Cat and Rob are honest and real, in the very best way.
From hearing what the two of them would like during planning for their Sunset Session and their wedding, to chatting about what Rob's workmates thought of the fact he was attending an engagement shoot (that one's not pre-watershed!) I got the real deal. No nonsense, no fuss. The real, brilliant, them.
When I first heard Cat's Bolton hint in her accent over the phone my heart did a little flip! Yes, I do love a northern accent. Then she got chatting about what they were planning for their wedding and I knew we were a great match. Her and Rob didn't like the idea of posing for photos, group shots or any of the traditional stuff. They wanted real photos of family and friends having a great time, of themselves happy and immersed in the day. Sometimes I could do a dance when I'm chatting to someone who just GETS what I do, this was definitely one of those days.
So to say I'd looked forward to Cat and Rob's wedding is an understatement.
50 photographs of Eckington Manor Wedding
On the morning of their wedding, we arrived early to meet Cat at Eckington Manor and to scout the grounds, look around the venue and get a feel for where we would be working for the day. One of my greatest pleasures is working in new locations, exploring everything that the light, architecture and grounds have to offer, and Eckington Manor has this in buckets.
The country house is a haven for visitors; on a secluded lane, the working farm is also proud home to a cookery school and restaurant as well as hosting exclusive weddings. Sitting within the Avon hills and on the cusp of the Cotswolds, the views are beautiful, coupled with the serenity of the quiet location, it's a very special wedding venue.
Working as the wedding photographer at Eckington Manor, I had a beautiful environment as the backdrop for Cat and Rob's wedding. The venue has varied architecture, which points to the rich history and current purpose of the site. The buildings sit within 260 acres of farmland, orchards, vegetable plots and rolling hills, all of which are visible from the Grain Barn and Apple Store, recently opened and purpose built for luxury weddings. The front of the ceremony room, fully glass, looks out onto a raised terrace and is wrapped by a tall hedge, giving Cat, Rob, and their guests complete privacy during their ceremony.
With a naturally elegant wedding venue like Eckington Manor, Cat and Rob chose not to add lots of their own decoration. The location didn't need adding to. They simply added tall floral displays to their tables, along with fairy-lit gin bottles, which (in their words) they'd had the pleasure of drinking first!
Cat and Rob's wedding was the relaxed day they'd hoped and planned for.
With 2 photographers, we were able to capture both bride and groom prep, catching both Rob and Cat's mornings until their paths joined.
The courtyard began to fill with chatter, as guests arrived, happy greetings were called and heartfelt hugs exchanged.
After their ceremony, guests spilled out into the courtyard to toast, and across the driveway, up onto the lawn in front of the manor house itself, where there was plenty of space for children to play. Cat and Rob had invited a singer, who accompanied moments right through from before their ceremony began, as guests waited, into the evening reception.
The afternoon wound on, a warm spring day filled with happy chatter and a lot of laughter. As the sun dipped lower, guests were called inside to enjoy hilarious speeches by the father of the bride and Rob himself, as well as a feature spot from Rob's young son, who had recorded a message for his dad and Cat on their wedding day.
One of the reasons that Cat and Rob had liked Eckington Manor from their first experience was that the in house DJ was really good. With a great DJ they knew they would have a night full of dancing with their guests. Many of their family and friends were able to stay, thanks to the 17 guest rooms on-site, so there was no early curfew for them.
As evening guests arrived, so did a selfie mirror photo booth, equipped with some of the best props I've seen! Of course, this led to much hilarity and the photo evidence to prove it!
When we left, the dance floor was full, family and friends were trying out individually flavoured cupcakes and the selfie mirror was surrounded by guests swinging feather boas and trying on sailor hats. What a day!
It's been such a pleasure getting to know Cat and Rob, and being a part of their wedding.
Here's to many more happy years for them.