Real Weddings: Our Graceful Bride, Vicky Marries Rob

Happy Friday Cwtchers!

Excited to show you all our gorgeous Real Wedding this week.  Not only is it beautiful, with stunning images by David Wickham, but its of our one and only Graceful Bride.

If you have been following her blog entries, then you know about everything that went into making this day so wonderful! And its not just about the shoes (although they are, of course, pretty spectacular!)

Without further ado, I shall hand over to the beautiful Victoria, to tell you all about her and Robs big day……

Real Weddings Banner

Victoria and Rob

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What was your budget?

We had an initial budget of £20,000 with £18,000 being joint money and then a £2,000 budget of my money for my dress. I figured no one could tell me off for spending too much money on the dress and shoes if it was my own! We still managed to go over budget in the end though!

How would you describe your wedding theme?

I have these great ideas in my head which I’m then useless at explaining to people so I think that Wendy our florist was the only person to get my theme in the planning stages!

I was describing it as relaxed country elegance. I wanted everyone to just be chilled out and enjoy themselves. A church wedding but not too traditional, a country house for the reception but not too formal, everything had it own meaning. My aim was it to look like it was effortless, that the house was ours almost and we’d just used whatever was around to decorate with flowers cut from the garden that morning.

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Trouble is once you start saying to people about centrepieces with books and teapots everyone automatically thinks a vintage theme which wasn’t quite my aim! I hope people got it in the end, or at least a feel for what I was going for. Maybe I should have walked around saying relaxed country elegance a lot more!!

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Colour wise we decided to stay away from the traditional Autumn colours and go slightly different. Rob wanted to wear a navy suit and the hints of blush just seemed a perfect compliment to it.

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What was your favourite part of your wedding?

I’m not sure I can pick just one part! Our wedding turned into a bit of a 4 day extravaganza and I loved it all.

We had a great few days beforehand with various golf, afternoon tea and dinners out and the Friday with my family setting everything up at the venue was just great fun. On the day itself we had such a relaxed morning getting ready and then walked to the church to try and stay calm!

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I don’t remember any finer points of the ceremony, only that we probably laughed too much and that atmosphere carried on for the rest of the day.

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If I was really pushed then one of the best bits for me was walking down the driveway to the church. The sun was shining, the mist had lifted over the mountains and I could hear the choir singing as we got closer. It was beautiful and I had no nerves going in to marry Rob after that!

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Tell us about your Wedding Dress

With me living in Essex, my Mum in Wales, one bridesmaid in Kent doing a PhD and the other working it Hertfordshire it was always going to be a bit of a mission to organise dress shopping.

In the end we managed to get everyone free for a run of 3 days and we crammed 5 dress shops in. I was really worried about how finding a dress would go, I’m tall and have curves and had no real idea of what would work on me. By the end of it all though I was beginning to think I was in the wrong job with all the consultants going nuts over getting to dress someone of my height and shape.

They put so many extra dresses on me that they wanted to see that I was so confused with what one to get! We found my actual dress in our second shop. Anna, the owner, was so brilliant and we’d been there for about 3 hours going through all her stunning dresses. Again it was a dress I hadn’t picked but towards the end of the appointment she said it was my dress and I had to try it on. We realised we were on to winner as all of us spent the first few moments in silence and Mum teared up (given we mostly giggle and mess around this was a huge difference).

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We still did all the other dress shops and came close to falling for another dress which was virtually the complete opposite (another you must try this one for me from the consultant) but after a week of thinking about it, it was the same one that kept coming back into my head. Turned out Anna had been right from the start!

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

I had no choice on my bridesmaids! About a week after my cousins met Rob I was being nagged into marrying him so they could be bridesmaids as they’d not been before! I don’t think I even officially asked them, unless you count letting them know we were engaged by sending them a picture of an awful 80’s style dress and threatening to put them in it! They were great though and put up with me texting random wedding things virtually weekly.

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Robs best man was his boss Paul. He may be his boss but he’s also his best friend, cricket captain and sort of big brother figure I suppose. Robs known him since he was a teenager and I swear they spend more time talking to each other than they do to me and Pauls partner Ann!

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Him and the ushers were also brilliant, especially as I left them all a huge list of things they needed to do on the day and they got on it with no complaint taking away any niggling stresses from us.

Why did you choose your venue?

In my head I had another venue that was perfect so only booked to look at some others for comparison. I’m so glad I did though as I had such a clash with the owner of where I wanted that I came away vowing never to set foot there ever again!

Peterstone Court on the other hand was just brilliant from start to finish. Not only is the house beautiful and the views just stunning, the staff really made it.

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Nothing felt like too much trouble for them, phone calls and emails were answered quickly and they always knew who you were on the phone to have a chat with. Absolutely everyone from the managers to the waiting staff were just lovely. Plus if I could kidnap the chef I would, we’ve never had a bad meal there and we’ve had a few now! Having taken over the place for the whole weekend we really did feel like the place was ours, I would so recommend it for anyone looking for a venue.

Tell us about your photographer

I got slightly obsessed with David our photographer, in a good way though, not a creepy one!

