Clearwell Castle Wedding Photography – Rebecca and Luke

Rebecca and Luke

Cotswold wedding photography at Clearwell Castle, Coleford, Forest of Dean. Gloucestershire.

It has been quite some time since I last blogged, possibly over 6 months, which is terrible, but hopefully I can be forgiven as it has been my busiest year yet, and already 2017 is looking to top this. So as things start to calm down a little in 2016, now is an ideal time for me to get blogging again, and I just had to start with this absolute beaut of a wedding.

This was my first visit to Clearwell Castle and I must admit I was extremely excited to busting the cameras out here for the amazing couple Bex and Luke. As a creative photographer it’s such a joy to visit a new venue with fresh eyes and get ready to capture those killer images. This is no easy feat especially when contending with the UK weather, all weddings are different and you have so many things to contend with. Timings; do you have enough time to get the images before sitting down for the wedding breakfast. Time of the year; is it dark before we can go back outside after the wedding breakfast? Do the bride and groom want to go and do the photos? Also the weather as mentioned above. It’s not just the rain that can be a hindrance, but wind plays havoc with the ladies dresses, hair (and some mens!). Too much sunshine! yep thats right too much sunshine is a photographer’s nightmare, so we are hoping for blue skies and clouds, not asking much hey? And then if hoping to bag that gorgeous romantic sunset… is the venue’s position facing in the right direction, what will the sky and sun do, if anything at all?

Well, Bex and Luke’s wedding was just perfect, if I had to complain at all, it was that we had just a fraction too much sunshine in the daytime, but I’ll take that over rain and wind, to be honest I think it set us up for the most incredible sunset I have seen in years.

Let’s begin…

The day started at a small cottage on the grounds of the castle and the girls were in full flow, with make-up, hair and bubbles… naturally! The introductions were done, and I was made to feel extremely welcome by Bex’s lovely family and friends. Being from northern family myself (Manchester) I love the friendliness and warmth northern families radiate (even if from a rival football city… Liverpool). Luke’s family are from across the border, Wales, and everyone loves the Welsh, the accent and their sense of humour, to say it was a humorous day with banter from both families would be an understatement, I’m not sure I have seen so much laughter as I did this day. As you can imagine the speeches were very entertaining and the photos will probably show you that!


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Clearwell Castle

I don’t want to ramble on too much, so will try and keep it brief, Clearwell Castle is a fantastic venue with so many great spots for photos, the grounds are so beautiful and for me, I loved the spiral staircase, Bex and Luke were happy to trail up the stairs giving us some stunning photos (very romeo and Juliet), but there were plenty more to come a bit later on.

The ceremony was lovely and wasn’t long before we were all out in the beaming sunshine! It would be all too easy to  jump forward on the day, as the photos of the sunset are romantic gems! But we can’t skip past all the other great moments throughout the day with yet more fabulous photos. Photos like the stairs I mentioned above, the walk around the grounds and the groups shot on the stairs with the well loved confetti showers.

As the time ticked away in wedding fashion, we fired through the formal family photographs and grabbed some couple photos before heading in for the wedding breakfast. Food served, speeches delivered all with side orders of tears and laughter, it was just left then to cut the cake before gearing up for party mode.

To get great photos you need a bride and groom that are willing to make a little extra effort. Bex and Luke were definitely that, so with the cake surround by family cameras, I asked Bex and Luke if they fancied escaping for 10 mins and heading over to a farmers field next to the Castle. Up for a challenge we headed out and Bex clambered over a gate and fence as gracefully as she possibly could in a wedding dress. The field was full of hay bales and the sky was just beautiful, turning redder and redder as the sun slowing disappeared, even the moon poked its full head out, this just never happens!

Just one more photo

Before heading back in, my infamous “just one more photo” prevailed, so we headed to the arched entrance of the castle for a one more smoochy photo with a little help of some creative lighting. And on that subject it was time to head in for the first dance, but not before the joyous female scrum… bouquet anyone? At this point everyone is laughing and giggling, although I think one person may have halted the smiles for a moment or two as he saw that his daughter catch it, the sister of the bride! Looks like an expensive day for dad!

Time to hit the dance floor,  so for me the day was drawing to a close, down in the basement of the Castle for the first dance and dancing shenanigans. The first married dance of the new Mr and Mrs Hughes was surrounded by adoring family and friends and was not long before being gatecrashed by the rest of the wedding guests to share the love and break out the dance moves. It really was time for me to go now!

It was a perfect day, and i can’t thank Bex and Luke enough for being great sports, I think we ended up with a fair few memorable photos to savour. I would like to wish Bex and Luke a huge congratulations and utmost happiness for their future together.

Clearwell Castle wedding photography – If you are getting married at Clearwell Castle and would like me to capture your big day here or in the Cotswolds, drop me a message with a few details via my contact page. We can then discuss availability and further information about your photography requirements. I look forward to hearing from you and finding out more about your wedding plans!


Rebecca and Luke Hughes

Stop searching around for other photographers and book Noel, now! Quickly, before he gets ‘snapped up’ (pun intended) for your own big day 😉

On behalf of my wife and I….we honestly could not begin to thank Noel enough for what you can clearly see is some pretty incredible work. Noel was able to capture all the emotion and specialness of the whole day in a creative and beautiful way and has allowed us to re-live every moment with grins from ear to ear (and some happy tears). Noel went above and beyond just being a true professional and for us, felt truly part of the day itself, all family and friends commented how great and friendly he was and have received nothing but amazing feedback on the photos themselves. It is obvious Noel has an artistic eye, which is evident through both the sensitivity on some of the shots (Bex’s dad entering the room), or If you get chance to read his blog, you will also see that we were whisked off to the side at one point (of course willingly!) to capture the most amazing sunset for which he found an incredible location. It is impossible to choose stand out favourites but we rather look at the whole thing as a story, which we have read again and again.

Noel, we have said it a couple of times already, but once again thank you so much, you have way exceeded our expectations and we are delighted to have had you be part of our wedding. We will, and already are, recommending you to anyone we know getting married as I know they would be as happy as we have been.

Good luck for the future.
Bex and Luke Hughes.

Taken from my Facebook Page (Reviews)