Lifestyle Magazine

as If We Were in a Love Scene from a Movie — Chic Winter Wedding

By Claire

I just can’t decide if the movie I’m seeing in these beautiful wedding photos is James Bond, Narnia or a vintage Hollywood treasure… perhaps a magical balance of all three. Regardless: the screenplay is magnificent, the stars are every director's dream - and the story a timeless romance to play on your heartstrings.wedding photography by Chris Hanley (1)The very beautiful Katie and Chris were married at Margam Park Orangery - a wedding venue with a rich history and one of the most prestigious in Wales. The architecture is a deliciously extravagant backdrop for outstanding wedding photography - a backdrop Katie and Chris look born to enjoy.

There are details in this most incredible winter wedding which will inspire you: crystals glisten and snowflakes sparkle; Katie's delectable vintage bouquet of brooches and crystals, flowers and twinkling accessories is simply out of this world - and she made it herself!

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (38)
I mustn't forget groom Chris: his silver shoes are the icing on the cake: I was over the moon to see a groom looking so fabulous and just that little bit flamboyant on his wedding day - Jimmy Choo eat your heart out: here's Chris to show you boys can do wedding shoes too!

It's time for me to hand over to Katie with her wedding report and to top UK wedding photographer Chris Hanley with some of the most exciting wedding photos I've seen. Sit back, enjoy and prepare to squeal in delight at what you're about to see. That includes you too, boys...

A luxury winter wonderland wedding: Katie and Chris

"On the eve of the wedding we stayed at Morgan’s bou­tique hotel in the Mar­itime Quar­ter Swansea, along with our brides­maids, ush­ers and par­ents. We all had a lovely sup­per together that evening. It was fun wak­ing up in the morn­ing with every­one there though it did cause some headaches for the best man and chief brides­maid who had to make sure Chris and I didn’t bump into each other in the morning!

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (23)
Wed­ding dress

I bought my gor­geous satin ELLA wed­ding dress from a won­der­ful local bridal shop called White Orchid Bridal Cen­tre. I had wanted a dress that was evoca­tive of vin­tage Hol­ly­wood but couldn’t find the per­fect one. The dress I chose was quite plain and strap­less but was an exquis­ite satin with a beau­ti­ful train on the back. Mum and I decided to embell­ish it our­selves using a del­i­cate deep scal­loped lace that would look per­fect for my vin­tage look. After I worked out the design we set about hand sewing 500 Swarovski crys­tals to the lace trim which was then attached around the bodice of the dress and edge of the train. The straps were made from a heav­ily encrusted crys­tal trim we found online and to com­plete the look we then made a beau­ti­ful water­fall neck­lace out of Swarovski crys­tals and pearls to hang down the back.

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (22)
My hand­made hair piece was also from White Orchid, it was a mix­ture of dia­mante crys­tals and pearls which were inter­twined in a cres­cent shape to fit around my hair­style. The jew­ellery I wore was a wed­ding day gift from Chris, a stun­ning match­ing crys­tal teardrop set from Olivier Laudus in Lon­don. My shoes were by designer Ben­jamin Adams and my hand­bag by LK Ben­net, both were cov­ered in Swarovski crystals.
wedding photography by Chris Hanley (37)

We had been plan­ning our day for 18 months and wanted a chic win­ter theme using sil­vers, greys and whites with lots of crys­tals, can­dles and lights.

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (39)
 Mum and I hand­made all the bou­quets and brides­maids hair­pieces with vin­tage brooches, crys­tals and fab­ric roses which we also made our­selves from gray satin. My bou­quet was a mix­ture of enamel; sil­ver; pearl and crys­tal, vin­tage, new and hand­made brooches that we col­lected, had given to us or made. I fin­ished it with a satin rib­bon and Swarovski crys­tal trim.

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (40)

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (41)
As a wed­ding gift to Chris I had ordered a brand new Audi R8 with dri­ver to chauf­feur him to the wed­ding venue at Margam Park.

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (42)

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (44)
The venue, a beau­ti­ful 18th Cen­tury Orangery set in grounds below a large Gothic man­sion, lent itself per­fectly to our theme, with beau­ti­ful stone floor­ing and 27 tall arched win­dows that flooded the space with light.

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (47)
Chris wore a stun­ning gray slim fit suit from DKNY and a white pais­ley Duchamp shirt from Harrods.

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (45)
His shoes were high shine sil­ver leather from Hugo Boss which looked great with our sil­very win­ter theme!

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (43)
He wore cuf­flinks and a belt also from Hugo Boss and an Armani earring…..he likes his bling too!

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (46)

The wed­ding ceremony

I arrived in a vin­tage ice blue Rolls Royce. My Dad shed a few tears in the car on the way but I had been very calm up to this point much to my sur­prise!

