Rachel and Stewart’s Rustic Woodland Wedding by Rocksalt Photography

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! ~ KateRach_Stew-184Rach_Stew-166

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!Rach_Stew-1

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!Rach_Stew-263

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!Rach_Stew-202Rach_Stew-84

Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why?

Stew chose two school friends as his best men and his nephews as page boys. I chose my best friend Elain and my husband’s sister Sam as the bridesmaids, and my nieces as flower girls.Rach_Stew-237

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).Rach_Stew-156Rach_Stew-340

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.Rach_Stew-183

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.Rach_Stew-435

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…Rach_Stew-280Rach_Stew-292

What was your first dance & why?

We chose Shania Twain’s Still the One – as cheesy as it sounds, the lyrics fitted us perfectly as we first got together in 2001, and good old Shania was a favourite when I was in my teens.Rach_Stew-311

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!Rach_Stew-363Rach_Stew-278

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.Rach_Stew-417

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…!)Rach_Stew-205

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!Rach_Stew-208Rach_Stew-172

The Suppliers

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 
Cake: Homemade
Flowers: Bizzy Lizzy’s, Llanidloes
Make Up: Leah Sims
DJ: Timmy T
Stationery: Eaton Stationery 
Caterers: Roslin Catering 
Any Reception Decor/Props: myphotobooth 

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Remembering Loved Ones by Vintage Bride Sophie

Vintage Bride Sophie is back this month with her thoughts on remembering loved ones at your wedding. Over to Sophie.

Hi lovely Cwtchers!

I’m going to be sharing my thoughts on a part of your wedding day we don’t often talk about. Ways to remember loved ones…

After the initial excitement of announcing your wedding subsides a little and thoughts turn to planning and budgets, perhaps when the dreaded table planning begins, there will come a moment when you realise that not everyone you love will be there on your special day and it isn’t easy when the realisation hits you.

One of the hardest, yet most beautiful moments of our wedding day was when Gareth took a moment to remember the people we love and are no longer with us during his speech. Here is a little extract from his speech and a photograph Maria took as he read it.

I want to toast to the loved ones that are no longer with us. I know that there are some empty places in our hearts and not just at these tables today. Soph, I know how much you would have loved an approving kiss from your Grandfather and Uncle Eric and also a warm smile for you and a disapproving look for me from your Aunt Joyce. And for me, I’m thinking of my Grandad Eirydd – or Eddie as you might have known him and my Grandad Sid. Both men taught me to live my life with a smile on my face and most importantly that learning never stops – at any age – so I know that I will be questioning everything around me until my dying day. So this toast is to the people that mean everything to us – I said there are empty places in our hearts but really our lives are richer for having had these wonderful people in them. To loved ones!

He was right, what we would have done to have them there.

Ahead of the wedding, I had already decided that I would honour my grandfather by including sweet peas in my bouquet. He used to grow them and enter them in to competitions and he was so, so proud of his garden. If he had still been with us I imagine he’d have grown all of our flowers.

I never got to meet my grandmothers but it was always clear that my mother and father would have loved me to. My bouquet was tied with lace which belonged to my mother’s mother and the room was full of crocheted doilies my father’s mother and great aunt had made.

Wherever I looked in that room, they were there.

If I have any advice it would be this… When you’re planning your wedding, make time to remember the people you hold dear. Find a special way to ensure they have their place in your day. You want them there and they would want to be there so ensure you have something; a photograph, a favourite poem, a song, something that you will see or experience on the day and think ‘Oh, there they are.’

Think about the person they were and why you loved them. Of course, you can look to Pinterest and the internet for inspiration but if you can, find your own way to remember them. I chose not to have a photo table because that would have reminded me that they weren’t there. Instead, I found ways to include them as if they were still here. My grandfather would have grown sweetpeas for me, my grandmother and great aunt would have crocheted doilies if I had asked and I would have been given lace and other pretty pieces.

Above all else, when that moment in your day comes, by all means shed a tear and have a little cry; it’s your party and you should cry if you want to. Just make sure you give them a smile. Remember that they would want you to be happy and, whether they can see you or not, they would want you to smile your biggest smile! You are marrying the person you love and I am sure they would have given anything to be there to see that. So let them.

If you feel you can share, we would love to hear how you plan to remember your loved ones or ways you have already honoured them. Perhaps you can help inspire other readers :)

I promise vintage business will resume next time!

Till then, much love,

Sophie x

Real Wedding: Steph & Ross’ Rustic Vintage Wedding by Ashley Ward

Remember Steph & Ross from The Costa Sisters video on Tuesday? Well we’ve got their full wedding write up today – yay! :) We’ve also some extra details from Emma at Sylvie and Joan on the styling for the day.Ashley Ward Steph & Ross Wedding_033

How would you describe your wedding theme? Vintage, rustic and personal! We wanted it to simply show and involve the things we love.

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What was your favourite part of your wedding? It’s so hard to single out one part of the day as my favourite, but I think it has to be the anticipation and excitement I felt before the ceremony and the arrival of my beautiful bouquet! And from there my excitement turned into an ecstatic kind of happiness!

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Who did you pick as your bridesmaids and why? I picked my bridesmaids because they were the girls i’ve known forever. They know more about me than I know about myself sometimes. They’ve supported me through thick and thin and I wanted them there to support me on the most important day of my life.

