When I was taken for a Castle Howard wedding photography location recce of the estate grounds on the back of a quad bike, I realised this was going to be nothing short of an epic wedding venue. Thankfully, I survived enthusiastic bride-to-be Kerry reversing me into a bush and, minus one hair bobble, lived to photograph her and John’s fabulous wedding day.
With Kerry living and working on the Castle Howard estate as the nanny of the Howard family’s children it was their first choice for their wedding venue. Yorkshire’s finest stately home, a magnificent one at that!
There were art deco touches to the wedding theme, including a pair of Wartski diamond earrings lent by Mrs Howard as the ‘something borrowed’ (the very same pair she wore on her own wedding day). At times I felt like I was photographing a real life episode of Downton Abbey.
The bride started her day in rollers, beautifying and being fussed over at her sisters home with the bridesmaids. Transported to her Castle Howard wedding in a Rolls Royce they enjoyed champagne and completed their preparations in the sumptuous gold and red surroundings of Lady Georgina’s bedroom and dressing room. Kerry, both looking and feeling fabulous, took on something of a film star persona, which she took in her stride with grace and elegance.
I also dropped in on the groom, John, at their home in the grounds of the estate for a some photos. He beamed as he prepared himself for the day ahead with the help of his best man and an occasional swig from the hip flask to steady his nerves.
And what a weekend for a wedding! Not only was the weather glorious, but there was also a flower festival taking place at the venue. Every room was filled with the most stunning flower displays, my personal favourite being the huge painted wooden model of an English cottage complete with real cottage garden!
The Howard family also played a big part throughout the day of the wedding with the children Kerry is nanny to, Octavia and Merlin, being bridesmaid and groomsman to the couple.
The ceremony took place in the grand surroundings of the Great Hall, with Octavia and her mother Rebecca playing piano. Despite Octavia’s nerves, her beautiful piano playing skills could not be faulted.
This was then followed by 11 year old Merlin, to whom Kerry had been giving driving lessons on the estate grounds, showing off his driving skills by driving us bumpily over the grass (much to everyone’s amusement) to the other side of the lake for a few photos with the house in the backdrop.
Following the wedding breakfast in the Grecian Hall, as the weather was so glorious, it was decided that the speeches should take place outdoors in the Boar Garden as the sun lowered in the sky. Not long after everyone piled onto the dance floor to shake their stuff.
Kerry and John’s Castle Howard wedding was filled with love, beauty, joy, character and charm. It was the grandest and happiest of days in what was the start of a lifetime of being husband and wife.