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Old Palace Chester Wedding Photographer

Charlotte and Josh

Old Palace Chester Wedding Photographer

Old Palace Chester Wedding Photographer

Charlotte and Josh’s Story


Charlotte and Josh – The Old Palace’s Unofficial Travel Agents

Charlotte and Josh’s wedding day began with a slight hitch that turned into an adventurous tale of taxi no-shows. You see, they had booked those trusty taxis in advance to shuttle them from the Old Palace in Chester to the charming St. Werburgh’s Church and back. But, alas, the taxis were a no-show. Well, as they say, when life gives you a taxi no-show, make it a leisurely walk instead. Luckily, the church was just a short 6- or 7-minute stroll away, and the weather was playing nice – warm and dry.

I made my grand entrance to this wedding-day spectacle and was greeted in the reception area by Carol, Charlotte’s trusty maid of honour. Carol was there to save the day, leading me to the Morning Room, the bridal HQ for the day. Inside, Claire Quick MUA and a team of hairstylists were working their magic on Charlotte’s entourage. Let me tell you, they did a splendid job; every member of the bride’s squad looked absolutely amazing.

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The Old Palace Chester, or as it’s also known, St. Mary’s Centre, is a historic treasure trove nestled in the heart of Chester. This place oozes history: it’s like stepping into a time machine that takes you back to the 13th century. The building is a Grade I listed marvel, and it has a storied past that goes way back. Originally, it was the fancy residence of the Bishop of Chester and even served as a place of worship. The bishop used to live next door, in that rather large church that’s now a ruin – the Parish Church of St. John the Baptist. The Old Palace Chester is a favourite for couples who want a unique and charming setting for their special day.

As a first timer at this fabulous venue (after 15 years as a wedding photographer, no less!), I was shown around by a lovely lady whose name I regrettably forgot (though I did get her photo). The first stop on our tour was the Palace Suite, a sprawling room featuring a grand bed as its centrepiece, along with three bay windows that were practically begging for romantic moments. And there’s a curvy sofa right in front of those windows, perfect for a quick cuddle – if you can squeeze in five minutes on your wedding day, that is! The bathroom in there is another story; it’s spotless and boasts a bathtub right in the middle of the room, flanked by alcoves for a shower and, well, nature’s call. These little marvels need to be seen to be believed.

Then, we moved on to the dining room, which, much like the rest of the place, was stunningly spotless. The bar and the celebration rooms were next on our hit list. After that, we stepped outside to a pristine lawn where kids were running around, and let me tell you, they were having fun – all well-behaved, of course. 


The Old Palace Chester Wedding Photographer

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Now, I don’t usually go on about cleanliness, but it’s worth noting that this place is incredibly clean and free of unpleasant odours. The whole operation is expertly run by Andrea, the wedding manager, and her team. They’re all about going the extra mile and always wear smiles that could light up the room.

As I made my grand entrance at the church, we were warmly greeted by none other than Father Paul. Now, he might appear a bit stern at first glance, but I’m told he’s a real gem with a delightfully dark and dry sense of humour – much like yours truly! 😄💒


Next up, I put my investigative skills to work and grilled Charlotte and Josh. Here are a few titbits from our chat:


Where and when did you get engaged? Tell me what happened?

Ah, the story of their engagement – it happened in the romantic city of Rome, outside the Pantheon, no less. But here’s the twist, Josh had a proper ring, but it wasn’t ready in time, so they had to grab a cheap one on the spot. When they got back home, the cheap ring no longer fit due to Rome’s 40-degree heat. Talk about a heated romance!


Why did you choose your wedding date?

Their wedding date is also their 5-year dating anniversary, and isn’t that just the sweetest?


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Why did you choose your venue?
Well, they went for the Old Palace Chester because it’s a beautiful, serene location, but it’s still in the heart of a city with plenty of accommodation nearby. No remote wilderness weddings for them!


Do you have a special “theme”/ style for your wedding? Why did you pick this theme/ style?
Their style is simple elegance, but with Charlotte’s friend in charge of the flowers, it seems to have taken on a life of its own, blossoming into something more extravagant. It’s the magic of friendship, I suppose!


What is your wedding colour scheme? Why did you choose it?
Their colour scheme is all about autumnal hues, perfectly matching the October wedding date and creating a cozy atmosphere. Plus, it makes it easy for everyone to find outfits.


What sort of dress/outfit did you choose and where from? Why did you choose it?
Charlotte went with an Essence of Australia dress from a boutique in London. She fell in love with the structured top and the flowing lower part. The off-white colour, well, it just meshed perfectly with the wedding colours.


What has your partner chosen to wear and where from?
Josh went all out with a custom-made three-piece suit from Moss Bros. It’s a fantastic choice because he got to match the bridesmaids’ dresses with customized fabrics and linings.


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What are your bridesmaids/ groomsmen going to wear and where from?

The bridesmaids are rocking dresses from Wed2Be, all in the same colour but with the freedom to choose their style. As for the best man, he had his suit custom-made to match Josh’s, all the way from Vietnam – that’s where he lives.


How will you travel on the day? If the transport is hired, where is it from?

They had originally booked cabs to transport the wedding party, but, alas, the cabs didn’t show up. Most guests ended up walking between the church and the venue.


What flowers have you chosen, if any?

Their floral arrangements are a mix of different blooms, all lovingly provided by Charlotte’s friend and florist extraordinaire, Adrien of Slate and Grey.


What flowers and decorations have you chosen for the wedding reception?

Adrien’s got it covered – handling both the flowers and decorations. Talk about a one-stop shop for wedding beauty!



What cake have you chosen? Who is making it?
Their main cake is being crafted by Emma Lou Bakery in Urmston. It’s a three-tiered masterpiece with three different Flavors. They’ve also got vegan and gluten-free cupcakes for their guests, courtesy of Cake in Chester.

A Fantastically Impressive Day

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Are you giving out favours? If so, what?

They’ve put together adorable little jars of different flavoured tea with cute tags attached. A thoughtful touch for sure!


What food/wines have you chosen? Why?

For the starter, they’ve gone with a vegan and gluten-free soup – making sure everyone can enjoy the same dish. The main course is lamb, a favourite of the couple. And to top it all off, sticky toffee pudding for dessert, a perfect autumnal treat. For drinks, they’ve got warm apple cider for the welcome drink, keeping things cozy and autumnal. For wine, they’re serving up Rioja, Josh’s favourite, and a Pinot Grigio for the white, a crowd.

For our welcome drink, we’ve got the delightful and oh-so-autumnal warm apple cider, which happens to be a personal favourite. It’s not too heavy on the alcohol, keeping things cozy. As for wine, we’re offering a bottle of Josh’s beloved Rioja, and a crisp Pinot Grigio for the white, a choice most folks are sure to enjoy.


What entertainment have you choose and who are they?

As for the entertainment, Spencer from Groove Noise will be taking charge of the DJ duties, ensuring the dance floor stays groovy all night.


What other “special touches” have you added to your day?

And let’s not forget those special, heartfelt touches that make our day unique. My uncle, the one and only Uncle Wil, will be co-officiating our wedding, adding that extra layer of love and meaning to our special day.


With love,

Paul Swift Photography


The Old Palace, Chester, Wedding Photographer

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