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Manchester City Centre Wedding Photography
A Love for Architecture & the Northern Quarter
In January this year, I got a great wedding photography enquiry from a couple looking to have an intimate wedding day at Salford Cathedral in Manchester City Centre. I instantly fell in love with their plans and I’m sure it wasn’t hard to see how exuberantly excited I was about it all. In the end, Emma & Greg extended the invitation and asked if I’d be a key part of their wedding day plans. To say I was thrilled would be an understatement.
Anything which stretches from the norm is a real excitement inducer for myself. Emma & Greg’s plans did just that and when their wedding day eventually came there was an extra stretch as they married amongst the COVID-19 pandemic.
I’ve always loved the Northern Quarter of the City Centre of Manchester and longed to photograph amongst it for so long. It’s incredible professional artistic murals which litter the side of a lot of buildings really make it an incredible part of the city centre to just wander around. Couple this art with culture and the atmosphere around the Northern Quarter and you’ve got one hellova landscape to experience. As much as I love the Northern Quarter it was the incredible clean-lined architecture of Manchester City Centre which sprung my original love for the city which is why you’ll see such a stark contrast of backdrop throughout this wedding photography from Emma & Greg’s day.
A Dream to Shoot in Manchester City Centre
Manchester has been my go-to city centre from such an early age as I’d very regularly make it up here to see bands, eat food or shop. Being such a fond outsider of the city and living under an hour away means I always love to go back. I loved being a part of Emma & Greg’s intimate wedding plans and would love to do it again. I often venture further afield to photograph weddings and I don’t charge for the pleasure. I find it incredibly exciting actually and really relish the opportunity to shoot within a new space and a new wedding adventure.
My style of wedding photography is built on a great relationship with my couples. All of my weddings are different and unique; even if I was to shoot again within Manchester City Centre. Time on your wedding day is really important to me as I’m sure it is for you too? So if I can help it I don’t really want you to miss a thing and would love you to remember as much as possible. This caring and relaxed approach to my wedding photography is the reason why so many couples recommend me. They always say it feels like a friend is taking their photographs and not a photographer.
Built on Cotton, Continuing on Culture
Despite its huge buildings and its incredible landscape Manchester City Centre only boasts a population of almost 18,000 people. Its incredible landscape and architecture come mostly from its rich history and forefront position within the cotton trade. Now it exists as a beautiful history of North-Western Architecture over the last two decades. Wandering from street to street you’re sure to be inspired by the beautiful buildings of times gone by and the modern-day. Notable buildings include the CIS Tower which was once the UK’s tallest building, the Neo-Gothic Manchester Town Hall and the linked Central Library rotunda which wouldn’t look out of place sat in place of the Pantheon in Rome.
Although its population is rather small the surrounding area of greater Manchester boasts over 7 million people who all live within an hour of this incredibly linked transport centre within the North West. These incredible transport links mean hundreds of thousands flock to the city every day to work, shop, eat out, watch sports and experience the vibrant rich artistic and music culture the place oozes.
Just like all of the best cities within the world Manchester City Centre boasts a bit of something for everyone. Spinningfields, the business district of the city boasts a lot of the more modern glass faced architecture. Picadilly is the entrance of the city through its incredible rail, tram and bus links, it also boasts the huge Picadilly Gardens which is a large square courtyard within the main centre of Manchester. The Circle Square is the newest district which is set to become the digital and technological hub of the city. A Chinatown area can also be found just off of Picadilly Gardens whilst Canal Street, aka the Gay Village, sits along the Rochdale Canal. My favourite spot within the city though is the Northern Quarter which is the hub for alternate and bohemian lifestyle within the city. For anyone who’s ever felt out of place in life, they can definitely find their crowd within the Northern Quarter.
A Wedding Day at Salford Cathedral
I met Emma on the morning of her Manchester City Centre wedding at the Lowry Hotel in Salford where it sits alongside the River Irwell with the very picturesque Trinity Bridge within its courtyard. Getting ready within her own little private suite along with her bridesmaids and the mother of the bride there was tons of space to do my thing. The room had the most incredible views out across the river looking towards the People’s History Museum. I just couldn’t resist using this as a backdrop for any photograph. With COVID-19 in full swing, Emma couldn’t have her makeup artist onsite but had her hair done in the morning at House of Evelyn LINK.
With the Lowry Hotel sitting so close to where Emma & Greg used to live together it was only a quick hop skip and a jump along the riverside to the Edge apartment block to capture some morning antics between Greg, his best man aka his dad and Emma’s dad, the father of the bride. Some questionable wedding morning Brandy and a quick Coors Light subdued the wedding morning nerves and gave Greg a more relaxed feel. A few final touches to his maroon Moss Brothers suit and the addition of his Navy tie and succulent buttonhole from the Northern Florist had him ready and raring.
