Lets Hear it for the Boys: ‘The Leap of Faith’

So many brides and grooms theses days, love the reportage approach to wedding photography. Where the photographer captures the images of the day by working their weary legs off, and running around creating the Bride and Grooms Wedding Day story without anyone even noticing them there.  A lot of people feel uncomfortable in front of a camera, the posing etc, is just not for them, so this suits them down to the ground.

Then there is this bunch of lads.  At the wedding held at Caer Llan, clearly performing for the camera is in no way an issue, and it frankly resulted in Paul Marbrook capturing one of my favourite ‘Boys’ shots of all time!

Taken from Paul’s blog, here he is telling us about that gorgeous day!

Lets Hear it for the Boys: ‘The Leap of Faith’

Paul Marbrooke LHIFTB Pool Shot 1

These guys really could not have chosen a better day for their south Wales wedding.  It was late July and by the time I arrived which was pretty early the boys were already on the beers and enjoying the hot sunshine and dazzling blue pool that makes Caer Llan one of the most unique wedding venues in Wales.

One of the hottest days we had in 2014. It was the perfect day to be a Caer Llan wedding photographer and this was my second time at this wonderful venue run by the very lovely Vicky & Jake Carpenter.

Caer Llan is in Monmouthshire which has been lovingly and painstakingly restored and developed by its current owners into a fabulous wedding venue set in the heart of Monmouthshire and the Wye Valley.

For me Caer Llan is one of my favourite wedding venues in South Wales, North Wales or indeed anywhere in Wales! It really does have something for everyone from the grand rustic interiors, the lawned gardens, surrounding woods and hills, landscape views with drama and the pool. Indeed the outdoor swimming pool could quite convincingly have been in the Italian mountains on that day.

Paul Marbrooke - Lets Hear it for the boys!

I think you will agree, this is just superb! And no doubt, if you’re getting married somewhere with a pool like Caer Llan, you may be inspired to do the time! x

Alphabet Dating: J, K, L, M

Hello Cwtchers – Anna here!

So, its my turn for the alphabet dating – and I loved doing it! Although, I admit, it was somewhat tricky due to the goal I set myself – you’ll learn a bit more about that in a moment.  So a bit about us.  We met in 2005 in a dingy pub in Newport. He was chatting to my friend and I just stood there staring, he rightly thought I was mental.  Our ‘courting’ stage (as everyones Nan would say) was made up of many many dates – drinking in pubs, gigs, meals, drinking in pubs (we did this lots) and it was brilliant.

Its very easy to let life get in the way of letting those dating days slip away, and to be fair, who has the damn time!?  So in order to keep making sure we have ‘us time’,  Rich and I always make sure we have a date night, at least once a month.  

Anna and RichieThis is us – Wales V Belgium 1st July 2016.  It was a pretty awesome (and expensive) date!

We have only been married since 2011, but managed to have two little boys since then, so if we do not find the time to have a date, we will literally only see each other on the sofa at about 7.30pm while we eat then pass out.

Harry and AlbieThe ‘Little Lockys’, Harry and Albie getting excited for Wales V Portugal!

Its not going to come as a big shock to anyone that my designated letters are going to be mainly about places you can eat in Wales! I have set myself this challenge in fact, that not only will I show you possible dates you can go on, but it will include some food as well! Because, food. And food is awesome. And dates to me, are not dates unless there is food involved! FOOD!

Alphabet Dating Banner

Alphabet Dating: J, K, L, M



I cheated a bit here, because the place is not called ‘Jump’ anymore, its called ‘GoAir’, but you still jump when you get there.  So, bare with me. I am not the energetic type. Not in the slightest. But this would be hilarious to do together. So much fun can be had on a trampoline, unless you’ve already had babies, then there are obvious precautions to be made for us girls.

All I would suggest is that you don’t wear a skirt. or at least some leggings under the skirt!

Go Air 4Photo Credit: GoAir

James Sommerin Restaurant

And now the food bit.  I am thinking that you would’ve worked up an appetite with all that jumping, so just a hop skip and an (other) jump away and James Somerin has opened his restaurant on The Esplanade in Penarth. It has such a relaxed atmosphere, with the most stunning views of the Severn Estuary.  And of course, gorgeous food.  And I mean, gorgeous! And if that wasn’t enough, they have recently opened rooms to stay in and they are glorious!

James Sommerin 3Photo Credit: James Sommerin

James Somerin 1Photo Credit: James Sommerin


Kite Flying

I have never done this.  However, trying to find things to do in Wales beginning with K is tricky, so kite flying it is.  When I was reading up on this though, it sounds brilliant fun! All you need is a kite (obvs) and a wide open space.  I personally, would throw a couple of bottles of prossecco as well for good measure. My favourite wide open space in South Wales is Tredegar House. Its just stunning, and also does house tours if thats your thing. Much to Rich’s dismay, it really is my thing.

Tredegar House and ParkNewportSouthHousesHistoric SitesPhoto Credit: National Trust – Tredegar House

 The Kings Arms

Recently refurbished, The Kings Arms has been hailed as having the ‘best Sunday lunch in Newport’. As a gastropub, you’re pretty much guaranteed some delicious steak and fat chips.  Its a perfect unpretentious little pub to sit and while away the hours in. But don’t just take it from me, check them out too.

The Kings Arms 1Photo Credit: The Kings Arms


Llanwrst Bridge

If like me, you’re not a hiker, you literally want a bit of fresh air and help yourself digest your food, then this is the walk for you.  Llanwrst Village in Conwy is gorgeous for a lovely little romantic walk. As well as the stunning Llanwrst Bridge, the village also homes Gwydir Castle. Old stuff basically. Gorgeous historical old stuff.

Llanwrst BridgePhoto Credit: Wikipedia

Gwydir CastlePhoto Credit: Gwydir Castle

Lle Hari

This gorgeous place is perfect for comfort cooking, hearty pies and burgers and nice cold pints after your walk.  To top it off, this lovely restaurant can be found within Meadowsweet Hotel, so you can book a room and make a night of it!

Lle HariPhoto Credit: Lle Hari

Meadowsweet Hotel 1Photo Credit: Meadowsweet Hotel


The Mawddach Trail

The Mawddach Trail is a 9.5 mile walk along an old unused railway track from Dolgellau to Barmouth on the southern edge of the spectacular Mawddach estuary.  It is a fair old way to walk, but its quite a straight forward one, no climbing etc. And the views and wildlife are just beautiful! The link I have attached is great, its got a little map as well as showing you places to link up with other trails.

Mawddach TrailPhoto Credit: The Mawddach Trail

Bwyty Mawddach

Sourcing local fresh produce and meat from the family’s farm, Bwyty Mawddach is a gorgeous Welsh restaurant to spend a good few hours having the most delicious meal.  To top it off, the restaurant has two stunning little 2 bedroom cottages on site where you can roll to once you’re full up on food and booze.  The perfect end to the perfect day.

Bwyty Mawddach 1Photo Credit: The Mawddach

Bwyty Mawddach 2Photo Credit: The Mawddach

Mawddach CottagesPhoto Credit: Mawddach Cottages

So, off you pop! Go and enjoy your dates. Whether you’re engaged, married, expecting babies, have babies, you must never forget about you two.  You are a little unit, and you must take care of it. Treat yourself once in a while, but make it a regular thing.  Let me know if you go for any of the dates above. I would love to hear about it. And please remember, food. xx