We were pretty stoked when we were asked to photograph Joe and Nikita's wedding at the beautiful St Donats 'Castle in June. We didn't quite know what to expect of the venue, but my goodness, we were pretty blown away by is beauty. Its quite something! (pretty happy to be shooting there again this year too!).
We had met Nikita and her mum at a wedding fair and were so touched that they liked our work, so when we got a message asking us to capture Joe and Nikita getting married, we did a happy photographer dance. We'd had a great skype chat with these guys before their day (and met their gorgeous fur-ball Finn the rabbit too!), so when we finally met it felt like they were friends.
Joe and Nikita just have this very lovely way with each other (and as you can read later on in the blog post), they just get each other. We felt truly excited by every part of their day. The simple ceremony moments of laughter and emotion, to the surprise appearance of the Llamas (all arranged by Joe). Knowing these guys were keen on a social media free wedding (no mobile phones at the wedding), we felt we were respected but also that we had free reign to capture every aspect of the day. It gave us a freedom to record people having fun and meant we were able to give these guys photos that show their guests paying attention and being involved in all aspects of the day. Something that really was so important to them.
We always love to take our couples away for some time to capture photos of just the two of them. These guys kindly gave us two little slots to do so and we are so glad we had these opportunities. With a venue with such options such as St Donats' Castle, we were spoilt for places, but having time fully away from the wedding, popping on down to the beach a little later in the day, was such fun, but also gave both Joe and Nikita time to enjoy being just the two of them and actually taking in their day. (We appreciated your time guys and so glad you love the beach shots!)
Joe and Nikita have kindly shared some aspects of their day and you can read more from them after enjoying these photos.
Thank you so much guys for being truly wonderful. For giving us space to be your photographers but for also including us in your day and being so very encouraging and complimentary about our work from start to finish. Best wishes to you both and Finn xx o&c
Tell us your story. How did you meet, how did you become engaged and for how long had you been engaged before your wedding day? What happened along the way? How did you get here?: November 2015. We had a pretty hilarious first date - Joe showed up with an orthopaedic boot on because he'd broken his foot walking the dog by stepping in a pothole (brilliant!), . We had a lovely drink and chat in the Duke of Wellington in Cowbridge. We continued to chat and chat in the car outside of Nikita's flat - this went on a little too long though, because when Joe went to leave, the car battery was dead and we had to call the AA at 1am....
It didn't take us too long to move in together. Joe became (almost) a permanent resident at Nikita's flat (we think it was around about this time we became recluses and watched Game of Thrones non-stop from the very beginning!). So, naturally, it was time to move in together.
That year was a great one! We travelled to some amazing places together - Iceland, drove around France and Italy and took lots of little trips around the UK. And then came November 2016 (dun dun duuuuuuun!).
We welcomed a new addition to our 2 unit family, little Finn! Our gorgeous little bunny rabbit who we love to death and brings us endless entertainment and joy! We think that was week one of November...then week two...well that was when we got engaged! :) So if you do the maths, we had been together just less than a year before we got engaged. Some may say whirlwind, but we just think you know when you've met your forever person!
So we decided on a 2018 wedding, thinking that would be plenty of time to organise a wedding....
What made you choose your venue(s) and location(s)?: Joe actually viewed the venue himself and Nikita just took his word for it - best decision EVER!! And how can anyone say no to a castle?!?! We both love the Vale of Glamorgan too, and it's a pretty central venue between Nikita's family & friends coming from Pembrokeshire and Joe's family & friends from Cardiff and beyond. Perfect!
Your outfits & accessories - What made you choose your outfits? What did you love about them?: Nikita was after a boho/gatsby type dress (if that's even a thing! - basically, not a princess dress). She just wanted something that would be comfortable on the day, and no faff. The bridesmaid dresses fitted that theme perfectly, but Nikita also wanted to get the bridesmaids something they would be comfortable in and that they could wear again!! :) Nikita loved how simple and light her dress was and the tiny lace detail on the first layer of the dress (sooo pretty!). Nikita loved how she could take the top layer off for the evening!
The necklace Nikita wore was the first necklace Joe had ever bought her, with a tanzanite stone. Joe actually had the engagement ring made, with tanzanite stones in the side :)
The suits were Joe's choice after a few days shopping with the boys! Lovely 3 pieces, brown shoes and funky socks. Coolest part of the outfit was probably the blue knot cuff-links!
What made you choose your decor and styling? Tell me about your flowers/florist (bouquets, centre pieces & general decorative arrangements)?: We chose simple homemade style decor so as not to have anything too intrusive, the castle spoke for itself in beauty anyway!!