I don’t remember how I stumbled across his website but I’m so glad I did! Not only are his pictures beautiful, he really understood what we wanted with regards to the photos. I was slightly worried that him and his colleague Catherine wouldn’t come back after we all spent the church rehearsal in fits of laughter but they just went with it and joined in!

On the day itself David was great up with us whilst we were getting ready while Catherine got some lovely shots of all the stuff I was missing out on. For the rest of the afternoon I can honestly say I felt like I didn’t see them, in the nicest way possible of course! The pictures we got back I felt really captured the fun and relaxed vibe of the day, there’s some truly stunning ones of all our guests just enjoying themselves and I just love them all!

How did the proposal happen? 

I knew we’d get married as we’d spoken about it a lot and half my family had bets on when a proposal would happen yet he still managed to surprise us all by proposing on a random Saturday night. In a wonderfully romantic setting (ha!) of him in pyjamas after a bath, me in a blanket freezing cold and our collie in a panic after one of his episodes where he’d bashed his head on a radiator and was bleeding, he said he’d got me a gift. Sitting down I was given a Tiffany bag and did the obvious thing which was to start giggling! In my head I was thinking “oh my god he’s gonna propose, but then he said a gift so maybe it’s a bracelet, but who gets a bracelet from Tiffany after talking marriage” etc etc. I’m not even 100% sure if he got down on one knee or if I actually said the word yes, I just kept laughing!

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Luckily he knows me well enough to not get hurt by that reaction!! I think he’d been planning on being slightly more extravagant in his proposal but he’d text my Dad to sort of ask permission (think the gist of it was I’d like to ask Vicky to marry me, thought I’d see if that’s ok but I’m doing it even if you say no. I think Dad was pleased with that!) and after getting a nice text back from my Dad, who is a man of few words, he just decided to do it there and then!

Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?

Rob is great at making things, he’s transformed our garage into a full on man cave complete with bar! Me on the other hand, I have zero patience and if it’s not done to a perfect standard within 30 minutes then I’m just done with it, so we didn’t do a vast amount of DIY!

I am quite proud of our scrabble name places though, again, mostly made by Rob. Trying to keep the cost down we just bought some scrabble letter tiles from craft stores online and then made the rest. Rob made the holders from 2 different types of wood and then I did all the gluing.

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Rob also did a fair bit of printing, he made the table plan, order of service booklets and created personalised menu and information cards! My only other contribution to the DIY side of things was asking/forcing my family into making up the confetti cones and favour bags! They looked like they didn’t mind though!!

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What was your first dance & why?

Our first dance was Home by Michael Bublé as the lyrics mean a huge amount to us. Having spent 15 months living in Paris with Rob still in the UK and the constant feeling of wanting to be somewhere I wasn’t, the song kind of became our anthemn.

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I could never play it right through to the end until the day I left France! To lighten everything up we had Shut Up And Dance by Walk The Moon straight afterwards.

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I love that song and figured jumping around surrounded by people was a good antidote to the fear of dancing on our own getting emotional!

In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?

The only thing that we felt really let us down was our band. I thought I’d been clear enough with the list of songs that we definitely wanted played in the live sets and the sort of music for the DJ sets. However they seemed to think differently and it did ruin our evening slightly. They were so talented and having seen them before we thought would be perfect for our guests so my only advice to couples having a band is really reiterate to them your choices. Given that we’d been talking about Metallica, Foo Fighters etc, to have Mike Posner played instead really got me wound up!

Do you have any advice for future couples?

Probably the same advice that everyone else gives! It’s your day so do things your way, don’t try and please everyone else as it’ll never work, you really can’t do it. The day does just go so try and take a moment to be just the 2 of you to have a breather, whether that’s with a photographer tailing you for some shots or just in another room having a quick sit down for 5 minutes!

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What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received?

I don’t think we had any specific marriage advice. Both of our parents have been together a long time, as has most of our families so we’ve had plenty of examples of marriages over the years. Plus we’d been together a while, dealt with a long distance relationship, house buying and loss of a parent before we got to the wedding so we’d weathered a lot of storms! We knew what worked for us and always make sure we communicate, especially as with our jobs we can go days without seeing each other awake to have a proper conversation!

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What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

Now I love planning but planning a wedding over 18 months even took it out of me! Attempting that, work and life in general is hard! I suppose though my favourite bit was getting to see people more. We’d normally only get to Wales once or twice a year yet I was going virtually every month and my parents were having to come to Essex more often, same with getting to see my cousins more frequently. I’m sure they were all bored beyond belief having to listen to me going on and on but I enjoyed it! Also I loved dress shopping, I really wish I could do it again but then we’d probably end up having to renew our vows yearly as I’d keep buying them

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The Suppliers

Photographer: David Wickham 
Ceremony Venue: Llanhamlach Church
Reception Venue: Peterstone Court 
Bride’s Dress: Essense of Australia 
Bride’s Shoes: Harriet Wilde  Christian Louboutin
Bride’s Jewellery: Ivory & Co  Tiffany 
Groom’s Outfit: Anthony Formal Wear 
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Monsoon uk 
Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Wanderlust Life 
Cake: Family friend
Flowers: Wendy Scotford  Friend of Faux
Hair: Lisa Bidwell 
Make Up: Alex Gallop 
Band: The Hot Shots 
Stationery: On the day – Rob, invites etc by Pretty Lane Weddings 
Caterers: Petersone Court 
Any Reception Decor/Props: Own various
Personalised cake topper: Feats Of Clay
Wedding favours: Blaenavon Cheddar Co  Wilkin & Sons Tiptree Chutney
Ushers ties: Mrs Bow Tie
Choir: Brecon Male Voice Choir
Confetti: Adamapple
Honeymoon: Destinology 

The Wedding Album

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Real Wedding: Nicola and Alex by Richard Savage #SaveNicola

Happy Friday everyone!

