A Magical Woodland Wedding at Oaklands Wedding Venue

So this Saturday saw us photographing the wedding of Lucy and Mike at a new venue for us – the fabulous Oaklands Wedding Venue, situated in a clearing, in the middle of nowhere, somewhere near in the Beverley/Drifffield/Brandesburton triangle.

Our day started early as we joined Mike with his pals as they got ready in Brough, the boys were in fine form, albeit, somewhat stiff from their very special ‘dance’ on the way home from the pub – it must have been a very warm evening as they told there was a certain lack of clothes…if a man is gonna go streaking for the last time in his life – let it be th3ee night before his wedding!= – LEGENDS!

The boys looked super smart and the bride and groom’s house had some really lovely features for us to incorporate into the preparation photography, once the lads were suited and booted in matching French Blue suits, we finished off ties and button hole flowers and then hit the streets.

There’s a kids play park just at the end of Mike’s street and there was me thinking I was going to make some moody, contemplative portraits outdoors – but of course, as soon as the lads scoped the kids play equipment, they were straight into ‘play’!

So, we left the boys to finish off their final arrangements and we headed over to Lucy’s Mum and Dad’s where the girls were just finishing hair and makeup.  The house was lovely to shoot in with lots of natural light.  The house had a lovely garden and although it’s rare for me to photograph the girls outside on a wedding morning, I couldn’t resist shooting when I found some lovely trees to work with – the girls had to do some tippy-toeying (is that even a word?) in their heels but it was well worth it for the shots we got.

Lucy’s dress was absolutely divine and she looked so incredibly classy once she was finally buttoned in.  She radiated calm and I could tell she was enjoying every single moment of her morning.  Once I’d created my iconic bridal portraits, we brought Lucy downstairs to see her Dad and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when he saw her.

Hannah and I left for Beverley St Mary’s Church,  and was soon followed by the bridesmaids.  Mike was inside pacing and pacing and he couldn’t wait to see his bride walking down the aisle.  Once Lucy arrived, it was game on, she floated down the aisle and Mike’s reaction to seeing her was priceless.  Mike has had a long and illustrious career in rugby, playing professionally for Hull FC so you wouldn’t think he would be prone to being in a ‘glass case of emotion’ but my oh my, he wasn’t afraid to show how he felt about the women he was marrying!

St Marys Church is one of my favourite churches to shoot in, architecturally stunning and lovely and bright – perfect for capturing stunning weddings.  I loved the connection between our bride and groom as they exchanged their vows, lost in each other, you could feel every moment of emotion.  Once the wedding ceremony was over, we had time for some group shots outside the church before Mike and Lucy’s beloved King Charles Spaniels came to say hello and it totally made their day to say ‘hi’ to their canine ‘children’ before heading off to the wedding venue.

We left for Oaklands Wedding Venue which is about a 25 minute drive from Beverley Town Centre and we were greeted by the most fantastic of welcomes by Sophie and her team.  The Tipis looked absolutely gorgeous, the styling was impeccable and every detail had been carefully considered.  With Tony Cerruti and his team taking care of the catering, guests enjoyed a beautiful wedding breakfast before speeches kicked off. 

Speeches are always lovely to capture, some men are shy and that comes across in a special way, some men are brash and that comes across in its own way – some men, as ours did today, speak from the heart and the soul – these are my favourite speeches to photograph.  the father of the bride, groom and Best Man all gave very different speeches – but each one touching, humorous and very personal.

Once the wedding breakfast was over, guests gathered in the outside seating areas to enjoy a vintage horse-box photo booth, more prosecco, a hog roast and a lovely evening breeze coming off the lake.  We whisked Mike and Lucy away for some moments by themselves and created some of the iconic couple’s portraits we are well known for and I personally was a little overwhelmed by the diversity of photographic opportunities – we could have kept going all night, but we had a couple to deliver back to their guests and the evening’s proceedings to attend to – we always remember, the weddings we photograph are NOT portfolio building days for us, but the most special day of our couple’s lives and so balancing time is super important.

So we are almost at the end of our story, just the first dance to talk about – a total surprise for the guests!  At the back of the tipi, right behind where the top table goes, is a canvas flap that opens out into the most magical of woodland spaces.  Oaklands have strewn gorgeous fairy lights all around that area, once the first dance is announced – the couple is whisked away and they take their positions on the other side of the tent.  As the music starts, the guests begin to wonder where the bride and groom are, until…..the canvas flap is drawn back to reveal our bride and groom encapsulated in golden light, gently moving between the trees, celebrating a first dance on the first day of their lives together going forward – just magic!

