YHA Wilderhope Manor Wedding Photography in Shropshire
Prepare yourselves for a longer-than-most blog post right now... Freya and Phil's spectacular outdoor ceremony wedding at Wilderhope Manor in Shropshire is one of the loveliest I've had the privilege of shooting this season.
These photos are the ones that make me proudest and happiest that I do what I do. I know that these photos will take them right back to this moment and the joy they were feeling ten, twenty, fifty years from now and thats what its all about. I love Freya celebrating as she won the game for her team, I love the moment that the Jenga pieces fell down after a tense and slightly rule-bending game, I love the dance floor shots where people have really let their hair down, I love the shots where we strode up the hill between main course and desert because the light was just quite right, giving these guys 5 minutes out to admire the spectacular view, and revel in their day so far.
So... about Freya and Phil! There was so much joy in this (long time coming!) union. Frey and Phil met on their first day on university and although it took them upwards of 8 years to get together properly as a couple, it means they have the strongest foundation for a relationship - a friendship. This was so apparent throughout the whole day, the trust and fun they have together is second to none. I rarely saw a moment where Freya wasn't laughing at something Phil said (or did!) and the couple were never far from each other the whole day.
The venue - Wilderhope Manor - holds a pretty special place in my heart, as I photographed one of my first weddings there 3 years back, shooting alongside a pro photographer and trying to get to grips with if wedding photography was for me. To come back now with an established wedding business was pretty lovely, and to explore the maze of dorm rooms and grounds again was so good.
Safe to say I always enjoy shooting at this Shropshire wedding venue because of it's quirkiness and ability to host lots of people overnight at an affordable rate (AKA late parties!) The venue is unique and although it's a bit unpolished, it's the perfect setting for a laid back wedding that can be used for the weekend. The venue is ideal for a wedding with character and heart, it's got history but is also plain enough for couples to put their own creativity into it. These guys used Phil's background in architecture to incorporate the history of the building into their invites and also the table plan.
The outdoor ceremonies at Wilderhope are a dream to shoot too - natural light and freedom of movement means I can shoot at many more different angles, guests and emotions! These guy had group singing (always a favourite) their own personal vows, and included the children in their personal hand binding service. Their chosen celebrant was the lovely Maxine who I haven't had the pleasure of working with before but hope to again.
The outdoor hand binding ceremony was meaningful and without constraints - ideal for couples who want to put their own personal touch into a wedding ceremony. More and more of my couples this year are doing the legal part separately in order to express themselves freely and wherever they choose. It was wonderful and very inclusive, just look at these gorgeous children up to help with the hand binding! Whenever kids are involved things rarely go to plan but that's when the best photographs happen, spontaneous moments of imperfect chaos!
... oh and I haven't even mentioned yet the traditional Swedish wedding game they played called the shoe game in which bride and groom sit on chairs back to back, with one of their and their partner's shoes. Questions are then asked about the couple e.g who always leaves the washing up and the bride and groom must raise the shoe of the person they think it is - without seeing the other's answer! much to the amusement of all of the guests.
When I left these guys the dance floor was wild and people of all ages and nationalities were dancing together to celebrate their love, just the way it should be!
Local Shropshire Suppliers
Celebrant - Maxine Beech
Venue - Wilderhope Manor, YHA Shropshire Wedding venue
Flowers - Anne Wysall, Pontesbury Florist
Make up - Rachel Savine