Well! Pandemic’s hey?!
2020 was such a write off, shooting only 2 micro weddings between lockdowns, that I didn’t even post an annual round up. Covid hit the wedding hospitality industry for six, but thankfully as things loosened up in 2021 LOVE PREVAILED!
One silver lining in all this chaos was that I had a son; Lenny Indiana. Which offered the perfect distraction, and my wife Lynsey & I have somehow managed to keep him alive now for a full 20 months!
Rewind to the start of the year though and I really felt for my couples trying to plan their weddings in all the uncertainty. Some couples understandably chose to postpone to ’22 or ’23. Thankfully we were able to accommodate every single couple moving without charging them a penny and adding to their stress. And I’d like to give a HUGE SHOUT OUT to all those lovely couples who settled half their balance to postpone, as that really helped keep me afloat through these difficult times and stopped me from having to become an Amazon delivery driver!
However, those that stuck to their guns till restrictions lifted in June, were rewarded with the most amazing celebrations, making my fifteenth year papping weddings an absolute joy!
It was even nice to hear Ed Sheeran working on the dancefloor again. For the first 5 times, at least. 😉
Despite masks and only officially being able to bump elbows, my gorgeous couples have bared their hearts and souls and it’s been an absolute pleasure wrapping up each wedding story with my signature blend of laid-back portraits, stunning details and timeless moments.
I write a wedding blog for every couple I photograph – whatever size and whatever the weather – and I see them as testament to my reputation in the industry as ‘Captain Consistency’! They’re a great resource for new couples to dig through for ideas and old couples to dip into for nostalgia.
Like my past Annual highlight’s posts I’ve structured this like a superblog (no capes!), in the order that the day unfolds. This isn’t an ego post to show off my most ‘artistic’ work to my peers, it’s an insight into the actual (and hopefully ‘timeless’) stories I try to create at every wedding. It also therefore serves as a great way for me to show my photographic approach and what I look for and strive to capture at weddings. So, if you like what you see here and are looking for a photographer for your own wedding, don’t hesitate to make contact here to discuss your big day!
It’s always a challenge to trim down the highlights from this years epic stack into a manageable post, so without further ado – let me present to you in around 150 images the Barnaby Aldrick Wedding Photography 2021 Round Up, as both a video slideshow and blog of images…
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It was fab to visit some completely new venues this year!
Amazingly, I kicked off this year by heading up to Scotland for Ben & Grace’s amazing wedding at Carrick Castle on peaceful Loch Goil (above, bottom left). I even took Len, Lyns & Kyra the dog up and we stayed for a week and swung by the Lakes on the way home!
It’s also been fab to do Zoe + Danny’s wedding photos at Birdsall House, an incredible stately stack over the North Yorkshire Moors (top left); to visit wedding venue Hornington Manor‘s brand new sister venue for Katie + Sam’s wedding photos at The Oakwood At Ryther (top right); one of the best ranked restaurants in the entire country, the completely gutted and refurbished Michelin Starred / 4 AA Rosette award winning wedding at the Angel At Hetton (above right middle) and to finally make it up to Middleton Lodge Estate’s latest edition for Naomi + Graeme’s wedding at The Fig House at Middleton Lodge, one of the most beautifully kept walled gardens I’ve ever seen!
I like this moment from the one of the last weddings I shot this year, at The Angel at Hetton, where the groom Chris showed me up to sneak in on his bride to be, who was still in bed catching up on her beauty sleep!
I love capturing morning proceedings – generally with the bridal party, while my second shooters join the gents for theirs – to capture a bit of relaxed fun and beautification, this year often with masked suppliers working hard to keep things compliant!
I love little moments like the bride’s slippers matching their ‘best dog’ (below left) or the brides daughter reading her book about ice creams while she’s put into her little flower girl outfit.
Or a little cuddly moment between a bigger flower girl and the bride.
It’s these little ‘timeless moments’ that I personally think last for eternity. More so than a couple looking awkwardly serious in some woods, anyway! 😉
Then its over to the guys for their morning, which for all the bravado and blunder of trying to herd cats, can often be just as full of love and tenderness as the bride’s side.
I’d like to give a shout out for all the wingmen/wingwomen who’ve tagteamed with me this year. Namely Joe D Miles, who stepped in for the majority, and Tim Atkinson, Brigitta Penzes, Rhi Scotchbrook, Matt Sim & Stephanie White! ♥
Paul brought his own vintage e-type to be the wedding car for their amazing wedding at Bowcliffe Hall, a venue synonymous with classic cars.