We have a bit of a different real wedding of you this week.  We’re not talking about what she wore, where they held the wedding, who provided the flowers.  Not that any of those things are wonderful, but today we want you to meet Nicola.

#SaveNicola

In 2015, Nicola proudly walked down the aisle to the man of her dreams, Alex and father of her two beautiful children.  Full of hope and promise after fighting cancer for many years, and due to a severe case of septicaemia, Nicola had to have an above the knee amputation in 2011.

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A few months after the wedding Nicola found out that her cancer had returned, this time Doctor’s have diagnosed the cancer as terminal, giving her just 2 years left to live.  Nicola’s treatment options on the NHS have now come to an end.  Nicola’s family and friends are now trying to raise £75,000 for Nicola to receive proton beam therapy abroad to help prolong Nicola’s life (this therapy is not yet available in the UK).

Richard Savage, who shot Nicola‘s wedding, will be donating £25 from every wedding booking we receive this month to the #SaveNicola fund.

We’re asking if you have any amount of money available, no matter how big or small that you could donate to the #SaveNicola  fund, then please do.  Every donation will help Nicola to reach her target!

Nicola is a Mum, a Wife, a Daughter, a Sister and a Friend – Nicola is awesome, and doesn’t deserve to be taken from all the people that love her too soon, please help if you can xXx

DONATE HERE – www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/savenicola

FOLLOW – https://www.facebook.com/savenicola.co.uk/

READ MORE – You can read more about Nicola’s story here and watch recent ITV interviews with Nicola and her family.

www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/mum-diagnosed-bone-cancer-teenager-12460750

www.itv.com/news/wales/2017-01-27/llanelli-mum-nicola-white-is-desperately-campaigning-to-fund-proton-beam-therapy/

http://www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/article/world-cancer-day

Lets help Nicola to reach her target…

The Wedding Album

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Real Weddings: Jenny and Mike by Carly Turner

Good morning and happy Friday!

We have a superb wedding for you today! Images by the gorgeously talented and Lush Lister, Carly Turner, Jenny and Mike’s wedding looked amazing! Including a pink dress, gold belt and taxidermy mice!!

I will hand over to Jenny though to tell you more about this beautiful day….

Real Weddings Banner

Jenny and Mike

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What was your budget?

Not as much as we spent on the honeymoon ;)

How would you describe your wedding theme?

It was us themed!

When we were planning our wedding we didn’t have a theme in mind, we just went for things that we liked. Thankfully it all came together and looked amazing!

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What was your favourite part of your wedding?

I have so many favourite parts!

One of the things that struck me the most was just how amazing it feels to have all of the people you love in one room together.

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The ceremony has got to be my most favourite part, closely followed by the food and speeches!

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Tell us about your Wedding Dress

I knew choosing a dress was going to be difficult for me. I didn’t want to wear a wedding dress, I didn’t want to wear white and the thought of spending hundreds on a dress, for me, seemed wasteful.

I visited a few shops and wedding fairs on the look out for a dress but I didn’t find anything I loved.

I bought a vintage dress a few months after we got engaged, it was a nude, beaded, full length gown, I loved it at the time. However, I tried it on a few months before our wedding, I had lost some weight so it didn’t fit and it just didn’t feel like me anymore. Cue major panic!

Luckily I came across my dress on ASOS when I was sale shopping one day and instantly knew that was the dress I wanted to get in married in! I loved the blush pink colour and delicate detail of the embroidered flowers and I felt like a Queen in it!

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

For me, picking my bridesmaid was easy! I chose my cousin Holly. We grew up together and were inseparable when we were younger. She’s been my best friend my whole life – plus she’s super creative and throws awesome parties!

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Why did you choose your venue?

It was completely by chance! Adam from Llwyn Hall had posted a Facebook advert and as we were on our way to Llanelli to visit family anyway we thought we’d pop by to check it out.

We loved it instantly! It was quirky, charming and served amazing food. We loved that we could have the venue all for ourselves and our guests.

llwyn HallImage by Llwyn Hall on Facebook

New owners took over the venue a month before our wedding and started renovations immediately – it was really stressful!! – but thankfully it turned out great, the renovations were beautiful, and Alex the new owner was so lovely and helpful!

Tell us about your photographer

Our photographer was Carly from Carly Turner Photography.
She was awesome – we found her through Facebook and loved her style, it was exactly what we were looking for! We met Carly for a coffee and clicked with her immediately!

