Real Weddings: Jenny and Mike by Carly Turner

Good morning and happy Friday!

We have a superb wedding for you today! Images by the gorgeously talented and Lush Lister, Carly Turner, Jenny and Mike’s wedding looked amazing! Including a pink dress, gold belt and taxidermy mice!!

I will hand over to Jenny though to tell you more about this beautiful day….

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Jenny and Mike

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What was your budget?

Not as much as we spent on the honeymoon ;)

How would you describe your wedding theme?

It was us themed!

When we were planning our wedding we didn’t have a theme in mind, we just went for things that we liked. Thankfully it all came together and looked amazing!

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What was your favourite part of your wedding?

I have so many favourite parts!

One of the things that struck me the most was just how amazing it feels to have all of the people you love in one room together.

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The ceremony has got to be my most favourite part, closely followed by the food and speeches!

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Tell us about your Wedding Dress

I knew choosing a dress was going to be difficult for me. I didn’t want to wear a wedding dress, I didn’t want to wear white and the thought of spending hundreds on a dress, for me, seemed wasteful.

I visited a few shops and wedding fairs on the look out for a dress but I didn’t find anything I loved.

I bought a vintage dress a few months after we got engaged, it was a nude, beaded, full length gown, I loved it at the time. However, I tried it on a few months before our wedding, I had lost some weight so it didn’t fit and it just didn’t feel like me anymore. Cue major panic!

Luckily I came across my dress on ASOS when I was sale shopping one day and instantly knew that was the dress I wanted to get in married in! I loved the blush pink colour and delicate detail of the embroidered flowers and I felt like a Queen in it!

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Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why?

For me, picking my bridesmaid was easy! I chose my cousin Holly. We grew up together and were inseparable when we were younger. She’s been my best friend my whole life – plus she’s super creative and throws awesome parties!

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Why did you choose your venue?

It was completely by chance! Adam from Llwyn Hall had posted a Facebook advert and as we were on our way to Llanelli to visit family anyway we thought we’d pop by to check it out.

We loved it instantly! It was quirky, charming and served amazing food. We loved that we could have the venue all for ourselves and our guests.

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New owners took over the venue a month before our wedding and started renovations immediately – it was really stressful!! – but thankfully it turned out great, the renovations were beautiful, and Alex the new owner was so lovely and helpful!

Tell us about your photographer

Our photographer was Carly from Carly Turner Photography.
She was awesome – we found her through Facebook and loved her style, it was exactly what we were looking for! We met Carly for a coffee and clicked with her immediately!

Carly did an amazing engagement shoot for us! We were a bit nervous but she made us feel relaxed and we had loads of fun! We used some of the pictures in our wedding stationery.

Carly Turner COTW (Jen and Mike)

On the day she was incredible, a real photography ninja, catching amazing moments and fantastic photos. We really couldn’t be happier with the pictures and we feel so lucky to have had Carly as our photographer!

How did the proposal happen? 

We were on holiday in Krakow when Mike proposed to me.

We’d been out for an amazing meal followed by cocktails in the rooftop lounge in the Sheraton. On our way back to our apartment, as we were walking past the fire breathing dragon outside the Wawel castle, Mike asked me to be his wife. I don’t think he’d even finished asking the question before I said yes!

Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?

We DIY-ed loads for our wedding, and I am so grateful for our army of family and friends that spent the weeks running up to our wedding crafting, brewing and tying twine on everything!

We made our centrepieces from beer bottles we’d collected from different countries, we made our own table runners from some hessian we bought off eBay, my aunty made limoncello (or Manda’s Marvellous Medicine as it was labelled) for favours and instead of place cards we handmade Christmas decorations with our guests names on them!

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Mike is a Graphic Designer so he created all of our beautiful wedding stationery, including our wedding logo! All of family and friends loved them so he’s now starting his own wedding stationery business!

Making our decorations meant that our wedding was really personal and represented us as a couple and all the things we love!

What was your first dance & why?

Our song is 2Bears – Church but it isn’t a great first dance song! So we chose an acoustic version of Beyonce – Crazy in Love by Daniela Andrade.

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In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?

Probably held off the alcohol a little… We had very sore heads for the next few days.

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Do you have any advice for future couples?

Remember that your wedding day is a celebration of your love and the commitment you’re making to each other – don’t stress about the other stuff.

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Glow sticks! Forget about hiring entertainment, just buy glow sticks for your guests. They provided hours of entertainment, as you’ll see by the pictures!!

