Meeting purely by chance, when they traveled together for a North Face training weekend for work and got stuck in the longest traffic jam in history (OK I exaggerate there, but it turned into an epic journey!) Rebecca and Michael have kindled their mutual love of the outdoors, challenges and adventure in each other and have achieved many feats that lots of us can only dream of.
Having had the pleasure of getting to know Rebecca and Michael over the summer for their Sunset Session engagement shoot, where we walked for a couple of great hours around one of their favourite haunts - Langsett Reservoir, the setting of many a day out together and close by to lots of happy memories - I already knew a little of Michael and Rebecca's plans and some of their story together.
These two found the time to meet with me for a pre-wedding consultation in Hebden Bridge, where we had a chance to go through the finer details of their wedding plans, I knew that they had a hands-on approach to their wedding and had been making much of the decor themselves, it transpired that both of their families also had a big hand in their plans, and close friends were woven into their wedding day plans.
It was to be a special and very personal day.
Michael and Rebecca planned to get married at Rebecca's family church in Silkstone Common, where 3 generations of women from Rebecca's family have now been married.
The morning of their wedding found us in 2 places at once, capturing both bride and groom prep - something that I love to be able to offer, the telling of the full tale from start to finish.
As a natural wedding photographer, I'm quite accustomed to laid-back brides and Rebecca must have been the most calm I have met yet. If she was feeling wedding-day nerves they certainly weren't showing.
Set to the backdrop of Rebecca's father playing the piano, shoes were fastened, her hand made wedding dress was slipped into - made by Rebecca's sister Beth- and flowers were unwrapped, everyone ready to step out into the autumn afternoon.
Silkstone Common Methodist Church is so close to home that the bridal party planned to walk to the ceremony. Rebecca scooped up her dress, dad got the bouquet and off we all went!
In her family church full of friendly faces, Rebecca walked to meet Michael and his best men at the altar.
Their full church wedding ceremony flowed beautifully with a little help from family and friends - they're a very musical group! After readings and belting songs the newly married Michael and Rebecca left church to cheers and met their guests for hugs with gusto.
To Oulton Hall, and a greeting of homemade cakes and biscuits, it's a hungry business getting married!
Didn't I say that family and friends were involved! Between the sisters they had baked up a storm and the perfect wedding cake was home made too - by Becca's sister Sarah.
50 fun and fancy-free photographs of a big, beautiful wedding at Oulton Hall
The Repton Lounge, the perfect size for this wedding as it's made for up to 70 guests, looked beautiful. Ceiling height windows filled the room with all of the warmth and light of the day, doors open into the grounds where paths meander and a grand fountain takes centre stage.
Guests toasted and ate cake to a backdrop of well known songs played beautifully by string group Trio Vivo, who played right through the afternoon.
The decadent room, whose walls hang with portraits, was full of laughter, as Rebecca and Michael had thought to add 2 child size tipis and lots of fancy dress choices and games - no adults allowed, unless of course you're the bride!
After wandering away for a quick 5 minutes for photographs alone, these two made their entrance as the new Mr and Mrs Shepherd, announced into the by the father of the groom.
No wedding is complete without rib-tickling speeches, well, these guys know a thing or two about crowd pleasing! I'll let the photos do the talking.
As the evening wound on, guests spilled out into the Great Hall and Orangery, enjoying the cosy evening in comfortable sofas around the shared spaces at Oulton Hall. The Repton Lounge was transformed by the Hall's seamless team of staff into a dancefloor against the backdrop of Love Letters.
Rebecca and Michael opened up the dancing and were soon joined by the whole party, dancing into the night. With lots of guests staying in the many rooms that Oulton Hall has to offer, the relaxed evening was one of catching up, dancing and drinks with great friends, and pyjamas on the dance floor for one very special guest!
A very big thank you goes to Rebecca and Michael for asking me to be their wedding photographer, I have relished getting to know them, hearing about their plans throughout the lead up to their wedding and, of course, capturing their big day. I hope that their collection gives them happiness for many years to come.
To everyone who helped to make their day so perfect - THANK YOU! And to my partner in crime (I do mean photography!) I couldn't have done it without you.
·Caterers: Oulton Hall and Rebecca’s sisters Sarah and Beth for cake bites at Drinks Reception.
·Wedding car: Michael's parents
·Decorations & centrepieces: Rebecca and Michael's own fair hands! & Something Lovely
·Flowers: Tulip http://www.tulipflowershop.co.uk
·Cake: Sarah Tartaglia
·Ceremony Music: Daniel Smith, Jonny Laidler & Dom Tartaglia
·Wedding ceremony reading:Michaela Brown
·Music: Trio Vivo
·DJ: Chris from Jam Entertainment
·Brides Dress: Beth Laidler
·Suits: Moss Bros