Here are some of my stories, which gives you a small insight into what I do and how I work.


Gibside Chapel Wedding

Lynn & Jon’s Wedding on 28th May 2011

Here is some images at the beautiful setting of Gibside Chapel, Tyne & Wear to cover the wedding of Lynn and Jon.

First stop was Lynn’s parents home, where Lynn and her bridesmaids were all getting ready. It was a breezy day so extra strength hair spray was being applied as we arrived, and the girls were enjoying champagne and croissants. This is a special time for the bride and we love to capture the moments so the bride has a lasting memory of how her closest friends and relatives are making sure the day will go without a hitch. In Lynn’s case she had her three closest friends as her adult bridesmaids, her niece and another friend’s daughter for her younger attendants.  A quick check of the lip gloss and the bridesmaids disappeared to get their dresses on. Once on, we took the opportunity to get some formal portraits of each of the girls and also as a group while Marilyn was helping Lynn into her wedding gown.

Lynn looked amazing, her gown was fabulous, she radiated with happiness, and a little bit of nervous anticipation befitting a beautiful bride. This was a proud moment for Marilyn and Paul, and a beautiful image we captured without disturbing the emotion between them.

Jon was waiting over at Gibside for his bride, being supported by his bestman, usher, nephew and dad.  They made a good looking group and we got some fun shots of the lads on the avenue in front of the chapel before making our way into the chapel to wait for Lynn. We captured the hint of nervousness surrounding Jon when Lynn was a touch later to arrive than expected.

Unfortunately the vicar officiating did not allow photography during the ceremony. This was a shame, as the venue is a photographers dream, and the   service was very moving, naturally creating displays of emotion in Lynn and Jon we would have liked to have caught. But, we respect the rules and (with permission) managed to get those candid moments of Lynn and Jon at natural pauses within the service.

Vows and rings exchanged the guests followed the new Mr and Mrs Dawson outside. We step back from the couple at this stage but keep our cameras fully trained on them and their guests to get those special moments while being congratulated by friends and family. Lynn and Jon were looking extremely relaxed, revelling in greeting their guests – and the images we captured bring those moments back to life.

I took the group shots on the avenue with Gibside chapel as a splendid back drop, while Susan mingled with the guests, while they enjoyed drinks on the lawn, to get some great candids. We’re technically the eyes in the back of our couple’s heads, observing the whole scene and getting the shots they don’t see.

We took Lynn and Jon back into the chapel for some romantic couples shots showing off not only Lynn and Jon but the inside architecture too. We also did some creative shots amongst other things involving the doorway and a sheer curtain which worked extremely well. Both bride and groom were impressed with the results.

Jon had an Aston Martin for a few days over the wedding weekend and this was how they were going to get to the Copthorne Hotel for their formal reception. We usually like to get to the reception venue before our couple, but in this case knew it couldn’t be done. Being a petrol head myself I not only had the pleasure of photographing a wonderful couple in a stunning piece of machinery but got the added thrill when Jon pushed the throttle and the car roared away. For non petrol heads, it’s all about that sound!!

Lynn and Jon had their first date on the Newcastle quayside and were keen to have that memory included in their wedding day photography. They were more than happy to give us their time and be creatively posed, which resulted in WOW factor images being produced. Lynn and Jon are a very generous couple indeed. We had a thoroughly enjoyable day with them and were able to capture the anticipation, celebration and relaxation of their day with images that will last forever.

Gibside Chapel offers a wedding day set within one of the great designed landscapes of the North. The Chapel, where the weddings are held, is an ecclesiastical masterpiece.

Contact Ali Wilkes, to discuss your Gibside wedding –


“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”


Elliott Erwitt

A Professional Studio based photographer who has won a number of awards as a member of the Master Photographers Association.

Based in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


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