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What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received?

We made some cards for the tables that asked people to write some marriage advice for us. We got some really funny responses but our favourites had to be;
– Keep going as you are
– Make sure the curry is always hot and the beer is always cold
– Don’t know LOL I’m just a kid (from Zac, aged 11)

and a surprising amount of them said, Remember Jenny is always right.

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What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

All the extra time you spend with family and friends :) We had loads of afternoons spent crafting, drinking tea and eating cake.

The Suppliers

Photographer: Carly Turner Photography
Ceremony Venue: Llwyn Hall Country House 
Reception Venue: Llwyn Hall Country House
Bride’s Dress: ASOS 
Bride’s Shoes: Borrowed from my mum!
Bride’s Headpiece: Sixpenny Bride
Groom’s Outfit: Formal Hire  
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Lindy Bop 
Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Vintage
Cake: Wally’s Delicatessen 
Flowers: Ruth Milton Jones 
Hair: Signature Style 
Make Up: Makeup by Nicola 
Stationery: Design Yo! Wedding Stationery 
Caterers: Signature Catering

The Wedding Album

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Real Weddings: The Beautiful Welsh in Breathtaking Italy

Good Friday to you all Cwtchers!

We have an absolutely stunning wedding for you which is about to inspire the socks off you!  Our gorgeous couple, Jenna and Gareth always wanted to get married abroad.  So after lots of researching, they, and the rest of the Welsh contingency, flew to the stunning Lake Garda.

You wait until you see the results! Over to Jenna to tell you more about their breathtaking big day…

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Jenna and Gareth

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What was your budget?

£15,000 (approximately)

How would you describe your wedding theme?

We didn’t really choose a theme per se, we wanted the whole day to be a reflection of us with I suppose a touch of boho in terms of the dresses and flowers.

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What was your favourite part of your wedding?

Definitely the ceremony! It was just magical!

On a terrace of a castle over looking Lake Garda surrounded by mountains. I walked down the aisle to ‘Everybody’s Free’ by Jennifer Ann, which was playing when Gareth proposed on the last stretch of the Ironman. I have very talented friends and family who arranged to sing it flash mob style. It was beautiful and caused a lot of tears. Gareth and I wrote our own vows, mine were a lot more elaborate than his, including the line; ‘I promise to always lock the doors before bed and love you forever’.

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My youngest sister, Sienna, wrote a love poem for us. It was both funny and emotional. That poem, by a 10 year old, had the biggest tears and cheers.

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After the ‘I do’s’ were exchanged, we danced down the aisle with tambourines to T Rex’s Ride a White Swan. It was just perfect.

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Tell us about your Wedding Dress

I was probably an exception when it comes to the wedding dress cliche of going for something completely different to what you’d imagine.

I imagined a dress and was determined to find it. I visited a wedding gown boutique, tried on some beautiful dresses but none of them fitted in with my vision.

I went on a Pinterest mission for a few months and eventually came across Rime Arodaky. I fell in love with all her dresses but there was one ‘Solane’ that had all the elements that I’d envisioned; a low back, the neckline, beautiful embroidery, light fabric and flowy yet sexy.

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I hunted down the only shop in the UK that stocks her, The Mews in Nottinghill, London, and made an appointment. It became clear that Rime Arodaky was the designer for me, my maid of honour and my mum were sold too. All her dresses just suited me perfectly even though they were all so different. As soon as I tried ‘Solane’ on I felt like it was me, of course my mums tears helped. The price tag was way over my budget, so I held off for a few months until I knew there would be a sample sale and luckily ‘Solane’ was part of it.

The lovely girls at The Mews put the dress to one side for me & sent it up to the Bristol shop for me. I cannot recommend The Mews enough!

Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why?

I had some difficulty picking bridesmaids as I have an amazing group of friends and also two sisters and two sisters in law.

Getting married abroad and wanting a small intimate wedding, I didn’t want to have a huge bridal party. I decided to involve my sisters in law in other parts of the wedding and have my niece and nephews as part of the bridal party. They both sang phenomenally, and were witnesses for us too. I had both my sisters, one as my maid of ‘dishonour’, my longest best friend of 25 years as the other maid of ‘dishonour’, school best friend of 20 years and my best friend from University of 13 years.

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Gareth knew who he wanted as best men probably before he knew he wanted to marry me. Geryn and Gavin have been his longest most loyal friends. They are complete opposites. Geryn is the organised and sensible one while Gavin is the wild and mischievous one.

