At aged 16, Craig walked into the branch of WH Smith's where I had a job in between Uni and we became good mates, played 5-a-side regularly and had some great nights out. Fast forward 15-years or so, and I was honoured to be at his wedding as his photographer - capturing the first look at his best friend and new wife, Joanne as she walked down the aisle.
Craig invited me around to his house last summer to meet Jo (and their two cats Batman & Robin!!). We chatted about their wedding plans and the reception venue - the art deco former Liverpool Airport, today owned and operated as the Crowne Plaza John Lennon Airport in Liverpool. Ahead of the wedding, we also met up for a pre-wedding shoot in Sefton Park where we talked through the flow of the day and got some great shots of Craig & Jo in amongst the spring daffodils.
When the wedding day arrived - I met up with Jo at the end of her bridal preparations in her Childwall home before heading round to meet Craig and Ian his best man at Childwall Abbey Church. Craig, relaxed as ever and chatting about the footy was looking smart in a black suit and cream waistcoat and cravat - whilst Jo's dress was a classic silk shoulder-less design with a stunning train.
All Saint's Church in Childwall is one of the oldest in Liverpool, dating back to the 15th Century - plus it's also Grade 1 listed. The grounds are stunning too, with a newly blossoming cherry tree in the church yard forming the ideal backdrop for group shots outside afterwards.
Back at the reception at the Crowne Plaza, we took the opportunity for a group shot on the famous airside part of the hotel. The building is symbolic to the history of Liverpool - as it was constructed in the 1930s, as the terminal building for the airport, then known as Speke Aerodrome. It is still sometimes seen on repeats of early television news footage, with its terraces packed with fans waiting to greet the Beatles on their return from tour.
After the wedding breakfast, the speeches had both the bride & groom laughing (usually at Craig's expense!) with Ian delivering a few great anecdotes. Then as the evening celebrations started, we took 5-minutes to use the old aircraft outside the hotel to capture a dramatic sunset shot as darkness fell.
The day was fantastic - and I sincerely wish both Jo & Craig the very best in their married life and for the exciting times ahead!
(c) www.photographyjoebickerton.com 2017