Principal York Wedding Photographer

Are you looking for a professional Principal York wedding photographer to cover your big day? I’m Kirsty Mattsson, an award-winning York wedding photographer with experience of covering many weddings at this fabulous wedding venue. The stunning victorian architecture and one of the best grand staircases in Yorkshire makes this one of my favourite York wedding venues. You can see some examples of my photography from The Principal below.

My style incorporates a blend of documentary wedding photography and creative portraiture to give you a set of natural, authentic, and artistic images that tell the full story of your wedding day. I’m not interested in fake grins or posing people. I have a very unobtrusive, hands-off approach to capturing all those moments, details, emotions, and personalities that make your day special to you. With awards in my field and a wealth of experience across various North Yorkshire wedding venues, I would love to cover your wedding day at The Principal.

Please get in touch for a friendly chat or for further information to be sent.

The Principal York Wedding Photos

Please see examples of my Principal York wedding photography below. This will give you an idea of what this venue offers and the types of images that could be captured on your day. If you’d like to see more of my work from different wedding venues throughout North Yorkshire and beyond then please visit the portfolios page below.

Planning a Principal York Wedding?

If you are planning a wedding at The Principal, please see the Approach page and the Portfolios page for more information or feel free to get in touch below. I’d love to talk to you about your upcoming wedding and see if I could be the photographer for you.

Award Winning Principal York Wedding Photographer

As a North Yorkshire wedding photographer, I have a documentary style, naturally capturing real moments and emotions without staged posing. I work mainly in Yorkshire, Derbyshire, and Cumbria, but I also travel across the UK and abroad, photographing weddings of all sizes, from intimate gatherings to large-scale events.

My photography often features the dramatic landscapes of Yorkshire and other regions of the UK. I love incorporating scenery, colour, and beautiful light into my images to create vibrant modern images that reflect the time and place you were married. I’ll provide some gentle guidance for any artistic portraits, and I’ll happily follow you up a mountain if you have chosen a venue with stunning surroundings. I’ve received several awards and have had my work published my work in various media.

Weddings at The Principal

The Principal York offers an exceptional setting for unforgettable weddings in the heart of historic York. Renowned for its beautiful Victorian architecture, the venue exudes charm and sophistication for couples choosing to hold their special day here. Weddings at The Principal York are held in the grand Garden Room, a glass-walled oasis with views of the manicured lawns and tranquil gardens. The room can comfortably accommodate up to 180 guests for the ceremony and reception. Facilities at the venue are top-notch and include an exquisite bridal suite, luxury guest accommodation, a health club, and an indoor heated pool. The 155 rooms and suites provide comfort and class, with modern amenities blended seamlessly with period features. Guests can enjoy the stunning views of the Minster, city walls, and York’s famous rooftops. Besides the Garden Room, The Principal also boasts several other function rooms for smaller gatherings or for use as breakout spaces during larger events. Their experienced team of wedding coordinators provides tailored planning, ensuring each wedding is as unique as the couple marrying. Overall, The Principal York succeeds in offering an idyllic location brimming with character, coupled with first-class facilities and accommodations, making it a perfect choice for couples seeking a timeless and stylish wedding venue.

The History of The Principal

The Principal York, formerly known as the Royal York Hotel, is a renowned wedding venue nestled in the heart of York, North Yorkshire. Its rich history dates back to 1878, when it was constructed by eminent architect William Peachey, offering opulence and grandeur from the railroad boom era. The hotel was originally quintessential Victorian, defined by its Italian-themed architecture, including the iconic York Station. It underwent a major transformation in 2016 to become The Principal, marrying traditional charm with contemporary elegance. The building stands adorned with stunning features such as a sweeping staircase, high ceilings, and large windows offering panoramic views of the city. The venue also boasts glorious gardens, serving as a picturesque backdrop for wedding photographs. Some notable historical facts include its hosting of Queen Victoria in 1900 and being a significant hub for meetings of the local elite in its early years. Today, The Principal remains a beloved location for weddings, preferred for its unmatched blend of history, luxury, and state-of-the-art facilities. It offers a variety of rooms, from intimate suites to grand ballrooms, curated to meet diverse wedding visions.

