Harrogate Micro Wedding at Rudding Park

March 17, 2021

We are delighted to look back on this, our last wedding of 2020. What a day it was, spent with Hannah, Darren and their guests at Rudding Park. Below you’ll find our favourite images from the day. Then Hannah and Darren explain just what it was like planning a wedding in 2020. We are sure you will agree that despite the challenges they faced, it was such a beautiful wedding. Despite having a smaller guest list for their wedding than initially anticipated for their Yorkshire wedding, Hannah and Darren choose to keep their two photographer package to ensure we could capture as many moments as possible. So a huge thanks to our friend Dave Scholes for doing a wonderful job second shooting this wedding. It was great to work alongside Dave, who is a fabulously talented wedding photographer.

The challenges of planning a 2020 wedding

“Up until March 2020 we had planned our whole wedding without a hiccup. We’d said from the very start that we wanted our wedding to be about us and what we wanted. We had managed to plan everything with no stress and were very much looking forward to our big day. Then Covid hit. Our original wedding date was the 8th May 2020. This was cancelled by the government lockdown seven weeks before. As you will imagine, it was such a sad and confusing time. After getting so close to our wedding day, postponing by another year felt like such a long way off. Like the rest of the world we had no idea how long this was going to last. However, being optimistic we postponed the wedding until October. A few months later we realised that the pandemic was much worse than we first thought. So we decided to postpone again until 4th April 2021. We crossed our fingers that this would all be over by then! Each time we postponed we had to contact all of our suppliers and see if they could accommodate our new date. It was very stressful but every one of suppliers was so helpful and most managed to change our date each time. It felt like a constant worry. Would it go ahead, wouldn’t it? Would we need to postpone again? All the excitement had been taken away from us and it was hard to be excited about a day we didn’t know would go ahead.

Choosing to go ahead with a smaller guest list

As rumours of a second lockdown started we realised that the wedding we had planned was not going to go ahead without restrictions any time soon. We discussed our options and decided that we just wanted to go ahead and get married. We no longer wanted our wedding to be about government restrictions, we wanted it to be about us and the love that we have for each other and we just wanted to be husband and wife! So we pulled the wedding date forward to the 6th December. In 6 weeks (4 of which were in lockdown) we planned a completely new wedding. New date, new venue, new theme. It felt exciting again. This was it, we were doing it! And what made it even more exciting was that we didn’t tell anyone apart from the people we were inviting! Obviously this was the hardest decision for us. Being a family of 5 we could only invite 10 more people but we knew that once we announced that we were finally married, then everyone would just be happy for us. Even now we can’t believe we managed to pull it off! With just 15 of us the whole day still felt incredibly special. There was no pressure to ensure we went round and spoke to all of our guests at the reception as we were all seated on one large table. To be honest there didn’t feel like there was any pressure at all. It just felt like it was all about us! We can’t even tell you how pleased we are that we went ahead with a smaller wedding. Now we can finally relax and enjoy married life (as much as we can in lockdown!) We’ve said that we think smaller weddings might be the way forward. You get to have your very nearest and dearest with you and the whole day is just about you and your marriage and not the politics of who sits where.

Two photographers capturing an intimate wedding day

We had said from the start that the photographs were one of the most important parts of the day for me. They are the memories that you get to take away with you. We felt this even more so when we couldn’t have all our guests at the wedding! We would be able to share our beautiful photos with our loved ones and they would be able to feel like they were part of the day. Having two photographers meant that one could be with Darren while he was getting ready and one could be with me. Also we loved the thought of having photos from both perspectives in the chapel. These are moments that you don’t get back and we now have those forever. Darren waiting for me to arrive at the chapel, him seeing me as the doors opened, me walking down the aisle. These are the magical moments that passed by in a blur, but now we get to relive them all again.

A Ronald Joyce bridal gown

So, I actually bought my dress when I was 8 months pregnant! At that time there was only 6 months until the wedding and I needed to get a dress ordered ASAP as they take that long to be made and delivered. I bought my beautiful Ronald Joyce dress from Proposals Bridal Room in Grimsby. I chose this dress as I loved that it had a huge train which I wore for the chapel. I was then able to remove this which left me with the fitted dress for the rest of the day. It felt like I had two dresses. Isn’t that the dream! I loved the buttons all the way down the back. Also, the illusion back was stunning. I loved the fur bolero – I wore this on the day as well. I didn’t actually even buy this until the day before the wedding! I went to pick up my dress, saw this in the window, tried it on with my dress and it finished off my look perfectly. I wanted something sleek and elegant and I think I achieved just that.

A wedding tuxedo

Darren bought his tux from Charles Richard Menswear in Scunthorpe. The style and colours also changed last minute to fit our new theme and they couldn’t have been more helpful in ensuring the tux and suits were delivered in time. Darrens bow tie came all the way from Australia from a company called Otaa. It had to be exactly the right colour to fit in with the new theme after all! Darren then had a second bow tie which he changed later in the day, I’m not the only diva in this relationship, haha!

