We were delighted this summer to be invited to capture a wedding in our own village just a few steps from our own front door! We had already got to know this lovely couple via Zoom (they no longer live in their family home in the village), and knew that this was going to be an intimate family wedding in the grounds of the local chapel followed by a garden party in the groom's family home. The bride's family would be travelling from their home country of Kazakhstan where the couple had already celebrated once and I would be joining them in the preparations in the morning while Nathan joined the groom to set up the outdoor ceremony furniture.
Naturally, our hearts sank on behalf of the couple when we opened our curtains on the morning to find some of the worst wind and rain that we'd seen so far this year - you just can't count on British weather, even in the middle of July!
Wrapped up in our waterproofs and with our camera gear sealed against the elements we set off to meet the couple, and were met with two people who were completely unphased by the weather. When I arrived at the cottage to meet the bride and her family I was overwhelmed by their excitement and indifference to what the day could do to and try and sway it - what mattered to them was getting married and being together with their loved ones which is, after all, what this is all about! Nathan, meanwhile, joined the boys on the mile walk up the country track to the chapel to batten down the hatches. From the track there are spectacular views of Black Hambleton and the moors behind Osmotherley - an area full of memories for the groom and for the couple. Nathan banked this information for later so that we could get some photos of the couple in front of the view on the ride home.
Back in the cottage, the girls were in the final stages of getting ready. The bride had chosen some traditional Kazakhstani wedding outfit details including a Saukele, a Kazakhstani head dress and a beautiful tailored jacket for her wedding reception. These were photographed on their own before she was dressed as hours of time had gone into their creation - they deserved their own photographs!
The obvious benefit of having two photographers for your wedding day is the dual perspective - and one of the moments that is the most difficult for one photographer to capture on their own is this one. As this couple were getting married in a chapel down a no vehicle access track, I travelled on foot for part of the way while the bride and her party travelled in these amazing vehicles ahead of me. Having two photographers meant that Nathan was already at the venue primed and ready for this fantastic moment - I can feel the anticipation of the awaiting guests!
After such horrendous weather all morning, it felt as though the clouds parted especially for us as the bridal party climbed out of their vehicles and the sun lit up the incredible floral arrangements that the couple had chosen for around the ceremony canopy. This was a truly magical ceremony to be witness to; not only because of this really special location (which is in a tranquil basin set amongst the woods and the Hambleton Hills overlooking miles and miles of the North Yorkshire countryside), or because of the sudden appearance of the glorious July sunshine - but because this wedding brought about the coming together of two families, two cultures, two religions and two circles of friends and families from two entirely different backgrounds and proved that this can be the easiest thing in the world if love is at the heart of it. Just wonderful.
The couple took half an hour away from their family and friends for their 'couples shoot' which they chose to have in the grounds of the chapel. There was a palpable sigh of relief between them when this opportunity came - simply because it was their first chance to breathe and take stock of the day so far. We love that the couples shoot can be an opportunity to do this, and we don't like to impose ourselves too much on this bit of time together. If the photos we take can communicate the intimacy of these first few minutes of enjoying some time together as husband and wife, especially against the backdrop of somewhere special to you both, then we're doing our job right!
We'd promised the groom's Dad that we'd get some photos of the couple enjoying the car which he'd cleaned up and got looking beautiful especially for the wedding - so we did! We think she looks beautiful - but not as beautiful as the bride, obviously!
As this couple had booked the Heather package, they were left in Nathan's safe hands for their evening celebrations. If you want to know how to do a garden party the right way, look no further! Just look at all of this colour and incredible food.
In the evening there was Kazakhstani dancing, live music, singing from loved ones, gift giving and of course - a beautiful first dance - all of which Nathan captured "fly on the wall" style.
Thank you once again Mr and Mrs Thorniley-Walker for having us; it was a pleasure!