Lyndsey and Lee Wedding at King Arthur Hotel, Gower.

We were asked to capture Lee and Lyndsey’s wedding at the fantastic King Arthur Hotel, Reynolston, Gower. We have always loved this venue not just for weddings but for a bite to eat or a coffee.  Its location is great for different wedding photographic backdrops including the King Arthurs grounds.

The day started for Darren at the cottages attached to the wedding venue, while Lynda was with the bridal party in the couples family home.

The bridal party at the house was a buzz with activity with the hairdressers from pimped up pins and make up artist Aimee Louise Make Up Artist (MUA) having a conveyor belt of ladies to have their hair and make up put in place.

 

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While the bridesmaids got ready Lynda went upstairs to get some details of the bride and her bridesmaids. The sixpence on the brides shoes is such a nice touch and we have never seen it before

 

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Then back downstairs to take images of the beautiful flowers from Wedding Flowers Wales.

 

 

 

 

Time for Lyndsey to get her hair done by Pimped up Pins, something tickled her!

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Hairs done and now for the make up.

 

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While it a bit busy in the kitchen , time for Dad of the Bride to have a quiet cuppa in the living room along with his grand-daughter whose interest is with games on a phone.

 

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Mother of the bride looking wonderful after her make up being added.

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Cant forget the flower girl, nice bit of lip gloss to match her shiny nails

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Mum seems pleased with the look

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Meanwhile back at The King Arthur the boys are getting ready

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Time for some shots of the groomsmen, ask them to strike a pose and they oblige. Darren had a blast with these guys.

 

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And so to the smallest groomsman, the pageboy, how handsome does he look

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Carly the King Arthur wedding planner helping out the page boy with his button hole

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All finishing touches ready and time for them to put on their dresses soon.

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Just a photo call for the bridal party outside before they change

 

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Time to take that walk downstairs to see everyone and for Dad to have his first look

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Time for bridesmaids to have presents and that includes the flower girl.

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Time for Lynda to make that drive to the King Arthur where the guests are now arriving.

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While the bridal party arrives the groom is getting nervous .

 

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Here comes the bride

 

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Some group shots before the images of the Bride and Groom

 

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Thanks to Chris singing to keep the guests entertained.

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Boys turn to lift the bride…Umm, sorry guys the girls won!We cried laughing editing these!

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Such a pretty wedding and lovely decor provided by Quaint Hearted Wedding- Rebecca Caddy and Flowers by Wedding Flower Wales. We particularly liked the top table back drop, frames the couple so nicely.

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Onto the wedding reception and a bite to eat, before then Chris Summerill entertains the guest singing.

 

 

Best man and Groom Dad speeches give the best reactions especially from the Groom. Lee. The  Bride Lyndsey, also enjoying the  stories.

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Following the cutting of the cake Lyndsey and Lee asked for some images of them and their children aka pageboy and Flowergirl. Such a gorgeous looking family.

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Time to let the hair down and party into the night, while the queue was being made at the photobooth, local group The Villagers played some great tunes and the pageboy looked on mesmerised by their sound. The Bride and Groom take to the floor for their First Dance.

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We would like to take this opportunity to thank Lyndsey and Lee for choosing Darren and Lynda at Portray to capture their special day and special it was.

Here are the suppliers that helped to make their day go with a swing:-

Photography : Portray Photography ( Darren and Lynda McKenna)

Venue: The King Arthur Hotel

Make Up : Aimee Louise MUA

Hair : Pimped up Pins

Flowers: Wedding Flowers Wales

Decor at Venue: Quaint Hearted Weddings- Rebecca Caddy

Videography: MJ Motion Films

Brides Dress- Chic and Elegant

Grooms and Groomsmen suits: Dyfed Menswear

Bridesmaids Dresses : Chic and Elegant

Guitarist: Chris Summerill

Band: The Villagers

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Hannah & Liam Pre-Wedding Shoot at Arthurs Stone, Cefn Bryn, Gower

We first met Hannah and Liam at a Wonderland Weddings Wedding Fayre at The Liberty Stadium, Swansea. They discussed their wedding with us, went around the whole wedding fayre and came back to our stall before leaving to book us. We were so glad they did.

