Who knew you could get married on Easter Sunday? In the lead up to Sophie & James’ Wedding, we actually called South Shields Football Club & the Town Hall to make sure we had the right dates (only to satisfy my OCD). “You’re definitely open and have a wedding booked on Easter Sunday??” The answer, of course, was a resounding, yes!
It also just happened to be the hottest day of the year in South Shields, or at least that’s how it felt in my suit. Lisa was meeting the bride at her home where she was getting ready with her family & bridesmaids. Lisa felt welcome as soon as she walked in the door. It was if she had known the family forever. We had worked with the family once before for their sons 1st Birthday Cake Smash. Everything was in the right place and ready to go. Vibrant colours of her flowers which set off the sparkle of the day. The smell of the flowers and perfume were in the air. The atmosphere was exciting and Sophie looked stunning.
Lisa & I always like the family to let us know if they want any photos taken of extended family or friends. We hear stories of other wedding photographers being unapproachable or “just there for the bride & groom”. We are there for all the guests.
While the bridesmaids were getting hair and makeup applied, Sophie went to get her dress on with her mum. From the moment Sophie’s dress went on the whole place became magical. When everyone saw her, the tears began to flow. Lisa spotted the girls filling up, and they didn’t want to spoil their make-up, so she started to change the mood and got them to do some fun photos in their PJs.
VW Camper Van Surprise
I met the boys at James’ parent’s house. Their son was chilling on the sofa. Without a care in the world, he just let everyone run around him like mad hatters. He had grown a lot bigger since the last time we’d photographed him. Sophie & James’ parents had organised a little surprise for them. A VW Camper van & a convertible Beetle. James didn’t have a clue until he looked out of the bedroom window as it pulled up.
Getting Jude, their son & page boy for the day ready was a true team effort. I think every member of the family put an item of clothing on for him. He took it all in his stride. James’ groomsmen arrived to muck in too, just before I dashed off to meet them at South Shields Town Hall.
It was red hot and the girls started to melt. Luckily the bride’s mum & bridesmaids had a beautiful classic Black VW Beetle Convertible to whisk them off to South Shields Town Hall with the top down leaving Sophie and her dad to wait for the Camper Van to collect them. Sophie’s dress looked fantastic. It was as if she was born to wear it.
South Shields Town Hall
As we’ve said in previous blogs, Halo Photography loves South Shields Town Hall. It looks fantastic, it has loads of space inside with loads of light. The staff are fantastic and obviously enjoy their jobs and you get far more time for your service & photo than any other registry office we’ve attended.
We had a scorcher of a day with brilliant spring sunshine. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky as James greeted his guests. As the rest of the guests retreated inside, out of the heat, I greeted the bridesmaids before Sophie arrived. I also met her flower girl for the first time. She was so cute and ready to take on her responsibilities like a professional.
The Reception Room at South Sheilds Town Hall is glorious. Its a huge, bright room with loads of space so we aren’t right on top of the couple during the service. As the guests were enjoying the cool interior Sophie arrived with her father. I remember the Town Hall staff opened all of the huge windows to let the air into the venue.
Lisa remembers running up the stairs to get the magical moments of Sophie’s dad walking her up the Town Hall staircase. Normally, if you plan for young children to play a part at a wedding it doesn’t go well. But Sophie’s son, Jude, and her niece upstaged everyone as they walked perfectly down the aisle. Jude went straight into his dad’s arms ready to greet his mum & grandfather.
There wasn’t a sound in the place. Both made their vows to each other and when the registrar asked if anybody knew of any objections, Sophie turned around to double-check just in case. The eyebrows dared anyone to try it.
It’s hot, hot, hot in South Shields
We planned to get as many of the large group photos done at South Sheilds Town Hall. We only did one large shot of all of the guests outside, partly due to the heat but mainly because the sun was still low in the sky and shining straight into the guest’s eyes. Even though everyone was hot and eager to get a nice cold pint they were all as good as gold. We let people head off to the venue as soon as the family photos were taken, then we only had Sophie, James and their VW Camper. It was very quiet. With it being Easter Sunday, the town centre was very quiet. All you could here was Lisa’s voice echoing around the walls of the Town Hall as she directed the photos.
Blue Skies at Marine Park
Marine Park is a great spot to whisk a bride & groom off to for some couple time. It’s just a few minutes down the road from the Town Hall. It did seem that the whole world had the same idea on this beautiful day. We had to work really hard to keep the public out of most the images. The public, normally, is really understanding and as long as you aren’t bossy with people they are very cooperative. Mostly they just want to stop and wish the couple good luck and congratulate them.
We also had to contend with long shadows. It’s not often you get a day like this early in the year so we tried to make a feature of the low sun and blue skies. The Campers driver was great. He had personalised champagne glasses for them and plenty of strawberries to keep them refreshed.
Kicking off the party at South Shields Football Club
The original South Shields Football Club was founded back in the 1880s but it’s only been at its current home of Mariners Park since the ’90s. It’s a small ground with a capacity of 3000 fans and they play in the Northern Premier League Premier Divison. Sophie & James loved the idea of a marquee and the ground was the perfect local venue for them.
With an Easter theme, Sophie had organised all of the decorations with help from family & friends. The marquee was a great blank slate for her to fill with splashes of spring colours and Easter bunnies everywhere. Lots of colourful flowers made the venue delightful. It was hot though. I think the thermometer hit 25 degrees and I was soon stripping off my jacket and waistcoat. The sweet table was an unfortunate casualty of the heat. The jellies had all melted in the jars and formed a monster jelly. Gooey!!
The speeches were heartfelt and fun. One minute guests were crying with emotion the next with laughter as Sophie’s dad kicked off proceedings. The best man had photographic evidence of the stag do. Jude did his best to upstage his dad and Sophie had to have the last word after all the men.
Sunsets, Morretti & Fun in the Stands
After the meal, the sunset over South Shields and everyone was enjoying the cooler evening sun. We used the stands to get a few remaining groups. Sophie & James weren’t really footie fans so that dashed a few of our ideas in planning but we still had a good laugh making use of the football club.
When the time came for the first dance, Sophie’s dad pinched it. James eventually got to join in and showed off the fact the two of them have some great moves. Sophie & James’ family were great sports and couldn’t get enough photos, helped by selfie props on the tables.
The wedding cake had survived the heat. Since our first wedding together as Halo Photography, Lisa & I have the cake knife to the throat as a signature shoot. Don’t ask us why we do it every time, we just have a giggle. It’s just our thing.
Sophie had a little surprise for everyone. The night’s entertainment was for them all to sing Karaoke. This was one family that threw themselves right into it. But tipsy dads & uncles could outshine the bride singing her heart out to her new husband with their favourite Adele songs. Talk about emotional endings to the night. It was completely unplanned and the perfect end to our day with them.
We’d like to thank Sophie & James for inviting Halo Photography to be part of such an amazing day. We’d like to say congratulations on the birth of their second child and can’t wait to see them all again very soon.
Here are some of Sophie & James’ suppliers that made their wedding day unique.
- Flowers & Button Holes: Thanks a Bunch in Hebburn
- Grooms Suit: Racing Green
- Cake Supplier: Cake Bake & Decorate
- Hair by: Manhattan by Lisa
- Venue & Caterers: South Shields FC
- Band/DJ/musicians: Waynes World Entertainment
- Wedding Car: Canny Campers Wedding Hire