© 2012 Cat Hepple. All rights reserved. 2012-08-05_004

A first look wedding at Swinton Park…can’t take my eyes off you.


Stuart stood nervously by the lakeside at Swinton Park, far from the madding crowd,with nothing but the sound of summer birdsong whispering through the trees.

Excitement was building, the air was bristling with happiness and anticipation. The wedding ceremony was still a few hours away, but the next few minutes were to be the most emotional and overwhelming of the day.

He was waiting to lay eyes on his bride for the first time…not at the altar as is tradition, but in a secluded woodland, isolated, peaceful and beautiful. An oasis of calm which would be the setting for this most precious and incredible of moments.

With his back turned to the pathway he could suddenly hear soft and slow footsteps on the path, a signal that behind him, the love of his life was walking towards him.

Bathed in soft light, the train of her dress across her arm, her pink sparkly heels peeping out from beneath her gown, Lou tentatively came closer and closer.

Stuarts smile flooded his face, he knew…and finally he could wait no more and turned to see his stunning bride before him..

That first glance was so precious and the moments of quiet giggles, gasps of excitement and overwhelming emotion filled the woodland with an air of something quite extraordinary, something so unbelievably special. Alone, far from the ceremony of a wedding, beneath the canopy of the trees, Lou and Stu were enveloped in emotion, lost in one another, lost in the moment.


Standing alongside them both, witnessing this extraordinary intimate moment was one of the most exceptional experiences of my life too. It’s overwhelming to be trusted in such a way by a couple, to be allowed not only to witness something so moving and important, but also to be asked to record it for them.

What an incredible honour.

First looks, are very popular in the States, here in the UK we have clung to tradition and most brides and grooms have their first look at the top of the aisle in front of a room full of people. Wherever that first glance is, it leaves an indelible mark on your heart.

It’s left a mark on the hearts of Stu and Lou which will never fade.

They were so happy they had chosen this way of seeing one another for the first time. it became more than a glance ahead of the ceremony, it was an emotional chapter of the day, personal, intimate and incredibly romantic.

For me too, the total romance of a woodland setting, soft birdsong, and the privacy of the moment was utterly extraordinary.

Helping me capture this was fellow photographer Adam Johnson. His vision from further afield has only added to this remarkable story. I’m so grateful to him for his wonderful work, and endless enthusiasm.

All of this wedding was utterly wonderful, from tepees to sunflowers there is so much which made it so personal and happy. I’ll share more once the couple have enjoyed their private viewing. But in the meantime I hope this wonderful moment has made your heart sing as much as it has mine.

blog.cathepplephotography.com – The UK wedding blog of Cat Hepple Photography – Leeds Wedding Photographer covering the UK, with weddings in Italy and France

I”m a wedding and lifestyle photographer, based in Yorkshire and Hampshire and available across the UK and worldwide. My style is fashion influenced, movie inspired, editorial and romantic. I’m available for weddings, boudoir, bumps, babies and family shoots across the UK and can be booked for your destination wedding too. I especially love anything glamorous.


  1. Posted 6 Aug at 1:57 am | Permalink

    What a GORGEOUS First Look…the groom looks so happy and the bride is beyond beautiful! Love it! :)

    • Cat Hepple
      Posted 6 Aug at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      Jasmine thank you SO much. I was inspired by you, and am so thrilled with the results. My couple looked so amazing on the day and it was so emotional too. xXx

  2. Posted 6 Aug at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    These photographs are purely beautiful Cat, they capture a precious and tender moment and they do it with such magic and sensitivity,

    There is a real romance about your photography Cat. They are pure, no fakery, just beautiful natural images. Takes some skill create photography like this my darling – I am proud of you!


    • Cat Hepple
      Posted 6 Aug at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      Oh goodness, I’m so flattered and so touched by your comment
      Annabel, thank you.
      I really loved this first look and don’t underestimate the trust
      Stu and Lou put in me to do this.
      Thank you for taking the time to leave a message. It means so much.

  3. Posted 7 Aug at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Cat – thank you for having me along to shoot Lou and Stu’s wedding with you… It was a pleasure to be there. Your words convey perfectly the ‘hair-on-the-back-of-your-neck’ feeling that this first look created. It was perfect, serene, romantic, emotional and you’ve captured it and told the story so beautifully. By allowing them to do this, you enabled their moment to last so much longer and mean so much more than it would have done at the top of the aisle. I am sure they will forever be thankful and have memories that will stay with them forever. Perfection.

    • Cat Hepple
      Posted 7 Aug at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      Thank you so very much Adam. I so appreciate your support. I really hope I’ve done Lou and Stu proud. x

  4. Posted 7 Aug at 7:53 pm | Permalink


    I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that your extremely sensitive approach towards the couples whose weddings you capture (so beautifully) is what influenced the outcome of this incredible ‘First Look’ photography. Congratulations for achieving something so precious. I hope you are feeling incredibly proud. You should be.

    Helen x

    • Cat Hepple
      Posted 7 Aug at 8:25 pm | Permalink

      Awe Helen, thank you.Your lovely comment means so much x

  5. Posted 10 Aug at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    What an honour to capture such a beautiful moment! Love how wonderfully you capture every tiny moment. Beautiful xo