Personal Memories Your Guests Will Treasure By Ian MacMichael

Ian MacMichael has become famous for his unique style and desire to always put the couple's dreams first. He takes the time to explain the day's plans to the bride and groom to fully prepare them and set them at their ease. His attention to detail captures timeless moments as portrayed in Samantha and Chris' stunning real wedding. He expertly recreates all the emotions of their uniquely memorable day.

Having been together since university Samantha and Chris met at a college musical rehearsal of ‘guys and dolls’. After a mini-break with a secretly planned and personal proposal, the couple chose Ian MacMichael as the photographer to capture their extraordinary and sentimental day.

Samantha describes Chris’ proposal in her own words...

The Proposal

“Unbeknown to me, Chris had his proposal planned for months in advance with the ring hidden in a shoe box. I was in the middle of my exams so, the last thing I expected was his proposal. We were away in Scotland at the time and, after a lovely weekend in St Andrews, were driving back to Edinburgh to catch our flight. Thank goodness for Chris I fell asleep, because instead of heading for the airport, Chris was heading to Edinburgh town centre. Unfortunately, I woke up with a start and panicked about the timings however Chris told me that he had a surprise. He had secretly booked two days off work for me and we weren't yet heading home. We then jumped on a train heading towards Durham, where we had met at University.

We arrived in beautiful Durham, the place of so many fond memories and headed for a gorgeous, boutique hotel After settling in, we went into the town centre where we had a fab night after heading back to the hotel, Chris suggested a midnight walk. We used to do this at Uni and it is when Durham comes to life. We strolled around the town and Chris asked if I fancied going to the botanical gardens (where we had champagne picnics in the past). When we got there we sat on a bench and after a gorgeous speech (I will spare you the details), Chris got down on one knee to propose. My initial reaction was "Are you joking!" (I couldn't believe it) before, of course, saying YES!

And that was only the start of our gorgeous weekend proposal in Durham!

The Wedding Gown and Accessories

My wedding gown was by Essense of Australia. I tried it on for the first time at the Birmingham wedding show. I tried on lots of different styles and designers and suited lots of styles. I think my dress was one of the first that I tried on! I immediately felt so special in it but didn’t want to rush into a decision. When I had it on at the wedding show people actually stopped to tell me how beautiful I looked in it, which was certainly a good sign and my mum cried! I then had appointments at various shops to try different styles but couldn’t get the one that I eventually bought out of my mind! It was actually a new line so I had to track down another designer day to try it on again. The dress just felt like an extension of my personality – I felt so special but also felt like me in it. I loved the neckline, which was removable, so it felt like two dresses – one for the day and one for the evening do! The train was amazing but also folded back into the dress for the evening. It had a bit of bling but not too much. I didn’t want to take it off!

Chris got my something blue, which I didn’t know about –an aquamarine ring (my birth stone) with our wedding date and “My something blue” engraved in the band.

My accessories included my amazing head piece/bracelet which we designed for me and also formed my veil/bow at the back of my head. I always wanted a little something different and this was just perfect. My shoes were a bit wacky but sooo comfy and very me!  

My bouquet included my something old (my great grandma’s pearls) and lots of gorgeous brooches from Finesse in Leigh. It helped to make my bouquet that little more special!

The Ceremony

The ceremony was at Rivington Parish church – a quaint little church in the heart of Rivington. Rivington is such a special place to me and my family so there was nowhere else we would want to get married. The choir and the readings read by people we love. The music was also very special to both of us and the string quartet that played as I walked down the aisle was also such a great touch – I so nearly cried as I walked down the aisle…which nearly set everyone off!


The Venue Rivington Hall Barn

The Reception was at Rivington Hall Barn. We wanted a little something different and the barn was a great setting. We thought that we would style the barn quite rustic with hay bails and bunting but when we saw it at a wedding fair, we realized how glamorous and sparkly it was – quite literally like tinker bell had been around the barn to make it special!

The Styling and Finishing Touches

We decorated the barn inside with some amazing apple blossom centre pieces in really tall vases. They created such an amazing effect in the reception – the height on the tables and butterfly finishing touches were incredible. We also put candles outside in homemade jam jar candle holders which we hung in the trees. We had balloon bouquets in the entrance hall and cut them and released them for our group shot.

