We have a beautiful real wedding for you this week with a vintage elegance theme. Welsh couple Amy & Chris tied the knot in the Cotswold hills at the stunning Kingscote Barn on the 3rd of October 2014. Here is Amy to tell us all the details with beautiful photographs by Cwtch founder Maria Farrelly Photography.
How would you describe your wedding theme? After lots of initial ideas and inspiration hunting, my dream dress Jenny Packham’s Esme finally helped me settle on a vintage elegance theme. The dress has a definite nod to the 1920s with an art deco silhouette and beading so this era helped the day take shape.
We had fallen in love with and booked The Kingscote Barn in Tetbury on our first and only venue viewing. Renovated so that it retains its old charm but is also clean, bright and with a touch of the contemporary, our soft sorbet colour palette of peach, mint, gold and ivory with a pop of coral really complemented the creamy Cotswold stone of the barn. We decorated the tables and windowsills with a lovingly sourced collection of shaped mercury glass vases and tea lights and added colour by suspending tissue paper pom poms from the ceiling and tying strands of ribbon to the chair backs. The barn was finished off with a large illuminated ‘Love’ light hired from Vowed & Amazed.
A graphic designer by trade, Chris designed and made all of our typographically led wedding stationery from the invites, to the order of service, to the menus which were all gold litho printed onto mint card.
After the ceremony, afternoon tea was served on the lawn with savoury and sweet scones washed down with our favourite cocktails, French Martinis and Margaritas. For our wedding cake, we chose to forgo the traditional and had a macaroon tower featuring different flavoured macaroons in our wedding colours. Not forgetting our strong Welsh roots, we gave our guests heart shaped Welsh cake favours packaged in glassine bags.
What was your favourite part of your wedding? After an emotional and nerve wracking walk down the aisle, I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of calm, joy and confidence when it came to saying our vows. I really enjoyed saying my vows to Chris and it felt like a very private moment even though we had somewhat of an audience!
I honestly didn’t think I could feel any happier, until the moment just after the ceremony when my mum, dad and sister had secretly arranged for our two and a half year old son Noah to present us with a little keepsake sign. Designed by my oldest childhood friend, the sign said ‘Mummy & Daddy’s wedding day 03.10.14’ and he gave us both a big cwtch and a kiss. That was a real test of the waterproof mascara!
Tell us about your Wedding Dress I had no clue what style dress I wanted or indeed what was going to suit me, so I went in with an open mind, willing to try on lots to find ‘the one’.
Flicking through a bridal magazine my eye caught on an advert for Jenny Packham’s Esme dress. In my eyes it was the most stunningly elegant dress I had ever seen, but unfortunately also way over my ideal budget. Not able to get the dress out of my mind, by chance I found a boutique selling Esme whilst on a spa weekend with my best friends in St Albans.
The moment I slipped it on and looked in the mirror, I knew deep down it was the dress for me, but because of the cost, I talked myself out of it and tried on some other styles. But it was too late…Esme ‘had me at hello’. So it was with much excitement and suspended disbelief that I found myself raiding my savings to put a deposit down on my beloved Esme at the Jenny Packham boutique. A sale bargain on a Jenny Packham headpiece and one pair of mint leather Rachel Simpson T Bar shoes later and my outfit was complete.
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why? I chose my sister Clare, Chris’s sister Ceri and my closest friends Tanith and Caroline to be my beautiful (inside and out) bridesmaids. I knew without a doubt they would be there to support and help me with all the deliberations, planning, preparations and throughout the big day and beyond. Not forgetting throwing a fabulous and memorable hen do!
Chris chose his brother Steve and his best mate Ryan to be there by his side as joint best men. They were, of course, the perfect double act and provided lots of love and laughter during the speeches.
Why did you choose your venue? The Cotswolds was a happy halfway house for our London based and South Wales guests to easily reach. Set in an area of outstanding natural beauty with breath-taking views over the valley, The Kingscote Barn was the perfect venue for us. Its stunning simplicity required minimal decoration and the beautiful accommodation allowed our wedding party to stay on site.
How did the proposal happen? The proposal was beautiful and timely, happening a week before the birth of our son Noah. Chris had designed and framed an illustration saying ‘Amy marry me?’ which he totally surprised me with one evening whilst I was pottering around the house. It took me a while to realise what the illustration said and I remember asking him if I had read it correctly before shouting ‘yes’!
Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share? We couldn’t always find just the sort of thing we were looking for so we made or adapted a few things ourselves.The style of table numbers we liked only seemed to be available in the US, so Chris designed our own and I found a supplier who could make them for us at a fraction of the cost of buying and shipping from the US. They ended up being one of our favourite elements of our décor. I made a ribbon garland for the drinks table using leftover ribbon from the chair backs and we sprayed wooden picture frames gold for our menus and table plan.
What was your first dance & why? We are big fans of Ben Howard. His music has been the soundtrack to many wonderfully happy moments in our life together so far, so his uplifting song ‘Only Love’ seemed like the perfect choice. We don’t like to take ourselves too seriously though, so we asked our DJ to cut the song after a few minutes and break into Chuck Berry’s classic ‘You Never Can Tell’ from Pulp Fiction.
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently? If budget had allowed it may have been nice to have some live music, but otherwise we would change nothing.
Do you have any advice for future couples? It’s a cliche but the day really does go by in a flash, so try to relax and be in the moment. Steal some time away for you and your new Mr or Mrs to savour the first few minutes of married life.
From a practical perspective it pays to do your research. Hold out for discount events and sales, sign up to newsletters for promotions and scour ebay, etsy and unexpected places to get the look you want without blowing the budget.
What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received? Marriage is like an empty box – you can only take out what you put in. You have to constantly work at it and keep the box filled up with love, companionship, laughter and happiness.
What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding? I loved the whole planning process but the bargain hunter in me particularly enjoyed sourcing all the table and venue decorations. The devil is in the detail for both myself and Chris, so I really relished the opportunity to embrace my creative side and work with Chris to consider all the little things which helped make our day feel special and unique.
Bride’s Shoes: Rachel Simpson, Mimosa Pale Mint T bars
Bride’s Headpiece: Jenny Packham, Anisette i headband
Bride’s Jewellery: Chez Bec, Iris earrings
Groom’s Outfit: River Island
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Oasis
Cake: Contemporary Cakes
Make Up: Katy Pheiffer
DJ: Deckstar Deluxe
Caterers: Berry Blue
Any Reception Decor/Props: Illuminated Love Light- Vowed & Amazed
The Wedding Album