Nicola & Dan had a beautiful humanist wedding at Dan’s family home in Pembrokeshire in September last year. The day was captured beautifully by Whole Picture Weddings, huge thank you to Naomi from Whole Picture for submitting! As always we asked the bride and groom a few questions about their day.
How would you describe your wedding theme? I would best describe our day as a Vintage Tea party. We didn’t have any firm ideas to begin with but we knew from the very beginning that we wanted to have as relaxed a day as possible, with not too much structure. Neither of us wanted to get married in a church, but we didn’t want to settle for a registry office, and both of us loved the idea of getting married outdoors, but it seemed like that was not an option, until we came across Dee Phillips who is an accredited Celebrant with the British Humanist Society, and as soon as we met her we knew we wanted a humanist ceremony and we had the perfect spot! I had my heart set on afternoon tea instead of a sit down hot meal so we worked around that and everything else fell into place.
What was your favourite part of your wedding? It’s really hard to pick my favourite part; the ceremony was really special to us, but I was so nervous that at the time it seemed like a bit of a blur! I really enjoyed mingling with our guests and seeing everyone enjoying all the little details we had put together. We were so lucky that we had amazing weather on the day and it couldn’t have been more perfect as we had giant garden games and a ice cream van which seemed to go down a storm.
One of the things I loved the most was having all of our family and friends together. My family and friends from home had a long way to travel and it was a lovely opportunity for them to see where I live.
Tell us about your Wedding Dress My dress was a Charlotte Balbier dress which I found at White Bride in Narberth. I wasn’t really looking forward to wedding dress shopping and after me and my mum had an awful experience at a discount wedding dress store I put off dress shopping for a while. I visited 3 bridal stores and in the end narrowed it down to 2 dresses, but the Charlotte Balbier dress was perfect; it had the vintage look I wanted and most of all it didn’t feel restricting! All along I didn’t want a dress with a train but in the end, after being talked around I decided to keep it and I’m glad I did. Sally at White’s made the experience so enjoyable, walking into her boutique is like stepping into a fairy tale! The shoes I had for the day were the ones Sally gave me to try on when I first tried my dress and from hen on I couldn’t imagine any others!
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why? My best friend Robyn was my Maid of Honour, she has known Dan and I since we first became a couple and we were all at university together. I also asked one of my closest friends Emily, who I met when I moved to Pembrokeshire. I didn’t know many people at all when I moved here and she made it so much easier for me to settle in here. I also asked my cousin Ashleigh, who was really excited to be a bridesmaid for the first time, and Dan’s two nieces Teagan and Shaylyn, who I think nearly drove my sister in law Shauna mad in the run up to the wedding!
Dan’s best man was his friend Gethin. They’ve been friends since play group and Gethin was one of the first of Dan’s friends that I got to know when I moved here.
Why did you choose your venue? We were so lucky to be able to have our wedding at Dan’s family home which has a lot of happy memories. With such a magnificent setting right on our doorstep it felt silly to go elsewhere! Our ceremony overlooked the lake and my now parents in-law put it so much hard work to make the place look amazing.
How did the proposal happen? The proposal was no grand affair but it was our style and I think sums us up as a couple. Dan proposed on my birthday, whilst we were staying at my mum and dad’s house. I woke early and dan was already awake. He said happy birthday and pointed to my birthday card which was propped up on the bedside table. I took the card and behind was a ring box. After opening the card I opened the box and saw a lovely ring inside, but I assumed it was a birthday ring, and not “the” ring, so I said thank you and placed it back on the side so I could wake up properly. This was when Dan told me it wasn’t just any ring, and that was how we got engaged! It was just like his style and it was perfect. When we got back home we went shopping together to pick out my engagement ring, so now I have 2 beautiful rings!
Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share? I set out with the intention of doing most things myself. I’m quite crafty and handy with a sewing machine, but it didn’t take long to realise maybe I needed to be more realistic. In the beginning I wanted to make the bridesmaid dresses myself and even did a trial run, but my dad talked me out of it as he was worried I was taking on too much, and I think he was right! I did make all the bunting myself, and was sewing until 3 in the morning a couple of nights in the week before the wedding, but I was so pleased with the way it looked in the end. One of my favourite details was the glass jars that we used as centrepieces. I collected coffee jars for months and with the help of 2 of my friends, Jane and Rachel we decorated them with ribbon and string etc to fit in with the vintage theme, they looked fab! I had a lot of help from family and friends. My mum came to stay for a week and we spent most of it making bunting! I had loads of ideas pinned on Pinterest and I didn’t get round to half of them, but it didn’t matter in the end. I also made some beaded flowers for each of the bouquets and my mum and Dan’s mums buttonholes. They took me a lot longer than I anticipated but I was over the moon with the way they looked. I found all of the instructions for the things I made online.
I also spent a lot of time collecting vintage tea cups and saucers, and I had a ball! My friend Jane and I visited all sorts of places from auction houses to flea markets, charity shops and car boot sales. I was quite sad when I didn’t need to collect anymore! The vintage china was one of the things I wanted from the beginning to tie in with the afternoon tea and I was so pleased with how it all looked.
What was your first dance & why? Our first dance was to The Guillemots, Made up Love Song. Neither of us were looking forward to this part, and it was the longest 3 minutes of our lives, but it’s an important rite of passage and I think we would have been disappointed had we not had a first dance. I told my friends that they had to join us quickly on the dance floor, which they all ignored, and thought was hilarious!
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently? We had the perfect day for us and we wouldn’t change it for the world. There were times in the lead up that we said we wished we had gone away somewhere and had a low key wedding but after the amazing day we had with our friends and family and now being able to look back through our beautiful photos we wouldn’t change anything at all.
Do you have any advice for future couples? Stick to your guns with what you want even if it’s a little out of the ordinary. When we said we were going to have a humanist ceremony no one knew what to expect and were a little apprehensive but it was the perfect ceremony for us, and we had so many comments afterwards about how lovely and personal it was.
What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received? My dad gave Dan a good piece of advice in his speech, he said the best way to remember an anniversary was to forget it once!
What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding? One of my favourite things about planning our wedding was letting my creative side run wild and trying out making all sorts of different things.
Photographer: Whole Picture Photography
Videographer: Simon Clarke Films
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Dan’s family home
Bride’s Dress: Charlotte Balbier Annabelle from White Bride, Narberth
Bride’s Shoes: Rachel Simpson
Bride’s Headpiece: Glass Oyster at Not on the High Street
Bride’s Jewellery: Jon Richard
Groom’s Outfit: Mr Roberts Formal Hire
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Dessy
Cake: Edward Taylor
Flowers: Mary Adams
Hair: Sarah @ Ava Marie, Narberth
Make Up: Amrie Dassen
Band: Sounds Familiar
Stationery: The Noble Hound
Caterers: Four Cooks
Any Reception Decor/Props: Cake Stands from The Vintage Tea Party Company, Carmarthen
Other: Ice Cream Van: Top Class Wedding Cars, Whitland.
Post box: Floatations Balloons, Narberth.
The Wedding Album
How beautiful! How many cwtchers have considered a humanist wedding? We’d love to hear from you, the why’s how’s and where’s! Leave a comment in the box x