Wedding Photographer West Midlands | Creative Documentary Wedding Photographer
2015 was a truly incredible year, the start of the second decade of Stuart James Photography, capturing 30 unique and special wedding stories throughout Staffordshire, the West Midlands and all the way to Italy, starting in Endon, through Lichfield and Brewood, Rugeley, Solihull, Watford, Cannock, Sutton Coldfield, Dudley, Stafford, Wolverhampton, Uttoxeter, Oxford, Tettenhall, Shrewsbury, Stratford-upon-Avon, Gloucester, Sedgley, culminating in Whitchurch, from venues that have been popular for years, through to brand new and fabulous location, plus a huge personal highlight for me, marrying my beautiful wife Beki at the end of July.
What a year!
I could not imagine a better career than being a wedding photographer, travelling around the country sharing and capturing unique and very special stories of fabulous people on their most precious days, safe in the knowledge that the photographs I create will stay as the memories for those families for decades to come…
Here is a look at the start of 2015, up to our wedding in July.
The Ashes, Endon | Helen + Inda
One of the first weddings of the year was a rather wet wedding at the fabulous setting of The Ashes in Endon – a truly fabulous Staffordshire wedding venue.
A day that brought together two cultures, in a fabulous celebration, it was a great wedding to be part of.
Packington Moor, Lichfield | Julie + Bill
Julie and Bill were married at one of my favourite wedding venues, Packington Moor in Lichfield – a stunning venue full of character and charm…
Bill and Julie came to me from personal recommendation from a fabulous wedding I photographed the previous year at Packington – Sally + Jared, and it was fabulous to be invited to capture their wedding story.
Pendrell Hall, Codsall | Shell + Ed
Pendrell Hall is fast becoming one of Staffordshire’s most popular wedding venues, with well over 150 weddings at the venue in 2015, and it was my first time at the stunning setting when Shell + Ed were married in April this year.
Shell + Ed came to me following multiple recommendations from friends weddings including Liz + Chris and Aimi + Ian whose weddings I had previous documented.
I got to spend a little time with Ed and Shell over Cannock Chase ahead of their wedding and I just knew their day was going to be something special. With such wonderful families, and the most amazing group of friends, it was a very special wedding to be part of…even if we were ‘blessed’ with rather heavy April Showers…
Holy Cross Church + Hawkesyard Hall | Laura + Neil
Lichfield is often one of the most popular locations for weddings throughout the year, and 2015 was no exception, with Laura + Neil’s wedding being held at a new setting for me – Holy Cross Church.
My most memorable moment from the wedding has to be the nerves of Neil as he was waiting for Laura. Such a fabulous display of emotion to capture, even if Neil didn’t thank me at the time…
From Holy Cross Church, Laura and Neil led their guests to the wonderful Hawkesyard Hall in the Hawkesyard Estate, Rugeley.
Hogarths, Dorridge | Sandie + Paul
Hogarths Hotel in Solihull is a fabulous wedding venue, and one I have enjoyed working at for the last few years, and it was much much anticipation I headed over toward Birmingham for Sandie + Paul’s wedding this April.
I’d already had chance to spend a little time with Sandie + Paul ahead of their wedding with a beautiful sunset shoot over Birches Valley, and I just knew it was going to be a fabulous wedding to be part of.
From the start of the morning when I arrived to capture the morning preparations of Sandie and the girls the excitement of the day was wonderful to witness, a truly fabulous feeling to be surrounded by…
The whole day went perfectly from the morning through to the fireworks conclusion, and their wedding album really was quite special indeed…
Bhaktivedanta Manor, Watford | Ashti + Chris
Throughout the years I have been photographing weddings I have had the pleasure to witness and capture weddings of multiple faiths, from Church of England and Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, the Kiddushin of the Jewish Faith, and with Ashti + Chris’ wedding in Watford I had the chance to once again photograph a Hindu wedding ceremony at the wonderfully inviting Bhaktivedanta Manor.
