Claire & Michael: An Intimate Family-Filled Buxton Pavilion Wedding

I'm sure it's been made clear time and time again but I'll say it once more: I REALLY love weddings.  200 guests, 20 guests; a medieval castle, a local registry office; the white wedding confectionary dream dress, a killer separate ensemble from Etsy; these days there is no 'right way' to get married and every wedding, every choice of celebration IS the 'right way' as long as it's right for you!

The WONDERFULLY sweet Claire & Michael got in touch with me just 7 WEEKS before their wedding day after booking (then cancelling) the big wedding next spring. Instead these two lovebirds opted for a VERY intimate (we're talking 20 people!) family-focused ceremony on the bandstand of the beautifully vintage Buxton Pavilion Gardens, just on the edge of the Peak District.  With a simple hearfelt civil ceremony and just those closest to them present, there wasn't a dry eye in sight (including my own!). 

The incredible luxury of the size of this wedding and spending it with two people who were so comfortable in each other's company meant that we were able to really take our time and capture some gorgeously emotional post-ceremony portraits, showing off the amazing location but also Claire's exquisite gown as well-wishers passed us (and sometimes gate-crashed, as expected).  A busker even struck up a verse or two of Billy Idol's White Wedding as we explored the orangerie!

After our wander around the grounds, we made our way over to the lovely Old Hall Hotel where Claire's future sister in law's FABULOUS cake was the centerpiece and the family relaxed into a (hopefully champagne-fueled) afternoon tea.

Claire & Michael's lovely wedding was such a great example of how the most important thing about your wedding day is planning it in a way that feels right for YOU, not what you think you SHOULD do.  Because at the end of the day when the dress is hung up, the cake is eaten and the photos are framed, a marriage remains.  And isn't it a truly magical thing that you get to the decide what the beginning of that adventure looks like? 

Here is a peek of Claire and Michael's beautiful day.  Enjoy.