Just before I left for Salford Cathedral for the wedding service I quickly captured photographs of Emma’s final details including her putting on her incredible Maggie Sottero dress from The Confetti Box in Eccles. As she described it, it was her Dianna dress complete with a slightly smaller veil to accompany it.
Within what felt like seconds I was back down with Greg walking down the road with his dad towards Salford Cathedral. The tightness of Manchester City Centre allows for great planning for a wedding day. There are so much choice and culture in such a tight close location that you can really have so much more on your big day if you choose to.
Emma & Greg had a traditional Roman Catholic service at Salford Cathedral including hymns sung by one member of the clergy, a reading by Greg’s mother and bidding prayers from one of his sisters. It was a lovely little service and Father Michael really made us all feel welcome within the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.
Following the service I allowed my couple to breathe as per usual and really take in the post-service feeling of being married. A truly incredible moment as you come to terms with what you’ve just done. True joy and emotion really come to the foreground during this moment and I just love to photograph it. A family photograph or two later followed by a confetti bombing from an afar led to the end of the church period of the day and started our adventure into the Northern Quarter and the City Centre more so to capture their couples portraits.
I’ll openly admit that I loathe taking couples away from their guests and really don’t enjoy it. The longer it lasts the more I feel they’re missing out on their actual wedding day but with the tightness of the day and the special COVID-19 enforcement upon their day, there wasn’t much else we could do. It was a plan which couldn’t be orchestrated in another way to get the wedding photographs they’d want.
Although I’ve spent a lot of time in Manchester City Centre before this prospect of guiding a bride and groom around on their wedding day scared me somewhat and I really didn’t want to get it wrong. So the day before I headed up to do a recce of the Northern Quarter and the rest of the city centre to find some prechosen spots to take photographs.
We quickly made our way through each of these spots shooting max two posed portraits in each. They included a huge wall mural by Jim Vision outside Luck Lust Liquor and Burn restaurant, A small heart Luke Embden mural on the side of Manchester Craft and Design Centre followed closely by a shot in front of the colourful Atelier Bebop mural on the side of Common restaurant. We managed to fit all of this in before stopping off for a drink at The Castle Hotel, a pub where Emma & Greg met. After this we sauntered through Stevenson Square to rapturous applause in Stevenson Square from the 100s of people sat in the evening sun having a drink. A quick portrait outside Flow Creative before we taxied over to St Peter’s Square to photograph amongst Manchester Town Hall City Council Offices and Central Library.
Once finished photographing my Bride and Groom amongst Manchester City Centre my day was over. Emma & Greg retired to the Lowry Hotel for a meal and a bit of cake. A real whirlwind of a wedding day but one I wouldn’t hesitate to be involved in again.
Photographing Amongst the Vibrant Culture of Manchester City Centre
I’ll often ask to dim the lights in hotel rooms. I find them so one tone across the whole room which really removes the excitement of playing with light. I did this at the Lowry Hotel for Emma’s getting ready portrait, the natural light brings such a softer one-directional glow to my photography and I love it.
I love the transitioning of moments. The in-between sections of a wedding day which help tell the story. We started here and we then travelled and went here. Rather than we are here, now there and then now here. I love for there to feel like there is a narrative to the wedding day photographs by harnessing a slight documentary approach.
The bright and airy vibe of Salford Cathedral really helped make the photographs look a lot warmer and fuller in a sense. Given the intimate vibe and the fact the families had to sit within their own bubbles with facemasks this was something I feared would be missing but considering all of this we had a great service and Emma & Greg’s clear visors allowed me to see their beautiful faces in full. Focusing through these was incredible easier also which was something I feared may be problematic.
Later on, when it came to photographing amongst the main City Centre and the Northern Quarter I was able to harness the slow setting sun to bring in shadows to my work to induce a great contrast between light and dark. This is something I love to play a lot with when it comes to my photography.
Believe it or not, but Manchester like most City Centre’s isn’t actually as tidy as I’ve made it out to be. I quick dust-up in Photoshop after I’ve done my initial edit removed any cigarette butts or graffiti which wasn’t the initial intention of the piece. For me, it’s not right to use Photoshop to falsify the look of my couples but it is right to remove parts of the photograph which don’t show the area at it’s best. I love being a Manchester Wedding Photographer and I’m not going to let a bit of graffiti or little ruin the intended look of my photographs.
Manchester City Centre Wedding Photographer
Planning your special day in Manchester City Centre
I love Manchester City Centre and being able to photograph a wedding here is incredible and I would love to return. Why not give me a shout?
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