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Why did you choose your venue?

We always wanted to get married abroad. We originally France, as we love it there.

However after some research we realised that we couldn’t legally get married there and actually becoming man and wife there was important to us, I couldn’t have a blessing and pretend.

A friend of ours had been to a wedding in Malcesine Lake Garda and said it was immense. We booked our flights and made various appointments for different venues around the lake.

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We visited the castle in Malcesine and the restaurant Al Corsaro first and was sold straight away. It was exactly what we wanted, laid back, rustic, open and the views were incredible.

Tell us about your photographer

We did a lot of research for a good photographer. Photography is important in our family. My father loves a camera and it’s his hobby. Originally he would take the photos but I wanted him to relax on the day and enjoy it.

Nikola Smernic popped up on Facebook as there was a competition running to win him photographing your wedding. He had won a National Geographic award and several wedding ones. I entered but didn’t win.

However, due to entering he offered us a deal. His photography is random, relaxed and natural just how I like it. He and his wife are both so laid back to work with. We met them the morning of our wedding and said how we’d like a 10 minute photoshoot at the most as my husband hates it and that’s exactly what they did. To be honest I didn’t even really notice they were there. The end photos are amazing.

How did the proposal happen? 

I was very lucky to have the most incredible surprise proposal. Gareth competed in IronMan UK. The friday I arrived in Bolton he had already picked up all the merchandise and event booklet. I was sat there reading about the event when I came across a page containing messages from the competitors, I just scanned the page and saw Gareth’s name. I was about to read it out loud when Gareth snatched it from my hand and said I wasn’t allowed to read it. I should’ve clicked then, but I’m pretty gullible. Gareth said that he had arranged to do something stupid on the finish line and that I would spoil the surprise if I knew. He is pretty random so I believed him, I thought he’s not going to carry a ring around the course with him anyway and carried on eating Pizza.

The next day was brilliant. The pride I felt watching him complete the swim then the bike was immense. His parents arrived to watch his marathon as well as his best friend. We positioned ourselves along the finish line. I wanted to see him cross the line so made my way through the crowds a few meters before it. I saw him approaching and shouted out for him so that he knew I was there.

He to my annoyance turned around and came over, I waved him on as I knew that they timed the last 100meter split. He luckily ignored me. He gave me a sweaty hug, whispered in my ear that he had travelled 140 miles for me, that I was his first, his last & his everything and got down on one knee.

I still wonder how he got down on that one knee to this day. There was a huge crowd clapping us, Everybody’s Free was playing at the finish line and the presenter stopped the music to congratulate us on the big screen. I grabbed the ring before I even said yes, I was completely speechless.

All was captured on camera which I was so thankful for as it was a complete blur.

Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?

I made complete use of my friends and family’s talents.

From creating the chalk board signs, filming the wedding, musicians, to hair and make up. I am very fussy with hair & make up & getting married in Italy it was very difficult to shop around and have trials.

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Instead I had some trials with my bridesmaid Nicky, who, due to having a baby 6 weeks prior to the wedding, didn’t even know until 4 weeks prior that she’d make it. She also did some of the other bridesmaid’s hair too, whilst breastfeeding I might add. She’s brilliant at multi tasking. She did a beautiful job and it was exactly how I wanted.Jenna and Gareth (8 of 97)

My maid of honour Rhian did my make up. We had been to MAC and another make up artist for ideas and stocked up on the make up at the airport. It meant the getting ready was intimate and nobody knows me better than these girls so it made complete sense.

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All the name cards for the reception were polaroid photos of some of our favourite memories of our guests. I’ll be honest it took ages and the website crashed many times. But, the fact that most took them home with them showed how much they appreciated it. These doubled as a favour too as my husband has an unhealthy hate towards favours.

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We hired cameras from ‘Shoot it Yourself’ to film our wedding and chose responsible friends to film the day for us. Shoot it Yourself then does the editing for you. I was nervous, as were they, but it worked out amazing. I didn’t want the usual romantic montage as that’s not us at all. I wanted it to be funny and us. The final edit was exactly how I’d hoped and both of us were crying tears of laughter and happiness watching it.

What was your first dance & why?

First dance song obviously wasn’t the usual romantic ballad type, as that is just not our style. But, it wasn’t easy to choose a non-ballad that meant something to us.

