A small intimate wedding at Northampton Cathedral
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.
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.
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.)
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…
Why you’ll love intimate wedding photos [COMING SOON]