All weddings in my experience are magical, but something intangible hangs in the air at a Christmas wedding that lends a twinkle to proceedings which I love to photograph. This was certainly true of Isabel and Andrew’s big day, held on December 15th at the beautiful Bickleigh Castle.
I quite often travel into Devon for weddings and Bickleigh Castle never disappoints. Another truly unique setting (I have a real weakness for this type of architectural beauty spot); Isabel and Andrew had exclusive use for the whole weekend. This not only meant that I got to stay the night before and get acquainted with some of the next day’s key characters, but it added to the warmth and close-knit community feel that I especially remember the day for. This continued into the morning of the wedding when I was able to photograph the Bride’s preparations, as well as the Groom and friends letting off some nervous tension on a clay shoot.
Although, as typical of a December wedding in Devon, the ground was somewhat soggy underfoot (it literally poured down in the preceding week, the River Exe had swollen its banks and there was an ominous threat of snow) the day itself was mercifully dry. This was just as well since Isabel was wearing a stunning pair of red designer shoes, brilliantly reflecting the strikingly festive, red and white theme.
As one of four girls born on the same day, Isabel was in no shortage of bridesmaids and the close family atmosphere was lovely to witness. The weather outside, if anything, intensified the warm and cosy atmosphere inside, complete with an excellent ‘jiggery, folkery’ band, hog-roast and a wedding cake made of cheese (actual tiers of cheese, not to be confused with cheesecake).
All the fun, enjoyment and merriment of Christmas was magnified that weekend inside Bickleigh Castle, from the Bride and bridesmaid’s festive onesies when they were getting ready, to the poinsettia table centres on reindeer named tables. A wedding packed with personal touches, including a handmade gown designed by the Bride herself, it really was a very special occasion to be a part of. The new Mr & Mrs Bertram left the damp Devonian weather behind them to honeymoon in Venice and Lake Como before returning to their family home in Exeter.
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