Sometimes love is right around the corner. Literally. It was for Alec and Stephanie who enjoyed their cosy colourful autumnal wedding at The Athenaeum in Liverpool. Like many couples, they met via a dating app, and although they didn’t realise at the time, they lived only minutes from each other. One night while flirting online, Stephanie got into a bit of panic: Alec had told Stephanie he was in Amalia restaurant across the road from his flat. She lived opposite Amalia too! Her imagination went into overdrive about awkward encounters. What would she say to him? As it turned out, she had taken him too literally when she later discovered he lived two streets away! Nevertheless, love blossomed, and now they have a lovely home together.
Autumn is their favourite time of year with its cosiness, colours, dark evenings and lights and so inspired their choice of venue. When looking for a city venue that was quirky and would cater for the entire day without moving guests around, The Athenaeum was a perfect choice.
We’ve never worked at the Athenaeum in our 15 years shooting weddings around Liverpool, so we’re always stoked about working at new venues. It’s a fantastic hidden gem in the heart of the shopping centre. The Bluecoat is opposite but more prominent, whereas this historic building is concealed and lesser-known. In case you wondering what Athenaeum means, it’s derived from Greek meaning ‘wisdom’. Briefly, the club was founded over 200 years ago to provide a pleasant meeting space as opposed to the overcrowded, noisy coffee houses.
Initially located in Church Street opposite Clayton Square, it was a place for the acquisition of knowledge in an age where books, newspapers, periodicals and pamphlets were the only source of information. From 1928, it occupied its current location in Church Alley. I was really taken by the fascinating reading, dining rooms and library. The most elegant spiral staircase leads to the many rooms with antiques, dark oak clad walls and green decor.
The Morning Preparations
When planning a city wedding, especially in winter, we consider locations for photos, how to light the wedding, and how the weather could affect the shoot. We planned how we would create some fun shots without venturing too far from the venue. Luckily, the Bluecoat and a quirky the nearby Brass Monkey bar on School Lane provided excellent contrasting backdrops for some rad portraits. They were made to feel very special by the staff the moment they walked in with cheers from punters and drinks on the house. Big shout out to the lovely staff and owner for their hospitality.
They made their own centrepieces using vases and autumnal leaves, acorns and conkers. They also upcycled the maid of honour’s own wedding post box by re-painting in their autumn palette, finished with a personalised sign.
The most memorable moments of the day, they inform me, were when they were alone in the Committee Room and the Brass Monkey bar before returning to our guests. ‘I’m a massive introvert (Alec is much more sociable)’ confides Stephanie. Spending some time with our couples gives us a chance to capture their intimacy and gives them a moment together to reflect on how fantastic their day is. We got to work as they enjoyed precious moments alone, without any posing. In just 15 minutes we bagged our shots then left them to enjoy time alone as Mr & Mrs.
Feast your eyes on these previews. If you want to see the whole collection, available from 23rd December, please contact the couple for the password.