Carly did an amazing engagement shoot for us! We were a bit nervous but she made us feel relaxed and we had loads of fun! We used some of the pictures in our wedding stationery.

Carly Turner COTW (Jen and Mike)

On the day she was incredible, a real photography ninja, catching amazing moments and fantastic photos. We really couldn’t be happier with the pictures and we feel so lucky to have had Carly as our photographer!

How did the proposal happen? 

We were on holiday in Krakow when Mike proposed to me.

We’d been out for an amazing meal followed by cocktails in the rooftop lounge in the Sheraton. On our way back to our apartment, as we were walking past the fire breathing dragon outside the Wawel castle, Mike asked me to be his wife. I don’t think he’d even finished asking the question before I said yes!

Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?

We DIY-ed loads for our wedding, and I am so grateful for our army of family and friends that spent the weeks running up to our wedding crafting, brewing and tying twine on everything!

We made our centrepieces from beer bottles we’d collected from different countries, we made our own table runners from some hessian we bought off eBay, my aunty made limoncello (or Manda’s Marvellous Medicine as it was labelled) for favours and instead of place cards we handmade Christmas decorations with our guests names on them!

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Mike is a Graphic Designer so he created all of our beautiful wedding stationery, including our wedding logo! All of family and friends loved them so he’s now starting his own wedding stationery business!

Making our decorations meant that our wedding was really personal and represented us as a couple and all the things we love!

What was your first dance & why?

Our song is 2Bears – Church but it isn’t a great first dance song! So we chose an acoustic version of Beyonce – Crazy in Love by Daniela Andrade.

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In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?

Probably held off the alcohol a little… We had very sore heads for the next few days.

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Do you have any advice for future couples?

Remember that your wedding day is a celebration of your love and the commitment you’re making to each other – don’t stress about the other stuff.

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Glow sticks! Forget about hiring entertainment, just buy glow sticks for your guests. They provided hours of entertainment, as you’ll see by the pictures!!

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What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received?

We made some cards for the tables that asked people to write some marriage advice for us. We got some really funny responses but our favourites had to be;
– Keep going as you are
– Make sure the curry is always hot and the beer is always cold
– Don’t know LOL I’m just a kid (from Zac, aged 11)

and a surprising amount of them said, Remember Jenny is always right.

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What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

All the extra time you spend with family and friends :) We had loads of afternoons spent crafting, drinking tea and eating cake.

The Suppliers

Photographer: Carly Turner Photography
Ceremony Venue: Llwyn Hall Country House 
Reception Venue: Llwyn Hall Country House
Bride’s Dress: ASOS 
Bride’s Shoes: Borrowed from my mum!
Bride’s Headpiece: Sixpenny Bride
Groom’s Outfit: Formal Hire  
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Lindy Bop 
Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Vintage
Cake: Wally’s Delicatessen 
Flowers: Ruth Milton Jones 
Hair: Signature Style 
Make Up: Makeup by Nicola 
Stationery: Design Yo! Wedding Stationery 
Caterers: Signature Catering

The Wedding Album

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Real Weddings: The Beautiful Welsh in Breathtaking Italy

Good Friday to you all Cwtchers!

We have an absolutely stunning wedding for you which is about to inspire the socks off you!  Our gorgeous couple, Jenna and Gareth always wanted to get married abroad.  So after lots of researching, they, and the rest of the Welsh contingency, flew to the stunning Lake Garda.

You wait until you see the results! Over to Jenna to tell you more about their breathtaking big day…

Real Weddings Banner

Jenna and Gareth

Jenna and Gareth (65 of 97)

What was your budget?

£15,000 (approximately)

How would you describe your wedding theme?

We didn’t really choose a theme per se, we wanted the whole day to be a reflection of us with I suppose a touch of boho in terms of the dresses and flowers.

Jenna and Gareth (34 of 97)

What was your favourite part of your wedding?

Definitely the ceremony! It was just magical!

On a terrace of a castle over looking Lake Garda surrounded by mountains. I walked down the aisle to ‘Everybody’s Free’ by Jennifer Ann, which was playing when Gareth proposed on the last stretch of the Ironman. I have very talented friends and family who arranged to sing it flash mob style. It was beautiful and caused a lot of tears. Gareth and I wrote our own vows, mine were a lot more elaborate than his, including the line; ‘I promise to always lock the doors before bed and love you forever’.

Jenna and Gareth (39 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (43 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (46 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (47 of 97)

My youngest sister, Sienna, wrote a love poem for us. It was both funny and emotional. That poem, by a 10 year old, had the biggest tears and cheers.

Jenna and Gareth (49 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (50 of 97)

After the ‘I do’s’ were exchanged, we danced down the aisle with tambourines to T Rex’s Ride a White Swan. It was just perfect.

Jenna and Gareth (57 of 97)

Tell us about your Wedding Dress

I was probably an exception when it comes to the wedding dress cliche of going for something completely different to what you’d imagine.

I imagined a dress and was determined to find it. I visited a wedding gown boutique, tried on some beautiful dresses but none of them fitted in with my vision.

