As I arrived at Nicole’s home, she was having her hair and make-up done by Sonia Schofield (an award-winning make-up artist with such a lovely relaxing and friendly manner).
And then I met the dog! How adorable! With a little suit and bowtie, he was perfect!
The mother of the bride was wearing a beautiful dirndl (traditional German outfit), and Nicole looked stunning in her wedding dress.
We had arranged to meet Greg (the groom) in the Museum Gardens for a “first look”. Traditionally the bride and groom’s first look would be as the bride walks down the aisle, but at the moment, due to covid restrictions for ceremonies, York registry Office ask couples to arrive together.
What is a “first look”?
The first time a couple see each other in their wedding dress and or suit on their wedding day. Often a very emotional moment!
What are the benefits of having a first look on your wedding day?
The wedding couple can see each other for the first time without the eyes of all their guests upon them. Some people get very emotional at a first look, and often don’t want everyone seeing this.
If you feel nervous about walking into or standing in front of, a room full of people, all looking at you – then having a first look is an excellent way to take away one of the uncertainties – how will my future husband/ wife react when they see me? It also allows you to enter the room together – with each other for support.
If you have a first look for your wedding and still decide to have the traditional walking down the aisle moment too – the first look doesn’t take away from the second look! In fact, knowing how beautiful your bride looks actually adds to the excitement and anticipation of seeing her walk down the aisle towards you.
Having a planned first look also makes it easier for the photographer to capture more photos of this moment!
For Greg and Nicole, the reaction when they saw each other was very important, and arranging for them to both meet at museum gardens was a great way to sidestep the potential grief caused by the covid restrictions and not being allowed to walk down the aisle.
The Museum gardens are the perfect place because they are beautiful and only 5 minutes from the registry office.
Greg and Nicole were so happy to see one another! We spent some time taking photos with the ruins of St Mary’s Abbey as a backdrop and then took some family photos before the short walk to York Registry Office to get married.
The Wedding Ceremony
We were all met by the lovely Fran of York Registry Office, outside, and given friendly instructions about what we could and couldn’t do.
Greg and Nicole went inside to go over the legal parts with the officiants while we waited in the lovely gardens.
There was a small incident when a bird pooed from a tree above where we were all sheltering – but Nicole’s mum was prepared for anything, and quickly removed all traces of excrement with a handy little cleaning pen!
After 15 minutes, we were invited into the Bootham Suite to take our seats. All seats were well spaced, and there was a seat right in the middle for me, the photographer. (Hand gel was at the entrance, the door was left open, and everyone apart from the couple wore masks).
Greg and Nicole were taken through the ceremony and then read their own, very personalised vows to each other under the lovely big window light, before exchanging wedding rings.
It was a lovely, touching, and joyous ceremony – not at all dampened by the covid precautions.
Nicole’s mum surprised Greg and Nicole with a “Just Married” sign and tin cans tied to a trolley. The couple had to pull it along as we walked towards the city walls – it was fantastic – the cans were so loud as they dragged on the street – everyone turned and congratulated them as they passed!
I took the newlyweds for a short walk around the minster – though after I had taken most of the photos, someone told us that wedding photos are not allowed near the minster at the moment. Then we met up with the rest of the wedding party at the Museum Gardens again for more wedding photos.
It is traditional in German weddings for there to be entertainment and games during the wedding reception, and as Nicole and her mum are from Germany, Nicole’s mum came prepared!
She challenged the couple to cut a large heart in a big banner – with nail scissors, and then Greg had to carry Nicole through the heart-shaped hole.
Coronavirus had obviously impacted the wedding planning for their big day, and restrictions on wedding guest numbers meant they couldn’t invite their best man or bridesmaid. Their wedding date had to be changed and receptions weren’t allowed… but the most important thing was getting married, and somehow it felt like their September wedding in York was the perfect wedding. It was a lovely day, filled with plenty of cheek-aching laughter and plenty of happiness and love.
Congratulations, Greg and Nicole, your enthusiasm and the way you seem to support each other really shone through – I wish you all the happiness for your life together!
Are you looking for a York wedding photographer?
I’m Emma of Happy Otter Photography and I live near York. I specialise in photographing weddings in a laid back manner.