Mark & Joanna’s book themed wedding at Holdenby House

April 23, 2013

Mark and Joanna’s wedding at Holdenby House was our first of the 2013 wedding season and my goodness, we kicked off the year in style. I was completely in awe of how original and very personal their styling was. But more than anything else this wedding was all about the love.

About Mark & Joanna

When I first met Mark and Joanna I was immediately struck by what a beautifully sweet couple they are. In the short time that I’ve had to get to know them I’ve come to know how kindhearted, caring and serene they are.

They share a love of reading and after seeing the library at Holdenby House the decision for where to have their wedding reception was made. Holdenby House, whilst very special, has a homely charm which seemed spot on for Mark & Joanna’s personalities.

Mark & Joanna’s love for each other, and for their family and friends, was plain to see. Even the Vicar said in his sermon that he didn’t feel the need the preach because he could feel the love. Me too.

All that was missing was their beloved rabbit Jack but he was in their thoughts through the day and got a special mention in the speeches.

Mark & Joanna’s wedding style

Mark & Joanna chose an ‘old books’ theme which was very ‘them’. The old books styling seemed like a perfect extension of Holdenby House too. Mark & Joanna brought in a lot of decor but it all looked right at home, as if it was always there.

When something is done with love, it shows. And it’s quite clear that the details were important to Mark and Joanna. It took me over an hour to photograph everything so I was very grateful that I could do that first thing in the morning before Joanna started getting ready.

Everywhere you looked there was stacks of old books with mismatched vessels of pretty flowers nestled amongst them. One of the main features was folded book sculptures. I can only imagine the hours Joanna must have spent meticulously and patiently folding all those pages.

Mark & Joanna had a blend of tea made personally for them, based on their personalities, which they gave as favours. I thought that was a smashing idea.

When Joanna described their cake as a stack of books with a scene coming out of the top I never dreamed of something with such astonishing attention to detail. The intricacy was phenomenal. The more you looked, the more you saw. EVERYTHING is made from icing.

My favourite photos from the day

Joanna got ready with her Mum & Flower Girls in the White Room at Holdenby House. The getting ready stage is one of my favourite parts of a wedding to photograph. I love the atmosphere of anticipation.

The ceremony at St Etheldra church in Guilsborough was possibly the loveliest church wedding I have shared. Reverend John Evans made everyone feel really welcome and was very funny which put everyone at ease. I’m thrilled that Mark & Joanna had such a wonderful experience.

We then made our way to Holdenby House for the reception. The sun shone brightly all day but it was a little cold so everyone enjoyed their champagne and macarons cozied up by the open fires.

Dinner was in the Dining Room which looks out onto rolling Northamptonshire countryside. The speeches were both heartwarming and funny. Mark & Joanna then very reluctantly cut their beautiful cake and enjoyed their first dance.

Tips for couples planning a similar wedding

1. Be thorough when briefing your photographer about the ‘details’ which will style your wedding so that they can allocate the right amount of time to photograph them.

2. Make sure to let your photographer know what’s important to you and why you’ve chosen the things you’ve chosen. The more you can tell them, the more personal and unique your photos will be.

3. Choose a wedding venue with light, spacious and attractive indoor rooms for group photos. It will most likely be too cold in March to do group photos outside.

4. Work with your photographer to create a flow for the day. If you want to use a particular spot you may need to be flexible on when the photos are done.

Are you getting married at Holdenby House?

Wow! You lucky ducks! It’s an amazing venue :)

If you like what you’ve seen here (and thanks for making it this far!) you might enjoy this page about why I love Holdenby House and why it works so well for wedding photography. You’ll find links to more of my Holdenby weddings on that page too :)


Leave a Comment