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Grays Court wedding photographer

Bride and groom walk down cobbled street near York Minster behind two people

Grays Court wedding, York

Kathy & Manoj

What great fun it was to be a Grays Court wedding photographer for Kathy and Manoj.

It really was a day full of smiles, love and laughter at a beautifully intimate and historic venue in the centre of York. What a combination.

The weather gods coukdnt have been kinder – it was swelteringly hot all day – and Kathy, Manoj and their guests certainly made the most of the beautiful garden at Grays Court.

The famous city walls in York overlook Grays Court, meaning Kathy and Manoj’s outdoor ceremony drew a crowd as members of the public – and a few surprise guests – stopped to watch. Everyone loves a good old wedding, don’t they?

Located right next to York Minster, Grays Court also offers the chance for some amazing portraits. It’s a popular tourist spot, so Kathy and Manoj rarely got the cobbled streets to themselves, but luckily I love incorporating real life into all my shots in my documentary wedding photography style. See if you can spot the photobombers in one of the portrait photos below…

Thanks a lot to Andy Wade Photography for having me along for the ride. It was a blast.

Build-up to a Grays Court wedding

After a chilled-out evening with their guests the previous day, Kathy and Manoj got down to the serious business of getting married. Kathy and her nearest and dearest enjoyed the best view in the house – overlooking the garden – during bridal prep, while Manoj and the lads were getting ready just down the corridor.

Bridesmaid has make-up applied as bride has hair styled before Grays Court wedding
Bride has eyeliner applied before Grays Court wedding in York
Bride smiles during bridal prep at Grays Court
Groom has braces adjusted before Grays Court wedding
Groom puts tie on before Grays Court wedding in York
Groom prepares for Grays Court wedding in York
Guest and his reflections in mirrors before Grays COurt wedding
Bride looks out of window at Grays Court in York

Grays Court wedding ceremony

Kathy and Manoj couldn’t have picked a better day in terms of the weather – how many people in the UK have the privilege of tying the knot in glorious sunshine under clear blue skies? The outdoor ceremony was a wonderful occasion, made all the better by Kathy’s workmates unfurling a banner from the city walls.

Bride and children wait at Grays Court Hotel before wedding ceremony
Bride, son and daughter smile before wedding ceremony at Grays Court in York
Bride and son walk down corridor in front of map of York at Grays Court wedding
Bride and mother embrace before Grays Court wedding ceremony
Bride's parents take photos as bride walks to wedding ceremony at Grays Court in York
Wedding ceremony in Grays Court garden
Friends display a banner for bride and groom from York walls above Grays Court garden

Bring on the band!

The brilliant New York Brass Band surprised the guests – it was top secret – by making a grand entrance to mark the end of the ceremony. Kathy and Manoj led the way on the (grass) dance floor as everyone soaked up the sun’s rays. I was even lucky enough to get a lesson in how to solve a Rubik’s cube.

Bride and groom dancing to brass band in Grays Court garden
Guest dance at Grays Court with York Minster in the background
Bride hugs two guests at Grays Court wedding
Wedding guests drink and laugh at Grays Court in York
Bride removes confetti from groom's hair at Grays Court in York
Children watch a cartoon on a phone at a Grays Court wedding in York
Wedding guest with Rubik's cube at Grays Court
Groom spins bride as they dance to brass band at Grays Court in York

Grays Court documentary wedding portraits

I love to include elements of a wedding venue and the natural surroundings into my photography – check out my portfolio to find out more. Portraits don’t have to be posed. And if tourists happen to wander down the street at the same time, all the better…

Groom smiles in front of old photo on wall
Bride and groom walk down cobbled street near York Minster behind two people
Groom and bride walk down a cobbled street in York
Bride and groom raise their arms as they enter wedding breakfast at Grays Court

Grays Court wedding photography

Grays Court is without doubt the oldest wedding venue I’ve worked at – it’s almost 1,000 years old.

Commissioned in 1070 by Thomas of Bayeux, the first Norman Archbishop in York following William the Conqueror’s victory at the Battle of Hastings, it offers an astonishing glimpse into history.

Originally built to entertain important visitors, Grays Court is thought to be the oldest continuously occupied building in Britain.

King James I once visited, even knighting “eight noblemen” in the Long Gallery, and William Wilberforce is among the other distinguished guests to have stayed.

It hasn’t all been roses and champagne, though. In 1674 George Aislabie, the owner of Gray’s Court, and Jonathan Jennings, his wife’s sister’s fiancé ended up having a duel after a mix-up about – wait for it – some gates being locked. It started on the first stroke of the York Minster bell and ended when Jennings stabbed Aislabie. He was carried to Grays Court, where he later died.

The Grade I listed building is now owned by St John’s College and, as far as I know, there haven’t been any duels lately.

Grays Court is a genuinely special wedding venue, with 12 luxury rooms, 3 AA Rosettes and a place in the Michelin Guide. I can’t wait to go back…

Looking for a wedding photojournalist?

Thanks for checking out this blog. If you’re looking for a Grays Court wedding photographer – or a York or Manchester documentary wedding photographer – please get in touch.