The wedding blog for Stephen McGowan Photography - A North West based Manchester Wedding Photographer team who travels to throughout the UK photographing weddings at the most elite wedding venues.

A 'Peveril of The Peak' Mini-Shoot with Bridal Chic in the City

Manchester wedding

Ok, so this was a mini-shoot put together off of the back of the Bridgewater Hotel Wedding Photography shoot, but essentially the shoot had a completely different look and feel to that of the music hall. I wanted to go full on 'This is Manchester' 80's mod vibe with our model Aaron - putting together a set of contrast rich black and white moody portraits with a smoking cigarette to finish the look off.

The 'Peveril of the Peak' Pub is a stand alone icon of inner city Manchester. With it's tiled lime green walls and dark green furnishings, the pub instantly catches the eye against the gentler, toned down colours of Manchester's cityscape.


'That Look' - Groom Portraits outside 'The Peveril of The Peak Pub' in Manchester

'Winning!' - 'Peveril of The Peak Pub' Manchester Wedding Photography

'Passer-by' - 'Peveril of The Peak Pub' Manchester Wedding Photography

Shoot Team

Organiser: Bridal Chic in the City
Photographer: Stephen McGowan Photography
Videography: Base Aura
Floral: Paragon Floral Design
Hair Stylist: Becky Betty
MUA: Soiree Make Up
Bridalwear: Erica Stacey Bridalwear
Suithire: King & Allen

Bridgewater Hall Wedding Photography | Bridal Chic

Bridgewater Hall Wedding Photography

I was recently asked by Bridal Chic in the City whether I'd be up for doing a Bridgewater Hall bridal shoot with them ... the fact that this blog post is full of Bridgewater Hall wedding photographs can only mean one thing - I gladly obliged!
The Bridgewater Hall has recently gained it's wedding license to hold official wedding ceremonies - and so is yet another unique wedding venue to tie the knot in Manchester City Centre.

Concert Hall Wedding

Excitement levels were high/off the scale in the morning - knowing I had this gorgeous space to myself to be as creative and artistic as I wanted. Brilliant!
I met up with our two models in the morning; Dee and Aaron. Aaron was being made up by Dee from Soiree Make-Up when we met.
Dee's gorgeous dress for the shoot was designed and made by Erica Stacey Bridalwear with turban by Satyrion and Birdcage by Kate Hill. 

Manchester City Centre Wedding

I began the shoot with Aaron, grabbing some alone groom preparation shoots in the window of the Bridgewater Hall overlooking Manchester's Midland Hotel and Deansgate Locks. We then had a wander outside to the loading bay of the Hall. I came across a set of shutter doors which made for a great metallic backdrop for Aaron's portraits, we also had a couple of props - including a Manchester Hallé Orchestra kit case for Aaron to sit on!

Manchester Theatre Wedding

Once we had a good complement of groom portrait pictures, my attention was on our gorgeous bride, Dee, in her stunning Erica Stacey Bridalwear dress. We grabbed some gorgeous portraits in the blinds and windows of The Bridgewater Hall before having a wander around this amazing wedding venue to find the most idyllic spots for our portraits.

I really can not wait to come back here as a Bridgewater Hall Wedding Photographer to do it all again!

Love on a Staircase - Manchester Bridgewater Hall

Derek Healey's sculpture of ribbons rises through the four levels of foyers at Manchester Bridgewater Hall

The gorgeously lit stage at Manchester Bridgewater Hall

`Shoot Team

Organiser: Bridal Chic in the City
Photographer: Stephen McGowan Photography
Videography: Base Aura
Floral: Paragon Floral Design
Hair Stylist: Becky Betty
MUA: Soiree Make Up
Bridalwear: Erica Stacey Bridalwear
Suithire: King & Allen

Chetham's Bridalshoot with 7th Heaven Bridalwear


Chetham's Weddings and Events

Yesterday we were over at Chetham's for a 7th Heaven Bridalwear shoot like no other!

