The Wedding of Claire and Philip Steynton Church & Slebech Park

Hello there, David (dp)  here from – I always start these blog posts like this because so many of you find these via search engines and miss my website out ! – I am a wedding and portrait photographer based in Wales but am available for weddings anywhere in the UK.

A couple of weeks ago I had the great pleasure of photographing the wedding of Claire and Philip.  Until the day before the wedding I had not met the couple but I was invited to a BBQ at Slebech Park – The venue for the reception following the wedding.  The couple and guests had taken over Slebech Park as its a great destination for remote weddings down here in the West of Wales.

Claire and Philip booked me over the internet and following a few conversations on the phone.  Attention to detail was high on Clair’s list 🙂 and they provided me with great information.  As I said before I would like to thank them both for the invite to the BBQ – apart from the great food, I got to meet lots of their friends which made the whole day go a lot smoother.

Okay onto the big day itself.  I arrived bright and early in the morning to get all the preparation shots.  I love bridal preparation shots as you will know if you are a blog stalker – I also love it when the groom is at the same location and I get to photograph the preparation of both parties, that way the groom does not feel left out.

Claire the bride (in the yellow top) was pretty cool all morning, I don’t think I have seen a bride so prepared and laid back (which her friends pointed out is not like Claire – with a smile on their face) – I don’t know about any of that but all I can say is she was totally chilled and a real pleasure to be around.


In this shot again from the bridal preparation you can see Claires dress in the background, I moved it to get a good shot of it as you will see in a second.


So not being able to get a decent shot of the dress where it was I ASKED if I could move it – I am not a photographer that likes to make things happen and I dont try to direct much of a wedding or orchestrate things to happen but when the need arises and its for something as important as a wedding dress photo, well you just have to bite the bullet sometimes and just do it.  Wall space was at a premium so the best location I could find was in a doorway – I locked the girls in their room and let them know NOT to come out or the dress would fall – these are all important little things because apart from the bride, groom and guests the dress is the next most precious thing on the day !


Since the girls were going to be a while (perfect in my books as I get to get all the shots I need) I popped downstairs and found the boys.

Here is a shot of the groom (Philip)  just after he put on his shirt and tie – all the boys were talking about the shirts, they were something special but thats a secret for the groomsmen and the family. – I did get lots of great chillin shots of the boys and one great shot of one of the guys just as he came out the shower !! – this got a great reception during the slide show on the night of the wedding itself but I could not really post it here so you will have to make do with some more tamer ones.


and the finishing touches begin applied


I love the expression on Philips face in this picture


So after the guys were all dressed and headed off I went back upstairs to capture more shots of the girls – I Love the shot below of one of the bridesmaids doing up the lace ties on the back of Claires dress (which looked spectacular on by the way)


Now at this point I should point out that both Philip and Claire both told me that they did not really like having their photo taken – I hear this from around 90% of my brides so take it with a pinch of salt – BUT – I could see that the presence of the camera did make both feel a little uncomfortable so kept back to the sides and really concentrated on capturing their whole wedding in a very photo journalistic  style or reportage as it has come to be know. – I did get the formals and a few where I directed the couple and the guests but what they really wanted was great memories from the day so I HOPE thats what I got for them – we shall see (tomorrow when they see the pictures for the first time)

Back to the girls getting ready.


On a side note, seeing this picture reminds me that one of the strangest items I carry in my camera bag is a sewing kit – I carry around a dozen colours of cotton and needles, buttons, threaders etc – the reason is you never know when there will be a ‘wardrobe emergency’ – thats right one of the straps on one of the blue dresses came off and David jumped to the rescue – NO I did not do the actual sewing because I am totally useless when it comes to that but I handed it over and did my little part in making the day go that bit smoother.

One of the photos I really LOVE to capture is the FOB’s  (father of the bride) reaction when he sees his daughter for the first time in her wedding dress.  I was lucky enough to be able to catpure this priceless expression for Claire and her dad – I then promplty slipped away allowing them their private time before they headed off to the church.