We couldn’t have been happier to have spent the day with such a lovely couple, their family and friends.  We felt so very welcome at every stage of the day and we definitely made some new friends!  All that’s left is to wish Lucy and Mike a long and prosperous marriage and we look forward to sharing their wedding collection on their return from honeymoon!

Weddings at The Hallmark Hotel – Alex & Rachel – Insight Photography

Shooting Weddings at The Hallmark Hotel is always a great experience – the hotel is a big fave in the East Riding and wider Yorkshire area – it’s a contemporary venue with lots to offer couples who want the best in hospitality, sculpted grounds and super atmosphere.Hallmark hotel Weddings

We joined Alex and Rachel on Saturday just gone to capture their special day at The Hallmark Hotel and we had an absolute blast.Groomsmen Hallmark Hotel

Our day started early with the boys’ preparations who were ahead of the game and just about suited and booted when we arrived – eager beavers or what!  We helped the boys finish off the bits that were outside of their comfort zone – namely, cravats and button hole flowers.  We’ve been photographing weddings for almost 15 years and we never get tired of helping those poor defenceless groomsmen, our years of experience are always appreciated when the fingers and thumbs get tangled!Jaguar XJ Long Wheel Base

Once the guys were ready and we’d created portraits inside the house, I took them outside to cool the down and get into the cool, lit portraits but there was first to be a surprise from our bride.  She’d organised for a very special car to take our groom and the boys to the Hallmark Hotel – a long wheel based Jaguar XJ in silver, supplied and expertly driven by our good friend Howard over at Silver Lane Wedding Cars.  it’s a new vehicle for him and is absolutely perfect for transporting/your VIPs and/or bridal party on anybody’s wedding day.  Alex’s face was a real picture when he saw the Jag parked up on the green outside his house and it made an ace set of pictures for the boys.Wedding Dress and Bridal Preparations

Once we’d finished up with the boys, we headed over to the Hallmark Hotel to photograph Rachel’s final preparations.  The girls were all just about done in hair and make-up when we arrived so it was a chilled morning photographing moments as the wedding drew closer and closer.  Once Rachel was dressed, she took on a beautiful radiance of a young women who was totally ready to gallup down that aisle!Bridesmaids at The Hallmark HotelBeautiful Bride at The Hallmark Hotel

I was so happy for Alex and Rachel, we managed to completely avoid bad weather, even though the 2 times we met to shoot pre-wedding photos, it rained and the forecast said it would rain on the wedding day – we said. ”No Way Mother Nature’!  We get everything done and just as we shot the last frames, the heavens opened – we won!Signature Suites at The Hallmark Hotel North FerribySilver Lane Wedding Cars

The wedding ceremony was held in the Merlot Suite and to see Alex’s face when he turned to watch his bride walk down the aisle towards towards him was a real treat!  A kiss sealed the deal and we had a new Mr and Mrs Cooper – Huzzah!Confetti at The Hallmark Hotel Hallmark Hotel Gardens

The rest of the festivities went exactly to plan and the bride and groom really enjoyed the rest of their wedding celebrations when their friends joined them in the evening to party the night away.  We left as the temperature was rising on the dance floor and some very special dance moves were being thrown down – we even cut a little rug ourselves!Wedding Toast at Hallmark Hotel Hallmark Hotel North Ferriby

We want to wish Rachel and Alex all the very best for a lovely life together, they have a ‘mini moon’ in Fueteventura to look forward to after the weekend and will pick up the keys for their new house on their return and then’ they’ll venture to St Lucia for their ‘big honeymoon’ later in the year. These guys deserve the best life!Weddings at The Hallmark Hotel

If you’ve enjoyed this story about Weddings at The Hallmark Hotel and looking for a wedding photographer your’e more than welcome to find out more about our wedding services on our Insight Photography website.

