How did we not know about The Mansion House in Jesmond? When Lisa briefed me on Wendy & Dylan’s wedding I was concerned about this unknown venue. I couldn’t find any wedding photography blogs or websites about it other than a council venue website. Wendy & Dylan are both teachers. They had attended courses at The Mansion House and fell in love with it and I have to say, I don’t blame them. Tucked away in a residential area it’s a real gem. Only Eslington Villa in Gateshead has surprised me as much.
Lisa had planned everything we needed for the day with Wendy & Dylan. They wanted a very relaxed wedding that focused less on group photos and more on documenting things happening on the day. They didn’t want any wedding prep and didn’t have a large wedding party. This was all about family.
First impressions of The Mansion House
As the official residence of the Lord Mayor of Newcastle, The Mansion House has a colourful past. Built in 1886, The Mansion House stands on Fernwood Road in Jesmond. Left as a gift to the great and good of the city by Sir Arthur Munro, a hugely wealthy industrialist and one-time pal of Lord Armstrong of Cragside. Its interior is a wonderful expanse of wood panelling, wonderful fireplaces and well-kept grounds.
I remember that the weather was much better than forecast, with beautiful clear blue skies. The wedding was on a Thursday unusually making us feel that the weekend had come early. Through the impressive entrance, you’re greeted by a beautiful reception room and staircase leading up to the bride’s room. It’s not often the registrars get to a wedding before us. We were worried we were running late but they assured us they were very early killing time between back to back services. The Mansion House is unusual in that guests don’t have anywhere to congregate before the service. They arrive straight into the service room.
Lisa headed, upstairs to meet Wendy, who was already in her dress and looking stunning. Accompanying her were her mum, dad and son. All of whom looked so proud. Wendy’s prep room had a very useful balcony overlooking the entrance. We had planned to just use it to overlook the large group shot after the wedding service, but the lovely spring weather was so good Lisa took Wendy’s family outside without being seen by her guests.
Tracking down a Groom
So, we had registrars and loads of guest but no groom before Dylan arrived. Normally I can pinch the groom before the registrar gets to the venue, or finds him, but there was no hiding in this venue. The registrars collared Dylan as soon as he walked in the door so I only had seconds with him and his best man before the service.
Three generations walking down the Aisle
Wendy was to be escorted by her father and son. It would be a tight squeeze but was well negotiated. The service was heartfelt with loads of warmth. More so, as I had to stand right next to the open fire that slowly cooked me alive.
Enjoying the Spring Sunshine outside The Mansion House
The Mansion House’s balcony made an easy vantage point for a shot of the whole wedding party. Lisa did a great job arranging this one. Shepherding 60+ people when you can’t see the group from the final perspective takes experience and teamwork. We generally sound like the Chuckle Brothers moving furniture when arranging these sort of groups. But we were loving the unexpected sunshine, keeping the chill from the spring air.
The Mansion’s gardens were lit with late evening sunshine and draped with huge shadows. It was a delight not having to be chained to a list of group shots so we just had to capture Wendy & Dylan’s immediate family and we seemed to have loads of time with them in these gorgeous surroundings. You totally forgot you were in the middle of a built-up area. Teachers aren’t well known for taking direction but Dylan & Wendy soon relaxed and did really well.
Relaxing in the warmth of The Mansion House
The evening reception was a very relaxed affair. The teasel & rose theme continued to the two wedding cakes. No table plan and a wonderful barbeque kept the proceedings a delight. The speeches were wonderful with everyone gathered around. I know that we were having a great time and stayed well past our scheduled time. Plus it always helps when you’re encouraged to partake in the top-notch food.
Halo Photography wishes Wendy & Dylan a wonderful married life together with their new, combined family. Lisa & I had an outstanding day and loved every minute photographing their wedding day.