In Newcastle we have so many wonderful wedding venues. I split my time between Newcastle and London/Essex. In and around the Capital there are so many amazing wedding venues from the traditional to the quirky. Newcastle matches London in it’s array of venues. One such venue is The Biscuit Factory. It’s a stunning art gallery and has recently had the addition of The Biscuit Lounge; conference and wedding facility which allows it to cater for larger wedding parties. Here is a Biscuit Factory wedding that features Lily and Gary who travelled from Australia to get married.
I get emails from couples all over the world enquiring about wedding photography. A lot of the time it’s ex-pats who are coming back to the UK to get married. I woke one morning last year to find an email from Lily telling me all about her plans. We quickly arranged a Skype call and chatted for some time about hers and Gary’s plans. I love the Biscuit Factory but to hear that this wedding would take place in the new Biscuit Lounge was like music to my ears.
A couple of days later Lily confirmed her booking with me. Normally I would say to a couple that the pre wedding shoot should take place a few months before the wedding. But in the case of these guys we arranged to do it a few days before as they wouldn’t be back in the UK until just before the wedding.
And so there we were…on Whitley Bay seafront. Me just back from a week in Cyprus. Lily and Gary just in front Oz…all of us shivering! It was freezing! But we bravely battled on like the soldiers we are! Meeting face to face for the first time was great and I quickly grew to love their laid back spirit.
Come the wedding day I headed to the Vermont Hotel where they would be getting ready prior to the wedding ceremony. I walked into the corner suite where Lily was getting ready and there was make-up artist Danielle Cochrane. It had only been a week since we’d last worked together so we spent some time talking about that wedding. We then cracked on with our respective jobs. This wasn’t the biggest of suites and with bridesmaids coming and going and with one of them frantically ironing the groomsmen’s shirts, space was at a premium. The view though was amazing. The Tyne Bridge was there just below us and at that time there was barely a cloud in the sky (remember this bit…it’ll come in handy later on!)
I headed over to the Biscuit Factory. Clear Perspex chairs were set up ready for the ceremony. Behind the top table was a stunning floral archway. This had been created by Pure Ground florists of Whitley Bay who also provided all the bouquets and flowers around the room. It looked amazing.
Gary, his bestman and ushers arrived. These guys were the most loving and affectionate bunch of friends I’ve ever met. As they took their places they all hugged and gave each other pecks of the cheek.
Lily arrived and waited outside the building. Her dad popped inside to see if they could go in and as he came back out she took a big deep breath and puffed her cheeks out. In she went.
Stringed quartet versions of AC/DC and Led Zeppelin songs were playing as she made her way into the room. Down the front of the room, the two of them smiled at each other. “Hi!” said Lily. As the ceremony commenced, directly in front of me, bestman and ushers were beginning to get emotional; very emotional. Throughout the ceremony they patted each other of the leg, hugged and handed tissues back and forth. Gary’s bestman sat with both wedding rings on his little finger, nervously twiddling them.
Throughout the ceremony Gary and Lily fixed their gaze on each other, rarely looking away. And when the moment came for the first kiss, the place erupted. Once the paperwork was completed, they made their way back up the aisle and grabbed a couple of drinks that were waiting for them.
The wonderful thing about the Biscuit Factory is the possibilities available to you as a photographer. For their wedding, Lily and Gary wanted to use the surrounding streets and buildings as the backdrop which included railway bridges and graffiti. One bit of artwork included a massive silhouette of Darth Vader. I love Star Wars so wasn’t going to miss that opportunity!
So to the speeches. Lily’s dad’s speech was always going to be a hard act to follow. I think in all my years of shooting weddings he goes down as one of the coolest, most chilled out father of the bride. He gave a lovely speech and then picked up an acoustic guitar and sang a song he’d written for Lily. I carried on my tradition of blubbing at weddings! But Gary and his best man duly got up and carried out their speeches delivered from the heart. Their close knit group of friends whooped every so often and shouted words of encouragement when they faltered.
After the three course meal we all went upstairs to the main part of the gallery now that it had closed to the public. It’s such a wonderful environment in which to shoot. The evening sunlight streamed through the big old windows. We headed out to throw some confetti. Behind me some pretty bleak looking clouds were looming. Just as we threw the last bit of confetti the rain started. So everyone dashed inside.
Back in the Biscuit Lounge everything was ready for the evening fun to start. The huge letters provided by Coco Luminaire were next to the dance floor and were a perfect backdrop in the dropping light. A slow first dance then led straight into hit after hit delivered by the band. The floor was buzzing. In one corner of the dance floor an impromptu dance-off had started.
As I packed up for the night I looked outside and by now the sun had dropped and the rain was a steady flow. As I drove the short journey back the steady flow turned into a torrential downpour. I was only a short distance from the Biscuit Factory…I had my umbrellas in the car. This would be an amazing shot. But a huge flash of lightning streaked across the sky. No way! I’m not putting an umbrella up in that! We were then treated to the biggest thunderstorm I’ve experienced for years! I don’t think it would have dampened the spirits though.
And that was Lily and Gary’s wedding day! A lot of fun. Very chilled out throughout the day. A great bunch of friends and family who all made me feel very welcome!