Weddings at Cave Castle Hotel – Nic & Matt – Insight Photography

Weddings-at-Cave-Castle-Hotel-01Weddings at Cave Castle Hotel are always awesome – they’re even better when you know a big chunk of the guests – this was very much the case for Nic and Matt’s wedding last weekend at a venue that literally takes me 90 seconds to reach by car!Weddings-at-Cave-Castle-Hotel-02Weddings-at-Cave-Castle-Hotel-03

We photographed the bride’s sisters wedding almost 3 years ago and were delighted to be invited back to help Nic, her sister and bride to capture her special day.Weddings-at-Cave-Castle-Hotel-04

Our day started early as we met up with the boys at Cave Castle to help them with their final preparations.  They were very busy setting up and decorating the Sandringham Suite, following the Bride’s laser guided instructions to the tee – i doubt they would have wanted to get it wrong – a bride on a mission is a bride on a mission!Weddings-at-Cave-Castle-Hotel-05Weddings-at-Cave-Castle-Hotel-06

The boys looked fab in their suits once we’d gone through the rituals of cravat tying and button hole flower adornment.  It was really hot in the boys suite so we got them outside as soon as we could to cool the down and create some epic lit portraits outside in Cave Castle’s amazingly well landscaped grounds.Weddings-at-Cave-Castle-Hotel-07

If you’re looking for a venue that takes amazing pride in its presentation, right down to the minutiae – look no further than Cave Castle.  From a photographer’s point of view, it has the perfect blend of architecture, landscape and grounds to keep us shooting all day! Weddings-at-Cave-Castle-Hotel-08Weddings-at-Cave-Castle-Hotel-09

We left Matt and his Groomsmen carrying on with their sterling venue styling efforts and headed over to Nic’s mum and Dad’s where she was making her final preparations with the bridesmaids and family.  Nic’s Mum is a total legend – affectionately know as ‘The Ginner’ or ‘Dark Crow’ – she has an infectious personality that brings all around her to smile.  She’d even gone to the lengths of redecorating her downstairs so Nic’s wedding pictures looked different to her sisters – total legend!Weddings-at-Cave-Castle-Hotel-10

We had a fab time photographing the girls, we did a lot of giggling and a lot of goo-goo-gagaing with the gorgeous baby Esme who totally threatened to steal the show until she saw Nic dressed and finished off in her gown who looked just radiant.Weddings-at-Cave-Castle-Hotel-12

A church wedding was held at Brough Methodist Church, a place of worship  very special to the bride’s family and it certainly felt like being ‘home’ with the wedding party.  The minister led a lovely service and the church erupted into an uproar of applause when the bride and groom were announced as man and wife!  We took care of group shots in the church before making the short journey to South Cave and the Castle for the rest of the day.Weddings-at-Cave-Castle-Hotel-13

Nic and Matt had organised an open top bus for the guests to be transported to The Castle and it turned out to be too tall to make its way through the Castle’s main entrance archway’ so the bus had to take the back entrance in – which obviously hadn’t been used for a while and the tree branches almost took out the whole top deck – my assistant Hannah was inches away from being decapitated – some might say an occupational hazard!Weddings-at-Cave-Castle-Hotel-14

We did a few more of the bigger group shots in Cave Castle’s gardens and then retired to the Sandringham Suite for speeches and the wedding breakfast just before a rain shower beckoned.Weddings-at-Cave-Castle-Hotel-15

Once the speeches were over, I was able to take the bride and groom in Cave Castle’s new Bridal Golf Buggy  ‘Love 1’ for a drive around the grounds and was able to reach parts of the grounds we don’t normally get to.  The buggy is essentially very easy to drive but we had some hairy moments getting a bit too close to the water’s edge – maybe a bit more practice is required on my part!

Before we knew it, evening guests were arriving and it was time for the party to start.  Nic and Matt cut their cake and then took to the dance floor for their first dance.  We left with a packed dance floor and it was obvious there would be hours more dancing and frivolities to come.Weddings-at-Cave-Castle-Hotel-18

We had a blast photographing Nic and Matt’s Wedding at Cave Castle Hotel and want to wish them all the very best for a beautiful life together.  If you’ve enjoyed reading this wedding story and are getting married yourself why not see if Insight Photography has availability for your special day – head to our website and request a brochure – we’d love to find out more about your plans.

Wentbridge House Weddings with all the Sixes!

Wentbridge-House-WeddingsWentbridge House Weddings are always awesome, it’s such a beautiful venue located right at the head of the ‘Great North Road’ right on the West Yorkshire borderline.  It’s been a while since we have photographed a wedding here, in fact it was April Fools Day 2013 (you can see a few sneaks from that wedding here ) so we were really excited to be back in the Western reaches of God’s Country to shoot Natalie and Tom’s big day!

