A Scotney Castle wedding in the Summer – what’s not to like? Ever since the National Trust announced that they were going to be having weddings at this venue, I was keen to get a booking in. Having done so, I was really looking forward to photographing Natalie and Simon’s wedding.
The day started a mile or so away at Finchcocks Oast which is joined to the Scotney Castle Estate by a little back road. On arriving, the bride’s mum came up to me with a worried expression. She had some bad news and my first thoughts were that the wedding had been called off. But no, apparently something had gone wrong with the cake. I’m still not sure why I was told this first thing as I walked in the door but it was obviously important at the time.
Natalie knew nothing of this and on the whole, was very relaxed. Along with her bridal party, she had her dog Dillon there and he featured a fair bit throughout the day. I really wish more couples would include pets at their weddings. I love dogs and there’s nothing better than seeing one dressed up with a big bow tie.
Scotney really is your quintessential castle, peering out through the trees as you drop down from the manor house. You can’t help feeling that a Scotney Castle wedding is pretty special, both for the guests and the couple. Natalie walked with her dad across the bridge over the moat, followed by her bridesmaids. One of these was her sister who is a professional lute player, perfect for this setting.
For the exchange of vows part of the ceremony, Natalie and Simon had to briefly go ‘inside’ under the arch. Once this was done they came back out for the rings part. From a photographic point of view, this is a great place to work. Without being hemmed in, you can discreetly move about and capture the ceremony from many different angles without being obtrusive at all.
I’ve included quite a few shots of how the castle set up looked on the day and many shots of the couple afterwards. I don’t normally include quite so many couple shots in a blog post like this, but it goes to show that there are many possibilities for getting location portraits.
On the day, a golf buggy is available for the less agile, and can take the strain out of getting up and down between the manor house and the castle below. But remember to hold on tight! Natalie’s lute-playing sister almost got thrown off the back as it sped off.
After drinks and speeches up at the manor house, everyone went back to Finchcocks Oast for the main reception and evening do.