How can I make my wedding different?

I want my wedding to be different

A couple of days ago I talked about ideas for planning a different wedding.   These were all taken from real life weddings which we have photographed and which were all ‘different’ to a lesser or greater degree.

Couples are often looking for something different on their wedding day – either for themselves or to entertain their guests.  Finding something to fit the idea of something different isn’t easy, and as photographers we are always open to different wedding ideas which are completely out of the box.

I mentioned Chris and Sue in my article, and promised a few photos from their wedding day.  Now to be honest, I don’t remember Chris and Sue ever actually saying to me that they wanted a wedding with a difference.  But as we chatted at our first meeting, it was obvious to me that this was a wedding I wanted to photograph.  Why?

  • It was in the Lake District, even better – Eskdale, tucked away from the tourists.
  • They were planning a surprise train trip on the Eskdale Valley railway for their guests after the service
  • They wanted shots on Wast Water – too far for an Eskdale wedding, but we went out the next day in full wedding regalia and got the shots
  • They were planning to zip wire on the day after the wedding, it was all part of the whole event

So, quite an unusual wedding.  And so it was that at the end of April, we found ourselves in Eskdale ready to go.

The wedding venue was The Gatehouse at Eskdale Green, an outdoors centre in a picturesque setting set back from a beautiful lake.

I was up early on the day to photograph the venue at sunrise, then drove into Eskdale and walked up the side of the valley to get a panoramic view of the scene, before dropping back into Eskdale Green to begin photographing the wedding good and proper.

What makes this a different wedding?

What I loved about Chris and Sue’s wedding is that they arranged for their guests to travel into Eskdale by coach as far as the Eskdale Railway terminus. They then either walked or caught a minibus for the last few hundred yards to St Catherine’s Church.  You have to see the location to appreciate how gorgeous it is.  Fortunately the weather was on our side that day, there was glorious sunshine all day, which just added to the occassion.

However when their guests returned to the terminus, the coaches had all left.   The guests were treated to champagne on the railway platform, and then to a trip down the valley on the Eskdale Railway.  This was all a complete surprise to everyone, and was truly something different at a wedding.

As an extra touch, Chris’ family had visited the area from when Chris was very young, and both Chris and Sue love the Lake District.  This was not just any old random church, St Catherine’s was a very personal choice for their wedding ceremony.

Something different for the day after your wedding?

Fast forward to the day after the wedding now, Chris and Sue had a master plan for their guests.  They arranged for everyone at the wedding, if they wanted to, to have a chance of zip wiring over the lake at The Gatehouse.  We’d agreed to stay and photograph the whole thing, and it seemed silly not to have a go myself.  And here’s the thing – after lunch Chris and Sue went out for a few more photos, dressed in full wedding kit.  The key shot of the day was over on the South shore of Wast Water.  If I remember correctly, this is where Chris proposed to Sue.  Amongst the photographs I took, one in particular looked North over Wast Water towards Yewbarrow, Kirk Fell and Great Gable.  They had walked the hills together previously. It is fabulous to know that just one photo carries so many stories and memories.

How can my wedding be different?

We can help you think outside the box.  We love different weddings.  Come and have an initial chat, and we’ll help you develop your ideas.  Your wedding doesn’t need to be radically different  – if the difference is in the detail, we’ll photograph the detail.  If it’s bigger than that, we’re on board and fully in support.

A different wedding in Eskdale

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An early morning photograph of The Gatehouse, Eskdale Green. Chris’ dad is having some quiet time before all the fun starts, down by the water’s edge.

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Guests heading for the coaches to take them into Eskdale for the wedding

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A panoramic view of Eskdale from the morning of the wedding

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St Catherine’s Church, Eskdale, in its beautiful surroundings

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Chris and his groomsmen on the banks of the Esk

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Sue arriving at St Catherine’s Church

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Sue, Chris and their bridal party walk back towards the train station along the country lanes, after the wedding

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Sue and Chris on the Eskdale Railway, travelling back to their wedding reception at The Gatehouse

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The bridal party with Chris and Sue – photographed from a road bridge after a swift drive down the valley to meet the oncoming train

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Chris and Sue on the south beach of Wast Water, looking towards Yewbarrow, Kirk Fell and Great Gable

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Guests toast Chris and Sue during their wedding reception

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Chris rides the zip wire the day after the wedding

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A view of the lake from above as Chris’ dad (I think that’s who it is) rides the zip wire

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