Staffordshire Documentary Wedding Photographer | A Year in Photos
Last year was an absolutely brilliant year again for me, working at some amazing venues – both ones I’ve known for a long time, and others that were new to me – and getting to share some pretty special couples wedding days.
Working as a documentary wedding photographer in Staffordshire and across the country really is a dream come true for me. Being involved in wedding photography from a young age working alongside my father at Barry James Photography I’ve had the opportunity to share so many weddings over the past 14/15 years and with Stuart James Photography in it’s tenth year, my couples buying into my style of storytelling unobtrusive wedding photography that captures the story, emotion and drama of a wedding, and enjoying relaxed natural portrait sessions, their wedding albums being a fabulous collection of memories…this job really is the most amazing job in the world!
2013 saw me sharing a fabulous array of weddings from Bec + Tom’s wedding at The Moat House in January through to Lizzi + Darrens wedding at Sandon Hall throughout Staffordshire and the West Midlands. When looking through the year as a whole as a Staffordshire documentary wedding photographer it was a fabulous reminder of what a great year it was, and it’s now brilliant to share the year as a collection here.
If you’re planning your weddings in Staffordshire, or weddings in the UK please do get in touch, it would be a pleasure to talk about how I could become a part of your day.
Bec + Tom | January
Wedding at The Moat House, Acton Trussell
Bec and Tom held their Staffordshire wedding at the fantastic Moat House in Acton Trussell, a wedding venue I’ve had the opportunity to document countless weddings at in the last fifteen years, but a venue that never stands still.
This was actually the last wedding before The Acton Suite at the Moat House had a major revamp for 2013, and as you’ll see in Lauren + Mike’s wedding and others later in the year, the change is rather spectacular.
I was with Bec + Tom for the whole of their wedding from preparations in the morning to the fabulous party on the evening, complete with snow filled portraits outside the Moat House in rather chilly winter temperatures.
Being an early January wedding, the worst was naturally expected of the weather, but we were blessed with a gorgeous winters day. You can see their full wedding story here.
Emma + Andrew | March
Lichfield Registry Office
Emma + Andrew held their intimate wedding celebrations at Lichfield Registry Office before a relaxed meal on the evening with their closest friends.
Emma only contacted me about their wedding a few days before their big day, but fortunately I was available and knowing Lichfield registry office, Beacon Park and the locations for photographs around Cathedral Close, I was able to advise in great detail ahead of the day, and then ensure the relaxed wedding day flowed perfectly. Maximising the opportunity we had for photographs in and around the park and the stunning setting by the Cathedral, we had a fabulous afternoon together and I was delighted to share their Lichfield Registry Office Wedding as their wedding photographer.
Caroline + John | April
Wedding at Abbey Church, Erdington + The Old School House, Lichfield
Caroline + John contacted me about their weddings at The Old School House in Lichfield when looking for a relaxed, natural photographer, and as soon as we sat down and started talking about their day, I knew my documentary wedding photography would be perfect – allowing them to relax and enjoy their day with their friends and family, whilst I captured their individual story.
It was actually the first time I’d been to Abbey Church in Erdington, and will actually be at The Abbey Church and The Old School House again this coming April – a totally bizarre but awesome combination.
Blessed with gorgeous weather on their day, Caroline + John had a fantastic time during their wedding day – which you can see more of here – and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them.
It’s great to see how Caroline + John’s lives have panned out since April, as they’re now starting a new life together in Dubai.
Steph + Gary | May
Wedding at Packington Moor, Lichfield
Packington Moor in Lichfield is a fabulous wedding venue and one I’ve enjoyed working at several times over the past few years. Steph and Gary chose to hold their fabulous Lichfield wedding at Packinton Moor in May last year, and again we were very fortunate with the weather – a pattern that stayed with me throughout 2013 – and enjoying the fabulous gardens, complete with brilliant live entertainment, and thoroughly enjoyed their relaxed afternoon wedding.
Although only with Steph and Gary for a short coverage period, it was a pleasure to capture their Packington Moor wedding story which you can enjoy in more detail here.
