Holiday Inn Cardiff Wedding Photography | Karen & Andrew
When Karen and Andrew contacted me during their search for a wedding photographer they said something that I'd never heard before - something that I found quite exciting. Certainly something that was new to me. They said: "Our wedding has a bit of a Disney theme to it".
Now, I have actually attended weddings with a theme many times before. They usually focus on certain colours - I once went to a wedding that was Shrek themed with everything green - or it may be a wedding that's far more laid back with a casual dress code compared to others.
Sometimes they may have a bit of an indie vibe or may be summer-themed if they are on the beach.
The groom in shorts and a loose shirt while the guests rock up like their auditioning for Miami Vice.
However, I've never photographed a Disney themed wedding before. So, naturally, this excited me.
The wedding and reception both took place at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Cardiff City Centre - a venue that was also new to me.
For this reason, I popped along to the hotel on the eve of the wedding to meet up with the bride (who was laying out Disney-themed objects in preparation for the post-ceremony reception dinner) and hotel staff. This gave me a better idea of the lighting situation within each room and to ask a few questions about what was and wasn't allowed throughout the day - many venues have strict rules that a wedding photographer must abide by.
Fortunately, the vast majority of the venue was very well lit and there were very little rules in place - don't stand in between the marriage officiant and the couple during the ceremony was pretty much the only request, and one that I'd rightly expect!
The preparation of a Prince
My first job was to make my way over the couple's home just outside Cardiff, where Andrew was preparing for his big day alongside one of his best men. Both were jovial and very relaxed, so I got to work with capturing some of the groom's finer details, such as shoes, bow tie, aftershave, cuff links etc.
Following this, I had Andrew slowly dress himself in his tremendously smart suit while I captured the whole thing naturally unfold. These make for some lovely candid shots and as the groom is legitimately getting ready, as opposed to posing for a collection of "getting ready shots", I feel they can be viewed far more fondly in years to come. I like to capture as much of the day in it's natural environment as possible.
A few shots of the groom and his groomsmen and I was ready to head over to the Holiday Inn Hotel where the bride was preparing herself with some pampering help.
A wedding fit for a Disney Princess
When I arrived everything seemed incredibly calm in the bridal suite - despite there being plenty of people present, including bridesmaids, flower girls, mother of the bride, hairstylist and make-up artist.
Another unique touch was the decision to not have standard flowers but to instead have the bridal party each carrying a single red rose made from glass. Very Disney indeed!
Although the wedding wasn't 100% Disney themed throughout (I mean, guests weren't turning up dressed as their favourite Disney character unfortunately!), the wedding dress and smaller Disney-themed details were wonderful. Karen had sparkly Disney themed shoes which I thought were fantastic and so unique. The dress was never going to be missed with it's long trail that was fit for any Princess. Then there were the Disney themed invitations and the general Disney table decor across the reception room.
I captured the rest of the morning as it passed by without a glitch. I'm sure there must've been a few nervous butterflies, as there always is for any bride and her bridal party, but they certainly weren't obvious on this occasion.
The Disney-themed wedding day
The rest of the day was beautiful, as the sun made an appearance at the right times, the bride and groom were finally wed, and the guests all had a fantastic time. We headed to the nearby Bute Park across the road from the hotel, and here we were able to work our way through the group photographs before I was able to spend a good 45 minutes or so with the newly wed couple as we made our way around certain areas of the park.
As we were in a busy public place on a hot sunny day in the middle of Cardiff City Centre, we weren't without our watchers!
Many people complimented Karen on her fabulous dress, and Andrew looked just as dapper beside her.
After the couple shots came the reception, with each table aptly decorated with Disney memorabilia and random items.
Following this everyone headed next door to a private bar that Karen and Andrew had hired for the evening, were a barbecue, drinks and sweets awaited the arrival of all evening guests.
Oh, and the dance floor and Disney-themed first dance, of course!
It was all super fun and a real honour to be involved with a wedding a little different to the norm!
SEE KAREN & ANDREW'S HOLIDAY INN CARDIFF CITY CENTRE WEDDING PHOTOS BELOW.
WEDDING DAY PHOTOGRAPHY AT THE HOLIDAY INN HOTEL, CARDIFF CITY CENTRE // CREDITS
Photography: Shawn Eastman Photography, Cardiff Wedding Photographer
Venue: The Holiday Inn, Cardiff City Centre
Shawn Eastman is a Cardiff & South Wales based wedding photographer. He takes pride in documenting two lovers at the start of their biggest adventure together. Along with his couples and families, Shawn is driven to capture something authentic, beautiful, powerful and raw. These wedding day photos captured at The Holiday Inn Hotel in Cardiff City Centre, South Wales, encapsulate exactly that.