Some superstitious couples might avoid Friday 13th for their wedding date, but it didn’t deter Tom & Emma from booking Rowton Castle in Shrewsbury on the most famous of Fridays! They had nothing to worry about, as the day went perfectly from start to finish and the sun was shining all day.
Rowton Castle is the perfect wedding venue, with the option for outdoor wedding ceremonies in a stunning garden, or inside if the weather isn’t great. Luckily for Tom and Emma it was one of the hottest days of the year so far, so the outside option was chosen. The ability to host both the wedding ceremony and reception all within one venue, along with the setting of Rowton Castle within the stunning Shropshire countryside makes this the perfect wedding venue for capturing special images.
Having to travel up from Bristol that morning meant a very early start to the day as I wanted to ensure that I arrived at the venue no later than 10 am. The early start was to set up the lighting on the dance floor in preparation for the first dance later in the evening. I installed two Elinchrom BRX500 studio heads in opposite corners of the room, modified with soft boxes. The studio heads have a much improved flash recycle time over my battery powered speed lights, so linking them up wirelessly to my Canon 5D mk3 camera ensured that I would have total control over the lighting. Setting up the lights at the beginning of the day allowed me to concentrate on capturing all the special moments throughout the day without any distractions!
Emma arrived at the venue with her bridesmaid Wendy at 11 am, appearing very calm yet excited about the day ahead. As soon as they had checked in to their rooms, we headed upstairs to the Bridal suite for the preparations. Emma’s dress was perfect, she looked beautiful and we captured some great images of her getting ready for the day ahead using the natural window light and some reflectors. Tom and his best man Gareth arrived shortly afterwards and we walked around the venue trying to find some shade, which was no easy task – it was swelteringly hot! The boys were also very calm & relaxed, which allowed us all to enjoy the photo shoot.
Shooting an outdoor ceremony was a first for me, I did have a few concerns over the intense sun-light and strong shadows but luckily there were a few clouds which helped, as they acted as natural diffusers for the duration of the service. After the ceremony, we wandered around the Castle grounds for the all important Mr and Mrs portraits. With the sun still shining so brightly, I made use of the portable speed lights to add some off camera flash to the shots to counter the strong sun-light. Luckily I had the assistance of Stel to help me carry all of the equipment around!
At no point during the day was there any kind of stress at all, it was all such a happy occasion which really shows in the images. Tom and Emma were absolute stars and we had such a fun day capturing the occasion. They both even agreed to leave the dance floor to get some night time portraits in front of the castle (Tom did look a little disappointed when one of his favourite tunes could be heard from outside). And to round the day off nicely we set up a photo booth using the Studio lights and a Lastolite hi-lite white backdrop. Perfect!
Here's a few of the images I captured for the happy couple....