Today’s real wedding is by the amazing from Rocksalt Photography. Can you believe this beautiful bride to be even organised her wedding date around Hannah’s availability! I love Rachel and Stewart’s rustic woodland wedding and all the homemade touches. I hope you love it as much as I do…..it makes me long for some sunshine on my skin.Come on summer we are waiting for you….Enjoy! ~ Kate
How would you describe your wedding theme?
A rustic woodland wedding, if that makes sense… I’m a farmer’s daughter and my husband is a carpenter so I wanted to incorporate these aspects of our lives in the wedding as they are very important to us. I even had acorn jewellery made as Stew is slightly obsessed with oak and I thought it would be a subtle nod to his profession!
What was your favourite part of your wedding?
It was lovely to have family and friends all in one place and mingling so well together. Stew also left me gobsmacked (quite literally!) as he’d arranged for a aeroplane to fly overhead with a ‘congratulations’ banner, which was pretty cool!
Tell us about your Wedding Dress
If I’m honest, I was dreading the process of finding a wedding dress! I imagined six foot modelesque women scrutinizing me but the reality was quite different… Once I got started, I loved it and got slightly carried away travelling as far as Leicester to try specific designers and dresses I’d seen in magazines. Poor mam! I knew I wanted floral lace, a pretty back and a bow (random, I know) but I couldn’t find ‘The One’ – and that was the problem. I didn’t get that feeling where I knew this one dress was it. In fact, I’d tried my dress on quite a few times as it kept re-appearing wherever we went and every time I tried it on I loved it more and more. In the end, I went back to Shropshire Country Brides where I’d first seen my Mori Lee number. Sam (the owner’s daughter) added a belt from another dress to mine and suddenly the choice was easy. Decision made, at last!
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why?
Why did you choose your venue?
I always wanted to marry in the local chapel and had my heart set on a reception at home on the family farm. Dad did have concerns about it raining and ruining the day but my brother convinced me to stick to my guns. I thought I was going to regret that decision in the week leading up to the wedding as it poured down and the floor of the marquee was soaked on the Tuesday. Someone must have been watching over us as we ended up having fantastic weather! We wanted a ‘smart casual’ feel to the marquee so we decided not to have lining and to use festoon lights instead of chandeliers. We really liked the idea of creating different spaces so we divided the area using a small picket fence and created a floral archway, which could double up as a backdrop for photographs if it rained (not that we needed to worry in the end).
Tell us about your photographer
Hannah (Rocksalt) was the only photographer for me and her availability actually determined the date of our wedding. She understood what we wanted from our first meeting and made us both feel relaxed on the day. She kept things moving; so much so we were ahead of schedule! We had Leri (Leri Lane Photography) as a second photographer and she was a fantastic addition, capturing moments in the boys’ household that would have otherwise been missed.
How did the proposal happen?
Stew proposed while we were on holiday in Austria. We were skiing the last run on the last day when Stew said he’d go on ahead down a black run and I could meet him at the bottom of the red run (yes, I was tired and wingeing by this point and wanted the easiest route!) After tackling a mountain of ice, I took off my helmet and had a bit of a rant before realising that Stew had fallen. I went over only to discover that he had a ring in hand and was actually on one knee and about to propose. By this point the slopes were empty so it was just the two of us, which made it all the more special.
Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?
I took advantage of my family and friends’ many hobbies and talents! Mam and Stew’s mum made the wedding cake while my auntie Sarah decorated it. Auntie Lucy and uncle Paul created the confetti cones using doilies, and turned the place name cards into favours by filling tiny plastic bags with wild flower seeds. My teaching friends were stars too: one created a Welsh verse to accompany the favours, another created activity booklets for the page boys and flower girls, and the D.T teacher helped me design wooden thank you plaques and created table numbers and the order of the day on pieces of oak. Stew, his workers and our neighbour Bill made so many things including the centrepieces, the signposts, the pathway leading to the marquee, the archway and fencing inside, and even a wooden post box. The list goes on and on and there are more people to thank than there’s room to mention here…
What was your first dance & why?
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?
Yes! I would have set a deadline for us all to finish preparations the day before. I’d planned for a few close friends to stay over so we could watch Bridesmaids and have a few Proseccos. Instead, we worked on the marquee until 12.30am and I sat in bed writing thank you cards at 2am. Stew and the boys were still busy adding final touches on the morning of the wedding so he only arrived at the chapel at 11.30am and had no time to welcome guests. Oops! Another last minute panic to avoid is the process of creating invitations. Finalising a design, producing and proofreading the text, and compiling addresses takes a lot of time, especially when you’re producing them in Welsh and English!
Do you have any advice for future couples?
Share the experience (or at least ask him what he thinks, and take on board what he tells you even if you don’t like it!) The groom can sometimes be forgotten and I really liked the idea of the day being a reflection of Stew and his interests, as well as mine.
What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received?
We’ve been given a lot of little pieces of advice along the way… I would say to be supportive of each other’s ambitions and leave plenty of room for laughter. (But don’t laugh at their ambitions, that wouldn’t be a good idea…!)
What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?
Planning a wedding can be daunting but I was overwhelmed by the kindness of my friends and close family who were so supportive and excited to help. I took every opportunity to include them so it was great to take time out of our otherwise hectic lives to spend together. The National Wedding Shows were also a lot of fun, giving us the chance to look around and be inspired (aka pinch ideas), as well as have afternoon tea and champagne ‘to celebrate’ each time!
Photographer: Rocksalt Photography
Ceremony Venue: Hen Gapel, Llanbrynmair
Reception Venue: Marquee at on my parents’ farm – Cwmffynnon, Pandy, Llanbrynmair
Bride’s Dress: Shropshire Country Brides
Bride’s Shoes: Rainbow Club (through Elegant Steps)
Bride’s Headpiece: Shropshire Country Brides
Bride’s Jewellery: Amanda Cox
Groom’s Outfit: Slaters Cardiff
Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Amanda Cox
Flowers: Bizzy Lizzy’s, Llanidloes
Make Up: Leah Sims
DJ: Timmy T
Stationery: Eaton Stationery
Caterers: Roslin Catering
Any Reception Decor/Props: myphotobooth