Gwrych Castle Weddings
In September 2018 I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to photograph the Wedding of Abby & Rob, at Gwrych Castle (see their blog here). Even then, I remember being completely blown away by the sheer commitment and dedication of the Gwrych Castle Trust, in transforming the castle and its magnificent grounds, from it's abandoned state to its original grandeur. I've longed for the opportunity to return and try out some new photography techniques and styles, to coincide with the castle's rejuvenation. In April 2021, along with an incredible team of local suppliers, I had this opportunity. [Read through to the very end to see how the castle has altered from 2018 to 2021].
A styled shoot can be a complicated affair, with so many various skilled professionals offering so many different services (and believe me, North Wales has an abundance of amazing wedding suppliers). After discussing the content with representatives at Gwrych Castle, we decided to keep it local and utilise recommended suppliers who were already familiar with the Castle. I remember the 2018 Wedding shoot being challenging because the area is so vast and every angle a photo worthy opportunity. I wanted to keep the structure of the day as simple and organised as possible, whilst creating some dramatic results.
The morning began at the nearby salon (Bodelwydden) of Sinead Waring (Look Fabulous by Sinead) - for hair and make-up. Here we met the model bride - Hannah Leonard, as well as Make-Up Artist, Keena Roberts (Rhos-on-Sea). It was incredible to witness the work of these incredible and experienced professionals. They are so good at what they do!
Once perfected, we drove the short journey West to the iconic Gwrych Castle, recently made famous as the home of ITV's 'I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!', to meet the rest of the team. Rosie of 'Cameo Brides' (Llandudno) supplied the beautiful Wedding dresses and Sioned Rowlands of 'Pont y Twr' (near Ruthin) offered her unbelievable Florist expertise in the way of Bouquets, button holes and floral hair accessories.
To make up the team, we had Neo Parkies as the Groom, modelling a black dinner suit and a separate blue suit with tweed waistcoat, both courtesy of the amazing Trefor Jones (Ruthin). I can certainly vouch for the team at Trefor Jones Ltd as they provided their suits and incredible service for my wedding day.
With the schedule and the team all organised and models prepared, the photo shoot could commence. Firstly, a solo Bridal shoot, in Dress #1, at 'The Chapel' within the castle walls and the nearby staircases. Incidentally, for more information on the dresses used in this shoot as well as details from all of the suppliers involved, please make contact with them directly, via the links provided.
The nearby Main staircase is one of my favourite locations in all of the castle and one of the most iconic. The idea was to utilise this location in both daylight and at night time, using subtle candle light and 'Off Camera Flash'. Therefore, the shoot was scheduled in from 3pm, for a few hours of daylight until 9pm (after dark), bearing in mind this shoot took place in mid April - This is worth factoring in for anyone else planning their own styled shoot, so not to get caught out, with lighting conditions.
It was time for another location change. This time - the Upper Terraces, overlooking the North Wales Coast. As well as a change into Dress #2 - another stunner which once more complimented Hannah perfectly.
Also, how beautifully located is this castle? What a place and backdrop for a wedding.
I liked these colour and Black and White edits as much as each other, so couldn't separate them. When providing couples with their Wedding Photo's I always offer a range of Colour and B&W's, so thought it was important to share the service that you'd receive from me. Please let me know your preferences in your feedback :-) Meanwhile, Neo, our Groom, was introduced for a nice couples stroll down Stable Hill, amongst some familiar 'I'm a Celeb' props. This is another one of my favourite locations in the whole castle.
There wasn't all that much natural daylight remaining at this point, so in order to catch a potential sunset, we made time for shots at the 'Main Terrace', which was a must, as the back drop is spectacular and reveals the main castle exterior.
As you can see in the above shot, the sunlight was lower in the sky casting a warm glow and setting to the west towards the Little Orme and Llandudno. Through a nearby gateway we had opportunity for a quick silhouette shot, before another change of clothes - Dress #3 and Suit #2 (the Dinner Suit).
Now was the time for the challenging shot where I needed everything to come together, so the whole team got involved. We candlelit a section of the Main Staircase and positioned Off Camera Flashes in three separate locations. These flashes served several purposes: To illuminate the subjects - in this case the Bride & Groom which (at times) cast a dramatic shadow on the castle walls; some backlight to create a subtle rim light around the Bride and Groom as well as to illuminate and exaggerate the smoke created by some 'Enola Gaye' smoke grenades.
Here's the results.....
I'll leave you with this.... Check out these 2 examples (below) of how much the castle has altered in the last 2 and a half years. The first shot was taken looking up "Stable Hill", whilst the second image shows the difference of the "Main Terrace". What a job the team at Gwrych Castle have done and continue to do!
An amazing shoot at an amazing location with unbelievable fellow suppliers and models, it was a great opportunity to be involved in something so special. I hope for plenty more opportunities in the near future with Gwrych Castle becoming inundated with requests for weddings.
THANK YOU so much to each and everyone of you for your time, expertise, beauty and good looks...and most of all your professionalism in assisting with these results.
If you are looking for a photographer for your special day or indeed, the services, of my fellow professionals, please see the contact details below.
Photographer - Nathan Roberts (Nathan Roberts Photography)
Hair - Sinead Waring (Look Fabulous by Sinead)
Make-Up - Keena Roberts (Keena Make-Up Artist)
Flowers - Sioned Rowlands (Pont-y-Twr)
Dresses - Cameo Brides, Llandudno
Suits - Trefor Jones Ltd, Ruthin
Smoke Grenades - Enola Gaye And finally, some shots of Abby & Robs wedding in 2018........