I love this final supportive cuddle from mum to son before they headed for the wedding at Middleton Lodge.
As a fan of tweed and country clothing, I loved these gents pheasant pins from Yorkshire Feathers in York!
I see it as my job to be the chronicler of all the stunning details that a bride and groom put into their big day.
They’ve taken so much thought to choose (and generally cost an arm and a leg!), so I make it my purpose to take a few moments here and there to show them looking their best.
This year, I also saw it as my job to weave in the story of the pandemic too, and not be afraid to champion the dreaded mask or Lateral Flow Tests in the story!
And this is the moment where things generally get real for the bride!
That or your bridesmaid stabs you in the head with the veil comb! 😀
I enjoyed catching these covid moments (above right), where an international bridesmaid bestie who sadly couldn’t attend, beamed in excitable congratulations via Zoom!
When time allows after getting into the gown, I love to get a few portraits of the bride looking perfect!
Then it’s time for one of my fave moments of the day; that time when Dad sees his daughter ready for her wedding for the very first time!
It often reminds me what a privilege it is to be able to see and feel these moments!
And then all of a sudden it’s time to get going to the wedding! And again if you’re left waiting for a wedding car to arrive, why not nail a great shot of team bride!
At Laura + David’s wedding at Cross House Lodge at The Star in Harome it was great to do a ‘first look’, where the bride and groom meet before the ceremony for a quick look and a few portraits (above left)!
It’s a quite popular wedding tradition in the USA, meaning couples can get portraits done to maximise reception time later with their guests, but this was also motivated by having a 3pm ceremony in winter and being able to use the light before it got dark. Either way, it was fun to have Laura sneak up on David and for them to have a few special moments and a skip around the village, as well as dissipate any pre-ceremony nerves!
The Pandemic strikes again, but in a fun moment between the dads at Helen + Tom’s ceremony before their wedding at The Pheasant in Harome.
Top marks to El for nervous facial expressions before heading down the ailse!
Gotta love a flower girl who lost both front teeth and head-butted a wall in the week before the wedding!
I also love the drama that comes as a bride enters. It’s one of those rare ‘first time’ feelings in an adults life and at the front of a ceremony we ‘togs definitely feel the electricity as we capture it.
Equally, from the back during the vows is a great angle, as shown here at Charlotte + Adam’s rainy Autumn wedding at Yorebridge House in Bainbridge.
Another highlight to the year was Fliss + Ali’s wedding at Hornington Manor, which had an Iranian outdoor ceremony in the blazing summer sun, overflowing with fascinating traditions and song!
Equally, it was pretty special to do an outdoor wedding on Castle Carrick estate with bagpipes echoing around the Loch!
I love how this tiny pageboy just wandered into shot during the rings!
Contenders for best knot tying jubilance go to Hayley + Carl for their wedding at Skipton Castle (above) and Sadie + Danny for their wedding at Priory Cottages (below)
Then it’s time for CONFETTI! For Pru + Matt’s wedding in a marquee in Farnley Tyas, they opted for ‘runway’ style (above) and for Harrie + Rob’s wedding at Wood Hall they went for what I call the ‘Confetti Bomb’ style!
What’s your fave? Spoiler: both generally end up with a bride and groom eating a lot of confetti!
Best wedding car goes to Pru + Matt’s mate’s 1969 Mini called Edna!
I don’t claim to be an exclusively ‘documentary’ or ‘reportage’ photographer, as I’m a bit of an all rounder, but the reception ‘mingles’ are very important to me.
Those giant cuddles from parents, the wedding party and special pals IMMEDIATELY after the ceremony, are filled with emotion and photo magic and are just as important to the wedding set as my signature relaxed portraits and stunning details.
Then as the reception subsides into more chilled drinks and canapés I go on the hunt for cheeky little moments like this.
Sometimes receptions don’t subside at all and a band starts an afternoon dance off!
I truly believe there are moments to be found everywhere. You’ve just got to take ‘a second glance at the ordinary’ and throw a frame around it.
If you’re not looking you might miss a bride playing tig with the flower girls.
And when it comes to bridal portraits with the wedding car, it’s not everyday you have a battered old Landrover Defender standing in, as we did up in Scotland!
There’s a bit of a Bond vibe going on above, no?!
And below was one of my most gorgeous pairs of the year, the lovely Jen + Liam taking a walk through the summer flora at their wedding at Rudding Park
Chloe & Luke’s wedding at Wood Hall near Wetherby was the first time I’d done an outdoor ceremony there, and was quite special in the summer lavender and roses!
