Tanya Weekes » Natural light photography

MIDLAND HOTEL BRADFORD WEDDING: DUAA + USAMAH

I have spent a lot of 2019 back and forth between Nanjing, China and Manchester, England. In August, I flew back to England to photograph Duaa and Usamah’s wedding.  I had met the bride, Duaa before. She has this lovely warm soul, that is full or energy and vibrancy. We had met at her sister’s wedding, Aliya (a really lovely woman), the previous year at her beautiful Iraqi/Egyptian celebration. I remember Duaa having this calming energy during that sometimes crazy getting ready stage of the wedding. When Duaa contacted me through my Instagram (@tanyaweekes) to tell me that she would be getting married and would like me to photograph her Muslim wedding ceremony I was really happy. Unfortunately, I was unavailable to photograph the ceremony which was a shame, but she then later contacted me to photograph her bigger wedding celebration later that year. Here are a few detail shots from that day.

The wedding took place in Bradford at The Midland Hotel. Duaa explained to me in advance that the wedding would be a typical Iraqi wedding where the men and women would be segregated and she would not be wearing her hijab as she normally would and so the highlights from the day will be focused on the wedding details.

When I first arrive at the wedding venue, I usually try to photograph the details that make up the day. This may include the bride (and groom’s) accessories including the wedding rings, if possible, shoes, flowers and jewellery. It’s always helpful when these items are in one place or easy to locate to save a bit of time, which means more time spent photographing and not searching (always a good thing!).

When photographing the accessories, I’m always on the look at for the “cleanest” and most well-lit spot. Meaning, I’m looking for an area that is clutter-free and fairly bright with natural light. At Duaa and Usamah’s wedding, this meant photographing the accessories and details in a separate room to where the Duaa was getting ready.

I also think  the venue plays a big role too, so I usually try and photograph the small details at the venue. My second photograph, Safrana helped me with this while I photographed the bride’s accessories.

Duaa and Usamah had a segregated wedding, which meant that the reception took place in two different rooms. One for men and one for the women. The men’s reception took place in the French Ballroom pictured below.

The couple opted to have a “first look” and saw each other for the first time on their wedding day, privately in one of the rooms at the venue before guests arrived. This is also when the bride and groom portraits took place. The room was great, it had big floor to ceiling windows with lots of natural light flooding in and lots of space to move around. We also took some time to photograph the couple in the reception room and on the stage area before guests arrived. They then made their big entrance in the women’s reception hall together.

The women’s reception hall, pictured is where the bride and groom made their big entrance. The first dance and cake cutting also happened here as well as formal family portraits on the stage.

Usamah’s family collect classic cars and so arrived at the wedding venue in a fleet of classic cars ranging from Mercedes to BMWs.

The bride and groom’s entrance was followed by their first dance which took place on a white dance floor lit up by sparkly LED lights.

For wedding favours guests were given these cute bottles of Zam Zam water which has many health benefits and is significant in Islam.

As well as serving crepes after the main course guests were also treated to an amazing dessert table by Made For Desserts

It was a beautiful day.

Photography by Tanya Weekes | Assistant Photographer Safrana | Venue: The Midland Bradford | Dessert Table by Made for Desserts | Zebba Band: Balabel Alsharq | Music by DJ Myah

For similar weddings, check out these previous posts:

THE MERE RESORT WEDDING: NOOR + MUSTAFA

It’s not often that I meet with the bride and

Rise Hall Wedding: Becca & George

Becca & George were married in the

ROCHDALE TOWN HALL WEDDING: AA’ISHA + MOHAMMED

I first met Aa’isha and Mohammed when I