I was intrigued when I first was contacted by David and Rachel, as I’d never heard of their venue, let alone shot a wedding in it. The mystery location was the Monastery of St Francis in Gorton, Manchester. Naturally I envisaged cowled monks telling everyone to shush, but this was just my hyperactive imagination. The venue turned out to be quite unlike any other I’ve photographed in. It’s a disused monastery that was well on its way to wrack and ruin when it was saved and put to new use in 2007 following a £6.5 million restoration project. It’s well worth a visit, let alone a wedding! (The only thing I didn’t love about every square inch of the place was their dreadful purple uplighters – why on earth they think this adds to the monastery’s appeal is a total mystery to me. If you’re getting married there, you might like to ask them to switch them off on your wedding day!) So apart from that minor thing, let me tell you why this wedding was exceptional for so many reasons. First, the couple were just so much fun – David and Rachel were so easy to photograph. I’d done a pre-wedding shoot with them at their request and it was obvious that they were not going to be camera shy at all. On the day, Rachel’s bridesmaids added to the mix with plenty of laughs and smiles along with David’s groomsmen but the icing on the cake was the amazing Monastery providing such a sublime backdrop to Rachel and David’s wedding photography. If you’re getting married at The Monastery, I’d love to be your photographer so why not get in touch to see if I’m available on your big day.
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