Pauline and Philip’s Manners Arms Wedding
Back in early 2013 I photographed a wedding at the Manners Arms in Knipton, Leicestershire, and I later wrote on my blog how much I had enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere created by this beautifully situated country house hotel that’s only a few miles outside of Grantham. So I was delighted when Pauline and Philip decided to book me to photograph their wedding at the same location.
I’m not sure whether it’s the Manners Arms, the staff, guests, or I guess more likely, a combination of all of these things, but I was again struck by the easy-going vibe that lasted the whole time I was there. Pauline and Philip did much to set the relaxed tone of the day, dispensing with tradition and coming out together to mingle with guests on the sunny patio before the ceremony. As it got closer to the big moment, Pauline slipped off to change and Philip continued to meet and greet family and friends; by the time the guests were called to take their seats in the conservatory, all the introductions had been done and lively conversations were flowing freely.
The ceremony went without hitch; I found it particularly moving that after Pauline’s son walked her up the aisle, he then handed her over to her elderly father, who then stepped up to confirm that he was bringing his daughter to be married that day. Once the deed was done, the couple and their guests gathered once more on the patio for drinks in the sun – I’m pretty sure this must have been just how the couple had dreamed their day would be.
After the meal and speeches, there was time for more sun and chat on the patio, before everyone gathered again in the conservatory for the first dance, an elegant waltz that had me musing that my own attempt at the ‘first shuffle’ really was a derisory effort (a fault completely of my own – my wife, for the record, moves with far more grace than I ever will!) Immediately after the waltz was over, the pace was upped as the ‘Greek plate smashing song’ – Zorba the Greek I believe – started up, and the couple encouraged their guests to join them in some high-kicking fun. As the music picked up in speed, Pauline broke ranks and entertained the crowd with some great dance moves. After all that excitement, it was back to the patio for more drinks and conversation. With the sun just beginning to set, conversations in full flow and a hog roast turning away, the scene as I left was just perfect, the ideal end to a laid-back summer wedding in rural Leicestershire.
Below you’ll find a selection of my favourite images from Pauline and Philip’s wedding. I hope you enjoy them and if you do, please feel free to add a comment, I’d love to hear your thoughts.