Melissa & John - Merchant Hotel Wedding

Belfast rocks! It’s always a pleasure to photograph in the city I call my home; I was delighted to hear Melissa and John had decided to get married here.

The Merchant hotel was my first stop of the day to catch the girls getting ready. I really like the styling in this hotel; the rooms have tall ceilings; the décor is funky and interesting and the location is perfect as a hub for your Belfast wedding. Melissa was big into her shoes, so I made sure I had them as the vocal point for her getting ready photos.

A lot of the time when I head into a hotel room to document the girls getting ready the room is very dark and uninspiring, which is a shame as it doesn’t reflect the great energy in the morning. However, the rooms at the Merchant are beautifully bright and make it so easy to highlight the details and people in the morning. Hats off to the redesign team.

It was then over the St. Anne’s parish church which was very well hidden and nestled just out of view of the main road. This was great for a more secluded experience for the guests. As far as ceremonies go this was great, it had the right mixture of light-hearted humour but humble reflection on marriage. Hats now off to the priest who conducted the ceremony……. I think I’m gonna run out of hats for this wedding.

The sun was bursting through the clouds once the ceremony had finished so I decided to take Melissa and John back inside the church as I noticed a column of light filtering in through a window in the rafters. It just highlighted one pew, so was the perfect spot to get some dramatic wide shots of them sitting in the moment.  

The rest of the day was fantastic; loads of fun, funky, colourful shots around cathedral quarter. Making the most of them cobbled stones, fresh art work and vibrant coloured umbrellas around the Duke of York pub (Commercial Court).

On to the Merchant for a few more relaxed shots of Melissa and John in the hotel and then it was time to get into candid photography mode, catching everyone having a laugh, drinking cocktails and catching the view from the rooftop garden on the hotels upper level.

One shot that stood out for me when editing was a wide rooftop shot of guests enjoying themselves with a huge sky behind them. The clouds were a plethora of shapes, sizes and tones; so, it was a really diverse shot to work with for the final edit.

The rest of the day flowed nicely, gathering shots of speeches and dancing, all on time thanks to the very talented management at the hotel. It’s great when weddings run on time. Which is a rarity.

I hope you all enjoy the latest blog instalment. Get in touch here if you’re getting married in Belfast and want quirky, unique wedding photos.

James