A wedding day fit for a Queen – Joanna & Adrian

18 Jul

Here I have a lovely wedding by Steve Oatway Photography. Based in North Lincolnshire, Steve covers much of Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and the Humber. Taking place on the same day as Kate & Will’s nuptuals, April 29th 2011, the blushing bride and groom Joanna and Adrian look like they had a fantastic day!


April 29th 2011 will be remembered the world over as the day Britain’s future King married his Princess however, Joanna, Adrian and their own Little Princess, Leah will remember it for a whole other reason.  For them it will always be the day that they joined together in holy matrimony, in the beautiful Catholic church, St Hugh’s, Lincoln. 


A few weeks earlier we had arranged to see the church, and Branston Hall, Branston where the reception was being held.  The church was beautiful, but my favourite venue had to be Branston Hall.  When I hear the phrase “love at first sight” I never thought it could apply to buildings too!  I could already tell that this would be a wedding to remember.


We arrived at Branston Hall, where they had all stayed the night before, to find the bride…and no-one else!  Apparently all of the bridesmaids had decided to give her some peace and quiet on her big day, but it just left her feeling a little, well, lonely!  More worrying was the lack of hair-dresser, as well as the switched off TV and absence of champagne for our nervous bride.  Joanna explained that the champagne hadn’t arrived yet, and neither had someone to fix the TV (she wanted to watch the Royal Wedding while she got ready).

Steve set about fixing the TV, chasing up the champagne (she needed a little Dutch courage as the hair-dresser was getting increasingly late!), and keeping Chief Bridesmaid Leah occupied by taking her off for a portrait session, as she was bored and getting nervous herself.

Hair and make-up arrived and did a lovely job with everyone.  It kept both Joanna and Leah distracted while they were being made even more beautiful.  Watching an equally terrified looking bride on the TV helped too I think!  As did the cheerful, lively discussion over what we thought of the dress.  I think Joanna was glad that her wedding wasn’t being watched, and judged, by the whole world!  I can’t even begin to imagine what that must have been like for Kate.  As if she didn’t have enough pre-wedding jitters as it was!

We discreetly withdrew while Joanna and the bridesmaids got dressed so we could photograph the bouquets and rings.  The rings were unbelievably tiny, I don’t think I could have fitted Joanna’s ring on my little finger! 

Soon the veil was on, the tiara fitted, and it was time to rush off to meet the boys.  Adrian wasn’t looking that much calmer than his beautiful bride-to-be, it was very endearing.  We all walked up to the church to wait with bated breath for the bridal party.


When Joanna arrived, a hush descended across the congregation.  The look of pride and love on Adrian’s face was enough to bring a tear to this hopeless romantic’s eye. The ceremony was very sweet, with one of their nephew’s as an altar boy, readings by several different family members, and a whole lot of love and emotion from the happy couple.


I have to admit that I cried, but anyone who knows me would have seen that coming!  It was a beautiful ceremony, and they are obviously so very in love, I just couldn’t help it.

Back off to Branston Hall we went, as the church opened straight onto a busy road so we were unable to take any group photos there. The chauffeurs very kindly stayed a little longer to allow us to take some photos with the car, and of the ribbon detailing.  The bride and groom then chose to walk to the hall, so Steve was able to capture his signature “walking away” photo.

Steve photographed the large groups from on top of a roof, much to Abbey’s alarm.  Though I think that mostly stemmed from him telling her that SHE would be the one climbing up onto the roof!  He had just been teasing, really he had been itching to climb up the fire escape to risk life and limb since he was given permission to do so.  Men!

Next he whisked away couple, who were now grinning inanely in a slightly shell-shocked manner, while the guests were enjoying catching up with each other over a glass of champagne in the gardens.

Steve and Abbey managed to sneak into the dining room before dinner was announced, to photograph the beautiful table-centres.  Each place had a little favour bag, though instead of the traditional almonds it contained Mini Eggs!  With a Crème Egg for each of the children.  I thought this was a fantastic touch, especially when Leah proudly announced that she had helped make them.

There were also disposable cameras available, which were quickly snatched up by Leah and a few other giggly girls, who had a lot of fun pretending to be a photographer “Like Steve!”.  Leah thought it was very funny when she took a photograph of Steve taking a photograph of her. 

After dinner we were able to take a few more photographs of a slightly tipsy bride and groom before more guests arrived.  There was a slight “wardrobe malfunction” when her garter slipped off outside, but it made a funny twist on the “Cinderella Moment” when Adrian put it back on!

We finally had to allow them to return to their guests (imagine, a bride and groom wanting to be at their own wedding, shocking!) and for the dancing to begin.  The dancing was very fun to watch,  with little girls spinning and swirling their skirts, little boys skidding across the dance floor, and to older couples dancing a stately waltz.

I then discovered that Joanna has a surprisingly big voice for such a tiny person (ok not that much smaller than me), when she sang for Adrian during the evening reception.  I hear it’s a little unorthodox for a bride to perform at her own wedding, but I think it was great (especially when the bridesmaids started “shoop-shoop”-ing behind her!) and fitted them perfectly.

Exhausted but happy we finally collected their signature mount, full of sweet messages and well-wishes, and headed on home. A big congratulations to the new Mr and Mrs Flanagan.  I thought the day was perfect; I hope that it was everything you dreamed of.  It truly was a wedding day fit for a queen.

Such a lovely family oriented wedding day! I’d like to second that big congratulations to Joanna & Adrian, here’s to a wonderful future together!

Laura x


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