March 6th, 2018 | Julia Braime
If natural, beautiful and effortlessly elegant wedding images get your vote you’re going to want to read on, as this afternoon we’re delighted to be catching up with our fabulous Yorkshire-based Sponsor Lloyd-Clarke Wedding Photography.
Now you regular readers may well recall one half of this talented duo being mentioned on the blog before – the lovely Bethany Clarke whose gorgeous images we have featured numerous times begore. However, due to popular demand for increased coverage by two photographers, Bethany has rebranded the business to reflect that both she and her equally skilful partner Matthew Lloyd are available to cover couples’ weddings.
Both are award-winning photojournalists that love nothing more than documenting the beauty of a wedding as it unravels, enabling them to tell the full story of the day through gorgeous imagery. But don’t just take our word for it, read on to view more of their stunning photography, and if you like what you see, be sure to take note that Bethany and Matthew are kindly offering a free engagement portrait shoot and 10% off any of their packages for Brides Up North readers. A-ma-zing!
How would you describe your style of photography and the approach you take to capturing a big day?
bethany says: Our style is documentary, capturing and revealing a story spontaneously as it unfolds. There is a huge difference between posed photographs, which can drain all sense of excitement and spontaneity, and those that show the natural fun, exuberance and affection displayed on a wedding day. Many clients compliment us on being unobtrusive. We give a little direction when needed, then melt into the background, so we can record wonderful moments without interfering. We are both award-winning photojournalists and our approach is to document a wedding with beautiful, memorable images which surprise and delight people because they were unaware they were being taken.
What is it that you love most about your job?
We love to be part of peoples’ very special day. Every wedding is unique, and it is a privilege to share in such an exciting, life-changing experience. Witnessing all the private, tender and amusing moments that families, friends and other relations share at weddings, and capturing them forever, is a huge responsibility that we thrive on. Over the years people can lose contact and memories fade but our images will be there forever.
You have just rebranded your business – can you tell us what has changed and how the rebrand helps to reflect your style and approach?
We rebranded after moving to North Yorkshire from London and requests for two photographers, to intensify the number of viewpoints and images, increased. We have always worked together but now the company name and corporate identity reflects this. However, offering flexibility is crucial and couples can still decide if they want one or two photographers for their special day.
You’ve just launched a new website too, can you tell us a bit about it?
Our new website is easy to navigate and shows the style, quality and variety of our photography, with our prices, so people seeking a wedding photographer can make a fast decision as part of the many other arrangements for their special day. Our client testimonials fit with our documentary style and are more valuable and persuasive than anything we could say.
Your website shows that you have captured a diverse range of weddings but are there any in particular that stand out to you?
Each wedding is unique to the couple involved and we love being part of them all, although we sometimes have favourite locations or flowers. Some of the most rewarding moments can come from helping people who are worried about being photographed to disregard this, have a wonderful day and receive photos that they will love and treasure. Everyone is special in their own way and we bring this out in our photography. The biggest compliment, is when clients come back to us for baby and family photos.
Reflecting on 2017, what would you say were your biggest highlights?
Our work is a journey for us in the same way that couples are starting a new journey when they marry. There were many highlights for us in 2017, including the lovely reviews and thank you cards from delighted couples. Our enthusiasm about our approach means that we also have images that we love, photos that give us goose bumps when we edit them and ones we want to hang on our own walls. However, hearing about couple’s favourite shots is always the most rewarding aspect of our work.
What area do you cover?
We regularly cover Yorkshire, the Lake District, Cumbria and Northumberland, but are happy to travel and demand for our approach means that we have have carried out wedding photography as far away as the Channel Islands and Europe.
November 8th, 2017 | Aislinn Thompson
The moment a father glimpses his baby girl in her wedding dress about to embark on the biggest day of her life is particularly special – perhaps it’s only at this moment that he realises his girl is a baby no longer. For Laura, today’s featured bride, this split-second was one of her most favourite moments of the day. Tears a-plenty. Forget the details and dress, sometimes it’s these freeze-framed flashes in time that produce the strongest memories to remind us what’s really important. Love is all you need, after all.
OK, so of course we’re not really going to forget the dress or details. What do you take us for? We can’t get enough of those special touches that make your weddings all about you, and Laura and Tom certainly didn’t disappoint with their endless metres of handmade hessian bunting – some featuring photographs of friends and family, homebrewed gin to tickle the guests’ taste buds, romantic quotes to inspire the guests during dinner, and a roulette table for those who like to take a gamble – and where else would you be invited to ‘pimp your prosecco’? Don’t mind if I do!
With images by Brides Up North Sponsor, Bethany Clarke Wedding Photography.
laura says: The day we got engaged, Tom and I were moving into our new home. I was making Tom do the obligatory selfie outside the sold sign and, next thing I knew, he was down on one knee outside our dream home with the most perfect engagement ring asking me to marry him. Once I said “yes”, there were builders clapping and cheering from the other side of the estate!
