Siobhan and Rob got married at one of my favourite wedding venues, Danby Castle in the stunning North Yorkshire moors. With breathtaking countryside views, a huge country barn dining room and a historic castle ruin at the centre of it all, this place is always a pleasure to take wedding photographs. To put the icing on the cake, it was the wedding of a friend too!
Siobhan and her five bridesmaid's got ready at her parents home in Mickleby, North Yorkshire. It's always a good sign when the first thing you hear at the beginning of a wedding is laughter and this continued throughout the whole day! Bridal prep with Siobhan, her bridesmaids and family was an absolute scream. As soon as I arrived there was a celebratory atmosphere and a real sense of excitement. I began as I always do, capturing all the inanimate objects and details like the flowers, shoes, jewellery and dress before photographing all the lovely candid moments that were happening around me. I absolutely love being as discreet as possible during bridal prep as it lets me capture all the natural interactions that happen which often make priceless photos.
When Siobhan and her bridesmaids were ready we took advantage of her parent's beautiful garden to get some quick bride and bridesmaids portraits. Everyone was on form and the anticipation had built even more making for some great shots of Siobhan and her girls enjoying themselves before the wedding.
After this it was time for me to head to the venue for the arrival of guests and of course the Groom. It was a beautiful summers day and it wasn't long before guests began to arrive. As with the bridal party there was a real excitement in the air and you could tell that everyone was out to have an awesome time celebrating. After getting a few natural shots of guests arriving and a couple of photos with Rob and his best man it was almost time for the ceremony.
I love shooting ceremonies in Danby Castle's 'Court room' and this was no exception. It's a stunning space full of warmth and character and there is always an amazing ambiance when it's full of happy people during a wedding. Siobhan and Rob's ceremony was one which put a smile on every single person's face from start to finish which made it such a pleasure to photograph. It was a ceremony in which everyone genuinely felt a part of and it set the tone of collective celebration for the rest of the day.
After emerging from the heart of the castle as husband and wife and re joining their guests', it was time for the celebrations to really begin! The sun was beaming down and everyone was enjoying drinks and canapés on the lawn overlooking the stunning Esk Valley. I spotted a few eager guests with confetti in hand and couldn't resist setting up a confetti line before capturing some group shots of the couple and their families with the stunning valley as a backdrop. They say time flies when you're having fun and it was soon time for the guests to make their way into the barn for the speeches and wedding breakfast.
Speeches are one of my favourite parts of a wedding to photograph, particularly in the barn at Danby Castle as the top table is raised so everyone has a good view. I generally use a telephoto lens to capture this part of the day so I can capture all the reactions from a distance and be as unobtrusive as possible. I knew the speeches at Siobhan and Rob's wedding would be hilarious and they didn't disappoint. With Rob's brother as the best man and a plethora of memories and funny stories at his disposal there was laughter from start to finish!
After a well earned break whilst everyone enjoyed their food I decided to gather the bridal party for some group photos in the castle ruins. Having the stunning ruins within the venue itself is amazing as it provides the perfect location for bridal party group shots as well as some bride and groom portraits. As they had been all day long, everyone was on form so capturing some gorgeous and memorable moments was made easy. I started with the groom and groomsmen, then the bride and bridesmaids and finished with a few shots which included everyone. Whilst everyone else headed back to the party I held Rob and Siobhan back for a few portraits amongst the ruins, we also had a wander up the old country road to take advantage of the breathtaking Esk Valley landscape. I tend not to spend too much time capturing the couple portraits and prefer to break shoots up throughout the day to avoid keeping the couple away from their guests too long. I work swiftly and never spend too long on any given pose, keeping things as natural and genuine as possible.
Upon returning to the barn the band had arrived and were getting ready to play so it was time to cut the wedding cake before making for the dance floor for the couple's first dance. As Rob is a DJ himself the choice of song for the first dance was a classic house track performed by the band. The feel of the song was fitting for the day and encapsulated the mood that had been present throughout. Towards the end of the song everybody joined the happy couple and after some dance floor shots it was time for me to finish photographing for the day.
I think what stands out for me from this wedding is the feel good vibe that was there from start to finish. I knew from the start of the day that it was going to be a really fun wedding and that turned out to be true. Every single person was in good spirits and there seemed to be a real sense of closeness amongst the whole wedding party. I love weddings which have this feel as they make capturing memories effortless. Every wedding photographer will tell you that they want to see people smiling and generally having a good time, it makes the job so much easier and so much more fun!