Lloyd Williams did an amazing job on this beautiful wedding. I think you can agree that Jenna and Carl looked like they had lovely day. So many personal touches and little extras that made me excited to share it with you. Settle down with a cup of tea and a welsh cake and enjoy.
What was your budget?
Initially our budget was around £18,000 but it soon ran away with itself with all the little extras. the final calculation was around £24,000 including our honeymoon but we were incredibly lucky to have help from our generous parents and close family, we can’t thank them enough for their support.
How would you describe your wedding theme?
Our theme was very rustic, organic and a little vintage but with a twist of romance. Beautiful tree slices, jars decorated them with hessian, lace and wooden hearts. We hired the talented Dear Florence to decorate the windows and had as many fairy lights as we could at the venue to give that romantic feel, we loved the brickwork and open beams and wanted to compliment it with our decorations.
What was your favourite part of your wedding?
It’s difficult to pick a favourite part, the day was perfect and we’ve reminisced about it so many times already. We both loved the fact that all our loved ones were all together under one roof, the atmosphere was very relaxed and happy. There was a special moment just after the service, we were outside the church and all of our guests were coming out of to greet us with Treorchy Male choir singing ‘love is a many splendoured thing’ and everyone stopped and listened, it was a beautiful moment.
Tell us about your Wedding Dress
Finding THE dress was a tricky task, we visited 4 shops and I tried on well over 35 dresses!
By the time we got to Sentiments I knew exactly what I wanted, we were met by the wonderful Maria who listened to my long list of things I liked and didn’t like. I was overjoyed when she smiled and told me she had a my dress like I’d described in a box in the corner! I had described a dress which she had in as a sample and was packaged up ready to go back to the designer, thankfully the courier had failed to turn up that evening to pick it up! She whipped open the box and from the moment I saw it I knew that was the ONE, I tried it on and then a few of the other gorgeous dresses she has instore but my mind was made up and we bought it that evening. It was an Ellis dress and by coincidence my mother wore an Ellis for her wedding 30 years go!
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why?
Picking my Bridesmaids was an easy task, I knew straight away I wanted my 4 closest, oldest friends in the whole wide world! Laura, Laura, Jodie and Laura (yes, 3 Laura’s!) They were so thoughtful throughout the planning and helped enormously, they planned the most amazing surprise Hen weekend and earned the new title ‘The Dream Team’! They wrote a poem and read it aloud with the speeches, I was absolutely blown away at the effort they went to. I’m so happy that I get to return the favour next year when I’m bridesmaid for two of the Laura’s on their special day. Our gorgeous nieces Elsie and Mille were our flower girls and kept everyone entertained, Elsie ensured all guests had enough sweets from the sweet cart all day.
Carl’s Best Man was Craig, not only is he engaged to one of the Bridesmaids, he and Carl are very close and he knows Carl so well. Craig was a fantastic Best Man and delivered a great speech that had everyone in fits of laughter it even included funny photo’s of Carl when he was a baby, much to everyone’s amusement.
Why did you choose your venue?
Getting married at St Peters church was a must, Carl has always know that when we got married it would be there. I grew up a few doors away from the beautiful church and Father Haydn the Vicar is a close family friend who’s known us for years. We loved how personal this made the ceremony, it was really special.
We visited Pencoed House Estate on a dark, rainy January day and it looked beautiful. We knew that if we could love it in those conditions, we couldn’t go far wrong. It’s an absolutely BEAUTIFUL venue and fell in love with the wooden beams, brickwork and oak floors. Flo from Dear Florence added the finishing touches with lots of fairy lights to the hall to give it some sparkle. The weather was perfect on the day and we were all able to enjoy the fantastic grounds and have our photographs outdoors.
Tell us about your photographer
Lloyd Williams is an old school friend of Carl’s, as soon as we’d set a date he popped round to our house to show us some albums and we were very impressed. His style is exactly what we wanted and we booked him that night. Lloyd was amazing on the day, very friendly, approachable and he worked tirelessly from 8am to 11pm to capture every moment for us, even getting in the middle of the dancefloor! We have over 1300 hundred brilliant shots and Lloyd edited our favourites into a stylish coffee table book which tells the story of our day perfectly along with a black and white photo-film. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Lloyd to anyone, he has a brilliant talent.
How did the proposal happen?
I love telling this story…after almost 10 years together, the proposal happened on a trip we took to New York in December 2013. We were a few days into the trip and we’d been on boat trip up the Hudson that morning, it was a chilly -4 and it had snowed all day so by early evening everything was white. We walked through Central Park to Shakespeare’s Garden and onto Belvedere Castle and before i knew it, Carl was down on one knee in the snow asking me to marry him! It was perfect and a complete surprise (although the 11 months of planning meant that loads of family and friends were in on it). He then whisked me off for a gorgeous meal in a revolving restaurant that overlooked Times Square.