We spent many wine fuelled nights playing different songs and trying to dance to them to see if they were right. We kept coming back to ‘our song’ which we had originally decided was too hard to dance to and a bit random.

I read somewhere to not choose a crowd pleaser song but choose one you’ll always remember as yours however random.
So we did.
We dance to Johnny Cash ‘Walk the Line’ with tambourines being played for added effect.

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After the first chorus we invited everyone in to join us for a boogie.

In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?

I’d have had a few Proseccos with everyone the day before to relax me as I was running around like a headless chicken trying to get everything ready and stressing. I’m guessing this is normal. I also found it tricky to recruit helpers as I was very aware that everyone had paid a lot of money to join us in Italy and were on holiday.

However my day before stress did mean that on the day of the wedding I was completely relaxed. I know also it’s a cliché but I would’ve got married a little earlier. The day flew by and by the time the 4 course meal and speeches were over we had little time for dancing.

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It really is true what they say, time does fly by.

Do you have any advice for future couples?

Don’t make decisions based on what’s trendy or what you think your guests will like. Choose what you both want as that’s what it’s about.

It’s good getting a man’s perspective as they don’t care about décor and details, a wedding day is a day to remember because of the atmosphere you create, good food, good wine, good people and good music.

Also if you’re planning a wedding abroad don’t feel as though you have to fork out those extra thousands for a wedding planner. We did it without and managed perfectly. It meant we got a few small trips to Italy in prior instead.

What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received?

Always say I love you!

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What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

Our favourite thing was definitely the trips to Italy we made. We got to explore the Lake and visit nearby Verona and Venice, drank good wine and Limoncello, and ate a lot of Italian food.

The Suppliers

Photographer: Nikola Smernic 
Videographer: Shoot It Yourself 
Ceremony Venue: Castello Scaligero Malcesine
Reception Venue: Al Corsaro 
Bride’s Dress: Rime Arodaky ‘Solane’ 
Groom’s Outfit: French Connection
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Jarlo at ASOS and Millie Mackintosh
Flowers: Tania Muser 
DJ: Roberto Palma
Stationery: Etsy
Any Reception Decor/Props: Etsy

The Wedding Album

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I think you will agree, this is a killer wedding! I wish so much I could go back in time, find Jenna, become her best friend, then be invited to the wedding!  But that sounds a bit creepy. So scrap that!

 

Real Weddings: Hannah and Jack’s Country Vintage Wedding

Happy Friday you lovely lot! So we have a deliciously gorgeously pretty wedding for you today! Shot by the ever-so-talented Leri Lane Photography, Hannah and Jack invite you all to find out the finer detail of their big day.  And its just wonderful – that tractor!! I mean, come on! I defy anyone to not want a tractor as their wedding car once they see it, and those shoes…..the dress…..right, I will leave you to find out for yourselves……

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Hannah and Jack’s Country Vintage Wedding

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Firstly, a few words from Leri……

Hannah and Jack…. What can I say….? The moment I met these guys they were so excited about planning their wedding, we chatted for ages. It’s like I’d known them for ages. You could tell they were so excited to share their thoughts and it was so exciting to listen to… I knew I was going to love this wedding. They wanted Jack’s sister to design all the invites etc, Hannah wanted to grow flowers in her parents garden and use all around the wedding and she was so excited about going dress shopping! I was so happy when they booked me, photography was special to them, they even chose a second shooter within their package to make sure every element was captured.

Prior to the wedding day we discussed group photos and a wishlist of photos and I received instructions to ‘just capture the emotion of the day’ – which i just love to do! I feel we were just a perfect match.

The wedding day arrived and I made my way to Hannah’s parents home, the girls were getting ready and champagne popping! Hannah was blown away by all the details coming together in front of her it was so beautiful to see, how lucky am I to capture such precious stories. I then saw the dress, wow!!!! Beautiful and elegant and sparkly! One of my favourite photos is when Hannah looks at herself in her dress, her eyes filled up and she saw how beautiful she is!

I was so excited for Jack to see Hannah, I knew they were soul mates by what I had gotten to know of them leading up to the wedding and I absolutely loved watching Hannah walk down the aisle to stand next to Jack and being totally over the moon that they were married…. super cute!! As you can imagine I was so click happy in this day, I giggled alongside them, even shed a sneaky tear behind my camera during jacks amazing heartfelt speech about Hannah and thoroughly loved taking them away for a few photos as the sun was setting – they were such a pleasure to photograph.

