As it’s the middle of wedding season, I’m very busy photographing lots of gorgeous weddings and I think I’m lacking a good dose of vitamin D mid-week as I lock myself away to edit and finalise the photographs for my lovely couples. However, the rain is back again today, so I doubt I’m missing much of the outside world!
I’m taking an editing break today to share with you a wedding I shot a couple of months ago at a venue close to home, the Chevin Country Park Hotel and Spa. The hotel is set in 44 acres of gorgeous woodland and boasts stunning views over the market town of Otley.
I first met my couple Robyn and Matthew at the venue last year, and despite the dark evening (it was October), I could see why they had chosen such a pretty place to get married. Their ceremony was to be conducted in the Lakeside Restaurant, and as the name suggests, the room looks out, through huge glass floor to ceiling windows, over the hotel’s picturesque lake. I couldn’t wait to photograph this wedding.
On the day of their wedding I headed down to the hotel to find Robyn making some last minute preparations to the table centre pieces for their reception. After I took some exterior shots of the grounds (and scared a few hotel guests using the outdoor spa facilities – I think they thought I was there to take their photographs), I arranged to meet her back in the bridal suite. I found a relaxed bride having a brew complete with veil. We chatted about our shared love of sparkly shoes – I nearly wore a very similar pair to her wedding shoes, oops – and her gorgeous homegrown wedding bouquet.
Soon it was time to head down for the wedding ceremony! Ordinarily, ceremonies take place at the opposite end of the restaurant by a log burner, however Robyn and Matthew wanted to take advantage of the big bright windows and lake backdrop. I thought this worked rather well – I’m a photographer, so I do love lots of lovely light!
After the ceremony, where the groom was showered with petals from the flower girls and page boys, the couple and their guests headed over for the drinks reception and to congratulate the happy couple. Sadly the Great British weather was on top form that day and the heavens opened. The plans to have the drinks reception on the terrace were changed for an indoor location. Luckily though, the rains eased off in time to take some group shots and a confetti photo outside.
Before the wedding breakfast, guests were invited to help themselves to a pint of real ale from the pumps that the couple had provided. A nice personal touch, and as keen real ale enthusiasts, the tables were also named after local tipples.
I promised Robyn and Matthew that we would head over to ‘surprise view’ after their wedding breakfast. Located a few minutes drive from the hotel, it’s a look out point over Otley and the Yorkshire Dales with absolutely jaw dropping scenery. Because of the rain earlier in the day, we weren’t sure if it would be worth it. Luckily, the clouds were looking dramatic and stormy, but it was dry! We made it just in time before the next rains came.
Before long, it was time for the night do. I stayed to capture the first dance, and a very busy dance floor before slipping away and letting everyone enjoy the rest of the day.