“I’m thinking of asking all the male guests to wear the most colourful trousers they can find”, said Charlotte when we first met in Spring last year. It was at that point we decided this was going to be a seriously stylish and fun wedding and we have been looking forward to it ever since.
Charlotte & Matt entered our Valentine’s proposal competition last year – we were looking for different and imaginative wedding proposals and offering an engagement shoot to a number of lucky winners. Charlotte told us the story of how Matt proposed in the middle of an igloo ice bar on the top of a mountain during a ski holiday. Now that’s cool (sorry!). We met up for their engagement shoot on another “mountain”, but this time in beautiful Stainburn near Otley: Almscliff Crag. We took in the Crag itself and the surrounding woods and rapeseed fields. We had a great time and were delighted when Charlotte and Matt asked us to photograph their wedding. They had chosen one of our very favourite wedding venues in this part of the world – the beautiful rustic Priory Cottages near Wetherby – and with the weather as it was on their wedding day earlier this month, we could honestly have been somewhere in deepest Provence.
Charlotte and a multitude of bridesmaids were getting ready on the morning of the wedding at Priory Cottages while Caroline joined Matt and a multitude of groomsmen as they fought the heat at Charlotte & Matt’s pad in Stainburn.
The wedding ceremony took place at a beautiful little church – St Mary’s in Stainburn – that is no longer in use and needed special permission from the Archbishop of Canterbury (no less) for it to be used for the wedding. Absolutely gorgeous, and so small that it was standing room only at the back!
After the ceremony there was plenty of time to mingle in the church grounds and bask in the glorious sunshine before heaps of confetti and a welcome air-conditioned drive over to Priory Cottages. Matt later said that one of his favourite moments of the day was pulling up in the car at Priory Cottages (after a detour in their fabulous wedding car) and seeing all the guests mingling in the courtyard waiting for them. It was just an explosion of colour – a truly beautiful sight.
After Charlotte and Matt had grabbed a drink and had a mingle to the sounds of a fabulous steel band we headed off for some shade-assisted bride and groom photos around the Priory grounds – and there is no shortage of beautiful places to go!
Charlotte & Matt had originally planned to get married in France although changed their mind for many reasons (including finding Priory Cottages!). They are very much in love with France though and were looking forward to a honeymoon in Provence, and their wedding breakfast was themed very much along those lines, interspersed with plenty of nods to Yorkshire – including local ales and a Yorkshire white wine.
The speeches were – hilarious! Charlotte’s brother and Mum kicked them off including some great photos of Charlotte growing up and then Matt and best man Andrew had the guests in absolute hysterics. We loved them!
After dinner, with the evening guests arriving, everyone headed back outside to enjoy the most gorgeous of Summer evenings: there was mingling and drinking in the courtyard and volleyball on the back field. The whole thing had such a wonderful feel about it. As is often the case at hot Summer weddings, the evening dancing started a little later but was all the more fun because of it with everyone having had that extra glass of wine or three. Matt and Charlotte took to the floor to the sound of the Wannadies’ “You & Me” and were soon joined by their friends and family for a serious party.
Caroline suddenly finding herself on the other side of the lens with some of the guys. This is why she always photographs the chaps in the morning!
We were exhausted but had had a wonderful day and so much fun. Here’s wishing the new Mr & Mrs Smith every possible happiness for the future and our heartfelt thanks for having us along to such a special day.
Love, R&C xx