Half way up a 150 foot crag, I’m clinging to a tiny ledge with one hand, both feet perched on, well, less of a ledge, more of a minor wrinkle in the gritstone edifice of Stanage Edge. Sweat beads my brow and I can see nowhere to go from here.
“Jump!” she shouts, “there’s a ledge about 4 feet above your head!”. I see no ledge at all and contemplate what is quite literally a leap of faith. My lower body experiences an attack of ‘Elvis Leg’, an expression climbers use for when your legs get so tired they start shaking like crazy. I decide now is the time and spring upwards with all my strength. The tips of my fingers graze the invisible handhold and I am just about able to pull myself up and onwards to the top.
I was in my twenties and in the Peak District doing (what else) but trying to impress a girl. We’d met a few months before and I was smitten with the athletic blonde who rode a Kawasaki sports bike and who was dazzling company. I’d learned that rock climbing was a hobby of hers, nurtured whilst she was university in Lancaster and when she suggested visiting the Peak District for some climbing, naturally I pretended to be somewhat of an expert and agreed to go along.
Although she saw right through me, we survived the weekend. We’ve been married for over twenty years now so (at least in my own mind), I must have impressed her with my athletic ability :)
I haven’t been back to the Peak District since then (traumatised no doubt) until last weekend when I was invited to attend Becca and Steve’s wedding at Haddon Hall and the celebrations afterwards at Brosterfield Farm, north of Bakewell.
The Peak District is a beguiling warren of misty, twisty roads linking picturesque villages, dales and moors. I enjoyed the drive through the Peaks late on Friday night and found the couple, their families and friends still toiling over table decorations, floral displays and the reception decorations in a large marquee on the edge of the farm. Everything had to be just right for the wedding in the morning.
I’m always reminded of how much work goes into preparing for a wedding and the reception celebrations – so many details to consider, so many options and choices and then making them happen! When the wedding reception is held in a marquee, it’s even more special. The whole thing comes together, almost overnight, and when it’s done well, there’s a magical atmosphere to the whole place because of its temporary nature.
I started the day with Rebecca and the family at Brosterfield, documenting a little bit of the preparations. Here are just a few favourite photographs from the wedding day; the complete gallery will be uploaded soon.
If you were at the wedding, please leave a comment below! I’ll update you when all the photographs are ready for viewing.
At Brosterfield Farm, first thing on Saturday morning. A beautiful wedding dress and a daring pair of scarlet Jimmy Choos.
The arty shoe shot. I was once told by an old and grizzled photographer that if I felt a creative streak coming on, I should go and lie down until it subsides.
A glimpse of Becca’s preparations.
Yes mate, you are at the right place.
Off to the amazing Haddon Hall. Backdrop to no fewer than three screen versions of ‘Jane Eyre’.
Steve and the boys, all present and correct in good time.
The ushers and the guests arrive.
Rebecca and dad arrive at the Long Gallery.
It’s only for one day – enjoy the attention :)
Out into the beautiful grounds of Haddon Hall.
We arrive at Brosterfield and the incredible marquee wedding reception.
Rebecca and Steve’s vision was superb, so wonderfully coordinated and rich in detail. They both work for English Touring Opera and their stage and theatre experience came into good use. No effort had been spared to create this environment that was welcoming and comfortable for the wedding guests.
So much beer. So little time.
A few little detail shots of the wedding reception.
Best Man Ryan checks the speech before usher Ben kicks off the proceedings.
Alan, FOB, makes a wonderful speech to welcome the guests.
Steve does his thing – putting an unusual twist on proceedings as you’ll see.
Ryan takes the stage – he’s a good man and resisted the temptation for the traditional stitching up of the groom (well, mostly)…
One thing about an early wedding is that the afternoon is free for socialising, mingling and enjoying each others company. Becca and Steve had laid on some great activities for the guests.
Some relaxed group photography in and around the farm. It’s always a pleasure to do this as this kind of photograph can become really important in the years and decades to come.
They are a lovely couple these two, so obviously deeply in love with each other. I think Steve would rather undergo root canal treatment than be photographed and I’m grateful for his patience as we shot some portraits in the late afternoon.
I hope New York is great fun R & S, thanks again for trusting me with the job and I look forward to seeing you both when you get back.