Soooo much joy at this Swansea Wedding and then a reception by the sea!!!
Well, what a truly family affair this wedding was
In front of a packed congregation of about 250 at The Lifepoint Church in Swansea the Bride made her entrance to a piece of music written by the Groom....as you do!
Having absolutely no musical ability myself I am filled with awe by people who can sing, play an instrument and especially write music. Amazing!!
Then, the marriage ceremony itself was conducted by the Father of the Bride, who used to be the Pastor of the Church. How special must that be? Having your own Father marry you!!
Let's not forget about the Bride's Sister who wrote her own prayer to say during the ceremony, it was simply beautiful and really full of emotion
See what I mean, a real family affair
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You fly with angels wings
You've got my blood in your veins
And your eyes see everything
And they shine like diamond rings
Swansea Documentary Wedding Photographer
Hands up if you get excited when you go to the seaside??
I'm sure it's not just me!
I guess it starts in childhood, memories of long journeys, three children squashed in the back of the car. playing i-spy to pass away the hours as we headed off on holiday. We always stayed in the UK, invariably by the coast, so sooner or later (it always felt like later!) the back of the car would fall silent as the three of us started scanning the horizon, each desperate to be the first one to shout out 'I CAN SEE THE SEA!!!'
Things like that stay with you, so when Claire & Matt spoke to me about their wedding down on The Gower in South Wales my heart sang. With the ceremony itself at a church in Swansea the rest of the day was in a tiny little hamlet called Oxwich Bay. By a strange coincidence Oxwich is somewhere I'd been before, on a camping trip with friends about 5 years ago, so I knew exactly where they meant and how beautiful it is
It's times like this that you remember how lucky you are to photograph weddings for a living
Candid, unposed, documentary wedding photography on The Gower
As I arrived in Oxwich in the morning people were heading to beach clutching buckets & spades, picnics & drinks bottles, suncream & hats, excited children ready for a day on the sand.
Tucked away from it all, in a lovely little cottage was Claire and her Bridal party.
Instead of buckets & spades it was makeup and brushes, suncream and hats were replaced with fascinators and a veil and the drinks, of course, were prosecco!
I always think that whatever is being said, the atmosphere in the morning is palpable, an excitement equal to any felt by a child heading to the sand, as the Bride prepares to meet her husband to be in front of family and friends.
On this occasion, there was a 30 minute drive across the Gower Peninsula to navigate before getting to the Church. As a child, Claire used to ride horses in this area of outstanding natural beauty so I wonder if she was reminiscing as the wedding car made its way across the hills?
The wedding ceremony might have been a little bit later than advertised (I'm sure it was traffic, right?!) but hey, when it's your Dad conducting the ceremony you'd hope there would be a certain amount of flexibility!
If I was going to use one word to describe this wedding it would be joy, sheer, unbridled JOY!!
As I said earlier, there must have been 250 people packed into the Church and at the risk of making a sweeping cultural generalisation, Welsh voices are amazing!!
I probably spend as much of the ceremony looking around at the congregation as I do looking at the couple. The guests are a big part of a wedding and I think their reactions really add to the story. Capturing a loving smile or an emotional tear gives context to the occasion, a big part of the narrative of the day
OXWICH BAY HOTEL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY
Afterwards? Time to hit hit the beach and party!!
The reception was in a marquee at Oxwich Bay Hotel, with stunning views across the bay as the backdrop for food and speeches
But don't worry, there was still time to hit the beach!!
I hope you've enjoyed reading about Claire & Matt's wedding.
One final thing to mention is that rather than asking for wedding gifts, they asked for donations to fund research into Motor Neurone Disease having lost a friend to this terrible disease
If you can spare a few pounds to support their fund raising then just follow this link