Sir John Moore Foundation Wedding Photography | Claire & Stef


In August 2014, I shot a very special and emotive Sir John Moore Foundation wedding. I don’t need to tell you anything about it in this opening paragraph as Claire & Stef have provided you an amazing write-up of their wedding themselves. I had trouble restricting this post to 5 or 10 images so have included 16 (to tell the story a little better).

Disclaimer: All images (apart from the shot of Claire and Stef at the gated entrance during their Sir John Moore Foundation wedding) are unposed. They were taken as events unfolded naturally on the day. That’s the way I love to work and will always work. Apart from a few group shots or 10 minutes of lightly directed couple portraits, I will not interfere with the natural events of the day. If you like this wedding, please feel free to comment or share and beautiful karma will come your way! :-)

Over to Claire & Stef… thank you, folks!

“Stef and I married at our parish church St Helen’s, in Ashby de la Zouch. It is a beautiful church, and so picturesque inside. The reverend there at the time, Brian, was such a lovely man and after meeting him several times, we knew we wanted him to marry us.

We went on to celebrate our reception at The Sir John Moore Foundation in Appleby Magna. Straight away, we were impressed when we arrived at the venue, as it is such a grand building, but the thing that really captured our hearts was the cellar bar. It was so quirky with its twinkly fairy lights and low ceilings and we could straight away imagine our circle of friends enjoying the atmosphere down there. The willow area outside was also a beautiful area to chill out, and it looks fantastic in the evening when the lights are on. Susie, the wedding coordinator, worked with us to plan our day, and she was very accommodating to meet our wishes.

We (well, I say ‘we’…) went down the vintage/shabby chic route. My stunning embellished dress was a Jenny Packham Eden, so there was a bit of a subtle 1920’s Gatsby vibe going on. We didn’t stick rigidly to a colour scheme, but pink was the dominant colour.

The bridesmaids had long flowing dusky pink dresses, which I thought looked lovely against my platinum dress. Scarlett had a dusky pink dress too, with a beautiful sequin bolero over the top. The men scrubbed up well in brown tweed suits, including our little man Seb!

We also had some gorgeous pink floral bunting; rag wreaths handmade by a lady from a brilliant shop called ‘Georgia-May’s Vintage Wardrobe’ and birdcage centrepieces, which I thought looked great.

Our original date was set for 21st June. Ever so sadly, Stefan’s dad passed away a week before we were due to marry. It was such a painful and devastating time for the family, and it left us in a tricky situation. We could either postpone for the following year or look into booking a new date last minute. After all the hard work, it seemed only right to try and get a date later in the year.

The church and venue were incredibly understanding and supportive, and we managed to re-schedule for August 30th. We managed to re-book all our bookings bar the photographer so I took to the internet in search!

As a lover of artistic, natural photographs, I was looking for that rare style of photography that makes you cling to every detail of the photo. I saw it instantly as soon as looked through Ian’s gallery. I almost didn’t even bother contacting him as I knew he would be a popular choice, so desperately trying not to get my hopes up I contacted him from his page.

A stroke of luck came our way and Ian was free, so we arranged a meeting. Due to our manic family life, every time we met, Ian came to ours in the evening which really meant a lot at a time when getting childcare would have been a bit of a nightmare. From the moment we met Ian, he was warm and friendly and took a real interest in who we were as a couple and family.

Obviously given the circumstances, it was such an emotional day, particularly during the speeches. What really sticks in my mind is seeing Ian sat on the floor, angled to shoot, but just listening to what was being said. He really chose his moments sensitively and wisely.

Many of the guests commented about how lovely Ian was, and he took the time to mingle briefly with the guests – my dad for one being particularly chuffed to discuss his kilt for a bit!

After the wedding, the change of date meant we were straight back to work and getting on with our lives. When we first saw the images we were speechless! Every single detail came flooding back when we flicked through the slideshow. It was wonderful to see the story of our day, and also the funny little interactions and moments you missed! As I knew I would, the ones I love are the ones where no one is looking and just enjoying the day. There are also some really dramatic, artistic gems taken in the church. Love them! Thanks, Ian, we couldn’t have asked for anything better. I would recommend him to anyone and everyone.

To go with my dress, I thought I might as well go the whole hog and go seriously bling with a brooch bouquet. I could never understand paying out so much money on flowers that won’t last, so I wanted something that I can keep for years to come. And if you can’t look bling on your wedding day then when can you?! I found Lisa on Etsy and I knew straight away I wanted her designs! I cannot recommend her highly enough, she communicated with me throughout the whole making process. She even made my lovely little daughter a mini brooch bouquet for free, which was so unbelievably kind of her. She even sent me an email to say what each brooch symbolised, which was interesting.

To take me and my dad to church, and then me and Stef on the venue, we also hired our 1928 Vintage Morris Cowley called ‘Old Flora’ from David Smithard Professional Wedding car hire. David was a real character and provided a really personal service. He even threw in a bottle of bubbly!

I really wanted there to be a personal touch to as many elements as I could. As I’m a creative person, I made the invites, order of services and table plan by hand. Loads of people also got stuck in, it’s amazing how everyone’s talents came to use! My mum made our beautiful cake. My friend Sue made the beautiful floral bunting around the hall. My gran put together all the dried flower favours for the ladies and my mother-in-law and her friend Dawn made my bridesmaids dried flower bouquets and helped with lots of finishing touches.

It suddenly also became apparent that my crazy creative friend Holly, who was originally drafted in to provide the canapés and evening buffet, was also my honorary wedding planner! I honestly don’t know what I would have done without her. Not only did she deck out under the arches with some stunning decorations, but she also left people raving about her completely homemade canapés and mouth-watering evening buffet. Her smoothie shots, spicy chicken and mango pots, rustic rolls, shredded chicken wraps and cookie mountain to name only a few went down a storm! Every single person I have spoken to since has had something to say about the delicious food.

If anyone is reading this and is looking for an excellent top-notch buffet Holly is your lady. Whether it is a wedding, birthday celebration or even a private dinner party give her a call. Holly was there every step of the way, spending hours with us designing menus and ordering fancy platter plates.

Holly Richichi – 07598 751548

Another big part of our day, especially for Stef, was the music. We really wanted to stay true to the music we enjoy, so we booked an indie/rock band called ‘The Anthemics’. We couldn’t believe how true they sounded to the real thing, and they blew everyone away – the dancefloor was rowdy and bonkers – just as we wanted it.

The band even learnt our first dance ‘Mardy Bum’ by the Arctic Monkeys. We chose that track because we didn’t want a soppy song where all eyes were on our terrible dancing the whole time. It’s also the song that Stef always sings when I’m in a right mood, and every time (whether I want to or not) it makes me laugh!

Here are our three tips for couples planning their weddings.

Don’t get married while juggling two children under two! Hahaha. Not really!

Enjoy the day, as suddenly the countless nights spent arguing over the bloody table plans are suddenly over and all that hard work has paid off. And it’s gone in a flash!

Also, have a sweetie table, ours went down a storm!”

One Comment

  • hi

    I am going to book a wedding reception at the same place. But I love the photos. could you share the photographer facebook page please?

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