What Katie Did… Damn Good Decisions, a Few Balloons and The Photographer

To coin a phrase that The Boy loves to use… “if you buy sh*te, you buy twice”.

That sort of sums up our wedding photography experience.

Yes, we’re on to our second, and final wedding photographer, and whilst the first photographer is by no means “sh*te”, they were by no means right either. Well, not for us anyway.

At the very beginning of our plans, when everything is overwhelming and ever-so slightly confusing, it seemed that every source for wedding pretty was shouting at me that I needed to book the venue as soon as physically possible, and then the photographer… because apparently, “the best ones get booked years in advance, don’t you know”.

So, we rushed into it. In just over a month into our plans, my shiny new fiance and I found ourselves with our lovely venue and a photographer… we were on track, according to the rule book.

But gradually, that little voice in the back of my head started to put doubts into my mind. I wish I’d taken a step back and had a good think, because as I became more immersed with serious amounts of all things wedding, a clearer picture – no pun intended 😉 – of what we wanted emerged.

And it wasn’t that photographer, or that style.

I didn’t really know what to do, there’s nothing in the rule book for this one! It literally took me weeks to broach the subject with The Boy. I was worried about his reaction, and the fact that we would lose our deposit – which is never a good thing when every spare penny is going on a wedding!

Turns out, I needn’t have had a few sleepless nights over it, he was totally cool with it, bless him.

Coupled with some sound advice and a lovely conversation with our insanely talented videographers, Jo & Simon at Shoot who have often graced these polka dot pages, my mind was made up. We needed a new photographer that ticked our boxes, and was free on our date. Pronto.

A few lengthy sessions with Google later, our new shortlist was drawn up… and after meeting with them all, it was easily narrowed down to one.

Down to earth, witty and a genuinely nice guy (let’s not forget the talented photographer part either 😉 ) Stewart Randall ‘got’ what we wanted from our day and importantly, could do it well… reportage photography with a few stylised shots thrown in for good measure. Nothing too static or false, we just want the love to (hopefully!) shine through.

So. We bought twice, and it was one of the best wedding decisions we made. Fact. So much so, that I might have sent Stewart a slightly gushing email once we had seen our pre-wedding photographs. Not because we loved the sight of our goofy faces on every photograph, but more for the images themselves.

I won’t lie, we did think that the whole pre-wedding shoot would be one big embarrassing cringe-fest, especially as we’re not a PDA type of couple – but how wrong we were!

We spent a sunny Easter Sunday morning with Stewart in Manchester’s Northern Quarter traipsing about with a load of balloons; giggling and laughing our way through the shoot.

Not only did we get to know Stewart better, but – shock, horror! We didn’t feel ridiculously uncomfortable, shy, or like total idiots… and it was actually, one of the best days together…

Roll on August 27th, I can’t wait!

Love Katie


Author: Charlotte O’Shea
Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.

26 thoughts on “What Katie Did… Damn Good Decisions, a Few Balloons and The Photographer

  1. Oooo, Katie we are Manchester NQ e-shoot twins!
    Can I please say this first though, god damn your shoes are hawt! Where are they from? And are you a size 5 so that I may steal them if they are no longer available?
    Also, your future hubs reminds me of someone and I cant quite put my finger on it!

    Love the photos, love the balloons and LOVE the Northern Quarter. Clearly your photographer decision was a good one 🙂


  2. Oh my giddy aunt. These are gorgeous!! You both look super cool and completely in love. What a great choice you made to change your photographer… cannot wait to see the wedding pics Xx

  3. Ditto on the shoes Mahj-yummers! And is Ollie Murs? I think there’s a little bit of the Ollie Murs there…!

    You look beautiful Katie, wedding pics are going to be gorgeous!


  4. I would have to admit that I did feel a little shy and uncomfortable wandering about with the big bunch of balloons through the cool streets of Manchester. Having said that I would rather feel that way on the pre shoot than the actual shoot. All in all, got some great photos and memories, money well spent I think !

