East Riddlesden Hall

Nick & Christina

East Riddlesden Hall Wedding Photography – East Riddlesden Hall is a 17th-century manor house in Keighley, West Yorkshire, owned by the National Trust. Wedding Photography at  East Riddlesden Hall is beautiful and combines a rustic barn, beautiful gardens and historic house.

Check out the wedding of Clare & Craig  also shot at East Riddleden Hall 

Planning a wedding at East Riddlesden Hall? Get in touch as we would love too discuss your wedding photography.

Nick & Christina say;

Nick:I finally asked the special question on Friday 22nd May 2015. We’d been together for 11 years but I hadn’t been in a position where we could afford a wedding! I had the perfect ring, and I the perfect girl, but finding the perfect location to get on one knee proved more difficult. I had a few foiled attempts including:

–       a romantic picnic which was invaded by a kids party.

–       a walk in quiet serene Bronte country which (on that day) attracted hundreds of tourists and families with barking dogs.

–       Another picnic in an idyllic lakeside location, which would have been perfect if the weather weren’t absolutely freezing.

In the end I decided that the grand visions weren’t getting us anywhere. I waited for a clear night, when the twilight turned the sky a stunning shade of teal and asked Christina if she fancied a drive. Thankfully she said yes, and I drove us to the top of a tall hill near our place to a beautiful viewpoint overlooking Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge. Under the moon and stars we stood in a field and I dropped to one knee and asked the question. She said yes, and we hugged in the moonlight, before hurrying home to warm up with a cup of tea and a glass of bubbly. It wasn’t grand, it wasn’t extravagant, but it was very ‘us’, and every time the sky turns the same colour on a clear evening, it reminds us both of that special moment!

Our Wedding date was Sunday, May 14th 2017 We both had our hearts set on a Spring wedding for a long time, we’re both nature lovers and we had noticed that May in Yorkshire had been sunny and fairly warm for the past few years. Ultimately we chose a Sunday because we were trying to save money and stick to a budget, and as luck would have it, East Riddlesden Hall had a lower rate for Sunday weddings (when we booked the venue).

We had a civil ceremony and our reception at the barn at East Riddlesden Hall. There’s something magical about the place, the very first time we visited East Ridds with some friends a few years ago, we had the chance to take a glance inside the barn, and something clicked with both of us. We looked at quite a few wedding venues after Nick proposed, but found ourselves comparing them to the barn each time, and the barn always won! The wedding barn is such a beautiful building, it’s the perfect complement to the country springtime wedding we envisioned. The National Trust wedding team were always friendly and helpful and answered all of our (many) questions when we were trying to make the decision.

The day Loosely themed around springtime flowers, country meadows, and wildlife / nature we decided to call our theme ‘Fairy Potting Shed’. We wanted our wedding to make the most of and celebrate Spring. It’s such an exciting and refreshing time of year, nature is coming alive, bees are buzzing around and the natural colour palette in woodlands and meadows becomes diverse and beautiful. We both liked the idea of celebrating nature and all things which grow.

We didn’t really have a set colour scheme, we were so pleased with the natural rustic beauty of the venue that we didn’t feel the need to overdress it. We were very pleased that our seasonal floral displays complimented the venue so beautifully.

Christina; I actually found this to be very difficult, I thought that what I wanted didn’t exist. And most of the dress shops I visited proved to reinforce my fears, or be way beyond my budget. With a stroke of luck I eventually found my wedding dress at the Yorkshire Wedding Emporium in Halifax

I was originally looking for an A-line wedding dress with a very flowy skirt to complement my hourglass figure. I wanted it to be as simple and timeless as possible (without any beadwork or embelishments). I found this to be a lot more difficult than I had anticipated.

I happened upon the Yorkshire Wedding Emporium by accident. At the time, me and my mum were searching for a ‘mother of the bride’ outfit. While my mum was trying on outfits I took a wonder into the wedding dress section. I had a look at the one-off dresses and discovered a stunning and unique dress by Cabotine. I was a bit lost even at this stage, having seen so many dresses I felt quite dazed, but there was something about this dress that just seemed right. It might shock some of your readers, I know our families were a bit stunned, but I called Nick to come along and see the dress to see what he thought. I don’t regret making this decision, we ended up having a lovely moment, Nick saw me in the dress, and shed a few tears, as did my mum…and then I knew that this was the dress for me! Leanne who owns the Yorkshire Wedding Emporium was wonderful from start to finish. She gave me the space to make the decision, and expelled all of my anxieties and fears with her expert knowledge and a dose of humanity and humour which I felt was missing from many of my other dress shopping experiences. She arranged alterations by an independent seamstress, and on the day the dress was a perfect fit.

