College Valley Wedding in Northumberland
We are delighted to share Andy and Gemma’s perfect traditional wedding captured by Stephen McCurry. The wedding took place at College Valley in Northumberland.
The couple were amazing, the entire day was down to their own hard work and effort. Finding the venue on an ordinance survey map, Gemma did a lot of digging to find everything for the day herself (with the suitable amount of groom-to-be input of course).
My first meeting with them I could tell they were a very laid back, easy going but particular couple who knew exactly what they wanted from their day and had planned something very special. It certainly paid off for them too.
Gemma had her wedding dress hand made in Northern Ireland (where I am from originally) so it was nice to be capturing a little bit of back home as well!
The Big Day
College Valley in Northumberland is registered as one of the quietest places in the British Isles. It really is an idyllic, tranquil and awe inspiring venue for a wedding (and it grows blackberries the size of plums!).
Andy and Gemma’s wedding took its inspiration from the area, building upon the rustic, home grown feel of the landscape. From the coconut shy to the sack race to the traditional evening dances it was a superb and unique event made all the more so by the couple getting married in the open air right in the middle of the valley. There were so many delightful little touches throughout which harkened back to older wedding traditions, cream teas, handmade lace dresses, vintage cars, etc. It was a delight to photograph and I came away with an absolute treasure trove of material.
The day started early with preparation shots of the bride and her bridesmaids at one of the cottages in the valley before progressing into the valley for the ceremony. Due to English law the final vows had to be said in the nearby Cuddystone hall but the rest of the ceremony was held in the most idyllic and wonderful vistas of the surrounding hills. Warm weather allowed the most to be made of the landscape with guests indulging in plenty of conversation while being entertained by live musicians playing fiddle and flute. The day moved on through speeches, reception and finally onto the evening of dancing to a ceilidh. It really was a most amazing wedding and one. I am ecstatic to have been asked to capture.
My style mixes a lot of different genres but probably leans mostly on reportage and street photography but with strong influences from fine art, landscape and even a bit of fashion in there.
I have been studying photography for over two decades and grew up with art all round me so my style really is something which has developed by constant work.
What did you love about the day?
I spent my first fifteen years of photography engrossed in landscape shooting. It was my passion and my love before I discovered that I really preferred to shoot images with people in them! So driving into College Valley for the first time was like opening your favourite box of chocolates. Mix in some of the most fantastic people, the rustic romance of the venue and the tranquil nature of the entire area and there really was little I wouldn’t love about the wedding.
You can find out more about Stephen McCurry and get in touch about your special day via his website at www.notofthisearthweddings.co.uk.