Just before I left for the church I managed to grab a quick shot of the girls


We know what the girls are laughing about and its our little secret 🙂

Claire and Philip got married at Steynton church and I got some great arrival shots and shots of the church but have missed them out due to the number of images included in this blog post.

So once all the guests arrived and Claire pulled up at Steynton Church I got ready for one of the most important shots of the day – FOB walking his little girl down the isle.


The turn out was a credit to the couple because like the bride and groom most of these guys had come from London or the sourounding areas – The church was pretty packed but I was allowed to more around which is something thats really nice about getting married in Pembrokeshire – the wedding officals are really chilled down here – this always makes for more interesting, more creative photos for the couple.

Here are a few shots from the wedding itself.


and I LOVE THIS SHOT taken during on of the readings


This young lady delivered a word prefect reading without the book to read from – Claire and Philip were blessed with lots of readings and all the children did a great job.

And this little lad was precious he was fascinated by me at the back of the church


but my favorite by a country mile is this shot of Philip looking at his beautiful bride – the expression on his face says it all.


Just before we left there was the signing of the register, while we were waiting as the witnesses were doing their thing, I caught this private moment between the newly married couple – they were both just staring down at the wedding certificate as it was being filled in.


So after the wedding was over we all went outside and as happened time and time again during my time with Claire and Philip the importance that family play withing this family was totally apparent.  I hope I got this the right way around (it is 1 am when I am typing this out) Here is a shot of Claire with her granddad who happens to be a bell ringer (dont know the real term) and who played the bells for her wedding.  Well there was a funny story being told here and AGAIN I love the expression on Claire’s face.


One of the things EVERYONE had warned me about was that Philip would be driving the couple back to Slebech Park for the reception and Philip was often in the habbit of arriving at a location before he had left the previous location because he just drives that fast !!!!! – So after the confetti shot while the couple were saying thanks and goodbyes (for the time being) to everyone I snuck off back to Slebech Park – Not before managing to grab a snapshot of the car Phillip would be breaking the sound barrier in!


The reception was taking place inside the Marquee at Slebech Park so before everyone arrived I snagged this quick picture.


Well we shot a few groups and a few formals in and around th grounds of Slebech Park and we even managed a Bouquet toss – just look out for the leap to grab the flowers – was a pretty spectacular sight !







And because I want to save lots of space for night time pictures here is only one shot from the speeches – so there are just a couple of shots from the speeches, one of this cute little guy tucking into a Kinda Egg (a theme throughout the whole day) and just as Dad finished his speech.



And why did I want to save a little space ?  Well I stayed around for a lot longer than I should have, Claire and Philip were great to me before the wedding in general, the night before at the BBQ and throughout their whole day.  Although they didnt want to pose for pictures they never once refused any of my requests and for that I am very greatful.

The night times festivities started with a BANG and looked like they would be just a cool as the whole day had been.

The guys had booked Bobby Kemp and his band for their nighttime entertainment.


Bobby really rocked (forgive the pun) everyone really enjoyed the music and the dance floor got pretty full pretty quickly.

Naturally they started off with the couple on their own and the first dance


and then the fun began – Claire having a blast



Philip having a little fun


And last but not least  guests standing around the dance floor


And this is the perfect picture to end the night with, I saw this young lady sitting on the dance floor and with the reflection I knew it would make for a great shot.


Yes this post has been a little bit different, none of the normal shots like Confetti, cake, cake cutting, recessional etc but what I have concentrated on are the kind of shots the couple had requested I take and who am I to argue with a bride on her day – after all, the photo journalistic or reportage shots are my favorites by far, I really like to shoot shots of people having a great time.

All that is left to do before I climb into bed with Mrs P, is to with the happy couple all the very best wishes and say a big congratualtions to you both, you were a great couple to shoot and I really really did enjoy spending the day with you guys.

Take care all, hope you enjoyed this little peek at the wedding of Claire and Philip.

Ciao for now


David Purslow
01437 779412
0759 007 6666

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