White Syke Fields Wedding With a Real Hobbit Door, Shuffleboard and Surprise Alpacas

21 June, 2024

What Rachel and Josh’s White Syke Fields wedding lacked in terms of sunshine, they made up for tenfold by bringing warmth and good vibes by the bucketload. They’d thought of everything to ensure that they and their guests had the time of their lives, so they certainly weren’t going to let a little rain stop them!

And it’s not just this excellent attitude that you can take away from Rachel and Josh’s White Syke Fields Wedding, either. The decor, the entertainment, the alternative touches – they’re all excellent inspiration for having a gorgeous, heartfelt wedding your way.

White Syke Fields wedding venue

Based just outside of York, White Syke Fields wedding venue is a beautiful blank canvas space that was the perfect setting for Rachel and Josh’s wedding plans. After getting ready at an Airbnb close by and a church ceremony where the vicar gave them a packet of Andrex – not a Covid joke, but a nod to their marriage being soft and strong! – they made their way to White Syke Fields to continue the celebrations.

With a White Syke Fields wedding you get exclusive use of the whole venue, meaning not just the cool brick Wheelhouse where Rachel and Josh had their reception or the white-walled Piggery Barn where they held some games (more on that in a minute): you also get free reign of the courtyard, the woodlands and the lakes. Despite the wet weather, we made the most of the stunning grounds for our couples portraits, hunting for spots of cover for our coverage!

Film-themed wedding decor

As a documentary wedding photographer I don’t normally shoot loads of the details of the wedding decor, but Rachel had put so much heart and thought into each table design it was like a treasure trove. Each table was not only named after a different film, TV show or book that her and Josh loved, but themed after it too. 

Guests found their seats on the giant movie posters strung up by the entrance, and then headed to their table complete with on brand decor, from the centrepiece right down to the favours. Some of my favourites had to be the house from Up, complete with balloons, the Ted Lasso table, complete with pink biscuit favours, and the Room table, where every place name said “Oh hi [name].” And yes, before you ask – there was a Mark sitting at that table!

But the piece de resistance was the top table, which was themed after Lord Of The Rings. Not content with theming just the decor that went on the table, Rachel went above and beyond and created a whole facade for the front of their table to make it look like Hobbiton! There was a door, a window, plants, moss, and everything. 

Wedding games, games, and more games

It wasn’t just these details that made Josh and Rachel’s wedding great, either. Another thing they’d nailed was the entertainment, because their day was full to the brim of fun games!

Whatever your vibe, they had you covered. There were classics like beer pong and lawn games, made up games like Dan The Irishman Snap (and when I say made up, I mean by Rachel and Josh, who’d then printed out instructions to accompany!), and also shuffleboard, which they’d rented from Shufl. And, as if this wasn’t enough, they also organised a treasure hunt for some of their guests.

Oh, and they rented alpacas, just because they love them. 

A bespoke order of the day

Rachel and Josh did their White Syke Fields wedding in a different order to the traditional wedding day. When we arrived at White Syke Fields, we went for portraits first. After their portraits they entered for dinner – to Miami by Will Smith, which is an iconic choice if you ask me – and after that they relaxed for drinks and games spread across the Wheelhouse and the Piggery Barn. (If you’re looking for more inspiration for wedding days with an unconventional order to them, check out Danny and Amanda’s wedding here.) 

During this time, we went for some more rainy portraits before returning to their barn for the speeches and the cutting of the cheesecake. When I say wedding cheesecake, you’re probably thinking of wheels of cheese – especially considering that a White Syke Fields wedding is in God’s Own County – but Rachel and Josh actually opted for a stack of delicious looking cheesecakes! 

The final act of the day was dancing: and lots of it. Underneath installations of white balloon clouds and in front of a sign that read “It is our wedding.” (which I think is a nod to the office, but I’ve never watched it so I wouldn’t know. Don’t judge me!) Rachel, Josh and their guests danced the night away. When they started to feel peckish, they had the opportunity to refuel with mac ‘n’ cheese before hitting the dancefloor again – a perfect combination!

Relaxed, alternative wedding photographer

Rachel and Josh’s White Syke Fields wedding was a total privilege to photograph, in no small part because the couple were such a joy themselves. It’s easy to get swept up in the madness of wedding planning, but Rachel and Josh remained focussed on the main things at all times: family, friendship, and fun. This meant that even in the grey and the rain, warmth and happiness radiated from the barn. 

If you’re planning a similarly personalised, relaxed wedding day that you want documented in a laidback, heartfelt style – I’m your gal! I’d love to hear more about your plans. Whether you’re looking at a White Syke Fields wedding or elsewhere, I’m based in Manchester but travel anywhere for love, so please do get in touch

And you don’t just have to take my word for it – take our gorgeous bride and groom here, Rachel and Josh. Here’s what they had to say about having me as their wedding photographer:

“Marni, where do we start?!!… We’re absolutely blown away. You truly captured the joy and character of the day with all the special details. You are above and beyond what we were hoping for and I can’t tell you how grateful we are!! Literally we couldn’t be happier! Just thank you thank you thank you!!!”


Venue: White Syke Fields Weddings

Stylist and props: Rustic Rose Company

Dress: Bridal Apparel Leeds

Suit: Slater Menswear

Hair: Jak from Renaissance Leeds

Make: Up Maria from Renaissance Leeds

Flowers: Charlotte’s Floral Design

Catering: Baba Ganoush Yorkshire

DJ: Ziggy’s Silent Discos

Alpacas: Sheriff Alpaca Experience

Shuffleboards: Shufl

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