Welcome to my best Yorkshire wedding photos round up of 2023!
The year things finally got back to the ‘new normal’! Shenanigans abound and hardly a mask in sight…
After 17 years of wedding photography in Yorkshire and around the UK, it has been wonderful to discover yet more new venues for the first time! Plenty of newbys this year in fact; including the funky garden centre wedding venue Crimple Hall in Harrogate, the stunning Burtonfields Hall near York, The Sun Pavilion in Harrogate (which despite being round the corner I’ve somehow never shot at!), the unique Thwaite Watermill in Leeds, Mercure Grange Park in Willerby, the Art Deco masterpiece The Earl of Doncaster Hotel, grand Hootan Pagnell Hall (also near Doncaster), fancy gastropub The 3 Acres in Emley, The Venue at Bowers Mill a quirky mill conversion, Victoria Hall in Saltaire (I love Saltaire) and – slightly further afield – the stately Owlpen Manor in the Cotswolds.The rest of my weddings were at my favourite hangouts: The Pheasant Hotel in Harome, Rudding Park, Priory Cottages near Wetherby, Sandburn Hall, Meol’s Hall, Middleton Lodge, Wharfedale Grange, Chevin Park Lodge, Thornbridge Hall, Birdsall House, Merchant Adventurer’s Hall, Bowcliffe Hall, Hornington Manor & Goldsborough Hall…
As always, I’d like to give a shoutout to all my fabulous couples for letting me into their lives on their special day! It’s been an absolute pleasure wrapping up each wedding story with my signature blend of laid-back portraits, stunning details and timeless moments.
Like my past Annual highlights posts, I’ve structured this like a superblog (no capes!), in the order that the day unfolds. These round ups serve as insight into my photographic approach and what I 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 an evocative winter challenge to trim down the highlights from this years epic stack into a manageable post, so without further ado – let me present to you my annual round up in around 150 images, as both a video slideshow and blog of images…
As social sharing makes the world go round, I’d ❤️ it you’d share this post to Facebook (using the button at the bottom, by copying and pasting the URL into a status update or via my Business Facebook page here) or by hovering over the images to pin to Pinterest.
And here we go…
I thoroughly enjoyed shooting at these new venues this year! Without doing what I do, I just wouldn’t know these amazing places existed!
Caroline & Jimmy’s wedding at Owlpen Manor (main image above) was frankly incredible, with its own church in a maze of topiary hedges and a sunny outdoor ceremony overlooking it all! Suzanne & Harry’s Burtonfields Hall wedding (above left) was freshly renovated by the son of the owner and hadn’t long since opened its doors, so it was great to be one of the first to shoot there. Pippa & Alex’s wedding at Crimple Hall, a completely renovated garden centre and entertainment space on the outskirts of Harrogate was one of my fave weddings this year (and was formerly a fun antiques market, where I took my wife on our first date)!
Just like an episode of Downton Abbey, where without fail they show wide ‘establishing shots’ and contextual details before drawing in on the story characters, I always like to arrive early do the same.
Sometimes you end up setting the scene using a FULL SIZE TAXIDERMY TIGER, that you met in the family drawing room!
I generally join the bridal party, while my second shooter heads to the chaps. Alongside moments of brides being beautified, I’m always on the prowl for fun moments and details to tell the story! I liked this one of a bridesmaid at Kate + Nick’s wedding at The Pheasant in Harome finding it hilarious that Kate was wearing a surreal hydrating face mask!
Little flower girls, like Arabella at Olivia + Andreas’ wedding at Wharfedale Grange, often make cute subjects!
Equally, it was nice to capture a relaxed moment of the bride giving little Ben the Page Boy a James Bond car at their Frankie + Andy’s wedding at Wharfedale Grange
I feel it’s a real privilege to be allowed ‘back stage’ and capture some of the wedding party before the curtain goes up. I see families in all their raw vulnerability; dads with a tear in their eye, mums who are still picking between two handbags and a sisterhood of bridesmaids reassuring and celebrating their bride.
