I first met Sam and Kat one November evening in a quiet little pub near Elland. We had a drink and a chat about what they were looking for and it sounded perfectly suited to my style, so I was thrilled when they decided to book me.
Fast forward a few months and I had the pleasure of witnessing their love and admiration for each other when we met for their pre-wedding session. If you haven’t already seen my blog from their shoot at Fountains Abbey, then you should definitely take a look before scrolling on. Getting to know them more whilst on that day made me excited for what I knew was going to be an amazing wedding. As a result, I’ve had the hardest time narrowing down their gallery for this post. I genuinely have too many favourites from their day so apologies in advance for the slight overshare!
Getting Ready – Gomersal Park Hotel
Preparations for both bride and groom took place at Gomersal Park Hotel, right around the corner from their venue. This meant that I got to spend time with both parties (once I’d figured out a way through the maze of corridors) and see how they were getting on. At least with their rooms being so far apart I knew there would be slim chance of them bumping into each other!
Everyone was very relaxed whilst getting ready and that made for a great atmosphere, just what you need first thing in a morning – alongside a glass of Prosecco and orange juice of course. Kat opted for a classy ‘up-do’, natural glowing make up and gold jewellery to match her stunning engagement ring. Once ready, she was helped into her dress by her mum and bridesmaids before heading over to Oakwell Hall.
Oakwell Hall Ceremony
Oakwell Hall is a 16th Century Manor House nestled within a 100 acre country park in Birstall just outside of Leeds, West Yorkshire. The surrounding landscape is a popular walking spot, for the two-legged and four-legged alike. The Hall itself is open to the public from 12pm every day and is famed for its connection to Charlotte Bronte – Oakwell was the inspiration for ‘Fieldhead’ in the novel Shirley.
The ceremony took place in the Great Hall, a room steeped in history and full of character with its stone floor, original oak panelling and feature window spanning the length of the room. Sam’s face lit up the second his bride entered the room and as they exchanged their vows in front of family and friends Kat had to take a moment to compose herself from a fit of the giggles!
After the ceremony and the amazing confetti throw, all the guests gathered in the grounds to the rear of the house to enjoy a few canapés and drinks in the unexpectedly hot summer sun.
Oakwell Barn Wedding Reception
Adjacent to the Manor House is Oakwell’s lovingly restored 19th century stone barn. The barn has a warm and cosy feel, whilst still being full of light and having more than enough space to entertain guests. Oakwell Barn is also licensed for ceremonies which makes it the perfect venue to host a wedding.
Kat and Sam made their own stunning table centre pieces, each named after a place close to their hearts (you can spot Fountains Abbey on the top table). When everyone had had their fill of food it was time for the happy couple and best man Marcello to make their speeches. The highlight of this for me was Sam’s story about how, when Kat’s nose was cold one day, she said she would never marry him unless he could provide a way to keep her warm… well he didn’t disappoint! Sam had fashioned a knitted nose warmer especially for the occasion in order to prove his worth and it went down a storm.
Dinner and speeches were followed by an evening with a classic pub quiz and lots of outdoor games – because what is a wedding without giant jenga, beer pong and game of cards against humanity?!
Whilst everyone else was being kept busy, I whisked Sam and Kat away for a stroll around the hall gardens. It was lovely to step away from all the excitement for a moment and allow them to be alone together and reflect on their day so far. I can’t stress enough how important it is to set aside 15 minutes from your day, whenever it may be, for private photographs. I promise you won’t regret it, and you’ll more than likely be thankful for the brief moment of peace!
On their return Sam and Kat took to the floor for their first dance surrounded by family and friends. Unbeknown to Kat, Sam had prepared a little solo just for her. As the dance was coming to an end, he was handed his trumpet through the crowd and began to play much to everyone’s surprise and joy. He was then joined by on the dance floor as they kicked off the evening party with an epic brass band set.
I loved being part of their beautiful celebration and I wish them a lifetime of laughter and happiness together!
HAIR // Charlotte Laverty Hair
MAKEUP // Leanne Smoult Make-up Artist
FLOWERS // Daisy Hoban Florist
WEDDING RINGS // JADE Jewellers
EARRINGS // Ivory & Co
SHOES // Dorothy Perkins
VENUE // Oakwell Hall + Barn
CAKE // Cow and Cake
CATERING // The Outside Kitchen
BAND // Back Chat Brass