Macdonald Kilhey Court wedding photographer


Judith and Mark’s Lancashire wedding.

A Vintage Wedding Photography Story Macdonald Kilhey Court. 

Judith and Mark combined vintage styling with a London double-decker bus and an American Ford Mustang for their wedding at Macdonald Kilhey Court Standish, Wigan. A beautiful Northern and Southern family affair which seen Judith wearing “magic shoes’ and their British Bull Dog getting in on the act! 

Finding the perfect wedding venue was perhaps one of the most exciting parts of the wedding planning process for London couple Judith and Mark. Keen to tie the knot at Judith’s home town family Church in Up Holland, Wigan. The couple set upon finding the perfect wedding venue in Lancashire that would accommodate their London family and excite their Northern friends.

When it came to photography, Judith’s parents were providing wedding photography as a gift! And originally insisted on a ‘traditional wedding photographer.’ Judith, however, had other ideas. She wanted documentary style wedding photography with a touch of creativity, and that’s exactly my style.

Here’s their story…


Macdonald Kilhey Court wedding photographer. Bride and groom with Ford Mustang and Rad phone box

About The Couple

Hi, we are Judith and Mark, I’m originally from Upholland in Lancashire and work as a primary school teacher. Mark is from Tunbridge Wells and is self-employed; we now live in London. 

We met on E-harmony and our first date was in Covent Garden. Mark proposed to me on Christmas Day. I had travelled back to Kent from attending two weddings in Wigan, one of which I was a bridesmaid. 

I’d spent the whole week complaining to my Mum and Dad that I would never get married because Mark was never going to ask me. But they secretly knew that he was planning on popping the question.

When Mark got out up on Christmas Day, he found me upset (for several reasons) in the living room and suggested opening our Christmas presents might cheer me up. 

He gave me a small cardboard box. When I opened the lid I noticed he had written on it “will you marry me.” I was hysterical with joy. The funny thing is, I was kneeling when opening my presents and Mark was the sofa. So it was a bit back to front. 

Vintage Wedding At Macdonald Kilhey Court

We got married at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Upholland. It’s the church I have attended since I was a little girl and where my mum, dad and sister and brother were married.

We chose Macdonald Kilhey Court for our wedding venue because of the grounds and the fact that our relatives from down south could stay over at the venue. We had a vintage themed wedding and a picturesque lakeside setting worked perfectly for our vision.

Macdonald Kilhey Court is situated in Standish which is just a stone’s throw away from Up Holland and Wigan. We had family travelling from all over; With easy to access from the M6 and M61 motorways and just 10 minutes from Wigan North Western train station with connections to London, Macdonald Kilhey Court was the perfect venue for us to celebrate with loved ones. 


Dressing For A Vintage Wedding

I wore a Ronald Joyce wedding gown called Robin. It was actually the second dress I chose. My first dress was very straight and stylish and not what anyone would expect me to wear. But as I got closer to the wedding day I realised that I would be missing my chance to wear a massive princess dress, so I changed it at the last minute. 

I loved how the dress moved and the lace detail. It suited the venue and I felt very beautiful wearing it. My shoes were very unique, they were handpainted and matched my vintage wedding theme perfectly. 

The Bridal Party.

In keeping with the vintage wedding theme, my bridesmaids wore tea party dresses with blue flower details. They had a vintage updo and beautiful makeup to match.

The smaller bridesmaids wore matching vintage dresses with a flower crown. They carried baskets which contained ‘you bear’ instead of flowers, this doubled as a present for them as-well. 

I had 9 bridesmaids! My chief bridesmaid Kelly and I have been friends since we were 7, my other adult bridesmaid Jo went to uni with me and we lived together in London and my final adult bridesmaid was my sister. The remaining bridesmaids were mine and Marks, nieces. 


Vintage wedding theme Macdonald Kilhey Court

We had a catholic wedding at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Upholland followed by a vintage tea party theme. Mark drove a vintage red mustang to the church and then onto Kilhey Court. I arrived by a vintage London double-decker bus (to remember my time in London and where we first met). 

Unique touches: 

In the church, we had a mix of pictures of us growing up on display. A selfie station at the back of the church with photos of all our wedding party. We also had a retro singer who sang whilst we signed the register and a remix of the wedding march as we walked out of the church together as husband and wife. 

Macdonald Kilhey Court Wedding Ceremony

On route to Macdonald Kilhey Court, we stopped off for little photoshoot. Wes had found this old fashioned red phone box, it was the perfect spot for a few photos with the vintage American Ford Mustang before we joined our guests at the venue.

Our guests travelled to the venue on an old London bus, which was fun but also very practical. On arrival at Macdonald Kilhey Court, we had welcome drinks in teacups. We also had an afternoon tea style meal with wine served in old teapots! 

During the wedding breakfast, we had a wedding singer who sang lots of our favourite songs and kept everyone entertained. It’s the small details like this that really helped us have a day to remember. 

For the speech’s my Dad sang an old funny song and Mark and myself made a joint speech. My bridesmaids pulled out all the stops with a stunning and emotional PowerPoint presentation which included memories of our friendship throughout the years. 

In the evening we had a sweetie carousel and a local DJ playing lots of cheesy music. Our first dance was ‘At last’ and I can honestly say it felt like Mark and myself were the only people in the room. It’s a moment I’ll never forget! 


