It’s awesome to be a Holdsworth House wedding photographer since this is a great venue in which to tie the knot! It is a Jacobean Manor dating back to 1633, but there appears to have been some kind of building on the site almost 800 years ago. The history of the site is lengthy, and intriguing. It has been owned by many wealthy families until it was opened to the public in the 1960s as ‘The Cavalier Country Club’. With its historical architecture and classic decor, I can’t imagine a nicer place for act as a hotel and host elegant weddings. The friendly cat relaxing on the couch in the entrance, whom I met when I visited Holdsworth House in preparation for the wedding, is the icing on the cake :). Little things like this demonstrate just how friendly a venue can be.
Harrah and Neerj booked me way back in 2016, and I didn’t meet them again until their pre-wedding shoot in Yorkshire Sculpture Park earlier this year (2018). They said they would like natural photos – which is just fine by me – and during their pre-wedding shoot it quickly become apparent why: before I’d even trained my camera they were laughing and enjoying each other’s company. Neerj had a penchant throwing Harrah in the air, meanwhile Harrah enjoyed pushing Neej over when he least expected it. This kind of things is great for me as a photographer and it continued into their wedding as you’ll see!
My day started early with bridal prep in the ‘De Aldworth Room’, a room set aside for larger bridal parties. As is the case with many historic venues, the room was very dark and undeniably a challenge for a photographer, but to my advantage there was at least one large window and Harrah and her bridal team were having a great time with loads of moments to capture. I was saddened to hear that Harrah had been quite ill the day before with food poisoning. Imagine that, the day before your wedding! She seemed a bit better in the morning though, the excitement of the wedding carrying her through, and I was impressed by her stoicism!
Make-up and hair done and Harrah, her mum and myself make a quick, secret dash to the bridal suite so Harrah can put her dress on. Harrah’s dad become quite emotional when he saw Harrah in her wedding dress for the first time, I mean, what Father of the Bride, doesn’t? This is, however, the first time I’ve seen a dad propose to his own daughter haha. By this time Neerj has arrived and is chilling with his family and guests in the bar. It’s all really relaxed and that’s always nice for me as a photographer.
The ceremony is lovely, with Harrah and Neerj smiling and laughing throughout. Sometimes nerves can get the better of people, myself included on my own wedding day, and people can be quite stiff through the ceremony, but not these two :). A reading, the exchanging of rings, the first kiss and some more laughing and that’s a wrap on the ceremony!
Everyone moved outside into Holdsworth House’ lovely grounds, for drinks, and in time some family and couple photos. Harrah gave Neerj a good shove, and with that their marriage was sealed! The confetti gauntlet was a good one! Harrah’s mum made sure they didn’t escape without being completely covered in petals. On with the wedding breakfast and the usual hilarious speeches, especially Harrah’s dad. Once everyone settled down to eat I went for a little lunch, and on the way to my car noticed a gentleman guest enjoying some Indian music in his car. I wasn’t surprised to see the same gentlemen owning the dancefloor later in the evening! Speaking of which….
Holdsworth House’ dance floor is arranged such that the bride and groom can be surrounded by their guests during the first dance. It was a great, first dance and Harrah and Neerj were quickly joined by their guests on the dance floor. I love taking party photos, especially people dancing without a car in the world. Just as I was thinking it was about time I should start packing up, some Bhangra – at least I think it was Bhangra – came over the speakers and Neerj and all his family hit the floor, completely loving it. I stopped what I was doing and shot everything that moved for the next 10 mins. It was a great ending to a great day. I feel very lucky to be a Holdsworth House wedding photographer.
Massive congratulations to Harrah and Neerj. I wish you both all the best!
With thanks to my bro and second shooter: Kieran Bellis Photography
Such a historic location, I really do enjoy being a Holdsworth House Wedding Photographer. Set in beautiful but secluded garden pastures near Halifax, Holdsworth is an award-winning Jacobean manor-turned-wedding venue that is proud have a 4 star classification. Not far from Shibden Hall and Bronte Country, you can stay in this hotel dedicated to giving guests peace and relaxation.
The Manor dates back to 1633, although it is clear there has been a building on the site as far back 1272. The house still has many period features including stone mullioned windows, beamed ceilings and splendid fireplaces. These add to the air of peace, tradition and comfort.
Holdsworth House is proud to have always been independently owned since 1272. From 1633 to 1963 it was owned by a variety of notable families. It was opened to the public in 1963 by Rita and Freddie Pearson who had bought the property the year before. At the time it was known as ‘The Cavalier Country Club, and these days the Pearson’s daughters play a crucial role in preserving the house’s history and continuing its success as one of Yorkshires leading four star hotels.
Various celebrities have stayed at the hotel over the years. Easily the most notable were the Beatles who visited on 9th October 1964, on John Lennon’s 24th birthday. All the staff were sworn to secrecy because the owners were concerned thousands of screaming fans might trample the beautiful gardens. The Pearson family were forced to give up their own accommodation for this legendary band. They arrived after a concert in Bradford, which was the opening night of their British tour. The rooms in which the Beatles stayed have now been converted into offices and dinning areas, however their dinner order has been preserved and is now framed on the hotel reception wall.
Holdsworth House has been hosting weddings for nearly 60 years, and their attractive packages make booking simple and straight forward. Nominated as Yorkshire Wedding Venue of the Year in The English Wedding Awards 2019, they guarantee an excellent level of service regardless of whether your wedding is large or small.
The house is licensed for both civil partnerships and marriages. The loyal team of staff are lead by Claire, the Events Manager, who has over 20 years experience in service, and Tracey, the master of ceremonies, who has over 300 years experience! They are experts as putting couples at ease as they plan their special day and on the day itself, when they tie the knot.
There are a variety of wedding packages to choose from, however the staff will help you to create your own special day unique to your tastes. The manor house offers full licensing for marriage ceremonies in all function rooms, can cater for up to 120 guests, is an LGBT wedding venue, exclusive use of the whole house and the grounds, outdoor weddings, whether permitting, award winning food, 36 rooms and special winter wedding discounts.