I started this little blog series, Welsh Wedding Wonder Women, in the last part of 2020. It’s a way of showcasing some of the fantastic Welsh women in the wedding business, and how we’ve coped and adapted during multiple lockdown and disruption that Covid has brought to us. I’ve had this feature ‘on the drawing board’ for a while and it’s a bit special because the intro isn’t by me but another Welsh wonder woman, Celebrant Jane Grayer. I’ll leave it to her to introduce the fabulous Jo Davies at Double Take Photography.
“Thank you so much Jo for telling me about your wedding business and sharing your fabulous photos. I love the fact that they are all so different in feel, reflecting each couple’s personalities. My favourite has to be the guest’s heart shape – that’s a really special and personal image. I think I will have to make sure all of my photos are taken during the golden hour from now on – I can see why it’s such an important time! Such dedication going home and coming back out to capture those glowing images. That’s definitely the attitude of a Welsh Wedding Wonder Woman – nothing is too much trouble and we go above and beyond to make each couples wedding day run smoothly and as magical as we possibly can.”
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your business.
My name is Jo Davies. My business is Double Take Photography which I run with my business partner Paul Fears and we are based in Church Village near Cardiff. We provide beautiful, creative and natural Wedding Photography throughout South, Mid and West Wales and the South West of England. I have been photographing weddings for ten years and have been in business with Paul for the past six years.
Which are your favourite South Wales wedding venues/suppliers to work with and why?
We have many favourites around South Wales such as Court Colman Manor and Coed Y Mwstwr Hotel both in Bridgend, as well as De Courceys Manor just outside Cardiff, but I think our biggest favourite is Llechwen Hall. It is pretty much on our doorstep and we have photographed many weddings there. We love it because it caters beautifully for a range of creative outdoor photography, there are stunning views, beautiful woodland and gorgeous grassed lawns, we are spoilt for choice for where to photograph our couples. But I think what wins it for us is the light, it is high up on the hillside overlooking Pontypridd and Abercynon and golden hour (the hour just before sunset) along with the sunsets are just stunning up there. Unfortunately for anyone getting married in the middle of summer Sunset is a lot later than we usually finish so in the past we have gone home and then travelled back to the venue to specifically photograph our couples during golden hour as we know the photographs will be spectacular.
How have you been working with and keeping in touch with your couples that have postponed to next year or beyond?
We have had many cancellations as well as postponements in 2020 and we have always made ourselves available to talk with our couples and help ease the burden of moving their weddings sometimes for the second and third times and as yet we have not had to let any of our couples down when rebooking their day.
What one thing can couples planning a wedding at this time do to help you and your business, and keep things running as smoothly as possible?
Please let us know as soon as you know of any changes that might be occurring, whether it is a change of date, event venue or even the wedding having to be downsized drastically, the sooner we hear the sooner we can work with you to ensure that your wedding day is as perfect as you originally envisioned it.
Also, if you have booked with us for a future date share our website and social media links to your followers letting them know that you have booked us to photograph your special day, every little helps.
Have you been able to adapt or diversify your wedding business while everything had been on hold? Tell me how.
Some couples are determined to still have their day despite the Covid restrictions and we have offered discounted prices for micro weddings from just an hour coverage.
Even though I only photographed two weddings in 2020 I have photographed a selection of family/lifestyle sessions as well as corporate headshots outdoors as they can be easily photographed at a safe distance. I have also found myself at my desk each day keeping up with online networking and social media posts, letting our future and current clients know we are still here.
Have you had to adapt the physical (location, hours etc) way you work in the last 6 months, and if so, how?
I have always worked from home so have found no change there, I also don’t have children so thankfully have not had to juggle my work with home schooling.
Have you had the opportunity to work on any micro weddings since August 2020? Tell me about them and your favourite bits.
I have photographed one micro wedding back in November which had to be postponed three weeks due to the Wales Firebreak lockdown. The couple booked me for a reduced package of four hours which suited their needs as they were restricted to just 15 guests for their ceremony. The couple’s ceremony was at 4pm which at that time of year was almost dark, thankfully the couple were not following the normal social wedding tradition of not seeing each other before the ceremony so I was able to photograph them both before the ceremony. The weather was quite drizzly so my priority was to keep them as dry as possible so we did a first touch inside the venue then I took the couple outside on the patio which was thankfully covered. I love getting creative at my weddings and after the ceremony, as it was now completely dark, I took the couple back outside into the now very light drizzle with one of the gorgeous bridal umbrellas I always carry for some gorgeous night pics.
Do you think anything will change permanently for your business and the wedding business at large?
It is so difficult to say at the moment, people will still get married but I wonder whether the large extravagant weddings will become a little smaller and more personal after everything that happened in 2020 – in some ways I hope they do
What would your advice be to couples who are starting planning their special day now?
Have fun planning it, don’t stress over the little things and most of all enjoy your day.
Completely non wedding business related, have you personally done or achieved anything during lockdown that you wouldn’t have normally?
I have spent more time relaxing, walking my dogs and spending time with my husband what more can I ask for 🙂
What’s one piece of advice or wisdom that you would like to share, wedding related or not, that’s relevant to the world we live in right now. Make us smile!
One of my favourite sayings which I think is perfect for the situation we are currently in is “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass – it’s about learning to dance in the rain”
Thank you Jo, you’re certainly a Welsh Wedding Wonder Woman! I’ve loved reading about how you’ve been working over the past year or so. Let’s hope weddings will be back to more like nromal soon so we can all return to doing what we love most.
If you’d like to read about more Welsh Wedding Wonder Women you’ll find them here:
Anne Marie, Florist at Petal Power Wales
Jane Grayer, Celebrant at Create Ceremonies
Shelley Daniel, Wedding & Portrait Photographer