Louise + Haden | May
Wedding at Weston Park, Staffordshire
Weston Park has long been one of my favourite wedding venue, with spectacular gardens, gorgeous detailing and history within the house, and so many photographic opportunities, it is always a thrill to be capturing weddings at Weston Park.
Louise + Haden’s wedding in May was no exception to this rule, and from starting in Muxton, Telford capturing the morning preparations at Louise’s moms house, before joining the wedding party at Weston Park for the wedding ceremony.
I’d actually had chance to meet Louise, Haden and Louise’s parents a few weeks before their wedding when we sat down to talk through the coverage, and having got to know each other, and with Louise + Haden being as incredibly relaxed as they are, the whole day flowed seamlessly.
One of the particular highlights from the wedding was the singing waiters who provided fantastic entertainment during the wedding breakfast – simply brilliant! Check out their blog post to see more.
Aimi + Ian | May
Wedding at Alrewas Hayes, Burton-upon-Trent
Alrewas Hayes is one of Staffordshire’s most popular wedding venues, but until I shared Aimi + Ian’s wedding at Alrewas it was a venue that had slipped past me. However, with both Aimi + Ian‘s wedding in May, then Kirsty and Paul‘s wedding in August, I can firmly state now that it is a venue I simply love working at!
Blessed with a gorgeous summers day, my coverage of Aimi + Ian’s wedding started at their house in Burntwood before meeting up with the guys only round the corner. Being able to visit the Groom and Groomsmen during their morning preparations along with the Bride and Bridesmaids was a fantastic addition to the coverage.
Upon arriving at Alrewas Hayes emotions were certainly starting to bubble up, and it was clear in both Aimi + Ian’s expressions how much it meant to be marrying each other.
There is always something amazing to witness when a groom cannot hide his emotions when first seeing his Bride, and Ian’s reaction to seeing Aimi was a treat to witness.
There were so many wonderful touches during Aimi + Ian’s wedding, from the great vintage styling to the surprise song Ian performed during his speech to Aimi, and also catching up with a fabulous couple, Liz + Chris – who have just had their first child – who’s wedding I photographed at Someford Hall the year before who had recommended Aimi + Ian to me.
I had such a great time with Aimi + Ian, and their wedding album is simply stunning!
Lauren + Mike | June
Wedding at St Lukes Church Cannock + The Moat House, Acton Trussell
Lauren + Mike chose me as the photographer for their Moat House wedding after looking for photographs of their wedding venue, and after we talked about their wedding, with the fact I had photographed many weddings at both St Lukes Church and The Moat House, and my style being exactly the look they were wanting, it was a perfect combination for their day.
I actually spent an afternoon with Lauren + Mike a few weeks before their wedding walking around the grounds of Shugborough Hall and after spending time with them, I just knew their day was going to be a treat!
Despite the threat of heavy rain, and indeed a few spots on the morning of the day, the weather soon cleared. With Lauren + Mike living only a few minutes from me in Cannock it didn’t take long to travel to meet up with the girls in the morning, and spending time capturing the hair and makeup, before heading to St Lukes to meet Mike and the boys on their arrival.
Despite being quite limited by the rules of the church, I was able to capture a lovely set of photographs during the vows and ring exchange, before we then headed to the Moat House for a fabulous afternoon.
You can see more of Lauren + Mike’s wedding at The Moat House here.
Suzanne + Andrew | June
Wedding at All Saints Sandon + Sandon Hall
Suzanne + Andrew live only a few minutes from Sandon Hall, with their gorgeous house being in Burston Village, and after we’d spent time talking at a couple of Bridal Fayres at Sandon Hall and then sitting down at their house, we had talked through their perfect day and built a bespoke coverage for their Sandon Hall wedding.
On the wedding day my coverage started with hair and make-up preparations at The Dog and Doublet before heading down to see Andrew and the boys at the house in Burston.
Choosing to hold their wedding ceremony at All Saints Church with the great Dick Sargeant conducting the wedding ceremony, and arriving in style in the car wonderfully MG lovingly hand-restored by Suzanne’s father, it set the tone for an amazing day.
Throughout the day Andrew looked like the cat that had got the cream, beaming from ear to ear – it was genuinely so amazing to see a groom so excited to be getting married, it made the day a pleasure to be part of.
