The weekend is here Cwtchers!! Happy Friday!
And to start you off, we have a beautiful wedding to share with you. Shot by the superb Hannah from Rocksalt Photography, Mel and Matt tell us all about their beautiful summery day….
Mel and Matt’s Beautiful Summer Wedding
What was your budget?
We did and didn’t have a budget… we tried to be sensible (read “tight”!) but also considered each expense on its necessity, its worth and its contribution to our day!
How would you describe your wedding theme?
I called our theme “Summer Gatsby”… all glass and art deco without the black and gold!
What was your favourite part of your wedding?
Mel: I think- surprisingly for me- walking down the aisle was my favourite part of our day (surprisingly as I hate being centre of attention)! I was ready. My Dad on my arm, I was walking into the next chapter of my life and my closest friends and family were there to share that moment with me. Wow! That’s pretty sentimental!
Matt: The band! I love live music and we’d hired an amazing band who entertained us for hours. It was also the time for me to relax and really enjoy celebrating with my new wife and all our guests.
Tell us about your Wedding Dress
I was the bride who thought she’d never get married and had no idea what dress I wanted so my plan was to try as many styles as I could to find out what suited me.
My first experience trying on wedding dresses was a last minute appointment at David’s Bridal, Stratford with one of my bridesmaids. We were wandering Westfield after a day in London whilst our other halves went to watch the football at a nearby bar. Little did Pete know, Matt was about to ask Pete to be his best man so whilst I left London without a dress, Matt left London with a Best Man!
Being 5’2″ I never thought I’d go for a mermaid/trumpet style but I fell in love with an Essence of Australia number- during my next appointment at Laura May on Crwys Road, Cardiff- which was exactly that! The fit was perfect, I felt amazing in it (my bum looked great!) and most importantly-, my mum and mother-in-law-to-be loved it! To be sure it was “the one”, I arranged a second appointment with all my bridesmaids who I knew would be honest… even whilst I was 6 months pregnant! Nope, that wasn’t planned! Safe to say it wasn’t as ‘easy’ an appointment as the first however, it confirmed I’d picked the right dress- I just had to fit back into it!
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why?
Mel: It was pretty easy for me to pick my bridesmaids; my sister was Maid of Honour, or “Chief” as I liked to call her(!), Matt’s sister who I already saw as a sister, my two long-term, best friends and the Best Man’s wife who I clicked with as soon as we met a few years prior. I say it was easy but I always had a feeling something was missing- that something was another friend who I’d grown up with but now lives away. Now here’s the funny part… considering my bridesmaids’ ages and marital situations, it was always a possibility that one of them could fall pregnant before the big day but I never thought 2 of them would! I’d already bought the dresses so we could have had a dilemma but no! I had a plan! Shifting some bridesmaids up a size with the dresses and buying one new one to match the others, there was a spare dress… which fit my other friend perfectly! Now I’m not one to believe in fate but I do believe that some circumstances are meant to be and this was certainly one of them.
Matt: My choice was easy- I chose Pete! Out of my group of friends, I knew he would be the one to a). get me home from my Stag Do in one piece, and b). get me to the church on time… I’m notoriously late for everything and Mel is the complete opposite!
Why did you choose your venue?
Buckland Hall is a magical place! We fell in love with it the first time we visited. It was the last on our list of a number of venues in Brecon and I was tempted not to even go as their website was a little old fashioned. However, Matt convinced me and as soon as we pulled up to the long winding driveway I had goosebumps and a tear in my eye! That’s the truth! The staff there were so welcoming and we felt like it was ‘home’ from the start.
Tell us about your photographer
We found Rocksalt (Hannah )after looking at the Welsh Wedding Awards lists and thinking they must be good if they’ve won an award for their region! We arranged to meet Hannah at a pub almost a year before we were getting married and found her easy to get on with from then.
Just before our wedding we met at our venue to discuss the wedding then by the big day it was as if we were old friends!
Hannah had a very easy-going personality which suited our crowd to a ‘T’. She offered advice on ‘staged’ shots (not too many) and arranged some brilliant photographs on the day, making the most of what our venue had to offer. She gauged her audience very well and quickly realised how to tame the rowdy groomsmen and had my brothers rounding up guests like they were cowboys with horses! Hannah had a great sense of humour and was a real pleasure to work with. The quality of her work is outstanding; the creativity with her shots are incredible- we were so excited when we received our photos so promptly after our wedding and the results were truly unforgettable. Hannah really captures the special moments from your day.
