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Yesterday I joined Natalie & Rob for their Bank Holiday wedding celebrations in the Yorkshire Dales.  They were married at St Andrew’s church in Aysgarth (just up the hill from the beautiful Aysgarth Falls) and hosted their wedding celebrations and reception at the spectacular Bolton Castle, near Leyburn.

I hope you enjoy our the story of this special day!

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I joined Natalie & Team Bride in East Witton to document the girls side of their preparations at The Blue Lion

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It’s not the first time we’ve been here, as it’s arguably our favourite gastro pub in all of Yorkshire! I hear Natalie & Rob are as into good country pub food as we are!

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The girls were having lots of fun being pampered and drinking fizz in the cottages behind The Blue Lion!

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The long-standing (& hilarious) family hairdresser from Ash Hair & Beauty had been brought all the way up to do everyone’s hair, including giving dad a spruce!

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Loving the gown & flora by the brilliant Briar House Flowers!

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It’s all about the spangly wedding Jimmy Choos!

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Nothing like getting ready on a toilet!

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Meanwhile, Clare joined the boys over in Middleham for their preparations, and Rob & Team Groom decided to take a morning walk to blow off the cobwebs

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It was a day of brilliant castle ruins, as they passed the 11th Century Middleham Castle.

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Back at the hotel, after smartening up, it was time for a scotch with the best men James and James.

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The ceremony was in the vast and ancient St Andrews church at Aysgarth.  Some of these gravestones date back a few years!

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Back with the girls…

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Natalie’s Uncle Michael took on chauffeuring duties

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Love this one of Natalie putting on her shoes.

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The bridesmaids were legends and kept the morning light and relaxed, yet militantly timed!

(We actually know the brunette bridesmaid, Sarah, as she’s in Clare’s Book Club – which is actually more a dinner party club for books most of them haven’t read)

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Aww! Nothing wrong with a few tears on a wedding day

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Over-the-shoulder guess, on route to the church, which while it cuts off their heads, I rather like the fact that it shows dad & his daughter holding hands.

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It was such a grand church!  Sadly the vicar was a bit strict and we were only allowed to stand at the back, so we couldn’t truly get the full story.

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It’s always nice after the newlyweds walk down the aisle as man & wife to see them being greeted by their loved ones.

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Always nice to see a man carrying a tree at a wedding.

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Then off we set, 10 minutes across Wensleydale…

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…to the imposing Bolton Castle!

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It’s one of the country’s best preserved medieval castles in England; originally built as one of the finest and most luxurious homes in the land.  The castle bears the scars of over 600 years of fascinating history and is still in the private ownership of Lord Bolton, the direct descendant of the castle’s original owner Sir Richard le Scrope.

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It’s still possible to clamber up onto the ramparts, for views over the Dales.

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And on my explorations up one of the towers, I found both an original castle bog & the room they kept the exiled Mary Queen of Scots in after her defeat in Scotland at the Battle of Langside in 1568.  Mary was given Henry Scrope’s own apartments in the South-West tower and apparently that room is haunted.  A ‘frequently seen ghost’ of a lady in a dark cloak has often been attributed to Mary, roaming the hallways!

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So we steered clear of the haunted corners and did a few relaxed portraits outside in the sun (& gale force winds!)

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To help limber these kids up, we’d had a nice pre-wedding practice photoshoot at Kirkstall Abbey.  Check out the pics on another blog here.

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Meanwhile, guests enjoyed a few glasses of fizz in the sunshine (and, as much as possible, out of the Wensleydale wind tunnel!)

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Eventually guests headed up into the Solar Room for a bit of respite from the wind!

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In the old Chapel we ran through a few family groupshots

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…and a few fun wedding party teamshots!

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and while we were there, a few less blustery couple shots.

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The wedding breakfast was hosted in the brilliant Great Hall; with it’s hanging banners, suits of armour and boars heads on the walls to set the scene!

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Dad had been informed by Natalie that he had 3 jobs, stand up, thank everyone & don’t embarrass her.

Two out of three wasn’t bad!

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Cutting the cake, lovingly hand-crafted by Rob’s mum & gran!

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♫ …it’s always better when we’re together… ♫

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Chris Hilton’s Little Big Band hosted the entertainment

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Just before we left, best man James got up to sing a bit of Dean Martin’s ‘Somewhere Beyond The Sea’!

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What a brilliant sunny, Yorkshire wedding all round!

Thank you Natalie & Rob for asking us along to join the celebrations!  Here’s hoping you have a fab week in Istanbul, ahead of your adventures in Java later this year!

x Barnaby & Clare x

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