The jars with lights along the aisles were made by the bride's brother's girlfriend, name tags by the bride and her mum and all of the other little bits and bobs mainly by Nikita (orders of service, order of the day, table plan, string art numbers), with lots of cutting, painting and patience by Joe!! The music note confetti cones (made by mum of bride) were a tribute to Joe and his musical talents.
We'd stumbled across a really delicate and simple cake on Pinterest (where else??) with flower petals all over it. It didn't take much digging to realise that you could order real edible floral confetti - and so the cake was a go!
We enlisted a very close friend of ours, the very beautiful and talented Louise Hall, to commission some truly amazing ceramic pieces for us! They are so unique, simple and delicate!
We had pictures of our grandparents from their weddings around the room.
Flowers Nikita had always wanted a flower crown rather than a veil.
Tell me about your Ceremony including any readings, any special moments and your vows. Did you tailor your vows?: The ceremony was just beautiful and felt very intimate. We had a lot of giggles with misread vows and the signing of the register was hilarious! Especially when they gave us a faux pen to pose for the pictures!!
Our readings were 'Love Monkey' by Edward Monkton (a cute little story which we felt we drew parallels with) and Sonnet 116 - Let Me Not to The Marriage of True Minds, because one of Joe's friends insisted on Shakespeare. He was brilliant!
We tailored our promises as we couldn't take the pre-written ones seriously without laughing!
Joe's promises: "Nikita, my love, today I take you to be my partner for life. I promise you the utmost loyalty and faithfulness. I vow to wholeheartedly love you and to look after you. At times, life will be easy and life will be tough but I’ll always be there to be your support through whatever life throws our way. Most of all, I promise to be a true friend, always by your side.”
Nikita's promises: "I promise to love you for who you are, to be patient, and to remember that all things between us are rooted in love. I promise to encourage your dreams and be your accomplice in mischief. I promise to love you forever, no matter the challenges that may come our way. When I’m with you I’m complete; I’m happy; and I’m home. I never want that feeling to go away."
Do you have any comments about your photography? What was it like working with o&c? Why did you decide to book us?: We'd decided to have a social media and photo ban during the day. We wanted to make sure that our guests were fully present and just completely enjoyed themselves, away from their phones. So it was important to us to have photographers who could capture our day, so that we could share photos with our guests afterwards. Also, we didn't want loads of pictures of people taking pictures! Our first dance photos are so lovely without loads of cameras in the background.
Nikita and her Mum met O&C at a wedding fayre - their albums were laid out and were just truly spectacular! We then did a bit of digging on the website and it didn't take us long to realise you were the guys for us!
Owen and Charis, just amazing and kind people! We had so much fun on the day and you were always there to guide us and provide support. Charis, you managed the demanding guests like a boss! And Owen was on hand to let Joe know that he was supposed to walk into the reception room...with his new wife and not on his own!!!
You went above and beyond for us, drove us to the beach and stayed late! Our guests even said how lovely you both were :)
What was your first dance song and why?: We chose Elvis 'Can't help falling in love with you'. We had randomly played the song one time and it just stuck - we would endlessly sing it to each other (in an Elvis voice of course!), almost to the point of exhaustion! But it then became 'our song', so there was no way we would choose anything else :)
Did you have any entertainment (day & evening)?: Llamas!!! We had Llamas! Credit to Joe, what a hero! Nikita thought she had the day planned to the very last detail....
String quartet for ceremony and drinks.
Evening Band - the Brotherhood.
What was your favourite part of the day and why?: If we really really had to choose, and we're struggling to!!! It would be the Llamas and going to the beach (and we cannot thank you enough for that!). It gave us some time together to just laugh and have a cuddle, and finally relax a bit!
We enjoyed the entire day though, from start to the very end (even when we were left at the castle, not realising we hadn't booked our own transport home!!!).
If you could impart any words of wisdom to a couple planning their marriage and wedding day, what would they be and is there anything you would do differently?: It's not about the little details, it's about the people who are around you to share your special day. You'll forget any hiccups and don't worry if you get your vows wrong, we just chuckled our way through them (well, Joe cried a bit!).
Don't stick to tradition, do something crazy!
I think if we did it all again, we would do it exactly the same but stress less in the lead up to it!
Credits: Please let us know the website address of the other awesome suppliers that made your wedding amazing. Venue, cake, band, etc: Janet White-Ashby & Co - Janet is the most amaaaaazing hair and make-up artist.
The Brotherhood - what a funky band!
The Vale Cake Boutique (Zoe) -
Venue -Atlantic College, St Donats Castle.
Amanda & Rob from Old King Street Farm with their two beautiful Llamas! -
Louise Hall Ceramics