Michelle & Jules | Cragwood Country House Hotel | Lake District
When Michelle and Jules booked their wedding I was so excited to be shooting at the Cragwood Country House Hotel and just couldn't wait. We hadn't met before the wedding as Michelle and Jules lived some distance away and they were travelling up to the English Lake District for the big day. I must admit that I always find not meeting the bride and groom before the wedding both a little unnerving and exciting at the same time; but little did I know that any fears would be unfounded and that I would meet some of the most amazing people and also make some new friends in the process.
So, rewind to a typical day in the Lakes - moody skies, torrential rain and not much light to work with for a wedding photographer - unfortunate, especially given that this day followed a long heatwave. In fact the night before the wedding, the sun was cracking the pavement and it was one of the most beautiful sunsets you'd ever seen! One could only imagine everyone's disappointment when day followed night to reveal dark skies and liquid sunshine.
On arrival, I made my way up to the bridal suite to introduce myself, found out where Jules was residing and made my way across the hallway to begin documenting some getting ready photos before returning to capture Michelle and her bridesmaids. Shooting with a story in mind, I treat this part of the wedding as two individual stories that will eventually combine to become one.
A huge thank you to Michelle and everyone else who persevered while I pedantically rearranged the bridal suite; moving furniture and personal belongings to make room for a beautiful photo of Michelle in her wedding dress with her two adorable children! It was definitely worth it!
Fast forward to the wedding ceremony when Michelle and her father entered to the Rocky theme tune. Brilliant! There was so much love in the room, it was an absolute pleasure to be part of such a joyous occasion and I felt so incredibly privileged to be able to share in this special moment.
Straight after the ceremony, we proceeded with the group shots (the most stressful time for a wedding photographer) which we were forced to undertake inside due to the persistent rain. Fortunately we found the staircase workable and Michelle was so organised that everyone had a photo number for their group shot - an absolutely brilliant idea that made this part of the wedding so much easier.
What followed was a beautiful meal and a lot of anxious pacing up and down, looking over towards the Langdales for a break in the weather so that we could get some intimate portraits. After all, what an injustice it would be to not utilise the beautiful grounds of the Cragwood Hotel. And then, there it was! What looked like a ten minute weather window! So, we rushed outside and made the best of what we had. Thankfully ten minutes turned into about twenty (which is all we needed!) before the heavens reconvened with their opening!
Michelle and Jules; what can I say! Never before have two people been so destined to be together - what an awesome couple! Thank you for inviting me to be part of your day. One of my favourite weddings to date! I hope that you will enjoy the memories of your wedding for a lifetime. Wishing you all the very best for your future together. Live long and prosper!
What follows is a very small selection of some of my favourite memories.