Our wedding date was 21st July 2017. We always wanted to get married in the summer in the hope the weather would be good. A friend of a friend raved about their wedding at The Coniston Hotel, in Skipton, and, when we compared it to three other venues, we both loved how “us” The Coniston was; it felt so relaxed and romantic and we loved how the wedding area felt very private from the rest of the hotel. The views over the lake are incredible, so we knew (whatever the weather!) that wedding pictures by the lake would be amazing.
The Coniston was everything we wanted in a venue; everything we asked Sophie and Sharon, the wedding co-ordinators, to do was never too much trouble; they really seemed to understand what type of wedding we wanted. Everything went perfectly on the day and that was largely down to Sophie co-ordinating every aspect. We were never without a drink in our hands and all our guests felt so very well looked after. We couldn’t recommend The Coniston enough.
We didn’t have a specific theme for the day – more of a vintage style. We love the look of lace and hessian together – we’d used these materials for our save the date and wedding invitations – and we included some pastel peach colours to complement the look. We also had an inordinate amount of hessian bunting! Tom’s mum is extremely crafty and wonderful at bringing ideas to life; she made a very impressive 180m of bunting: 120m of it were incorporated into the ceiling drapes in the wedding breakfast room and the rest were dotted around the venue with lovely hand-painted lettering. We also had quite a lot of wood involved, with wooden slices for the table decorations and wooden stands for scented candles throughout the venue.
For my dress, I visited Ava Rose Hamilton in Silsden, and instantly knew I wanted to get my dress from there; it’s so beautiful inside the shop and all the girls working there are great. I tried on a Justin Alexander dress that I just knew was perfect: Bardot-style with beautiful beading, nipped in at the waist with a very floaty skirt and long train. It sounds really clichêd but I knew when I tried it on it was the dress I wanted to marry Tom in.
March 28th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh
When mathematicians Aaron and Katie decided to get hitched, their love of all things numeric found their way into their planning; from the Venn diagrams on their Save the Dates, to infinity symbols on their stationery.
And what a day it was, with nods to Katie’s Scottish heritage in the gorgeous blooms, Jimmy Choo heels and a menu that’s guaranteed to make you drool rather inelegantly over your keyboard. We’re sorry (not sorry).
With photography by Brides Up North Sponsor Bethany Clarke Wedding Photography
katie says: Aaron and I got engaged in May 2014. Aaron and I had planned a long weekend away in Northumberland as a treat, and we spent one day in a beautiful fishing village called Craster. We were walking around a totally deserted castle, taking in the beautiful views when he dropped to one knee and said “I have something else I want to ask you”. In all honesty, it was a complete shock. He spent a good minute getting a wet knee, assuring me he was serious, he‘d asked my dad, and that he was taking me to buy a ring the following weekend. Of course, I said yes!
We got married on 10th September 2016 at Rise Hall in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Rise Hall was suggested to us by a friend, and it got pushed down the list due to the distance from Leeds. However, the minute (and I mean the actual minute) we walked into Rise Hall and were greeted by Helen (the lady of the house) we just knew it was everything we wanted.
We were able to have exactly the type of wedding we wanted at Rise Hall – you have the venue from Friday until Sunday. We had our family and wedding party join us for an informal meal on the Friday night, which was wonderful.
Our blessing took place at All Saints Church, about half-a-mile down the lane from the Hall and was overseen by Rev Andy Simpson, the vespa-driving, guitar-playing vicar. We had countless compliments about Andy; he really and truly made our blessing one of the best parts of the day.
We didn’t have a theme for our wedding – instead, we had lots of things that mean a lot to us. The flowers in the bouquets, the boys’ buttonholes and the ladies’ corsages had thistles in them and they were tied together with tartan ribbon to reflect the fact that I was born and grew up in Scotland. Aaron has supported Middlesbrough Football Club since he was tiny, so our table names were a selection of his favourite Middlesbrough players. We also both studied Maths at university, so our save the dates were Venn-diagrams, and our invites and other stationery were embossed with an infinity symbol.
I chose a Jenny Packham gown called Lilya, which I bought from Ava Rose Hamilton in Silsden. As soon as we got engaged, so many people said “Oh, I can just see you in a Jenny Packham gown!” However, I refused to try them on as they were way out of my price range. I tried on quite a few gowns, and there were definitely a few that I could have happily got married in. As luck would have it, though, Ava Rose were having a sample sale on their Jenny Packham dresses, so I went along (first in the queue with two of my friends). Lilya was the first one I tried on and I loved it so much. However, I definitely didn’t have that ‘this is the one’ moment that everyone talks about – I spent a good hour taking it off and on again while deciding. Eventually I bought it, and also went for a long cream veil. My shoes were Jimmy Choo Langs, in steel grey glitter. My dress had a slit up the front, so I knew they’d also be on show!
On the morning of the wedding, Aaron sent a beautiful bottle of champagne to my room, along with a Tiffany infinity bracelet he’d bought as a wedding present.
