When Amanda and Owen first contacted me last year about covering a small intimate ceremony at the Gilstrap in Newark I had yet to photograph at this amazing little venue but since then I have been on a few occasions and I must admit it makes my job as a photographer so much easier. The Gilstrap itself from the road looks like a small unassuming building set within the thriving little town of Newark, when you arrive inside the building opens up into one of the largest registry offices in the county with the Salvin Suite having the capacity to hold 100 guests.
Amanda and Owen had not been kidding with the words 'small and intimate', with just 20 guests the Gilstraps library room was chosen which fitted the bill just perfectly, in a break with traditions the happy couple arrived together again adding to the casual intimate feeling of the celebration.
The ceremony is often the first time you capture some geniune emotion as a photographer, the nervous laughs, tender glances between couples, for me one of the best moments is just as they are walking up the aisle for the first time as man and wife, all that pressure has been lifted and you can certainly tell on the faces of Amanda and Owen.
Once outside after the ceremony the Gilstrap reveals why so many couples love to get married here, the registry office is set in the grounds of the ruined Newark Castle, built in the 12th century by the Bishop of Lincoln from certain angles the castle looks surprisingly intact. The castle gardens are immediately behind the registry office which also has a charming band stand and on the day of the wedding a lady selling amazing ice creams!!
The gardens lend themselves to capturing some amazing photographs, for this wedding we had just a few formal groups planned before sneaking off with the happy couple for a few portraits.