St Oudoceus Church Llandogo & Tintern Abbey Wedding
This past weekend, I was honoured to be photographing the wedding between Maria and James, the new Mr & Mrs Ruddy. The location for this wedding started at St Oudoceus Church, Llandogo, followed by afternoon tea, and evening reception at The Anchor Inn opposite Tintern Abbey ruins.
With the bad run of unsettled weather we’ve been having, I wasn’t too optimistic with our chances! I was thinking to myself, “this may actually be the day I have to break out the plastic bags and umbrella!” But luck would have it, no rain! I had already packed all the gear I needed the night before, (for which I’ll post a separate blog, and do watch out for the “what’s in my bag” YouTube video). I took an opportunity this time, to bring along the help of an assistant, Emily, which is the first time in doing so.
We had made our journey upto Tintern Abbey, towards the Church, when I decided to make a quick stop by The Anchor Inn, to see if the bride and groom’s reception was ready. Fortunately, I was able to spend 20 minutes capturing a few key details before heading off to the Church. The route towards Llandogo follows the Wye River, quite a nice little drive. Once there, I handed Emily the day’s schedule to look after, and proceeded inside.
We waited for the groom and groomsmen party to arrive. I already knew that James and his two best men would be wearing Marvel character socks! “Awesome!” I thought. So I thought it’d be great to have the obligatory photo with the guys posing as their characters!
The bride, Maria, arrived soon after with her father. There was a lovely, intimate ceremony, after which we headed down to the Abbey for group photos, and the guests settled down for tea. I have to admit to eyeing up the cakes, they looked so delicious, I could almost hear them asking to be eaten!
As I looked around the Tea Room of The Anchor Inn, I was admiring all the intricate details that were on display, from the candles, to the small wooden love hearts, with all the tables laid out around the central olive tree.
After the speeches from the father of the bride, groom and best man, the evening reception continued into the larger suite. At this point, I was able to nab the couple, with best men and bridesmaids in tow, for a few couple shots by the Abbey ruins. This was a little later than I had anticipated, with perhaps 30 minutes before sunset, and being surrounded by hills in every direction, the light levels were falling rapidly. Luckily I managed to get the shots I wanted, with the help of Emily. The bridesmaids and best men wanted to show their love for the bride and groom, with an ecstatic leap into the air! “Good on them!”
The evening brought in the DJ, and additional guests. In time, we had what we’d been waiting for, the first dance! This was followed straight after by the bride’s dance with her father. After that, that was it. Day of wedding photography over. Both Emily and I had completed our long day, capturing some wonderful moments. Until….there was one final part of the evening which we just had to stay for. Maria had informed me previously that there would be fireworks for the happy couple. Seemed like too good of an opportunity to miss! So I planned the shot, knowing that the fireworks would only last between 6-10 minutes, I had to make sure things were going to work. Or at least plan to! And here we have it. The final, spectacular, moment! What a way to end the day and evening. Congratulations to the new Mr & Mrs Ruddy!