Horray, our wonderful groom-to-be writer Alistair is no longer a groom-to-be, he’s a fully fledged Mr! He tied the knot with husband Jonny in Cardiff, with David from Anderson Photography there to capture all the best bits :)
We asked him to answer a few questions about their big day…
How would you describe your wedding theme? The best way to describe it would a be an autumnal, rustic and vintage mash-up with a hint of glamour. Neither of us are fans of matchy matchy so although the elements complimented each other there was no specific theme. Our colours were mainly deep reds, purples, gold, orange, green and navy. The wedding party were pretty much left to their own devices when picking their outfits *within reason* but we provided the accessories (ties, hankies, buttonholes and corsages).
We filled the reception venue with old fashioned pieces such as vintage suitcases and a dressing screen – both provided by the lovely Hubbard’s Cupboard. The Siren Sisters also performed two fabulous sets which really enhanced the old school feel we were aiming for.
We both felt that the flowers really pulled the decor together. The table centre pieces were hessian covered pots, filled with mulberry chrysanthemums, roses, veronica, thistles and hedgerow greenery.
What was your favourite part of your wedding? There were several but I have to say all four of the speeches were great. My dad embarrassed me with recollections of a certain “My Little Pony” childhood obsession, Jonny’s best man regaled us with tales of their misspent youth, my best man reduced me to tears with truly kind words, and Jonny revelled in wielding a microphone; thanking everyone under the marquee for something or other, except our mothers… oops!
Another favourite moment of mine was drinking champagne through a straw in the back of a 1920’s Charabanc with our friends. The lack of suspension combined with a succession of potholes made the journey to Dyffryn Springs all the more exciting.
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why? Jonny had his best friends from school, Blake and Jamie. He knew from the get-go that these were the perfect lads to offer help, support and comic relief… not to mention a killer stag do… or so I’ve been told.
I had a best man and woman, Jon and Laura. We’ve been friends for a very long time and they’ve helped me through a string of bad break-ups and questionable fashion choices, not to mention we’ve shared a few laughs.
Why did you choose your venue? The Council Chambers at City Hall are absolutely stunning. I am a sucker for antique furniture, and who doesn’t love a crystal chandelier?! People with no soul, that’s who.
The evening venue had been recommended to us by another couple and it did not disappoint. The marquee stands in a beautiful lakeside setting, surrounded by fields. The contrast of urban and country backdrops were also fantastic for the photographs, although that was a bonus rather than a deal breaker.
How did the proposal happen? I’ve left this blank as it was mentioned in my first post for Cwtch
Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share? Most of the finishing touches were DIY as we had a very limited budget.
We decorated the marquee with paper lanterns of various sizes and colours, suspending them with fishing wire and bog standard wooden clothes pegs. I have a new found respect for the humble clothes peg as a result.
Our tables were named after some of our favourite songs so we printed the song titles, plus a lyric, in an ” Old Typewriter” font which we mounted in distressed gold photo frames. The name cards were made from individually hand-stamped vintage luggage tags and attached to the cutlery which was wrapped in twine.
We framed the remaining luggage tags on paisley mounting with captions such as “Let them eat cake”. This was uber cheap and fun to do…. although perhaps not after the 10th table!!
The table plan was constructed the night before the wedding, much to my shame! We bought a large white frame from IKEA, removed the glass and tied 3 lengths of twine vertically around the backboard. The table names and guests were listed on 10 separate 6″ x 4″ pieces of card which we clipped to the twine with miniature wooden pegs. Just to add a splash of colour I cut out several A’s, J’s and heart shapes from paisley patterned card and attached them randomly to the twine/frame.
What was your first dance & why? There were a couple of contenders but we settled on “We are Stars” by The Pierces. We chanced upon this song a few years ago and loved it for being heartfelt but not cheesy. Also, we believed it would be very easy to dance to… however, we still managed to stumble our way through it like awkward teenagers at a school disco.
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently? There’s nothing I would change as such. However, when Jonny was hunting for a DJ I had two specifications:
1. No talking.
2. No fake flames.
Alas, the DJ failed on both counts but I can look back on that with a fond smile, and he did get everyone dancing all night. He also refused to play “Come on Eileen” which made me love him even more!
Do you have any advice for future couples? I’m not going to say “relax” and “chill out” as you will inevitably feel nervous, which is only natural. I will say that Jonny and I took 10 minutes in the evening to go for a walk and a sneaky al fresco cwtch which allowed us to reflect on the day and just absorb the atmosphere.
What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received? I can’t speak for Jonny, but the best piece of advice I received was from a married friend of a friend who said “don’t make promises you can’t keep”. I think that applies to most relationships though, not just marriages.
What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding? The shopping! Being a self-confessed retail junky meant that I was well suited to hunting for wedding ensembles as well as vintage/one-off pieces.
Photography: Anderson Photography
Ceremony Venue: Council Chambers, Cardiff City Hall
Reception Venue: Dyffryn Springs
Day – Suit from Next, tie and hanky from Reiss, shoes from Topman, cufflinks from Eclectica @ John Lewis, vintage pearl tie pin from Happy Days, Cowbridge.
Evening – Blazer from H&M, trousers from Topman, shoes from Dune, sequinned bow tie from Topman, hanky from The Tie Rack and vintage gold & onyx lapel pin from Jacob’s Antiques.
Jonny’s Outfit: Suit & tie from Reiss, hanky from Topman, vintage gold & diamonte tie pin from a thrift shop.
Cake: Cupcakes by The Cake House, sponge/fruit cakes by my aunties and a cheese “celebration tower” from M&S
Flowers: Serene Weddings
Band:The Siren Sisters
Stationery:Slightly Wobbly Designs* | *Featured Vendor
Any Reception Decor/Props: Hubbard’s Cupboard* | *Blog Sponsor
Transport:Prices Wedding Cars
Other: Mother of the groom’s headpiece by With Love from Bobbin* | *Featured Vendor