Covid Wedding at The West Tower

Keily and John’s Covid wedding story and my thoughts on photographing my first Covid wedding.

Runcorn couple Keily and John had planned a mid-week wedding at West Tower. Originally an intimate all-day affair planned for the 18th of August at West Tower… Then Covid hit!

When the news of Covid hit the UK back in April, it was a worrying and frantic time. All of my wedding photography bookings for 2020 (except one) postponed within a couple of weeks.

Over the coming weeks and months, guidelines and restrictions for weddings changed. However, Keily and John had planned a small mid-week wedding, so they held their nerve and hedged their bets that their wedding would go ahead.

A week before their wedding I got an email from Keily the bride which read –
“Hi Wes, good news! our wedding can now take place; however, due to the many restrictions coming from the government and registrars, we feel that our original wedding is not what we planned.”

“We have contacted our family church (Daresbury All Saints Church in Cheshire) and they have said we can marry there on the 19th of August and West Tower has said they could still do our reception on this new date. We are having to apply for a special license from the church, but the good news is, our wedding can go ahead.”

Keily and John’s wedding did take place! Sadly, my only wedding in 2020… 

The couple were joined by a small selection of close family and friends for a ceremony at Dersebury All Saints Church in Cheshire which is a Lewis Carol Church and is known for it’s Alice In Wonderland theme.

After the ceremony, the newlyweds travelled in a white Royles Royce to the West Tower for an intimate drinks reception and meal. Due to first dance restrictions, later in the evening, they had a fantastic fireworks display to end the celebrations.


Photographing my first Covid wedding

Arriving for Keily and John’s Covid wedding I was really excited. I was excited to be finally photographing a wedding again, but at the same time, I was apprehensive and deeply saddened that it might be my only wedding of the year.

If I’m honest, I was excited by what possibilities a Covid wedding would present and what unexpected curve balls would come my way.

I’ve been photographing weddings for more than 15 years, in that time I’ve travelled world-wide photographing more than 400 weddings in over 10 countries. I’ve photographed weddings in all seasons and conditions and covered most religious ceremonies too…

However, I’ve never photographed a wedding in the middle of a global pandemic!

The biggest take away for me when photographing a Covid wedding was my ignorance to how much we communicate with our mouth. I don’t mean sound and words, but visual communication.

As a photographer, I was always taught that “the eyes tell the story” but It’s crazy how much communication is lost when the month is covered when wearing a mask. I honestly don’t know how an unexperienced photographer would coupe photographing a Covid wedding.

My photography experiences together with a degree in communication and body language have given me an incredible gift of being able to read people and to visualise an image in my mind before I’ve pressed the shutter.

This unique documentary approach allows me to quickly, creatively and discreetly photograph you at your best whilst capturing the moments that truly matter. However, a lot of non-verbal communication is lost when the people you are photographing are wearing a mask!

During the ceremony, guests abided by social distancing rules and watched the ceremony sat within their “family bubbles.” The Priest wore a PPE perspex visor when conducting the ceremony with only the Bride, groom and father of the bride not wearing a facemask.

When we got to the West Tower for the reception, the Covid wedding restrictions that applied at the church were slightly relaxed. West Tower followed all government guidelines and safely and confidently looked after guests and staff.

Notes from the Bride on Covid wedding

“Wes, we are thrilled with the pictures and the online gallery worked a treat. Other brides need to know that smaller weddings are just as fabulous – I never knew ours would be so perfect with just 24 guests and it would certainly help the professionals within the industry if people started to go ahead with the smaller weddings.” – Keily.


Wedding Photographer

Are you planning a wedding and looking for a photographer to capture the magic of your special day?

Weddings go so fast. One minute you’re walking down the aisle, and the next you’re wondering where the day went. But don’t worry; I’m here to capture all your special memories – I will photograph you at your best and the moments that truly matter – I will even show you things that happened that you didn’t know about! 

Check out my favourite pictures in my signature gallery (this is a great place to start if you need a second opinion) or visit the portfolio page. Catch all the latest wedding stories on my blog. There is more information available on your wedding page and about Wes.

If you’re planning a wedding at The West Tower check out my ultimate guide to weddings at The West Tower.

If you’re planning a wedding and would like to enquire about wedding photography. Contact me today, we’ve got lots of exciting things to talk about. 

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