I was rendered speechless when I first walked into the Tithe Barn at Bolton Abbey. What an amazing hidden gem of a venue! Having visited the area all my life, I knew the area was picturesque, but the barn itself is the perfect backdrop for a wedding. The 16th Century barn on the outskirts of Skipton overlooks Bolton Abbey’s priory ruins, but is private and can hold large scale weddings with a late license of 1am, there’s every reason to party the night away!
When I arrived in the morning I went straight to the barn before the bridal preparations as it was only two minutes up the road from where Anna was getting ready at The Devonshire Arms. I was staggered by the size and beauty of the barn and was so excited to see my beautiful brides walk down the aisle in just a few hours time.
Back at the hotel, Anna was having her makeup finished and was trying to relax, ably assisted by two of the bridesmaids, who had some great stories to tell of previous bridesmaid-ing experiences, especially photographers asking them to do cringy things! I assured them that would not be the case today, and the aim was to just get them to enjoy themselves and forget about me! When I discussed the day with Courtenay and Anna, they really wanted a photographer who wouldn’t be bossy and would let them just enjoy their day whilst getting lots of natural candid shots of people having the best time.
I nipped back up the road to the barn to await the arrival of both beautiful brides. It was lovely to see the astonishment of the guests as they arrived into the grand hall. The ladies were to be escorted down the aisle by family members, to the backing of the string quartet, and it was a perfect ceremony with readings from both Mum’s.
It was an absolutely glorious day, and we went straight outside for drinks and mingling with the stunning Priory ruins in the background. We did do a few group shots but they were very casual, and I tried to get everyone relaxed with my silly comments, whilst not falling off my stepladder! The drinks flowed and the canapes were devoured, whilst the guests got into the party spirit.
Me and the brides went out around the barn to have a little quiet time away from everyone, and for them to take in all the events of the day. We had a few photos of the scenery and were watched by lots of sheep. The building has been renovated to such a high standard, and Cripps really have thought about every aspect, so all the surroundings are great for wedding photography.
When the room (well vast barn) was set up for the wedding breakfast, with a jaw-dropping top table styled by Stems Design. The guests were seated and we were straight into the speeches. It was emotional, funny and a pleasure to listen to how the brides had grown up, and their love for each other. You can’t beat a true love story and the affection that their families had for the girls was easy to see.
The spectacular cake was made by Heidi’s Cakery in Keighley, with real succulents to decorate. It was made entirely of carrot cake, the favourite of both the brides. It was such a shame to cut it, but everyone was glad the brides did! Then it was straight into the first dance, which was provided by the amazing wedding band, and friend of the couple Suzie and the Groove! The party went on into the night and some serious shapes were thrown, I may have had a small boogie myself!
Congratulations Anna and Courtenay, it was my absolute pleasure to be there with you on such a fabulous day, and the team at Cripps did a spectacular job in providing the best possible event for everyone involved.
Can’t wait to come back!
Venue – https://crippsboltonabbey.com
Wedding cake – https://www.heidiscakery.co.uk
String Quartet – http://www.unitystringquartet.co.uk
Florist – https://www.stemsfloraldesign.com
Hair and makeup – Jamiee Horn
Evening band – Suzie and the Groove