Chetham's is steeped in cultural heritage - housed in buildings that are nearly 600 years old and boasting a truly unique and magical atmosphere. Their medieval buildings are one of Manchester’s real gems - getting married in the old Baronial Hall must be undoubtedly a unique experience in itself!

With medieval architecture from the Baronial Hall through to the old library upstairs - the opportunities for gorgeous photogenic backdrops are endless! Being given a 'free rein' of this gorgeous venue for the day - we were completely spoilt for choice for what to do!

Medieval Wedding Venue

Our dresses were provided by the wonderful Helen at 7th Heaven Bridalwear in Congleton - both Charlotte Balbier dresses;  'Amba' and a brand new dress for 2016, both dresses looked gorgeous on Mary and Constance - our wonderful models for the day.

Verdure Floral Design provided us with some gorgeous bouquets, floral centrepiece and floral headwear which looked absolutely lovely on our brides and perfectly suited the look we wanted for the shoot.

Emma Culbert worked her magic with some lush natural tones on the brides while Jessica Shelley gave us some very stylish hair which complemented their look perfectly.

We also had 'Love Lights The Way' on board providing us with their stunning light up letters along with light up tree. :)

Shoot Team

Venue: Chetham's Weddings and Events
Bridalwear: 7th Heaven Bridalwear
Dresses: Charlotte Balbier
Floral: Verdure Floral Design
Make Up: Emma Culbert MUA
Hair Styling: Jessica Shelley
Light Up Lettering: Love Lights the Way


Knutsford Photoshoot with Edith & Winston Bridalwear and Georgina

Knutsford Weddings

We were over at Edith and Winston Bridalwear recently to put together a Kelsey Rose bridal shoot in the Cheshire village of Knutsford. This was our second shoot with Georgina - a plus sized fashion blogger "Fuller Figure Fuller Bust", after our first get together for our Isla Gladstone Conservatory Shoot.

A big thank you to Emma Culbert for providing us with the gorgeous natural/nude make up tones for Georgina's make up throughout the day, and for Leah Riley's hair styling magic for Georgina's amazing hair.

Wedding venues in Knutsford

We didn't particularly have a set venue in mind for the beginning of the shoot - locations included the quaint cobbled streets of Knutsford village centre, we then used local florists 'The White Orchid' and their shop as a shoot location with a gorgeous floral backdrop against their flower wall - The White Orchid also provided us with our lovely shoot bouquet.

Knutsford Train Station Bridal Shoot

We then headed to Knutsford Train station - an ideal location for a vintage style shoot. The station is maintained in it's 60's style with a lovely blue tiled theme throughout to contrast with the red brick of buildings. Becca at Edith & Winston had even prepared some personalised Newspapers for us to use on the day!

STAR RETURNS! Blogger and Model returns to Cheshire

This made for some great close up shots of Georgina with the E&W Times Newspaper at Knutsford train station, which was a really nice touch!

The White Orchid Knutsford

From Knutsford train station, we the ventured back to the White Orchid with Georgina wearing a different Kelsey Rose dress for some nice candid window display shots looking out into Knutsford town centre. The floral backdrop against the window with the white and pink balloons made for an ideal opportunity to grab some great bridal expressions! 

Cheshire Hall Weddings

We finished off our bridal shoot by visiting Cheshire Hall. This country wedding venue boasts fabulous black and white tudor beaming throughout their buildings, so we just had to make the most of this beaming for our backdrops!

Personally I also absolutely loved the black and white tudor double barn doors and had to take a nice shot of Georgina in front of them, which seems to have come out really well.

A big thank you to everybody involved with our Fuller Figure Fuller Bust bridal shoot with Edith & Winston, we have plenty more bridal shoots lined up this year, with some great ideas too! so watch this space!


