Early April saw the fabulous wedding of Cerys and Sam - now Mr and Mrs Collier! - at the beautiful Stouthall (Carreg Adventure), Gower. It was my first time at Stouthall and I very much hope it won't be my last, as this place is definitely one of the best up and coming venues in Gower - if not south Wales - at the moment.
To begin, Cerys started getting ready at home in Gowerton. It was a busy morning, filled with car-ribbon making, champagne drinking and plenty of croissants. I loved Cerys' attention to detail, such as the lovely different coloured flat shoes for the bridesmaids and the gorgeous personalised hand mirrors.
Meanwhile, the menfolk got ready at Stouthall (the reception venue), which has a quirky range of bunk bedded rooms that made for some great photo' opportunities. The men were joined by my wonderful second shooter for the day, Richard Savage, who captured the morning perfectly, including the rain-sodden sign quest!
After the house, it was off to St John's Church in Gowerton, which was only a few minutes down the road. The church is beautiful and I'd like to give a big shout out to the vicar who was beyond accommodating and even took his own photograph of Cerys and Sam in the vestry!
One of my favourite parts of a wedding is just after the ceremony when all the guests are desperate to congratulate the couple. I love just milling around and capturing this as it happens and even though the weather wasn't playing ball, it really didn't matter.
What followed was possibly my favourite part of the day. I'd spoken to Cerys and Sam about different places we could go for photographs en route to Stouthall, however we all decided to play it by ear and see where we felt like going on the day! This meant that I drove behind Cerys and Sam in their wedding car waiting to find out where they were going to pull over, which was pretty exciting! First stop was Penclawdd overlooking the marsh...
Before heading to the top of Cefn Bryn...
Often people can be concerned about wedding day weather, which is completely understandable, however I can't help but love the dramatic skies and gorgeous lighting that a good ol' drizzly Welsh day gives you. It's always good to have some umbrellas to hand for dashing in and out of the car, but a bit of rain never hurt anyone (and certainly doesn't affect my equipment!)
It was then off to Stouthall - an 18th century mansion in Reynoldston which also has the most gorgeous teepees in its grounds.
By this point, the sun had started coming out and it really was like an entirely different day.
Sam had told me that he had a surprise for Cerys that he was going to give to her in the bridal suite, so I duly followed them upstairs to see what he had in store and, as well as a massive cardboard cut out of Harry Potter (!), Sam had secretly arranged their mini-moon; a trip to Barcelona!
The rest of the afternoon was spent doing a mixture of group shots and capturing the laughter of friends and family in the gorgeous surroundings of Stouthall.
Before a group photograph inside the gorgeous main hall and some confetti on the steps...
What I particularly loved about Cerys and Sam's day was all the personalised, home-made details and contributions from friends and family. The teepee was decorated beautifully with all of the tables reflecting Cerys and Sam's favourite places; the library was adorned with polaroid pictures captured on the day; there was a fingerprint tree canvas; memories of American vacations throughout all of the different rooms; and - my personal favourite - The Great Wedding Bake Off, where friends all contributed to the dessert table by making a cake (or cakes!) that were shared after the wedding breakfast.
I spent the rest of the evening capturing the incredible speeches held in the teepee, including a rather impromptu decorating of the groom!
And after a few more pictures of the new Mr and Mrs and Mrs Collier as the sun was setting, the only thing left was to capture the guests as they partied into the early hours.
Thank you again, Cerys and Sam, for letting me and Rich capture your day. Wishing you every ounce of happiness for the future.
Richard Savage Photography - my wonderful second shooter (and friend), Rich, - do check out his website if you're looking for a Swansea wedding photographer and don't want me, hah. We also work together to cover both bride(s) and groom(s) getting ready if you want us as an inimitable double-act.
Carreg Adventure - the awesome Stouthall venue
St John's Church - the ceremony venue in Gowerton, Swansea
The Villagers - the band that facilitated the dancing!