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!