The Shoot Team

Photography: Stephen McGowan Photography
Bridalwear: Edith & Winston Bridalwear
Model: Georgina Cox - Fuller Figure Fuller Bust
MUA: Emma Culbert Make Up Artist
Hair Styling: Leah Riley Hair
Floral: The White Orchid
Venue: Knutsford and Cheshire Hall

7th Heaven Bridal Shoot at Heaton House Farm Wedding Venue

Heaton House Farm Weddings

This was our second styled shoot as a Heaton House Farm Wedding Photographer, and boy - was it good!

We had NINE (9!) different wedding suppliers come together to make the shoot happen with three bride models: two brides and a lucky groom :)
It was a very windy, cold December day - a constant moody sky lingered over our heads for the majority of the day - but spirits were high and we were going to capture some awesome shots!

The shoot itself was going to be a festive winter shoot with a red and ivory colour scheme. We were going for a very high class and glam look (as you'd see in a typical stately home wedding venue) to somewhat go with the bespoke rustic farmyard setting of Heaton House Farm. Therefore the photos would ooze rural class and elegance.

Alongside myself was Emma (Emma Culbert MUA) who provided the gorgeous make-up and also helped co-ordinate the shoot having pre-arranged a ideas mood-board for the day. Helen at 7th Heaven Bridal kindly let us use three of her gorgeous Charlotte Balbier dresses and a stunningly detailed Justin Alexander dress (just wait till you see the details on this dress!) and also helped out on the shoot - Thanks Helen! :)

Natalie's Florist worked absolute wonders to create two beautiful bouquets and pinholes along with a festive floral reef of reds and ivories to dress our candelabras. The floral colour scheme really set the tone for the shoot and really popped out in the images! So a big thank you to Natalie and the team for supplying us with some beautiful floral pieces.

We also had Venue Perfection on board for the shoot, they pride themselves on being the most stylish events dresser and decorate venues to absolute perfection. It was a pleasure to work with Katie in the run-up to the shoot - deciding what we'd need and then setting up the scenes for the day before. Venue Perfection kindly provided Chair Covers, Candelabras, Centrepieces, Candles (any more C's?) oh, and a two seater leather sofa for our Heaton House Farm Wedding photographer shoot!
Katie also pointed us in the direction of WhiteHouse Events Crockery who supplied us with some amazingly detailed glasses (champagne and wine), chargers and cutlery to dress our table for our final 'dining table barn house' shoot at Heaton House Farm.

For the hair, we had the incredible Jeni Mulholland (JM Hair). Maureen's hair (in the top photograph) looked incredible and stayed together all day - even against the winds of Storm Desmond! Honestly - even though the top photograph looks calm and intimate - we were fighting against some big gusts of wind at the time, so thank you Jeni for the resilient hair styling!

Daniel's dark navy suit on the day was supplied by Whitfield and Ward in Wilmslow, which was exactly what we were after for our male model - a suit of high class and quality which came out really well in all of the photographs.

Thank you to Daniel, Gwen and Lily Marion for modelling for us on the day and making my job a bit of a breeze :-) Thanks guys!

And finally a BIG thank you to all of the guys at Heaton House Farm for letting us use such a superb wedding venue for the day, such a shoot wouldn't have been possible without your help, so thank you Sarah, Saskia, Charlotte, Nicola and Olivia - I hope you all like the photos! :) and hopefully it won't be too long until I'm back on the farm as a Heaton House Farm Wedding Photographer! :-)

The Shoot Team

Photography: Stephen McGowan Photography
Bridalwear: 7th Heaven Bridalwear
Venue: Heaton House Farm
Make Up Artistry: Emma Culbert MUA
Hair Styling: Jeni Mulholland
Flowers: Natalie's Florist
Suit: Whitfield and Ward
Table Dressing: Venue Perfection
Glassware and Crockery: WhiteHouse Events Crockery

Heaton House Farm Wedding Photographer Stephen McGowan

Happy Halloween!

Isla Gladstone Weddings

Trick or Treat!

