On Sunday the 16th June 2019, I had the pleasure of photographing the beautiful wedding of Vanessa and James at The Old Golf House Hotel, Huddersfield. A Whisper Hotel set in the heart of Yorkshire, with 3 acres of beautiful grounds.
I had met the couple almost a year ago and instantly couldn't wait to be involved in their big day. They were full of life, fun and enthusiasm and couldn't wait to introduce me to Leicester, James’ guide dog. James is registered blind and Leicester is a huge part of his life, giving him freedom and independence. His wife to be, Vanessa, is also partially sighted and has fibromyalgia. As we chatted more, I discovered that Leicester wouldn't be the only guide dog in the wedding party, he would also be joined by one other incredible guide dog. A whole new experience for me.
The big day arrived. The weather was holding out and Vanessa, with the help of Hair by Hannah and Cerise makeup was ready to walk down the aisle in her gorgeous dress. With the groom all suited and booted and the dogs ready to go there was just time to squeeze in a few more photos. I could not believe the change in the dogs as they moved from fun, friendly, dog to dedicated, hardworking helpers after putting on their harnesses (I wish my kids could do that!). They watched every tiny move their handlers made, gave unfaltering concentration and made all challenges just a little easier.
The long walk down the aisle is a daunting moment for any bride, but with the help of her proud dad and his loyal, hardworking guide dog Nisha, Vanessa made her way to her eagerly awaiting groom whose smile couldn't be contained.
Photographing those special moments, the groom, James waiting excitedly and of the couple holding hands repeating their vows and exchanging rings is an amazing honour. It preserves that brief and beautiful moment forever.
It only felt right to include the dogs as wedding guests, they are a huge part of the family, after all, so they posed front and centre in the group shots amongst Vanessa and James friends and family. With a little help from some party whistles and my second shooter Kev, we even managed to get them all looking at the camera for some fab group photos. I also managed to catch little dog Charlie wearing a guests hat as he joined in the celebrations making the day just that little bit more special for Vanessa and James.
Vanessa provided brilliant moments during the day, the funniest bride I have ever come across (and that's quite a few!). Telling the story of how she met James on the bus included “who needs Tinder, when you have the 513 from Stainland!” and had everyone howling with laughter!
We had great fun creating stunning images and memories of their wedding day. It was incredible from start to finish and I enjoyed sharing every moment with them.
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