Yesterday I joined Emma & Nick to photograph their wedding at the amazing Left Bank in Leeds!

It’s such an amazing place with a fascinating history.

In short, it was a community funded church that was never quite finished (hence a redbrick front & an amazing gothic interior), that in the  fell into disuse and in 1995 was eventually closed and fell derelict.  One of the very first weddings I photographed there was for some dear friends of mine, who were involved in clearing it out and bringing it back to life as an arts centre, and after proposing there, they held their wedding there by candlelight.

I’ve done all sorts of work their before (see their pre-wedding post here for links to gigs and events I’ve photographed there & a bit more history)

It’s great to see how it’s now being used, and it was great to see Emma, Nick & all their guests having a great time in & around it, relaxing in sunshine.

Emma & her girls got ready at the lovely Hayley’s Hotel, buried in the dappled leafy backstreets of Headingley’s Conservation Area.

Having been hair’d and flora’d Emma already looked wonderful

It’s not a wedding if you don’t have a glass of celebratory fizz in the morning, is it?

Emma’s mum MADE all the dresses!  Not just these two (the flower girl’s dress was a mini replica!) but all the bridesmaids too!


I loved Emma’s shoes!  Not messing about on heels, just enjoying the day in comfort in some pretty, ballet-esque pumps!

I like this one of Emma’s brother’s helping one another suit up.

Nick’s family are from the Bahama’s, and so they through everything Emma & Nick did ran a tropical stream of colour.

The flowers were absolutely amazing and Fiona at Firenza Floral Design did a sterling job.  I really can’t praise her work enough.

Meanwhile, over at the dudes, Nick added a few last minute touches to his speech…

…while the flowers chilled in the fridge next to the stella!

A spot of ironing was done (at least, I’m informed, once they realised it wasn’t plugged in!)

I absolutely love this ringshot of Clare’s.  It’s actually shot ontop of the kitchen induction hob & you can just about make Clare & her camera out in it.

Meanwhile, the bridesmaids adorn themselves in tropical azure!

Emma’s ‘maided’ into her gown…

…while dad looks on proudly

One of the bridesmaids had to shoot off to join the musicians playing during the service, but here are team Emma, good to go!

Leftback looked stunning, ready for games to begin.

As I know my way around the building, I know the secret stairwells that lead up to some cracking balconies.

This one was taken from the first level up.  There’s a higher one later!

Emma’s a fantastic musician herself, and a music teacher by profession, and music was super important throughout the day.

I love this one of the kiss, with proudly smiling family & guests clapping on.

I like the one Clare caught of everyone else catching it too!

An old friend of mine, Simon Hall ran the lovely service, and was one of the instigators of getting Emma & Nick together back in the day.

Emma, Nick & their families are a spiritual bunch, so there was a nice part of the ceremony where guests could come an light a candle for them. 

It was a lovely touch.

[Another of the first weddings I ever photographed was of this lady & her hubby behind, and now they have a little boy + another on the way!]

The new Mr & Mrs Higgs make their way down the aisle!

To enjoy the afternoon reception on the lawn

Pimms, sunshine & cakes! A powerful combination

Thrown in a bouncy castle and everyone’s happy!

Nick’s been doing a PHd in whalewatching or something (tee hee! I suspect it’s a bit more sciency than that, but it’s related to whales!), so he was given a special whale cake that he served out to guests!

We did a couple of informal formals

How amazing do the girls look?!

Those flowers & dress colours!

The dude’s looked pretty sharp too.

Meanwhile, little magic fairies turned the inside into a stunning banqueting hall!

The place was filled with details, with edible chocolate beach pebbles, a quiz and that mint lego wedding couple on the video.

Speeches were conducted before the meal from the old lectern, which was a pretty cool place to speak from.

I like how these two sit together

Catering was done by Create, an award-winning Leeds-based social enterprise helping train and create jobs for people who have been homeless, marginalised or vulnerable.  Heading the team is Richard Walton-Allen, former Executive Chef at Harvey Nichols, they “offer a future to people who want a hand up, not a handout”.

While guests ate I took another scramble up some impressively cobwebby spiral stairs up to the rafters to snap guests eating.

Instead of rushing through the portraits during the shortish afternoon reception, we hung fire and went out after dinner to play in the glorious sunshine.

We’d had a good explore round Burley Park at their pre-wedding meeting (post here), so had a play again round the choice spots again!

Check out the urban wedding flex!

The light was absolutely magic.

Check this backlit billowy veil action out! Love it.

There was also an ace blue board surrounding a construction site that added a great splash of colour

I love this one too, full of flare & texture as well as a couple love.

The heads and arms almost form a heart.

Back with the guests, Emma & Nick did a few informal snaps with different groups of pals.

Before hitting the floor for their first dance

I believe the band were called ‘Hip Operation‘!  Great name, great tunes.

After a really beautiful, relaxed wedding day, we left guests to party the night away in peace!

Nick & Emma are now lucky enough to have a Bahaman leg of the wedding to go to! I hope they have an absolutely amazing honeymoon out there!


If you enjoyed this post, check out these similar posts: