we enjoy. They were called The Styles. We provided them with a list of songs that we liked from a list that they sent us. The band were amazing and sang a variety of different songs.
After their performance they did a DJ set. Everyone also speaks highly of the band, people who I have never seen dancing were up dancing the night away.
We won a photo package from a company called ‘myselfie.’ This went down a storm with the guests and we have had many of laughs looking back through the photos. I didn’t want a full photo booth as it didn’t go with our theme and I dint want a blow up phot booth taking up lots of space. The my selfie was a large camera on a stick… it didn’t take up much room and the photos are then uploaded to dropbox. It worked really well for our wedding and a few of our guests who are getting married in the next couple of years have said that they are going to book it out for their day.
THE WEDDING DAY
I know this is a cliché but my wedding day was one of the best days of my life. I wanted it to be a relaxed day filled with fun, laughter and happiness and this is exactly what we got.
I could not imagine our day being any better than it was. I am so happy with all the decisions that we made and all of the people we choose to help make our day. I am extremely happy that we choose David as our Holmfirth Marquees wedding photographer as I love looking back on the photos of our day.
We still have family and friends tell us to this day that our wedding was the best they have been too (some of them are married themselves). Parents were able to relax as their children were safe running around the field, we had games for them to play and plenty of activities to keep them busy. We also had a tipi village for our guests to stay in and others brought their tents and campervans so there wasn’t a long expensive taxi journey at the end of the night. There was also no curfew which meant our guests could sit around the fire pits singing and chatting until they were ready to crawl to bed.
People say their wedding day goes fast but for me it went at a steady pace because I took time throughout the day to process and appreciate what was going on.
See more of David Conway at his Facebook Page here