They married at Gregynog Hall, which has truly beautiful grounds. There are pockets of hidden delights all around to photograph whether you want to capture the lawns, the building, or cwtch up in a little corner away from everything.

They are such a wonderful couple, their love, friendship and happiness just burst out of them xxx much love xxx

How would you describe your wedding theme?

Country festival meets vintage glam.

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What was your favourite part of your wedding?

Everything!

-Hearing our guests singing “It must be love” behind us during the ceremony.

-Stealing 5 minutes together to absorb the fact we’d just got married!

-Seeing our reception room transformed with all our carefully thought out bits for the first time

-The speeches

So many stand out snippets!

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Tell us about your Wedding Dress

This was the only part of the wedding planning I wasn’t looking forward to. I just didn’t believe I was going to find anything that suited me and thought I’d feel silly in everything. Luckily, my sister, mum and bridesmaids were excellent dress shoppers. I tried around 20 dresses on in all, at 4 different shops and quickly went from believing I’d never find anything to wondering how on earth I was going to choose. It was my sister who eventually picked out my dress from the rail – I had already walked past it.
As soon as I put it on, that was it. It sounds silly but I’d always hated my bum, but I actually thought it looked ok, so that was it! I had two more appointments booked in that day but cancelled them. I’d found my dress!

It was a Ronald Joyce, fitted number with lace, sequin and scallop detailing. I fell in love with the low back and gorgeous train. It was a sort of pale goldy colour, sparkled and just made me feel very glam.

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Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why?

I chose my sister as my maid of honour, one of my best friends from home and by two best friends from uni. I could have had at least 3 more but chose my other special 3 ladies (my 3 oldest friends) to be official witnesses and do readings/speeches. It was really important to me to share my day with all the people that mean so much to me.
Our best man was one of my husbands best friend and partner in crime. We knew he’d do a great job of the speech and he didn’t disappoint. He wrote a tongue in cheek poem which had all the guests in stitches.

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Why did you choose your venue?

The venue is smack bang in the middle of where we both grew up. Just after university, Jack worked behind the bar at our venue. I was a guest at another wedding when I first “noticed” him. We’ve actually known each other for years, but only as we grew up near each other. We got chatting and I asked him for a lift home. He actually left me there, but that was definitely the beginning of things to come. This meant, there really wasn’t another choice of venue for us. Gregynog Hall has played an important role in both our lives and is just stunning. It has amazing grounds, we go walking there all the time.

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Tell us about your photographer

Leri Lane is fab. I remember our first meeting to discuss our ideas. I could tell she knew what I was talking about. We just clicked. I was probably slightly over enthusiastic and our first meeting lasted a couple of hours whilst we chatted.
Then we had our pre-wedding shoot, where she gave us some tips and put us at ease.
It was great on the day to have a photographer that you thought of as a friend. It just made the whole experience enjoyable. We had fun. She did a great job in capturing our informal moments and all our little details. Toby H was her second photographer on the day. He was great and meant we had two perspectives of our day. He mostly hung out with the boys in the morning, so it was great to have both mine and Jack’s “getting ready” shots.

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How did the proposal happen? 

It happened about 2 weeks before my husband to be had planned it! It happened on Snowdon. We’d planned to climb it two week’s later but due to some glorious weather I made him come with me on that day. He’d always wanted to ask me on one of our hikes up Snowdon as it is one of my favourite places and somewhere I have been plenty of times with my Dad. Jack had wanted to be traditional and visit my dad to ask permission, but because of me and the “weather window” he ended up doing it over the phone while I was obliviously packing our hiking rucksack. At some point, he sneakily hid the ring in the same rucksack and refused to let me carry it, or retrieve my own coat/water from it for the rest of the day. He chickened out asking me on the top as there were too many people, so it actually happened on the way down, on a quiet, lesser trodden path – it was perfect. The first thing I wanted to do was tell people, but we didn’t have signal or see a soul on the way down. It was so exciting.

Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?

We tried to do a lot ourselves. My Dad and Gran grew a lot of my table flowers. Home grown sweet peas made the wedding smell so good!

My Gran makes her own jam, so has a hoard of jars, some of which were quite vintage. I raided her shed for plenty of jars, put them through the dishwasher, added minimal decoration to them and they made brilliant table vases for our homegrown flowers.

For our guests place names I engraved pebbles from our favourite beach in Pembrokeshire. They also doubled up as a great favour/memento for guests to take away.

