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  • Writer's pictureFiona Bielby

Fun, Fabulous and Flamboyant, Lydia and Liam's Wedding at the Gamekeeper's Inn at Grassington.

Updated: Jul 17, 2020

Fun, yes, fabulous, yes (the Bride is nothing but) and Flamboyant? YES!! Oh, my, days...The party at Lydia and Liam's wedding was mental! Good mental of course, I'll reveal why and how later. Honestly though, I was particularly excited about this wedding after spending the past 3 years working closely with Lydia at Malton Primary, I'd heard about all the details 1st hand and had been closely involved with certain aspects from the beginning of this couples wedding planning journey...

Bride and Groom
My beautiful friend and her new husband, capturing their portrait session for them was really special!

Bride and Groom looking out.
Here they are taking a moment together, just watching the birds on the pond.

Details shot of bouquet
Details!! Flowers, dress and suite, Love, Love, Love!

Just sharing a moment!

Bride and groom

The all time big question...How did they choose their venue?

It was suggested to Lydia by her friend who had seen pictures of it on Instagram. I remember her telling me the story of her first visit very clearly, we laughed a lot as Lydia made it sound like an old people's home! When she went to visit first of all Lydia was with her mum. It was an hour away from where Liam and Lydia lived so she wasn’t sure it was right for them as she was concerned about their guests having to travel so far, because of this, she actually didn’t invite Liam. When she pulled up outside she realised straight away it was a caravan/ chalet park and even thought about turning straight back to a local pub they'd seen for lunch instead of looking around. It was her Mum who convinced her to give it a go... When they went inside they met Angela, Lydia warmed to her right away, she was so lovely- really organised and talkative. She showed them around and to Lydia's surprise, the hall was beautiful! She also showed them the rooms their families could stay in, the ground and a pond nearby. Everything was beautifully simple. She thought then it could be the venue for them but there were 2 things she wanted to check:

1. That I would be able to get some lovely groups photos without caravans in the backgrounds.

2. That the food was really good as that was extremely important to them.

So for Lydia's second visit we went together and really, I couldn’t understand what she was so worried about, I didn't even see any old people and the caravans could be hidden easily, especially as we knew the foliage would have grown up by August. So

Liam and Lydia visited together on their ‘one year to go’ with their parents. They sampled the menu and everything was delicious. The deal was sealed!

I can vouch for this I ate there twice and was very impressed.

Colour scheme – who chose it and the influence behind it?

We didn’t really have a colour scheme as such! We just tried to tie in a few key things. The bridesmaid's dresses were pale/ dusty blue so I chose a few decorations to match. My step mum made some blue beaded birds to hand and my mum put blue on the cake. The invitations and other stationary were cream with lots of green leaves and plants. I made sure our bouquets and button holes were green with some pale pinks in too – just because I liked the flowers!

Did it live up to their expectations?

"Absolutely. Having people around you who are calm and prepared but also understanding that you may be stressed/ worried was invaluable. She answered emails quickly and efficiently. She had a folder so when we visited she had all of our emails and requests together in one place. We felt really well looked after. On the day she was really calm, came and visited both of us in the morning and wished us well. She popped in at different parts of the day to check how we were, made sure we always had drinks etc."

Groom AND his best man.
Waiting excitedly for his Bride!

Bridesmaids walking down the aisle.
Two of the bridesmaids, just before Lydia and her Dad appeared.

The bride and her dad
Here she is, with her proud Dad on her arm.

The first sight
The moment Liam sees Lydia!

A nervous giggle
I love a happy, smiling couple in front of all of their guests.

Holding hands
Details, those little touches, not everyone gets to see.

The vows
Saying their I dos...

The exchange of rings
The exchange of rings

Mothers of the couples.
There were lots, but one of them group shots Lydia was worried about capturing nicely.

What’s your favourite memory?