Memorable Moments

Some of the stand out memories from our vintage Macdonald Kilhey Court wedding was that we had a beautiful Catholic ceremony at our family church. My Dad stood on my dress the whole way walking down the aisle! Mark tried to put ‘his ring’ on my finger and had learnt the vows off by heart without telling me. 

Macdonald Kilhey Court Wedding Photography

What I love about Wes’s photography are that the natural-looking photos that tell a story. I can remember exactly how I felt when I look at them. 

Some of my favourite photos from the day include the ones with the old red phone box. And the one at night in the car, it looks like a luxury watch commercial, I actually can’t believe it’s me on my wedding day. 


Notes from Mother of the bride

The best thing Judeth ever did was overriding her Dad and myself. When it came to wedding photography we wanted a different photographer (a more traditional one) and she wanted Wes.  

My husband/Judiths Dad, Derek in particular struggles with showing his feelings and as a tight-lipped Londoner he wanted much more of a traditional photo album. As he is colour blind and at first, he felt cheated with the black and white pictures, but when he saw the wedding album he was delighted.

I showed him one of Mark with his grandma in black and white and then the same pictures edited in colour. He preferred the black and white as it showed how she really felt about her grandson without the distraction of the colour. The pride and love simply oozes out of the picture. 

Thank you for the wonderful memories that you captured during my daughter Judith’s and Mark’s wedding at Kilhey Court. We are so happy that she found you. 

I strongly recommend all parents and mother’s of the bride reading this to get the smaller parent book’s too, they are simply perfect. And as a proud Mum, I’ve probably shown more people than my daughter has shown her own wedding album! 

Marie – Mother of the bride. 


Macdonald Kilhey Court Hotel and Spa

The 4-star Macdonald Kilhey Court hotel and spa in Standish, Wigan, offers luxury and comfort in beautiful surroundings. Set in 11 acres of landscaped grounds, the Victorian building has breathtaking scenery and fine facilities all within a 40-minute drive from Manchester and Liverpool.

Back in the Victorian era, this beautiful house was built as a wedding gift from a husband to his new bride. At Macdonald Kilhey Court the fairy tale continues today, and this luxurious accommodation will prove a spectacular base for your Lancashire wedding party. 

Macdonald Kilhey Court boasts the stunning Lakeside and Tennyson Suites, both feature views of gardens and the lakes beyond, providing you with one of the most romantic of wedding venues in Lancashire. 

With a range of flexible suites, Macdonald Kilhey Court can cater for both intimate weddings or lavish celebrations for up to 350 guests, there is also the option to take over the whole venue for exclusive use.

Macdonald Kilhey Court Menu

Enjoy dining while taking in stunning garden views. Food is prepared by the in-house catering team at Macdanald Kilhey Court Laureate Restaurant, one of the finest restaurants in Wigan.

Your guest are sure to be delighted with Macdonald Kilhey Court enticing menu which changes seasonally. And their classic dishes are prepared using only the finest locally sourced ingredients and served with elegance and flair.

The address from Macdonald Kilhet Court – Chorley Road, Standish, Wigan, WN1 2XN 


bride and groom walking with british bull dog Skelmersdale Dalton Beacon point on wedding day

Unique Portraits

I had a blast photographing Judith and Mark’s Macdonald Kilhey Court wedding and was delighted that the couple wanted to schedule in a little time to create some unique portraits.

I view wedding photography as collaboration and love nothing more than creating images that are unique to the couple. Pictures that capture their personalities. These are the type of images my couples call “works of art’ and proudly hand on their walls.

During Judith and Mark’s wedding, on route to Macdonald Kilhey Court from the Church we stopped off at local country park called Ashurst and Dalton Beacon Point. This not only provided the couple with some alone time during the buzz of the wedding day but some unique pictures that would later surprise family and friends.

As the couple now lives in London, this was the perfect location for some portraits. Ashurst and Dalton Beacon Point offers panoramic views as far as the eye can see of neighbouring Skelmersdale, Wigan and even Liverpool and Manchester in the distance.

I photographed Judith and Mark in a relaxed and documentary way. Directing and not posing. Simply photographing the story as it unfolded. These images will have true meaning and value for the couple, their British Bull Dog even got in on the action.

*Side note: 

Did you know Richard Ashcroft from iconic British band The Verve penned one of their early hits “This Is Music” from this very viewpoint? The artwork on the single for the song even had a photo of Ashcroft standing at the Ashurst Beacon which is complemented with the opening line of the song –

I stand accused just like you
For being born without a silver spoon
Stood at the top of a hill
Over my town, I was found.

**Extra side note: As part of my commercial photography, I’ve had the pleasure of photographing Richard Ashcroft on his Natural Rebel tour.


Bride and groom walking with British Bull dog Ashurst Beacon Skelmersdale Dolton

Macdonald Kilhey Court Wedding Photographer

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 moments – 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! 

Like what you’ve seen? Then why not 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 and catch all the latest wedding stories on my blog. There is more information on your wedding page and about Wes.

If you’re planning a wedding at Macdonald Kilhey Court or anywhere else in the world and would like to enquire about wedding photography. Get in touch today, we’ve got lots of exciting things to talk about. 


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