Iscoyd Park Wedding of the wonderful humans Kate & Huw. Iscoyd Park is a private country house wedding venue touching the borders of North Wales, Shropshire and Cheshire.
Gender Equal Weddings
It’s international women’s day and I picked out the wedding of Kate & Huw as an example of how weddings could move towards a more gender equal future. Weddings are as unique and individual as the couples getting married and so one of the best things about photographing so many weddings is that individuality. The best weddings to photograph are those that reflect the couple and regardless of their beliefs, politics, background or favourite colour, if their wedding reflects these things it’s gonna be brilliant!
Iscoyd Park has been around since the 1700s and weddings even longer. Wedding traditions have become so engrained that for many people the thought of not having their dad walk them down the isle or enduring a best man’s speech is unthinkable. For others, a rejection of these traditions in favour of a humanist ceremony or eloping to the mountains is their ideal day.
Your own solutions
I feel that a lot of couples who I work with battle wanting to celebrate a gender equal relationship but based around a wedding they have imagined since being little.
Personally I think Kate and Huw made a series of decisions that saw them design a wedding day that represents the future of what weddings will look like. As a wedding photographer I deeply hope this becomes the new tradition.
Blending the old and new
At first glance their Iscoyd Park wedding looked like a traditional British wedding. Beautiful dress (like – really beautiful dress) best man and chief bridesmaid, not seeing each other before the ceremony etc.
Kate & Huw simply lifted out those traditions with an awkward history. The first moment was, for me, the most moving. As we waited in the light bright garden room at the back of Iscoyd Park, Huw was very nervous. As the music started and their guests were asked to stand, Kate confidently strode in to the isle backlit by the brilliant mid day sunlight… alone. This was a self assured and beautiful bride independently walking to her wedding ceremony to make her chosen promises to her chosen man.
Dress: Jesus Peiro
The most obvious example of wedding a tradition that seems dated is the speeches. The reception was held in the marquee in the gardens of Iscoyd Park Often when I ask if the bride will be speaking the response is similar. No one is looking forward to making a speech and if there is no expectation that she will, then that’s a pretty good way to avoid it! Another factor is that if mums, dads, bridesmaids, best men and the couple speak, we’re gonna be here some time!
Kate and Huw judged this to perfection. A mixture of speeches from key members of the wedding party but each speech was kept short to some key sentiments and not the rambling tales we have come to expect. More like what you would see in lots of other cultures.
Some simple ideas for a more gender equal wedding:
- Have both parents or no-one walk you down the isle
- It’s ok to have a ‘best woman’ or a ‘bridesman’
- Write your own vows which focus on respect and equality
- Ushers are often assigned the logistic/organising tasks automatically. Instead choose one usher and one bridesmaid who have the best ‘get things done’ skills as a go to for your photographer and other suppliers.
- Opt for more but shorter speeches allowing room for a wider mix of people to speak.
Iscoyd park wedding photography
When you hold your wedding at Iscoyd Park you have exclusive hire of the venue. It’s size, variety of different areas combined with the quirky touches the owners have put in place, Iscoyd Park has far too many good photography spots for a single wedding day!
Morning Preparations photography
The rooms you can use to get ready in are as good as it gets from a photography point of view. Lots of space, beautiful décor and lots of windows!
Both the drawing room and the garden room are beautifully lit making photography easy. Room at the front of both options is quite limited which is not ideal but I was able to get all the shots I needed.
I was slightly overwhelmed by the options for couple portraits. At many venues there are a few ‘wow’ spots and others which with some creativity you can make great pictures with. At Iscoyd Park the number of ‘wow’ spots is exceptional. I had a really hard time narrowing down the handful of locations we had time to use. Here is a list of the spots that I think work the best from a photographers point of view:
Best Photography spots for an Iscoyd Park wedding
- Under the trees by the Piano. This is such a unique space and great in any lighting
- The lake. This spot is simply stunning but is best on bright days.
- The natural area just beyond the lake. At certain times of the year I love the wild feel here.
- The wheat field at the back of the estate. Great for evening shots
- Amongst the rustic red brick buildings/old stables. Great for overcast days when the colour and textures really pop
- The formal gardens. With so may wild areas it’s nice to contrast this with formal hedges and geometric compositions.
If you are planning a Iscoyd Park wedding I would love to here from you: Contact Me