I went on a Pinterest mission for a few months and eventually came across Rime Arodaky. I fell in love with all her dresses but there was one ‘Solane’ that had all the elements that I’d envisioned; a low back, the neckline, beautiful embroidery, light fabric and flowy yet sexy.

Jenna and Gareth (25 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (26 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (68 of 97)

I hunted down the only shop in the UK that stocks her, The Mews in Nottinghill, London, and made an appointment. It became clear that Rime Arodaky was the designer for me, my maid of honour and my mum were sold too. All her dresses just suited me perfectly even though they were all so different. As soon as I tried ‘Solane’ on I felt like it was me, of course my mums tears helped. The price tag was way over my budget, so I held off for a few months until I knew there would be a sample sale and luckily ‘Solane’ was part of it.

The lovely girls at The Mews put the dress to one side for me & sent it up to the Bristol shop for me. I cannot recommend The Mews enough!

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

I had some difficulty picking bridesmaids as I have an amazing group of friends and also two sisters and two sisters in law.

Getting married abroad and wanting a small intimate wedding, I didn’t want to have a huge bridal party. I decided to involve my sisters in law in other parts of the wedding and have my niece and nephews as part of the bridal party. They both sang phenomenally, and were witnesses for us too. I had both my sisters, one as my maid of ‘dishonour’, my longest best friend of 25 years as the other maid of ‘dishonour’, school best friend of 20 years and my best friend from University of 13 years.

Jenna and Gareth (79 of 97)

Gareth knew who he wanted as best men probably before he knew he wanted to marry me. Geryn and Gavin have been his longest most loyal friends. They are complete opposites. Geryn is the organised and sensible one while Gavin is the wild and mischievous one.

Jenna and Gareth (18 of 97)

Why did you choose your venue?

We always wanted to get married abroad. We originally France, as we love it there.

However after some research we realised that we couldn’t legally get married there and actually becoming man and wife there was important to us, I couldn’t have a blessing and pretend.

A friend of ours had been to a wedding in Malcesine Lake Garda and said it was immense. We booked our flights and made various appointments for different venues around the lake.

Jenna and Gareth (53 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (60 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (61 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (62 of 97)

We visited the castle in Malcesine and the restaurant Al Corsaro first and was sold straight away. It was exactly what we wanted, laid back, rustic, open and the views were incredible.

Tell us about your photographer

We did a lot of research for a good photographer. Photography is important in our family. My father loves a camera and it’s his hobby. Originally he would take the photos but I wanted him to relax on the day and enjoy it.

Nikola Smernic popped up on Facebook. He had won a National Geographic award and several wedding ones.  His photography is random, relaxed and natural just how I like it. He and his wife are both so laid back to work with. We met them the morning of our wedding and said how we’d like a 10 minute photoshoot at the most as my husband hates it and that’s exactly what they did. To be honest I didn’t even really notice they were there. The end photos are amazing.

How did the proposal happen? 

I was very lucky to have the most incredible surprise proposal. Gareth competed in IronMan UK. The friday I arrived in Bolton he had already picked up all the merchandise and event booklet. I was sat there reading about the event when I came across a page containing messages from the competitors, I just scanned the page and saw Gareth’s name. I was about to read it out loud when Gareth snatched it from my hand and said I wasn’t allowed to read it. I should’ve clicked then, but I’m pretty gullible. Gareth said that he had arranged to do something stupid on the finish line and that I would spoil the surprise if I knew. He is pretty random so I believed him, I thought he’s not going to carry a ring around the course with him anyway and carried on eating Pizza.

The next day was brilliant. The pride I felt watching him complete the swim then the bike was immense. His parents arrived to watch his marathon as well as his best friend. We positioned ourselves along the finish line. I wanted to see him cross the line so made my way through the crowds a few meters before it. I saw him approaching and shouted out for him so that he knew I was there.

He to my annoyance turned around and came over, I waved him on as I knew that they timed the last 100meter split. He luckily ignored me. He gave me a sweaty hug, whispered in my ear that he had travelled 140 miles for me, that I was his first, his last & his everything and got down on one knee.

I still wonder how he got down on that one knee to this day. There was a huge crowd clapping us, Everybody’s Free was playing at the finish line and the presenter stopped the music to congratulate us on the big screen. I grabbed the ring before I even said yes, I was completely speechless.

All was captured on camera which I was so thankful for as it was a complete blur.

Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?

I made complete use of my friends and family’s talents.

From creating the chalk board signs, filming the wedding, musicians, to hair and make up. I am very fussy with hair & make up & getting married in Italy it was very difficult to shop around and have trials.

Jenna and Gareth (70 of 97)

Instead I had some trials with my bridesmaid Nicky, who, due to having a baby 6 weeks prior to the wedding, didn’t even know until 4 weeks prior that she’d make it. She also did some of the other bridesmaid’s hair too, whilst breastfeeding I might add. She’s brilliant at multi tasking. She did a beautiful job and it was exactly how I wanted.Jenna and Gareth (8 of 97)

My maid of honour Rhian did my make up. We had been to MAC and another make up artist for ideas and stocked up on the make up at the airport. It meant the getting ready was intimate and nobody knows me better than these girls so it made complete sense.