Natalie and Tom were our first clients to book us for 2017 all the way back in 2015 after we had met them at another wedding and we were delighted to be working with them.  Hannah and I arrived at Wentbridge House early to help the boys with their preparations, it was all systems go as soon as we got there – especially since the couple’s cravats were particularly ‘home brew’ should we say and even myself with vast amounts of experience of cravat-tying could not figure these bad boys out!

The boys looked fab in their French blue, 3-piece suits and once all the finishing touches of button hole flowers, pocket squares, hip flasks etc were sorted and arranged, we headed outside for the boys to get some fresh air and create our signature ‘power shots’ with the boys.  Our groom Tom was on fine form and led from the front as we shot in Wentbridge House’s ace gardens, I can’t wait to share these photos from the Boy’s preps!

We left Tom to work on final preparations with his team as we headed up to spend the last 90 minutes before the wedding with Natalie – our gorgeous Bride who was getting ready in one of the venue’s suites.  The bridesmaids were almost ready and Natalie was still in the chair being pampered by her hair and make-up team.  The photos we create at this point are always lovely, even more so when the make-up artist has a ring-light (geeky photographers will appreciate why this got me excited!)

Once the bridesmaids were ready, we created our portraits of them before putting all of our attention onto Natalie, who gracefully slipped into her absolutely stunning gown with mid-length veil.  Most brides (but not all) wear veils and they are without doubt one of the most photographically interesting items to work with – I love how we can create classical looks by working the veils in different ways – we’re always VERY careful though as we know how the veil is attached to the bride’s hair and clumsy veil handling can lead to bridal pain – not good!

With Natalie ready, I spent a few minutes creating what I call ‘The Iconic bridal Portrait’ – I could have kept photographing our bride for hours just with the window light but alas, wedding days are all about schedule so we then created all the pre-wedding grouping my clients always ask for (with bridesmaids and flowergirls/page-boys) before bringing Dad in to see his daughter – always one of the most heart felt moments of the Day and Natalie certainly melted her Dad – Geoff’s – heart when he walked in and saw her stood there, waiting to marry.

1.30 came around before we had even blinked and it was time for Tom and Nat to marry – they had lovely reading by young Mason – who brought the house down with his Winnie the Pooh poem followed by one of the 3 best men – not a dry eye in the house.  I always love looking around the room when a couple are exchanging their vows and witnessing the exquisite looks from guests – absolutely priceless.

It wasn’t the warmest of days, Mother Nature seems to be really teasing us at the moment but the wedding party braved it and we took care of all the formal group shots in record time and got everybody back inside to the warmth (and the bar!) as soon as we could.  We had a quick wander through the gardens with Nat and Tom for them to have their first time together as Man and Wife before they were welcomed into the Crystal Suite for their wedding breakfast.  Speeches followed, all the usual suspects spoke – Geoff – Father of the Bride, followed by Tom, our groom, who used all of his mettle and will to get the best of his emotions as he gave a very heartfelt rendition, followed by 1 of the 3 best men who proceeded to systematically disassemble the groom’s background and laid it bare for all guests to chuckle at!

There’s a very interesting story around this wedding with regards to the number 6!  It’s no word of a lie that both Natalie and Tom’s parents were both married 28 years ago on the same day as their children – on the 6th May – both parents house numbers are the number 66 on their respective roads and although Tom and Natalie’s house number is number 6, the actual plot when the house was built was actually – you guessed it 66!  Geoff, the father-of-the-bride crafted this story into his speech and the gasps around the room were loud and clear – and it’s no word of a lie that I have chosen 66 images to represent this couple’s story and it wasn’t my intention – the universe made me do it!

After dinner and speeches were concluded, we took Tom and Nat for another ‘Penny Drop Session’ and explored some other areas of Wentbridge House which I knew would make great interior shots – including a very ‘cosy’ lift – Tom wondered if we were recreating a scene from 50 Shades of Grey and I told him he could be whoever he wanted to be!

The night do was full of energy, the couple had hired the services of the amazing magician Mark Waddington , so there was absolutely no lull in fun or activity between the day and night ‘dos’ and before we knew it, it was time for cake cut and first dance.  We stayed with Nat and Tom until the dance floor had heated up and captured the 2 Dads take the dance floor in their Stag-Do gangster outfits – very, very funny indeed!

All that’s left to say is that we had an absolute blast shooting Tom and Nat’s wedding, the family and guests made us feel so welcome and this really allowed us to get ‘under the skin’ of the bride and groom’s story.  We have a fabulous Wentbridge House Weddings story to share with them when they get back from their Northumberland ‘mini-moon’ and we wish Nat and Tom all the very best for a fantastic married life together.

