Calling all festival brides! If you are looking for inspiration then this is the wedding for you. With the beautiful Gower as its backdrop this wedding is full of little homemade and quirky touches. It gave me the feeling that this wedding brought the family closer together. I had a smile on my face the whole time editing it. Thank you Richard Savage Photography for these beautiful images. From the silent disco to the table decorations, I loved it all. I leave it to Lisa to tell you their Gower wedding story. ~ Kate
What was your budget?
We were really lucky as we had financial support from both parents which covered paying for the venue and food/drinks. We then paid for everything else, we saved a lot of money by designing and creating our own table plans and decorations.
How would you describe your wedding theme?
We decided on a Festival Theme as our relationship pretty much started in Glastonbury Festival 2009 and we have gone to the festival together every year since. Our love for the festival and for music brought us together so it was only right that we would have festival it as our theme. There was one year in 2012 when there was no Glastonbury so we decided to throw a big BBQ at our house with lots of music, wellies and disco balls and called it Glastondenty. (Our surname is Dent.) So our big day was always going to be called Glastondenty.
Its hard to pick one favourite part as we both loved the whole day. There were lots of little things we both loved, for example the best man managed to get a video message to us from the Glastonbury Festival organiser, Emily Eavis, congratulating us on our marriage. The convoy of Vespas from Carl’s Scooter club that followed me down to the venue was amazing and the Silent Disco was a huge success. However seeing Carl for the first time as I came down the aisle was pretty special.
My dress like so many other people I’ve spoken to was the first one I tried on. I wanted to look a bit further than my home town for a dress so searched online and came across this lovely shop called Hannah Emily Bridal which is in Rhiwbina Cardiff. I saw the dress online and decided to make an appointment to try it on. I fell in love straight away, the back of the dress got me the most with the lace draping in almost a heart shape. I went to one more shop in Swansea and tried on 5 dresses but none of them compared to the first. The whole experience was amazing and Hannah was lovely, her shop is beautiful inside and I always comment on how nice it smells when I go there ha ha. Opposite the shop theres a lovely little deli which we always stopped in for tea, breakfast or lunch so it was a proper outing.
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why?
My Maid of Honour was always going to be my sister Angela, shes one of my best friends and shes always there for me when I need her. My two other bridesmaids were Lucy and Naomi who I’ve been friends with for years from school. The 3 of them made absolutely stunning bridesmaids and helped me through the wedding preparation and then hen do’s.
Carls best man was a life long friend that he’s known since nursery school. They’ve grown up together and been through alot together over the years. Plus he knew that he’d pull of an amazing speech at the wedding.
Why did you choose your venue?
Our venue was Oxwich Bay Hotel. The ceremony room is absolutely beautiful, it had been recently renovated and there is a huge oak tree beam running through the ceiling which we fell in love with and a huge fire place. The hotel is situated on the beach so the Marquee where we held the reception overlooks the beach so the views are perfect, we were so lucky to have September sunshine so it really did make the day for us. Its also where we got engaged so its seemed right to get married there. The wedding planner and all the staff were extremely helpful and I cant thank them enough for making our day so special.
Tell us about your photographer
Richard Savage is one of Carl’s close friends from school. It was actually Richards stag do in Glastonbury when we got together. It was always going to be Richard to be our photographer because the images he captures are simply stunning. We had followed his career in photography for a while before we got engaged so we definitely knew we wanted him to capture our special day. For both of us the action shots from the day are more important that the ones where every one is called to stand together and pose and Richard captures these at the perfect moments.
The photo of the Vespa’s following me in the wedding car coming over the top of North Gower is one of our favourites. Richard actually stopped about a mile in front of us and got out of his car to get the snap. It was Richards suggestion that we do the engagement shoot in Glastonbury and use the photos for our tables. He’s got the imagination and the ideas which have blown us away. He has done quite a few of our friends weddings and the feedback he gets is incredible, he is such a hard worker and with his wife, Gemma, they make a perfect team, so it was an easy choice to make.
How did the proposal happen?
The proposal took place on Christmas Eve 2013 down Oxwich Bay, which is also where we got married. Its my Dads birthday on Christmas Eve so we always tend to go out as a family in the afternoon for a few drinks. We had 2 dogs at the time so Carl suggested we go down there to take them for a walk to tire them out before we go out. I was a bit apprehensive as its about a 35 minute drive, the weather wasn’t the best and I was worried whether I’d have time to get back home and get ready. Anyway, we went down there and we were walking along the beach when I noticed Carl had run into the sea with the dogs and all I kept thinking was ‘great the dogs are going to be soaking, Im gonna have to clean them up’ when Carl pointed to a bottle. Immediately, I ran to the bottle and actually said ‘Oh my god someones stranded on a desert island’ opened the bottle and the message said ‘Will you marry me?’ I burst into tears, Carl is a really romantic person anyway but this was by far the most amazing experience I was so overwhelmed I don’t think I managed to get a yes out.
Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?
Most of our wedding was DIY. We made all of our table decorations, the hessian fabric we purchased and cut into circles as a base, we then used blocks of wood as part of the centerpiece to hold the record and the table cards. We asked one our local pubs in Swansea if they could keep whiskey/rum bottles for us to use to put the flowers in, a majority of the Jack Daniels bottles were from the optics so the labels were upside down but we loved it as it just added to the quirkiness. The tables were names after stages at Glastonbury and our good friend and photographer Richard Savage took our photos as part of an engagement shoot at the festival, we then used the photos from these as part of the table plan and table names.
Keeping to the festival theme, our good friend Craig made lanyards using his epic laminating skills, we also designed festival style wrist bands for all the guests to wear. It wouldn’t be a festival wedding without wellies so we purchased a couple of pairs at a car boot sale and filled them with sunflowers and hydrangeas (my fave) and these were placed down the aisle. All of the jars, scrumpy bottles that we had every where were either ones we already had or that we borrowed. We purchased an old style trunk from a carboot sale which wasn’t in the best condition, so Carl put some extra hinges on it and lined it with some funky wallpaper which we got from our local Vintage shop called Hobos in Swansea. We also purchased some Afghan blankets from a carboot sale for the trunk so people could keep warm outside the Marquee in the evening where the BBQ took place.
We used pallets which we got from a friend for making the signs and they were all put together and painted by Carl, just by buying some tester paints from B&Q and using chalk that we already had. We also borrowed a wheelbarrow from a friend to serve the locally inspired welcome drinks.
We made a huge saving on our table flowers by getting them wholesale rather than a florist, this was so easy to do. Two days prior to the wedding our kitchen was packed with flowers to make the wellies, the rest we gave to the venue to put into the jars and bottles for us on the day.
The bunting we bought from ebay and the crockery we used for our guests to drink from was all borrowed from my sister including the cake stands for the welsh cakes. She has her own company called Bettimay where she has designed the most beautiful china plus she also hires it out for weddings but we had a freebie of course.
My sister also made the suitcase for the Cards which we had from my late grandfather and helped me make the floral peace sign that was displayed near the dance floor.
I purchased the umbrella and parasols for the bridesmaids from LollyBird Vintage. They were all sourced by the lovely Lolly, I told her excalty what I wanted and she managed to source them for me from flea markets.
What was your first dance & why?
Our first dance was Stevie Wonder ‘For once in my life’. We chose this because the lyrics are quite poignant for both of us, because of tough times we had both encountered in the past. Plus we saw Stevie Wonder at Glastonbury on Carl’s birthday and he actually sang his song Happy birthday so we kind of love him.
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?
To be honest we cant think of doing anything differently, every aspect of our wedding had a special meaning and a part of our story and I think that’s important. Maybe making it last a bit longer like a proper festival over 4 days, but we definitely did not have the budget for that.
Do you have any advice for future couples?
Every aspect of our wedding had a special meaning and was a part of our story. I think that is important to make your day unique to you as a couple. Try and spend as much time together on the day, we told ourselves to make sure of this and we certainly did, most of it on the dance floor.
What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received?
We were given lots of little nuggets of advice but the one that sticks out the most is to always laugh together and Carl and I certainly do that.
What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?
There wasn’t one thing in particular that we liked most about planning the wedding, as it was very personal to us. We made a lot of the decorations ourselves we enjoyed it all.
Photographer: Richard Savage Photography
Ceremony Venue/ Reception Venue: Oxwich Bay Hotel, Gower, Swansea.
Bride’s Dress: Hannah Emily Bridal
Bride’s Shoes: Rachel Simpson shoes
Bride’s Headpiece: Kate – Undone Vintage
Groom’s Outfit: ASOS
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: ASOS
Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Lollybird Vintage
Cake: Sian’s Pantry Pleasers (Facebook)
Flowers: A J Gutteridge
Hair: Lyndsey Jermin at Bohos Swansea
Make Up: Chris Howells MUA Laura Mercier
Band: The Riff Swansea and The Hummingbirs