When I first met Tamsyn and Shaun I asked them to describe their wedding at Irnham Hall and Aslackby Church in 3 words.
Their answer was 'Fun' 'Fun' 'Fun'.
They sounded like my kind of couple!
And oh my giddy Aunt did they deliver on their promise! And so did their guests... ...and even the vicar! There were grenades, 7ft dinosaurs, glow sticks, Champagne spraying, synchronised umbrella throwing, vicar throwing (kinda) and Peaky Blinders... ...but more on all that later.
Why it's so great to take wedding photos at Irnham Hall?
One of my photographer friends had told me Irnham Hall was his favourite wedding venue.
Now I understand why.
First and foremost, the owners of this stunning property are fantastic. Jamie and Leila are incredibly warm, kind, helpful and relaxed. They communicated brilliantly throughout the whole process and even helped arrange the confetti shots and prepared an extra large step ladder for me. They even let us take a quick shot in the privacy of their home in a room that looks like it's from the set of Downton Abbey. Weddings are ultimately about people and Jamie and Leila's helpful and kind approach will enhance the atmosphere of any wedding.
Irnham Hall is utterly jaw-dropping. It was built in 1380 and has barely changed since 1510. It has a weight of history and sumptuousness that gives it the feel of a royal palace. The grounds have plenty of photo opportunities too. There's a rope swing that hangs from an ancient tree, a lake, a meadow and a hay barn. It was like photography Disneyland!
So what made this such a fun wedding?
Well let's start with the vicar at Aslackby Church. He is without doubt the sweetest vicar on the planet! When the groomsmen asked if they could pick him up for a photograph he said 'I've got two words for you!'...."Why not!?" What a star! I can't take credit for that photo though - my awesome and lovely second shooter Ashley Swift took it (and I'm very jealous!).
During the ceremony the rings were dropped twice; firstly by the best man (Shaun's brother) and then by the vicar immediately afterwards. Some couples may have got annoyed, but it's a credit to Shaun and Tamsyn that they just laughed it off. It's those little bumps in the road that make the story of the wedding and make the day even more memorable in years to come.
And then for some reason Shaun and Tamsyn had a brain fart and did a two-cheeked French kiss as their first kiss. Of course our star vicar wasn't having that - that's how friends greet each other - so he got them to kiss again, properly!
Back at Irnham hall the laughs continued.... As Shaun and Tamsyn reached the end of the confetti line two of the groomsmen ran around like lunatics with smoke grenades.
The group photographs followed and it was my turn to add some entertainment to the day. I took out a couple of bottles of Prosecco that I'd brought along. The first one was used as a prize for whoever screamed the loudest and went the most bonkers during the big group photograph (although we did take a more traditional one beforehand!). The second bottle was used to spray around by the bridesmaids and groomsmen, Formula 1 style!
I then got out my white, vintage umbrellas to capture the bridesmaids (and bridesman) throwing them in the air as it always creates a great image.
Shaun's dad then nicked my loudhailer and started entertaining everyone with some songs.
The speeches had it all. Tears of laughter and sadness and joy. What was said is private, but the photographs show the genuine emotion.
It was then onto some party games. Guests had to do everything from reciting tongue twisters on the microphone to downing glasses of wine. I even captured Granddad wearing some goggly-eyed spectacles.
The laughter momentarily gave way for a romantic first dance that was beautifully lit.
It was then onto their band M&M who rocked it and had everyone throwing limbs, including me.
After 10am the glow sticks came out as everyone danced to some old-school rave tunes. Officially I was already due to have finished, but I decided to stick around and carve up the dance floor with the guests. Tamsyn and Shaun's thank you card even included a message about how 'our mates love your dance moves!'
I was glad I stayed because one of the groomsmen hit the dance floor dressed as a 7 foot Tyrannosaurus Rex!
Godzilla and Bridezilla together at last! Only joking Tam - you know I love you!! ;-)
Unsurprisingly Shaun and Tamsyn's wedding has been picked up by a couple of magazines and it was an honour to be part of their day.
Below are a few favourites out of the 500 I gave them. If this kind of fun vibe is what you'd like at your wedding then I'd love to hear from you. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and my mobile is 0792 358 3658.
Finally I'd like to mention some of the other wedding suppliers who all made this a very special day:
Venue: Irnham Hall
My awesome second photographer who did the groomsmen in the morning: Ashley Swift (website pending)
Bridal Store: Blush Bridal
Florist: The Botanical Flower Studio