Kirkley Hall for Clair & Russell’s Wedding
Kirkley Hall in Northumberland is a special place for Clair & Russell. It had played a big part in their relationship. They enjoyed the grounds, their son Leo loved the animals and Clair was nuts for peacocks. The real title of this blog should have been “The hunt for the Elusive Peacocks”.
It was a special place for us too and we’d been to Kirkley Hall many times. Regularly, for local school proms. It was a regular venue for Meadowdale & Bedlington Academy’s events, but not so often for weddings in recent times. When we started Halo Photography we had some epic weddings at the venue. So, when Clair & Russell booked us for their wedding, we were delighted it was at Kirkley Hall.
Clair, Russell and their son Leo are such an amazing family. I can’t quite explain it, but there is a special bond between them. They appreciate each other more than most and it shines out. Clair & Russell gave the impression that Leo was going to play a big part in their wedding day.
Getting ready in Blyth
Lisa headed to Clair’s family home that morning where she was getting ready with her parents and Leo. Everybody was so calm, except Clair’s dad who was running around with his pants in his hands because they were too big. The mother of the bride had to get a needle and thread to stitch his trousers. It was hilarious. He was cracking jokes and making everybody laugh.
Russell and Clair’s toddler, Leo, was sitting chilling watching TV as I arrived. After a quick sausage roll break, it was all stations go to get Leo into his suit. Clair was so relaxed and calm. Once she put that dress on, she looked a million dollars. As beautiful as Clair was, the little boy stole the show when he walked out with his suit on. Everybody was smitten.
Lisa set about photographing accessories and lots of different wedding gifts around the home. Clair’s mum had everything at hand. Anything Lisa asked for or needed to have put together, her mum was there to help. If Clair had let her, as a seamstress, she would have loved to have made her a wedding dress.
Clair’s neighbourhood missed nothing as they left for the church except for the “Chuck Out” that her dad did out the car window. I don’t know if it’s a northern thing but it’s an old tradition that you rarely see these days. They missed all the coins flying out the window and Lisa forgot to pick them up before racing to the church.
From Premier Inn to Kirkley Hall
Russell & his best man were using a Premier Inn as a base to keep the tradition and give Clair’s mother fewer people to get ready. It also happened to be right next door to a pub for a quick pint before his wedding car arrived to take them to St Nicholas Church in Cramlington.
St Nicholas Church in Cramlington
St Nicholas Church is a small pocket of tranquillity in the centre of Cramlington Village. The apple blossom was just starting to fall and made for some amazing, natural confetti. It was a welcome splash of colour on this warm but cloudy day. Built in 1868, in a Gothic style, St Nicholas’ Church stood long before the New Town of Cramlington was built in the 1960s.
Russell and his best man arrived in their vintage white Rolls Royce and were shortly met by his groomsman and page boys. One of whom was the same age as Leo and a huge bundle of energy. Keeping up with these two toddlers today was going to be a challenge.
Clair arrived at the church full of smiles and nervous giggles. Leo had fallen asleep in the Rolls-Royce so was carried into the church before the service could start. Walking down the aisle those nerves got a good hold until Russell took her hand halfway through the ceremony. Only then did Clair relax and let her beautiful smile shine out.
For the first time in a while, we had scope to be discreetly tucked into the alter. At the same time, Lisa was able to wander the side aisles. I love the shot of Leo asleep in his grandfathers arms. It would be the only time he would flag all day.
The vicar generously let Clair & Russell greet their guests outside after the wedding service and then allowed them back into church for family photos on the alter. There were a lot of emotions outside and Leo woke up after his nap in a great mood and continued to be a star.
Leo continues to steal the show
During planning sessions for their wedding photography, Clair & Russell instilled how important it was that Leo was to be included in the wedding and their photos. We prepared them for the possibility that Leo might not play ball. Toddlers often have no interest in being a model for the day. But Leo is a real show-off and both Clair & Russell shone whenever they were with him.
Kirkley Hall in Northumberland
The manor of Kirkley has been around since 1267 but the manor house was built in 1632 and modified in 1764. The grounds are now a multifunctional, diverse campus. It houses the Land Studies College, Zoological Gardens and the Hall hosts Events & Weddings. Its beautiful walled garden looks onto fabulous views over the Northumbrian countryside.
We beat Clair & Russell back to Kirkley Hall and greeted them as they arrived in their beautiful white vintage Rolls-Royce. Time for a quick photo with their car before the boys hijacked it. The driver was very brave to let 2 kids bounce about in his vintage car. At least we think the driver knew??
As soon as Clair arrived she was on the hunt for a Peacock. Kirkley Hall has these spectacular birds roaming freely on the grounds. Normally they are perched on the roofs surrounding the courtyard. There calls echo to create a wonderful atmosphere. Maybe today was their day off but we didn’t find them this day.
Sports day on the Kirkley Hall lawn
Clair & Russell certainly didn’t want their guests to get bored. After a group photo on Kirkley Halls’ terrace, Russell produced footballs, frisbees, skipping ropes and all sorts of games. The guests loved it with the adults playing with them more than the kids. Everyone was having a great time. Then hilariously, with his first kick of a football, Russell managed to hit one of his page boys square in the head! After a few tears and lots of hugs, he was fine and Russell wasn’t allowed to play anymore.
The cake of champions!
After some great speeches and a delightful meal, we met the cake. Lisa was in cake heaven. Two tires of Ferrero Rocher and a third of chocolate orange. Lisa was actually drooling on her camera.
The first dance was emotional and once again Leo was included. The love between this family is inspirational. Once again Leo stole the show making a magical moment to end our time with the three of them. Halo Photography wish them all the love in the world and we can’t wait for their next family photo shoot.
Here are some of Clair & Russell’s suppliers that made their wedding day unique.
- Brides Dress: AJ Bridal wear
- Flowers & Button Holes: Appleblossom in Blyth
- Grooms Suit: Gavin Scott Menswear
- Grooms men’s suits: Gavin Scott Menswear
- Cake Supplier: Catling Bakery
- Hair by: Gillian Radcliffe
- Makeup by: Gillian Radcliffe
- Venue: Kirkley Hall
- Caterers: Kirkley Hall
- Band/DJ/musicians: Kirkley Hall resident DJ
- Wedding Car: Debonair
- Guest Transport: Darras Minibuses