Best wedding photography moments of 2023

April 28, 2024

Wow – what a year. From travelling the country photographing so many amazing weddings to winning international awards (more of that later), this is a year we’ll remember forever. But to ensure it doesn’t just live on in our heads, we thought we’d round it up and immortalise it on our blog, too! So without further ado, this is our ‘best wedding photography of 2023 post’ featuring 130 favourite images from last year.

Before you ask – yes, it was difficult to pick just 130. We ended up picking the compositions, the moments, the memories that stood out to us, as photographers and as people. What we really looked for was variety – as that’s something we pride ourselves on. We’re always looking to try a different angle and find a new way of telling the story, and we wanted this best of wedding photography post to reflect just that. So let’s get started – here’s our best of 2023, featuring at least one image from every wedding we photographed last year. All images by Hollie and Patrick Mateer.

Our best wedding photography moments of 2023

Loving our job

We love our job, capturing moments in an authentic way. Each individual wedding is carried along by its own kinetic energy – always moving, driven by the people. We’re not directing proceedings or posing people. Instead, we’re fully immersed in the moment. Through our photography we seek to evoke how a moment felt, not just show how it looked. Our images are bold and colourful – an artistic rendering of the world, but one bound to reality, too. Striking compositions – real memories. As Hollie has said before: we’re a quiet presence at weddings, but our images are loud.

Travelling the country

From warehouses in London, to marquees in Yorkshire, from barns to stately homes, from tiny registry offices to huge places of worship, we photographed weddings all over the country. Thanks so much to every single one of our couples for choosing us to document their day. Here’s a picture of us at the end of the night, having worked a 16 hour London wedding, enjoying a drink together (thanks to a guest for taking the snap). This year we’ll be travelling the country again – and also photographing some destination weddings abroad, too.

A world first

2023’s best wedding photography roundup includes a world first, because we photographed a wedding on the Belmond British Pullman train. This wasn’t only a first for us, but as it transpired the first ever wedding on the famous Pullman train, too. This is a Polaroid of us taken on the train (thanks to our very good friend Chelsea Cannar for the photo).

Working as a husband and wife duo

We love photographing weddings together. We sometimes shoot separately, but getting to photograph weddings together is what we love the most. There’s an unspoken connection between us, how we respond to moments, and how we work together to capture everything. When we get home, simultaneously tired and wired after a full day shooting an amazing celebration, we’re both so excited to see what the other has captured, and put the images together as soon as we can to reveal our own story of the day…then the next day, we get unceremoniously woken up early by our boys (see a picture of our rascals below!)

Artistic documentary wedding photography

We’re documentary wedding photographers – so naturally, our best wedding photography roundup is all about natural moments. Every image you see on this page was un posed by us, meaning we photographed each moment without direction or intervention. By letting these moments happen rather than staging them, we’re always concentrating on making the most creative image possible.

We like to think of ourselves as artists with cameras – each image you find here is a piece of photo-art, by us, the Mateers. Each image says so much about each of our couples, and you see people as they really were on the day. But as pieces of art, each image also contains a little part of us, too. The dynamic composition, the colourful editing. That’s what makes our work uniquely ‘us’.

Winning the This Is Reportage Wedding Photographer Of The Year

Over the years we’ve been lucky to win some of the biggest awards in our industry. We didn’t think we’d ever be able to top winning the highly coveted TWIA National Photographer of The Year Award in 2022, but then, in 2023, this happened:

Yep, that’s right: in 2023, Hollie was named the This Is Reportage Photographer Of The Year! This Is Reportage is the most prestigious documentary photography awards out there. 600 of the very best documentary wedding photographers from all over the world enter This Is Reportage, so looking at the winning images from This Is Reportage is like stepping into a contemporary photography exhibition. We’re a firm believer that ‘wedding photography is art’ and there’s no better exponent of this than This Is Reportage. We’ve entered it since its inception (with Patrick twice being named as one of the Top 10 Photographers In The World), and only ever dreamed that we might one day win the overall competition. 