Hannah’s favourite moment of the wedding day

The highlight for me was definitely when the chapel doors opened and I saw Darren waiting at the end of the aisle. This was the moment we had been waiting so long for, it still makes me emotional now just thinking about it. The whole chapel ceremony was just beautiful. It felt so intimate with just our closest family and friends. Reverend Ian made us feel so at ease, it really was so very special. I also loved it when we danced into the reception to ‘All I want for Christmas is you’. Our aim was a winter wedding with a sprinkling of Christmas and this was just so much fun. Who doesn’t love a bit of Mariah Carey!

Darren’s favourite wedding day moment

That wedding cake! Haha, obviously I’m joking (it did taste amazing though!) But seeing Hannah walking down the aisle towards me looking so beautiful brought tears to my eyes. In all honesty the whole day was so relaxed and went so smoothly I just enjoyed it all. The venue staff were so helpful, reverend Ian was good fun, photographers (you guys) were great! I remember seeing one of you laid on the Chapel floor at one point looking for the best angle.

Tips for couples planning a smaller wedding day

We both said that our pianist – Mark The Piano Guy – really made the day for us and our guests. He sang me into the church and continued to sing and play throughout the day. It really set the mood for the wedding and created such a lovely atmosphere. The wedding guests loved that he took requests as well! Due to Covid restrictions we were unable to have a band for the night do which was our original plan. But having Mark there more than made up for that. I’d say creating an atmosphere is really important for an intimate wedding. We loved the room where we had the reception – The Library at Rudding Park. It was such a grand room but was still small enough that having a smaller wedding party didn’t feel like the room was empty which was one of the reasons we changed the venue. The food was also incredible! Everyone commented on it, we didn’t expect any less from Rudding Park though. We would definitely recommend paying more for the food if your having less guests.

Unposed wedding photography

Neither of us like posing for photographs so the laid back approach that M and G Wedding Photography offer was perfect for us. In the nicest way possible we forgot they were even there! They managed to capture some really beautiful, natural moments. Every smile captured was real. When we received the photos back we watched the slideshow that was created for us first and I honestly cried for half an hour because I was just so overwhelmed with the photos they’d managed to get. I felt like I’d just relived the whole day all over again, M and G had managed to capture it just as we’d remembered it. Unbeknownst to us, Darren’s sister Gemma and fiancé Neil had booked M and G Wedding Photography when their wedding was also postponed! So we actually got to meet Patrick at their wedding too. After seeing their photos it made us even more excited to finally have our big day and get our own beautiful photos that we could treasure forever.

The best Yorkshire wedding suppliers

We had the best suppliers! Every single one made our day feel seamless. Our venue – Rudding Park was just stunning. The staff at Rudding Park went above and beyond and we can’t thank them enough. Natasha Jane Events was our venue stylist and supplied all of our beautiful flowers. She took my vision of a winter wedding and bought it to life and it was just perfect. Where the Ribbons Ends made us the most beautiful blue wedding cake, not your traditional wedding cake but we thought it would suit our theme perfectly, and it really did! I had Bow and Blush for hair and makeup. Having had no time for a trial they made us all feel relaxed. Also having only sent them a couple of photos for ideas of how I’d like to look I think they did my hair and makeup perfectly. Then I have to say my daughters hair looked stunning!

All the emotions of a perfect wedding celebration

Looking back, it all still makes me so emotional, because we fought so hard to have this day. We feel incredibly lucky that our day went ahead and it was honestly everything that we had imagined and more. Obviously when we first discussed going ahead with the smaller wedding we were a little worried that it might not be the same. It wasn’t the same as the wedding we had originally planned, it was better! It was incredibly special and we wouldn’t change a moment of it.”

M and G Wedding Photography

We cannot thank Hannah and Darren enough for taking the time to write the above. Also, thanks so much for their incredibly kind words about their photography – we are so pleased they loved every image. We loved photographing their day and echo their sentiments about the day being perfect. We completely agree that creating atmosphere is so important with a smaller wedding – it’s a great tip! In fact, we think Hannah and Darren’s story was incredibly inspiring – they overcame adversity to have such a wonderful celebration of their love. We hope that anyone reading this who is planning a smaller wedding takes heart that it can it be just as good as a large wedding celebration – in fact in Hannah’s words, she felt it was better than their original plans! What is for sure is that every wedding like this one carries so much added meaning and so many extra emotions. After all the date moves and uncertainty, to finally have a wedding day – it’s all so worth it in the end. It was great to get to know Hannah, Darren – and Gemma and Neil and the whole family – last year and we are honoured to have photographed all the moments above.

Award winning wedding photography

We were delighted to win a number of wedding photography awards from the images we took at Hannah and Darren’s day. These were awarded to us by the Wedding Photojournalists Association. You can see these images below.

More examples of micro wedding photography

In 2020, sadly we photographed only 5% of our wedding bookings. But out of those 5 percent we attended such wonderfully intimate celebrations. You can see another of Patrick’s micro weddings here, then one of Matt’s intimate weddings here. We think these go to show further that you really don’t have to plan a huge wedding to have the best day of your life. If you’re interested in us photographing your wedding, we’d love to hear from you. Whether your plans are big or small, you can check our availability here.