Yesterday I joined Sophie & Rob to photograph their wedding at Bolton Castle, nestled deep in Wensleydale in The Yorkshire Dales.

It was a cold and snowy winter day in February, but was such an amazing place to have (and photograph) a wedding.  All their guests were briefed to wrap up warm, and with mulled wine in hands and huddled round the enormous log fires, everyone had a fantastic time.

I hope you enjoy my story of their lovely day!

I joined the girls for their preparations in an ace little cottage, dusted with snow and literally opposite the entrance to Bolton Castle.Inside the pampering was commencing and the gang were having a great time.Downstairs, Sophie’s gorgeous gown was hanging in wait!

Here’s our lovely bride, Sophie & her sistersI always like to frame up a snap of the bridal footwear.

Apparently Sophie’s rarely seen in heels; more often in walking boots/cycling shoes/barefoot in a canoe!You wouldn’t believe the ‘Battle Plan’ Rob put together organising the day! I was gobsmacked when they forwarded it over!  SO GOOD!

A 6 page PDF, with scale drawings, flow charts, job lists and timings – you can see why the day went off without a hitch!

[I’ve asked if they’ll let me post it on the blog sometime to give visitors some inspiration – watch this space!]Sophie told her girls not to wear earrings, and they’d been going on about it, only to find their wedding gifts were earrings!

Cunning!Dad (also a keen photographer) returned from errands and bubbles were popped!

Here’s the lovely Sophie all made up & good to go.

The girls hair & make-up was expertly done by the wonderful Deb Chalmers of Debonnesse on-location hair & make-up, based up in Ripon.Meanwhile, down the road in Leyburn, the chaps were getting themselves ready……the suits were out & ready for action……and here’s Dad, the man of the hour Rob & his best man, getting themselves readyA little detail of Rob’s waistcoat & ‘linksDouble checking the rings were in tow……the groom & his men headed for the castle for a last minute inspectionI’d joined Sophie & Rob for a nosey round Bolton Castle back in December to familiarise myself with the location & to do a few practice shots of them to get them ready for the BAWP portrait experience!  The weather and surround landscape looked fantastic, and we had some amazing blasts of low winter sun.  Check out the post here.

They used a few of their favourite images on their beautiful little order of service.Here’s Team Rob, corsaged up & ready for ushing duties!Some received warmer duties than others, as guests were guided through the castle courtyard & up into the castle’s ‘Solar’ ceremony room!Back with the girls, I rather liked this one of the bride & bridesmaids backlit gownsThe bridesmaids were a fab, fun bunch – loads of fun was had throughout the preparations.

Loving Team Sophie’s almost festive red & white combo

The flora finished it off beautifully!

The girls had factored half an hour to get Sophie into her dress and were so efficient, it took them about 5 minutes!

So we had time for a few quick snaps of our happy bride!Over we headed to the castle & up the stoney spirals…

To an expectant groom!

Here comes the bride, with a proud father.

Sophie & Rob had officially married the day before at the Registry Office in Leyburn and held a non-religious humanist ceremony in the castle.

AwwwThe kiss!And back down the aisle as man & wife!Although it was super-cold, fortunately the lack of precipitation let us do a shot of all the guests in the ruined castle chapel.
I don’t think I’ve ever completed family groupshots so quickly in all my days!

I wanted to mix up the wedding party shots to be less of the traditional lineup, so we got the chapel stairs involved.Just in case though, I did do a few lineupsand a fun one of the full team walking together!

Instead of exploring too far around the exposed areas of the freezing castle, we kicked off the couple portraits in the chapelI like this set by the door!

Then we ducked into the warmth!Another relaxed portrait I like.

Then I left Sophie & Rob to mingle with their guests and a glass of warm mulled wine, in the old castle kitchen.

In the great hall, the Wedding Breakfast was set by ace event-organisers & fine caterers Dine Services, who I’ve worked with loads around Yorkshire.Every guest got a bespoke gingerbread man (made & iced by the mums & girls a day previous!) & tables were named after destinations avid cyclists Sophie & Rob had ridden to.

They’re spending a few days hiking around Wensleydale after the wedding, but for their actual honeymoon in June, they’re going to India to cycle some serious mountain passes!

I was loving the log fires, antlers & suits of armour everywhere!

[Alone in the room papping gingerbread dragons, it took a lot of restraint not to try on that suit]As guests sat to dine I popped out into the cold to catch a few pics of the castle at dusk

I also climbed the tower for a bit of elevation!

Speeches were the best kind – amusing and from the heart!

I like this moment of Sophie during dad’s speech.They did a fun routine to Imelda May’s Inside Out for their first dance

Evening entertainment was supplied by Manchester-based Junk House Dog Blues Band (who almost didn’t make it due to having to crawl up the M6 at 15MPH in a blizzard) were absolutely amazing.  No covers, just gritty blues – and they had the floor immediately and all night long!

We left the party in full swing and hit the snowy roads back to Leeds.

Thank you Sophie & Rob for asking us along to your wonderful wedding!  I loved shooting at Bolton Castle and hope you enjoy Wensleydale & cycling in India!

xx B

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