Durham Castle is a dream to photograph, wonderfully atmospheric, grand and full of history. It also held some very special memories for Laura and James and so it could not have been more perfect for their wedding.
I asked Laura to tell us about their wedding herself, so here goes!...
"We met at Durham University in 2006. We shared a few mutual friends, but it was playing college basketball that meant we started spending more time together. The most memorable turning point in our 'friendship' was when we spend a couple of hours together on a first aid course.... practising CPR (!) and then the long walk back home where we chatted for ages. James proposed after 7 years together, on a slightly random Monday evening after I'd been at work for the entire day. He called me whilst I was driving home and asked me to give him a call 5 mins from home so he could start cooking the chicken fajitas. Little did I know it was actually so he could leave our flat - he left an envelope on the doormat which was the start of a treasure hunt... the end of which was a proposal :) Unfortunately the chicken fajitas didn't exist (!), but we went out for dinner before going on a mini break to Vienna 2 days later."
"We had a facetime chat with Chrissie and Nigel and loved how relaxed they were! I could instantly imagine them sharing in our wedding day."
For Laura and James, Durham Castle was always the one.
"We were both students at Castle College in Durham, which is very lucky to have Durham Castle as the halls of residence! I lived in the castle during my final year, top floor of the keep - 127 steps up. James used to refer to it as his 'city centre pent house! For us, there was only one place we could get married if we were ever to 'tie the knot!"
Laura chose vintage inspired accessories along with her stunning shoes - the Ivory 'Paris' stone embellished heeled sandals by No. 1 Jenny Packham.
Laura's stunningly beautiful wedding dress was the Jean gown by Badgley Mischka
"My wedding dress was the first thing I bought for the wedding - I loved the slightly vintage element of it and tried to carry this across the wedding (ie nothing too pristine and perfect - I didn't want 'matchy matchy'!)"
They were married in Durham Castle's medieval private chapel, the Tunstall chapel, constructed by Bishop Cuthbert Tunstall in 1540.
"When I'm a guest at weddings I never look at the bride first when she walks down the aisle - I always look at the groom to see his reaction! I really wanted two photographers so that both moments could be captured"
"One of my favourite moments was walking back down the aisle after the service and seeing all our friends and family."
Laura and James were so much fun to work with, relaxed and clearly in love. They made it too easy for us to capture some beautiful images of them alone together
"We loved the confetti gauntlet despite it almost choking James, the photo of him after getting confetti in his face is one of my favourites - even though it really shouldn't be!"
I asked Laura for a little advice for other couples getting married...
"Plan the day you want and that will make you happy. There can be so many differing opinions when planning a wedding. Just do what makes you happy -it's your day."
"As we were getting married in spring, I wanted to incorporate spring colours (light pink and purple). As it was Easter weekend we also wanted to give a little nod to this with the personalised easter egg favors."
Laura and James' beautiful wedding cake was carefully handcrafted by Laura's talented mother
"We looked over some photos that Nigel and Chrissie had taken at a wedding at Durham Castle and fell in love with them. Once I'd seen this there was no debate!"
"Make sure you find even just 5 mins to yourselves at the wedding. We used the time when we went off to do some photos with Chrissie and Nigel after the dinner."
A favourite moment was our SECOND dance with our amazing band, Detroit Soul, 'This Old Heat of Mine'. We actually wanted this to be our first song, but didn't think the lyrics were appropriate!
Congratulations to you Laura and James once again. Thank you for your words of wisdom, kindness and warmth - and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for inviting us to share with you, your wonderful wedding day at Durham Castle.
Laura and James carefully selected some fantastic suppliers for their wedding day:
Venue: Durham Castle
Venue styling: Pumpkin Events (friends business)
The wedding dress: Badgley Mischka: Jean
The men's suits: Moss
Wedding cake: Mother of the Bride!
Flowers: Style and Seated (friend)
Hair and Make up: Church Hairdressing (Tynemouth), F.A.C.E Makeup (Sarah Stonehouse)
Entertainment: Detroit Soul