Bethan and Karl’s wedding at the Celtic Manor Hotel

By Chris Francis

I was very excited to have been asked to document the wedding of Bethan and Karl who wed in the Manor House at the Celtic Manor in Newport earlier this month.

Dubbed as the Mainwaring official photographer, this one felt very personal having shot Bethan’s sister’s wedding in 2010 and being held in the Celtic Manor which I had never shot a wedding there before I was a little nervous. Also not being very well after returning from Turkey the day before, the pressure seemed to be on!

Bethan got ready in a very grand suite on the 10th Floor of the Celtic Manor, with her sister, mum and dad. There were such amazing over Newport towards the Severn River and over the golf course it was amazing. I had to take a few shots of the view and incorporated some of Bethan’s accessories into the pics also.

The Manor House near the entrance to the Celtic Manor Resort and you can get to it via a series of escalators within the Hotel (although it is quit easy to get lost, lucky I came for a reccy a few days earlier or I may have been wandering the hotel for hours trying to get there!)

The Ceremony was held in the Hedleys Room and was made up beautifully with vintage embroidered cotton chair ties. It was quite a small, dark room with not very much room for a photographer at the front of the ceremony but I managed to squeeze myself in next to the registrar to capture the event.

After the ceremony we took a quick group photograph of everyone outside, as it was a very cold day and then headed back inside where we took a few group shots on the very grand stairs in the manor house. The wedding breakfast was served as a buffet and I had been invited to sit with the guests, some of whom I was familiar with from Bethan’s sister’s wedding. The food was amazing, and topped off with some of Bethan and Karl’s handmade chocolates from the Chocolate House – http://chocolate-house.co.uk mmm – I’m going to have to get some more of those!

Bethan and Karl wanted a purely documentary service as they are not keen to be in front of the camera but I managed to coax them outside to try some night portraits on their wedding day just after the speeches. Using a bit of off camera flash I tried to get the moon in to the frame too.

Not being a traditional kind of wedding, Bethan and Karl were not really up for a first dance, but I managed to stay long enough to get a few pics of Bethan throwing some shapes on the dance floor. I love staying to the party, there is so much energy to be captured when people have had a few drinks and put on their dancing shoes…..