I have to start this blog with the story of Chris' proposal to Anwen simply because they really don't get any more epic than a proposal on top of mount Kilimanjaro! The engagement ring was slightly unconventional - Chris used a piece of his bootlace which he tied around Anwen's finger. It was duly replaced with a proper ring but the bootlace has been kept safe.
I've known Anwen pretty much my whole life as her mum and my dad are first cousins (which I think makes us second cousins once removed or something like that). I have very fond memories of playing with dolls in her playroom and eating homemade Welsh cakes and mince pies.
Naturally, I was over the moon when Chris and Anwen asked me to photograph their wedding, not least of all because it meant getting to spend a few days in West Wales right before Christmas.
Anwen got ready at her parents home; a gorgeous little bungalow nestled on the side of the beautiful Preseli Mountains. It was funny being back in the playroom again which was exactly as I remembered it from my childhood.
Anwen's mum is super creative (she makes the most amazing corn dollies) and she crocheted Anwen's bouquet for her. There's nothing quite like the personal touch. To go with her handmade bouquet, Anwen also had her own perfume made for her.
One of my favourite parts of the bridal prep is when the bride's mum does up her wedding dress, it's normally the last time she will ever help her daughter dress (and yes sometimes that makes me a little emotional).
Once Anwen was ready, I headed down to Bethlehem Chapel in Newport where I found a remarkably calm Chris looking very dapper. Luckily it was still dry enough to be able to get some shots outside and Chris pulled his best modelling poses out of the bag.
I'm not sure if Chris was looking for diving inspiration in the photo below or maybe he was just collecting his thoughts knowing his bride was about to make her entrance. Either way, I love his expression.
This is another favourite moment of mine during the day, watching the groom's reaction as his bride enters. Chris could barely contain his excitement at seeing Anwen.
Now if there's one thing the Welsh are known for, it's their singing voices and the guests in the chapel certainly stayed true to form. I'm not sure I've ever heard Calon Lan and Cwm Rhondda sung so beautifully and with such gusto.
If you've ever read any of my other blogs or spent any time on my Facebook page, you'll know I am totally obsessed with light (like seriously obsessed with it). Despite the now awful weather outside, there was beautiful light coming in through the chapel window and a conveniently placed staircase meant I could place Chris and Anwen right in it.
After the ceremony, the wedding party moved onto the reception at LLwyngwair Holiday Park. Chris and Anwen chose this particular venue as it's where Anwen's parents had their wedding reception. I'd already taken note of the fabulous windows the day before and knew they'd be a perfect backdrop to show off Anwen's dress.
How's this for a wedding cake! Such an amazing way to incorporate Chris' proposal.
As well as lighting, I also have a thing for reflections and this huge, shiny table was just perfect. I've been working for quite a while to balance my flash with ambient lighting and I finally got there.
I'd hoped that the wind and rain might have eased off come the evening but it was still blowing a gale so we rounded of Chris and Anwen's photos in a cosy corner of the hotel.
I can't finish this blog without talking about Chris and Anwen's honeymoon. A few days after their wedding, they jetted off New York City and did the things that most people visiting the Big Apple do; taking in the sights, strolling round Central Park and they also ran the Brooklyn Marathon! What a way to start married life.
Chris and Anwen, thank you so much for choosing me to capture your special day, I wish you a lifetime of love and happiness.