I visited an absolute hidden gem of a venue in the middle of Manchester City Centre recently: The Portico Library. Founded in 1806, this unique venue has only recently opened its doors to host events and weddings as it was previously a members-only library and I’m so glad they did! It was a treat for me as a wedding photographer to work in. With 25,000 books in the building’s collection it’s not surprising that the interior is packed with wall to wall bookshelves and some even reach up to the ceilings. The ceilings really are worth a mention too and The Portico Library’s famous gallery features an impressive glass dome. The place is steeped in history and what better backdrop can there be for book-loving couples and their wedding photography?
A Micro Wedding…in Reverse!
I was so excited when Drew and Jonny booked me as their photographer for their wedding at this unique venue. We had some time to really soak up the atmospheric rooms of The Portico Library before we realised that the registrar would not arrive in time for the ceremony. The couple called the registry office and found out their booking had been cancelled by mistake thanks to multiple cases of reorganising schedules for COVID restrictions. The office let them know that they could send someone but it would only be a few hours later.
This called for some improvisation and the order of the day was quickly turned upside down. The grooms kicked off their drink reception as well as the cutting of the cake in place of the ceremony. We also had time to go out into St Peter Square for some relaxed portraits amongst the buzz of Manchester. The day finished with the wedding ceremony in the stunning reading room surrounded by books and masked up family members.
The venue staff didn’t bat an eyelid when the wedding had to be done in reverse. They accommodated Drew and Jonny’s day and, as their wedding photographer, I also had to adapt to what was going on. Specialising in documentary style wedding photography means that I am quick on my feet in order to capture real moments as they develop on the day, it also means that I can think quickly too and step in to support couples should things not always go to plan with their big day. Being calm and upbeat really helps in these situations and that’s how I work best, offering smiles and solutions all around.
Adopt a Book
Many books from the Portico Library are in urgent need of repair or rebinding. Jonny and Drew decided to commemorate their day by adopting a book that is collected and repaired. “Forty Days in the desert”
If you are planning a Portico Library wedding, I’d love to hear about your plans. Get in touch to arrange your free meeting and discuss your big day.