Woodstock Weddings Photographer | Barn Wedding York | Sara & Ananya

woodstock weddings photographer York barn wedding

Black tie and dreamy florals for the loveliest of couples at Woodstock Weddings & Events, York.

Woodstock Weddings Photographer. Sara and Ananya were married at the gorgeous Woodstock Weddings and Events; a converted barn venue outside York. There was so much going on at their wedding, from candy floss and popcorn to an Air Stream photobooth, Bollywood dancing and some of the most beautiful flowers I’ve ever seen.

Getting ready.

I met up with Sara at the Grand Hotel in York to capture her getting ready. The Grand is a gorgeous five star hotel close to the station; it’s a beautiful building with amazing staircases and is a perfect wedding venue in itself if you’re looking to get married in York City centre.

Sara was having her make up done by the very talented Ruby J when I got there, and she already looked stunning. She was there with just her mum and sister and little niece. It was lovely to spend a couple of hours with them, listening to their stories and capturing them having hair and makeup done, and also getting some detailed shots of Sara’s amazing Caroline Castigliano gown.

Meanwhile Ananya was getting ready in another suite at the hotel and my second shooter Lissa joined him and the guys to capture their side of the morning. They had gone for black tie which I’m an absolute sucker for, I LOVE a black tie wedding! She got loads of great shots of them trying to do their bow ties, until they eventually gave up and called the concierge to help them! She also got some ace group shots of the guys on the stairs in the corridor before they headed off to Woodstock. Back in Sara’s suite it was time for her to get dressed, and then her bridesmaids arrived and promptly burst into tears when they saw her, and rightly so! Videographer Mike from Swanland Media was with us too – I always enjoy working with him as we have a similar way of working and he’s lovely to be around as well as making great films. Mike and I also headed over to Woodstock to say hi to Ananya and to get in place for Sara and the girls arrive.


This was a huge wedding with Sara and Anna both having loads of friends and family, so there were lots of people there already when we arrived. This gave us plenty of opportunities to get some great candid shots of everyone greeting Ananya and getting excited for the day ahead. I also nipped inside the barn to see everything set up for the ceremony and it looked incredible with the most beautiful floral arch by Dittany Entwined who has quickly become one of my favourite florists!

One of the great things about Woodstock is it has little private room for the brides and bridesmaids to wait in so that nobody can see them before the wedding, and you can even drive the car up to the back of that so that people can’t see you get out. Sara and her bridesmaids waited patiently in the bridal room whilst everyone took their seats and Ananya took his place at the top of the aisle with his best men. This was actually their third wedding celebration so it was more of a blessing and not a legal ceremony, and that meant that a great friend of theirs led the service which was wonderful. It was so personal with loads of great stories about the two of them. It was really funny but also really heartfelt and touching.

The bridesmaids and then Sara all walked down the aisle and then it was on with the service. Mike and I managed to squidge in behind the floral arch to get shots from the front whilst Lissa was at the back (one of my favourite things about having a second photographer – two angles during the ceremony). Sara and Ananya read some beautiful vows to each other, making everyone laugh and cry. They exchanged rings and the ceremony came to a close. The music started up and Sara and Ananya headed back up the aisle and outside in the courtyard, dancing their way between friends and family who were pelting them with confetti.


It was dry at this point so everybody headed outside, grabbed a drink, canapés were served, and of course they all wanted to congratulate the bride and groom. This is one of my favourite parts of the day because you can get loads of great candid shots lots of smiling happy wedding guests hugging each other, hugging the bride and groom, laughing, chatting and just generally having a great time. I always try to get a lot of the group photos done early on because people like to just know that those are done so that they can relax a bit and enjoy the rest of the afternoon. We did have a nice long drinks reception which meant that we didn’t have to rush through them (I do love a 2 hour drinks reception!). After that we let Sara and Ananya rejoin their guests so they could grab something to eat themselves, and have a chat to people for a while, whilst we busied ourselves getting more informal pictures of everything going on during the reception.