A very happy Halloween from Emma and myself here at Stephen McGowan Photography. :)

We had a great impromptu Liverpool wedding photographer shoot at the Isla Gladstone Conservatory in October with our friends Edith and Winston and plus size fashion blogger Georgina from Fuller Figure Fuller Bust. This was my first time as an Isla Gladstone Wedding photographer and I really enjoyed the shoot. 

'Flossy and Leigh' worked their magic on Georgina to produce a stunning and elegant zombie bride! which is something certainly a little different to the wedding photography in cheshire we're used to! but it's all good fun! :D

Also a huge thank you to 'Love Lights the Way' for supplying the twinkly light up tree! how gorgeous does it look in the background here!? It certainly gives the backdrop an added sparkle inside the Isla Gladstone conservatory!

I'm really looking forward to coming back here as an Isla Gladstone Wedding photographer soon!

The Shoot Team

Photography: Stephen McGowan Photography
Bridal Boutique: Edith and Winston
Hair and Make Up Artist: Flossy and Leigh
Light Up Tree: Love Lights the Way
Venue: Isla Gladstone Conservatory

Georgina: Ronald Joyce

Isla Gladstone Wedding Photographer Stephen McGowan

Georgina at Isla Gladstone Conservatory with Edith & Winston

Sandhole Oak Barn Wedding Photography | 7th Heaven

Sandhole Oak Barn Wedding Photography

With the wedding season in full swing we decided to make ourselves even busier with a  Sandhole Oak Barn wedding photographer bridal shoot

As a Cheshire wedding photographer I'd wanted to shoot at Sandhole Oak Barn for months, but with weddings and other things getting in the way, I had to keep putting off producing a photoshoot there. There are a few things I love about Sandhole Oak Barn wedding photography; the surrounding countryside, the wedding/farm-yard mashup of clichés, and then there's that pond!

The shoot would be a fine art wedding photography style in a farm/barn cheshire wedding venue - it would be used to concentrate on bridal dresses and moreover the fine delicate detail of the dresses. I put the idea over to Helen at 7th Heaven Bridal Boutique in Congleton and she loved it - we chose Justin Alexander and Charlotte Balbier dresses for the shoot which held an incredible amount of detail throughout the dress. from top to bottom.

Having scoped a bridal boutique for our Sandhole Oak Barn wedding photographer shoot, we got in touch with The Word is Love who were more than keen on taking part in the shoot - supplying us with HEAVEN light up letters (we later aptly labelled this as the '7th Heaven Bridal Shoot'). The HEAVEN letters nicely lined the wall of Sandhole Oak Barn - providing a nice backdrop for our two bridal models; Katya and Bo.

Emma (Emma Culbert MUA) was able to provide us with some gorgeous make up and she teamed up with Shoni (at Boutique Hair) who produced the most stunning hairstyling. The two of them together really work well! The bridal preparation rooms at Sandhole Oak Barn are some of the best I have come across in the North West, they would definitely be worth staying over the night before for!

As the day progressed, the sun came out and rewarded us with what turned out to be a very hot and sunny day!. We therefore quickly progressed from shooting indoors to shooting on the wooden decking overlooking the pond (a great feature for any wedding day!). For the decking photography I wanted to show the silk finishing of the dresses and how the dress 'drips' away from the models.

We then shot by the pond side alongside the reeds and flora. On a nice sunny day like today, Sandhole Oak Barn is the perfect wedding location, there's definitely no shortage of scenery and backdrops for photographs! We finished up shooting on the far side of the pond where we were accompanied by an inquisitive swan who insisted on photobombing us, not that we complained! :)

I am very much looking forward to coming back as a Sandhole Oak Barn Wedding Photographer.

