Last week I had a particularly special wedding, that of my cousin Emily and her fiancee Andy who were married at the beautiful New House Country Hotel on the outskirts of Cardiff.
Emily, her mum Liz and bridesmaids began their bridal prep at Belle Toujours on Cathedral Road. The lavish decor provided a wonderful setting for the bridal prep photos (I totally fell in love with their mirrors!)
Once the ladies were looking beautiful (and boy did they look beautiful) it was back to Liz's house for the final stages of getting ready.
I really love this part of the day, it's like the ultimate girl bonding session and it gives me the opportunity to capture some nice little details.
Once Liz had helped Emily put her dress on, the bridesmaids, headed up by Emily's sister Lucy, were on hand to help with the final touches.
Emily chose for her grandfather (my great uncle Duncan who is 91 years old) to give her away. When he arrived with my great aunt Jean, I realised just how hard it was going to be to keep my emotions under control.
The look on his face as Emily made her way down the stairs was just wonderful.
Finally it was time to head to the venue. When I arrived it was trying very hard to rain but thankfully it held off. I was grateful for the clouds though as they make the light very soft and pretty.
Uncle Duncan looked so very proud as he and Emily arrived in a beautiful white Rolls Royce.
I knew right from the start that there were likely to be tears as uncle Duncan walked Emily up the aisle but thankfully I wasn't the only one crying (I did have the luxury of being able to hide behind my camera though)
Watching Emily and Andy exchange their vows was a wonderful experience and I couldn't help but think how lucky I was to be able to capture those moments for them.
Once the formal part of the day was over, it was time for mingling with guests before capturing the group photos. I like to mix things up a little for these so in addition to formal shots, I throw in a few fun ones (because let's face it, no one stands still with their hands at their sides during a wedding). There's normally an unspoken rivalry between the girls and the boys as to who can out-pose each other (to date it's always a draw)
Following a truly delicious wedding breakfast, it was time for the speeches. Liz's beautiful words about Emily got the tears flowing (which reminds me that I need to invest in waterproof mascara). Andy's adoration for his new bride was very much apparent and best man Andrew finished up by making everyone laugh with a short but well written speech.
Emily and Andy opted for a one tier cake with lots of beautifully decorated cupcakes, something which is becoming more and more popular with couples.
After the speeches and cake, I stole Emily and Andy away for their bride and groom portrait session. The rain scuppered our plans for going outside but thankfully the New House Hotel has some really beautiful areas inside and we made full use of them.
Finally the sun obliged and the rain cleared and we managed to get outside to make use of the fantastic view across Cardiff (I have to say, I fell a little bit more in love with my city that evening)
I find that wedding days fly by really quickly and Emily and Andy's was no exception. In what seemed like no time at all, the evening celebrations were kicking off and it was time for the first dance.
We finished off the day with a few more shots and used off camera flash to create some beautiful low light portraits.
I had the most amazing day capturing Emily and Andy's day and I wish them all the love, luck and happiness in the world.