Bride looking over shoulder with groom & son watching in the background outside of St Chad's Church in Sunderland

We love the beach! This was our third visit to The Roker Hotel in Sunderland which is right across the road from the beach front. It was going to be the latest wedding service we had ever been to at St. Chad’s Church in Sunderland. The September evenings were starting to cut in quickly and it was going to be a race against time to squeeze everything that Louise & Harland wanted to achieve on their wedding day.

Louise & Harland approached us after their original photographer let them down. We hear about this practice a lot. Unscrupulous photographers will book a wedding until a larger wedding, that’s worth more money, comes along. They then gazump the original wedding! We were only too happy to step in and help. Living in Sunderland, it was going to be difficult for them to visit the studio. Lisa arranged to meet with Louise to save the day and get familiar with her vision of their wedding day.

Bridal Prep in Sunny Sunderland

Our afternoon began with Lisa arriving at Louise & Harland’s home in Sunderland. Louise was running late at her Hairstylists so when she arrived back home it was all hands to the pumps getting everyone ready. After enjoying the flowers Harland had sent as a surprise, Louise jumped into the makeup chair. The house was busy with a lot of her family.

Bridesmaids Wedding flowers baskets & shoes beforeThe Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Wedding Dress hanging from bedroom door beforeThe Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Bride Reading message on flowers sent by groom beforeThe Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Bride getting makeup applied  beforeThe Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Brides mum orgainising buttonholes before The Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Bride getting lipliner applied  beforeThe Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Bride pouring champagne before The Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Bride laughing with her sister as they get ready before The Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Bride laughing at her Dad before The Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Bride with her bridesmaids on the settee before The Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Brides mum helping bride get her dress fastened before The Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Bride inspecting her bouquet before The Roker Hotel in Sunderland
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Louise had decided not to have any adults accompany her, having 4 gorgeous young ladies instead. Lisa chipped in and helped do the children’s hair to get the day back on track. Their floral headdresses looked stunning. The 4 flower girls were armed with baskets of petals and they definitely weren’t afraid to use them.

Bridesmaids hugging on a settee before The Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Flowergirl with her basket before The Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Bridesmaid with her Bouquet before The Roker Hotel in Sunderland

As her flower girls left for the church, Louise looked beautiful in her lace topped wedding dress. She was absolutely glowing. Her dad was extremely proud.

Bride, her father & bridesmaids before The Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Bridesmaids climbing into vintage car at before The Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Bride getting a kiss from her father before The Roker Hotel in Sunderland
The bride with her bouqet before The Roker Hotel in Sunderland
bride finishing her coffee before leaving for the church in sunderland

The Groomsmen in South Shields dreaming of the Roker Hotel

Harland and his boys used his mum’s home as their starting point. Together with his best man, they had their suits and shoes all lined up and very organised. Harland’s 2 young sons were to be his pageboys. Both were looking forward to dressing up as long as they could take their action figures with them.

Grooms buttonhole
Groomsmens shoes & Personalised socks
Groom helping his page boy get ready

The lads had been supplied with personalised socks and cufflinks. Even the ring box was marked to remember the day. As Harland’s mum and sister got ready upstairs the boys used the downstairs as their own dressing room. I loved their tweed suits. Once ready, I shot off to St Chad’s Church in Sunderland ready for them arriving.

Groom & Bestman getting page boy ready
Close up of pageboys personelised socks
Pageboy showing off his cufflinks
pageboy smiling in his blue tweed suit
The wedding rings in a personalised box
grooms cufflinks
grooms buttonhole
pageboys posing
Groom with Pageboys

St. Chad’s Church in Sunderland

Church weddings are becoming a rare beast. The majority of weddings we attend now focus on one venue. It makes a church wedding extra special. On arrival, my first task is always to find the Vicar or Priest conducting the ceremony. They all have their own rules on how we can operate in the church. While discussing the do’s & don’ts he gave me a new little wedding fact. As I’ve already mentioned, the wedding service was going to be at 5:30 pm. He commented, that this was the latest a church wedding could be held. The tradition stems from olden times. Saving the bride or groom from seeing there betrothed for the first time, in poor light. I giggled to myself picturing a couple waking up to an unexpected sight the next morning.

We were also introduced to Louise & Harland’s Videographers. We always dread working on weddings with Videographers because it can become 2 dogs fighting over a bone. The lads from Starkfilm Weddings have a very stand-off style though. It helped us avoid getting in each other’s way. We’d certainly work with them again.

Sign outside St Chad's Church in Sunderland
Groomsmen waiting at St Chad's Church in Sunderland
Groom, Bestman & Pageboys walking to St Chad's Church in Sunderland
Groom tickling pageboy
Bestman at St Chad's Church in Sunderland
Groom and his Father at St Chad's Church in Sunderland
Groom outside St Chad's Church in Sunderland
Bridesmaids & Flowergirls outside St Chad's Church in Sunderland
Bridesmaids, Flowergirls & Pageboys outside St Chad's Church in Sunderland
Pageboy showing Flowergirl his toys
Inside St Chad's Church in Sunderland
Guitarist next to church organ in St Chad's Church in Sunderland
Groom talking to Bestman in St Chad's Church in Sunderland
Bride arriving at St Chad's Church in Sunderland
Bride walking to St Chad's Church in Sunderland
Bridal Party waiting with bride to enter St Chad's Church in Sunderland

Ready for the Wedding Service

St. Chads Church in Sunderland is a spacious and bright area. The fabulous wedding guitarist Jessica Avison played live music instead of the traditional organ fan fair. We were allowed free reign around the church but that doesn’t mean do cartwheels down the aisles. If your moving then the attention will be on you, not the bride & groom. So you keep your movement to a minimum and if you do need to move, we do it when there’s a pause or hymn to be sung.