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May 6th, 2016 | Julia Braime
Happy Fri-yay to one and all! To get your weekend off to a truly stunning start, we’re sharing the beautifully elegant wedding day of Yorkshire girl Diana and her beau Andy.
After falling in love with the grandeur and charm of Broughton Hall in North Yorkshire, today’s bride and groom planned their relaxed and timeless wedding in just five-and-a-half months (impressive, right?).
Leaving the venue to do the talking, Diana concentrated on selecting simple floral decorations with memorable scents, including romantic rosemary and lavender. And to make herself stand out – a bespoke lace gown and Chanel shoes. Girl, we salute you!
With images by Bethany Clarke Wedding Photography.
diana says: We got engaged on 31st October 2014. Andy surprised me with a trip to Tuscany, Italy for a long weekend. We drove south to Grosetto, an area we had been to and loved before. Andy planned to go to our favourite beach for a picnic lunch before checking into our hotel.
It was quiet, with a few Italians sunbathing in their speedos! Andy got tomato juice over his hands so walked the few paces to the sea to wash his hands. Looking up, I found him flailing his arms around holding a now wet iPhone looking for something. I went to him and was told to help him look for something, something he had just dropped out of his top pocket. I immediately started sifting through sand in the shallows, asking him what exactly I was looking for. “A ring, he said. A special ring!” We looked for a long time not saying much, until I realised it was fruitless and we were both in soaking wet clothes. We went back to our patch of beach and I guess I was in shock as I had my hands over my eyes. Not knowing whether to laugh or cry, not knowing if that was a proposal or not. Until I turned to find Andy down on one knee asking me to be his wife, holding a box with a diamond in it. I didn’t hesitate with my answer. It was magical. Thinking he had made the whole previous couple of hours up and wondering how I never knew he was such a good actor. It turned out he had bought a proposal ring by one of my favourite designers, Poppy Dandiya, which he had dropped in the sea, which we continued to look for and never found. But thankfully he didn’t lose the diamond and we designed my ring together back in London after spending the most wonderful few days in Tuscany.
We set the date for 13th August 2015. We wanted to get married straight away and once we had decided on our venue, it was the only date left that year, so we went with it!
Our wedding ceremony was at All Saints Church Broughton with Elslack, which was followed by a wedding breakfast at Broughton Hall, Skipton, North Yorkshire. The evening reception was then held at Utopia on The Broughton Hall Estate.
It was the first venue we looked at and we fell in love with it. At first it wasn’t possible as there were no dates available. We returned to look at venues in Italy, but as a Yorkshire girl I really wanted to get married at Broughton Hall. Luckily a date came available and we were very happy it did. It was our perfect venue. We were able to be on the estate for five days and the owners and staff made it feel like it was our home for the week.
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March 25th, 2016 | Julia Braime
As keen jet-setters today’s bride and groom decided on a subtle travel theme for their fabulous big day, which was held at a stunning hotel in The Lake District.
We love the romantic pink and white colour palette and simple, elegant blooms, but most of all we love Lauren’s dress! Not many brides choose a halter neck design but this bride shows how to pull off the look perfectly.
With images by Bethany Clarke Wedding Photography.
lauren says: We got engaged while in The Maldives. James had arranged for us to stay the entire holiday in a private house on the beach. One day, after another very relaxing afternoon of snorkelling and relaxing, we went back to the villa to shower and get ready for dinner. He shouted me from the balcony, “Loz! Come and see all the crabs on the sand! There are loads of them!” I quickly wrapped my hair in a towel and ran out to see. I looked at the sand and couldn’t see any crabs. I was confused for a few seconds. Then I read the huge letters, “marry us or wha’?” in the sand; a very funny Teesside proposal!
I immediately cried my eyes out and whipped around to see him on one knee, with the most beautiful engagement ring. It was so personal and so very ‘us’. We’ve not lived in Teesside for years (we now live in Leeds) but often mock each other in that unmistakable accent. The proposal felt so romantic and so very intimate, along with James’s amazing sense of humour. It was utterly perfect.
Our wedding was on 30th August 2015. We chose it for practical and sentimental reasons too. We wanted a date where decent weather was most likely, and the end of the summer tends to be when it’s at its best. The end of summer has always been significant for us though as it’s when we had our first date, when we moved to Leeds, into our first house together. The fact it fell on a Bank Holiday meant our friends wouldn’t have to take time off on the Monday sealed the deal for us!
We married at Linthwaite House Hotel, in Windermere. I’d taken James there for an anniversary, years ago. I’d never visited before then but had read incredible reviews of the food. We love our food and wine so it made sense to take him there – and we weren’t disappointed. When it came to selecting a wedding venue, we’d looked around the Lake District but nothing came close to the standard of Linthwaite, both in terms of food, service, setting and décor. We wanted an intimate wedding, where quality was more important than quantity, and that’s exactly what we got.
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