I've had a couple of trips out to wedding venues this week - a circuit of North Shropshire on Monday to see Palms Hill and Halston Hall (plus a couple of churches) and a quick trip down to Broneirion and Gregynog Hall in Powys on Wednesday.
I know that some photographers will disagree, but I've always seen venue visits before the day of a wedding as a must. Weddings are fast-paced, and the time between the ceremony and wedding breakfast tends to be at a premium. The venue have food waiting to be served, and no-one wants to be hanging around while the photographer faffs around looking for the best locations! So it's about having a plan in my head, working efficiently and maximising the time available, to get all the formal family shots the bride and groom want, and those great couple shots that'll be the standout images in their album.
The four venues I went to this week were just perfect for wedding photography. and each had a few nooks and crannies that I probably wouldn't have spotted otherwise. The two in Mid Wales have a bit of history behind them too, with connections to David Davies Llandinam an industrialist & politician in the 1800’s who built railways, and Barry Docks, and made quite a bit of cash in the South Wales coalfields. He built Broneirion, and his grand-daughters (who donated the family art collection to the National Museum of Wales, bless them) bought and lived at Gregynog.
I'm photographing the two weddings at those venues in the same week in August. And can't wait!