Bride & Groom meeting at the end of the aisle
Bride & Groom seen from the rear of St Chad's Church in Sunderland
Close up of bride smiling
Guest smiling in St Chad's Church in Sunderland
Bride laughing when saying vows in St Chad's Church in Sunderland
Groom taking the rings from the priest in St Chad's Church in Sunderland
Mother of the groom watching the ceremony
Bride & Groom laughing at the priest St Chad's Church in Sunderland
Bride & Groom Kneeing before priest in St Chad's Church in Sunderland
Close up of Bride & Groom holding hands
Bridesmaids & flowers girls watching the ceremony in St Chad's Church in Sunderland
Bride & Groom signing register in St Chad's Church in Sunderland
Close up of the Register and wedding rings at St Chad's Church in Sunderland
Bride & Groom kneeing before the priest in St Chad's Church in Sunderland
Bride & Groom kneeing before the priest viewed from the rear of St Chad's Church in Sunderland
Bride & Groom surrounded by the bridal party children St Chad's Church in Sunderland
Children running from the alter at St Chad's Church in Sunderland
Pageboy helping Flowergirl pick up petals
Bride & Groom covered in confetti outside St Chad's Church in Sunderland

Nearly time to Party at The Roker Hotel

After a lovely ceremony, we used the alter for some group shots and then moved outside for a group shot of all the guests. Sadly, for such a beautiful church on the inside, the grounds outside are far more mundane. Because of this, we didn’t want to do a lot outside of the church.

After doing so well up to the service, Harland & Louise’s youngest son was starting to flag. So we made the decision to get some family photos of the 4 of them while we could. Within 30 mins he was fast asleep.

Bride & Groom walking away from St Chad's Church in Sunderland
Bride posing outside of St Chad's Church in Sunderland
Bride looking over shoulder with groom & son watching in the background outside of St Chad's Church in Sunderland
Bride & Groom larking about with their family
Bride & Groom kissing with sons watching
Kids waving from wedding car at The Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Bride & Groom in wedding car at The Roker Hotel in Sunderland

Sunderland Beach Front

Lisa organised for Louise & Harland’s Chauffeur to meet us at the seafront opposite The Roker Hotel in Sunderland. The beach was quiet and the sea was calm. We were just a little early for a proper sunset and the clouds now blanketed our previously, clear sky. Less “little fluffy clouds” and more “dramatic skies” which we used to effect in a handful of shots.

Without any of the responsibility of organisation, family & kids, Louise & Harland relaxed and really enjoyed the time to themselves on the beach. We got to see the “couple” for the first time.

Groom resting his forehead on Bride near Sunderland Beach Front
Bride & Groom cuddling on Sunderland Beach Front
Bride posing on Sunderland Beach Front
Bride & Groom smiling together on Sunderland Beach Front
Bride & Groom cuddling on Sunderland Beach Front
Bride & Groom holding hands in front of dramatic sky on Sunderland Beach Front
Bride & Groom walking on Sunderland Beach Front
Groom dancing with Bride on Sunderland Beach Front
Bride & Groom dancing and smiling on Sunderland Beach Front

The Roker Hotel in Sunderland

The front of the Roker Hotel has a collection of restaurants & a bar with a large function room and bar area at the back. It has a big dance floor with plenty of space to party.

Arrow pointing towards wedding at The Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Cutlery at The Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Bridesmaid pulling a funny face behind wedding flowers at The Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Wedding flowers with Love sign in the background in The Roker Hotel in Sunderland
"Shit just got real" on top of the wedding cake at The Roker Hotel in Sunderland

Louise & Harland had face painting, photo booth and slush machine organised for the kids. Their cake was guarded by a driftwood arch and topped with “Shit Just Got Real”. Some great speeches were followed by a buffet which allowed us to get loads of informal family & friend groups. We stayed til about 10 pm and had such a great time.

The wedding cake under a driftwood arche at The Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Flowergirl with a blue tongue and a lolly at The Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Groom making a speech at The Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Bride watching the groom make his speech at The Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Flowergirl plying with her toes at The Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Bride & Groom cutting their cake at The Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Bride & Groom onder a driftwood arch at The Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Dad dancing with Father The Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Low shot of Bride dancing with her dad at The Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Bride & Groom kissing during first dance at The Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Bride and groom's first dance with flower girl watching at The Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Flowergirl and toddler dancing with bride & Groom watching on at The Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Groom getting a kiss from both sisters at The Roker Hotel Sunderland
Wedding Guest dancing with toddler at The Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Funny faces from the bride & guest at The Roker Hotel in Sunderland
Bride & Groom leaning on letters spelling LOVE at The Roker Hotel in Sunderland

We’d like to thank Louise & Harland for letting us be a part of their Wedding Day. We hope they both have a wonderful life together.

We hope you like this small selection of photographs taken at the wedding.

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