A Blagdon Parlour Wedding: Helen and Darren
All of my blogs lately seem to have started with "Well this wedding was originally booked for..." And that's no different for Helen and Darren's wedding at The Parlour at Blagdon. After the original wedding had to be rearranged owing to the Covid-19 Pandemic, it was a relief to finally get back to Newcastle to shoot their wedding....albeit a year later than planned. Having never shot a Blagdon Parlour Wedding before I was itching to get on site and capture the day. And I wasn't to be disappointed.
On Valentine's Weekend I headed up to my native North East. Over recent weeks the North East had been absolutely battered by storms and we were due another one this weekend. I've shot in all sorts of weather and stormy, wet and windy weather is a particular challenge but one that I love. I've shot in the middle of Storm Frank once and was easily the worst conditions I'd shot in. The forecasters were predicting something similar. However, despite the breezy weather, the rain stayed away.
The Parlour is a gorgeous little venue set around a gorgeous garden and courtyard. There's four main buildings. The Hall, the bar, and two other buildings, one for the ceremonies and one for reception. In the hall, upstairs Helen was in process of getting her make up done. Bridesmaids were flitting about getting odd jobs done before getting ready themselves.
Down by the bar Darren had arrived and was putting finishing touches to the arrangements and decor. In the Parlour where the ceremony would take place, a piper was setting up ready to pipe the guests in. He'd be demonstrating a range of skills over the day. First of all were the bagpipes. He played traditional Scottish tunes as the guests took their seats before taking a seat himself at the back of the Parlour, set up some Northumbrian Pipes and as he struck up Local Hero, Helen made her way forward.
In a flash the ceremony was done and we were all back outside. It wasn't bad out there to be honest. Not too cold and the courtyard sheltered everyone from the wind. Added to that we had fire pits and gas burners keeping us all warm. As the guests enjoyed their drinks, Helen, Darren and I had a stroll about the hall and grounds getting some shots.
Once everyone was sat at their tables, the newlyweds were piped in and introduced to their guests. Toast done, there were a few speeches by Darren, his daughter and Helen's son. As is customary now, I got the full three course meal. I feel like a food critic at times when at weddings. It's safe to say, the food at The Parlour was 5*. Absolutely stunning.
With the light now dropping we got a few more shots before our friendly piper switched instrument again and began playing a saxophone....complete with lights! Playing along to dance hits, it was the perfect hook to get people up one the dance floor before Helen and Darren had their first dance. After a few minutes swaying together they were joined by their kids who all danced close by.
With the dance floor now packed, I packed up and made my way off up the A1. What a superb day!! Well worth the wait.
Thank you Helen and Darren for a superb day and for the bottle of Laphroig. Much appreciated. :-)