In 2015 I was fortunate enough to shoot one of the first weddings at Healey Barn in Northumberland. I’d watched it develop from effectively a pile of rubble in the mud to a ready working wedding venue. Over 12 months later I was back. And I could not wait to get shooting Kathryn and Johnny’s Autumn Healey Barn Wedding.
I would normally say Autumnal weather can be so unpredictable but throughout 2016 the weather gods haven’t really known what they wanted to throw at us! I drove through the Northumberland countryside on a mild sunny day; a little damp from the overnight rain though. I made my way to Corbridge to meet up with Kathryn who was getting ready in a holiday cottage on the hillside overlooking the Tyne Valley. There I met up with Dan from Shoot Me Now Films. I’ve worked with him many times before and we always have a blast so today was going to be a lot of fun!
Kathryn was sat in the kitchen area of the cottage surrounded by her bridesmaids, mum and grandmother before her dad and a few of the menfolk arrived to add to the numbers. All was calm though. At the end of a dark hallway was an open door and peeking down below the frame was her dress. It looked stunning and offered up quite an unusual shot. Not your normal “Dress Hanging There” shot. It was all very relaxed. It seemed such a shame to leave as the party was just getting started but we had a wedding to shoot!
Healey Barn has matured a lot in the year or so since I was last there. The gardens have bedded in nicely. It looked amazing! Everything was set up ready for the ceremony. Johnny was there with his best man putting the final touches to everything. Two coaches arrived bringing the majority of the guests. Johnny stood outside the doors and welcomed everyone and one by one the guests entered the barn. It was like a fairytale setting in there. Everyone was blown away!
The ceremony was about to begin and folks were taking their seats. The light in there was perfect for a really romantic, moody feel. The shadows created by the sun punching through the windows adding to the flickering of the candles were amazing! Johnny stood by the table next to the registrar and looked to the ceiling, puffing his cheeks out. Then he looked back down and gave us at the front a huge smile. One by one the bridesmaids came in. There was a pause and then Kathryn entered.
There is such a lovely ambience at Healey Barn. There is a slight echo in there. And, oh my God, when you’ve got all the candles burning, it’s lovely and toasty! It was perfect for the wedding. Throughout the ceremony, Kathryn and Johnny exchanged glances. There were a few tears; there were a few giggles; there were lots of smiles. As the ceremony ended and they made their way back up the aisle, the escaped the crowd for 5 minutes to have some time together with a glass of fizz. Meanwhile everyone congregated in the courtyard ready to launch confetti at them. As the newlyweds left the barn everyone went nuts,throwing confetti everywhere!
Dan and I had decided that today was the perfect day to head into the woods. The light was perfect. The evergreen trees with their tan red bark looked amazing. It all fitted in with the fairytale look of the day! The four of us probably could have stayed there all day. We had a lot of fun playing around with the cameras, and Kathryn & Johnny were more than happy to join in with it all!
Back at the barn, we were ready for the speeches. The dining room is a long narrow room. The top table in bang on in the middle of the room. Kathryn’s dad, I had been warned, hates public speaking. I think the phrase is “…and I’m a monkey’s uncle!”. He delivered one of the best Father of the Bride speeches I’ve seen. It was clear that there is a real connection between him and Johnny. And at times Johnny was left with his head in his hands. Much to the delight of everyone!
With the speeches and wedding breakfast done (the food at Healey Barn is something else! You can’t beat food prepared on an industrial sized BBQ!), everything was set and ready for the first dance. By now the sun had set. The band had sound checked and were ready to play. They’d set up lighting so the warm glow of the candles was replaced with the electric blue of their lights. Such a brilliant contrast.
Johnny and Kathryn larked about on the dance floor, laughing and giggling their way through the song. Not so much as a slow uncomfortable shuffle. More and playful dance, a few twirls and a lot of hugs! Before you knew it they’d invited everyone onto the dance floor.
That was my day done! I sat outside on a bench looking back into the Barn. The disco lights flicked out their colours. You could hear the dull beat of the music and the hum of the party. It looked like it was going to be an amazing night. Perfect end to a perfect day!
Thank you Kathryn and Johnny for asking me to be part of it!