Michael Cartwright Photography
Rachel and Matthew - Summer wedding at Headlam Hall
Posted on 9th July, 2019
Headlam is a wonderful venue, made even better when the sun is shining. The grounds surrounding the hall are fantastic, perfect for wedding pictures, so I knew that this was going to be a good day, filled with good vibes!
Rachel had decided to prepare for her ceremony at the venue and when I arrived at the bridal suite there was a real buzz in the air. The bridesmaids were still in hair and make up while Queen’s classic feel good track Don’t Stop Me Now was playing loudly from the stereo. With glasses of prosecco charged and at the ready, the girls were in great spirits and ready to enjoy the day ahead.
Meanwhile downstairs, Matthew and the boys had arrived and were enjoying a cold beer on the terrace, we used this time to grab a few shots of the groomsmen on the lawn. There was certainly a nice atmosphere and plenty of laughs between the lads who were also ready for the impending party.
Father of the Bride, Ian, made a teary entrance into the bridal suite as he laid eyes on his daughter in her wedding dress for the first time. It was the first of a number of emotional moments scattered throughout the day, with the bridesmaids unable to control their tears too.
The ceremony room at Headlam Hall is a joy to work in, with a huge skylight providing glorious ambient light. It’s a spacious room too, giving me the opportunity to work in an unrestricted fashion. Throughout the ceremony, I was able to catch everything I needed in an unobtrusive style and for Rachel and Matthew there were lots of wonderful little moments for me to capture. Rachel's uncle Phil played out beautiful melodies on his violin to make this a truly unique service for the new Mr and Mrs Cooke.
Outside, the warm weather continued, and so we headed straight for the lawn to shoot a full wedding party photograph and a handful of family portraits. With those shots in the bag (assisted by Usher Pete who did a great job - thanks Pete) we enjoyed a stroll around the grounds, shooting portraits of Rachel and Matt together. Taking a few moments away from the crowd on your wedding day is always a nice idea. It doesn’t have to take too long (these shots took around 10 minutes) but it gives you some time to be together enjoying the moment.
The majority of the remaining photos were taken in a candid fashion, with guests enjoying the sunshine that lasted throughout the entire day. Shooting with a long lens and capturing those little smiles and moments of laughter can really help to record the spirit of a wedding day. It’s those shots that I find my couples really fall in love with, asa these are the moments that they might have missed seeing first hand on the day.
Before the guys headed in for the wedding breakfast, I spent time shooting the beautiful room set up, which Rachel had crafted to perfection. The style was elegant and classy, with tables being named after the places that Rachel and Matthew had visited together….. Crete, Nice, Las Vegas to name a few….. oh and Scarborough!
With a sumptuous three course meal devoured and plenty of wine on the tables, the guests were ready for the speeches! The boys certainly did not disappoint, with a set of heart warming and hilarious speeches setting the room ablaze with love and laughter.
As day moved in to night, the party kicked off in style as the Rachel and Matthew made their way to the dance floor. It wasn't long before they were surrounded by all of their guests, each of them enjoying the music and the party atmosphere. For the photographs, I used a combination of relatively slow shutter speeds and second curtain sync flash to record the movement, lighting and ambience.
It was wonderful to shoot for Rachel and Matthew, along with their guests, and it's always a pleasure to be back at Headlam Hall. This wedding day had the perfect mix of fun, love and laughter which in my opinion is how every wedding should be.
Congratulations Mr and Mrs Cooke! xx