Plus if there’s a dog, I’m gonna shoot it! Like above with Annie and her darling ‘peanut’ from their wedding at their incredible family mansion where they hosted their Upper Helmsley Hall wedding.
This mum deserves a medal for excellent flower girl braids at Sam + Tonys wedding at The Pheasant in Harome!
As do the red soled Christian Louboutin glittery wedding trainers…
It’s hard to pick one, but this might be my fave wedding shoe pic of the year… as these clever kicks have the ‘something old, something blue’ poem scribed into the sole, and the sixpence cunningly built into the shoe!
The challenge was getting both in focus!
I also like this dress shot, which I found haunting the attic!
Meanwhile, over with the dudes it’s another story! A story of heroes!
This year I’ve ended up shooting on my own more, especially when couples get ready at the same venue and I can easily pop between bride & groom.
I’d like to give a huge shout out to this years second shooters who document the dudes: Matt Baxter, Ben Clarke, Danny Rich, John Hope & Sarah Ropke – I couldn’t have done this without you!
Guys can be a law unto themselves, usually in a sea of exploded suitcases! Clean, uncluttered images don’t come as easily as they appear…
I rarely use my macro lens, but do like to get it out for a tasty ring shot like this one above
Scotsman Jimmy’s preparations at Owlpen Manor were fun! Once everyone had kilted up, they de-keck’d and threw their pants at one another!
Once they’re all button-holed and ready to rock, I love to nail a solid groupshot of the chaps before I dive back in with the ladies.
This is often the moment for the bride where it gets real!
It’s an exciting test of instinct to get creative with what light and positions are available.
Fun to see creative details like green shoes or the amazing white sari at Rachel + Rosh’s Sri Lankan wedding at Thornbridge Hall back in May
Special family members are are often held close even when they’re no longer around.
Flower girls don’t always co-operate on cue, but their innocence and wonder has a special way of adding magic
Before the father of the bride joins the action for the ‘dad reveal’, it’s always nice to be watching for special moments between a daughter and her mum.
Parents sacrifice so much for their children, and it doesn’t stop at a wedding. They often work extra hard making sure everyone is looked after and the love keeps flowing.
I’m rather fond of the thank you card pic below, created at Dori + Pete’s Wedding Photos at the Earl of Doncaster Hotel. Placing it amongst her mum’s carved dolls of parents and children, brought it to life.
I captured so many lovely moments of the ‘dad reveal’ this year that it was near impossible to select just one for the blog!
I love this one of team bride and dad, as Cathy came round the corner before heading to their Merchant Adventurers Hall wedding last Autumn.
It’s nice to tie up two images (above and below) to capture both angles, as with this moment from Franky + Andy’s wedding at Wharfedale Grange
Or just behind the ‘secret mirror’ in the bridal room at Wharfedale Grange at Olivia + Andreas’ wedding at Wharfedale Grange.
I do love my job sometimes!
Suddenly it’s time to head to the wedding!
I like this little moment of a passer by smiling at the flower girl waiting patiently for the bride at the Merchant Adventurers hall.
I loved Dori’s giddy expression before getting out of the wedding car.
Sometimes the moment is just staring you in the face!
In this case, Doug the pug at Sammy + Ed’s wedding at Bower’s Mill in Halifax.
I’m all about capturing connection, especially between friends.
I love this supportive hand from best man Simon to his pal Sam, just before his fiancé appeared at the door at their wedding at Middleton Lodge Main House
I also like it when things go kinda bonkers!
Like when acrobatic Sri Lankan drummers danced Rachel down to the ‘Poruwa’ ceremony on the lawn at Thornbridge Hall. Moments later I had a Sinhalese dancer literally back flip into me!
I like an unusual sequence of events, such as at Niku + Mark’s Wedding at Sun Pavilion in Harrogate Valley Gardens we met in the park before the ceremony for a ‘first look’ portrait shoot and got the family groups done & dusted, before walking each other down the aisle!
