On Friday I joined Gemma & Paul for their fantastic big day at East Riddlesden Hall, near Keighley.
I hope you enjoy our the story of this special day!
I joined the girls in Cleckheaton for a spot of hair and makeup, just a few doors up from Gemma’s home, where team bride were busy getting ready.
Gemma was already looking stunning with hair and makeup almost complete!
I like this zero more sleeps countdown chalkboard! My girlfriend Clare does this at Christmas.
Arguably the most excited person about the wedding was Gemma’s daughter Lilli!
Antonia, was also pleased to be on flower girl duties!
Check out the awesome Vivienne Westwood pompom kicks!
As Gemma & Paul are both seriously into music (and play guitar together!) there was a music theme woven into the days theming – including sheet music rolled up into paper roses in the bridal bouquets!
My photographic wingman, covering the chaps wedding preparations over in Dewsbury, was the affable and talented Hamish Irvine.
It was such a toasty day that it was a struggle for Paul’s son, Cian, to get into his shoes!
Paul loved his ‘The Cure’ album sleeve cufflinks!
Last minute speech checking!
Gemma had arranged a little surprise for Paul’s wedding transport; their local pub owner turned up in his droptop to run Paul to the church!
The wedding ceremony was at All Saints’ Church in the centre of Ilkley. Apparently Christians have worshipped on this site since around 627 AD and the first church would have been built of stone taken from the abandoned nearby Roman fort.
Considering the weather, the chaps were looking surprisingly cool!
The official wedding transport was a matching cream stretch mini & a stunning VW split-screen camper!
Inside, Gemma was being laced in, watched over by mum! Lili, however, was more interested in the fan!
Love this cheeky smile!
The vicar was great; relaxed and fun, and allowed Hamish & I to photograph pretty much where & how we wanted (though we’re always sensitive to the fact that it’s a religious ceremony, so generally stick to our posts, front-right and back). Photographers are encouraged not to pap the actual signing of the register, as information in the register is potentially sensitive to data protection; but knowing this, I occasionally get away with shooting a natural signing shot from a distance, knowing full-well that no information could be gleaned from the register itself.
These guys were in such a lovely pool of light I couldn’t help myself!
Love this reaction shot of Gemma’s pals spotting the campervan!
Gemma & Paul decided they wanted to head up to the nearby Cow & Calf, on Ilkley Moor for a few portraits
We’d visited the area a month back for a few practice portraits (which you can see on a separate blog post here)
Then we played chase across the rolling hills to the sunny East Riddlesden Hall…
It’s a brilliant National Trust property, built in 1642 by a wealthy Halifax clothier, James Murgatroyd, and is full of interesting, ancient little spots to photograph around.
I had to race in ahead of the van, thinking it was on my tail, but it turns out they’d stopped to open the roof so Gemma & Paul could stand on the seats for their arrival!
Before heading round the back to join their guests Hamish & I did another quick round of relaxed portraits
Then it was time to join the party!
After a few fun family shots we did a round with the wedding party…
Then everyone headed down to the medieval tithebarn for the wedding breakfast meal.
It was here where we saw just how much work Gemma had put in dressing the reception with a vintagey, music & VW theme!
They’d even painted a guitar white for guests to sign! Never seen that before!
The table plan was a guitar CD stand with records printed with the table & guests names!
Introducing the new mr & mrs!
Speeches were both fun & emotional – the best two things speeches can be!
Though the best speeches also need seasoning with a spot of embarrassment & shame!
After the meal guests had a bit of downtime, to enjoy the evening sun over a spot of candy floss & ice cream (courtesy of the Icicle Tricycle Company)
The signature guitar was starting to fill up!
Gemma & Paul’s wedding cake was in fact a tower of different pies, topped with little pie people (from the clever bods at WeddingPies)!
The first dance was to ‘Real Love’ by the Beatles
Then the Jonny Ross function band kicked off the evening’s rocking entertainment!
It really was a perfectly-styled, relaxed summer wedding all-round! Top work guys!
Massive thanks to Gemma & Paul for asking us along to share your big day with you. Hope you guys have a fab honeymoon!
Barns & Hamish