When Mike and Jess first contacted me about their wedding in Caerphilly Castle, I couldn’t wait to get started on the planning. Having never shot at this venue before and it being on my top ten list of desirable venues, I think it’s safe to say I was a little more nervous than usual, however extremely excited.
The castle, with it’s 13th century medieval architecture, picturesque scenery and “the most elaborate water defences in all Britain”, lends itself to some stunning wedding photography. Whether it’s outside in the castle grounds or within the grand castle banquet halls, come rain or shine there are plenty of photographic opportunities here. Needless to say, I was very keen to explore the possibilities.
Jess had booked a nearby house through Air BnB, which meant an excellent start to the day. The high ceilings and what I can only describe as the largest windows I have ever seen, meant there was an abundance of natural light to play with for the bridal preparations. The variety of solid oak furniture around the house meant I had easy pickings for backdrops to photograph the details like the shoes and bouquet.
Once Jess had finished getting ready, I decided to position her in the dining room behind some large doors separating Jess from her family in the living room. This allowed me to position Jess’ Dad with his back to the doors so that once they were opened, all the family could see Jess except for Dad. This meant the anticipation for her Dad built up so that when he was finally allowed to turn around, I was able to perfectly capture his reaction.
Meeting Mike at the castle, he told me that he was a little nervous. But what really showed, was his eagerness to see his bride. His wait was not very long at all, because as the final guests were quickly ushered into the ceremony hall, Jess turned up in the beautifully decorated wedding car. I can distinctly remember the look that beamed back at me as I peered in through the back window. A truly heart warming moment.
The ceremony was held in the large main banquet hall, which was where the reception was also to take place. As Jess and Mike said their vows, their friends and family looked on with happy faces, and I even noticed a few tears of joy from some of the congregation. Jess and Mike looked so happy as the ceremony drew to an end, and I’m pretty sure they were continuously smiling the entire day.
Once we had finished the group shots, we took Mike and Jess out to the castle grounds for some of their bridal portraits with one of their favourites (and mine actually!), being the one of them together casually on the drawbridge.
The day continued with much laughter and as the DJ announced it was time, the happy couple took to the floor for their first dance. Still happily smiling at each other, I’m sure the two hardly noticed everyone around them as they danced, in what to them I’m sure was there own little bubble of love.