The result was a load of extra time time to mingle at their wedding reception!
Sometimes traditions can’t be followed, and we find mum walking her daughter down the aisle because dad had sadly passed away a matter of weeks before, such as at Anna + Will’s Wedding at Thwaite Watermill in Leeds in July.
It’s amazing how tender this job can be sometimes too; witnessing sadness and joy weaving into a beautiful day
Capturing the groom’s gaze as his wife-to-be-walks up the aisle isn’t an easy task, but it’s great when there’s a second shooter to capture it, as above at Becky + James’ wedding at Rudding Park last April
The view from the front is a privilege to capture, as apart from the registrar or vicar, I’m the only other person to see these priceless reactions…
…and proud parental moments, like Dave’s beaming smile & huge handshake for his new son-in-law at Rachel + Rob’s wedding at Priory Cottages in July.
During the ceremony, while the second shooter looks for creative angles from the back, I’m also looking for interesting moments at the front, such as a bored Doug snoozing at the front (below right)…
Or the bride and groom’s cute little lad going rogue running laps round the vicar at the front!
I love this one above, at this spiritual Salvation Army Wedding, where hands and bouquets were up in worship.
Always nice to capture the rings in context on the hands of the best man before they’re exchanged, in this case at Pippa + Alex’s wedding at Crimple Hall
It’s always fun shooting in Rudding Park’s stunning little Chapel, as you usually get the hilarious Father Ian, who actively conducts things for smiles and photographic angles, such as at Bethany + Rob’s wedding at Rudding Park in June.
I love Emma’s pre-kiss reaction here!
Then it’s back down the aisle as man & wife, sometimes after mazel tov glass stomping, high-fives and even through a hail of confetti
Speaking of confetti… I love to orchestrate a great confetti shot after the ceremony, My faves this year include the ‘runway shot’ (above right) at Annie + Freddie’s wedding at Upper Helmsley Hall and Caroline + Jimmy’s riot of colour (above), especially with her awesome teal dress!
It’s so good to see so many of their guests joyous faces in my signature ‘confetti bomb’!
Then it’s back to the reception, with peanut the best dog…
One of my fave moments of the day are the congratulatory cuddles!
I always encourage my couples not to hide away after the ceremony until confetti is thrown, as the best time to get natural moments of guests is when they’re busting to congratulate the newlyweds!
It’s one of my favourite periods at a wedding, ’cause people don’t usually notice the photographer when they’re focussed on congratulations!
And you can capture proud and powerful parental reactions
A first this year was capturing the ‘sabring’ of a bottle of champagne!
As the reception get underway it’s lovely to go on a hunt to frame the fun, such as the chaps enjoying croquet on the lawn at Goldsborough Hall…
…or a natural moment across the generations (above) or a Winnie the pooch hoping to get a go on the canapes (below left)!
Afternoon ‘mingles’ are equally important to the story of a wedding for me.
I believe couples love to see photos of their friends enjoying their wedding whilst they’re off doing portraits.
When I’ve a second photographer, it’s their job to go on the hunt for storytellers, laughers, yummy food shots, cheers, and – where available – absolute crushing connect 4 victories (below left) / jenga mansplaining (below right)
I won’t lie, you can wait a while for these ones!
Love this one of the adorable flower girls taking the bride for a spin outside the Drivers Club at Olivia + Jack’s Bowcliffe Hall Wedding, near Bramham
Then it’s time for a round of relaxed portraits, usually away from the guests for a bit of private time!
Achieved at Sophie + Ben’s Wedding Photos at Meols Hall Tithe Barn near Southport (above) by taking the shortest of drives to the old house for a wander.
It’s nice to get a mix of smiles…
…as well as some candid moments; such as this one of a member of the public congratulating the newlyweds and making light of the Yorkshire weather at Vicki + Pete’s wedding at Victoria Hall in Saltaire!
