Wedding at Manorbier Castle
Cole and Scott’s Wedding at Manorbier Castle
When Cole phoned me about her wedding in at Manorbier Castle in Wales, I jumped at the chance to photograph her wedding. When she told me that it was going to be a Game of Thrones themed wedding, I knew we were in for a great day!
Cole and Scott were married a few weeks ago in August and on paper having an august wedding should give some guarantee that the weather will be nice, however, driving up to wales I was not so sure and the driving rain did nothing to ease my fears. The day after the wedding was even worse, however, Cole and Scott had some beautiful weather on their wedding day as Manorbier Castle was bathed in sunshine for most of the day with not a drop of rain in sight.
Both Cole and Scott adore their Pomeranian, Bruce, they flew him over with them from Qatar where they normally live. Cole had no shame admitting that Bruce was one of if not the most important guest at the wedding and they put him to work as the ring bearer. Cole told me that as long as I got photos of Bruce she would be happy with the wedding photography. Therefore my mission was simple, stick to Bruce like glue and wait for him to be interesting. This was not difficult as dog lover myself I took to this task with ease.
Manorbier Castle is located a few minutes walk to the beach so it would have been criminal of me not to use the wonderful golden light that we had in the evening for beach photos with Cole and Scott. I’m not going to lie to alcohol had a significant role to play in some of the more adventurous shots, I’m not sure Cole would have ventured in to the sea in her wedding dress otherwise. Cole did have a spare dress for situations such as this however, good job really!
The Game of Thrones theme was subtle but it was present through some of the details such as the seating plan, the table names and I loved their cheese board that had the dragon motif with the caption “Dinner is Coming”. It was little details such as this that Cole should be commended for, she planned her wedding with almost surgical precision, allowing her to cut loose and fully enjoy her day.
Manorbier Castle was also an excellent backdrop for a marioky, for those of you that don’t know what this is, essentially it’s when the videographer gets the guests and couple to sing lines to a particular song and he will mash the clips together with the soundtrack over the top to produce a music video from the wedding.
The Song in this case was “Bonnie Tyler’s – I Need a Hero”. This was such a great song, the bride really got in to it as did Scott and the guests, I really enjoyed getting photos of them miming the song and dancing. I even had a cameo role with my second photographer at the end of the day, which I enjoyed doing more than I like to admit!
This wedding had so much going on, Cole and Scott definitely live life to the full and their guests had the same philosophy, being around them was uplifting and exhausting at the same but you can’t help but get dragged along by their enthusiasm and zest for life a lot of the images I took where not staged and I was actually trying to keep them focussed, in the end I just went with it and wow what a wedding!
For the Photographers:
Manorbier Castle is not without it’s complications from a photography point of view. I use Fuji Xpro2’s for my wedding photography this is a crop sensor mirrorless camera in my opinion the best camera system for my style of wedding photography. I normally shoot with two body’s one with a 16mm f/1.4 lens, the other with a 56mm f/1.2 lens (24mm and 85mm full frame equivalents). However, on this wedding I need to shake things up a bit.
For my longer lens I was using a Mitakon 35mm f0.95 (50mm Full Frame equivalent) as the 56mm was too long for a lot of the areas in the castle, mainly the house and the chapel. I also found that the 16mm whilst useful for most of the day was not wide enough for shots of off the main tower at Manorbier Castle. For these shots I wanted to incorporate the landscape and give an epic feel to them, I used the 10-24mm f/4 lens for this with it’s full frame equivalents of 15-35mm it gave me a lot more width to play with and create the look I was going for.
The Mitakon 35mm f/0.95 is a beautiful lens, however, it’s a manual focus lens and I like to shoot it wide open at 0.95 this is tricky at a wedding due to the fast moving and unpredictable nature of weddings. After a while though you seem to forget that you are manually focusing. I use the focus peaking feature on the Xpro 2 to make sure that I am nailing the shot, also the smooth focus ring of the lens really helps. Some to watch out for however, is the aperture ring on the lens doesn’t click and it’s easy to move the aperture without realising sometimes.
The light is interesting in the house and the chapel with strong shadows, this was not too much of an issue as it was a bright day and I like to incorporate contrast in my work where possible. In these circumstances I use spot metering and meter from the subjects face to ensure that they are correctly exposed.
I would definitely shoot another wedding at Manorbier Castle it was such a fun and interesting location to photograph a wedding at, plus the beach is a massive added bonus.