Leanne made me feel relaxed, and even helped with our Cypriot reception by packing the dress into a cabin baggage sized suitcase for the flights! Upon returning from Cyprus she even dry cleaned the dress for me! I would recommend Leanne and the Yorkshire Wedding Emporium to any bride!

Nick wore a dark blue tweed jacket with a matching waistcoat, a simple white shirt, some red wine coloured jeans, dark blue suede shoes, and a red wine bow tie. The bowtie was from https://www.mrsbowtie.com/ The shoes from Debenhams The jacket, waistcoat, jeans and shirt all came from Jacamo.

We only had a maid of honour and best man, and we decided to let them wear whatever they felt comfortable in. They both looked incredible on the day though!

I travelled from my accommodation to east Riddlesden in a beautiful White VW Beatle named ‘Rosie’ (from ‘https://www.volkswagenweddings.com/’) they were absolutely brilliant and the car was very cute.

We chose Bethany as our photographer because of her photographic style. Her background in photojournalism lends itself to wedding photography wonderfully, from looking at her portfolio website we were immediately attracted by her ability to capture the moment, and capture emotion. We didn’t want our wedding photos to feel overly posed, or forced, and we were both absolutely over the moon when we saw our photographs after the wedding. Bethany was superb, her attention to detail is faultless and her artistic skill behind the lens has captured our wedding beautifully!

I carried a beautiful and natural bouquet composed of wildflowers and aromatic herbs, which was created by Rachel Slater of Owl House Flowers. (https://owlhouseflowers.wordpress.com/)

Rachel Slater https://owlhouseflowers.wordpress.com/ provided all of our flowers, including buttonholes for the men and corsages for the women. She did an incredible job, and she absolutely captured and achieved our vision for the day. Most impressively of all is the fact that Rachel only uses flowers which she has grown, or sourced from other locations in Britain (never imported or grown abroad). For the purpose of our wedding, we wanted naturally occurring flowers, foliage and herbs, some of which might be considered weeds traditionally (forget-me-nots, buttercups and clovers) but also with a few more decorative natural flourishes thrown in, in the form of wild primrose and bluebell. I even had a head piece composed of rosemary and strawberry flowers. Rachel had a giggle with us about our ‘fairy potting shed’ theme and we thoroughly enjoyed building the grand picture together. She provided inspirational ideas such as scattering potted herbs and lavender around the venue, and using a big watering can as a flower container. We brought all kinds of bric-a-brac to Rachel from our house including various shaped jugs and glass vases, and box full of bake bean tins which we upcycled with a stripe of white paint. The glass jars were filled with candles and Rachel brought some big metal lanterns to line the aisle which also contained large candles. One of the final touches was a subtle decoration of wild ferns clipped above us and suspended among fairy lights, it made the room feel like a forest glade. We simply could not have achieved our creative vision without Rachel’s wonderful flowers.

It took a while to decide this, and we initially looked at a lot of traditional ideas! Since we’d decided to break tradition with so many other decisions, we decided to keep it interesting and unorthodox, and so, given the theme of our big day we decided to do something a little different, and hand out favours which were designed to give something back to nature. We put a Pollinator Beebom ‘Seedbom’ at every placing. If you haven’t seen them before, these are small recycled paper containers which hold seeds and compost and are designed for spreading organic flowers. The Beebom specifically contains seeds which will grow flowers that attract bees. We bought a big box of them from https://kabloom.co.uk/ We also did something extra for the kiddies, some cute little white chocolate jammy dodgers by choc on choc (https://www.notonthehighstreet.com/chocolateonchocolate) none were left by the end of the night, so it looks like they were nommed with glee!

Cake schmake! We decided to go for a big stack of cheese instead. We ordered a ‘Cheese Wedding Cake’ from the courtyard dairy in Settle: https://www.thecourtyarddairy.co.uk/ We actually paid a visit to them quite early on in our planning process. We chatted with the owner Andy who was incredibly knowledgeable about all of the cheeses he sells, and helped us to construct our theoretical Cheese wedding cake well in advance. The shop is actually inside a gigantic fridge (to keep the cheese fresh) so if you’re planning a visit, make sure you’ve got something warm to wear (as Nick’s best man found out, shivering in his shorts and t-shirt whilst nibbling on samples of stilton).

East Riddlesden Hall have a small number of approved caterers who they work with. We decided to pick James Brown (now known as Nomad Catering) –  We had set in our minds that we wanted to have a hog roast, informal buffet type of meal. Something fun to get our guests chatting and mingling, and it worked a treat! James and his team were absolutely brilliant from our initial conversations, to the tasting evening he put on for us, and everything on the big day. James’ team made sure there was plenty of prosecco to go around for the guests, and a bottle of red and white wine for each table during the meal, they were very attentive but never in the way. We’d definitely recommend them to everyone!

