Real Wedding: Melissa & James’ Floral Wedding by Kelly J Photography

Melissa & James had their wedding at Ruthin Castle in August 2012. We love their gorgeous floral theme! All photos in the post provided by Kelly J Photography.3

We asked Melissa for the details on their DIY wedding…

How would you describe your wedding theme? Floral DIY


What was your favourite part of your wedding?  The whole day! There’s no one point to pick out as the whole day was so much fun, but we were particulalry proud of everyone’s speeches as they were so thoughtful, funny, well delivered and in one case unexpected! (James’ dad made an impromptu speech).


As I had done so much of the preparations myself, I really liked the fact there were a few unexpected suprises for me, such as the speech above and an extra cake made by James’ mum with Dogtanian and Juliet figures (bit of a family in-joke) :-)

Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why? My best friends Sarah and Jenni were bridesmaids, James’ bestman was his good biking/kayaking and general extreme sports buddy Andy.


Why did you choose your venue? Ruthin castle is local to us, historic (James and I are both interested in history – we met doing an Archaeology degree) and beatutiful. As it’s also a hotel it meant the ceremony, wedding beakfast and dance could all be done under one roof and it would be easy to relax on the day.


How did the proposal happen?  After being together nine years, I was half expecting a proposal on my 30th birthday, especially when I realised we were heading to a VERY posh restaurant. When it didn’t happen, I resigned myself to the fact that we were going to stay unconventionally unmarried – and I was fine with that.


However, two weeks later (on Valentines day – a Tuesday weeknight!) I got some very strong hints that there might be a ring hidden somewhere in the house, a sort-of treasure hunt and finally…. A ring, made of cake! James didn’t want to choose a ring without me so made an edible kind – he’s famous for his love of food so believe me this was very appropriate.

Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?  I grew most of the flowers for the wedding on my allotment – fast growing annuals like nigella, cosmos and sweetpeas worked well, but the white sunflowers were a disaster as that summer was such a washout! I took an audit of what my family had growing in thier back gardens too and worked that into the plan (with permission of course!). For flower containers, I bought small crystal vases from my local charity shops in the run up to the wedding.

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I used YouTube makeup tutorials to practice and did my own makeup on the day, as I’ve personally found make-up artists to be a bit heavy handed with my make-up in the past! At the time, most of the dresses in wedding shops were strapless, which wasn’t my cup of tea, so I found a dress I could modify with a hand-made lace top, which the local wedding dress shop dressmaker created.

What was your first dance & why?  We asked a local band we are big fans of, The Bear Beats Ban (from Corwen), to play at our wedding. Our first dance was to an original song of theirs called Young Moon, which we love.


We also had a harpist for the ceremony and post-wedding drinks. The one thing we were willing to spend a bit more money on was the music, as we love live music, but as it turned out we got a really good deal anyway as the people we hired don’t normally do weddings.

In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently? Not really! Maybe asked for more help in the run up to the day, and given more responsibility to James for some of the preparations. Even so, I felt quite relaxed during the planning. He doesn’t regret anything :-)


Do you have any advice for future couples?  If you are employing hairdressers and makeup artists, don’t be afraid to be honest about what you want – ask them to change something if you don’t like it. They won’t be offended.


But mostly – RELAX! As long as you manage to sign on the dotted line and actually become married, the day has been a success. Everyone there loves you and wishes you well, so just enjoy it and you can’t fail to have a great time. If some plans or details for the day don’t work out, don’t worry about it – most of your guests wil never notice anyway. Just go with the flow.

Accept help from friends and family if they have specialist skills, but do what YOU want – don’t get pressurised into doing things you don’t want to do, just because everone else does them. We didn’t bother with wedding favours, for example.

What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received? Ummmm, probably from a colleague in the run up to the day – he said ‘just relax and remember everyone who’s there loves you’.


What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding? The creative aspect, and how a plan comes together beautifully on the day :-)


Traditional romantic, specialising in natural and fun documentary wedding photography in North Wales and Cheshire. Passionate about real people and real moments.

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Ruthin Castle Hotel 
Bride’s Dress: D’Zage Bridal – with lace top made by dressmaker at Cambric Gowns, Mold 
Bride’s Shoes: Next 
Bride’s Headpiece: Made by Melissa
Bride’s Jewellery: Already owned 
Groom’s Outfit: Already owned
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Coast (see similiar: onetwo)
Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Accessorize 
Cake: Made by Groom’s mum
Flowers: Made by bride
Make Up: Done by Melissa 
Band: The Bear Beats Band
DJ: an MP3 player hooked up to the band’s PA!
Stationery: Invites & Thank yous – Vistaprint. Everything else was made by Melissa

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3 thoughts on “Real Wedding: Melissa & James’ Floral Wedding by Kelly J Photography

  1. Aww I love this! Those suits are so dapper and that wedding cake is amazing! Really love this style of photography too, you must be so pleased with them. Just lovely x

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