I’d actually met Chris years before when I photographed his sister’s wedding in Sutton Coldfield, and after meeting to discuss their plans, I was delighted that Ashti + Chris invited me to capture both of their wedding celebrations, with their Hindu wedding in Watford, and their second wedding celebration at the Church of the Holy Trinity Sutton Coldfield.
It was so wonderful to capture the story and traditions of the Hindu wedding ceremony, and to be so warmly welcomed to the temple made the day feel even more special.
The Moat House, Acton Trussell | Mandy + Alan
The Moat House in Acton Trussell has long been one of our most popular wedding venues, from the first wedding captured for Stuart James Photography at the venue in 2004, throughout the years it has always been both popular and fantastic to photograph at.
Mandy + Alan’s wedding was no exception to that, from the excitement throughout the house as the girls were getting ready, throughout the memorable ceremony in the Colin Lewis Suite – not least of all thinking of everyone’s reactions as Mandy called Alan by a different name – through the fabulous evening reception, complete with a wonderful contemporary dance performance by Mandy’s niece.
St Augustines Church, Rugeley + The Chase Golf Club | Jade + Rob
Jade + Rob’s wedding at St Augustines and The Chase Golf Club was a wonderful wedding to be able to capture. With both Jade and Rob being wonderfully relaxed peoples, their day flowed beautifully. With the evident emotion on Rob as I photographed him during the morning preparations through to the amazing reaction of Jade’s father, to the fun of the wedding reception at The Chase the wedding was an absolute treat to be part of.
Holy Trinity Church, Sutton Coldfield + Moor Hall Hotel | Ashti + Chris
The 17th May saw me back with Ashti + Chris and their friends and family for the second of their wedding celebrations with the Roman Catholic ceremony at Holy Trinity Church and the reception at the beautiful Moor Hall Hotel, a venue I was last at the previous summer.
It was fabulous to be back with everyone to enjoy and capture the second of the celebrations, spending time with Chris’ family and enjoying the fabulous service by Father Michael – a truly wonderful, and very entertaining person!
The whole day was fantastic to be part of right through to the fabulous evening dancing with the live band.
Dudley Registry Office | Denise + Graham
Denise and Graham’s wedding came in the middle of a jam-packed couple of weeks in May this year, and although a small wedding with only six people in attendance it held a special place in the calendar.
I’ve actually known Graham for around 15 years from my time as a musician within the Walsall Music Services, where Graham was a peripatetic music teacher. In more recent times I actually spent a few years playing in one of the same bands as Graham with the Phoenix Big Band, so it came with great pleasure when asked to capture his wedding to Denise at Dudley Registry Office.
With luck on our side, the heavy rain passed by Dudley and the Priory Ruins with perfect timing allowing us to enjoy the lovely surroundings, and capture a relaxed informal collection of photographs of their wedding.
The Moat House | Sarah + Danny
Sarah + Danny came to me about their wedding at The Moat House from my father – Barry James Photography – who photographed Sarah’s mothers wedding a couple of years prior.
Building a bespoke coverage to capture their wedding exactly as they envisaged, from final preparations and the grooms arrival in a beautiful E-type Jaguar, I had the pleasure of capturing their day from the emotions to the laughter right through to the wedding breakfast, before returning to capture the wonderful reception.
Somerford Hall, Brewood | Lucy + Stu
What a fabulous wedding to be part of!
I met Lucy + Stu through mutual friends and through Forever Living, and can quite happily say I had a hand in their choice of the fabulous setting of Somerford Hall – one of my favourite wedding venues!
There was always going to be something special with Lucy + Stu’s wedding as they are such beautiful people, but this was affirmed after spending time photographing the two of them with their beautiful daughter Ellena ahead of their wedding when we all met over at Birches Valley, Cannock Chase.
On the day of their wedding we were blessed with beautiful weather only adding to how fabulous Lucy looked in her gorgeous gown from Rebecca. With so much love around the day, with so many emotions, the day was concluded in the most memorable of ways – documenting a mass game of ‘Flippy Cup’! Brilliant!!
