Stepping Back in to The Dress.

At the start of the year, the wedding planner from our Wedding Reception Venue approached me and asked if Ste and I would be interested in doing a Bridal photoshoot in the grounds of the hotel. The photographs would be used to advertise the hotel and show of its surroundings for future and prospective Bride and Grooms. I immediately jumped at the chance to take part and couldn’t wait to put my very own dress back on again for the shoot.

The Holiday Inn, Ellesmere Port/Cheshire Oaks is a lovely wedding venue, it’s set back from the motorway and sits right on the canal on its own little island. The staff at the venue go above and beyond to make you feel welcome and have the best day ever. Including my own wedding, I’ve now been to a few here and I love being able to go back and remember our special day.


I wanted to share with you some details of the photoshoot day and if you like hearing how it went, and love our pictures, then let me know as I’ve got loads I could share about planning our actual big day and handy tips and recommendations.

We arrived at the hotel a couple of hours before the shoot started so I could get my hair and make-up done. My hair was styled at Escape Hair and Beauty which is located right on the waterways opposite the Holiday Inn Hotel. The girls were lovely in there and the salon was decorated really cute. I loved the flower garland over the mirror I sat at.

I had time to grab a coffee before I was having my make-up done. Ste had gone off to the gym at this point, as there is a small gym and pool area at the hotel. The gorgeous Emma Richards did my make-up in our hotel room. Emma owns Made Up Make-Up Studio based in Bromborough, Wirral.

I love this look, especially for a Bridal look, it is so soft and girly and the pink tones look lovely against an ivory dress and pink themed bouquet.

Day Time Shoot

When we were all ready, we headed out in to the surrounding areas of the hotel. The first pictures were taken at the neighboring Boat Museum. I love these, especially the phone box and walking ones. There is a slight walk from the hotel to here and it may be awkward in a wedding dress, so if you’re planning on having pictures here I’d ask the driver (if you’re coming from a church/other venue wedding) to stop here first and wait while you’re being snapped.

Opposite the hotel is the lighthouse, if you can get access to here then it will make a lovely backdrop for your pictures. It is right on the canal side, so the water also makes you feel like you could be anywhere!

The bridges at the hotel make for lovely photographs as on a lovely day you’ll get great reflections in the water and may even get the ducks and swans swimming past. As you come on to the bridges you’ll see an area that could be overlooked but our photographer thought it would make great pictures, and he was right. I love the ones against the door.

Evening Shoot

We had a couple of hours break during the evening as we wanted to capture the venue during night time. We were looked after so well during the shoot day, the hotel gave us an evening meal and drinks, i limited myself to a few glasses of wine, and then I had to reign Ste in a bit, I think he was getting carried away, thinking it was the wedding day again. You can always guarantee that he’ll never be sensible about free drinks.

Back to the shoot though, and it was a summers night so it didn’t go fully dark, more like dusk. You can see that the pictures with the lights reflecting in the water are stunning and very romantic. We had fun trying to time a picture with a swan swimming past.

Just for a bit of fun right at the end of the shoot we tried this lift picture and it actually turned out to be one of my favourites.


This shoot was really special for us, not only did we get to dig out all our wedding bits again, we got to add more photographs to our wedding album. On our actual big day, we didn’t have the time for pictures around this venue, which did seem a shame, but now we are so thankful that we do (even if they are taken almost 2 years on)!

I have to say a huge thank you to Michelle, the wedding coordinator at the Holiday Inn Ellesmere Port for choosing us, and always keeping in touch with us and being so lovely. Simon Downing, from Downing Lifestyle Photography, who photographed the shoot, he was great to get along with and the pictures are stunning! Here is the link to his website.

Our actual 2nd Wedding Anniversary is on Sunday, we have lots of lovely things planned to celebrate it. I haven’t shared many of my wedding photographs yet but I will be this week. They’re so beautiful and they honestly captured how much of an incredible and fun day it was. By the end of the week there will definitely be another wedding themed blog!

Jess xoxo


  1. Danielle Kean-Trenwith
    August 3, 2016 / 8:29 am

    Jess you look amazing! Such fab photos and what a lovely experience! They definitely picked the best couple to use for promoting the venue! Xx

    • August 3, 2016 / 9:15 am

      Thanks so much Danielle! Huge congrats again on Baby Isla! xxx

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