Cafe 1331 Wedding, York – Greg and Jenny
The Quarter is an area of the centre of York made up of snaking medieval streets and constitutes the heart of the city’s commercial centre. It’s connected by a “snicklelane” – a very narrow lane – to Stonegate, a historic Medieval and Georgian lined street that is one of the most popular in York. The area contains many boutique shops and eateries, including Cafe 1331, located on Grape Lane, where Greg and Jenny had chosen to get married. The venue is an interesting combination of cafe bar, grill and small cinema and its central location close to the Minster would be one I’d make good use of for the formal portrait shots.
With a noon start time for the ceremony, the guests began arriving about twenty minutes or so out. They were greeted warmly by Jenny and her mum and dad in the courtyard hung with flags that 1331 shared with a clothes store, framers and other small boutiques. The arrivals gave a good opening chapter to the photography before I headed inside to the small ceremony room upstairs, where I’d turn my attention to the seated guests and to a jovial looking Greg. Pre-ceremony, unless I’m photographing a bridal prep, the groom will get the most attention from my camera and I will alternate between him and scene setting shots of the venue interior and looking for moments of interest amongst the guests – a child laughing or a hug of greeting between family members.
Soon Jenny made her entrance with her dad, looking full of anticipation as she clutched her bouquet of white flowers. Wiping away the odd tear, she greeted a smiling Greg who stood waiting before me and the registrar, before her hand was placed in Greg’s by her father and the ceremony began. A couple of speeches were first, separated by formal words from the registrar. Then there was the vows, the ring exchange and the kiss, with more tears from Jenny. I remember her as being a particularly emotional bride.
Following the signing of the register, the wedding party made their way downstairs to 1331’s small, walled beer garden for the drinks reception. This confined area provided lots of good shots of the guests’ warm interactions as the feel of the wedding turned from formal to celebratory. After a good half hour or so, I drew Greg and Jenny aside to start the formal portraiture. Firstly, I made use of a sofa that had been placed just at the entrance of the courtyard off Grape Lane (perhaps for just such purposes?) and got a lovely shot of the two of them together that also featured the venue exterior. From here, we made our way through the Coffee Yard snickleway onto Stonegate, where I walked backwards in front of the hand-in-hand couple (assuming people would be nice enough to get out of my way!) firing off shots that took in the whole scene. Naturally we drew a fair amount of attention that was, as you would expect, walm and good natured, even drawing applause from the odd tourist and a hug and a handshake from a passing young couple. We made our way towards the Minster, past a piano busker and a man in costume selling leaflets for one of York’s many ghost walks. At the Minster, I had Greg and Jenny pose beneath an ornate street lamp, with the imposing Gothic cathedral in the background, at the steps of the west door and a wide shot of the two of them beneath a double street lamp, again with the grand Gothic architecture of the minster in the background.
With the portraiture complete, we headed back to 1331 for the group shots which I arranged to have in the ceremony room and then the start of the wedding breakfast in the cafe’s dining room. My day was then complete.
25th September 2018