New Lodge Lawns wedding
Super Gran, the great outdoors, and the coolest vicar
New Lodge Lawns is a fairly new wedding venue in Earls Barton, and this was my first wedding there. It’s perched on top of a hill overlooking the Nene Valley – and has 6 acres of lawns (hence the name!). There’s even a vineyard in the grounds, which makes it unique in Northamptonshire. I was itching to capture this one!
Becca and her bridesmaids got ready at her Dad’s house. Becca’s dress was hanging at the top of the stairs waiting patiently for its big moment, while everyone enjoyed cuppas, had their hair and make-up sorted, and tried to ignore the rain.
Just as Becca’s hair was in progress, her two aunties and gran arrived … armed with bubbles, impressive hats and ALL the laughter. They really levelled up the atmosphere (not that it needed it, so you can imagine it was electric!) and we quickly went from cups of tea to overflowing glasses of fizz!
Throughout the whole day, Becca’s Super Gran showed everyone the meaning of life with her loving, tactile manner and her sense of humour shining at every moment. What a diamond! She really kept me on my toes to capture everything she got up to!
Meanwhile, Ian (my second shooter for the day) photographed Paul getting ready.
Paul got ready at home with his brother, who took on Best Man duties for the day. The bond between them was clear from the start (and became even clearer in his heartfelt speech later on). Their parents joined them, and it was lovely to see such a close family enjoying those final moments getting ready together. Once they’d figured out pocket squares and Mum had expertly attached their buttonholes, they all headed off to the church.
Ceremony time – Hip Hip, Hooray!
Becca and Paul’s wedding ceremony was held at St Mary’s Church in Burton Latimer with another character – the super cool Rev. Jez! Jez made their ceremony personal, symbolic, and jolly good fun. He used a paperchain to symbolise marriage, giggled when he got his words muddled and asked Paul to “I row…” instead of “vow”, abruptly stopped everyone mid-hymn to tell them they weren’t very good and should sing louder, and made sure Becca and Paul left the church to shouts of “Hip hip, HOORAY!” Maybe standard patter, maybe not; but it felt completely natural, put everyone at ease, and really set the tone for the day. I’ve photographed just a few weddings over the last 15 years, but this one sticks out in my mind. Bravo, Jez!
After a morning of wondering, the August skies held up well. But a gust of wind surprised us with a ‘hold on to your hats’ moment and sent Becca’s veil across the churchyard. So Paul’s first duty as a happy husband was a short mission to retrieve the veil and return it to his new wife! (A big thank you to Ian for his quick reactions to catch the veil mid-air!)
New Lodge Lawns wedding reception
As everyone arrived at New Lodge Lawns, they were treated to champagne, canapés and live music in the manicured gardens … while the sun came fully out and SHONE SHONE SHONE!
New Lodge call themselves the ‘Lawns of Luxury’ – and you can really see why!
The focal point is the iconic 100-year-old marble fountain on the main lawn. It’s a stunning feature in its own right, and Becca and Paul added floating roses to make it extra romantic. It provided a fun racetrack … kids always find something to run around at a wedding, don’t they?! And the moving water is interesting to shoot through; I go nuts for a bit of out of focus texture (photography nerd moment, soz!).
(You can have an outdoor celebrant-led wedding in front of the fountain too.)
I loved the spaciousness of New Lodge Lawns. This meant I had room to capture some nice wide-angle shots, where there’s more than one thing happening. With these, the more you look, the more you notice! Which pleases me greatly!
And when it comes to portraits at New Lodge Lawns? Well, take your pick. The gardens have lots of dreamy backgrounds. For Becca and Paul, I chose the willow tree blowing in the wind in front of the cute thatched summerhouse, surrounded by hydrangeas … STUNNING!
Country garden marquee (with ALL the cake!)
The marquee (big enough for up to 200 guests) was dressed luxuriously (but thriftily) with the floral displays from the church. The cake table – oh my! THREE wedding cakes and a huge selection of heavenly-looking cupcakes, doughnuts, macarons, biscuits and brownies displayed on apple crates. Because there can never be too much cake! The rustic oak chairs brought the natural colour scheme together, with personalised jars of honey sourced from New Lodge Vineyard, wrapped in jute twine at each place-setting. It was a total treat to photograph all those pretty details. Maybe not the cake though; that was total torture.
Speeches and a wander in the woodland
All the speeches were superb and full of laughter. But none more so than the Best Man’s speech. Instead of ribbing Paul, he did nothing but sing his brother’s praises and got one of the very few standing ovations I’ve witnessed from any speech.
At golden hour, I took Becca and Paul to the vineyard for some portraits while their guests enjoyed tea and coffee in the orchard. When we returned, Becca and Paul led their guests into the woodland. No-one knew where they were going or what was about to happen. Until they arrived at a small clearing, that had been decorated with lanterns and lit with a spotlight for the first dance … with a live band providing the al fresco soundtrack. What a lush way to start the evening, and make the most of the incredible outdoor space at New Lodge Lawns.
Congratulations, Becca and Paul! And thank you for inviting me to join you, and your amazing friends and family. You kept me very busy and I loved capturing every moment!
Thinking of a wedding at New Lodge Lawns?
Great choice! New Lodge is a real gem amongst Northamptonshire wedding venues, especially if you love the outdoors and are looking for English country garden vibes for your day. If you’d like to know more about wedding photography at New Lodge Lawns, feel free to give me a yell.
Becca’s dress: Courtyard Bridal
Florals: Julie Anna Flowers
Stationery: Anna Jayne Designs
Car: Exclusive Cars
Marquee: Something Borrowed Marquee Hire
On the day co-ordination: Only Doing It Once
Makeup: Features by Courtney Jayne
Cake & dessert table: Amelia Rose Cake Studio