Phil Lyons New Vintage Swing Band

(https://www.thenewvintageband.com/) provided the evening entertainment and they were an absolute hit with everyone! We wanted our evening to be an informal blast of fun for all of our guests, but we wanted to try and make sure that nobody felt excluded at any moment. We’ve been to a few weddings together in the past where the DJ clears the dancefloor with a couple of bad choices (or stick to one genre) but we imagined that a band would be able to adapt to everyone’s tastes. Phil and his band certainly did just that! We were swinging to Sinatra, twisting to Chuck Berry, Rocking out to Elvis, crooning to Nat King Cole, and laughing our socks off when the band pulled off Christina’s Brother’s request for ‘Tequila’ (the version by The Champs…saxophone and all!) We did not stop dancing, Phil oozed personality and humour all night, and the man knows how to get a crowd excited! We’ve already decided we need to go to see the band play a gig, they were amazing and they made our night memorable for everyone involved.

What other “special touches” did you add to your day?

We threw a few extra things about that turned out to be a hit with out guests! I used my calligraphy and design skills to create all of our stationery and wedding signage. Nick built an interactive guestbook by hammering together two wooden picture frames, and getting guests to take selfies with a polaroid camera (pinning them to string hanging from the frames) We provided a marker pen and our guests left us little messages on the polaroid shots. We’ve got a lovely little stack of pictures and messages now, and our guests didn’t realise the camera had a memory card in it, so we’ve also got the ‘outtakes’! We wanted our guests to have access to drinks so we set up a free soft drink station with elderflower cordial in gigantic kilner jars with taps. We provided the paper cups and straws and it went down very well! We also managed to recycle some hay bails which had been used for a wedding from the day before. This turned out to be a great idea, the weather was on our side, it was a beautiful day and many of our guests made the most of the hay bail circle to socialise whilst eating their fish and chips in the evening. The grounds of East Riddlesden Hall are breathtaking as they are so we didn’t want to overdo the outside decorations. We put up a wooden signpost with our names and the date of the wedding, luckily we were given the signs and the stand by a colleague of mine so all we needed to do was change the names and the date of the wedding, the rest of the work was up to Nick’s brother, who hammered the sign together on the morning of our wedding!

We put a few champagne bottle shaped bubble blowers around each of the tables. This was originally done to entertain the kids, though everyone got on board with it and soon enough the room was filled with bubbles!

I was quite anxious about hair and make-up. I didn’t really know where to begin, other than knowing that I did not want to look dolled up for my wedding, I was conscious that I wanted to keep a natural look. A friend from work recommended me to a local mobile beauty therapist called Helen Whitwham (https://www.facebook.com/Beauty-by-Helen-Whitwham-462954863814620) Helen made me feel really at ease, and really understood the vision I was going for. To quote my husband “She made you look gorgeous, you didn’t look caked, you looked like the Christina I know, with an added touch of something special.” We also had a reception celebration for my family in Cyprus, Helen gave me loads of useful tips and pointers so I could re-create my look for this event. She was superb and I’d recommend her to any bride.

The same friend from work also recommended my hair stylist to me! Lizzie from Ophiuchus Hair in Bingley http://ophiuchushair.co.uk/ was great to work with. We had multiple consultation sessions and she spent time looking through mood boards with me. I wanted to find a natural look which complemented my long hair, and a way to incorporate a flower crown. Lizzie instantly understood what I was going for and I was so impressed that she has now become my regular hairdresser.

Both ladies made me feel like a million dollars!

What was your favourite part of the day? Why?

Nick: Seeing Christina at the beginning of the ceremony, how beautiful she looked, I was so happy to see her. We rarely spend time apart so I was missing her terribly. I knew she’d be putting a lot of pressure on herself on the morning of our wedding. So when I heard the entrance music we picked together, and I saw her stepping through the curtains at the back of the barn, I lit up and tried to calm her down with a goofy smile.

Christina:The thing is, I was very very nervous. I don’t like being the centre of attention so I’d been terrified at the idea of walking down the aisle for days! The whole ceremony was so emotional and very personal, I tried to focus on Nick and sort of had tunnel vision, I couldn’t even see our guests! It was only when we had walked back down the aisle together, and stepped through the curtains together that I felt relaxed enough to feel the full joy of the moment. There and then it sunk in that we were married! I was looking around at what Nick and our wedding team had achieved with the look of the venue and it was a truly beautiful moment.

Top tip – Well… Take your time, don’t be forced into rushing! Make lists, be organized, but above all, work together! Nick and I made every decision together, because wanted the wedding to reflect ‘us’ as much as possible. We even broke a few traditions here and there. Nick helped me to pick my dress, and I helped with his suit. We did everything together and the final result was worth it. There were no nasty surprises ahead of us, and we both felt so proud at the end of the night. East Riddlesden Hall Wedding Photography

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