I might not announce it particularly loudly in the Merseyside area, but I have a confession to make: I’ve never much been into the Beatles. They’ve always been a band that my parents grew up with and maybe as a result I’ve steered clear. HOWEVER, since first visiting the Beatles-themed Hard Day’s Night hotel in Liverpool earlier this Summer in preparation for our first wedding there, I’ve been a little bit hooked. Not just by the music, but by the history, the memorabilia, the massive impact on the city and its people and the whole cult effect. Consequently I may have purchased a little bit of a back catalogue. Never too late they say.
I think it’s also fair to say that neither Sarah or Jonathan were particularly besotted with the band – it was more the beautiful hotel that appealed as a wedding venue. But maybe they have become just a little bit hooked now as well!
Sarah entered our Valentine’s proposal competition last year and told the story of Jonathan’s very romantic proposal on holiday in Turkey. They won an engagement shoot which we did one fine Spring day last year in Sarah’s home town of Southport. We had such a fun day and got some wonderful photos – see more in the blog post we wrote soon after which is here. They subsequently booked us to photograph their wedding and we got quite excited when we started to read up on the venue and then when Sarah started to tell us some of their plans for the day including not one but two traditional Chinese tea ceremonies. It was also going to be a very multi-cultural and multi-linguistic wedding with Sarah’s Chinese relatives and many of Jonathan’s Spanish-speaking family coming over from Gibralter.
It was an early start for me at Sarah’s Mum’s house in Southport where the first and more intimate of the tea ceremonies took place. Sarah and Jonathan served tea to her mother and brother who in return passed them gifts and their best wishes for their future lives together. The couple traditionally then left the house under a red umbrella (to ward off evil spirits) and walked up the road without looking back.
Shortly afterwards we all arrived in Liverpool at the Hard Day’s Night hotel where the preparations for the day ahead started in earnest. I joined the girls in “The Two Of Us Suite” while hair and make-up got underway and Caroline took the boys for a stroll around the surrounding streets.
It wasn’t just the fab four that were attracting the tourists and their cameras!
Sarah, looking absolutely stunning, made her way to where Jonathan was waiting nervously in the ceremony room. To be fair I should mention that it was the slightly under-performing aircon that was making him perspire rather than the impending wedding ceremony! Sarah’s brother, Mickey, had the honour of walking Sarah down the aisle. After the ceremony we headed straight outside onto lovely Matthew Street, home to the famous Cavern Club, and a walk down memory lane. We had plenty of spectators, both local and tourists, on a sunny Saturday afternoon, and there were more than just our cameras clicking away. After congratulations from many strangers we headed back into the hotel for a few more fun and romantic bride and groom photos.
After dinner and some lovely speeches it was time for the official tea ceremony where Sarah and Jonathan served tea to all the family elders as a mark of tradition and respect. It was a jovial occasion with plenty of laughs and everyone was most impressed with Jonathan’s obvious dedication to learning the Chinese phrases he needed! Then it was time for some dancefloor action and a good spot of gambling!
With the music pumping and the roulette wheel rolling we headed back over the Penines with a playlist that may have just included a couple of Beatles numbers. Thanks and congratulations to the lovely Sarah and Jonathan – we had a brilliant day! R&C xx