Markenfield Hall Wedding Day for Cristina and John

Beautiful Portugese people, afternoon teas and a photographer in tears, again…

If you think moats are the reserve of castles, you’d be wrong – Markenfield Hall near Ripon in North Yorkshire is privately-owned early 14th century moated country house!

It feels remarkably welcoming and warm, despite having been around since 1086! and the owners were just lovely – no doubt the reason behind the lovely peaceful feeling you get there. Sarah, the wedding co-ordinator was so friendly and approachable and couldn’t do enough to make sure everyone was happy, and the harpist Georgina Wells hardly ever stopped all day providing beautiful dreamy music for us all to enjoy.

Cristina’s family had flown in from Portugal especially for the wedding, and listening to them chatting away while they were getting ready was so lovely – it reminded me of my trip to Lisbon back in April where I was treated like family. Daniela – Cristina’s niece took some convincing to get into her dress and wasn’t so happy about the floral headpiece, but quite happily tried Cristina’s shoes on.

Cristina and John had chosen the venue after falling in love with it, and had not just one but two ceremonies – the first in the Drawing Room, followed by a blessing in the chapel, and after a little bit of a moment when they couldn’t untie the rings, they became the new Dr Blood and Dr Blood!

I particularly loved their Apache Wedding Blessing…

Now you will feel no rain.
For each of you will be shelter to the other
Now you will feel no cold
For each of you will be warmth to the other
Now there is no more loneliness for you
For each of you will be companion to the other
Now you are two bodies
But there is only one life before you
Go now
and enter into the days of your togetherness
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.

After some time out for some photographs with Cristina and John while the guests were treated to a tour of the house, they all sat down to a beautiful afternoon tea – the tables were covered with goodies and my belly was rumbling to say the least! A wonderful surprise came my way though when Cristina told me that they had put on my own little afternoon tea! Happy photographer indeed!!!

Once we were all full, the port was poured ready for the toasts – first for the British guests followed by the Portugese. Cristina’s family make port back home in Portugal, but as it doesn’t travel well they used some more local, but they had been busy bottling their own brew for the guests to take home as favours.

John’s friend, who had recently graduated from Sandhurst brought his sword for them to cut the cake with – a truly spectacular way of carrying out this tradition!

To end the day we were treated to something truly special – Cristina’s dad stood up and sang some traditional Portugese folk songs, which Cristina joined him with. I was ok until her sister cried and then I just couldn’t help my eyes filling up – all through the day everyone had shown so much love, tenderness and compassion to each other, it was a beautiful thing to see and reminded me of the powerful, unbreakable bonds we have with our loved ones, even when they aren’t around we keep them safe in our hearts.

Sarah x