The Brecon Beacons are a long way from Dorset. The national park in Mid-Wales is a wedding photographer's dream: beautiful, sparse, rugged, majestic. I'll say it again though, it's a long way from Dorset. It's also a long way from London which is where Charlotte and James live, as do a lot of their guests. So why Wales? I asked the question of James when we met at Llangoed Hall on a sunny, uncharacteristically clear and warm morning in early March. I've mentioned some of the reasons already, so when you have such a historical and captivating venue as Llangoed Hall all to yourselves, exclusively yours for your wedding, then it makes a very exciting prospect. Once owned by the Laura Ashley empire, beautifully maintained and now a highly regarded seat of fine dining and a sumptuous country getaway. Perfect.
As with many of my wedding clients, the first face-to-face meeting was on the day itself. James and I had communicated regularly via email beforehand, so we both knew a bit about each other and had planned our meeting and timings with great organisational skills from James (you can thank me for bigging you up later James). Still, that first meeting is always exciting (at least for me) and it was in the Llangoed Hall car park that we met.
One of the first things I tell couples is to ignore me on their wedding day. The quicker that advice is followed, the better the end result and I don't take offence, no matter how quickly they then forget about me. The first task for James and his assembled groomsmen was to put on their button holes and then practice 'the dance routine'. You'll see a couple of images on that near the start, then a bit more towards the end of the post later.
This wedding has it all: stunning scenery, beautiful people, cute kids, a VW Beetle and that dance routine. It has a combination of storytelling images and natural portraits. To say it was a pleasure to document the day doesn't come close. It was a photographer's dream.
Now a bit of explanation on the rest of this post as I'm not going to write anything else. Not because I don't want to - I'd happily wax on about Charlotte & James' wedding - but because of what should be an obvious fact: documentary photography should tell a story without any additional narrative. I like writing - always have -and will continue to with my technical blog posts but for weddings, I'd like to let the images tell the story. There's a lot of them here - the most I've ever included in a post - because I want to show them in a similar way that might be included in an album. It would be a large album certainly (116 images is pretty BIG) but an album none-the-less.
As ever, I'm interested to know your thoughts, so if you've enjoyed looking at this beautiful wedding, then please take a moment to comment and let me know.