Peckforton Castle features a medieval ambience you'd expect from any gothic building. In 1840 a wealthy man named John Tollemache bought 36 000 acres of land in the Cheshire countryside, and one of the villages contained within its parameter was Peckforton. Nearby rolling hills now house the castle which took a lengthy 9 years to complete as a result of the sheer size of the project. Thomas & Amanda chose this venue for their breath-taking Wedding on 14th February - yes, Valentine's Day - in 2018.
Following our early morning arrival after a 2 hour road-trip to the location, we spent the first 60 minutes exploring the colossal building, familiarising ourselves with the space and scouting for ideal photography locations. A same-day spontaneous recce is exactly how we approach Wedding locations. We don't believe in visiting months prior to the Wedding. Not only does it defeat the magic of the Wedding day, but everything is in danger of being overthought, a recipe for disaster in our eyes.
After devising an effective plan in our heads for the next 10 hours, we headed off to the bridal suite located within a labyrinth of rooms. We knocked on the door, were greeted by one of the beautiful bridesmaids and asked to come in - the room was jaw-dropping. Cute, sweet and full of personality - a perfect choice for Amanda. The interior designers for this place deserve national recognition. The detail of each individual part of furniture and everything from the photographs lining the walls to the ancient curtains was immaculate.
100 photographs and much laughter later, we thought it was a good idea to finally go meet the groom, ex-military officer Thomas. We kept the Supersnap promise of first-class communication by regularly checking in with him in the 6 months leading up to the special day, perfecting the photography package and making sure everyone involved was aware of the day's happenings. Thomas was one of the nicest and funniest men we'd met that year. Plus he's a Doctor, so we knew we were in safe hands! But then we noticed something rather worrying. He was still in his dressing gown, with less than 45 minutes to go until the Ceremony. What a legend!
If there is one thing we learned in the first hour of spending time with Thomas, it's that he loves to have fun. Everyone seemed to attach themselves to him, like he was a human magnet. His genuine vibe must have filled the castle with reassuring positivity, and people must have simply picked up on it.
Let's fast-forward to the ceremony. We have never witnessed such a magical Valentine's Day. We are believers of romance with a special someone, and to see that in front of our eyes made us somewhat tearful. The world is such a beautiful place, and the people in it make it that way. The ceremonial room was beautiful. There was colour, texture, royalty and simply stunning architecture.
Something we haven't seen before happened on this day. Not only did this formal ceremony take place, but straight after Thomas, Amanda and their happy guests all head off to an onsite chapel where a religious ceremony was performed. Like the couple, the vicar possessed a humorous, loving personality, adding to the existing happy aura circulating the castle.
Following this we directed the formal shots, entertained guests (kids included!) at the reception, captured the tearful and comical speeches (Dr Thomas was mentioned by the Queen for his services to the army!) and made sure we didn't miss their heart-warming first dance.
Valentine's Day 2018 was an unforgettable experience for everybody present. Perfect for Amanda, perfect for Thomas, perfect for the guests, and perfect for us. We took over 1500 photographs that day, and managed to send the newly weds just short of 700 individually edited masterpieces. They loved all the photos and, although Thomas works very long hours being a Doctor, they can both revisit their special day at any time, for the rest of their lives.
Congratulations to you both!