South Wales Same Sex Wedding at St Donat’s Castle – Kim & Kirsty

South Wales Same Sex Wedding at St Donat’s Castle – Kim & Kirsty

On 14th July 2019 I photographed the same sex wedding at St Donat’s Castle in South Wales for Kim and Kirsty. Kirsty is well known in the local wedding industry as she works for Your South Wales Wedding magazine. So I was very pleased that she choose my as her wedding photographer. St Donat’s castle dates back to medieval times, located in the Vale of Glamorgan in South Wales, it now hosts the internationally renowned Atlantic College.The brides decided that I was to cover the morning of preparations of Kim, before meeting up with Kirsty at the castle where the ceremony was to be performed in the Brandenstoke Hall. The drinks reception was held on the castle lawns with its majestic view of the Bristol Channel. Whilst the guest enjoyed said vista the brides asked for a few portraits around the grounds of the castle, and specially on the sea wall at its own private beach. Just before the wedding breakfast was served, confetti was thrown on the happy couple as they walked through the old portcullis entrance of the castle. Once the food was enjoyed, it was time for the speeches. In the early evening the low sun cast a warm glow to the occasion of the first dance and the celebrations continued into the night.

 

 

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Wedding at St Donats Castle – Sophie & Matt

Wedding at St Donats Castle – Sophie & Matt

It has been a few years since my last wedding at St Donats Castle, but it was a welcome return to this medieval castle in the Vale of Glamorgan of South Wales. The majority of its life has seen the ownership of the castle in the hands of the Stradling family. However after seeing picture of the castle in Country Life magazine, the newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst bought it in 1925. Hearst, who was the inspiration for the main character in the classic film Citizen Kane. He spent a fortune renovating the castle, bringing electricity not only there but also to the surrounding area, much to the appreciation of the locals. Guests at the castle included Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, and a young John F. Kennedy. Also George Bernard Shaw who upon visiting St Donat’s, was quoted as saying: “This is what God would have built if he had had the money.” These days it houses Atlantic College, an international sixth-form College founded in 1962 as the first of the 16 United World Colleges.

Today, 24th June 2017 it is to witness the marriage celebrations of Sophie and Matt. The day started with preparations at a nearby hotel, before the ceremony at St Illtyds Church in Llantwit Major. Upon arrival at the castle, the guests showered the bride and groom with a wall of confetti. After brushing themselevs down we made our way down to the coast line on the edge of the property to take a few portraits of the happy couple. Meanwhile the drinks reception was in full swing on the castle lawn, the benefits from fantastic views of the Bristol Channel. The wedding breakfast was served in the castle’s Bradenstoke Hall, a room which is rarely surpassed for its elegance and splendour. After some entertaining speeches, the guests returned to the lawn for some hijinx before the evening celebrations were annouced with Sophie and Matt’s first dance as husband and wife.

 

“Thanks so much! We love them.”

 

 

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St Donat’s Castle Wedding – Kirsten & Paul

St Donat’s Castle Wedding – Kirsten & Paul

My photographic commission for Saturday 22nd June 2013 started with the bridal preparations at Kirsten’s parent’s home in the village of Welsh St Donat’s, which was a short walk to the church where she would marry Paul. The reception then took place at St Donat’s Castle in the Vale of Glamorgan. It was a rather windy day which played havoc with Kirsten lovely long veil.  It was also nice to see Helen and Chris again whose wedding I photographed in 2011.

Friends and family of the bride and groom can see the whole gallery of wedding photographs here.

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Anastasia & Lawrence – Engagement shoot at St. Donat’s Castle, Wales

Anastasia & Lawrence – Engagement shoot at St. Donat’s Castle, Wales

This post represents something of a temporary departure from my mainstay of documentary wedding photography.

The trend for a pre-wedding or engagement photography session has slowly made its way across the pond from our American cousins into the UK market. I do not advertise such a service and and I rarely get asked mainly because it does not represent how I work on a wedding day. By its very nature these shoots have to be more stylised and coerced, when I photograph weddings pictures are taken during the normal flow of the day, at my clients discretion I usually provide provide a select number of portraits of the bride and groom, but this takes about ten or twenty minutes, just enough to utilise the surroundings.

So I was slightly apprehensive when Anasatasia and Lawrence contacted me from their home in Hong Kong to organise a engagement shoot that was to last six hours including three changes of clothes, hair and make-up. The location was St Donats Castle, the home to Atlantic College, an international school which they both attended and where they first met. I tired to incorporate my normally shooting style into the day as much as possible, just placing the couple  into a scene and letting them fall into a pose naturally and only directing when necessary. It was an interesting day and I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge. Anasataisa and Lawrence are to be married later this year back in Hong Kong and for that and the future, I wish them well.
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