Best of 2016 - Staffordshire Wedding Photographers

A look at the first half of the year for Staffordshire Wedding Photographer Stuart James.

Best of 2016 for Staffordshire Wedding Photographers

What a truly spectacular year 2016 was for Staffordshire Wedding Photographers Stuart James…a year that saw us be a part of and capture more weddings than ever before, taking us to old familiar places and to new exciting settings, capture weddings from intimate to grand, from simple to lavish, and catching up with some old friends along the way.

The year was also truly special for the stories we got to share… Each wedding story is a pleasure to capture, but when adding in wonderful couples whom you connect with deeply, couples who you’ve known for years, seeing families once again from previous weddings, and sharing in and capturing the day of my best friend, 2016 really was something special. 

Here’s the first of two posts taking us through the year, from the wonderful start with Natalie and Andy as they tied the knot on a calm and mild February afternoon at the stunning Weston Hall, always a venue that it’s a pleasure to be at… 

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From the relaxed and intimate wedding of Natalie and Andy, it was to the truly fabulous wedding of Jess + Matt at the wonderful Moor Hall – a venue that is always a pleasure to be at. Jess + Matt found me from a recommendation from a previous client, and to catch up with friends whom I’d lost touch with on their day, really added to the story for me… It was also the first of many all day coverages for us…what a party!!

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Hours after capturing Jess and Matt’s day it was my first wedding of 2016 at The Moat House for Nicola + Mitch’s wedding, a day full of love and emotion, with the show only stolen by their gorgeous son. 
Here’s just one from their day:

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What can I say about the next wedding… A wedding that took me to a new venue in Dodford Manor, to share and capture the wedding of my oldest and best friend Claire as she married Lee. What a truly wonderful day to be part of and capture…even it my capturing their day meant I’m nowhere to be seen in their album!!

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From Claire + Lee’s wedding it was back to The Moat House for the wedding of Stacy and Rob, which was also the first time I brought filming into a wedding story producing the first of our PhotoFilms of the year…more on those to come!
Stacy + Rob’s wedding was full of so much emotion (especially from the emotional Badger!!) it was beautiful to be part of, and with the early spring weather on our side, it certainly helped add in to a wonderful day… 

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Weston Park has long been one of my favourite venues, and Val + Richard’s wedding saw me back there at the start of the venues new chapter…and it’s certainly a chapter I’m excited to be part of!
Val + Richard’s wedding was a delight to share. From the first time we sat down to discuss their day, I knew my approach and style of photography would be perfect for them, and from sitting down with them both when we brought the final story and album together, I know we hit the nail on the head!

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2016 must have been one the the biggest years for friends weddings too as not only did I get to share Claire + Lee’s day, I also got to capture the wedding of Emma + Darren – a couple who I’ve known for years through my corporate photography – before further friends weddings came later in the year…
Emma + Darren’s day was just a treat to capture. Knowing the Knowles family certainly added to the day, and seeing friends their from my other business as guests, added something in to the day… From the morning preparations through to the ceremony at the church and the reception that saw me back at the stunning Hadley Park House it was truly a wonderful day to capture.

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The week following Emma + Darren’s wedding it was the wedding of another couple I know from the same corporate client (AFBlakemore) as Becky + Ryan tied the knot at our ‘local’ church of Great Wyrley before heading back to the stunning Weston Hall
Blessed with truly stunning May weather, their day could not have been more perfect!

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The day after Becky + Ryan’s day was yet another stunning day for weather , and it took me to the stunning Shugborough Hall Estate and the Tower of the Winds for Helen + Paul’s truly intimate and very special wedding. Being with everyone for only a few hours was a real change from my usual coverage, but it was a pleasure to capture their story…

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I had one final wedding in May before I headed stateside for a corporate conference, and it was an opportunity to work alongside my brother for the first time in years too, with Steve covering the guys preparations whilst I was with the girls, and staying with me to add in coverage up to the meal…
Naomi + Martyn’s wedding was at the lovely Brandon Hall in Coventry which with the character of the forest on the grounds, really sets itself up perfectly for photography. From an intimate day, the wedding took a huge turn for the night with a truly fantastic party with what felt likes hundreds of people arriving…and I think it’s safe to say everyone had a fantastic time! And the photobooth…well that went down a true storm!! Evidence here!

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The end of May saw me away from weddings for a week, with my corporate business taking me to San Diego to capture the SPAR Convention 2016. If you want to see what we got upto, take a look here!

To kick the start of the summer off for me it was back to Sandon in Staffordshire. I’ve known Charl + Caddy for a few years after I photographed Charl’s sisters wedding a few years ago and to say I was looking forward to seeing the Paddocks and the wonderful set of friends and family of Charl and Caddy is a huge understatement! Presented with stunning weather and a wonderful combination of venues including All Saints Church in the grounds of Sandon, the saloon at Sandon Hall for the wedding breakfast, and finally, a wonderful tipi setup from Elite Tents in the garden, the is no way the day could have been improved. It was also fabulous to be working alongside my good friends Andy + Stefan from Zeus Films who captured a wonderful video of their day too!

