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A collection of my thoughts

Is Whitley Hall your perfect wedding venue? 

You asked the question and the answer was 'yes!'. After looking at different venues, you decide to view Whitley Hall

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Are you looking for a wedding venue in the north of England? Are you looking for somewhere in the country that is easy to access? A venue that can cater for a unique wedding like yours? One that you can personalise and create your own theme? Maybe you should consider tying the knot at Whitley Hall Hotel in Grenoside, Sheffield? Within easy reach of the M1 motorway and in a secluded, lush countryside area with rolling hills, sits the beautiful Whitely Hall Hotel'

 Whitley Hall Hotel is a luxury hotel venue accustomed to hosting weddings in a sought-after destination for couples to get married in an extravagant, unique, 20-acre setting. Whitley Hall is a 16th-century mansion that is covered in ivy and still features many original pieces. Surrounded by rolling hills and pasture land; woodland; and stunning gardens with a pond. I think this is a fantastic wedding venue for couples relishing a cosy and loving venue. Also, couples can choose to have their ceremony outdoors. under one of two specially built pagodas. An array of beautiful locations for fantastic wedding photography opportunities, both inside and out, makes Whitley Hall Hotel a fantastic venue to get married. I have photographed a number of weddings here. The positives, in my opinion, are as follows:

  • Whitley Hall has two distinct sides for couples to choose from.
  • The Whitley Suite has an elevated, larger, purpose-built outdoor ceremony and feels a little more modern.
  • The Parker Suite is within the older side of the Hall and exudes character.
  • Both sides benefit from time in the middle garden, which is ideal for your portriat photography session
  • Food is delicious!
  • The staff is experienced and very friendly.

Whitley Hall has been in situ for over 600 years. Records show the existence of a property in 1406 on the site, or very near to it, known as Launder House. This property was inherited by Thomas Parker in 1530. who began the renovation of the house into Whitley Hall as we know it today.   Whitley Hall has a varied past with different owners, including a boys' boarding school, until it was developed into a restaurant in 1969 to a hotel in 1970. Whitley Hall was the first venue in South Yorkshire to hold civil marriage ceremonies. The venue now is split into two distinct areas that allow two weddings to take place each day. One side is known as the Parker Suite after the Parker family, who transformed the property into the original Whitely Hall. Can you spot the carving in the stone lintel that reads, 'Willm Parker: made this work 1584'? 

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Are you looking for a wedding photographer to bring you creative and emotional memories of your wedding day? My name is River Xavier and I am a contemporary wedding photographer; offering a natural, relaxed and creative experience that captures your wedding day through a blend of fine art and documentary photography. As your wedding photographer, I will join your guests to capture a range of beautiful, emotive photos as your day unfolds. 

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Making sure all of your wedding memories are captured. Your wedding photos will show the love, happiness and emotion between the two of you and your guests. Memorable moments of one of the biggest days of your lives will be yours forever. 

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Guaranteeing you those special wedding moments as you embrace and declare your love for each other, forever. Your wedding photography will be sure to evoke your emotions for years to come. Just like the marriage of these two lovebirds, who found and cemented their love throughout Lockdown,. Two wonderful people never expected to find such love and adoration for each other. It was a pleasure to be part of their wedding day and provide such amazing wedding memories. We met beforehand for a pre-wedding photo shoot. This gave us time to get to know each other a little and more importantly, it gave me the opportunity to see how Scot and Kelly would be in front of the camera, especially as Scot stated he was nervous about having his photo taken. They were both natural, and their pictures highlighted the love and adoration they both have for each other. The pre-wedding photoshoot certainly made the wedding day more relaxed for them and allowed them both to shine in their photos.

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For a range of wedding packages, including wedding albums and films, why not take a look at my work? You can also choose a combination of wedding photography with a highlights film, the Hybrid Collection.


The perfect venue for your smaller wedding party

Are you looking for a smaller wedding venue?

