Michelle & Ben’s Wedding at The Sportsman’s Arms in Pateley Bridge

29th July 2012
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Michelle and Ben were married yesterday in a tiny old church on the top of a huge hill in the Yorkshire Dales. It was absolutely beautiful. We could just stop there….but there’s so much more to say. Michelle and Ben are one of those couples that you just like instantly. Bags of personality, warmth and humour and we were so thrilled when they asked us to photograph their wedding. We first got them in front of the camera for their engagement shoot on a misty morning up at Fountain’s Abbey. You can see photos from that day by clicking this link. Since then we have been really looking forward to their wedding and yesterday morning the sun came out to welcome it.

First up, here is the highlights slideshow that we put together while the guests were tucking into their wedding breakfast. It includes a selection of our favourites up to that point in the day. The soundtrack is the song they chose for their first dance – which Michelle’s Dad and his band performed – “I Loved Her First” by The Heartland.

Michelle & Ben On The Day Highlights from Richard Wynn-Davies on Vimeo.

As always we divided and conquered in the morning with Caroline heading to meet the boys at their hotel and myself meeting the bride and the girls at Michelle’s parents’ house in Pateley Bridge. I think Caroline drew the short straw. The bridal house was calm and serene whereas Caroline had her work cut out getting the boys organised! Here are some of the photos from the morning preparations:



And so it was time for the service in the church on the hill. Much of Ben’s family hail from Scotland (you hadn’t already guessed, right?) and so a piper played before the ceremony and as Michelle and her Dad arrived. There is something about the sound of bagpipes at a wedding that brings me out in goosebumps. The service was gorgeous, Michelle looked amazing and I can hoestly say I have never seen a groom look so damned proud throughout the whole thing. He could not wipe the huge Cheshire cat grin off his face!




Upon walking up the aisle and leaving the church they came across a small surprise organised by Michelle’s Mum – a pair of doves for them to release up over the hills. Ben looked worryingly hungry so the doves looked pretty relieved to get away! Then, given the village is so pretty, we decided to do the first half of the bride and groom portrait shoot there before heading to the Sportsman’s Arms in Pateley Bridge for the Reception.



Perfect timing – we arrived at the Reception in time to take cover from a brief shower before the sun came out again for some family photos. The marquee looked stunning, decked out very simply in pink and white, so we grabbed some detail shots while the rain came down before ushering everyone out, drinks in hands, for the big group photo. It was then time for the wedding breakfast, followed by three brilliant speeches – with pleny of English/Scottish jokes thrown in for good measure. The crowd lapped it up with much hilarity!



We just had time after dinner to complete the bride and groom portraits by having a little wander down the country line outside the Sportsman’s Arms and then we were off back in for Michelle and Ben’s first dance. As I mentioned above, Frank – Michelle’s Dad – performed the song and played guitar (very impressive it was too) while Michelle and Ben made a fine job of the waltz. Michelle had been certain they couldn’t pull the dance off in her dress but Ben fair swept her across the dance floor! Then up came a fab band, bashing out some absolute classic tracks and the dancefloor was heaving.

Here’s the final group of photos from the evening. Michelle and Ben – thank you for having us tell the story of your amazing wedding day. Enjoy the honeymoon! R&C xx






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