Engagement Shoot: Future Mr and Mrs Yule

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Amy and Danial 

26th October 2020 | RSPB Leighton Moss

Instagram: @yule_do_wedding | Photos: Olivia Whittaker

Amy and Danial had their engagement shoot back in October 2020, in what would have been their wedding month. After a postponement, they are now due to be married next weekend on 23/10/21! The couple decided for their engagement shoot they would go for a woodland backdrop for the photos, as opposed to the city style they will be having on their wedding day. They chose the ideal location and time of year to capture the beautiful autumnal Leighton Moss woodland. The very soon to be Mrs Yule tells us all about their shoot, the proposal and their wedding plans.

Why did you decide to have a pre-wedding shoot?

We decided to have a pre-wedding photoshoot mainly for Dan. He’s only ever had professional photos done twice, and both times were by a friend of his so we were concerned he would be nervous on the wedding day. My sister is a photographer and I was often used for her Uni work or to test out new poses so I felt like I would be comfortable. We also wanted to get to know our photographer. We were lucky that it was included in our package, and I would highly advise everyone take the opportunity to have one if they can. Olivia truly went above and beyond for us. We asked her very last minute due to not knowing if we were going into another lockdown, she drove quite a distance to meet us, and stayed with us for around 2 hours – and I know this isn’t normal practice for most photographers. She took us to different spots of the reserve to get different scenery, and then she even allowed me to find an additional spot because I wanted a bit more of a woodland look for a few photos. 

How did you meet and how long have you been together?

Dan and I met in a nightclub in Liverpool city centre. I always say it was fate. It was September 21st 2013 and I should have been going on a work night out in St. Helens, but due to issues between myself and a work colleague (ex partner), I was told I was ‘uninvited’. So I messaged my friend and said we needed a ‘girls night’- I never do last minute change of plans, I’d usually just cancel all together, but something told me to go out and let my hair down. One rule: No boys. We’d had a good night, it was coming to around 3am and I had work the next day (oh to be young again!) so I said we should leave. We were in a club called The Krazyhouse, also known as the K and has now changed its name to Electrik Warehouse. Scousers and Uni students of Liverpool will know it well! On our way out, my friend was grabbed by a lad, naturally I rolled my eyes and told her we should go – giving her evils in the process- this lad pulled this other guys top up. No idea why, but I didn’t complain. The lad – Elliott – carried my friend away- literally. So I was stuck with the other guy. He was friendly enough, quite funny and cute, turned out they were step-brothers. Elliott was studying in John Moores University and the one I was talking to was on his first ever night out in Liverpool – they were from North Wales. After some persuasion from me – what? He was cute - He took my number and we went our separate ways. He said he’d call the next day, but I never expected he would. He called. We talked. Two weeks later we met up again, and as they say the rest is history. We celebrated our 7 year anniversary last October (Ps. My friend and Dans step-brother Elliott dated for a year, but sadly split. He’s now happily engaged to someone else and I’m happy for them both and can’t wait for their wedding this Summer!)

Tell us your proposal story:

To tell you our proposal story there is a little backstory you should know first; Dan and I went away together after being together for 6 months and I honestly thought he was going to propose on that trip, so as you can imagine every single trip or special occasion following that I would convince myself he was going to propose and always be left a little disappointed. So onto the actual proposal: The night before I had been on a night out with Uni friends and was feeling a little tired, I had the day off, but Dan was working and we were leaving later in the evening once he’d finished work. We had a long drive to the outskirts of Scotland before heading to Aberdeen the following day to celebrate our 5 year anniversary. Before we left, we had decided to go to our favourite little café; Brasco Lounge. We used to hang out there when we first met after I finished work, we enjoyed the fact that it was open till 11pm but was never as crowded or as loud as a city centre bar, so we could actually talk. There is a sofa and table that’s been there since back then and that was where we both said ‘I love you’ for the first time – on separate occasions. So it’s definitely sentimental. I used to order a cup of tea and Dan would have a hot chocolate, but this time we decided to eat there. Just before we left, we were running late because I wasn’t organised – I have zero excuses for this! I remember being in a bit of a mood waiting downstairs because he told me he was ready, but then went back up to the bedroom to ‘get his bag’. He seemed to be taking forever, so I went up and when I swung the door open, he was climbing in the wardrobe and because of the shock of me swinging the door open, he ended up slipping and breaking the shelf. Little did I know at the time, he had hid the ring on the top shelf and needed to stand on the lower shelf to reach it – the reason he was so startled was because he thought I was going to catch him in the act. Due to the long drive I decided to wear a Disneyland Paris jumper to be comfortable and no makeup, and Dan was wearing a blazer and a shirt – but that wasn’t unusual. We got to the café and sat in the middle of the room to eat, and once we had finished our mains Dan said we should go sit in our usual spot and asked if I wanted a cup of tea ‘like the old times’. I said no. 