Documenting their Sandon wedding from the morning preparations through the whole afternoon, with the brilliant speeches with fantastic reactions, through to the relaxed evening portraits in the gorgeous warm light, and finishing with the amazing party on the evening it was a true treat to be part of.
Also, with Andrew + Suzanne electing to extend their coverage to the end of the wedding day when everyone left Sandon, it meant their story was absolutely action packed from start to end.
The final special treat with Suzanne + Andrew’s coverage however was after the wedding day, when I joined the couple on their honeymoon in Rome…and I cannot wait to share those photos with everyone. Such a magical day.
For now here are a few favourites from their wedding, with their full story here for you to enjoy.
Lucy + Sean | July
Wedding at Somerford Hall, Brewood
I have actually known Lucy + Sean for around 23 years having gone to primary school with them both, but it was actually by a fortunate coincidence when we met again after I photographed one of Sean’s work colleagues weddings at the Moat House, that we got back in touch and then starting talking about their wedding plans.
I was absolutely thrilled when Lucy + Sean set their wedding date that I was available to share their Somerford Hall Wedding.
From the first time I photographed Lucy + Sean during their engagement session in Sutton Park, through the whole wedding day, I had an absolutely blast with them. A couple so chilled out, so madly in love, and so amazing together, it was a tremendous privilege to share their day.
My coverage started with Lucy’s preparations at her moms home, before heading to Somerford to meet Sean and the rest of the wedding party.
I had such a great day sharing their wedding, and again with the July weather being very kind, their wedding story is simply stunning. To see more you can find their blog post here, but below are a few of my favourites.
Hayley + Karl | July
Wedding at St Andrews Church + Weston Park, Staffordshire
After the amazing wedding of Lucy + Sean, the final weekend of July also saw me capturing another fabulous wedding – Hayley + Karl’s gorgeous Weston Park wedding.
Hayley and Karl’s day started for me at Crowning Glory in Merry Hill, capturing the gorgeous vintage styled hair of Hayley being perfected, before heading to Hayley’s parent’s gorgeous barn in Brewood to capture the mornings preparations.
Having so much time in the morning allowed a wonderful amount of time for everyone to relax, enjoy the morning, and in Hayley’s dad’s case – write his speech!
There are so may things I absolutely loved about Hayley + Karl’s wedding, from capturing Hayley with her dad in the morning, to the brilliant reactions during the speeches, and of course that fabulous shot below during the horrific rain that hit on the afternoon and evening of the wedding.
Their wedding at Weston Park was an absolute treat, and along with Lucy + Sean’s wedding at Weston Park, made the weekend a huge highlight in my year.
Here are just a few of my favourites from their day, the full story can be enjoyed here.
Amy + Tammy | August
Wedding at The Boathouse Restaurant
Amy + Tammy first spoke to me about photographing their civil partnership wedding at The Boathouse in Sutton Park only a few weeks before their special day, and talking through with them both, and then spending a little time around Sutton Park with them, I knew the day was going to be an absolute pleasure to be part of.
For the one and only time in 2013 I was actually joined by my brother Stephen to capture Amy + Tammy’s story, with Stephen capturing the morning with Tammy whilst I documented the morning preparations with Amy. Working together added a fantastic additional edge to the coverage, and the wedding album looks fantastic with the combination of our coverages.
I had actually come to Amy + Tammy’s attention from a family recommendation, as I had photographed Amy’s cousins wedding back at Netherstowe House in Lichfield a few years previous.
The wedding day was an absolute treat to be part of, and seeing how much it meant to not only Amy + Tammy but also to their friends and family who were there sharing the day, again documenting their memories was a true pleasure.
Kirsty + Paul | August
Wedding at Alrewas Church + Alrewas Hayes
Kirsty and Paul actually booked two different photographers for their day, in entrusting the photography of their Alrewas Hayes wedding to both myself and my father Les of Barry James Photography. Although I don’t often work alongside my father any more despite years of working together, when we do get the chance it often results in something special, and Kirsty + Paul’s wedding story is most certainly one of those situations…
My coverage on the morning of the wedding saw me at Kirsty’s parents house documenting the morning preparations of Kirsty and the girls before heading to Alrewas Church to capture her arrival for the wedding ceremony.
