Wedding Day Photography At The Bear Hotel | Arlette & John
There are heaps of great locations in the surrounding areas of Cardiff, including mountains and coastlines, or quaint little towns and villages. One such place is the charming market town of Cowbridge, located in the Vale of Glamorgan just a short 12 mile drive west of Cardiff city centre. This is the home of The Bear Hotel - the venue for the late-summer wedding of Arlette and John. I'd already captured the couple in an engagement shoot just a few weeks earlier during a glorious sunset at Hensol Forest, so they had already had a dress rehearsal to better understand what it was going to be like in front of the camera.
Capturing the early morning wedding preparations
Most bride and groom preparations can be quite hectic to photograph - they always have their moments, even if all seems to be sailing smoothly - but on this occasion everything really did sail pretty smoothly. I was fortunate as both bride and groom were staying at the same hotel, just at opposite ends to each other. So although I was dashing back and forth between each room every now and then, it was far easier to orchestrate.
Furthermore, the hotel was the venue for the wedding ceremony, reception, and evening party as well - perfect.
I arrived in good time and started photographing the groom and his best men. These were casual wedding preparation shots, some of the finer details - shoes, aftershave, cufflinks, bow tie - a few embraces between the groomsmen, and finally, a mixture of formal and non-formal shots of the groomsmen in the outside courtyard. The weather held very fine for much of the day, so we were able to quickly make use of this outdoor space during the morning.
This was all before I made my way over to the room of the bride on the other side of the hotel - bride and groom always being kept apart, of course!
Things were calm and in order when I arrived, which always makes photographing the morning of a wedding far easier in terms of technically capturing everything, though that's not to say hectic bridal preparations can't be handy as well because they can - they provide tons of moments that may not be appreciated right there and then, but will be later down the line when reflecting on the photographs in years to come.
I was able to capture the bridal party getting ready, the mother and father of the bride arriving, the dress, the finer details, and all that good stuff. The lighting is always a test in hotel rooms, but this particular room had a decent sized window so it was slightly better lit with natural light than many tend to be.
A wedding among the beautiful surroundings of South Wales
As family and friends begin to come together at the venue while waiting for the start of the wedding ceremony, there are always plentiful opportunities to capture chatter and embraces. So, after capturing a little of that inside the ceremony room, I headed back to the main entrance and awaited the arrival of the bride. The ceremony itself was truly beautiful, and it was complimented by the venue thanks to the wide panoramic windows overlooking some of the gorgeous leafy surroundings and letting the natural daylight pour inside. There were laughs and tears with everyone enjoying these precious moments as they celebrated a new chapter of Lauren and Rhys's adventure of love.
Fortunately, we were able to make use of the grounds as I spent some time with the couple taking some shots among the sprawling green grass and high trees. We were also gifted with an incredible sunset later in the day. The party was well underway by that point, but I could miss an opportunity as the natural light outside was incredible, so I ran inside to grab the bride for some fashion-inspired shots posed on a field with nearby sun-drenched villages in the distance. Overall, it was a beautiful wedding and I thoroughly enjoyed capturing their day.
SEE LAUREN & RHYS'S BRYN MEADOWS WEDDING PHOTOS BELOW.
WEDDING DAY PHOTOGRAPHY AT BRYN MEADOWS // CREDITS
Photography: Shawn Eastman Photography, Cardiff Wedding Photographer
Venue: Bryn Meadows Golf & Spa Hotel, Ystrad Mynach, South Wales
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 Bryn Meadows Golf & Spa hotel in Ystrad Mynach, a short drive from Cardiff in South Wales, encapsulate exactly that.