The poor guy was trying to be romantic and I insisted on a Sundae instead. When we sat down, Dan kept pushing the table away, complaining it was to close to his knees. What on earth is he talking about? He’s never complained before. He would push the table (and my sundae) away, and in a huff I would pull it back. This went back and forth a couple of times before he gave up. Once I had finished my sundae, I pushed the table and was like “There!” Why did he suddenly want all this damn leg space? How I didn’t realise what was happening, I will never know. He started talking about our future and our relationship, and I remember excusing myself to the bathroom probably mid-sentence as if I wasn’t about to be asked the most important question! I didn’t realise he was trying to be romantic. When I returned, he continued saying things about having a life together and having kids etc. My first thought was ‘It’s happening. It’s finally happening!’, but then I thought surely he wouldn’t do it here when I’m not even dressed up? Plus, I didn’t want to be left disappointed again so I tried to push the thoughts out. The next thing you know he was down on one knee with the most beautiful ring from Boodles. I’m not usually an emotional person, but my goodness the floodgates opened! I had to encourage him to put the ring on my finger – I don’t think he realised he was supposed to do that bit! Then I just sat squeezing his face while he was still on one knee. I just couldn’t believe it was happening. There were other diners in the café, but no one saw until a couple of Uni students came in and could clearly see the happy tears, so came over and congratulated us. I called my immediate family instantly. Because we were literally driving that evening to Scotland, I didn’t have time to celebrate with anyone, so I used any opportunity to flash my ring. I spent most of the car journey to Scotland waving at people – mostly late night truckers and service station staff – with the back of my hand.

Why did you choose the shoot location:

I really wanted a different style of photos compared to our city wedding photos, so when we made the decision to go to the Lake District to celebrate our original wedding date/original minimoon/anniversary, I reached out to Olivia to see if she was free. I told her our accommodation address and that I wanted ‘woodland-y’ photos, and she did the rest! Leighton Moss was beautiful and I am so glad she chose it.

Did you find the shoot helpful for helping you feel more prepared for the wedding day?

Most definitely! I already felt relatively relaxed (as mentioned above), but having the experience with a new photographer meant we could get to know her style as well. It means that when our day (finally) comes we’ll be able to know what to expect. I also think it’ll be less awkward on the actual day itself – actually knowing the person who is going to be shooting all those intimate moments of getting into the dress and seeing Dan for the first time.

Did you feel nervous behind the camera?

I didn’t, but Dan did at first at least. After a couple of minutes he kind of just fell into it and forgot Olivia was there – he sort of just started giving me little kisses to ease his nerves and that seemed to work!

Would you recommend that other couples have an engagement shoot or do you feel it is not necessary?

I definitely recommend it if it’s part of your package! I know some photographers charge extra for this, and I appreciate it’s not in everyones budget, but if possible definitely do it. I think most photographers are crazy if they don’t offer this in at least one of their packages; it’s a great way for the photographer to get to know the couple too! 

Did your photographer give you any tips before the shoot?

She has a blog on her website which answers loads of questions, so I read that first. She mostly suggested we wear something comfortable and that feels like us, and to be ourselves. I had also done a lot of research – watched a lot of youtube videos and read these blogs! 

What advice would you give to other couples who do plan to have a pre-wedding shoot?

Take a change of outfit – I don’t mean a full on Beyonce style change – but something like a coat, or a hat or change of top (if you’re in a suitable place to change). We literally both put on our fancy coats and it made a huge difference in the look of our photos. I love cosy clothing and woodland looks, but Dan aspires to be James Bond (he once literally wore a suit to McDonalds!) and likes the fancier things in life. So we went casual for the first half, and then spruced it up with nice coats to look more glam. The other tip I would give is to pick somewhere completely different to your wedding location. It’s not often you get to do this, so I think having a variety of photos will be nice to look back on.

What is your favourite photo from the shoot?

This is a hard choice! I love them all. But the one I’ve posted all over social media, and is the wallpaper on my phone is the one where Dan is kissing my forehead and we’re both wearing our fancy coats. I love that he has his arm around me, and I just love the genuine smile on my face.

Were there any stand out moments in the shoot?

Not a standout moment as such, but definitely a funny moment. There was a point where ducks started to follow us. We didn’t have food on us or anything and there were other people around, but they followed us from one side of the reserve to the other and wouldn’t leave us alone. There is a photo where you can see them gathering by our feet. We also had an older couple congratulate us and make cute comments.