Jenna and Gareth (12 of 97)

All the name cards for the reception were polaroid photos of some of our favourite memories of our guests. I’ll be honest it took ages and the website crashed many times. But, the fact that most took them home with them showed how much they appreciated it. These doubled as a favour too as my husband has an unhealthy hate towards favours.

Jenna and Gareth (69 of 97)

We hired cameras from ‘Shoot it Yourself’ to film our wedding and chose responsible friends to film the day for us. Shoot it Yourself then does the editing for you. I was nervous, as were they, but it worked out amazing. I didn’t want the usual romantic montage as that’s not us at all. I wanted it to be funny and us. The final edit was exactly how I’d hoped and both of us were crying tears of laughter and happiness watching it.

What was your first dance & why?

First dance song obviously wasn’t the usual romantic ballad type, as that is just not our style. But, it wasn’t easy to choose a non-ballad that meant something to us.

We spent many wine fuelled nights playing different songs and trying to dance to them to see if they were right. We kept coming back to ‘our song’ which we had originally decided was too hard to dance to and a bit random.

I read somewhere to not choose a crowd pleaser song but choose one you’ll always remember as yours however random.
So we did.
We dance to Johnny Cash ‘Walk the Line’ with tambourines being played for added effect.

Jenna and Gareth (90 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (91 of 97)

After the first chorus we invited everyone in to join us for a boogie.

In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?

I’d have had a few Proseccos with everyone the day before to relax me as I was running around like a headless chicken trying to get everything ready and stressing. I’m guessing this is normal. I also found it tricky to recruit helpers as I was very aware that everyone had paid a lot of money to join us in Italy and were on holiday.

However my day before stress did mean that on the day of the wedding I was completely relaxed. I know also it’s a cliché but I would’ve got married a little earlier. The day flew by and by the time the 4 course meal and speeches were over we had little time for dancing.

Jenna and Gareth (92 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (95 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (96 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (97 of 97)

It really is true what they say, time does fly by.

Do you have any advice for future couples?

Don’t make decisions based on what’s trendy or what you think your guests will like. Choose what you both want as that’s what it’s about.

It’s good getting a man’s perspective as they don’t care about décor and details, a wedding day is a day to remember because of the atmosphere you create, good food, good wine, good people and good music.

Also if you’re planning a wedding abroad don’t feel as though you have to fork out those extra thousands for a wedding planner. We did it without and managed perfectly. It meant we got a few small trips to Italy in prior instead.

What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received?

Always say I love you!

Jenna and Gareth (76 of 97)

What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

Our favourite thing was definitely the trips to Italy we made. We got to explore the Lake and visit nearby Verona and Venice, drank good wine and Limoncello, and ate a lot of Italian food.

The Suppliers

Photographer: Nikola Smernic 
Videographer: Shoot It Yourself 
Ceremony Venue: Castello Scaligero Malcesine
Reception Venue: Al Corsaro 
Bride’s Dress: Rime Arodaky ‘Solane’ 
Groom’s Outfit: French Connection
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Jarlo at ASOS and Millie Mackintosh
Flowers: Tania Muser 
DJ: Roberto Palma
Stationery: Etsy
Any Reception Decor/Props: Etsy

The Wedding Album

Jenna and Gareth (1 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (2 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (3 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (4 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (5 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (6 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (7 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (8 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (9 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (10 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (11 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (12 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (13 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (14 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (15 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (16 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (17 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (18 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (19 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (20 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (21 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (22 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (23 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (24 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (25 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (26 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (27 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (28 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (29 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (30 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (31 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (32 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (33 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (34 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (35 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (36 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (37 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (38 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (39 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (40 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (41 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (42 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (43 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (44 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (45 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (46 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (47 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (48 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (49 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (50 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (51 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (52 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (53 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (54 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (55 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (56 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (57 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (58 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (59 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (60 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (61 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (62 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (63 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (64 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (65 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (66 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (67 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (68 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (69 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (70 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (71 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (72 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (73 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (74 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (75 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (76 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (77 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (78 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (79 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (80 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (81 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (82 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (83 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (84 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (85 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (86 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (87 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (88 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (89 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (90 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (91 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (92 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (93 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (94 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (95 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (96 of 97) Jenna and Gareth (97 of 97)

I think you will agree, this is a killer wedding! I wish so much I could go back in time, find Jenna, become her best friend, then be invited to the wedding!  But that sounds a bit creepy. So scrap that!

 

Real Wedding: Rachel and Richard by Sara Beaumont

Happy Friday Cwtchers!

Oh I have so been looking forward to showing off this gorgeous wedding of Rachel and Richard.  Richard got in touch with us because he was so overwhelmed with how all of the suppliers they had had the pleasure to use, had been.  We were so taken by his enthusiasm, we had to find out more.

When we discovered they had used the likes of Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique, Sweet Peony, Laura May Bridal and Pencoed House (to name but a few), weren’t in the least bit surprised that they had had received such a wonderful service.

