I met Clare and Stephen recently due to a late booking this summer. I was recommended to them via a good friend (thank you, Rosie!).
Despite all of us living in Manchester, we met for the first time in Anglesey at the wonderful venue The Prichard Jones Institute. I was visiting family at the time in beautiful North Wales, and luckily we were all in the area at the time. Meeting at the venue gave me a good chance to have a look around the ceremony venue at the same time.
The Prichard Jones Institute
Built-in 1905 in Newborough in Anglesey the Prichard Jones Institute is a grade two listed building. It was originally built to service the local inhabitants of Newborough and the surrounding district with a free Library. The Institute was also featured in the BBC “Restoration” documentary in 2006.
Looking around the venue, I was very impressed with the feel of the place. Downstairs the library is atmospheric with old pictures and books. Upstairs in the function room used for the ceremony, the walls are a deep blue colour and windows look out to the mountains of Snowdonia.
Clare and Stephen were a lovely couple, and we got on like a house on fire. They told me a story about when Stephen proposed to Clare, they were in an area of Snowdonia where the RAF were practising. Stephen waited until the moment two jets were thundering above them flying through the mountains and then got down on one knee…
Fast forward to August and the day of the wedding! I headed to The Prichard Jones Institute for early afternoon to photograph the venue. The day started off with some worries about the weather, rain was forecast for later in the day, and the dark clouds were looking ominous but very dramatic!
The guests started to filter into the venue all in good spirits. Stephen was getting ready nearby and turned up looking very dapper, he told me that he had him and his groomsmen had had some personal styling by Rupert Trendell from Outsmart Manchester based stylist.
After all the guests had been ushered upstairs, the bridesmaids turned up next. The theme of the wedding was the 1950’s, and they were looking fab. A few minutes later the stunning bride turned up in a classic car. She was dressed in her evening dress and quickly got dressed in her main wedding dress for the ceremony in a private room at the Prichard Jones Institute before heading upstairs.
A wonderfully emotional ceremony preceded with some lovely readings from Clare’s Aunt, Stephens mother and the bridesmaid of honour.
The Menai Bridge Viewpoint and Bangor Garth Pier
After the wedding finished with confetti and group shots, I whisked the couple away to a location where I could photograph them with the Menai Bridge in the background. The weather was holding out, and the skies looked terrific with one of the Menai bridges and the Mountains of Snowdonia in the frame too.
After a few shots, the heavens opened, and we rushed to the next location for photos. Garth Pier in Bangor Garth Pier is a Grade II listed structure in Bangor, Gwynedd, North Wales. At 1,500 feet in length, it is the second-longest pier in Wales and the ninth longest in the British Isles. The tide had gone out at the time, and we had a fun time with the posed photos, these two were totally natural subjects to photograph!
Hugh Owens Hall (Bangor University)
Onwards to the reception and what a grand venue! Overlooking the Menai Strait and the Isle of Anglesey, Hugh Owen Hall is nestled between the mountains of Snowdonia and the sea. The historic Grade II listed venue had been sensitively restored which offers plenty of character for a wedding.
The guests had lined up to blow bubbles as the couple walked up the steps to the Hall, we then headed inside for a meal then some fabulous speeches one memorable one from Stephens twin brother.
Night fell, and everyone headed to the dance floor to see out a perfect Welsh wedding...
Congratulations Clare and Stephen!