Tell us about your wedding plans:

Our wedding ceremony is taking place in the beautiful St. Georges Hall, in the Concert room. St. Georges hall is actually where Liverpool registry office weddings are held, and not many people know this, but they also allow you to get married in the grand halls – including the concert room, though you still have to pay a venue fee as opposed to registry office fee. It’s stunning. I first saw it as a bridesmaid at my sisters wedding, Dan and I had only been engaged about two weeks, but I knew there and then that that was where I wanted to get married. I’ve always fantasised about the beautiful church wedding growing up, but neither of us are religious, so the Concert Hall is the next best thing in my opinion! We are then having our reception in the stunning 30 James Street. The funny thing is we could have had our full day at St. Georges or our full day at 30 James Street which would have saved us a couple of thousand, but we decided to split it. The catering options weren’t to our taste in St. Georges Hall, and I didn’t want to compromise on that beautiful room to have our full day at 30 James Street. We’re hoping for a wedding of 70 guests, no children, sit down meal and a party into the night when an additional 30 guests arrive. I’ve been told our theme is elegant, though I’ve always struggled to pin down a theme. We have burgundy bridesmaid dresses, grey suits, and pastel roses. Though we are getting married close to Halloween, and it’s one of my favourite times of year, there won’t be a pumpkin in sight! I will be wearing a hand painted leather jacket by Jade @bespokechalkandprint following the wedding. And then I will be channelling my inner Hilary Duff in A Cinderella Story vibes by changing into converse for the evening. Of course, desserts are a big part of our lives, and so we’re having a dessert table featuring desserts from Savanna @savannafeicouturecakes amongst our own additions. To show a little nod to my Norwegian hertiage, we’re having Norwegian Kransekake which is a Celebration cake, and of course a chocolate Yule log to celebrate our new surname!
I am not taking Dans surname, and he isn’t taking mine. Dans full name is Danial James-Yule Wright. My current surname is from my fathers family and is Norwegian and quite unique, and it’s difficult to let go of a unique surname to become a ‘Wright’ (there is nothing wrong with that surname, but to go from being one of only 7 people in England with my surname, to a surname that is so common was difficult for me!). Dan also didn’t want to take my surname. Dans parents never married and have since split and have married other partners, which is why Dans middle name is double barrel – Yule is his mothers maiden name. His late Gramps had no brothers, and then only had one son who never married, so the name essentially ends with his Uncle. So after a few discussions, we decided to go with Yule. I absolutely love Christmas, and I really, really love Chocolate Yule logs. I also love a good pun (see my instagram handle!) And honestly, I’ve never met a Yule before. Out of respect we asked his Dad if he was okay with it before announcing it to his Mum and Nan; who were both absolutely delighted and honoured.  

Do you plan to incorporate any of the photos into your wedding? If yes, how?

We’re hoping to use our pre-wedding photos in our invitations; we will also add a photo or two on the ‘welcome’ table where our guest book will sit.

What are you most looking forward to about the wedding date?

Finally getting married following our postponement. And also being able to celebrate with all our family we’ve been unable to see for the last year. Family is huge to Dan and I, and we wouldn’t have our day without them. Fingers crossed we get the wedding we’ve planned this October!

What has been your favourite part of wedding planning so far?

This is a difficult one! Multiple things. I loved trying on my dress the day I finally said yes to it. I loved asking my bridesmaids to be part of our day. We both absolutely loved cake tasting for our desserts. And of course our pre-wedding shoot! I love that we got to do this as a little nod to our original wedding date. And I am so glad we found our photographer!

Did you make any changes to your wedding plans after postponing?

When planning our wedding I was studying to become a Further Education Teacher (14+) teaching Beauty/Holistic therapy. I then landed myself a job unexpectedly in a Childrens Care Home teaching from age 11 up, and teaching Maths, English, Geography, Science, PE, D.T. – Basically, I was way out of my comfort zone! It was stressful. I hadn’t booked a photographer yet and that was next on my to-do list. I didn’t really know what I wanted in a photographer. I knew I didn’t want to follow the previous trend of dark and dusky photos, but didn’t quite know how to describe what I wanted (I am not bright, vibrant or colourful either). But juggling this new job and finding a photographer when I didn’t know what I wanted became extremely difficult and very overwhelming. I contacted so many people and the ones I really liked were already booked for our date. I was panicking. What I wish I had done was take a step back and come back to it at a later date, however, what I ended up doing is booking a photographer that wasn’t our vibe at all, and was also out of our budget so I clearly wasn’t in the right headspace. She was a lovely person, and a fantastic photographer, but just not clicking with me. After postponing, and a year after booking with her, I realised I had made a huge mistake and took the plunge to cancel the contract (unfortunately but understandably losing our deposit). The minute I found Olivia, I just knew she was right. We’ve actually joked that we are basically the same person. And our lives have strangely crossed. She’s amazing at what she does and I am so glad I have finally found a photographer that works for us, the evidence is in these photos! So, for all those future couples stressing over a supplier and trying to rush into it because you’re worried about not being able to secure somebody before everyone gets booked up; take a step back. Breathe. Put all the information on the suppliers away and don’t look at it for a while. Because it may cost you if you rush into it and make the same mistake I did. 

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