An Idyllic Ghyll Barn Wedding in the Eden Valley, Cumbria
Updated: Nov 7, 2022
OK, so now I know why the Eden Valley in Cumbria is called the Eden Valley- because it is like a little bit of heaven on earth! Situated a stone's throw from the Lake District, it's like the UK's best kept secret, and a wedding photographer's dream!
I was delighted to be the photographer at Lydia and Dan's Eden Valley wedding in a brand new venue called Ghyll Barn, in Long Marton, near Appleby. The Barn was transformed by owners Chris and Charlotte to hold their own wedding in, so they really have put their heart and soul into it, and - wow- what a cool space they have created in absolutely stunning surroundings. More on Ghyll Barn later...
Lydia is literally one of the most laid-back brides who has ever booked me. When I called her two weeks before the wedding to go over the details, she told me that her (bespoke designed) dress was still in pieces but she didn't seem too worried and thought that it would (probably) be ready by the wedding day! She said that her and her fiancé Dan didn't really like posing for photos, so they just wanted lots of natural shots of the day. Natural and relaxed- Check! Check!
Lydia was getting ready at the family home, a beautiful stone cottage set back from a country road. I was immediately greeted by one of Lydia's sisters and her dad who made me feel completely welcome. I learned pretty quickly that Lydia's family were just the most lovely people, so it was such a treat for me to be a part of their world for a day. Oh, and Lydia's dress was ready! Phew! And WHAT a dress!
Lydia and Dan were getting married in St Lawrence' s Church, Crosby Ravensworth, which is in an idyllic setting beside the Dalebanks Beck. Half of the village were waiting outside in the glorious sunshine to get a glimpse of the bride as she arrived, walking over the bridge and into the church grounds. The Church has been called a Cathedral in miniature, and when you step inside you see why- it is stunning, with white stone and grand arches soaring upwards. The ceremony was absolutely beautiful and very special.
Afterwards I was surprised to find that the church gate had been tied together with twine... apparently it's a local custom! The Groomsmen managed to untie it whilst throwing money out of the gate for the local children to collect!
And so, on to Ghyll Barn to celebrate! The happy couple and I took a few minutes whilst their guests were arriving to get some pictures on the fell overlooking the barn (with Chris, the owner and good friend of the couple driving us up in his 4x4). We had some company though, as Chris' cows stopped munching their grass to watch us with curiosity! With Scafell Pike in the distance behind the newly wedded couple -the place where Lydia and Dan got engaged- and what seemed like the whole world laid out in front of them, it was the perfect place to capture them starting their married life!
Ghyll Barn is a dream wedding venue to enjoy cocktail hour outside in the sunshine- with stunning surroundings in every direction, loads of room for the kids to run and play, and leisurely seating areas to sit and chat. As a wedding photographer, I love seeing people happy, relaxed and enjoying themselves during this time of the day, and I was able to get so many fun, candid shots of guests milling about, as well as the family group shots on the lawn.
Inside the Barn, Chris has lovingly refurbished antique furniture and upcycled so many bespoke pieces, and it all comes together to form an eclectic and super cool space. There is so much to look at, and every piece has a history, yet the whole venue feels so modern in the way it's brought together.
I loved how Lydia and Dan had added little touches that made the meal more of an 'experience'. They had printed out a funny photo of every single guest with their table number on the back, so you had to "find your face to get your place", which was like a big game. Then, each table had to nominate someone to wear the chef's hat and apron and carve up the locally sourced meat.
The speeches were gorgeous and even contained the most rousing rendition of the national anthem I have ever been a part of!
As the sun moved lower in the sky, we made the most of the glorious golden hour and the beautiful wildflower meadow at Ghyll Barn to take a few more portraits of this loved-up pair. Just stunning!
The fun and celebration continued into the evening, with Ghyll Barn transforming into a spacious event venue with a stage, dancefloor and bar. And this bunch were up for having a good time!
Lydia said, "Lindy is so unbelievably talented at what she does, we are absolutely in love with our wedding photographs. Especially as we are a couple who don’t really like having our photos taken. Not only is Lindy an incredible photographer she contributed so much to our whole day. From keeping me topped up with lip balm all day, keeping us calm and generally being the most happy, smiliest person around. We will never be able to thank you enough for capturing our whole day so perfectly."
Thank you so much, Lydia and Dan for having me at your amazing, happy day! It was an absolute pleasure to be your wedding photographer in this stunning Cumbrian location.