After the ceremony we walked out to bagpipes and confetti. We hadn’t 100% planned what it would be like, just that a friend would play the bagpipes and the bridesmaids would hand out confetti. That was the first time we properly saw everyone who had come! And the afterwards we could mingle and chat. I felt calm as I was now married! I felt like nothing could go wrong and I could just enjoy my day.

Confetti shot!
The moment Lydia knew everything would be fine and nothing could go wrong, she was now Mrs O'Connor.

What’s Liam’s fondest moment?

Just as I sat down after finishing my speech. I was so nervous beforehand; it was always in the back of my mind. Even as everyone was mingling outside and chatting, I was just running my speech over in my head. However, as soon as I sat down after finishing it was almost as if the day started then for me, all the pressure and anxiety left me and I could really enjoy myself. We originally planned on having the speeches after the meal, I’m so glad we changed them to before otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the food at all.

When it was nearly over for Liam and he could put the speech behind him, relax and enjoy the food.
Sloe Gin Shots!

Is there anything you felt went really well?

We really took advantage of having such kind and thoughtful friends. Some friends made our invitations, some played music/ sung for us! Family made decorations; my mum made the cake. Other friends did beautiful readings and did our photography. We really felt so lucky to have everyone around us; and it helped our friends were so talented!

Advice to couples who are planning...

We got to a stage around 6 months before the wedding where we had enough key things in place to calm us. 6 months to go and we were saying ‘if we do nothing else the day will still go ahead and be lovely’. It was good to know that everything we did was just extra and not essential.

LAce dress
The bottom of Lydia's dress was stunning. I can't believe it was a highstreet purchase!

When you know your beautician well you can relax and enjoy getting ready.
Watch fondly
Liam's Mum watch her daughter-in-law to be fondly, as she got ready to walk down the aisle.
Bridesmaids chilling and laughing as everyone's getting ready.
Final touches
Final touches by the MUA
Chill time.
Not many brides I know have time to sit and chill on the morning of their wedding day, I put this down to Lydia's teacher head and always been organised!
Group shot.
Mother of the bride with all the bridesmaids, who she's watched grow from children in to lovely ladies!
Dutch courage for Liam.
Getting ready
Getting all sorted, ready to meet and greet the guests.
Groom's prep
Oh my goodness, watching the groomsmen fitting their flowers is always amusing!
Lighting their cigars!
Time for a cigar to help settle them nerves!
Groom's prep
Liam, all suited and booted a looking rather dapper.
Groom's prep
What fun we had trying to get everyone blowing smoke at the same time, it still didn't work out, how much Whisky had they had??
The details
Mum helping Lydia in to her dress.
A reaction shot, as Lydia walked in to the room for the first time!
Emily and Sarah definitely have the most dramatic reactions! Love it.
Father's reaction.
Now it's Dad's turn, despite the fact we'd had to bundle Lydia back inside, so he didn't she her by accident!
Father and daughter.
His face says it all, you'll never get this moment back Lydia, but at least you can treasure it in an image.
Walking to the ceremony.
And they're off...
Waiting for his bride.
Excited!? Yes!! Liam didn't appear nervous at all.

Anything you wish you’d done differently?

Yes! We made a snack table for guests to nibble but put it inside as we were worried about flies. It was barely touched as it was such a lovely day everyone was outside!

snack table
The snack table was a great addition, but we only found it at the end of the day like Lydia said. But having savoury snacks as well as sweet stuff was a super thought.
Donut if I do!
These came out later as everyone started to get peckish again!

Because I was there literally to the death of the party, I was there to capture all the epic dance moves too...The Bride and Groom about lifted the roof!

Thanks for reading, if you're looking for a calm and relaxed wedding photographer please check out my portfolio and prices, I'll willingly travel too.

For more tips on DIY weddings and ways to keep them eco friendly, check out this awesome blog I found the John put together!

Venue: The Gamekeepers Inn, Grassington.

Photography: Anoif Photography.

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