New Year Woodhill Hall Wedding - Jodie and Kyle
There's no rest for the wicked. No sooner had the chimes of Big Ben died down than I was back into the swing of things with weddings. Woodhill Hall was where I began post lockdown wedding life in 2021 and it's where I start 2022. It is a venue where I feel at home. After all I've been shooting there since early 2012. And it's changed so much since then. Today we'd see it in all it's glory; The Teepee, The Orangery and the Chapel. And here in this remote spot of Northumberland, on a weirdly warm day, we gathered to witness Jodie and Kyle's Woodhill Hall wedding. What a day!!
I knew I was going to be in familiar company for the wedding. I'd known Louisa for years having exhibited next to Louisa for several years at Wedding Shows and became good friends. Recommendations were bounced back and forth and it was through Louisa I was asked to fly overseas for the first time to shoot a Destination Wedding. Tosh and Rhonda's wedding was superb. A lot warmer than this January day. And one of the first people I saw when I got to Jodie and Kyle's wedding was Tosh and Rhonda. Louisa dropped me a line in 2021 "Our Kyle's getting married at Woodhill. Are you available??" I was and jumped at it.
On the day it was warm and sunny with a bit of a breeze. We'd just had the warmest New Year on record. Just as well as I'd forgotten my coat!! I arrived at the hall and it was busy with people getting the Orangery ready for the wedding breakfast, the Teepee for the evening fun and people getting shirts ironed. However there is always a very relaxed atmosphere there. I had a few hours to spare before the ceremony meaning I could take my time and capture the details before the guests arrived.
In Bessie's Room, Jodie was getting her hair done. Kisstory was on pumping tunes out, bridesmaids sipped bubbly and Stuart the videographer was capturing it as it happened. I'd never worked with Stuart before but it became quickly apparent that we'd get on and work well together. We had similar approaches so as the day went on we just bounced ideas off each other. It's great when that happens.
Kyle was by now in the Chapel and guests were taking their seats. Kyle was chatting to his dad and nervously cracking jokes. Every so often he turned to the front, rubbed his hands and puffed his cheeks out as he let out a big exhalation of breath. By now Jodie was ready, in her dress and good to go! Her bridesmaids swooned over her, checked her over and wished her good luck with hugs and kisses.
In the Chapel the music started and one by one the bridesmaids entered followed by Jodie. Now, over the years I've witnessed people getting names wrong in the vows. No, not like Ross on Friends. The celebrants. Aaaaaaaand today was no different. "I Kodie......." Blank faces all around. Who's Kodie? Luckily we had registrars/celebrants with a sense of humour today who laughed it off. That got rid of the nerves.
With the ceremony done, Stuart and I gathered everyone together outside for a confetti shot and everyone went nuts when the newlyweds came out of the Chapel and up the steps to the terrace out the front of the hall. This was a massive confetti bomb!!!
The wind was picking up a bit but otherwise the sun shined and it remained mild. However due to the wind we cut our time doing photos short to enable Jodie and Kyle to get back inside to the drinks reception.
With everyone sat in the Orangery, we had the speeches. OMG.....not a dry eye. These were emotional. I'd witnessed Kyle's dad deliver a speech in Spain.....or try to. Back then he was an emotional wreck. Today everyone delivering speeches and everyone listening were in pieces. I'm just glad I get to hide behind the camera to hide my tears!
So there they all were letting their dinner go down when one of the waiters announced that he'd started working there that day and it's traditional for the newbie to make a toast. Which he did. And then he started singing. And then so did another waiter. Yup....we had Singing Waiters. After the initial "WTF" moment everyone went nuts. All up on their feet singing their hearts out. And we even had a dance off and conga line. Half an hour of brilliant chaos and fun.
By now the sun had set and it was dark outside so it was time to get out with the lamps and have a bit of fun. We spent some time in the Chapel chatting and grabbing some photos before heading to the teepee to prep for the evening do. The guests filtered in and Jodie and Kyle were ushered to the dance floor. Slowly swaying they chatted to each other watched on by their loved ones before being joined by everyone.
With that done it should have been time for me to go home. But something was up. It wasn't the usual post first dance vibe. The happy couple was sat down on the edge of the dance floor and music from The Greatest Showman started. What was going on??? One by one a group of the wedding party entered the dance floor and what followed was a full on flashmob dance routine that wouldn't have looked out of place on Strictly Come Dancing. It was amazing.
That set the night off perfectly so by the time I drove off into the night everyone was buzzing. Just a superb day and the perfect way to start 2022.