Mitton Hall, in Whalley on the outskirts of Clitheroe, Lancashire, is one of my favourite wedding venues. Being part of the James Places Group along with Eaves Hall, it is a very high quality luxury wedding venue in the Ribble Valley.
I have been fortunate enough to photograph quite a few weddings at Mitton Hall, and have witnessed the venue go under a full refurbishment at the end of 2014 / early 2015 which has only improved upon what was already one of Lancashire's top venues.
One of the things I like most about Mitton Hall is the contrast between the dark wooden part of the building, with a real open fire, huge chandelier, open ceiling and balcony and a real warm cosy atmosphere, vs the newer part of Mitton Hall, the bright white, airy and fresh wedding room, with its bright orangery ceremony room (AMAZING for photographs!). It really does feel like two wedding venues in one, with the option to be able to go from one side of the building to the other as required.
Bridal Preparation is one of my favourite parts of the day to photograph, so much going on, a mixture of emotions (anticipation, excitement and butterflies) between the Bride and her bridesmaids. Mitton Hall has a fantastic room available for getting ready in, upstairs on the corner overlooking the front courtyard area. Although not technically a bedroom, Mitton Hall can get this room ready for you to get ready in, and it works amazingly. Seriously, the light from the windows at the front is perfect for photographs (I believe Make-Up artists also rather like it too!). Once the Bridal Suite is available, Mitton Hall will move all your things for you, to do the finishing touches in the bridal suite. Here are a few photos from the morning's get-ready at Mitton Hall:
The Ceremony Room is one of the best rooms I have come across in terms of natural light. There's loads of it, and it's all coming from the right direction. The room is basically a huge orangery, which means there's lots of windows at the front of it, both in the ceiling and in the walls - and the windows are BIG, which is great for me! The quality of light coming from these windows is perfect. It is also protected from direct sun, as the sun rises to the left of Mitton Hall (as you walk out of the front door) and sets on the right, meaning that these windows are free from direct sunlight - meaning again, perfect light and no being blinded during the service! Also the views are pretty spectacular over the River Ribble!
Post-ceremony & Reception at Mitton Hall is brilliant, with a variety of options open to you depending on where you want to spend it! Inside, you have the older, darker part of Mitton Hall (my personal favourite) which is intimate and very grand, at over winter has THE biggest Christmas Tree I have ever seen, literally. Alternatively if the weather is on your side, you have the gardens to the back of Mitton Hall and the courtyard areas to the front, both of which are superb. I like to spend this time taking natural photographs, rather than taking the bride and groom away from the wedding party, I prefer to blend in and use this time to take lots of natural, happy, smiley photos, such as below:
For the Bride and Groom pictures together, in fitting with my style, I like to find a nice "away-from-it-all" location and capture some lovely natural moments between you. I don't think "posing" for the camera ever works, and I much prefer natural moments. Mitton Hall has plenty of opportunities for this both inside and outside, and at the front or rear of the building.
Here are a few examples:
Speeches are another of my favourite photograph opportunities, with the range of expressions shown being a great opportunity to capture some reactions!
Taking place in the well lit ceremony room, during summer this room is flooded with natural light which looks fantastic, the gardens behind just showing in some of the photos depending on the angles etc. During the winter the room is warmly lit, looking festive and welcoming, and the room is very large so can easily hold all your guests and ensure they can all see what is going on.
As always, I like to finish with a Closing Shot which I will generally try to include the venue in...It really couldn't get much better than having Mitton Hall behind you! Usually, this photograph will be taken during the evening, typically around 9pm, so the venue will be lit up. I will add a little flash to the scene to produce something like this, which is typically one of the last photographs I will take on the day:
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