Wedding pictures a thing of fantasy for Shropshire horse lovers
It could have been a wedding fit for characters from Game of Thrones, and when a Shropshire couple included their horse ‘Mr T’ in their wedding photos, it certainly looked like a day of fantasy.
Claudia and Jack McIntosh married earlier this month in a ceremony at Henley Hall, near Ludlow, just 10 months after meeting at another wedding.
The pair wanted to tie the knot before Jack goes under the knife for open-heart surgery to fix a severely leaking aortic valve, and included Claudia's majestic steed to create some spectacular shots on the big day.
Claudia, 34, had been best friends with her husband-to-be’s cousin since she was nine, and knowing the pair were single, they were introduced.
The couple got chatting and sparks flew, and Jack returned to live in Ludlow from Cumbria.
A few holidays followed, and in March Jack proposed on top of a mountain in Tignes, in the French Alps.
Just a week later, Jack, who had been feeling unwell and suffering heart palpitations and tiredness, underwent some tests and found he had a heart defect. He is now waiting for open-heart surgery to repair a ‘severely leaking aortic valve,’ which is due to take place within the next few weeks.
Claudia, a residential carer, said: “We planned our wedding on May 4 in just four weeks. We got married quickly partly because of Jack’s impending surgery, but also because we just really wanted to be married and don’t know why many people wait so long.
“We knew each other was the ‘one’ really quickly and we just knew we wanted to be married. We were going to say ‘I do’ snowboarding down a mountain in the Alps, but Jack’s diagnosis meant we couldn’t do that. And that’s when we altered our plans and knew we wanted my horse Mr T, to be in our wedding photos,”
The couple chose Henley Hall to tie the knot and have their photos taken, before heading back to their home in Ludlow for a wedding reception.
Mr T is stabled in livery at Claudia’s friends nearby, and she diligently washed him ready for his close-up the day before her wedding.
“He rolled in muck, so my friend had to wash him again on the big day and she plaited his mane and bought him in the horse box for me for the wedding photos. I wasn’t brave enough to ride him down the aisle, but I am so glad he came as he is part of the family.”
Mr T is a 13-year-old, 16-hand, grey, Selle Francais, who has competed in eventing at a high level. Claudia, is planning on competing with him more in the future.
Wedding photographer Catherine Evans, from Bishops Castle, spread the bride's wedding gown by designer Stella York over the back of Mr T to create the stunning wedding portraits, which also show Jack leading his bride on their beloved horse down the picturesque pathways.
Catherine said: “I haven’t had anyone bring an animal so large and majestic as Mr T to their wedding venue.
“Fortunately, he behaved impeccably well and went along with all the poses we came up with and I think the end results are simply stunning. It really does look like a fairy-tale.”