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Eyes up, heart open

Carla Ten Eyck

Castle Howard Wedding with Sarah Haywood

Castle Howard hosted day two of the most EPIC weddings I have photographed. Designed and planned by the incomparable Sarah Haywood, named one of the top international wedding planners by Vogue. In an article on the Business Insider, they tout Sarah with planning weddings for billionaires that even celebrities can’t afford. It’s true! I’ve seen them! This particular wedding took place first at Selby Abbey in York, England for the wedding ceremony, and then wrapped up the next day with a helluva party at Castle Howard in North Yorkshire England.

The party guest count totaled about 65 guests, and the celebrity couple (one of which is one of the biggest pop stars in the whole WORLD) had a fleet of photographers for their portraits and main events. I was hired by Sarah to capture all of the many, many layers of details and performances throughout the two day party.

Creative Partners for this epic wedding at Castle Howard in North Yorkshire UK:

Luxury Wedding and Event Planner: Sarah Haywood, London England

Photography: Carla Ten Eyck, Hartford CT USA

Wedding Venue: Castle Howard, North Yorkshire, UK

Florals: Aisle of You, England

Catering: The Last Supper, London

Craft Bar: Holy Water, London

Wedding Dress Designer: Mikael Derderian

Castle Howard, lit at dusk at a wedding in North Yorkshire England Bride and groom enter their festivities at their wedding at Castle Howard in North Yorkshire England

This candle lined walkway provided the entrance for the bride and groom to greet their guests… it was EPIC! And super warm 🙂

While the guests enjoyed cocktails in another part of Castle Howard I had about 8 minutes to photograph the dining room that was all lit and ready for the guests! It was exciting to be surrounded by this beautiful candle lit room and part of the behind the scenes crew, scurrying around efficiently in the short time I was tasked with.

This was a wishing tree where guests wrote well wishes for the happy couple. It was EPIC and a really special way to greet guests before dinner.

 

Miss Sarah Haywood making things happen behind the scenes before the big reveal!
Table detail at a wedding at Castle Howard in North Yorkshire England A stunning candlelight dinner at a wedding at Castle Howard in North Yorkshire England Sarah Haywood at a wedding at Castle Howard in North Yorkshire England Jay Chou and his wife enter their wedding party at Castle Howard in North Yorkshire England

Along the walk to the main event there was a hallway of rooms, each made into a set. The first room was an Alice in Wonderland theme: complete with a table set for a dessert feast, Alice and crew!

A room filled with pudding is on display at a wedding at Castle Howard in North Yorkshire England Ballerinas descend the stairs at a performance at a wedding at Castle Howard in North Yorkshire England

This SPECTACULAR dessert room? Area? dream world? The sweet smell of being surrounded by this all was absolutely intoxicating! Each dessert was so artful and I had so much fun photographing them all.

Desset and pudding station at a wedding at Castle Howard in North Yorkshire England Pudding station at a wedding at Castle Howard in North Yorkshire England Dessert station at a wedding at Castle Howard in North Yorkshire England

I mean…. is it everyday you get to walk under floral arches held by ballerinas?

Ballerinas line the entryway at a wedding at Castle Howard in North Yorkshire England

The second room featured a ballerina spinning around on a stand like a music box!

Ballerinas perform at a wedding at Castle Howard in North Yorkshire England

The last room featured Charlie Chaplin!

So something wild happened during the dress rehearsal of the performers. Back in 2015 I had blue hair and was very recognizable. Just thatNew Year’s I had been in Barbados photographing a New Year’s Even party and there were performers there. We chatted while I photographed them and discovered that we would both be in England the following month but didn’t have specifics. We went our separate ways- all the way from BARBADOS, mind you- and then when I was walking through the castle on my walk through I heard my name being yelled by this aerialist (whose name escapes me these many years later!) and we had a right freak out that we were at the same event! Serendipitous and lovely!

A performer during Jay Chou's wedding at Castle Howard in York England A performer during Jay Chou's wedding at Castle Howard in England Jay Chou dances with his wife at their wedding at Castle Howard in England

A balloon drop on the dance floor complete with a full band and ballerinas!

Sadly, the gentleman driving us to the fireworks took a wrong turn and we just about missed the white show! Matt (the videographer) and I jumped out of the car and SPRINTED through the snow covered field almost falling over one another, laughing and huffing and puffing along trying to get.the.shot. OOOOF. Plus any photographer will admit that photographing fireworks is like the Bermuda Triangle of things to shoot: you do it enough but instantly forget what you need to do and cannot practice for it since it’s… fireworks… right? Always makes me work so fast and furious each and every time!

And. FIN. The Castle is lit all pink and gorgeous and the stars dot the night sky as everyone parties up inside. I took this moment to not only physically catch my breath- after sprinting through that field- but also to catch my breath. Here I was, so lucky to be where I was, working for one of the biggest talents in the industry, who I might add I am happy to call my friend- for a wedding celebration that brought hundreds of fans from around the world once they discovered where it was being held. Can you imagine being at the wedding of your absolute favorite pop star in the whole wide world? I thought of this the whole time I was there, watching this giant pop star take small moments throughout the two day event to take it all in. I was there while he sat at the piano to pick out a song, alone, except for me and Matt, the videographer, who sat in the shadows in silence, allowing him the space to just be as alone as he could be. It was a gorgeous event, epic in all the ways it was supposed to be, and intimate for the rest. Kudos to Sarah and her team for one of the most memorable events I have ever been a part of! I can’t wait for the next event! XOXO

Castle Howard shown here at night hosts a wedding planned by Sarah Haywood

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