Manchester City centre wedding - Ainscow Hotel and The Rain bar
Updated: Feb 9, 2019
Looking back through 2018 it was a pretty awesome year all round, I have been a wedding photographer for 8 years now yet some of my favourite all time weddings happened last year and Naomi and Oli's big day was definitely one of them.
I first met this amazing couple in the January of 2018 at Oli's parents house for a meeting to discuss the plans for their big day, we chatted like old friends and straight away I knew we were all going to get along great.
I was super excited to photograph their wedding as a Manchester City Centre wedding was definitely on my business bucket list.
We later met again at the Rain Bar just weeks before the big day for an engagement shoot and got on so well, chatted over a drink and made the final plans to capture their big day just how they wanted it.
Naomi & Oli's big day started on a sunny day in August, I arrived at the Ainscow hotel nice and early to find Naomi and her bridesmaids all excited for the day ahead, Naomi seemed a little nervous and very excited.
She was soon to be marrying her dream man.
Hair, makeup and laughter was how the morning went and both me and my assistant Danielle were made to feel so welcome.
After capturing the morning prep I decided to head over to an old pub across the city centre where Oli and his grooms men were having a pint to steady his nerves and playing a few games of pool. It was so lovely and relaxed and he too seemed excited, he wasn't letting his nerves show but I could tell they were there.
I headed back to the Ainscow in time for the ceremony, which was really lovely and super intimate, after the ceremony they had a lovely Jehovah reading from a close friend which was perfect for them and just the way they wanted it.
The guests were given drinks after the ceremony and Naomi & Oli along with myself, and my 2 assistants made our way into the city centre.
I was a little stressed driving in the centre, which showed as I got a ticket from going in the bus lane (oops!) but we were soon parked and ready for their couples shoot, it started at the Rain Bar where they hosting their wedding reception and we did a circuit of the city seeking out all the best places for that perfect wedding photo.
We got a lot of attention walking round the busy City centre on a very busy Friday afternoon in August and i'm not surprised because the pair of them looked just stunning, who wouldn't stare!
We had a great hour of walking and using the best spots in Manchester before heading back to the Rain Bar for a pint with the guests and some more family portraits at the canal side.
Following the family photos Naomi & Oli enjoyed time with the people they love the most, Curry and Rice was on the menu as well as some other delicious treats which I was welcome to eat with the guests and I was so looked after, they really are so thoughtful & considerate.
Then the evening is when the real party started. The couple had booked an Irish band and they were amazing, I really wanted to ditch the cameras and jump right in there on the dance floor.
I asked Oli what his favourite part of the day was and his reply "Seeing Naomi walk down the aisle, having a pint with the boys before the ceremony, the Irish band!
Naomi's favourites were "The vows, although I was nervous! Walking around Manchester city centre in my wedding dress!! Dancing to the Irish band, and our last dance before we left which was the Grease Mega Mix -
me and Ol in the middle singing the lyrics, and everyone around us in a circle!"
The love story
Naomi and Oli have been together for 2 years and they met through mutual friends, Naomi says it was definitely a set up but shes more than thankful to their gorgeous friends because shes met the man of her dreams.
When it was time to pop the big question Oli took Naomi to Lymm for lunch on a cold and wet afternoon, she had no idea but did realise he was acting a little funny.
Walking down a footpath to a little stream and waterfall, is where Oli asked Naomi to marry him, not down on one knee though as it was so muddy!
Then Oli suggested going for a drink at the local pub to ring family and let them know... They turned up and about 15 of their friends and family were waiting for them with an engagement cake, presents and balloons! Surprise!!
The Dress - Mori Lee - style 1508
Naomi's stunning dress was a white Mori Lee - style 1508, when she went shopping she didn't really have any idea of what she wanted but she knew she wanted just something simple and elegant and not too OTT!
She decided to start looking on eBay, and found someone selling a dress only an hour away from where she lived so messaged her and decided to arrange a visit to try it on, her mum went along with her and she was over the moon
to find that it fit, without any need for any alterations.
She felt amazing in it and decided to buy it then and there!
Her next task was to find a veil to match, which she did, she loved the little bow detail and everything about it.
The venue – The Rain Bar & Ainscow Hotel
Naomi & Oli booked their wedding ceremony in the lovely Ainscow hotel but as they didnt want the typical hotel wedding they decided to start looking for a venue for their reception. They wanted something that matched their personality, they are a relaxed and laid-back couple, and that's exactly the kind of feel they wanted for their big day.
Naomi describes "We didn't want some posh typical wedding venue. We aren't country manor people, we're both from the city, our ceremony was in the city... Let's just have an urban city wedding! Who doesn't like going to the pub!? Plus, it was close in distance to a lot of hotels for those family and friends travelling up from the south, as well as those who just wanted somewhere close to stay!"
So when they went for a pint at the Rain Bar on a random Wednesday night, and saw a sign that they do functions and weddings, they soon realised they had found their laid back perfect setting so they enquired & booked it that week!
The Rain Bar were fantastic, it was pretty much a blank canvas and Naomi was able to make it as pretty as she wanted, the room was perfectly dressed she did such an amazing job and she stuck as many pink pompoms & lanterns to the
ceiling as humanly possible.
Suppliers - who made their day so special ?
A friend of Naomi's did the bridal party hair as a wedding gift. Elysha Harrison did the most amazing job, and I had full confidence in her as she's super
talented and definitely a perfectionist.
Rachael Dutton was the make-up artist, She was fantastic from start to finish, their makeup lasted all day without needing any top ups. I could not recommend her enough
Photographer - Suzanne Clark Photography & Film, I asked Naomi for her feedback and her reply was "Beyond amazing, You were so helpful, so professional, and really made us feel at ease. And considering we were in the city centre
in our wedding attire, that couldn't have been easy! We have had so many compliments on our video and our photos and we cannot thank you enough!!" - thank you so much it really was my pleasure.
Naomi did her own flowers with the help of Ebay and her imagination and what an amazing job she did!
Ainscow Hotel is where the ceremony was held, they both described it as brilliant and nothing was a problem, Naomi said she felt in safe and capable hands!
Rain Bar is where they had their reception, our reception venue co-ordinators and staff were faultless. Here's what they said "So friendly, so helpful and non of our requests were out of question"
Greggs were their cake suppliers - donut tower, I wasn't quite quick enough but they certainly looked yummy They delivered on time, and sent a wedding card too! It was really sweet - literally!
Naomi's mum made the top tier and the floral cake topper - she's so clever.
The Wild Murphy's are the Irish band that played in the evening- everyone loved them! Real feel good music! even the grandparents even stayed later than they originally planned because they loved the music that much.
Naomi's helpful advice to future couples
"Ebay was my absolute wedding-life-saver. Don't pay 'wedding prices'. You can make a budget wedding look expensive, you don't need to spend spend spend. I'm quite creative, so anything that I loved, but was too expensive or
out of my budget, I'd find a way to make it instead!"
The theme for their wedding day was a relaxed party feel, they really just wanted to celebrate with those that meant the most to them, Have a pint & have a dance. What more could you possibly want.
Thank you so much to Naomi & Oli for choosing me to capture your amazing day.
Check out some images below of how their day went & I wish you both the best!