Swinton Park Weddings – Kelly & Richard – Insight Photography

Last weekend’s wedding was a first time visit for us at Insight Photography to the beautiful North Yorkshire venue of Swinton Park Estate, located just outside the lovely village of Masham.  Our bride and groom, Kelly and Richard, fell in love with the Swinton Estate and knew that they just had to have their family and friends surround them as they came together as husband and wife.

I have known the bride and groom through various separate photography wok in the past – Kelly through her involvement as a well known beauty pageant competitor in our area and Richard through his family business which I’ve done commercial work for in the past – so when they asked me to shoot their wedding, I was absolutely delighted.

Hannah and I set off early to arrive at the venue before the roads were closed as the Tour de Yorkshire made it’s way through the locality and we arrived at Swinton just as the boys were starting to get ready in their wing of the house.  It was hilarious to find our groom doing all the ironing for his groomsmen as they stared on in disbelief – had he finally become domesticated?  The boys wore fabulously tailored suits by Hugo Boss and finished with a rose pink coloured tie – they looked super sharp!  Once the boys were dressed, we headed down into the snooker room to take care of the button hole flowers and get some cool window-lit portraits – the light in the Swinton House was magical all day and I felt like a kid in a candy store!

Once we’d finished with the boys, we headed up to hang out with Kelly and her 4 bridesmaids who were just about done with hair and make-up – Kelly was calm but those all so ever-present nerves were starting to kick in!  We quietly photographed from the corners of the room, helping where we could and needed to.  Our bride had kept the Bridal suite empty so that it was pristine for her dressing/final prep shots and this made for a super space to create stunning shots of her.  Kelly was a total joy to photograph, she has a natural elegance and poise that makes it seamless going from one look to the next – we could have shot for 3 days quite easily!

Kelly and Richard had hired the services of Swinton’s resident Toastmaster – Steve Haynes – a fabulous professional with a fantastic background in his profession and when he arrived at Kelly’s suite – we all knew it was time to go.  Steve and I worked really well together to co-ordinate the whole day’s proceedings and everything went on time and according to plan.

The bride and groom were married in the beautiful library within the house and to see Richard’s face as he turned to gaze on his soon-to-be wife as she walked towards him was something else – definitely one of my fave moments of any wedding day.  Vows were exchanged, promises were made and before we knew it – we had the new Mr and Mrs Robson – BOOM!

Guests followed the new husband and wife out into the gardens over looking the deer paddock were we took care of all the formal group photos and it was so cool to see the deer tearing around looking like they were performing for the crowd!  We took care of the group shots in record time and I almost got my face stuck in a vice-like window as I attempted to squeeze my camera and head through a 10 inch gap – damn you health and safety!

A wedding breakfast was followed after speeches took place and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house – very emotive and full of heart-felt sentiment – this is also one of my fave moments during the day to photograph.  Rarely do the guests or speakers pay us any attention and we are able to capture beautiful candid moments as families come closer together and passed loved ones are remembered through the tradition of the toasts.

This wedding day flew by and we had to really be on our toes to make sure we fitted everything in – Swinton Park is such a big estate and we barely scraped the surface of what this jewel of a venue has to offer – I really was a little overwhelmed at one point wondering which direction to go to shoot the next set of pictures!

By the time we brought Richard and Kelly back from our ‘Penny Drop Session’, the clock had raced to 8pm and it was time for the couple to take their first dance to a lovely stripped back version of ‘Shut up and Dance’ (originally by Walk the Moon) but lovingly reverse-engineered by Anchor and Bell.

Kelly and Richard’s wedding left us feeling amazing about what we do as wedding photographers – a beautiful couple with fantastic families and friends on both sides made us feel like we were photographing our own families – just the way wedding photography should! 

We even met up with the Bride and groom on Monday just gone, Kelly jumping back into her gown, Richard into his suit to visit Kelly’s grandfather who couldn’t make it to the wedding due to ill health – this was so touching!

All that’s left to say is We wish Mr and Mrs Robson all the very best for their life together with their wonderful little man Xavier – we’ll be catching up with them very soon to show them a collection of images taken from over 5,000 shot on the day!

If you liked Kelly and Richard’s story and are looking for a wedding photographer – we’d love to find out more about your plans so please head over to our wedding brochure request form and don’t forget to ‘like’ our Facebook Page to keep up with all the latest Insight stories.

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