Directions to The Principal

The Principal, acclaimed as one of the elite wedding venues, is conveniently located in the heart of York in North Yorkshire, England. Nestled amidst the charismatic city, the venue is within proximity to eminent landmarks including the York Minster and The Shambles. Situated on Station Road, it offers easy accessibility to York Rail Station, making it convenient for guests traveling by train. This historically rich hotel overlooks the scenic views of the ancient city walls. Known for its timeless elegance, The Principal epitomizes the quintessential charm of York, offering an enriching experience for those seeking a destination steeped in heritage and culture for their wedding celebrations. Its impressive architectural design combined with the classical ambiance, renders it the perfect choice for an unforgettable marriage ceremony.

About York in North Yorkshire

York is a historic city located in North Yorkshire, United Kingdom. The city has a rich history dating back to pre-Roman times and has served as the backdrop for critical periods in England’s past, including Roman, Viking, and Medieval periods. It is renowned for its exquisite architecture, which features a blend of Roman, Medieval, and Victorian Domes that narrate its past. The city’s Gothic-style York Minster, one of the largest in Northern Europe, stands as a splendid testament to this architectural diversity. In addition, York preserves its history through its almost perfectly preserved city walls, which are the most comprehensive in England. The Shambles, a medieval shopping street, adds to York’s distinct historical character. Notable attractions include the National Railway Museum, the JORVIK Viking Centre, and York’s Chocolate Story, underscoring the city’s contributions to transport and confectionery industries. Asides its historical richness, York also offers contemporary delights with its vibrant cultural scene, hosting numerous arts and music festivals throughout the year. Framed by the River Ouse, the town also boasts stunning natural beauty and an array of leisure activities. York is also home to a top-tier UK university reputed for its research impact. A harmonious blend of heritage and modernity makes York a charming destination.

The Principal WEDDING BLOG

People Also Ask


My style is a blend of documentary photography and creative portraiture. My aim is always to photograph your day completely naturally by capturing genuine emotions and interactions and documenting the unique character and atmosphere of your day. If you’d like, I can also spend a short amount of time with you for some artistic portraits utilising the venue interiors and surroundings. I’ll offer gentle guidance without any posing or forced grins for some lovely natural portraits.


I cover weddings in Yorkshire, Derbyshire, and Cumbria, and I am available for UK-wide and international locations.


I’ll offer some gentle guidance in a very natural way for a few creative, high-impact, portraits, incorporating beautiful light, colour and scenery. I want you to be totally comfortable in front of the camera and feel like yourselves in the images. There will definitely be no cheese or formal posing!


I have a background in scientific education and have worked in some top universities worldwide. This has been a great benefit to me in learning all the technical aspects of photography. I have a great deal of experience utilising additional lighting, such as flash, for dark situations or just for creative night-time portraits. You can rest assured that you will still have a set of images that you love even if you have a dimly lit venue or a rainy day.


My style is natural and colourful. I take a great deal of care when editing images, but I want your images to look like your day looked, so they are not over-edited. I do not use bulk treatments or presets; I hand-edit every image to the highest standards. I also include a small amount of retouching when needed.


I am qualified with the Guild of Professional Photographers. I have received recognition and awards from some of the top photographic institutions, such as Fearless Photographers and the Masters of Wedding Photography. I have also been published in training publications and various high-profile wedding blogs and magazines. 


I love photographing various weddings, from intimate, small gatherings to large, elaborate celebrations, catering to various wedding styles and sizes.


Of course, please check out my Google page (linked above) for reviews from lots of lovely couples, or see some more kind words on my reviews page.


I use professional mirrorless cameras and have two backup cameras and many lenses. I am fully insured.

Get In Touch

If you’re looking for a The Principal Wedding Photographer, it would be great to chat! Get in touch with me via my contact page.