I love a wedding with a theme. Even better when that theme happens to be Harry Potter! I spent my pre-teen years wanting to be Hermione Granger and wishing I had magical powers, and then when I got a little older, it was still amazing to watch the films and imagine what the world would be like if it were all real. I think there are a lot of us out there who have a soft spot for the world that JK Rowling invented, so when Lucy and Michelle told me this was to be their theme for their wedding celebrations, I couldn't wait to get there and get started.
Lucy and Michelle were actually already legally married when I arrived at Oulton Hall in Leeds on the evening of 8th November. They called me up late last year, asking if I was available around 2 weeks later (on the 21st December) as they couldn't wait any longer to get married and were off to Glastonbury to tie the knot in a beautiful candle-lit Hand Fasting ceremony! Happliy I was, so off we all went to what was one of the most original and intimate wedding ceremonies I have had the pleasure of photographing to date.
So, the 9th November was their date to celebrate with friends and family who hadn't been present at the legal ceremony last year. It was also their date to go completely crazy with Harry Potter decorations, accessories, books, furniture...you name it, they had thought of it! Their friends and families had chipped in with some amazing contributions too. There was an Ollivanders Wand Making shop, manned by two of their guests who had spent weeks building the props (it looked amazing), guests were dressed in robes, Michelle's Mum was Professor McGonnagal, in charge of sorting guests into their houses using a proper Sorting Hat, and there were chocolate frogs, Bertie Botts every flavour Beans, and the most incredibly decorated wedding cake I've ever seen.
The guest book, made by one of their friends, had a striking resemblance to the Monster Book of Monsters, and guests had even written poems and quizzes, read out in the ceremony and during the reception, to keep everyone entertained.
We made it outside too for a while, despite the cold, for a quick wand dual and some couple portraits while guests stayed in the warm to make wands, meet the owls (yep, owls - 5 of them) and chill out in their house common rooms. It really was above and beyond anything I expected - and I knew, knowing these fabulous ladies, that it was going to be good!
It was just the most perfect day from beginning to end - so much fun and super personal to both brides.
One to remember for a very long time :) Here's a little recap...