On St Patrick's Day I had the privilege of being Carlton Towers' wedding photographer for Jordan and James' intimate wedding.
Beginning our day with a scout of the venue and grounds, I was caught by the beautiful light. The building and its surroundings are captivatingly grand, and with attentive staff and full of family and friends, a very welcoming home for wedding guests. Jordan and James had visited other venues but were caught by the character and exclusive access provided at the historic property.
Carlton Towers has three sumptuous State Rooms, one leading on from the next. James and Jordan's wedding day began in the Venetian Room, the first of the trio, where guests had gathered, waiting in the opulent chamber for the arrival of the bridal party. As the State Rooms are elevated from ground level, reached by the grand entrance staircase, guests were unable to see Jordan's arrival at the front of the Towers.
The 3 state rooms create a corridor, and are interconnected by double-paneled oak doors. When Jordan was ready to make her entrance, the grand doors swung open to reveal the bridal party and they made their way to the front of the Venetian Room, where James was waiting to greet his bride.
With less than 40 guests, Carlton Towers was a beautifully decadent location for this small wedding party. The historic landmark with beautifully adorned walls, floor to ceiling windows and regal decor was a dream ceremony and reception location for the couple and their families. As a non-traditional wedding photographer I often meet couples who are having their wedding without the usual traditions and James and Jordan were planning a very personal day. An intimate wedding day suited them perfectly, surrounded by the love of their close families, they chose to have an elegant wedding at Carlton Towers.
After joining guests in a toast to their marriage, Jordan and James snuck away for a little time to enjoy all that the venue has to offer. We were allowed exclusive access to the private gardens, belonging to Lord and Lady Howard, who live at Carlton Towers, which gives a divine backdrop to a few moments alone, breathing in the experience of being newly married husband and wife.
James and Jordan were fantastic, braving a little cold air for photographs outside in the grounds, walking with us to the vineyard and venturing down to the servants' floor below the main reception rooms to capture some photographs of them alone.
As the day wound on, guests were free to use all areas of Carlton Towers, relaxing in various rooms, with snug corners to have quiet conversations and catch up with loved ones. The kids were not the only ones enjoying the magical surroundings, adults and children alike were in their element here. The history and grandeur of the place are remarkable, I cannot think of a more interesting place for a wedding day.
As a wedding photographer who travels across the whole of the UK, I regularly find myself working in new locations. Stepping into a new venue opens up vistas of new ideas, opportunities and ensures I don't fall into a pattern of repeating images or envisaging a wedding in a certain way based on the venue I am working at. The beauty of working for couples who are breaking with tradition is that no two weddings are the same. Each of my couples bring their own vision and personality to their day and I work through each wedding, paying particular attention to their individuality, relationships and priorities in order to encapsulate the essence of their wedding.
Carlton Towers was the perfect place for everyone to flock - both the bride and groom, and lots of family and friends stayed the night of the wedding, in the venue's myriad of guest rooms.
The two had chosen to have their wedding on a Sunday, St Patrick's Day too, and had invited guests to stay the night, as Jordan said - giving them a great excuse for a 3 day weekend!
It was heart warming to see these two enjoy their day with those most special to them, right into the night when they called their families to join them on the dance floor part way through their first dance.
30 Wedding Photographs at Carlton Towers Country Estate - Janet Wareing Photography