ABBIE + DAVID
MIDDLETON LODGE, NORTH YORKSHIRE
The private setting of the Middleton Lodge Estate in North Yorkshire oozes something special and unique. Nestled in the woodland setting of the estate lies the Fig House, a former Georgian coach house which was recently converted into a stunning wedding venue. Not only is the Fig House such a fantastic setting inside it is accompanied by the two-acre walled garden at the back of the venue.
The Middleton Lodge Estate is a multi wedding venue so can often have another one or two weddings taking place there on the same day but what makes it special is that each venue is totally private and you’d never bump into another couple or guest on the day.
It was the third time we’d shot a wedding there in 2019 however the first time we’d spent the full day experiencing the Fig House experience. In January we filmed the wedding of Beverley and Neil at the Main House and then in August, it was the wedding of Jessica and Christopher who were married at their local church before making the journey to the Estate.
For this wedding, it was the turn of Abbie and David to get married. Abbie had been a bridesmaid several times before and wanted a venue that she hadn’t been to a wedding before. The couple chose a magnificent venue which is one of my favourites in the North East.
Though I had spoken a few times with Abbie and David in the lead up to the wedding the first time I met them was the weekend before as we arranged to do a pre-shoot with their Pug Peppa who sadly couldn’t go to the wedding. We did a quick shoot in the woods near their home with them walking Peppa and a few shots of them looking at one another. I wanted to start their wedding film with these moments as we wanted to get Peppa in the video. I went into the shoot determined to get the shot where the camera goes behind David’s back as Abbie was looking at him so I could then continue the shot on the wedding day using a transition to make it do a crossfade for those two moments.
On the morning of the wedding, I arrived bright and early for the bridal preparations. Abbie and her bridesmaids were in the farmhouse near the Fig House getting their hair and makeup done. It was a likely and excitable bunch who were clearly looking forward to the wedding. The house was spread over three levels and on the top level was where we filmed the dress. I was joined by Lana from Casablanca Photography whom it was the first time I have worked with though I had been a guest at another wedding she was shooting.
David was at his house in Birtley with his groomsmen getting ready before they made the 45 minute trip to the venue. Keith filmed all the wedding prep at David’s house before joining me at the venue where he did more groom filming and captured the guests arriving.
I skipped away from the bridal preparations to go and film the preparations in the Fig House where Kat from the Whole Sch Bang was setting up. When the room was being prepared the bridal party made their way to the little cottage next to the Fig House to do the final preparations and get into their dresses. During this time I got some great shots of Abbie’s final moments before her bridesmaids once again joined her and she did a bridal reveal to her father which was a lovely touching and emotional moment and there were a few tears shed from the bridal party.
The Middleton Lodge Fig House ceremony room is a very intimate venue as it is quite narrow as it leads down to the area where the couple stands along with the registrar. The ceremony was a beautiful one with David's sister and a couple of the bridesmaids giving some really heartfelt words.
After the ceremony, we headed into the Fig House walled garden so film the group shots were taken before we headed into more of the garden itself with Abbie and David shooting in a lovely part which really showcased the autumn orange and brown leaves which looked stunning on film. Fortunately, we filmed everything we needed to before the rain kicked in.
It was then onto the speeches as Abbie's father, David himself and the best man giving some great speeches. David's speech was amazing, and totally off the cuff. It is always nice when a groom speaks from the heart and isn't reading from a piece of paper or a smartphone as it comes across so much more sincere. Another highlight of the speeches was when the wedding party sang Happy Birthday to Abbie's grandfather.
At weddings, we are sometimes asked if we want food and it is lovely and appreciative as by the time it comes to eat we have often been working 8 hours or so, so food is always welcome. We were asked if we wanted to try the buffet which had an amazing selection of food on offer.
One the meal was over it was time to hit the dance floor. It all got serious as a couple of the guests decided to have a dance-off and were throwing in some mean shapes and a few caterpillars. It was all good fun and we got some great moments before Abbie and David cut the cake.
As David led Abbie onto the dance floor for their first dance they were joined by friends and family. One of the best moments for me from the evening was seeing Abbie and David dance with her grandparents which were a totally natural and something that I'm sure Abbie will treasure forever.
Since the wedding, we've been booked by two of the couple's friends so we look forward to seeing Abbie and David again. They make a great couple and wish them all the best with their future together.