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Review : The Lake Country House Hotel & Spa Llangammarch Wells Powys

Cardiff Wedding Photographers Keith & Elise review having your wedding photography at The Lake Country House Hotel in Llangammarch Wells.

This is a lavish wedding venue by anyone's imagination. It is tucked away just outside Builth Wells in a region of Wales we know very well. Completely off the main highway means you are guaranteed tranquility all day long.

The hotel offers a range of accommodation both in the main house and in the fairly recently built annex of rooms and suites. All rooms are well appointed in keeping with the hotels star rating.  The hotel caters perfectly for couples who want everything in one location, from bride and groom preparations, ceremony, wedding breakfast to first dance and beyond. The hotel has enough room and most importantly ample grounds to ensure that even when the bride and groom both get ready there neither will see each other.

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Who has which room!

Whilst the rooms are really lovely, the groom defiantly got the better room on the wedding day for their preparations. Guys can get ready in a shoe box if they have to, most of the groom's preparation photography is done outside anyway. So as long as you have a window and a blank wall, then that's all you need for the groom. The groom was in the annex and had a large bedroom/suite which was fantastic, but added nothing to his wedding photography.

The bride on the other hand was a room in the main house. Unlike grooms, maybe one in 100 brides are prepared to go outside before they have walked down the aisle and that's completely understandable. Therefore the bride's preparation room is crucial, way more important than the grooms.

Our bride had herself, four bridesmaids, mom, hairstylist and makeup artist in a room half the size the guys had. Doesn't make sense when the hotel has an array of large room/suites. Also the room setting can often form part of the bridal preparation photographs. We like to do a meet and greet where dad sees daughter for the first time. Being able to have a wide angle photograph is lovely, but the room has to be more than just four walls. If the room is just about big enough then its not going to look great. Choose the largest room you can get for the bride preferable with a large south facing window.

As I said its not that there was anything wrong with the room, its just that they were the wrong way round for great wedding photography.

Where to have your wedding photography

This venue is blessed with masses of grounds, lakes, river, pathways, gardens and so much more that it can be overwhelming. I strongly recommend  wedding photographers to do a pre-wedding photography session before the big day in order to plan the wedding day.

You need to know where and when you will be doing your wedding photography, you cannot just wander around this venue otherwise you will be taking the bride and groom away from their guests for several hours.

We broke our photography into three sessions. This was an August wedding and so we had long days and good light on our side, you will have to take a different approach for an autumn or winter wedding.

  • Before the Wedding Breakfast 

    • Session One : 20 minutes at the small lake and the reed beds. Lots of opportunities for reflections. With the high trees behind the lake there is lovely backlighting and its doesn't matter if its dappled because you have lovely clear light for the front of your subject.
    • Session Two : 15 minutes at the river walk. This provided a lovely walking sequence to link pages together in the wedding album, it also led to a very natural walking away wedding photograph with the manor house as the magnificent backdrop. The pathways provided powerful leading lines.

  • After the Wedding Breakfast

    • Session Three : 30 minutes at the main lake. This is a great time as the sun is starting to go down and you can expect wonderful sunsets at this lake. Also we were slightly naughty in that we used the ground keepers boat to photograph our couple in. It seemed such a shame not to have a photograph of the two of them on this beautiful lake.

The point I want to re-enforce here is not to be tempted to just start walking with the couple otherwise you will waste a lot of the couples time which they could have with their guests. Know where you are going and get there and get back so your couple get as much time with their guests as possible. 

Quality Assured

As soon as you arrive at the Lake Country House Hotel you can feel the quality of location, service and style. The staff are impeccable in their approach to their bride and groom. Throughout the day they ensured our couple's every need was met. They were quiet and diplomatic working behind the scenes to make sure the wedding day stayed to time. Usually we have to chase the wedding co-ordinator as to when the wedding breakfast is going to happen, not so at the Lake Country Hotel. The wedding co-ordinator kept us in the loop which is so important when we are trying to get a couple's wedding photography without absorbing lots of their time.

We are fortunate in that all of our couples provide us with a hot meal on the wedding day and often we have the same as they are having, which was the case on this occasion. First thing to say is that, we, the humble wedding photographers were not forgotten by the hotel staff. 90% of the time we have to chase the hotel for our food which is often whatever they have left over even though the couple have paid for us to eat. This is not the case with the Lake Country Hotel, our food arrived with the guests food and it was excellent. What this demonstrates is that the hotel and their staff are dedicated to making your wedding succeed and every aspect of it is equally important. Nothing is approached on a 'its doesn't matter' basis, which is so often the case in many hotels. Even feeding the wedding photographers mattered to them.

Finally and most importantly, this is an exclusive use hotel. So many hotels of this size have gone the route of splitting the hotel in order to host two weddings on the same day and there is certainly enough room to do that here. However instead of compromising The Lake Country House Hotel has focused on exclusivity and elegance and the assurance that nobody or nothing will detract from ensuring you have a magnificent wedding day.