Weddings during covid – Old Downton Lodge Wedding 

Weddings during Covid – yes, they are still going ahead for a few brave couples and I wanted to catch up with one of my couples to share with you what it was like. James and Penny had a beautiful Old Downton Lodge wedding. 

Despite the difficulties affecting all of us at the moment, I’ve been fortunate enough being a wedding photographer during Covid at a few amazing weddings.

Small and intimate can be extremely romantic and special – so I sat down with Penny and James who married on 10 October at Old Downton Lodge near Ludlow, to find out what it was like for them. 

The couple, who met online dating, have been together three-and-a-half-years.

They had just 13 guests at their close family made up of immediate family including their parents and siblings and best man and woman and their spouses.

They would have originally planned to have around 55 guests.

Here is what they had to say about weddings during Covid:

1) Why did you decide to go ahead with your wedding at this time?

Because nobody knows when the pandemic will end, and we will get back to ‘normal’.

We felt getting married and being husband and wife to each other was the most important thing. The big party and honeymoon can come later.

2) Were you disappointed not to have more guests?

Yes, but we still managed to include many of them in the day through technology!

3) Did you feel like you were having to pay a lot for all the services of a big wedding, while only having a small one?

No, our suppliers were great and worked with us to adapt their services and costs to our revised plans. We don’t think we overpaid for what we got.

4) Which of the Covid safety measures in place were you worried about or did you feel would most impact your day?

We worried about people getting ill in the run up to the event or someone not knowing they had symptoms and then passing it on to other guests, but fortunately none of that happened.

We bought personalised face masks for everyone which fitted the day well and everyone conformed with the social distancing requirements. The venue were also great.

5) Did it give you a feeling of not being in control on the day or did you still feel calm?

When we had the last announcements about numbers reducing from 30 to 15, I did feel a little stressed (my husband wasn’t!) But once we got our heads round it, we were ok.

6) Was anyone not able to come to your wedding that you felt it wouldn’t be the same without?

We’d have loved to have more friends and family present. But people who couldn’t be there in person were able to watch on a live stream via Zoom and we could interact with them, so it still felt like they were there with us. Some friends even got dressed up in suits and posh frocks and hats which we really appreciated!

7) Was there anything you had planned for your wedding you weren’t able to go through with?

Having a DJ for the evening reception – officially no dancing was allowed. And we had to finish by 10pm, which was early, but we still felt we had a great day.

8) WHAT WAS GOOD? And the same regardless i.e.- your dress, each other, the venue, the flowers, the photographer?….

Everything was still good – great even! The venue was perfect, flowers beautiful, photographer brilliant and incredibly helpful and the sun shone – which is lucky for an autumn wedding.

We still felt the day was really special and all the things that are important we were able to do so we are glad we went through with it. 

9) Did your Shropshire wedding photographer alleviate your fears about the wedding photos she would be able to take?

Absolutely! Catherine captured the essence of the day perfectly for us. Even getting photos of our guests on the live stream with us in the shot too so we have a memory of them being with us! 

10) Did you have to alter your wedding plans to enable you to get these shots? Or did you just carry on as normal?

Largely I think we carried on as normal, with masks where necessary. We just made them part of the day and embraced them. We were lucky that we could have all our photos outside and the venue Old Downton Lodge just outside Ludlow, has some lovely backdrops for photos. 

11) Did having a smaller wedding make the photography seem more prominent? Did you feel Catherine was around more whereas with a bigger wedding you might not have noticed?

No, the opposite in fact. I hardly knew she was there at times, yet she was still photographing amazing memories.

 “I think it’s an art to be totally present in someone’s wedding but to also not affect it in anyway and I’m very grateful to Catherine for how she embraced the day with us.

 “After all, she put her own health aside to be around people who she didn’t know 100% were cv-19 free, even with masks, to capture our special day.”

12) Do you feel that the end results photography-wise were as good or better than if you had a large wedding?

In some respects, our photos are more intimate. They are definitely as good as we hoped if not more.

We chose Catherine specially because we liked her style of photography and could see her skills. It was completely the right choice.

13) Having had the wedding, did it surpass your expectations/alleviate worries etc?

It surpassed our expectations. I did wonder if we would be more conscious of the restrictions, but I really don’t think we were.

We had an amazing day with great guests at a beautiful romantic venue at old Downton Lodge near Ludlow and we can’t ask for more than that!

14) If you could do it again would you have it just the way it was, or do you feel short changed?

If we were faced with the same circumstances again, we would still go through with it. I don’t think we were short-changed at all.

15) Are you planning a wedding party when it’s all over?

Hopefully! But only if it is safe.

16) What would you like to say about Catherine/her service/her photos overall?

“Just thank you again. We are spoilt for choice with our photos and will treasure the memories forever.”

The only sad bit is that we will possibly never see Catherine again which is a shame as she is a lovely person and when you’re planning a wedding you become close to all involved.

I wish her all the best for the future and would definitely recommend her services.

Well, thank you so much to Mr and Mrs Cripps. It was truly an honour to be a part of their special day.

I can attest that even though it might not have been as large as they had originally planned, it was still perfect.

Penny looked stunning in her wedding dress and the best man and woman and all the guests were all perfectly turned out.

It may have been a bit different, but it was still a wonderful wedding.

If you are planning your own wedding, even if we don’t know what it might look like and what the future holds, please feel free to contact me for a chat.

I hope what Penny and her husband have to say about their own experience of weddings during Covid have helped you and you can view the gallery of their wedding here:

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