I papped some truly excellent characters at this years weddings, including the flamboyantly fab union of Jamie + Joel at Mercure Grange Park in Willerby
If there’s a dog at a wedding, it’s gonna get shot!
Even at the pre-wedding practice shoots… which I see as the key to how we get relaxed pics at a wedding, having already done a dry run and the process feeling less weird! Plus we’re all on the same page on the big day.
I distinctly remember how lovely it was skipping through Wharfedale Grange’s wildflowers in the sun with Frankie + Andy…
…and messing about in the ruins at Birdsall House as the guests were finding their way in to eat (above right)
Umbrellas can still add an element of fun into a couple shoot!
I like the bit of work this frame demands!
Once confetti, mingles & portraits are in the bank, I like to bring a bit of creativity and energy to the group photos!
2 chairs (above) or a park bench (below) can make all the difference to a team shot! Plus the stripy socks here are doing a lot of the heavy lifting!
Only in Yorkshire do you get photo bombed by a tractor!
Next it’s time for that strangest of meal titles, the afternoon wedding ‘breakfast’!
So I try to nip in to capture all the hard work the couple have put into making these spaces their own, before their pals descend to demolish it!
I saw some quality entrances into the meal this year!
Another first this year was witnessing the ‘shoe game’ (below) – a ‘bride or groom?’ questionnaire filled in by guests during the meal with an MC letting the crowd guess before having the bride or groom raise a shoe if it was them!
Speeches are a special opportunity to hear a bit more background about a couples story, such at Michelle + Nicky’s brilliant lesbian wedding at Otley Chevin Country Park (on the day of the Charles’ Coronation)
Brilliantly breaking traditions again 😉 Go girl!
In my opinion, as every groom generally has to speak, and it’s not the 1500’s, I think more brides should say a few words and/or humiliate their husband!
It’s only fair!
I do enjoy the framing and anticipation involved in nailing the speeches!
It’s nice to find new angles too!
After the meal, I generally keep an eye on the light in case there’s some golden evening sun to shoot a few final portraits in, as at Meol’s Hall with Sophie + Ben back in March.
Then it’s great to look out for those magic moments that kick off the evening; the bouquet toss, firing up a celebratory stogie or getting ‘on the piste’ with group ski shots (4 simultaneously shots of fireballs!)
Nothing like a bit of dutch courage before the cake cut and first dance!
I do love capturing beautifully lit snaps of the first dance before guests pile on…
…especially when there are awesome moves like these!
After guests join the action, I love to be ready to capture action shots like this…
…and sensitive little moments between a father and his daughter in the chaos.
Love this one of Pippa and her dad having a boogie (above) and gran wearing the hen do cowboy hat (below right)!
Once I’ve plenty of awesome evening shenanigans, before I depart, I like to offer my couples the chance to do a final funky flash pic to close the story (as below).
At this time of the evening, it’s actually a blessing to get a spot of rain, as it looks it’s kinda amazing, back lit at night!
Not a bad year hey!?
And on top of that, last month, my wife and I had our 2nd baby, ‘Jasmine Joy’, IN THE BACK OF THE CAR in the hospital car park! It was all kinda bonkers (…and they say timing is part of my job?!)
Lynsey, Lenny & little Jazz and I are easing out of a busy 2023, into a nice quiet off-season, ahead of what looks like a promising 2024!
(100 Barnaby points if you managed to read all the way up to here! It’s been a long one…)
Massive high 5’s to all my lovely couples for being super stars and for all their kind words and gifts this year! It’s a huge pleasure and you guys rock!
If I’ve shot your wedding this year, I hope you found a snap from yours in here!
As ever, there is no better marketing than word of mouth – so please do pass my details onto any ‘soon-to-be-wed’ couples and tell them not to hesitate in getting in touch via my socials or contact form here.
And if you’re booked in for 2024, I look forward to joining you for all the action very soon…