And for those who know my style, you might recognise my classic ‘Kneeling headshot’ (above right) of Sadie looking gorgeous at Priory Cottages!
I don’t generally get this far away from couples during their portraits, but the view across the lake of Zoe + Danny taking a turn from their wedding at Birdsall House couldn’t be missed!
It’s mad when you get a tour of these places and find that this was only the second house of the original stately owners, who also owned Wollaton Park in Nottinghamshire!
It was tight, but I’d have to give the award for most fun couple to this pair, the hilarious, energy-filled Clare + Mwansa from their Zambian wedding at Priory Cottages near Wetherby, one of my fave venues in all of Yorkshire!
I just laughed along all day long. Wait till you see the lads group shot later…
Best hair goes to Debs amazing red hair! What a stunner.
The award for hardest couple goes to Rebecca + Liam, who took a serious stomp around York’s walls and minster in deepest drizzly December and still looked happy about it!
There’s a chance the authentically kilted Liam could even have been coldest…
And then as the sun starts to drop, if those drops turn to the liquid gold we photographers call ‘Golden Hour’, I always check if my couples fancy another quick round of portraits!
…and as with Pippa + George’s stunning wedding at Goldsborough Hall or Terri + Jamie’s summer wedding at the Priory Cottages it’s usually worth it!
A lot of photographers think they’re too good for group photos. Or just unenthusiastically turn out uninspired efforts to get them done.
But I see them as a fun part of the day! I think it brings out the extrovert in me, along with the understanding that they’re not usually much fun for guests and the couple alike, so to get them done with speed, efficiency and energy is key!
I generally keep the group list to a maximum of ten to keep them manageable
Then when we’re done with the family lineups I like the take the wedding party for a bit of a walk to change the scene and get some action shots on the way.
I like to grab a bench or a few chairs to set up something a bit smarter for a wedding party teamshot
Then do a bit of a silly ‘anti groupshot’ shot!
Then do the same with the girls
And if they’re up for it, a bit of fun with the dudes too!
(Again, Mwansa, you are my hero!)
And if the couple have some best buds they’d like in a teamshot, it’s also great to do something similar!
Once the groups, portraits and mingles are in the bag, it’s great to try and get some killer shots of the wedding breakfast room details before the guests come in and trash them!
Some couples walk in… but not Clare + Mwansa! It’s Zambian tradition to dance in!
Then it’s time for speeches! Sometimes hilarious, often emotive. And this year more than any other, I had a refreshing host of brides and bridesmaids speaking!
You do see all sorts of fun ideas at weddings.
Nominated guest carving of roast beef is a great way to bring a table together over food…
…incognito ‘singing waiters’ generally lift the roof off after a wedding meal…
…and even a full on 4 part choir brought in to lead a musical crowd in 10 Christmas Carols went down a storm at Vicky + Chris’ wedding at The Angel At Hetton
Why have a cake made of cake when you can have a cake made of cheese?
Why wait for first dance in the evening when you can do it after your ceremony at Skipton Castle in the castle chapel ruins with your mate playing guitar (above left)?
Why only have one first dance, when you can have a second dance with your dad?
Why dance when you can pick your nose?
People often say to me don’t you get get bored of photographing weddings? Aren’t they all the same? You can see here, they really aren’t!
And I just love capturing those little moments that are going on throughout the day that bring it all back.
That’s the power of photography I reckon. Done right, it can teleport you back to a moment, a personality, a bond…
…the fireworks, both metaphorical or otherwise, between a couple
…and bring back the magic and sparkles from that very special day!
And one the dancefloor is bumping and before I hit the road, if the couple aren’t too busy partying, I like to grab a final evening flash portrait to wrap up the story… even if it’s chucking it down!
Not a bad year hey? Especially in spite of Covid!
(Also – Well done making it all the way to the end!)
I’d also like to also give a final shout out to all the amazing wedding suppliers I’ve worked alongside this year, who’ve done a brilliant job of keeping couples safe and happy! Top work all round team!
Finally, my little ‘tog in the making Len + I would like to thank all my lovely couples for all their understanding, thanks and kind gifts this year! It’s an absolute pleasure doing this job and you all rock!
If I’ve shot your wedding this year I hope you found a snap from yours in here! If you’ve enjoyed the service and have engaged pals, or like what you for your big day, contact me here!
And if you’re booked in for 2022, I look forward to joining you for all the action…
Here’s to a cracking 2022!