As with all our couples that book an album package we offer a pre-wedding shoot at a location. This helps for them to get to know us and vice versa. It’s a brilliant way to practice for the big day and get those smiles and poses right.

Hannah and Liam chose the famous Arthur’s Stone on Cefn Bryn, Gower for their shoot as this meant something to them and their children. We were excited about this as we have never used this location before for a shoot.

A little history about the location, Arthur’s Stone, sometimes known as King Arthur’s Stone or Maen Ceti, is a Neolithic burial tomb dating back to 2500 B.C. and was one of the first sites to be protected under the Ancient Monuments Act of 1882.

Like with all things connected to King Arthur there are Myths , Traditions and Legends. Often people ask how this stone came to be where it is?

One of the famous legend and probably the most well known one tells how King Arthur found a pebble in his shoe and threw it across the Burry Estuary, the pebble landed on Cefn Bryn. As the pebble had been touched by the hand of a King, it grew in size until it was held up by other smaller stones in admiration.

There is apparently a Gower tradition where a young woman who is in love with a man can check if he will be faithful. The young woman should make a cake of barley meal, honey and milk. They should offer this to the stone under a full moon followed by her circling the stone on her hands and knees three times. If the man she loves appears before her on the third circuit, it will be proof he will be faithful. Cant honestly say we have seen anyone do this though.

On the day of the shoot we were lucky with the weather, although it clouded over it provided some dramatic sky to accompany couple images.

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Time to have a bit of fun and take in some of wonderful scenery of the estuary.

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We now look forward to their wedding next week at The Oxwich Bay Hotel

Why Have A Pre-Wedding or Engagement Shoot?

If you have recently got engaged you will be starting the think about organising your wedding. However before all that, getting engaged is a happy time of your life and relationship with each other. Therefore considering an engagement photo shoot is a great way to celebrate the beginning of the next chapter of your lives.

 

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Whats the bonus of Engagement Shoots

Generally couples are engaged for at least a year before the nuptials so this is a time to look back on because you will be married longer than engaged. The engagement period is a time to savour and look back on with fond memories of a special  time in your relationship.  An engagement shoot will provide you with a collection of images for you to cherish. Besides the selfies how often do you get to have a photographs with each other? Additionally  some couple use them as “Save the Date” invites.

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Pre-Wedding shoot, whats that and why bother.

On most of our wedding packages we offer a free pre-wedding shoot. Why do we do it? Its quite simple really if you think about it your wedding photographers are the people you will spend the most time with on your wedding day.  Mostly they will be with you from getting ready to possibly your first dance. So getting to know them is important. We enjoy the pre-wedding shoots as much as the big day it gives us time to get to know you as a couple better and it elevates any nerves you may have about being in front of a camera. It also helps us work out which are your best angles, what makes you laugh, what bonds you as a couple. Also its a great time for you to get to know us and how we work so that come your wedding day you know what to expect. All ’tis we help to create genuine images  that show off your relationship with each other and that of your special day.

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So here are some tips for your Engagement/Pre-wedding shoot

#1 – What Clothes  – Wear plain clothes and colours that are simple , try to avoid skin tight clothing, avoid all black or all white colours. You want the images to stand the test of time. Avoid patterned clothing or slogan t-shirts. They can be distracting and lets face it you want all eyes on you and have images you will not regret down the line.

#2 The Special Place – If there is a special place that you hold dear to your heart ask your photographer to set up a shoot there. We tend to ask our couples where they met or where they spent time together whilst going out, parks, beaches maybe even where you first met or where the proposal took place are all good and unique to you.

#3 Involve the Pooch- Some couple have a dog that they love and adore, generally wedding venues don’t allow animals to the wedding day. So this could be a great way to include them in some professional pictures.

#4  Best Time– The best time of day for these type of images generally is later in the day, this is when the lighting is at its best. So make sure you have this time allocated.