Denstone College | Gemma + Tommy
What a way to end the fabulous run of weddings in May, at a very special venue – Denstone College, an independent private school in Staffordshire.
Tommy is a teacher at Denstone College, and with the couple living on-site it was the perfect setting for their wedding at Whitsun.
With my day starting at Hoar Cross Hall capturing the preparations of Gemma and the bridesmaids, before heading to Denstone College to capture the arrival of the groomsmen and the wedding guests for the ceremony in the chapel.
So many wonderful touches helped make this wedding that bit more special, and it truly was a pleasure to capture.
The Tythe Barn, Bicester | Bethan + David
Another new venue for me came for Bethan + David’s wedding at The Tythe Barn in Bicester, Oxfordshire.
David was another groom whom I had met photographing a family members wedding when I photographed his brothers wedding to Sabrina at The Moat House last year.
My first meeting with Bethan and David came over Skype as the couple were living in India at the time they booked, but as soon as we met in-person with a relaxed walk around Birmingham City Centre I knew their wedding would be a lot of fun.
The Tythe Barn is an absolutely stunning venue and one I thoroughly enjoyed working at. With lovely character from the barn buildings and beautiful gardens, the highlight has to be the outdoor location for the ceremony, which was made even more special with the beautiful singing of Bethan’s sister and aunt.
The day flowed perfectly from start to end, with so many beautiful moments, with one of the most humorous the selected ‘carvers’ entering ready to carve the Jamie Oliver Kitchen cooked beef.
One of my favourite weddings from the year…simply beautiful!
The Mount, Tettenhall | Hannah + Ashley
I do find the coincidences that life throws forward quite interesting, and this was certainly the case when it came to Hannah + Ashley’s wedding at the Mount Hotel. I have enjoyed photographed many weddings at The Mount over the years, but it had been quite a while since I had last visited…that was until two days before Hannah + Ashley’s wedding when I was at the venue for a corporate client!
Hannah + Ashley’s wedding was a treat to capture, from the arrival of the groomsmen, the relaxed atmosphere in the bedrooms as the girls were getting ready, to the wonderful emotional reaction from Ashley as his bride and his two daughters came down the aisle for the ceremony…the day was fantastic to be part of.
Although only with the couple and their guests for a short time, with coverage concluding at the speeches, it was a wonderful wedding to be invited to document.
The Moat House, Stafford | Rachel + Darren
Rachel + Darren first came to talk to me about their wedding at the Moat House Bridal Fayre, and as Darren knew of me from his time working at the Moat House he knew he could trust the capturing of their wedding to me.
As a mid-week coverage we built a bespoke coverage for Rachel + Darren’s day, capturing their story from the final preparations in the morning, through the day until the evening, capturing the fabulous start to the evening reception, and making the most of one of the most beautiful skies I had the pleasure of capturing all year.
Hawkesyard Estate, Rugeley | Nicola + Scott
A return to Hawkesyard Estate in Rugeley in July for Nicola + Scott’s wedding.
Blessed with overcast and cool conditions – a bonus for two hayfever sufferers – Nicola + Scott’s day went perfectly. A coverage for me that started with the grooms arrival through the wedding day to the start of the evening, Nicola + Scott’s Rugeley wedding was a pleasure to capture.
The Moat House, Penkridge | Kat + Ross
The final wedding I photographed before heading off to the Lake District for my own wedding saw me back to The Moat House for Kat + Ross’ wedding on what unfortunately turned out to be a rather wet July afternoon…something that has seemed to be a trend, as from their engagement shoot onwards, every time we met the heavens seemed to open…not that it affected their wedding day.
My coverage of Kat + Ross’ wedding started with the morning preparations right through the day into the fabulously entertaining evening.
So that’s it for Part One…Part Two coming tomorrow…starting with a stunning wedding in Sorrento, Italy.
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