To top it off, their photographer, Sara Beaumont, took the most wonderful images of the couple and their friends and family, telling the story of the beautiful day.

So I will stop rambling on, and hand over to the couple to tell you all about it…..

Real Weddings Banner

Rachel and Richard

Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (90 of 90)

What was your budget?

We were really lucky as both sides of our family wanted to contribute financially to our wedding. With some of our own savings we were able to splash out on some luxuries that we wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise.
As most of our guests were travelling we wanted to make sure that we made them feel welcome and showed them a good time so we decided early on that the food, drink and music would take priority.

Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (65 of 90)

Where something came in higher than expected or wasn’t part of our original budget we tried to make up the difference from our monthly income rather than take from “the pot”.

How would you describe your wedding theme?

Thanks to his Dad, Richard spent most of his childhood, teenage years….and adult life playing cricket so this featured quite heavily in our day.

Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (67 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (64 of 90)

Otherwise, we wanted to keep the decor fairly simple. The hall at Pencoed House is beautiful so all we needed were some flowers to brighten the place up. Rachael at Sweet Peony was a godsend.

Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (4 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (40 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (55 of 90)

She understood the style we wanted straight away and gave practical advice of how to achieve it without spending a fortune. The night before the wedding I popped into the shop and was blown away by the gorgeous scent and all the lovely blooms. I couldn’t wait to get hold of my bouquet!

What was your favourite part of your wedding?

I wouldn’t say I’m a shy person but walking down the aisle in front of 100 family and friends was not my idea of a good time. The night before the wedding we had a quick rehearsal at the church with the bridesmaids and ushers. Even with just a few people there I hated it. But on the morning of the wedding something clicked and I couldn’t wait to get to the church (our guests will find this surprising given how late I was!) I loved every second of my entrance and was overwhelmed by all the lovely faces smiling back at me.

Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (88 of 90)
But the best moment for the both of us has to be the car journey between the church and the venue. This is the first (and only) moment we had alone on our wedding day, the first as husband and wife.

Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (46 of 90)

I know nothing about cars but have always had a soft spot for jaguars. The MKII we chose was so elegant and offered a little bit of isolation on a very busy day.

Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (50 of 90)

Tell us about your Wedding Dress

I’m an incredibly fussy shopper and after spending every spare moment googling wedding dresses I concluded that the magical “dress moment” was not for me. As soon as I walked into Rachel Burgess’ Bridal Boutique I knew that was not the case.
The boutique is like a little bit of heaven. Rachel only stocks dresses that she loves, designed and made in Wales by wonderful local designers. I left my first appointment with three dresses I would have been absolutely thrilled to wear.
After 3 appointments (Rachel was very patient) I had chosen The One: Mable by E&W Couture. Sophie at E&W creates such beautiful dresses with really luxurious fabrics. I loved the way the tulle moved when I turned and I couldn’t stop prancing around the boutique! Rachel suggested I try a champagne slip instead of ivory which gave the dress an elegant vintage feel which was just perfect.

Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (8 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (11 of 90)
As each dress is made to order Sophie tailored the dress exactly as I wanted it. My wedding was in April so I added some sheer sleeves and I simplified the cowl neckline to make sure my Mum’s pearl necklace stood out. It was magical to see my dress evolve from a basic calico mock up to the beautiful gown I would wear down the aisle.
Sophie and Rachel went above and beyond for me arranging as many appointments as I needed to feel comfortable and advising on everything from underwear to how to hold my bouquet! Sophie gave me off-cuts from my dress to use elsewhere. I decided to wrap a little bit of the tulle around the button-holes for my groom and Father-of-the-Bride as a first insight to what they could expect (which was obviously lost on them!) Unknown to me my Mum also approached the girls for some extra silk to make a beautiful cushion to surprise me with on the morning of the wedding. It was so unexpected and incredibly thoughtful.

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

My sisters have always been my best friends so having them next to me on my wedding day was non-negotiable but when I started to think about who I wanted to have around me on the morning of the wedding I knew I couldn’t do it without my pals Kate and Laura.

Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (58 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (60 of 90)
Just 6 weeks before the wedding, we found out that the girls’ dresses had never been ordered! Luckily they pulled through and thanks to the amazing girls at Laura May Bridal new dresses were lined up and ordered within 48 hours. I didn’t need to lift a finger. From that moment, I knew that no matter what went wrong on the day, as long as I had my friends around me, all would be well.
For Richard, there was only one choice for best man, his best friend Charles. He came up trumps on the day!

Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (62 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (63 of 90)

Why did you choose your venue?

When we first arrived at Pencoed House we fell in love with the way the long driveway felt like we were travelling down to our own little intimate hideout in the woods.
We wanted somewhere which had somewhere for us to stay with our immediate family at the end of the night and the elegantly decorated cottages were just the perfect place to rest our heads after a good old party.

Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (52 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (56 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (55 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (54 of 90)
But the venue itself had to be the main attraction. The tall trees and the stone walls were the perfect backdrop to our reception. The hall was full of character and didn’t need any further decoration to bring the place to life.