All our family and friends who knew had been waiting days for the news and now it was midnight at home so i had to wake them all to let them know he’d finally popped the question.
It hadn’t been that easy for poor Carl who had spent 4 days carrying the ring around in his pocket waiting for the perfect moment, he claims he’d almost had to do it at the security check as we went up the Empire State building when he was asked to remove his coat for a body check.
Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?
We made as many of the decorations that we could, I had exactly what I wanted in my head and found it so much easier to make the items. I had family and friends saving pretty jam jars and glass GU pots which were decorated with hessian and lace for the candles and table mints. We bought an apple crate and designed the table plan, printed it and then assembled the plan using twine and a hole punch – it looked amazing!
For favours, a family friend made over 600 mini white chocolate heart shaped welsh cakes that were sealed with string and a wooden heart engraved with ‘Mr & Mrs Francis’ and our wedding date – my mother and sister in law spent a whole evening assembling all 110 of them. My mother was amazing with the DIY ideas and made the hessian flower corsages and a gorgeous garter for me.
Carl and I are both Graphic Designers, so we designed everything ourselves although 2 designers attempting to design their own wedding invites was a bit of a task! We got there in the end we loved them, Carl designed an emblem for us which we used throughout all the artwork. I work for a web development company so we were lucky enough to have an RSVP website built, it saved us money on RSVPs and guests could fill out the form, leave a song request and even find our recommended list of local hotels.
We saved a small fortune by making our own heart slot guest book, I bought a box frame from The Range for £6 and Carl’s dad adapted it and added the slot, we ordered MDF hearts from eBay and made it for under £10. Carl’s now an expert white washer too, all our table numbers and photo frames were whitewashed to perfection.
We did all the centrepiece flowers ourselves. I wanted that rustic untidy finish so we thought we’d give it a go! Myself, my mother and one of the bridesmaid had to get up at 4am the Thursday before the wedding to go to Bessemer Road to buy the flowers.. that wasn’t so much fun!
What was your first dance & why?
Our first dance was to Jack Johnson – Better Together. It’s a song that means a lot to us and has been our song since we got together all those years ago, we used to listen to it whilst driving to the beach to go surfing. I still listen to the album regularly 10 years on :)
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?
Absolutely nothing. I was really worried about the fact that we had an early wedding service but I loved the extra time on the day, everything was relaxed and the day just flowed. It went by too quickly in fact!
Do you have any advice for future couples?
Try not to stress over the little things, they’ll seem so trivial on the day. Relax and enjoy your day, take it all in! Lastly, remember it’s you two getting married, don’t worry about what other think or want – it’s your day so enjoy it! I loved watching all our guests enjoying the day chatting and laughing whilst we were all seated having our Wedding breakfast.
What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received?
We left ‘Advice for the Bride & Groom cards’ on the table and the top tips were to always kiss each other goodnight and to never go to sleep on argument, plus everyone telling us to hurry up and have babies! These and the table teasers went down really well with our guests.
What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?
I loved the crafting side and I spent hours searching through Pinterest and had a board with my bridesmaids so we all saw the ideas. Carl enjoyed me giving him a task, he was great at sourcing the bigger items we needed. He spent ages drying out the tree slices we had felled, they looked beautiful and complimented the rustic feel. Also, spending lots more time with my bridesmaids, they didn’t leave my side in the days leading up to the wedding and I always love to spend time with my girls.
Photographer: Lloyd Williams
Videographer: Joanne Price
Ceremony Venue: St Peter’s Church, Pentre
Reception Venue: Pencoed House Estate
Bride’s Dress: Sentiments
Bride’s Shoes: Rainbow Club
Bride’s Headpiece: Sentiments
Bride’s Jewellery: Jon Richard
Groom’s Outfit: Dyfed Menswear
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Debenhams Debut
Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Accessorize
Cake: Dollylicious Cakes and Candy Buffets
Flowers: Roots Flowers
Hair: Hair by Amelia Newman
Make Up: Friend – Jess Bevan
Stationery: Designed by us
Caterers: Cresta Caterers
Any Reception Decor/Props: Dear Florence
Transport: Perfect Day Cars
The Wedding Album
I’m sure you will agree with me that this a stunning wedding. Looks full of love and laughter. If this rustic romance wedding gave you some inspiration then why not join us for Cwtchfest! ~ Kate