The wedding day was an absolutely amazing day from start to end. Kirsty and Paul are such a fabulous couple and I’m pleased to say we’ve become close friends since their day and have actually started working together on a fantastic new project…
Alrewas Hayes is such a stunning wedding venue and one I particularly love photographing wedding at. Here’s a few from their day, with their featured post available here.
Amelie + Matthew | August
Wedding at The Moat House, Acton Trussell
Amelie and Matt commissioned me to document their Moat House wedding when we met in December 2011, and after spending time with them earlier in the year walking around Monsal Head – where Matt popped the question – I knew their wedding would be a blast from start to end.
Starting from morning preparations and staying through until the fabulous party on the evening, it really was a fantastic wedding to be part of from start to end – especially with Amelie and Matt’s ‘energetic’ first dance, and the amazing choreographed mob-dance arranged by Amelie’s best friend – her face when everyone started was an absolute picture!
A fabulous relaxed Moat House wedding that was a pleasure to be part of – as is common at weddings I get to document, I had a fabulous time with everyone.
Amelie + Matt’s full post of their August wedding is available to see here.
Laura + Luke | August
Wedding at The Barns Cannock
I first sat down with Laura and Luke back in May last year, and upon discussing their ideas for their wedding at The Barns in Cannock, I knew my blend of documentary wedding photography with relaxed portraits would suit them perfectly.
After taking the opportunity to spend an afternoon with Laura + Luke and their fabulous Staffie, I really felt I had got to know the couple and knew we were all a perfect match for the wedding.
On the wedding day my coverage started documenting the morning preparations of Laura and the girls at her moms house, before joining Luke and the boys at The Barns.
The whole wedding was so incredibly relaxed, and with taking the time in the early evening to head to Shoal Hill on Cannock Chase for portraits of the Bride and Groom, it completed a truly fantastic story.
A more comprehensive look at their wedding at The Barns Cannock can be found here, but below are a few of my favourites.
Sabrina + Chris | August
Wedding at St James’ Church + The Moat House, Acton Trussell
Sabrina and Chris are one of the most chilled out couples I have ever had the pleasure of photographing, and after sharing an afternoon with them walking around their old home town area of The Park in Nottingham, I knew we would have a fabulously relaxed day at The Moat House.
Both Sabrina and Chris have a half-Sicilian background, with their families both having an Italian side, and the coming together of the Italian and English cultures during the wedding was a treat to witness and capture.
Blessed with yet again another gorgeous summers day, Sabrina + Chris’ wedding could not have been better. From starting in Wolverhampton capturing the final preparations at Sabrina’s parent’s through into the evening at The Moat House, the day was incredibly relaxed with my unobtrusive style of photography fitting in perfectly.
Their full story can be found here.
Joanne + David | September
Wedding at Weston Hall Stafford
When Jo + David came to me to talk about their wedding at Weston Hall we hit it off immediately and I just knew I had to be the photographer for their Staffordshire wedding.
Weston Hall is an absolutely stunning wedding venue, and after the refurbishment the venue has enjoyed, it is most definitely one of the top wedding venues in Staffordshire and an absolute pleasure to work at.
Jo + David’s day started for me at Koo Hair in Stafford – actually owned by a previous wedding clients mother, who got married at Haughton Church + The Moat House a few years ago – before I then met up with David and the boys trying their best to relax at David’s parents house.
I had such an amazing time documenting Jo + David’s Weston Hall wedding and I really cannot wait to be back at the stunning venue. With such a brilliant day from start to end, Jo + David’s wedding really is another of my highlights of 2013.
Sue + Paul | September
Wedding in Lichfield + The Lion Hotel Brewood
Sue + Paul found me through my fathers company Barry James Photography when looking for their wedding photographer, and when we sat down and discussed their day, with the whole wedding party arriving in Lichfield on a Routemaster Bus from The Lion Hotel in Brewood, and the promise of a spectacular party on the night, I knew the whole day was going to be a wonderfully relaxed celebration – very much a party with a wedding attached!
