Written by Bethany, PA to Luke Granger
Engagement Photoshoot at Castle Ashby
Here at Luke Granger Photography we always try to build strong relationships with our couples so absolutely love when they choose to book a pre wedding photoshoot. Not only do our couples create amazing memories and photographs together, it is a fantastic for us to be able to get to know them better, learn about their plans and just generally talk about life. This engagement photoshoot was a little different however, as I have known our bride since we were 11!
Having moved to Northampton for work, Natalie waved goodbye to Kent and subsequently met her Fiancé Darren through work. Unlike the movies, it was not love at first sight, but Darren perservered for a few years and eventually won her heart with his banter.
A house, lockdown and an Eden Project proposal later, the pair got stuck into wedding planning and naturally chose the best wedding photographer they knew, Luke Granger Photography. We often get asked how far we travel for weddings but we really don't have a limit. If the dates work for us we will happily visit wedding venues across the country if our couples invite us to.
As a friend, I of course was over the moon to hear of their engagement but the added excitement of being such a big part of their special day makes it such an honour. Having followed our work via our Instagram for sometime, Natalie knew Luke was the best man for the job before the proposal had even been made and Darren was more than happy with her choice of wedding photographer.
As neither Natalie or Darren had never met Luke before and I hadn't seen Natalie for 9 years or met Darren, the engagement shoot was special in so many ways.
Visiting Castle Ashby Gardens
Despite us living in Kent, we are happy to travel anywhere for our couples so a trip to Northamptonshire was no trouble at all. We enjoy travelling to new wedding venues, visiting different locations and experiencing new areas of the country so this was an opportunity we were both looking forward to for many reasons.
Natalie and Darren chose the beautiful Castle Ashby as the location for their engagement shoot and what an amazing choice it was. When we booked the date in our diaries, we had no idea it would become the much awaited "freedom day" or that we would have such scorching weather, but we clearly got lucky.
Our meeting was however nearly put on hold. Just 10 days beforehand, Darren took a cricket ball to the eye which left him with a bit of a nasty bruise. He knew he would be in trouble for ruining our plans but with the wonders of Arnica and a dab of concealer no one could tell. Thankfully the couple have chosen an April wedding date which avoids the cricket season for next year.
After exchanging well overdue hugs and introductions we sat outside the Castle Ashby tearooms to enjoy a spot of lunch together. It was lovely to hear about their wedding plans, their lives together and exchange interesting stories in the sunshine; time certainly flew by. We decided it was about time we began their engagement photoshoot so made our way towards the gardens to explore.
As a chosen wedding venue for the one and only David Seaman back In 1998, Castle Ashby is unfortunately no longer open as a mainstream wedding venue as it is now a private residence. Their are however elements of the grounds such as the walled garden and St Mary Magdalene church that can be hired if you are looking for a Northampton wedding venue.
Beautiful striped lawns, pristine flower beds and inviting fountains welcomed us and it was easy to see why Darren & Natalie loved visiting Castle Ashby Gardens. We were delighted to have such good weather, but it did get a little too hot at times. We wandered the cobbled pathways, explored the woodland, the Orangery and Luke enjoyed seeing the Koi fish swimming in the lake.
Engagement Photoshoot at Castle Ashby
Darren, who is a very much like Luke with his laid back nature, was impressing his future bride getting stuck in with suggesting new areas of the grounds to explore. We visited the romantic spot they chose for picnics and the lavender garden that inspired their wedding colours; he even decided to make an impromptu recreation of their proposal. Darren certainly gets my seal of approval of Natalies choice of Groom.
Fun & Natural Engagement Photography at Castle Ashby
As with all of our wedding and engagement photoshoots, we always aim to create a relaxed atmosphere for our couples, capturing moments in a fun and natural way. Natalie and Darren didn't need much direction from us as they were actively enjoying themselves and you could see the bond they share together is strong.
The Castle Ashby Gardens are pretty extensive, we only explored a small section on our visit but If you are looking for a place to visit in Northampton, I would highly recommend. There is a menagerie home to marmosets and meerkats, Italian Gardens, an Arboretum and Darren regularly plays cricket where the scenic views are never ending.
Engagement Photography in Northamptonshire
With Natalie and Darren's engagement shoot over (It was too hot to explore any further) we were invited to their house nearby for a drink and to continue our lovely afternoon.
Sitting out in their sun trap of a garden, Natalie and I reminisced about life back in secondary school and we just enjoyed talking about anything and everything, it was certainly a fantastic way to spend freedom day. After taking a look through some sample wedding albums and hearing more of their wedding plans we felt it was time to say our goodbyes and make our way back to our hotel.
Since returning home we have edited and sent the happy couple their photographs from their engagement shoot. As you can see there were some fantastic memories captured and we are so pleased to hear that they are delighted with our work.
Natalie and Darren have selected the beautiful Normanton Church as their wedding venue and from hearing all the exciting plans, we know it's going to be fantastic wedding day. April 2022 will be here before we all know it and we will be sure to share photographs of the big day with you soon.
Wedding Photographer in Northampton
Based in Kent, here at Luke Granger Photography, we are happy to travel to wedding venues across the country. If you are looking for a wedding photographer in Northampton and enjoy our work, we would love to discuss how we can be part of your day. Visit this page to view our packages.