How did the proposal happen?
Both Matt & I love Christmas so we woke up Christmas morning in 2013 all excited as usual and Matt said he had some last minute wrapping to do for one of my presents- for anyone who knows Matt, this was totally believable! I was gutted as I had to wait in the bedroom with the door shut- on my own!- until he shouted that he was ready.
I walked out of the bedroom and he wasn’t in the spare room. I looked at the mirror on the landing and there was a print-out of Santa with the words, “Follow the trail” stuck to it and there were rose petals trailing down the stairs! I followed the trail where there were more Santa print-outs leading me to the living room. I opened the living room door and there was Matt, down on one knee under the Christmas tree with our song at the time (“I’m Yours” by the Script) playing in the background. I took one look at him, began to cry, covered my mouth and said “noooooooo!”… but in the context of “I can’t believe it!”. I think he was a little miffed as he then said, “So will you marry me?”! and it took all of me to nod as I cried like a baby! I was so happy!
The hardest part of being engaged is being told to keep it quiet and this is what Matt said I had to do until lunchtime… every Christmas until we got engaged we’d wake up together but have Christmas lunch separately with our respective families. Matt didn’t want one family to find out before the other so I was told we had to Skype before dinner and that’s when we’d break the good news. Long story short- I had to avoid my Dad’s eye contact for 4-5 hours because Matt told me he’d asked for his permission on Christmas Eve, so he knew our secret! Then we had signal issues at lunch using Skype (think 90’s modem-esq video!) so once our news had finally broken, it was all a bit of a crazy, amazing moment! The best part for me was seeing my mum cry with happiness and my sister telling me she couldn’t choose between crying and eating her paté on toast starter!
Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?
I’ve always thought of wedding favours as an unnecessary expense, a forgotten ‘gift’ so I wanted to come up with a memorable favour; especially as I see myself as a creative type! After getting some inspiration and a laser printer, I decided we were going to use specialist paper to transfer our initials and each guests’ name and ‘role’ onto champagne glasses they could use on the day.
To be fair to Matt, he spent many an evening transferring our monogram and individual names onto Ikea glasses, hardening them in the oven then carefully rubbing off the excess paper with isopropyl alcohol. It took so much time and effort we began to wonder whether it was worth it but when my cousin posted an Instagram showing he was using his glass again, it gave us a little warm feeling that actually, we’d made favours that were useful and brought back some amazing memories!
What was your first dance & why?
After buying a house and later having a baby, we spent a few Saturday nights in watching X-Factor and both absolutely loved James Arthur the whole series through! Once X-Factor was finished and the acts pretty much forgotten about, Matt still kept up with James Arthur online and found he’d made an EP called “The James Arthur Project”. One song on there he introduced me to was called “Superman”. It resonated with both of us and became the obvious choice- over The Script and Al Green- to be our wedding song,
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?
Neither of us can think of anything we would have done differently as it was such a great day. I think I would have liked to have taken more in and thought about myself a bit more and not worried about the guests so much but they make such an effort to come to your day, maybe I should have worried about them more?!
Do you have any advice for future couples?
We only have the general advice I think; enjoy your day, don’t stress too much, take 5 minutes away from the chaos just for yourselves and remember- the little things don’t REALLY matter!
e.g. No-one noticed there was a bunch of lillies missing from our fireplace, or that my dress didn’t fit me as perfect as I’d hoped after alterations or that all the female guests were missing their ‘tickets’ before sitting down to dinner..!
What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?
I think we both agree that although we had almost a 2 year gap between booking our wedding and getting married, it’s the final result which makes everything worthwhile. Seeing all your plans come to fruition and your nearest and dearest enjoying what you’ve worked towards is priceless.
Photographer: Rocksalt Photography
Reception Venue: Buckland Hall
Bride’s Dress: Laura May Bridal
Bride’s Jewellery: Accessorize
Bride’s Shoes: Carvela
Groom’s Outfit: https://www.cayzersmenswear.co.uk/
Bridesmaids’ dresses (and shoes): Monsoon
Bridesmaids’ accessories: Accessorize
Cake: Matt @ Cup & Cake Bakery
Flowers: Cath @ Brecon Blooms
Hair: Katie & Becky (Bridesmaid’s sisters)
Make-Up: Emily (Bridesmaid’s sister-in-law)
The Wedding Album