We weren’t sure what the weather was going to do so we decided to grab the happy couple and take them back up the driveway at Woodstock, where the trees and bushes were looking really lush and green. I got some beautiful relaxed portraits of the two of them together. With this being their third wedding they were pretty well practiced at this, and perfectly happy to just laugh and chat and be together whilst Mike and I danced around grabbing loads of shots from different angles. At that point the rain kicked in.  Luckily we thought ahead and brought an umbrella, so Sara and Ananya sheltered under that and we headed back towards the main barn to take cover.

Woodstock is a great venue for wet weather as well as dry because there’s loads of space around the bar inside, but also some sheltered outdoor spaces on the other side of the courtyard. It was one of those classic English torrential downpours that just seemed to start and stop with no warning at all. Once it died down everybody went back outside and Sara and Ananya were happy to wander into the long grass at the back of the building to get some more shots of them two of them together. Us photographers and videographers love a bit of long grass! The sun had returned, the skies were blue again, and it was like the rain had never happened.

The rest of the drinks reception was spent capturing and Sara and Ananya hanging out with everybody, enjoying the photo booth, and having candy floss and popcorn! During this time the amazing Nicola and her team at Dittany Entwined had been turning around the ceremony barn ready for dinner. Sara and Ananya had gone for a long trestle tables with the most beautiful floral arrangements. Lola from Nomade Events was their wedding planner and was helping to coordinate all of this as well as keeping an eye on Sara, Ananya and their guests, making sure everybody was fed and watered. The lovely Janice from Woodstock was also there keeping things running smoothly as she always does!


Soone the tables were sorted and it was time to bring everybody in for speeches and food. Speeches were dotted in between the meal; some at the beginning and some towards the end. So we made sure to capture those but to leave everyone in peace whilst they were actually eating. Towards the end of the meal Mike and I spotted that the sun was starting to go down to the behind the trees and it was the most beautiful golden light, so of course we got very excited and took Sara and Ananya back out just for 5 minutes for a few more photos of the two of them before we lost the light completely.


After dinner the bridesmaids and groomsmen and some other friends of Sara and Ananya’s put on a Bollywood dance performance for them which they had clearly rehearsed expertly and were all very very good at. Then it was time the real party to start. Sara and Ananya danced their first dance and then the dance floor absolutely filled with people. I think it might have been the busiest dance for I’ve ever seen! Everyone was loving the music, especially the saxophonist, and everywhere I turned there were more people just throwing some mad shapes, flinging themselves across the dance floor, and generally having an amazing time which meant for excellent party photos.

Massive thanks to S&A for asking me to document their wedding day, it was an absolute dream! If you’re planning a wedding at Woodstock and looking for a photographer then please do contact me to chat photos – I love working there!

Venue: @woodstockweddingsandevents
Second photographer: @lissaalexandraphoto
Videographer: @swanlandmedia
Florist: @dittanyentwined
Wedding planner: @nomade.events
Make up: @rubyjbeauty
Hair: Gemma Moore
Dress: @carolinecastigliano
Caterer: @f4devents
Cake: @3littlebirdsbakery
Stationery: @beatieevents
Photobooth: @airstreamphotoboothuk

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    Oh, hey!I'm Laura.






    I live near Ilkley with my slightly* nutty 9 year old Rose, and I have had the honour of photographing weddings and families for 11 years now. I genuinely cannot believe how lucky I am that I get to call this my job.

    *she once told me that traffic lights are the bane of her life, and she went through a phase of naming everything "Cantameen". Send help!

    I love photographing people. Whether it's your wedding day, you're expecting or have just had a baby, or you simply want to capture your loved ones the way they are right now, my aim is to document unique moments in time to create a beautiful set of images that you will treasure for many years to come. My style combines photojournalism with beautiful portraits, and my fun and relaxed approach makes you feel comfortable and at ease in front of the camera – I want you to actually enjoy having your photograph taken!

    Although I’m based near Ilkley I cover all of Yorkshire and I’m actually happy to travel anywhere for weddings and portrait shoots. So if you have any questions then please get in touch using one of my contact forms. In the meantime, grab a cuppa and browse through my wedding or portrait galleries, or take a look at my most recent work on the blog.

    I can't wait to hear from you x