Aldwark Manor Hotel Wedding, near York – Sarah and Rich
Sarah and Rich’s mid-summer wedding was to be held near York, on the way to Harrogate, at the luxurious four-star Aldwark Manor Golf and Spa Hotel, an impressive location set within 120 acres of parkland. After arriving and doing a sequence of scene setting shots, I headed up to Sarah’s room to get some shots of her prep. Prep shots of the bride have tended to be of last minute lacing up, some make up shots and shots of her arranging the veil and tiara. It can also be a chance to play with reflections, with the bride checking herself out in mirrors.
For Sarah, assisted by her attentive bridesmaids, it was all very much in this vein. The registrar was there briefly, checking in with Sarah, and there were children present too, as I worked my way around the room trying to get all the different elements to work together within the frame. Finally it was time to make our way down to the ceremony room. I got a good sequence of shots of an excited Sarah as she made her way down through the hotel.
Just outside of the ceremony room Sarah linked arms with her proud father while I situated myself at the front of the room to get the right shots for the processional. An emotional Sarah linked up with Rich before the registrar at the front, and pulled out a tissue to wipe away tears beneath her veil. Brides (though not so much grooms) often become tearful at this moment, and as with any expressive moment at a wedding, it’s important to catch it with camera. The wedding ceremony progressed in an often light hearted manner and I captured the rapid turnaround of key moments without a hitch. There was a tender “first kiss” and I got some good reaction shots too of Sarah’s delighted mum. Then followed the signing of the register and the recessional before everybody made their way out to the drinks reception.
From my recce of the Aldwark I’d earmarked several interior locations for the formal portraiture that followed. As well as these shots, I would mix in candid shots of the couple, for example, drinking champagne in the elevator, as they made their way back to join the rest of the party. The formal portraiture didn’t end there though, but would carry on in an atypical way, mixed in with the group shots that happened in a couple of locations within the sumptuous grounds. And then, because of a spell of rain, I was forced to do a whole sequence of group shots within the hotel in a somewhat impromptu manner. For the last sequence of portraits I utilized a simple blank wall to place the couple in front of and used bounced flash to try and create, on the fly, the look of controlled studio shots. Following on from this Sarah and Rich returned to socialising with guests and after thanking and congratulating them, my day was done.
2nd September 2018