Thursday, 13 October 2011

Kate and Andy's Wedding at Langley Castle (aka the one where Jenson didn't win)

Lets go back a few years shall we?  You see, it all happened one evening at Newcastle Arena during an ice hockey match.  Being a big fan of the now defunct Newcastle Vipers and knowing a few of the guys involved at the club, I regularly wangled VIP tickets.  I had managed to obtain several tickets for a big game and sent an email around my old office to see if there was any interest and I was pleasantly surprised to see 5 or 6 names come forward.  At the game I took my usual seat at the back of the stand so I could stand and watch (I don't do sitting down at matches whether it's football, ice hockey or anything else!).  I can't remember all the folks there but next to me was my old team leader and good friend Ian and in front were two colleagues from finance, Andy and Kate.  I was totally engrossed in the game when I get nudged in the leg by Ian. "Are them two seeing each other?" he said pointing at Andy and Kate.  I shrugged, "Don't think so. Why?".  "I could have sworn I've just seen them kiss!" said a shocked Ian.

Over the years I think I have got to know Kate and Andy quite well through my time at the company I used to work at before going full time as a professional photographer.  I knew they had a mutual love of Formula 1, so it came as no surprise that when they went for a short break to Monaco, back came the news that Andy had proposed next to the Grand Prix circuit.  

When they asked me if I was available to capture their special day I wasn't going to say no.  Their wedding was to be held at the stunning Langley Castle, my favourite wedding venue.  We met regularly over the 12 months before the big day and what struck me was that Kate had a very definite idea about what she wanted in terms of her wedding photography and how she wanted her special day captured.  

And then, sitting one evening, eating my tea, I was watching the local BBC News.  I wasn't really paying attention to what was on when I saw Kate and Andy on the screen, walking hand in hand up the drive to Langley Castle.  Donna Redfearn from North East Wedding Planners was doing a feature about the wedding industry, and as she was helping Kate and Andy with their wedding plans, decided to feature them.  

So to the big day!  Where to begin?  Well, I suppose with the rain.  My heart sank as I had so many plans for the photos which was to incorporate the stunning surroundings of Langley Castle.  It's too good a venue to simply shoot indoors.  More of that later!

Inside, Kate was getting make up sorted.  "It all seems so real now you're here" she said as I entered the room to begin the bridal prep shots.  The dress was hanging from a four poster bed and looked amazing.  It would look amazing with the shot I had in my mind for later in the day.

Upstairs in the main function room, the place settings and tables were ready.  And then I noticed the table names. Casino; Tunnel; La Rascasse....all the tables were named after corners of the Monaco Grand Prix.  I was disappointed to find out that the special guest at Kate's hen-do would be turning up.....Jenson Button.  Kate is a huge Jenson fan and was escorted round her hen-do by a life-sized cut out of the man himself. But there was no way Jenson was going to win today....Andy was the big winner.

To be honest, Andy was as cool as a cucumber.  And when Kate entered the room his face lit up.  They exchanged their own vows and looked so happy and so in love.  They were a wedding photographers dream as their faces beamed!

It was still raining outside so we conducted group shots in the lounge and then the three of us had a wander around the castle.  The shot I had in my mind I mentioned earlier worked a treat (see below).  But we were still unable to get outside.

The speeches followed the wedding breakfast.  The emotions of the day hit Andy during a heart felt speech.  But it's safe to say Kate's mum stole the show when she read out an "apology" letter that an 8 year old Kate had left for her in her old bedroom.  

As the speeches finished, the sun came out. So we had a mad dash outside.  The shot Kate really wanted was of the two of them on the drive leading up to the castle.  I was a bit worried to be honest as the light was fading fast.  But, with a bit of patience and perseverance we got the shot that Kate was after.  

And that was that!  A long day....and a great work out!  You've got to be fit to cover a wedding at Langley Castle with all the stairs they have there!!!

Kate and Andy - I'd like to wish you both all the best for your future together!  It was a really pleasure capturing your day for you!  

Kate and Andy were assisted in the planning and preparation for their wedding by North East Wedding Planners .

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