#5 Relax- wedding planning can be a stressful time but for at least an hour put this to one side and have fun on your photo shoot. Pre-wedding shoots in particular should be a fun time and for you and your photographers to get to know each other. We like you to concentrate on you being in love and showing off the fact your are going to marry each other. The best part is that we are there to capture this time.

#6  Be Comfortable– Make sure that you are both comfortable with the photographer you pick to capture your wedding day, don’t pick them because you have heard they are the best or offer the best deal. You  should #click”  (excuse the pun) with your photographers.

 

If you would like to see more pre-wedding images pop along to this link on our website http://www.portrayphotography.co.uk/gallery/50141/engagement-portraits

7 Reasons To Visit Mykonos

Although Mykonos is quite dry and barren, it lovely beaches and lively nightlife makes it one of the most popular  in the Greek Cyclades islands.

There are many reasons to visit this marvellous island but here are 7 reasons why we think its worth visiting.

Its a very compact island, thats fairly breezy and this is why its probably called the windy island. If you hire a car ( which is advisable) you can cover a lot of the island in a short period of time. Once you have seen Mykonos Town and theres plenty to see, explore the rest of the island.

# Number 1

Mykonos Town is a typical example of a Cycladic village with its white alleys and cube shaped houses. Its one of the most photographed islands in Greece, the twisting alleys and lanes can memorise you, its very easy to get lost.  Mykonos has one of the most famous styled churches and again is probably one of the most photographed. We spent a long time capturing the famous Paraportani Church.

 

A typical example of one of the dwellings in Mykonos, doors and railing matching in often bright colours, more often than not red or blue.

 

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one of the other famous sites of Mykonos is the Windmills and Little Venice. The tall houses have coloured balconies that jut out over the sea. The image below shows one of the windmills and Little Venice in the distance.

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This windmill below forms part of the museum and has been restored. It is one of the 30 windmills that were used by families to grind the corn.

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# Number 2

Mykonos town has many designer shops in the cobbled streets from Diesel to Louboutin most designers are covered. This is why probably stars like the Kardashians are drawn to this wonderful island. A short walk from the shops offers a different look at Mykonos town. Where local tavernas take over from the shops and offer a relaxed break from all the shopping. As you can imagine seafood is at the top of the list of the menus. Its just nice to sit with a frappe though and watch the world go by.

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#Number 3.

The people on the Mykonos island like every island of Greece  we have visited have lovely people, their hospitality and friendliness is in abundance. Nothing is ever too much trouble for them.

 

#Number 4.

The island has a very good ferry port and forms one of the main islands for Cruise ships and Island hoppers to visit. A popular destination is Delos, this is one of the most important  archaeological sites in Greece. In its time it was a major religious centre and later a commercial port. The Ferries are frequent and local islanders from Tinos and Syros use them regularly to have a bit of retail therapy at Mykonos Town. When we visited Mykonos we decided to jump on a Ferry to Syros. Its quite different to Mykonos but we loved it. The architechture has more Italy about it. Well worth a visit if you can fit it in.

 

#Number 5.

The beaches in Mykonos are popular. The best ones are Platys Gialos. we stayed at Ornos  and this had a lovely beach (image below) with plenty of Tavernas, most of which were situated on the beach. One of the most popular is Paradise, which is known for its nite life, we had a lovely frappe there on the day we returned home.

 

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#Number 6

There is one thing we haven’t mentioned the same as other Greek Islands we can’t forget about the cats, they are as famous as the Pelican that walks around Mykonos Town.

 

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Finally there are the superb sunsets, no wonder “Shirley Valentine” run away to Mykonos and stayed…can you blame her. It is possible to eat at the taverna where she sat in that famous scene from the film. The image below is pretty much what she would have been looking at whilst drinking a glass of her favourite alcoholic beverage by the edge of the sea.

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So whether you call at Mykonos with a cruise ship, decide to use it as a stop off on  a island hopping trip or decide to stay as a main holiday. It may be small but has a lot to offer. Its well worth a visit.

Natasha and Christian Wedding at St Samlets Church, Llansamlet and reception at Manor Park Country House

The weather was bright and sunny on a July morning for Natasha and Christians wedding.

