The ultimate autumnal small wedding inspiration

Ursula and Chris’ Rowton Castle ultimate autumnal small wedding day was a gorgeous thing to be a part of as their wedding photographer, for so many reasons. 

First, it was at Rowton Castle, which is one of my favourite Shropshire wedding venues. Secondly, they had a lovely autumnal theme to the day, which looked stunning. Thirdly, it was a relatively small guest list: by default, intimate weddings usually create a lovely vibe, where the focus is all on the romance. And last – but by no means least – because of Ursula and Chris, who are sunshine personified. As you can see they’re so loved up, which made photographing the day a total breeze!

Rowton Castle wedding venue

I always adore Rowton Castle weddings, both big and small. The 17th century castle oozes grandeur, so you can bask in the historical charm as you say your I dos, as well as in the rooms the morning after (Rowton has 19 bedrooms available to book.) 

This was just as well, because as a local Shrewsbury photographer I’m lucky enough to be a recommended supplier, but Ursula, Chris and their families came from further afield. “Although originally we were wanting to get married closer to our home in Gloucestershire, we fell in love with Rowton Castle because it looked stunning, fits the classic, historical and rustic vibe we were after. The added bonus was having so many of our nearest and dearest able to stay there with us on the night!” 

Best friends married by their best friend

Ursula and Chris got married in the Orchard Suite, a room with lots of light thanks to the tall windows. The patterned floral wallpaper means they didn’t need to add much in terms of décor, apart from a large moongate at the top of the aisle, decorated with flowers. Their celebrant was actually one of the mutual friends who’d first introduced them 11 years ago at Aberystwyth University, Callum, which was very in keeping with the thought that they’d put into every element of the day. 

The ceremony also included a beautiful ring warming ritual where the rings are passed around the guests for a blessing or wish, so by the time they made it to Ursula and Chris every guest had passed on their love!

After the ceremony, we managed to seek a break in the wet weather to toast with bubbles and set up a confetti shot. Then, whilst Ursula and Chris’ guests enjoyed drinks and board games inside (the latter brought especially by the couple because they often enjoy board game nights with friends, and wanted to include it in their wedding day), I took some group portraits in front of the frescoed pavilion outside. 

Relishing the break from the rain, I then whisked Ursula and Chris for a walk around the garden. As well as the actual castle building itself, Rowton Castle has 17 acres of stunning grounds. However, we didn’t even need to venture far to get the perfect backdrop for their couple’s portrait: even the literal turning circle outside the front doors is aesthetic af, with its greenery and old walls!

An earthy, autumnal vibe wedding

Ursula and Chris had been planning a more DIY wedding until they found and fell in love with Rowton Castle, which they booked as a late availability offering. This meant that Ursula had already started collecting and DIYing some of their decor elements, so they used those alongside the ones that came with the wedding package. 

These all came together to create a day with a gorgeous earthy, rustic but romantic vibe. The colour palette was dreamy, with autumnal tones of yellow, pink and orange popping out from the greenery. Wendy Shaw brought this to life in their flowers both on the tables and in the bouquet and buttonhole, whilst yellow taper candles and charger plates added pops of bold colour on the tables. 

As well as gold being a recurring theme throughout the day, the decor utilised something really clever: a recurring shape. For example, the table plan and each table number was displayed in an open gold hoop, and their cake was placed on one too. These matched the moongate that they’d been married in front of at the ceremony earlier, providing a really fun but subtle theme running through the day. It was even on the stationery that Ursula designed (which also included “wedding bingo”, encouraging guests to mingle with and get to know each other. Another brill idea!)

Rustic, romantic wedding outfits

Of course, another way they brought the earthy, autumnal vibes was in their outfits. Ursula stunned us all in a vintage dress that she found on eBay, complete with floaty sleeves and made in an exquisite bohemian lace. She also wore a flower crown (which she found on Vinted) in her auburn hair, looking every inch the autumnal princess. Chris looked super sharp too, in a wintery grey 3 piece suit, paired with a floral shirt and orange tie.  

Shrewsbury wedding photographer

It truly was an honour to photograph Ursula and Chris’ wedding day. Their friendly, warm, gorgeous vibes were infused in every single element of the day, meaning it was super relaxed from start to finish, and exactly what they wanted – a day to celebrate with their nearest and dearest. 

Gushy Note

Here’s what the wonderful bride and groom had to say about having me as their wedding photographer: 

“We couldn’t have picked a better photographer for our big day – Laura is SO lovely and incredibly talented. We are blown away with just the previews so we can’t wait to see how great the other photos are! On the day, Laura worked creatively with the weather we had and the gorgeous venue, and made us both feel more at ease and relaxed. I think that shows in her photos, and there’s so much life and soul in them we’re really blown away with how much we love them! Thank you so much Laura :)”

Contact me

If you’re planning to get married at Rowton Castle and are looking for a relaxed, natural wedding photographer, I’d love to chat. Or perhaps you’re planning a Shropshire wedding elsewhere, but with a very similar focus on fun, sentimentality and love — you can tell me all about your plans so far here




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