Wharfedale Grange Tipi Wedding Photography
Alexis and Warren’s Festival Style tipi Wedding in Harrogate.
There are some weddings that really bring it home to me that there is no job quite like this one. I’ve been a wedding photographer for a lot of years now.. A LOT OF YEARS! I shot my first wedding when I was a mere 21. Back then we had rolls of film. There was a dark room involved. Digital did not exist. Fast forward many many years and here we are… almost 30 years later… oh how times have changed! Back then we didn’t know what couscous was, never mind having an outdoor ceremony in the middle of a field! But I digress. Some weddings remind me how very bloody lucky I am to have this job.
This was one of those weddings.
I met Alexis and Warren through my lovely mate and fellow photographer, Barnaby Aldrick, and I knew as soon as I met them, that they were going to be my kind of people. The kind of people who love the party, their family, wild crazy stuff, and booze. This was never going to be one of those formal weddings in a church with hymns… no no no. This was going to be a full on, dance off, chaos driven, booze laden, festival wedding where I wouldn’t want to go home at night. I was right.
Firstly, Alexis and Warren have two bright and beautiful twins… oh my word. I mean, how they managed to party on whilst two two year olds ran riot, I can only imagine. RESPECT. Secondly, Alexis decided that every guest should be adorned in red, white and blue (I missed that memo unfortunately so I felt truly left out). Alexis had hand embroidered (clever sod) gorgeous flowers onto her wedding dress – again, who has the time for this with 2-year-old twins? There was a quick ceremony at Leeds Town Hall, and then it was onto Wharfedale Grange in Harrogate for the proper ceremony – I say proper, but this is Alexis and Warren. Alexis’ proud mum officiated at the ceremony, and her two sisters ensured things went spectacularly eccentric from that point on. There was a Nemo hat, some knickers on heads. And some other amazing stuff… but I guess you had to be there.
And then it was time to get pissed – officially.
Cocktail hour meant that all guests marched into the tipi to create the cocktail of their dreams – or rather, a bunch of booze was placed in a shaker, which was thrown around unskilfully and then poured into excited guests… not sure if the cocktails were tasty but it did mean that people got really pissed, really quickly. Always a winner. There was a dance off which I think some people took more seriously than others but did provide the perfect vehicle for Barnaby to showcase his forward roll. There was a picnic so that we could all eat pork pie, and then came the band. Alexis’ mum, never one to downplay the event even remotely, learned how to play the bass so she could serenade the happy couple with some excellent music. We all joined in as sombreros, light up maracas, and tequila jelly shots (in the standard red, white and blue colours) were passed around. I’ve never seen so many happy people in one place.
And so it went on. Awesome speeches, great food, more booze. When it came to cutting the cake (with accidentally hilarious cake toppers), no cake knife was forthcoming. But fear not, Alexis and Warren do not stand on ceremony and instead, cut the cake with two plastic knives. Class all the way.
Then the band turned up and Warren got up and sang some stuff. We all danced. Then were was whisky and cigars and fire pits. There was even some excellent 80s rap at midnight (mainly from me I hasten to add). And finally, about 1am, we all crawled home. Happy, drunk, slightly dishevelled, smelling of bonfire and cigar smoke. I’d lost my voice thanks to smoking the cigars, I’d had THE best time, and I got to hang out with my mate Barns. What a bloody awesome wedding.
My job is the greatest.
Here’s some of the madness. Extra points if you spot me in the mix! Thanks to Lyns for capturing me enjoying myself.
Tipi Wedding at Wharfedale Grange, Harrogate wedding photographer, Yorkshire photography by Shelly Mantovani at Toast of Leeds. If you’re having a festival outdoor wedding in the future at Wharfedale Grange or elsewhere in Yorkshire, get in touch by visiting my photography website at www.toastofleeds.co.uk or you can find me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. I photograph weddings across the UK in tipis, barns, country houses , iconic hotels, Industrial warehouses, town halls and cool city boozers . For more information and to check availability, contact me now.