  5. Katie we did the exact same thing with the photographer! Didn’t really have a clue what we were doing when we first started booking things,we had the same advice ‘book quick as things get booked up years in advance’.. Fast forward a year (a year spent obsessed RMW) and we bit the bullet, lost our deposit and booked somebody who I know is going to do a fab job.. Now only 8 weeks to go and no regrets at all! You both look fab by the way!! X

  6. Cool photos round Manchester, love the balloons too, we used a big one (inspired by RMW Rebecca’s wedding) in our post wedding shoot which we had after being disappointed with our own photos, so well done on speaking up instead of staying quiet like I mistakingly did, I’m sure Stewart will do you proud on the day and you’ll have amazing photos 🙂 x

  7. OMG – Katie can I have the shoes after Mahj?! They are spectacular!

    So glad you changed photographers – these are UHmazing and I cannay wait to see the wedding pics.

    Why can’t I live in Manchester?!


  8. Hi
    I have just read your story and I am pleased to let you know Stewart will seriously not let you down in anyway. We got married on Saturday (14th May) and all our guests said what an amazing person he was. He chatted to them all and made them feel at ease. In fact we just saw Stewart as one of our guests and not the photographer. He is such a brilliant person to have around on what will be the most amazing day of your life. The few photo’s we got glimpses of were truly amazing and I can’t wait to see the rest of them! All the best, and yes you have chosen the best!
    Love Mr & Mrs Smith x x x

  9. I was just going to comment on the shoes and saw that everyone else has beaten me to it! They are beauts! x

  10. Absolutely beautiful photos, both looking so very natural, if these are the pre wedding ones, cant wait to see the pictures of the “BIG DAY”. XX

  11. How dumb am I? I didn’t even notice the shoes. I have some very very similar (for work don’t you know – get me rebelling the “black and charcoal scheme”) but with a thinner heel from Jasper Conran at Debenhams and they are uber comfy.

    Great shots. I seriously cannot WAIT until the real bride real weddings.

    GET IN.

  12. You look so loved up! Aw!
    Must admit, I feel kinda cheated by our “engagement shoot”- it was a 15 minute walk around the local park! I see balloons and all the yumminess here, can’t help but feeling the green eyed monster and a little let-down by mine 🙁
    Katie, how long did your shoot last?

  13. I love these pictures! and done round the corner from my pad… heart the NQ. The wedding pictures will rock, clearly. Groom reminds me of olly murs mixed with a little bit of Guy Garvey thrown in! xx

  14. Hello lovelies,

    Sorry for the slow reply – been at the hairdressers for first trial. Think volume and a little bit 60s 😉

    Thank you for the lovely comments, as always much appreciated from you lovely lot.

    So…. the shoes. They should have had a post all of their own!! They’re from Office, surprisingly comfortable…and I do beleive currently in the sale for around 50 quid – bargain! I’m a six…so if anyone wants them once I’m done with them…

    Luci – we had a few hours with our photographer, around an hour to go through shots etc and then about 2.5ish hours larking around. I wouldn’t worry too much about the length of your shoot – if you were happy with the photos then that’s the main thing. Plus – I’m sure you’ll get some amazing wedding shots!

    The boy will be VERY chuffed with the Olly Murs comments… he usually gets told he looks like Brian McFadden!!


  15. I’m not usually one for e shoots but I really like this one – natural, cool, and not try hard! Also love the shoes – would be perfect for under the dress! Congrats on finding the right tog – you’ve got a keeper there!

  16. You look lovely! You make a great couple and the pics are lovely!!
    So exciting to think of all the real brides weddings we will be seeing soon on these lovely polka dot pages! Woooo!x

  17. Haha Mahj – he’s had it for years… there may have even been a time when some teenage girls shouted Brian at him down the street!! 😉 xoxo

  18. I loved reading this!
    I’ve booked Stewart for my wedding too and it’s so lovely to hear that you had a great experience with him – really reassuring to know that our ‘gut feeling’ about him when we first met was right!
    Your pre-shoot photographs are stunning – such a great use of colour. I’d always thought I’d wanted a rural pre-shoot but your pictures have made me think twice!
    I don’t know how long ofg your wedding is, but have the best day!

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