Natasha and her bridal party were getting ready at the Mercure Hotel in Llansamlet, Swansea. While Christian was putting his glad rags on at home with his groomsmen.

Lynda joined the bridal party to get some shots of them getting ready whilst Darren joined the groom a little later.

On arrival at the Hotel i  (Lynda) was directed to a room in one of the corridors where there were a few getting their hair put up, Natasha was getting her hair curled and put up to hold her headress. The hairdressers from Pimped Up Pins were so funny, full of energy  and  great to be around.

While Natasha had the final touches to her hair and tiara added the other bridesmaids had their hair completed and time for a chat also.
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dsc_9832dsc_9834Meanwhile in it was time to wander down the corridor, turn left and find another room where the make-up artist was completing the mother of the bride and some of the bridesmaids look. On entering the room there was a calm atmosphere with a baby sleeping on the bed, totally unaware of all the fuss that was going on around her.

One by one the mother of the bride, grooms mum and bridesmaids had their makeup added.

It was time for the bride to have her make up added.

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Meanwhile back at the house, Darren was capturing the groomsmen getting ready.

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As we know men generally are ready before the ladies so there was time for a bit of larking about before leaving for the church.

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While the lads had their bit of fooling around, the bride and her bridal party were getting dressed in yet another room in the hotel. While the bridesmaids were getting their dresses on Lynda was busy taking some of the details of Natasha’s dress and accessories.

Time to get Natasha’s beautiful dress on and all hands on deck to do it up.

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So everyone was nearly ready just the brides Christian Louboutin shoes to put on. This needed a little help though from her bridesmaids.

Christian and his band of groomsmen had made their way to the church and there was time for a little more tom foolery before entering the church along with getting his button hole fixed correctly.

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Oops nearly forgot there was little job to be done before settling down to wait for the bride to arrive, adding the bows to the pews.

There was a small journey to the church from the hotel, the cars were waiting to take Natasha and her bridesmaids to the church.

Just take a few images of the bride before leaving the car

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Just enough time for a quick kiss from a guest on the way into the church.

Natasha enters St Samlets church where the vicar meets her and her bridal party.

Christian is waiting for his bride, checking with his best man that all is ok.

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During the ceremony one of the littler guests decided that she wanted to walk down the aisle too.

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time to put the legal part of the day finalised, so the happy couple went to sign the register. We have to say that the vicar was brilliant on the day and has allowed us to capture this part of the day so well.

A slight pause at the alter before making their way down the aisle.

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While the bride and groom having their official photos taken, guests line up to take their own or just have a chat.

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so its on the bus for wedding guests to go to Manor Park for the reception.

A quick get together of all of the guests for a large group shot.

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While Darren took the other group shots, Lynda was taking the details of the reception room and beautiful it looked.

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These guys were so much fun to be around, the groom didn’t have a clue what was going on behind him, but it makes a brilliant image.

ok then we will do a serious one.

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With the Bride and Groom session pretty much done it was time for the speeches. Take  stage the informus Babs to call everyone to order and welcome the new Mr and Mrs Jones.

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As it wasn’t far we left the wedding party get on with their meal and we popped off to the Red Lion in Morriston for a bite to eat and a chat on how the day had gone thus far. We had a great time with some great guests and of course the Bride and Groom.

we went back to the Manor Park to finish off the day by taking some of the happy couples first dance together as husband and wife

With day time celebrations nearly done it was time to get the evening party started. The lite up LOVE sign refects on the dancefloor, the guests get their evening selfies underway and of course the celebratory drinks are flowing nicely. Just before the DJ says the buffet is open time for Natasha and Christian to take to the dance floor.

After a short time on the floor it was that moment for their eldest to pop that large ballon suspended from the ceiling.

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As other guests take to the dance floor to boogie, we said our best wishes to the bride and groom and left them to party on.

We would like to thank Natasha and Christian for choosing us to capture their very special day. It also meant something to us taking images at Manor Park as this is where  we got married 6 years ago. As always Babs  , Roy and the team at the hotel were brilliant and always on hand to help. We have to give a shout out to the guys driving the cars also as they were so helpful on the day moving the cars into position for us to take images.