When searching for wedding venues, a whole plethora of different types, sizes, and budgets appear. These range from region to region according to the type of venue you are looking for. Wedding venues come in various types; barn weddings offer a rustic theme to your wedding and can often be found in rural locations. Barn weddings can also offer some wonderful wedding photography opportunities due to their locations. One of the downsides of barn weddings can be accommodations for your wedding guests. Of course, this is less of a problem with hotel weddings. Hotel wedding venues come in a variety of sizes and locations. From large stately hotels with moats such as Waterton Park Hotel or Oulton Hall Hotel, which allow accommodation for your guests, to city centre hotels,. It is much easier to find a wedding venue for a larger wedding party, but what about when your wedding party is much smaller in size?

For many wedding couples, the idea of being the centre of attention for lots of people is not an ideal way to spend their wedding day. Or maybe you just want a small wedding with those that are closest (and most important) to you, which really matters. Finding a venue that caters to smaller weddings can be a problem. However, I was recently hired to photograph a wedding for a wonderful couple who live in London. Incidentally, they were both from other countries across the world before moving to the UK. The couple were already married, having booked their wedding during COVID, and had a civil ceremony with only 2 guests. Two years later, their real wedding was booked at a small venue the couple had found in York, and I was booked as their wedding photographer. I was really excited about photographing a new venue.

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Middletons Luxury Hotel, part of the Daniel Thwaites Group, is located in the centre of York and, besides being a luxury wedding venue, is situated in an amazing location for you to see the attractions of York too. Middletons Luxury Hotel caters for smaller, more intimate weddings, seating up to 40 people in 3 different locations throughout the hotel. Therefore, finding one to suit your taste shouldn't be a problem. The ceremony can be held in 3 different rooms, each with its own character. The Organ Factory is a stunning small room reminiscent of a modern chapel with its three cathedral type stained glass windows and a round window. The room seats 24 people and is light and airy. Excellent reception photographs are the obvious choice for a micro-wedding. Next is the Sawmill Suite, which can seat up to 40 people. Light and airy with a mix of wood and contemporary creams. Finally, there is the Sun Lounge ceremony room.  Tucked away at the back of the hotel, the Sun Lounge (which is the ceremony room used at the wedding I photographed) seats up to 40 people and shows some of the historic pieces that make up the hotel. With old, bare brickwork on display, old beams, and large paving slabs, the room is lit from above and gives a contrast to your wedding ceremony photographs. For your wedding breakfast, Middletons Hotel offers 3 menu options for you and your guests: Classic, Elegant,  and Fairytale. All 3 menus include delicious starters, mains, and desert options. If you are thinking about having your wedding at the Middletons Luxury Hotel and need a civil ceremony, you can check if it is available by contacting the Superintendent Registrar or the York Register Office for your desired wedding date. The telephone number is 01904 654477, or you can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

@River Xavier Photography

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Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside -1

Hackness Grange is a beautiful place by the sea (Part 1)

As a photographer, one question I get asked is, 'Have you worked at our venue?' though this does not happen as much as when I started my business. 

Working at a new venue is a brilliant experience as a wedding photographer. Don't get me wrong, I always love going to a venue where I have previously worked. But there is a certain excitement about arriving at a new venue for the first time.

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This assignment was also exciting, as I had never met the couple before! Hiring a wedding photographer had been a present from the bride's sister.

As usual, I arrived early and began photographing the bridal prep in Hackness Grange's specific bridal prep room. This is one of my favourite parts of the day. From a storytelling point of view, it sets the scene. The day begins when suppliers arrive, and the wedding day starts to unfold. Also, it is an opportunity to be creative, as I am left to my own devices and start to work out the dynamics of the people on the wedding day. Today I was blessed to be in the company of two fabulous, very welcoming families. We had previously met online to discuss their photography plans for the day, but I was free to document the story, the people, and the emotions of the wedding day. 

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