Mari & Rhys

Mari & Rhys, what a sweet couple they were, we felt very relaxed around them. Ironically we filmed Mari’s sister’s wedding only a few months before.

We arrived at Lanelay Hall Hotel and Spa where Mari had decided to stay the night before ready for her bride prep. What a venue this is, an ultra-modern spa hotel in Llantrissant. A perfect setting for the bride and her bridal party to relax and pamper before the big day.

First thing first, the dress shot: this means scouring the hotel for the best location to shoot the dress. We want somewhere that will stand out, where the dress can hang, where we can see the unique details and most of all where it looks beautiful. I think we have all seen shots of a dress hanging against some curtains, and we never want to shoot anything boring.

We work hard to make sure the dress shot is captivating showing off not only the setting but the dress itself  and we managed to find a perfect space in the hallway, great textured stone wall, great light, perfect!!!

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On to shooting the details, these are the items that can have a small or a very big emotional significance, things like lockets with passed family members, shoes, perfume. It’s important to treat them with care and show them in the best way.

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Once makeup is done we decided to do something a little different with this film, I wanted to do an interview with Mari, to talk about how she felt in the run-up of the day, what Rhys meant to her and what would she want to say to him if he was here now.

It became a focal part of the film as there was plenty of emotion in her voice, clear love for Rhys as well as a revelation about how they met (a part which also formed part of the groom’s speech later on)


Whilst all this was going on my wife was at Decourceys filming the groom preparations. Mari wrote a beautiful letter to Rhys which we made sure we captured and got great audio of Rhys reading the letter. We love it when couples show their emotions and love with gestures like this, we learn a lot about the couple and their story which helps us put together a better film for them. Mari also wrote letters to her son in law and father in law to be detailing what they meant to her, a beautiful gesture.

Now time for the dress, it’s all getting so real now, you can see the anticipation build in Mari, nerves are starting to set in but of course we are there to help support, provide guidance and keep people calm, on top of filming these moments.

First look with Dad was on the cards next and Mari’s Dad was a former director so he knew a thing or two about staging, timing, camera angles etc. We made use of the beautiful hallway in Lanelay Hall positioning dad at the top of the stairs around a pillar, this way he wouldn’t get a peak until he turned around. Clearly an emotional time for Mari seeing her dad for the first time.

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We set up the first look with Bridesmaids in a similar way with them at the bottom of the stairs, shooting over Mari’s shoulder gives us a perspective of what she could see, the reactions of all her bridesmaids, more tears flowed as Mari looked radiant in her dress.

On to the wedding in Decourceys Manor, Rhys was ready, we were ready, in position for the best angles. Mari arrived in Style in a beautiful wedding car from Prices Wedding Cars Llantwit Fadre. She beamed as she entered the room with her dad by her side; Rhys was beaming from ear to ear. The ceremony was beautiful and their daughter Celyn-Haf was on daddy’s arm for most of it, proving that she is Daddy’s girl through and through.

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Onto the confetti shot, at Decourceys Manor we usually set this up outside their grand entrance, best light and best space for people to line up, we always love doing confetti shots.


After group shots we took Rhys and Mari around the grounds of Decourceys to get some intimate couple shots. Working alongside Chris from Context Photography Newport we explored the grounds to get the best setting for our shots, using space inside and outside the grounds for variety. Mari and Rhys were very relaxed around us making our job a lot easier capturing intimate moments and true love between the two of them.  Their personalities came out and neither was afraid to have some fun for the camera.

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Onto Speeches at Decourceys Manor, we always set up one static camera for Bride and Groom reactions during speeches, so we can cut to this in the edit when they are in floods of tears or busting a gut laughing, it’s important to get the best shots because you can’t recreate it again. 
Onto the revelation of how they met, Mari told her friends and family that they met on a night out, Rhys was just revealing that they actually met on Tinder. Much to the surprise of everybody at the head table!! Their faces said it all as I think everybody was told the official story with it only coming out on the wedding day. Dad’s face was a picture!!


After speeches it gave us some time to explore the venue, capture the smaller details that they set out, things like the pumpkin lanterns that they made, personalised for Mr and Mrs, blankets for the guests to keep warm, rustic signs, more pumpkin decorations. People spend a lot of time and money on these small things, and lots of videographers miss out these details (what a shame eh?)

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First dance was set up, Bride and Groom arrive on the dance floor and dance to a welsh version of Perfect sang by the talented Bronwen Lewis. The welsh version sounded far better than the original and held more meaning for them as Mari and her family are fluent welsh speakers. 
There was a moment during the first dance, what we call “that look” just two people looking into each other’s eyes, their love for each other evident in their faces, no words exchanged but it didn’t need to be, we got the shot and it was beautiful watching it back. 

The Suppliers

Thank you to all the suppliers that made their day a reality:

The film

Props Studios: wedding videographer South Wales

The Photography

Context Photography: Wedding photographers Cardiff, Newport

The Venue:

Decourceys Manor: Wedding Venue Cardiff


Louise Latham Flowers: Florists in South Wales

Bridal Dress and Flower Girls Dresses

Do You Believe? Bridal Boutique: Wedding Dress Newport


River Hair: Wedding Hair Cardiff


Crafty Bunneys The Wedding Specialist: Wedding invitations South Wales

Wedding Transport

Prices Wedding Cars: Wedding Cars Cardiff