I headed up north to Knaresborough in Yorkshire for the wedding of Irene and Matt at the prestigious 18th century, grade 1 English heritage listed stately home, Allerton Castle. Set in 200 acres of parkland and ornate gardens, the stunning gothic building is steeped in history and has been occupied through the years a long list of royalty including Frederick Augustus a.k.a ‘The Grand Old Duke of York’, the man who inspired the famous nursery rhyme when he marched his 10,000 men continuously up and down Allerton Hill during the construction of the Temple of Victory which still stands to this day.
I arrived at the venue in the morning, a few hours before the bride and groom to get all the preparation and venue shots and work out my angles. A really thick fog blanketed the entire venue on the day of the wedding which was a pity as visibility being so low limited the amount of shots we could get of the castle. The bride and groom arrived within half an hour of each other and were ushered by the excellent staff to their preparation rooms, the bride and her ladies up to the master bedroom to get their hair and make up done by the brilliant Shirley from Debonnesse over a perfect mixture of champagne and bacon butties and the groom and his men into the Billiard Room to prepare themselves in the best way possible over a game of billiards and a few beers. I spent the next couple of hours running between the respective preparation zones before moving into the stunning 80ft tall Great Hall for the ceremony.
The ceremony itself from a photographic point of view posed it’s own problems as there was a real lack of available light so I really had to think on my feet and it was a great learning experience. From a marital point of view it was perfectly presented, the bride looking stunning in her Maggie Sottero diamond white ‘donyella’ dress (purchased from All That Glitters in Wimbledon) as she walked down the carved oak staircase gracefully to the sound of Event Music’s 4 string quartet and along the aisle towards her husband to be. After the service, we headed into the Drawing Room for the formal signing of the register and group shots before heading out to the Enchanted Gardens for the bride and grooms posed shots.
The wedding party then moved into the classy Ballroom for the wedding breakfast, giving of the speeches and customary cutting of the cake, a quick trip upstairs for the newlyweds to change into traditional tailor made Chinese dress and back into the ballroom to dance the rest of the evening away to a great selection of songs.
A special mention must go to the bride’s best friend Joanna Moe for keeping law and order, organising and whipping up the guests in military fashion for the group pictures (I couldn’t have done it without you!), Claudie, the excellent senior events manager for DINE and her wonderful team as well as the events manager for Allerton Castle Rachel, Jill Springall for the amazing flower arrangements not to mention the wonderful bride and groom for making the day so seamless and enjoyable!
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