Catherine Connor and Aidan Monks got married.

December 20, 2015

Catherine Connor and her team at Aspire trained me to be a good photographer and run a successful business. When I completed my Bespoke training with her in 2007 the measure of success in my head was to be asked back to become a trainer which I have done now for 6 years.  It didn’t occur to me then that to be asked to photograph Catherine’s own wedding would trump that aspiration.  People often say ‘Oooh you have a stressful job don’t you.’ My response is always along the lines of weddings don’t stress me out any more, traffic stresses me out!  Famous last words and all that.  Top of a hill, blowing a gale, chucking it down, dark, red heat lamps giving the church a bright pink cast and 50 people all snuggled together in Catherine and Aidan’s house not to mention the photography world waiting to see the pictures… Yikes! I remember standing in the church yard waiting for everyone to arrive wondering how on earth I was going to ‘do this’ and then Catherine’s dad came hurtling round the bend, literally blown in by the wind with his inside out umbrella and I thought YES this is going to be good.

In Catherine’s words….

“Currently still on cloud nine yet a little worn out by all the excitement and pre wedding build up! Aidan and I both feel like Lisa Aldersley is playing the role of Father Christmas as she has all the picture goodies in her sack of Photoshop and Lightroom. Receiving the images will be a life changing moment for us both, and for our families.

Both Aidan and I are still giddy with the excitement and anticipation of the images captured by Lisa. The wedding magic remains within us both, in fact it is rather hard to focus Aidan on Christmas, as he would rather keep his thoughts on our wedding day and the atmosphere created by loved ones and friends. We have not yet seen the delights captured by Lisa or her partner Rob who was second shooting, yet we can imagine and I know they nailed it. Already I know the images will be treasure that will last a lifetime and for generations to come.

Weddings teach us all so much, they remind us about love, why happiness matters and the sheer power of photography and the influence it has on so many.

Photography really matters to so many of us, and wow Lisa certainly had a list of challenges on the day! Our wedding was a photographers nightmare, gale force winds, rain that rivered from the sky and a skyline that was dark and threatening. Yet she nailed it!

The week leading up-to the wedding flashed by at lightning speed, the days just seemed to disappear whilst the nerves held their own, right up to the wedding rehearsal. I was a wreck! I have no idea why, and how the nerves got such a firm grip of me! All those around me witnessed a rather twitchy Catherine Connor, whilst Aidan was as calm as a swan. I couldn’t have traveled throughout the day without Lisa, she was simply amazing, wonderful and much much more. I have slightly developed a female crush! She was inspirational; her approach with the vicar when he said “no pictures in the church” was Oscar worthy. I wish I could have recorded her demeanour, grace and tactics when she negotiated other wise. Her pure motive was Aidan and I, she knew how important the church was to us both, our faith and what marriage means to us. It was far from about capturing us signing the register, it was all about the love, the vows we were making to each other and the promises to be kept and respected.

As I said the nerves had certainly got a firm hand on my tummy, however Lisa has a lovely way of eliminating them, ensuring both Aidan and I got the wedding we dreamed of. It’s often hard to explain what a wedding photographer does, the role they play, it is far more than the pictures. Lisa guided us both through the rehearsal and prepared us both emotionally beyond my expectations. It is so hard to find the right words that represent all that Lisa does, not just on our wedding day but also leading up to the wedding day too. I cannot tell you how grateful I was and I’m sure many around me were grateful too. I was so nervous I could hardly walk, my knees were knocking that much! During the rehearsal I actually thought I might fall over. The Catherine Connor you all know, was not the Catherine leading up to the wedding day. Lisa helped me get a grip and enjoy it.

Whenever I needed a sprinkle of confidence or reassurance, Lisa was there with many years of professional photography experience, I definitely experienced a bucket of Lisa’s magic.

My motive in sharing this post, is driven by my wish to let you all know how nervous the most confident people can become. I devote my days to building confidence in others; support those in business emotionally, yet when the eve of our wedding day came, you could have knocked me down with a feather. If anybody ever asks me ‘do you need a wedding photographer?’ my consistent answer will be you definitely do, the photographer will bring to the wedding far more than you expect.

The wedding day was the type of day you would write about in magazine articles, Mother nature wasn’t kind to Lisa, with gale force winds, a Cumbrian stormy day, alongside a deep grey sky line, the weather was unbelievably far from a photographers dream.  Yet it didn’t make a difference, to the bride and groom nor Lisa in fact it became the entertainment. It was just an element within the day, not the day. A Wedding is all that happens between loved ones, the vows, shared conversation and much much more. However I am a rather excited bride, when it comes to seeing how anybody actually managed to get into the church without being blown away. My father nearly ended up in OZ, Yasmin our stylist had to be piggyback carried into the church, as she almost blew away!  I was close to suggesting to my mother that we should stay in the car as getting out looked far from attractive. However Aidan was a good motive, to brave all in the end.

I am sure over time I will share with many, the moments I will never forget, and many more funny moments.  Not just the loving moments between Aidan and I, the moments with our wonderful families and friends, treasured memories you never want to be far away. A wedding brings many surprises from unexpected nerves to how significant your wedding photographer actually is. I could hardly thank Lisa at the end of our day, as she mattered so much, now not forgetting my female crush. I could hardly say thank you without an uncontrollable lump of emotion appearing, yet my thanks will last a lifetime. I salute all those that do weddings, and thank you all for what you do, and how you make all your brides feel.

The moments Lisa might not realise that were most important where; the significant glances she willingly gave, the ever-willing smiles, and nods of reassurance. All those smiles were worth a pot of gold, as they brought so much confidence to us both. The reassurances given by a simple nod of the head and a knowing smile, are priceless to those receiving them.

I would glance around and spot her busy at work, capturing every wonderful part of the day, the important moments within the service, elements of a wet and windy garden, children playing, through to the glances Aidan and I shared. She never stopped. Many know the marriage was so important to us both, as was hearing Ailish and her friends sing, knowing Lisa and Rob were alongside us, capturing every sacred moment was truly amazing.

Message to all photographers, don’t under value what you do, as you do such a great deal. Both Rob and Lisa filled our souls with the right ingredients of the day, and as every moment unfolded within the day too. I will always remember the first time I saw Aidan, and I will always remember the first time I met Lisa and Rob too.

God bless them both

When I wrote this post, I was awaiting the viewing. As with all bride and grooms, we have no idea what to expect, Aidan and I were both blown away, we cried, laughed and re-lived the day. We love love love all the images! Thank you Lisa, words can not express the real meaning of photography and how it makes you feel, from the smiles to the soul.”




















































































Make-up: Lucy Pearson

Flowers: Made in Flowers, Kendal































































































































Wow, Lisa. Just lovely to see these. You’ve captured Catherine and Aidan’s warmth and love, and the spirit of an amazing day, beautifully.

Lovely also to read Catherine’s testimonial. I have a small list of photographers who I would trust to photograph my wedding (if I could go back in time and choose a photographer again!) and you’re on it. I’m really lucky to have been trained by both Catherine and you!

Catherine & Aidan both look amazing. Catherine’s smile is infectious! Just shows you the wind & rain never spoils a wedding.