I love documenting Lichfield weddings, with the fabulous character in and around Lichfield Cathedral and Cathedral Close, the lovely Beacon Park gardens, and then with the addition of such a greta venue as The Lion Hotel in Brewood – the day could not have been better.
And it has to be said the party did not disappoint – it was absolutely fantastic! Infact, I think I’m going to book the DJs for my wedding next year!
If you want to see more of Sue + Paul’s Lichfield Wedding Photographs please click here.
Kelly + Andrew | October
Wedding at The Fairlawns Aldridge
The start of October saw me at a venue I haven’t had the pleasure of working at for a few years, The Fairlawns Hotel in Aldridge.
Kelly + Andrew commissioned me to capture the wedding photographs of their intimate Fairlawns wedding, creating a relaxed wedding story for them to enjoy both now and in the years to come with their young family.
Weddings at The Fairlawns are always a pleasure to be part of, and Kelly + Andrew’s wedding was no exception.
Sally + Jared | November
Wedding at Packington Moor Lichfield
November saw me back at Packington Moor in Lichfield to photograph Sally + Jared’s gorgeous midweek wedding.
Weddings at Packington Moor are always stunning, with the venue holding so much character, but when you add in a couple as amazing as Sally + Jared, it is impossible not to have an amazing day!
Being friends with the couple before the day certainly helped make the day even more special, and after putting their nerves at ease when photographing them in Sutton Park a few weeks before the wedding, when the wedding day arrived and the sun came out I just knew the day would be perfect.
Sally looked absolutely amazing in her gown, and with the fantastic vintage theme flowers complimenting the gown, and the wonderful afternoon lighting, the portrait of Sally below is one of my all-time-favourite bridal portraits.
Sally + Jared also hired my Photo Booth for their wedding which proved a great addition to their Packington Moor Lichfield Wedding.
More of my favourites can be seen on their blog post here.
Clare + Adam | November
Wedding at Keele Hall Staffordshire
Clare + Adam approached me about photographing their wedding specifically looking for stunning natural black and white wedding photography, wanting their story to be natural, and relaxed, ensuring to capture the most important person in the world to them – their gorgeous son Ollie.
Their wedding at Keele Hall was an absolute pleasure to be part of, and from documenting the morning preparations at The Old Hall Country House Madeley through the whole wedding on a gorgeous late autumn day at Keele Hall, it really was a pleasure to share their day.
Although the first wedding I had documented at Keele Hall I cannot wait to be back at the venue, with so many photographic opportunities in any weather, it really is a stunning wedding venue in Staffordshire.
More from Clare and Adam’s wedding can be found here.
Becky + Paul | December
Wedding at St Marys Church + Chillington Hall Brewood
The start of December saw me documenting Becky + Paul’s gorgeous winter wedding at Chillington Hall in Brewood on a crisp but stunning day.
Becky had first come to me from a recommendation from a close friend, and after we sat down and talked about their wedding, and planned to spend an afternoon together in Liverpool with them both, when it came to the wedding things could not have been more relaxed.
Working alongside a fantastic hair stylist and makeup artist set the tone for a brilliant morning, and from the moving ceremony at St Marys Roman Catholic Church through the afternoon and evening reception at the stunning Chillington Hall in Brewood, the wedding was a thrill to be part of.
Documenting weddings at Chillington Hall are always a pleasure with the venue being one of the premier weddings venues in Staffordshire, and Becky + Paul’s wedding was certainly no exception.
Sam + Sam | December
Wedding at Muncaster Castle Cumbria
Sam and Sam are both friends of my brother Stephen and as soon as they started planning their Muncaster Castle Wedding and we talked about the possibility of my documenting their wedding, it was clear my photography would be a perfect fit for their ideas, and after we spent time getting to know each other better on a cold foggy morning at Heathylee in Derbyshire we all knew we would have a great time together.
On the day of the wedding unfortunately the weather was definitely not the kindest with gale force winds and patches of heavy rain. However, we all trooped through and made the most of the day and created a stunning set of photographs of their Muncaster Caste Wedding.
I had such a fabulous time capturing Sam + Sam’s winter wedding, and hope you enjoy sharing this selection and their wedding feature.