In being named the TIR International Wedding Photographer Of The Year, Hollie won 14 TIR awards in 2023 – 6 stories and 8 individual reportage awards. She also won the TIR UK Photographer Of The Year award and finished second in the Storyteller Of The Year rankings. All Hollie’s award winning images bar two were captured in 2023, too – so the award is a true reflection of the work Hollie made last year.

Looking forward

So, that was the best wedding photography moments of 2023 – what’s in store in 2024? At some point this year, we’ll be celebrating 10 years since Patrick became a full-time wedding photographer, with Hollie starting a little later at the end of 2017. Hollie will also be talking at the NineDots Gathering in Manchester, giving a presentation to a room full of amazing photographers (no pressure!) We’ll be putting on our first ever documentary photography workshop, and launching our new education / mentoring website, aptly titled ‘Wedding Photography Is Art’. Lastly, we’ll continue our slow rebranding as The Mateers – it seems to already be catching on!

But of course, none of this would matter one jot without having an amazing year of weddings to look forward to. That’s where our passion is really found – in documenting weddings, working together, travelling, meeting new people, and making new art. We can’t wait to see what 2024 holds in store for us, as photographers and artists, and for you, our couples – we’ll see you soon!

Thanks to a few people

First of all, the biggest thanks to our three boys. We can never get carried away winning awards and photographing glamourous weddings – our boys keep us grounded (and very tired!). Then, thanks again to all our couples – past, present and future. Thanks for picking us to photograph your day – it’s a huge honour and one we take seriously. We throw ourselves into every wedding we photograph, immersing ourselves in the day – but we always remember to have fun, too. Because being a photographer, being creative every day – well, we can be serious about our art. But above all, it’s fun, isn’t it? We’re so lucky to do this job – it truly gives us a purpose alongside our life as parents. And we couldn’t do it without our couples. So thank you, thank you, thank you!

Lastly, thanks to our friends in the photography community. We’ve met so many photographer friends over the last ten years – many of them through NineDots and This Is Reportage. They offer us so much support, and that’s what’s great about our community – there’s a real sense of togetherness that we never felt in any other job we did previously. Special thanks to those photographers who second shot for (or assisted us) last year: Barnaby Staniland, Jawad Aslam, Tom Beynon, Janina Brocklesby, Josh Moore, Karl Chester, Alex Bradbury and Natasha Chant.

Also thanks to those photographers who asked us to second shoot for them. It’s always such fun shooting for another photographer – you can learn a lot about yourself from working alongside new people. We’ve featured a few images taken when second shooting here (thanks Richard & Christine of Kazooieloki, Scott Carney, Peter Hughes, Barnaby Staniland of BGS Weddings and Richard Murgatroyd).

And of course, thanks so much to Alan – the founder of This Is Reportage – and the TIR judges for Hollie’s POTY award. To win one TIR award is a thrill. To win the whole thing is still unreal. This really is the award that we’d dreamed of winning the most. We feel so connected to This Is Reportage, because it’s everything that we believe in. The ethos of This Is Reportage is our ethos too, so to win it really is a dream come true.

Your creative and relaxed wedding photographer

There you have it – our best wedding photography moments of 2023! If you love our documentary wedding photography and are getting married, we’d love to hear from you. Please drop us a message to check our availability and arrange a time to chat about your plans – we can’t wait to hear all about your wedding day. To sign off, here’s one last photo of us at work last year (well, our feet anyway).

Photographers looking for a mentor or educator

If you’re a photographer and would like to learn from us, please get in touch. We offer long term and one off mentoring options. We really love working with other photographers – so whatever area of your photographic practice you’d like to develop, we’d love to chat with you. All images above are by and copyright Hollie and Patrick – The Mateers (apart from the two photos of us, as credited).

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lost for words here, guys. What a collection. Your ability to CAPTURE A MOMENT and TELL A STORY IS INCREDIBLE , but it’s the bold and considered compositions that elevate your work and take it to a level most could only dream of. World class.

Lyndsey thank you so, so much – what an incredible comment! If we were writing a book we’d want that quote on our front cover. Means so much from you. Hollie and Patrick x

Just awesome!Loved looking through this. My personal favourite is the prep shot with the pink fan- the contrast colour and shape are so good! Cheers

Thanks so much Nathan! So kind of you – we love that shot too!

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