Every photograph within a wedding story has an individual purpose, whether it be in setting context or scene, capturing a moment, telling the story of love between you and your loved ones, or indeed just capturing the fun and excitement of the day.

But there are some photos that seem to say much more to me too. Here are a few of my favourites from recent weddings.

¬†Harriet’s final preparations at Sandon HallDocumentary photograph of the Bride getting her makeup finished at Sandon Hall in Stafford by Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart James

Photographs of makeup and preparations are often a key part of a wedding narrative, for me this image has an extra depth to the story, with the inclusion of the bridesmaids in the background, each doing their own thing…

Our groom David escaping the hectic preparations for a few moments solitude ahead of the wedding at Weston Hall, Stafford

Relaxed natural photographs of wedding morning - Weston Hall in Stafford by Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart James
I had been in the house with David and this family whilst they were getting ready on the morning of the wedding, and in the middle of all the usual exciting wedding madness, David made himself a cup-of-tea, and proceeded to head to the front room, taking a moment to reflect on the fabulous day, and indeed start of a new journey with his wife Jo, ahead.

Emotional First Look for Father of the Bride at Sandon Hall
Reportage photographs capture the stunning moment the Bride and Father see each other at Sandon Hall in Stafford by Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart James

One of the most emotional moments on a wedding morning often comes as the Father of Bride sees his beautiful daughter in her gown for the first time, and Harriet’s wedding certainly didn’t disappoint with so much emotion and affection on display between Harriet and her Father.

It’s not just about the Bride and Groom…

Relaxed natural photographs of wedding morning - Weston Hall in Stafford by Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart James

Something that can easily be missed in the wedding story is the wider picture…seeing that it’s not just about the Bride and Groom, as here the Flowergirls entertain themselves.

Emotion. Ian’s wonderful reaction to seeing his beautiful Bride enter the ceremony at Alrewas Hayes, Burton


You occasionally get a feeling that emotions will be displayed during a wedding, and Ian certainly didn’t disappoint with one of the most touching displays of happiness and emotion at his beautiful bride Amie entered the wedding ceremony at Alrewas Hayes in Burton.

Groom’s reaction to seeing his bride in the mirror at Somerford Hall
Emotional wedding ceremony entrance at Somerford Hall in Brewood by Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart James

It doesn’t have to be a flooding of emotion to tell the story, here Sean caught a look at Lucy walking down the aisle to him in the mirror at Somerford Hall, and the anticipation in the biting of his lip shows exactly how he was feeling…

A fleeting moment together during the ceremony at All Saints Church, Sandon
Candid capture of an intimate moment between Bride and Groom during ceremony at Sandon Hall in Stafford by Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart James

This has to be one of my favourite moments from Harriet + Joe’s wedding at Sandon, with an affectionate yet discreet moment between Bride and Groom in the wedding ceremony at All Saints Church, Sandon.

First Kiss! What a fabulous reaction from the groom, and the onlooking guests, at the first kiss at the Ashes, Endon
Fabulous reaction to first kiss at The Ashes in Endon by Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart James

An image I had envisaged creating was the wide view showing the reaction of all the guests to the first kiss during the ceremony at The Ashes Endon for Sheree and Tim…I didn’t envisage such a great moment from Tim however…

Confetti Procession from the church

Fabulous emotions and expressions captured in this wonderful reportage photograph as the bride and groom leave the church at Sandon Hall in Stafford by Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart James
There is so much happening during the photograph, the happiness between the Bride and her family, and the groom being congratulated by his sister, framed with the church and confetti as the bride and groom make their procession to the wedding reception.

Intimate Golden Hour Portraits at Sandon Hall
Sandon Hall Staffordshire Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart James

Utilising amazing light is almost more important that utilising the venue itself, and managing to time this shoot between Suzanne and Andrew at Sandon Hall perfectly as the sun was setting, with a close embrace between the couple creating a beautiful, timeless portrait.

What happens if it rains? Things look rather stunning! As here for Hayley + Karl at Weston Park
Weston Park Staffordshire Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart James

One of the most common questions I receive is “What happens if it rains?”
Well as you can see here for Hayley + Karl with a bit of creativity, it makes for fabulous and stunning wedding portraits.

Timing is everything.

Reportage wedding photography at The Lion Hotel in Brewood by Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart JamesOne of my all-time favourite bouquet toss photographs, here at the Lion Hotel, Brewood when Sue’s bouquet toss was framed perfectly by the roofline to make a stunning shot extra special…

Wedding speeches provide such amazing reactions, as here at Hogarths Hotel in Dorridge

Storytelling candid photographs of the speeches at Hogarths Hotel in Dorridge by Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart James

Photographing wedding speeches has always been one of my favourite times of the day, when presented with opportunities to capture stories and moments like here between Aimee and Chris during her father’s speech, this photograph will always take me back to the moment and make me smile.

Dance Photography at Sandon Hall

Beautiful moment between bride and groom during first dance at Sandon Hall in Stafford by Staffordshire Reportage Wedding Photographer Stuart James
When photographing first dances, I always work to create a range of images, but here framed with the beautiful venue lighting – created by Pumpkin Events – with such an amazing moment between Harriet and Joe, I love this image.

When a couple’s personality overflows into the wedding celebrations…

A one off here for sure as the Bride and Groom enjoy the Robot Dance at Sandon Hall in Stafford by Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart James

During the wedding speeches the fabulous story of how Alexa and Rhys met during a fancy dress party, it was fabulous to see not just the original, but also a reproduction of the robotic mask adding a touch of personality to the dancing at Sandon Hall.

Beautiful evening portraits at Somerford Hall, Brewood

Stunning evening portrait at Somerford Hall in Brewood by Somerford Hall Wedding Photographers Stuart James

Blessed with a stunning summers night we were able to create a beautiful portrait to conclude Lucy + Sean’s Somerford Hall wedding, which provided for a stunning finish to their wedding story.

 

Storytelling Wedding Photography by Staffordshire Documentary Wedding Photographer Stuart James.

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