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.”