The Shoot Team

Photography: Stephen McGowan Photography
Bridal Boutique: 7th Heaven Bridal Boutique
Make Up Artist: Emma Culbert
Hair Styling: Shoni Williamson at Boutique Hair
Floral: Didsbury Flower Lounge
Light Up Lettering: The Word is Love
Venue: Sandhole Oak Barn

Katya: Charlotte Balbier
Bo: Justin Alexander

Sandhole Oak Barn Wedding Photographer Stephen McGowan

Swettenham Arms Wedding Photography | Bridal Shoot

Swettenham Arms Wedding Photography

If there's one thing I love, it has to be bride and groom shots in fields of colour! I love colour in photographs, not only just colour, but having the ability to manipulate it to accentuate a composition. I've been fortunate for such occasions with weddings looking out over fields of blues and yellows in the mid-summer. But one 'crop' which had eluded me was the lavender plant - flowering only for 2-3 weeks a year, having a wedding taking place at or next to a flowering lavender crop in the North West of England... well the odds are slim to say the least.

So if the wedding wasn't going to come to me - I'd have to put on a fake wedding! with my own models and bridal dresses :)

We got in touch with Swettenham Arms, a pub wedding venue whose grounds consist of a lavender field, perfect for some wedding photography in cheshire !
I told Becca at Edith & Winston all about my plans, Emma was on board with make up artistry (Emma Culbert MUA) and our brilliant hairstylist friend Shoni at Boutique Hair in Cheadle Hulme for the hair styling. We had two models: Kat, who we were going to go bridal 'Bo-Ho/bohemian' with locks and twists in her hair; and Danielle, who we were going to go with a more classical bridal look.

The shoot itself was fine art photography with a classical feel to the compositions. We had a very moody day (overcast and constantly threatening to rain!) and so I'd develop photos with mood, style and a clash between a colour floor bed and grey moody skies.

Maybe next time I'm here will be for wedding photography on a nice warm summer's day - quite different to this shoot! 

The Shoot Team

Photography: Stephen McGowan Photography
Bridal Boutique: Edith & Winston
Make Up Artist: Emma Culbert
Hair Styling: Shoni Williamson at Boutique Hair
Floral: Didsbury Flower Lounge
Venue: Swettenham Arms

Kat: Callista Bridalwear
Danielle: Ivory & Co

Edith and Winston Bridalwear at Cranage Hall

Cranage Hall Weddings

This is it!

Our first shoot with our friends Edith & Winston bridalwear in Knutsford! The shoot was put together to produce a new bridal brochure for the 2015/2016 wedding season.

Having recently been hired as Nicola and Gordon's Cranage Hall wedding photographer, we decided to use Cranage Hall as the venue for our shoot, which we felt would suit the style we were going for: stylish, contemporary and most importantly: FUN! The dresses were modelled by the lovely Rosie, a lovely plus-size fashion blogger who also seems to enjoy jumping in front of the camera for a spot of modelling from time to time!
For the shoot Rosie modelled a gorgeous Callista dress which simply oozed detail. The White Orchid's bouquet perfectly complemented Rosie's look along with the flowing veil.

We began in a idyllic scene for any Cranage Hall wedding photographer; the hallway is a beautiful photography spot for portraits for any bride and groom getting married at the hall. The hallway contains a full sized wall mirror which any wedding photographer in cheshire would tell you; is amazing for photographs!
Love Lights the Way were on board for our shoot and added a large light up heart! the heart adds a special touch to your day and gives an added feature for photographs.. win win!

We then continued to Cranage Hall's grand doorway - flanked with the two large sandstone pillars, made the perfect spot for some bridal wedding photography. The wind also came out to play, flicking Rosie's hair and veil adding a dash of drama and movement to the shots! lovely!

I love being a Cranage Hall wedding photographer and can not wait for my next wedding here!


The shoot team

Photographer – Stephen McGowan

Bridal Boutique – Edith & Winston

Hair – Shoni Williamson of Boutique Hair

MUA – Emma Culbert

Light up Heart – Love Lights the Way

Flowers – The White Orchid Floral Boutique

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Cranage Hall Wedding Photographer Stephen McGowan