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (28)
We chose the pow­er­fully emo­tional song Kiss­ing You by Dess’ree to be played as I walked down the aisle and as soon as Chris turned around to look at me the calm­ness I had felt all morn­ing totally dis­ap­peared. I ended up cry­ing all the way through my vows which set off all 6 of my brides­maids too! Chris’s Aun­tie gave a beau­ti­ful read­ing and then we were Mr and Mrs Jones at last!

The details: win­ter won­der­land wedding

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (32)
We used a com­pany called RSVP Wed­ding Coor­di­na­tors for our chair cov­ers, tree hire and table decoration.

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (33)

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (34)
At the entrance RSVP had scat­tered arti­fi­cial snow that we had bought from a com­pany called snowbusiness.com who are experts in win­ter effects for TV. There were 2 large lit trees and lots of flick­er­ing lanterns either side of the doors, it looked magical.

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (29)
Before you entered the cer­e­mony room there was a won­der­ful stone floored recep­tion room called the Grove which we dec­o­rated with a xmas tree full of sil­ver sprays and whites beaded lilies and sil­ver wreaths and beau­ti­ful large white church can­dles in the fireplace.

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (30)

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (14)
Chris and I dec­o­rated the Christ­mas trees, fire­places and set up the Sweetie table with apothe­cary jars (using only sil­ver and white candy!) the day before all with help from my Mum, brother and sis­ter. It was lovely shar­ing those few hours with my sib­lings help­ing us pre­pare for our spe­cial day.

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (15)

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (16)

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (17)
The cer­e­mony room, which also had a stone floor, was flooded with light beam­ing through win­dows and looked stun­ning with the crisp white chair cov­ers and 16 crys­tal draped metal trees on either side of the aisle. Every­thing was perfect!

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (18)

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (19)

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (20)

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (10)

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (11)
We had an amaz­ing day shared by all 150 0f our won­der­ful friends and fam­ily. Every­thing went smoothly but too quickly! Fol­low­ing the cer­e­mony we had a drinks recep­tion and canapés in the Grove.
wedding photography by Chris Hanley (12)
The staff at Margam Orangery was amaz­ing and noth­ing was too much trou­ble for them, our wed­ding break­fast of Welsh black beef was superb.

We had booked a great young pianist called Olly Hamil­ton who played a beau­ti­ful selec­tion of clas­si­cal and mod­ern pieces sooth­ingly in the back­ground dur­ing the meal, although poor Chris couldn’t relax until the speeches were over. Thank­fully they all went with­out a hitch.

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (21)

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (24)

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (25)
Wed­ding Day Advice

Our advice to other cou­ples would def­i­nitely be to get the best wed­ding pho­tog­ra­pher you can afford. Also, if you can, book a rec­om­mended video­g­ra­pher. The day goes so quickly and beau­ti­ful pho­tographs and a well-made video will really be the only things you will have in the future to truly remind you of the most spe­cial day of your life

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (26)

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (27)
To fill that lull between the speeches and the evening enter­tain­ment we hired an amaz­ing local magi­cian called Chris Beard , our guests were enthralled and bewil­dered by the incred­i­ble illu­sions he per­formed includ­ing bend­ing the prongs of the same fork in two dif­fer­ent direc­tions! Our evening enter­tain­ment was a Frank Sina­tra trib­ute by Paul Hol­gate of So Sina­tra. This man is ole blue eyes rein­car­nate! Our guests of all ages loved him and enjoyed all the won­der­ful old Sina­tra favourites.

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (36)

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (8)

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (9)

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (3)
I asked Katie about her most mem­o­rable wed­ding day moment:

Dur­ing the cel­e­bra­tions Chris Han­ley our won­der­ful pho­tog­ra­pher whisked Chris and I away to the calm of the beau­ti­ful Gothic Man­sion in the park grounds for pho­tographs. It felt so roman­tic, as if we were in a love scene from a movie! It was lovely to have that more inti­mate time together because we cer­tainly didn’t get a chance later on!

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (4)

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (5)
Then after some pho­tographs we were announced into the main recep­tion room by our lovely toast­mas­ter Iwan Jones. We were really glad that we decided upon a toast­mas­ter as they do far more than just announce the speeches. Iwan took on the respon­si­bil­ity for organ­is­ing the rest of our day right up to when he announced our first dance at 8 o’clock.

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (6)

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (7)
Later in the evening we served a hog roast with sal­ads and a veg­e­tar­ian selec­tion fol­lowed by 6 dif­fer­ent flavours of cute mini dessert cups includ­ing banof­fee pie, cher­ries with white choco­late and Eton mess. We also cut up and served cake from each of the dif­fer­ently flavoured seven tiers of our wed­ding cake which was beau­ti­fully made by Trel­lis con­fec­tion­ers.

At the end of a per­fect day we decided to break with tra­di­tion and stayed to see all our won­der­ful guests off before we returned to Morgan’s for the night with our family.

Chris and Katie’s rec­om­mended wed­ding suppliers

wedding photography by Chris Hanley (2)


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