Chris has always cheered me up with balloons over the years and so we had to incorporate them into our day. We got some incredible photos from the release! We also wrote a note on each to email us if found and we have had one back from Norway, as well as all over Yorkshire/near Durham. For each guest we did little handwritten notes with a little fact about someone on the table and everyone had to guess who it was about, for example “someone on this table was in the opening and closing ceremony of the Olympics”  etc. It got the whole table talking and was a great ice breaker. Table names were anniversary years and we had a couple that were up to that anniversary sat on each table.

We hired a vintage bus to take the guests from the hotel to the church and to the venue. It was a great way to get people around and looked great in the photos.  Chris, however, didn’t have the best start to the day as he got lost! I think he was worried that I’d get there first! We gave the bouquet to the longest marriage (rather than throwing it). This was really special for the couple and meant that we were keeping the theme of anniversaries. In a break from tradition, I did a speech as the bride. Very modern of me I know…but I wanted to thank my parents and Chris personally because they had done so much for the day too. Otherwise, who thanks the groom! Plus, Chris doesn’t talk for me any other day and so why on our wedding day!

Memorable Moments and Words of Wisdom

My words of wisdom would be to work as a team! I of course had so much to do but Chris and my mum also did so much for the day (as did everyone else – family, friends etc). We worked together and really loved organizing everything. This meant that everyone felt that they had contributed something to the day and also meant that everyone had a role on the day which was so special. Also, it made it more manageable and not too stressful towards the end.  I would also say remember why you are getting married – you are getting married because you want to be together. The wedding day is amazing but it is only the first day of the rest of your lives. Enjoy every moment of the build-up to the wedding, the wedding day and honeymoon etc but you are doing it to be married and so remember that when things get stressful and so that you don’t get sucked into being a crazy bride!! Also, don’t drink too much so that you remember each moment of the day.

When planning, don’t rush into decisions but your first thought is often the one you go back to – so try not to stress too much. Just go with it and it will all slot into place. Your inspiration can come from anywhere – ours started from chair cover colours and we decided our colour scheme all from that! It’s also good to get organized – Chris had an amazing spread sheet that only he could work! But it had all our info on it and was there whenever we needed it. 

My most memorable moment was the ceremony itself was incredible – after all that’s what it is all about.  I remember seeing everyone smile as I walked down the aisle and loved having everyone there to celebrate with us."

The Dream Team

Wedding Photographer – Ian MacMichael Photography

Videographer – Philip White weddings

Wedding Dress  – Essense of Australia

Accessories – Eleventh Heaven by Ann McKavney

Shoes - Irregular choice

Watch - Swarovski

Earrings - Thomas Sabo

Rings - Eric Ross 

Cake – Victoria Cakes

Flowers – The Gilded Lily

Band – Callanish music

Stationery – Deannamic designs

  • 2 comments "Personal Memories Your Guests Will Treasure By Ian MacMichael"

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  • Kathryn Coffey says

    22nd June 2013 at 10:15 am

    The wonderful photos Ian and Hazel took of our daughters wedding were perfect. Samantha and Chris can look back in years to come and enjoy reliving their special day thanks to Ian's great story telling through his gallery of photos. His photographs encapulated the love felt between two people and the blessings of all the friends and family sharing this special day with us. I've never seen my daughter look so beautiful as she did on that day and the photographs didn't let me down, Ian caught that fleeting expression, that moment in time that I can only thank him for sincerely. Samantha and Chris decided to have a video aswell and I'm so glad they did. As mother of the bride I can only recommend the investment in a great photographer and videographer is definately worth every penny. Infact my advice to any up and coming brides to be is to chose people who care and have a real passion about their craft. Samantha and Chris chose people who went that extra mile and showed great pride in their profession. From Samantha's bespoke wedding head piece and veil, which was so unique but so Sam, to the elegance of her cake, which tasted divine! All of these people cared enough to help make Sam and Chris's wedding BLESSED. As mother of the bride, I couldn't have asked for more. Thankyou to all involved. Every piece of the jigsaw made a perfect picture to be framed in our hearts.

  • Lynda Pike says

    1st July 2013 at 8:21 pm

    WE had and amazing day at Sam and Chris,s wedding, Id been quite ill for a while and was feeling under the weather. The day before the wedding I underwent a horrid test at the hospital and was rather sore, but to dress up and attend this wedding helped me forget the worries and really enjoy myself.
    They both looked amazing, they have an amazing family who mean alot to me and my family, they used to be our neighbours and we have spent many hours over the years in their company. It really felt special to share that wonderful day with them. From the church to the evening everything was done perfectly, so much attention to detail, Kathryn is wasted in her current job, she needs to become a wedding planner!!!!

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