A small intimate wedding at Northampton Cathedral

November 2, 2020

Yes. You heard that right. Small and cathedral. In the same sentence. And, believe me, those two things aren’t as far apart as you might think.

Just married couple sitting on bench

Along with many other couples, Nadine and Nadeem (affectionately known as N&N) were merrily planning their summer 2020 wedding… when an uninvited wedding guest came along.

Cue Covid.

We all know how that story went.

Coronavirus brought much heartache to N&N’s wedding plans. And they had more than one ride on the coronacoaster with two lockdown postponements. But I live in positive pants so I’ll leave it at that and get straight to the good bit… which is when they actually got married.

N&N had a gung ho ‘love will win’ attitude and decided to go ahead with their wedding rather than postpone. Nothing was getting in their way. Because what they wanted most from their wedding was to be together. So as soon as lockdown lifted and restrictions relaxed, they got married.

Of course, it wasn’t the day they’d imagined and planned for so long. The guest list totalled 13 – including N&N. Many of their closest family couldn’t be there because of travel restrictions. Their ceremony rehearsal took place over Zoom. There was no big crowd outside the cathedral, no heaving party and no ushers busting their best moves to “I Gotta Feeling” on the dancefloor.

But their wedding was very very special because of that.

Now, I’ve photographed intimate weddings before. But N&N’s wedding surprised me. It opened my eyes to a few things I haven’t consciously realised about smaller weddings. Which all comes down to…

Small weddings open up possibilities

At N&N’s pared-back wedding…

1. Relationships blossomed

Without the distraction of other guests, N&N’s families spent quality time together. Parents, grandparents, and siblings – from each side but now as one family. Just them. Bonding. All day long.

It was humbling to witness everyone enjoying each other’s company. And it was a joy to see them connecting over their shared pride and happiness for N&N.

I’ve never seen such interaction between families at a wedding before. Even in a socially-distant world, Covid allowed them to be close.

2. Love filled the room

How is that a cathedral that seats hundreds, feels full with only 13 people?

The answer: Because love is expansive.

N&N’s love, and their families’ love for each other, filled every inch of every space.

So if you’re downsizing your wedding and feel worried about your venue looking empty – don’t. Because it’s all about how it feels. (And you can leave your resident photographer to make sure it looks good in your photos.)

3. The group photos were for everyone

Group photos are often something for families to (literally) grin and bear. But for N&N it was different.

With only a few people, and a good amount of time, I was able to capture more combinations of the same people. So, as well as immediate family photos, there are pictures of each set of parents/grandparents, and sibling’s families.

This isn’t usually possible at larger weddings, when there are so many more people to photograph. And knowing how important my own family photos are to me, I loved having the time to create a thorough legacy for N&N and their VIPs.

4. Time felt deliciously slow

Wedding days are infamous for flying by. But for N&N things felt more relaxed.

One of my favourite parts of the day was watching them walk hand-in-hand, with beaming smiles, through the walled garden at Delapre Abbey. The team at Delapre kindly opened the walled garden up just for them to have some portraits; so we had the space to ourselves – and with time on our side, it couldn’t have felt more serene.

The day was theirs, and theirs alone. Because when you’re not rushing to speak to oodles of guests, as well as fit in all the formalities, there’s more time to take things in and appreciate it all.

TLDR? Keep scrolling to see some of my fave photos from their day…

(Note: This wedding took place before masks became compulsory in church.)

Outside of Northampton Cathedral
Statue at Northampton Cathedral
Groom just before getting married at Northampton Cathedral
Flower girl and mum interacting at Northampton Cathedral
Bride entering Northampton Cathedral for micro wedding
Bride walking down the aisle at Northampton Cathedral
Lockdown wedding ceremony at Northampton Cathedral
Priest leading marriage ceremony at Northampton Cathedral
Couple's first kiss at Northampton Cathedral
Couple exchanging vows at Northampton Cathedral
Couple just pronounced husband and wife at Northampton Cathedral
Catholic wedding ceremony at Northampton Cathedral
Intimate wedding for 13 people at Northampton Cathedral
Couple signing the register after their intimate wedding
Signing the register at Northampton Cathedral
Couple walking down aisle after intimate wedding at Northampton Cathedral
Married couple leaving Northampton Cathedral
Confetti at Northampton Cathedral
Livestreamed lockdown wedding at Northampton Cathedral
Bride laughing and looking out of car window
Newlyweds walking through the walled garden at Delapre
Rustic walled garden wedding photo at Delapre Abbey
Rustic walled garden wedding photo at Delapre Abbey
Wedding photo by foxgloves in walled garden at Delapre Abbey
Bride and groom at Delapre Abbey
Wedding photo at Delapre Abbey
Couple laughing in walled garden at Delapre Abbey
Bride & groom in walled garden at Delapre
Wedding photo of bride & groom at Delapre Abbey
Wedding photo in the walled garden at Delapre Abbey
Just married couple sitting on bench
Just married couple sitting on bench

N&N! Huge thanks for having me along and for so kindly letting me share some of your photos. I can’t wait to see you again next year – and photograph everyone busting their best moves to “I Gotta Feeling”! xoxo

Wondering whether to go ahead with an intimate wedding?

Explore these posts to find out more about small weddings…

The joy of an intimate wedding

Choosing an intimate wedding venue

Ideas and inspo for planning an intimate wedding

Why you’ll love intimate wedding photos [COMING SOON]