Tell us about your photographer

I first met Sara Beaumont when she photographed my sister’s wedding in 2013. Sara lives in Worcester but her passion for South Wales means that she is more than happy to make the trip for the wedding.
It was important to us to have a photographer who made us feel at ease. What we loved about Sara was her calming effect and her wicked sense of humour. She is able to boss around unruly family members when needed without causing a fuss and the results are incredible (which is lucky as she only had 5 minutes to capture our group shots before the wedding breakfast!)

Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (87 of 90)

How did the proposal happen? 

Poor Richard had to think up two proposals before he was able to pop the question. I am absolutely obsessed with decorating the house at Christmas so his original plan was to propose whilst helping me decorate the tree, substituting a bauble with the ring. Sadly for him, I was just too impatient and insisted on putting the decorations up before he had been able to collect the ring! He had to turn to plan B.
We were travelling home to Wales for Christmas when Richard took a detour to Stratford-upon-Avon where we had spent a lovely weekend at the beginning of our relationship. I had been moody all day and instantly felt guilty that he had arranged such a lovely surprise. He told me that he wanted a quiet night with just the two of us before we got home to a house full of family and friends. We walked through the town centre looking at the Christmas lights and ended up on a bridge over the river where we had taken a boat trip 5 years earlier. I first started to suspect something when he stopped to “take a photo” in the dark. As soon as the bridge was clear he dropped down on one knee and presented me with the most beautiful ring. I spent the rest of the night watching it twinkle in the Christmas lights completely gobsmacked that he would still propose after how miserable I had been all day!!!

Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (89 of 90)

What was your first dance & why?

We chose 80s classic, Hungry Eyes by Eric Carmen. It took me about 4 years to convince Richard to watch Dirty Dancing with me but in the end he loved it! We are not the best dancers so we wanted to pick something which would encourage others to join us on the dance floor.

Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (79 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (80 of 90)

In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?

Even though we knew exactly who was coming to the wedding, seeing everyone together was completely overwhelming and I wanted to thank everybody individually for coming to celebrate with us. Getting around everyone is so hard, the day speeds by and there are always people you don’t get chance to speak to. I would have liked more time to speak to everyone but then I wouldn’t change a single second of the day.

Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (49 of 90)

Do you have any advice for future couples?

Make the most of your friends and family. We had amazing support from some really special people: my old school teacher and long-time family friend married us; Richard’s brother played the piano as I walked down the aisle and our friend Andy provided the musical entertainment whilst we signed the register. Uncle Robert was MC for the day, a family friend provided Yorkshire wool for Richard’s suit and my brother, Matthew designed the invitations and the order of service.

Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (62 of 90)
Utilising the talents and enthusiasm of those around us not only helped us save on the costs of a professional but also added an irreplaceable personal feel to our day.

What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received?

When we first got engaged, my parents sent us a card with a quote from Audrey Hepburn: The best thing to hold on to in life is each other. We have both grown up surrounded by strong marriages and understand that it’s not all a bed of roses. This card was a reminder of what it’s all about and that as long as we are a team, we can get through anything.

What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

Spending time with family and friends was one of the best bits of planning the wedding. My dress appointments were the perfect opportunity to go home and spend time with my Mum and it was really nice to get together with my bridesmaids for dress shopping and the hen party.

Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (35 of 90)

The Suppliers

Photographer: Sara Beaumont Photography
Videographer: Silk Wedding Films 
Ceremony Venue: St Mary’s Catholic Church Bridgend 
Reception Venue: Pencoed House Estate 
Bride’s Dress: Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique
Bride’s Shoes: Rachel Simpson but found on ebay!
Bride’s Headpiece: Britten Weddings 
Bride’s Jewellery: Mum
Groom’s Outfit: Carl Stuart Bespoke Tailor 
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Laura May Bridal
Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Etsy
Cake: Marks and Spencer
Flowers: Sweet Peony Floral
Hair: Rachel Mann (friend)
Make Up: Louise McCarthy (friend)
Band: Classic Soul Dogs
Stationery: I Do Designs 
Caterers: E J Catering 
Transport: Nev and Stella Padfield (now retired)
Other: Wool for Richard’s suit was provided by family friends, W.T.Johnson & Sons Limited 

The Wedding Album

Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (7 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (3 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (1 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (2 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (9 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (10 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (6 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (8 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (5 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (11 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (12 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (83 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (84 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (86 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (13 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (14 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (15 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (16 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (17 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (18 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (85 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (88 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (19 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (20 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (21 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (22 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (23 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (25 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (89 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (24 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (26 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (27 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (28 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (29 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (30 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (31 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (32 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (33 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (34 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (35 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (36 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (37 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (38 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (39 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (40 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (41 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (42 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (43 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (44 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (45 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (46 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (47 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (90 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (48 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (49 of 90)Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (87 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (50 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (51 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (52 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (53 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (54 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (55 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (56 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (57 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (58 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (59 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (60 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (61 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (62 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (63 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (64 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (65 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (66 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (67 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (68 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (69 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (70 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (71 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (72 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (73 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (74 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (75 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (76 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (77 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (78 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (79 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (80 of 90) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (82 of 90)Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (1 of 1) Sara Beaumont Rachel&Richard (81 of 90)