Kristina & Mathew at Wood Hall, Wetherby
I first met Kristina & Mathew at Mathew’s parents home in Wetherby, way back in January. They both live and work in London and I got the impression that the weekend that I met them was the first time they’d both been able to relax in one place for quite some time. Kristina had just returned from a trip home to Russia to see her parents and they’d both travelled up to Yorkshire to finalise some of their wedding arrangements.
We met up again a couple of weeks later to take a walk up to Wood Hall, just outside Wetherby, where the wedding was going to be. I took a few photographs as we walked and talked about their plans and also about how they got together, it was good to make a connection and get to know each other a bit better. It’s fair to say that Kristina & Mathew have faced more than their fair share of challenges on their journey to this point. Challenges that have involved them having to meet up all over Europe before finally being able to get married and settle in the UK. Hopefully, now they’re married, they’ll get the chance to settle in one place for a while – although that’ll have to wait until after the honeymoon!
That brings us to the first week in May and the wedding day. Kristina and her family all got ready at Wood Hall. When I arrived, I realised that they had pretty much filled the place with so many of her friends and relatives making the journey over from Russia. Many of them arranged to enjoy a holiday here first and spent some time seeing the sights, with the vacation culminating in the wedding day. Mathew and his friends and family all got ready at the family home at the bottom of the hill in Wetherby. It was only about a mile away so it made it easy for me to travel between the two of them to capture all of the preparations.
What followed was a brilliant day. Two people and two nationalities, two cultures coming together. I love to shoot weddings like this one. When you’re in a room with two families for a celebration, you realise that despite the miles between people and the languages, there’s really not that much difference…
Photography by Mark Hillyer, Documentary Wedding & Portrait Photographer based in Leeds, Yorkshire.