Jennifer and James were married on Saturday 27th August 2016 at Cardiff Castle in South Wales. I met up with the couple at the Park Plaza hotel were they were separately preparing for the big day. Once the men were dressed I walked through the city centre with them to the castle, where the marriage ceremony was performed in the undercroft. Drinks followed in the castle grounds and once the public visitors had left for the day, the wedding party adjourned to the library. The wedding breakfast was hosted in the castle’s grand banqueting hall, where a dinner was attended by President Obama and other world leaders during the Nato summit in Wales a couple of years ago. Following the after dinner speeches, guests retuned to the undercroft for the couples first dance and evening entertainment. Jennifer and James currently live in Australia, after I posted their wedding photographs to their antipodean address I was pleased to receive to message below.
“We couldn’t be happier with the professional quality of the photos – you’ve managed to capture some really special moments from our day. It is wonderful to be able to relive the happy memories! “
Cardiff Castle is one of Wales’ leading tourist attractions and a site of international significance, located within beautiful parklands at the heart of the capital. It started its life as a Roman fort, established around 50 AD, on a strategic site that afforded easy access to the sea. After the Norman conquest, the Castle’s keep was built, re-using the site of the Roman fort. The first keep on the motte, erected by Robert Fitzhamon, Norman Lord of Gloucester, was probably built of wood. Further medieval fortifications and dwellings followed over the years. The Castle passed through the hands of many noble families until in 1766, it passed by marriage to the Bute family. The 2nd Marquess of Bute was responsible for turning Cardiff into the world’s greatest coal exporting port. The Castle and Bute fortune passed to his son John, the 3rd Marquess of Bute, who by the 1860s was reputed to be the richest man in the world. From 1866 the 3rd Marquess employed the genius architect William Burges to transform the Castle lodgings. Within gothic towers he created lavish and opulent interiors, rich with murals, stained glass, marble, gilding and elaborate wood carvings. Each room has its own special theme, including Mediterranean gardens and Italian and Arabian decoration. The 3rd Marquess died when he was only 53 in 1900. Despite huge death duties on the estate, the 4th Marquess completed many of his father’s restoration projects including the reconstruction of the Roman wall. The Bute family continued to stay at the Castle throughout the 1920s and 1930s, although they had sold off many of their business interests in south Wales. Following the death of the 4th Marquess of Bute, the family decided to give the Castle and much of its parkland to the city of Cardiff.