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How did the proposal happen? The proposal happened on Christmas eve 2011. I’d just finished a long shift at work and had gone up to bed to take a nap around 6pm. I was woken by Ross’s sister who told me to look out of the window as it was snowing outside. In the Xmas spirit, I jumped up to look out the window to find there was no snow, but an array of beautiful fairy lights, spelling out ‘Marry me?’. Ross was on one knee, and grinning. I rushed downstairs to tell him ‘yes’ and accept the beautiful ring.

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Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share? I love washi tape! I didn’t get to use as much as I would have liked as I ran out of time. But its colourful, easy, cheap and I used loads to design my thank you cards and various other things for the day.

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What was your first dance & why? Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol. Ross played this song to me on headphones in 2008 when we first met on a voluntary orphanage trip. We were lying out in the Romanian grasses below the starry sky whilst the song was playing, so the song reminds us of our early feelings for each other.

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In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently? As I mentioned above, the DIY projects were lots of fun, especially the days I had all my friends and family together to make things – they are some of the best memories. But don’t be afraid to let go of some of the DIY ideas when you can see time running out. I had planned to make all my orders of service but was trying to balance long working weeks, an intensive work related course, and planning our honeymoon and wedding, So my DIY projects became a bit too much towards the closing weeks. I wish I’d been happier to hand this over to a wedding supplier sooner. In the end I didn’t waste the materials I bought to make them as I’ll be making our thank you cards and enjoying the process now I have more time.

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Do you have any advice for future couples? Consider hiring a wedding planner. I began working with our wedding planner Emma at Sylvie and Joan 7 months before the wedding when I realised I needed extra support to bring all of my ideas together and to ensure that everything ran smoothly on the day. We couldn’t have had our wedding without Emma’s hard work and calming influence on bringing our whole day together. Having Emma kept me smiling through all the preparations. Her advice and experience were invaluable, and our day ran beautifully. From major things like organising supplier arrivals, to making vintage handkerchiefs for a DIY project, Emma was really involved and a huge support to us.

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Why did you choose your venue? We chose our venue as the owners had become friends of ours, and it was such a welcoming and tranquil place. We wanted our family and friends to enjoy the venue and the peace that it had to offer.

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What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received? Don’t expect it to be perfect, but put lots of effort into making your husband/wife happy, and it will make you both happy.

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What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding? My favourite thing was actually planning and choosing my flowers with the florist – Real Cut flower Garden. Charlie knew so much about flowers and made the whole process of choosing and telling her what I wanted so simple. I actually left the whole design and which flowers to use up to her, and as she grows her own flowers for the bouquets, it felt so amazing to have such a lovingly prepared bouquet in my hand on the day. They were simply stunning, as well as all the flowers at the venue.

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Emma from Sylvie and Joan got in touch to give us a few more details about their beautiful styling:

I began working with Steph and Ross 7 months before the wedding. Their vision for the day was rustic and informal with lots of pretty vintage details.

I worked on an inspiration board for Stephanie using a palette of sunshine yellow, rustic greens and strands of golden straw, incorporating lots of floral patterns, hessian and lace.

The voluptuous blooms from Charlie at Real Cut Flower garden fitted the theme perfectly. Charlie grows all her own flowers and is so knowledgeable it makes the whole process of choosing flowers so enjoyable. Steph says, ‘it felt so amazing to have such a lovingly prepared bouquet in my hand on the day.’

We arranged for hay bales to be delivered from a local farm. This is a great relaxed and informal seating option and really helps to add to the rustic feel of the day. Some farms will allow you to return the bales afterwards or alternatively you can opt to donate them to a local horse sanctuary.

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Stephanie wanted to incorporate lots of handmade details, so she made her own invitations. I sourced lots of handmade bunting and made vintage floral handkerchiefs for guests. Stephanie’s Mum made the hessian and lace runners as well as pretty hand-tied baby’s breath posies for the church.

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I set up a photobooth using some of the haybales as a backdrop. Guests took polaroid snaps of each other and pegged them to vintage frame displays. Then we used vintage suitcases and romantic vintage props for the card and gift table :)

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We know you all want to see that amazing wedding video again too, so here it is:

Vendor Details

Photographer: Ashley Ward Photography
Videographer: Costa Sisters Productions | Feautured Vendor
Wedding Planner & Stylist: Emma Butler at Sylvie and Joan
Ceremony Venue: St Augustines Church, Rumney, Cardiff
Reception Venue: Ty Coch farm, St Brides
Bride’s Dress: Justin Alexander, Perfection Bridal Cardiff
Bride’s Headpiece: Perfection Bridal Cardiff
Bride’s Jewellery: Pia Jewellery for pearls and a friends vintage ring
Bride’s Shoes: Karen Millen
Groom’s Outfit: Moss Brothers Cardiff
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Oasis Stores
Bridesmaids’ Accessories: Their own
Cake: Handmade by a family friend – Doro’s ‘d. (cup) cakes
Flowers: Real Cut flower Garden
Hair & Make Up: Kamigata salon Cardiff
Band: Sleepy Weasals
Stationery: Tea & Doilies
Caterers: Monmouthshire Hog Roast
Any Reception Decor/Props: Sylvie & Joan
Additional details: Cafe Bon Bon Ice Cream Tricycle
Transport: Rumney Wedding Cars

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