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Following Charl + Caddy’s wedding I was back to Weston Hall for a couple who booked me through Barry James for their day.
Lyndsey + Howard live in Essex but came back to Lyndsey’s roots for the wedding at the fabulous Weston Hall in Staffordshire.
The weather was typical for time of year and went from glorious sunshine to heavy shows, back and forth throughout the afternoon, but nothing could change the feeling and mood of the day… With a fabulously entertaining group of friends from uni up with them for the day, added in with a wonderfully warm family, the day was just a treat to be part of.
Lyndsey + Howard’s wedding was also our first commissioned photofilm and was a true treat to put together…

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Following Lyndsey + Howard’s day it was back to The Moat House for Jo + Dave’s midweek celebrations. A fabulously relaxed day, with coverage for a shorter period capturing the main story for them. 

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From another visit to The Moat House, it was time to head to a brand new venue for me, the stunning Warwick House in Warwickshire.
Rachel + Stuart came in with a truly bespoke coverage to capture the elements of their day perfectly, and the album that came together truly was a story that showed the fun and emotion throughout the day. Unfortunately the weather was not kind enough on the day to allow for the outdoor ceremony, but adding in one of the craziest registrars brought it’s own highlight to the day. 

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Sandon Hall has always been a very popular venue for us at Stuart James Photography, and 2016 was no exception. 
In the middle of July it was back to All Saints Church at Sandon and Sandon Hall for Alex + John’s stunning wedding!
A day that started in the middle of Stafford at The Swan for the final preparations of John and the boys, before catching up with Alex and the girls at Sandon Hall, really set the tone for the day. Working alongside Andy + Stefan of Zeus Films added to the day, with their film capturing another complete element to tell the full story for Alex + John’s friends to look back on.

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Photographing second weddings of a family was somewhat of a theme in 2016, continued with Fran + Matt’s celebrations in July.
I met Fran + Matt whilst photographing Fran’s brothers wedding at Packington Moor in 2015, and as soon as they were putting the plans together for their day and sat down with me, it was clear their wedding was going to be something special and an absolute treat to capture.
Starting the day in Dudley for the morning preparations of both Fran and Matt before the ceremony at the incredibly welcoming and warm church of Lake Street Methodist Church. The reception was at a pretty special venue full of character – Newlands Bishop Farm!
It was so wonderful to see all of the family again for Fran + Matt’s wedding, and to meet Matt’s side of the family. A truly fabulous day to be part of and to capture.

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It’s always interesting to see how years change from one to another especially with how often we end up at the same venues, and 2016 was definitely a year we were at The Moat House a number of times…

The end of July saw us back for the wedding of Sarah + Gav, a couple who I hit it off with as soon as we first spoke about their day, and after spending an afternoon with them on the Severn Valley Railway for their pre-wedding engagement session, I really felt a connection with the couple heading in to their day…

A day that had one clear message throughout…831. Eight letters. Three Words. One Meaning. I love you.

What a truly fabulous day it was. From the fun and laughter with the girls and boys during the morning preparations, the couple being called Gavin and Stacy! during the ceremony in a slip-of-the-tongue by the registrar, to the fabulous entertainment from Something Acoustic the day was truly perfect! With a truly special group of friends from their days together at university when they first met, to incredibly warm family, the wedding really was truly special and one I cherished being part of… I only hope I get the chance to work with the family again in the future…even if it means I have to travel to good old Canada ;)

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The first half of the year finished for me at the end of July with a return to one of my favourites cultures with the Greek weddings of Stella + Steve!
Over the years myself and my father (Barry James Photography) have had the pleasure of photographing many Greek weddings throughout Birmingham and beyond, and this year saw a return to the community with Stella + Steve’s wedding following the recommendation from my good friend Andy Louca.

Stella + Steve’s day started in Nottingham with the preparations and the traditional ceremonies and blessings at home before the ceremony at St Lukes Orthodox Church in Birmingham. From the church it was to Villa Park for the reception, starting with entertainment from a close magician who found fame on Britain’s Got Talent for the arriving guests. 
A night full of fabulous traditions and entertainment with the Greek band for Stella’s side of the wedding, and Kelly’s heroes for Steve’s Irish side! What a party!! A truly wonderful way to finish the start of 2016!

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The rest of the year to come…

Contact Staffordshire Wedding Photographers Stuart James : [email protected] : 0800 331 7741 : 07834 978905

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Hey there! Just to let you know, we're away from the office over the easter break so it may take me a little longer to get back to you :) Please bear with me! Happy Easter!!