Tanya Weekes » Natural light photography


It’s not often that I meet with the bride and groom before their wedding. In the case of Noor and Mustafa’s wedding it was no different. Noor contacted me by e-mail, through my website in the summer, initially for her engagement party. She had been recommended to me by Amira from Amira Made who’s wedding I had photographed at the British Muslim Heritage Centre a few years before. Noor contacted me again in November for her wedding party in January which was to take place at The Mere Resort in Knutsford, England.

Although I have photographed at The Mere Resort a few times before, I arrived early with my Assistant, Safrana to scout out potential locations for the bride and groom portraits to make sure that the locations I had in my mind would still be okay. We decided through e-mail correspondence in advance of the wedding, that we would start the photography with the bride and groom portraits in order to make use of the last of the natural daylight. Although weddings rarely run exactly to plan, it’s always good to have a rough schedule to work towards in order to make the best possible use of time and ensure nothing is missed. Because of this, I always ask my clients to e-mail me a rough schedule in advance of the wedding so that we are all the same page and enough time is left to get the pictures that the client wants.

I took the next couple of pictures of the groom, while we waited for the bride to arrive. Here Mustafa is being helped by his brother with his bow tie.

I love black suits at weddings, they always look so stylish. Mustafa wore his with shiny black patent shoes.

As the saying goes, you can’t control the weather! By the time we started the bride and groom portraits, it had started to rain. All good! We, just made use of the covered porch area and shot underneath a tree which sheltered the couple from the worst of the rain.

Noor wore a bespoke wedding gown from KMR Bridal.  How pretty is Noor’s veil!

We also made use of the gorgeous reception decor as a setting for the bride and groom portraits.

How stunning is this cake?! It was made by the same company that arranged the flowers and includes fresh flowers between each of the layers. I’m told each cake had a differently flavour. Cake aside, let me take a minute to say how beautiful Noor is (Mash’Allah) she has the loveliest smile.

The wedding favours included  chocolate hearts in gold foil as well as bottles of Zam Zam water which is holy water significant to Muslims and is known to have various health benefits.

I loved the gold theme and how it was incorporated into the the decor and the dresses from Noor’s close friends. The table planner, welcome sign and post box were in the foyer when for when guests arrive. I thought the gold framed mirror was a genius idea for a table planner. Guests were also greeted with flute glassess of elderflower spritzer.

Noor explained that the tables were named after cities from their hometowns in Syria and Iraq.

I’ve always had a soft spot for jam jars used for vases – each table had a couple of jars plus a huge flower centre piece.  The tables looked really beautiful. The florists were still putting together the flower arrangements when we first arrived. I’ve never seen so many fresh flowers. There were flowers upon flowers. The room smelt divine.

Since this was an Iraqi-Syrian wedding, it was important for the couple to have that reflected in the wedding. Guests were treated to a plethora of Iraqi mezze style appertisers which included stuffed vegetables (dolma) and kubba (little fried patties).

The bride and groom made their big entrance into the room with a zaffa band called Balabal Alsharq which translates as singing birds of the East. The band performed a traditional Syrian wedding entrance. It was really great to see. The band played their drums and tambourines and sang some chants in Arabic. The energy was fantastic.

Following the entrance and a little dancing everyone sat down to enjoy a three course meal. Shortly after, the main course, it was announced that there was surprise firework display thanks to Mustafa’s Dad.

Following the fireworks, guests came back inside for desserts, speeches, some more dancing, photographs and to watch Noor and Mustafa cut their fabulous cake. It was certainly an eventful evening with lots of smiles and dancing to be had by all.

Venue: The Mere Resort |Photography by Tanya Weekes | Second photographer: Safrana Musa | Videography: Anabelle Video Production | Wedding gown: KMR Bridal | Flowers and cake by Strides Wedding Specialist  | Zebba Band: Balabel Alsharq | DJ: DJ Dan

Special thanks to the Assistants Events Manager, Marvin who was very helpful on the day.

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