Photography-  Portray Photography

Wedding flowers – Just Jenny

Wedding Dress-

Wedding Venue- Manor Park Country House

Church- St Samlets, Llansamlet

Makeup Artist-

Hair Stylists- Pimped Up Pins

Men’s suits-

cake-

Bridesmaids Dresses-

Car- Manor Park Country House

Rob & Kelly Wedding at St Marys Church Port Talbot and reception at Glyn Clydach Hotel, Longford,Neath

After a lovely pre-wedding shoot a couple of weeks earlier at Margam Park in Port Talbot it had come to the big day for Rob and Kelly.

Darren went over Robs mothers house in Port Talbot to take images of the lads getting ready. While I went off to Pontardawe to capture the bridal preparation at Rob and Kelly home.

Robs Mam helped to sort out the flowers for the buttonholes, where it appears Rob has time to make some phone calls.

Time for the best man to help the groom with his waistcoat and cufflinks

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On approaching the couples house  in Pontardawe I was greeted with a chalked sign stating  Rob and Kelly and the date of their wedding. One of the attendants answered the door to me and inside the house  was already a buzz of excitement. The hairdresser was busy sorting out everyone’s hair and the make up artist was starting to add the foundation to Kellys make-up.

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The kitchen table was adorned with all the accessories for Kelly and her attendants.

The flowers were still in their boxes and have to say they were absolutely beautiful. Not seen the bridesmaids flowers like that before, made a nice change.

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So while Kelly was having the finishing touches to her makeup the other bridesmaid had their hair completed. All the shoes had been already lined up for me and have to say very unusual designs. Kelly’s shoes in particular were very different.

Not forgetting the Mum of the Bride, her shoes too were very different and lot of people have commented about them when viewing the wedding images.

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Time was ticking on so Kelly went upstairs to put on her dress. Gorgeous it was too. Once her dress,shoes and jewellery were on she went down stairs where her bridesmaid helped her with her veil.

A bit of perfume and pretty much the Bride was ready to go.

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In walks Ian who put Kelly as such ease. Which was great and tasked him with making the bride the rest of the day. So a couple of shots of them together before I made my way off up the M4 to the church in Port Talbot.

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Meanwhile back in Port Talbot Darren was capturing the arrival of the Groom and the guests at the Church.

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So here comes the bride at the church, here fantastic veil being painstakingly arranged by her bridesmaid before the walk to the church doors where the vicar was waiting.

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As we  were running a little behind, which i know is the brides prerogative however the vicar was keen to get in the church. Not often you see a vicar do this but had to capture him tying up the page boys shoes.

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Time to go in and for Kelly to meet her husband to be, who was by now very nervous .

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During and while the couple were signing the register the Ospreys Choir Sang. They sounded amazing singing Calon Lan, one of my personal favourites.

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Time to take the that walk back down the aisle as husband and wife.

So it was now to make that journey go back up the M4 to the Glyn Clydach Hotel for the wedding reception.

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While the wedding guests arrived and Darren asked for them to gather for some group shots I went into the venue to capture the details of the dressed room

The cake was made by the mother of the bride, how amazing is this.

Theres always time for a spot of chatting and laughing. I think Darren and I could have captured these fun ladies all day.

It was that time for a spot of food and the speeches, as often happens at this point of the day these brought on fun, laughter, embarrassment and emotion.

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The mothers were given gifts that had to be open simultaneously,along with the presentation of more beautiful flowers.

 

Just before we went outside again with the bride and groom for some photographs. We stopped to have an image of them with their photos of their parents weddings. One of which got married in the same church as Kelly and Rob.

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Have to say that the ground and view from The Glyn Clydach Hotel are wonderful, makes our lives that much easier.

 

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Rob had to pop back to the venue for a second so we made the most of this time with Kelly and couldnt believe how relaxed she had become in front of the camera. The pre-wedding shoot had obviously helped her or maybe it was the couple of glasses of champers.