We are fortunate enough to have some very talented designers in the family (My husband’s sister and husband). They helped us design all our own stationary and table plan (Which was based on routes up Snowdon). We only needed to organise for them to get printed. They were exactly how we wanted them and tied in with our colours and themes.

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What was your first dance & why?

Gabrielle Aplins version of “The Power of Love”. We’d seen her at a festival a few years previously and it’s just a special memory to us. We put up festoon lighting too from a gig memory, so everything about the first dance was festival themed and amazing.

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In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?

Maybe found some money in the budget to have our ceremony video’d. There is so much that goes on during the day that you just don’t get to absorb everything. We are quite lucky as we have a lot of guest footage, but we don’t have the speeches filmed for example.

Do you have any advice for future couples?

Make sure you eat some of your cake! Our amazing friend Caroline made our cake and it looked stunning. I just didn’t get to eat any! It’s one of my only regrets of the day.
Other than that, don’t sweat the small stuff and try to enjoy the planning. Even if things don’t go to plan on the day, it really doesn’t matter as you are having such a good time.

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What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received?

Always remember you are a team and each other’s biggest fans. Work together, always.

What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

Working together, not just as husband and wife to be but also with extended friends and family. It was overwhelming how many people wanted to be involved and to help.
My god father immediately volunteered his vintage tractor as a mode of transport. That was a special part of our day.
We had a family friend who made our cake, flowers were grown by family, stationary was designed, poems were written, wine was selected. It was such a team effort and we loved sharing it with everybody and seeing how much they all enjoyed it too.

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The Suppliers

Photographer: Leri Lane Photography
Ceremony Venue: Gregynog Hall, Tregynon, Powys http://www.gregynog.org/weddings/
Reception Venue: Gregynog Hall, Tregynon, Powys
Bride’s Dress: Bespoke Brides of Chester
Bride’s Shoes: Monsoon
Bride’s Headpiece: Jessica’s Bridal, Shrewsbury
Bride’s Jewellery: Tiffany
Groom’s Outfit: Moss, Peter Posh, M&S
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: ASOS
Cake: Family Friend
Flowers: TMS Events
Hair: Unique Hair
Make Up: Nerys Lloyd
Band: Anthemic Live Band
Stationery: Hatched Creative 
Caterers: TMS Events / WestEnt / and our own 
Transport: My god father’s vintage tractor and a friend’s Range Rover.
Other: We also had a vintage photo booth which really made our evening great. The guests loved it. The vendor is Martha the photo booth.

The Wedding Album

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Real Weddings: Allie & Rafe’s Day, Their Way

 

 

 

 

So its nearly the weekend so we thought we would treat you, as usual, to another beautiful Real Wedding.  This week we give you Allie and Rafe, shot by the wonderful Andrew at Silverbirch Photography. Oooooh its so so lovely! The attention to detail, the venue, her coy smile, those shoes, his tweed, their little boy! I shall stop banging on about it and leave it to you to discover instead.  Over to Allie and Rafe to tell us all about their day……
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Real Weddings: Allie & Rafe’s Day, Their Way

What was your budget? 

We didn’t really have a set budget in mind. We knew we could only spend what we had so worked with that. We decided what was a need and what was a want then priced everything up. That sounds really boring I know but it really worked for us. Our rule of thumb was ‘does it sound reasonable’, if it did then we went for it. We had all the needs then had a few nice splurges too!

All together I’d say just under £7000 in total.

How would you describe your wedding theme?

The whole thing was perfect from start to end. My favourite part was how relaxed everyone felt. It was a casual laid back day with our closest family and friends. We were able to be ourselves and so were our guests. No pretending and no drama. Rafe was able to perform wuthering heights with the boys, the dance as well as the singing, I over indulged in Jagerbombs and no body batted an eyelid. Our families and friends mingled like they had all known each other for years.

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I also loved seeing Rafe and our little boy Dylan dressed in the same outfit. It made my heart melt seeing him in his miniature tweed coat and brogues.

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Tell us about your Wedding Dress

I didn’t step foot in a wedding dress shop. It just didn’t appeal to me at all. I knew I didn’t want a traditional dress and I knew trying on dresses in a shop just wasn’t for me. I initially chose a vintage Ivory embroidered full length gown but I just didn’t feel comfortable and didn’t feel like myself. In the end I went for a Chi Chi London lace baroque tea dress from ASOS. It was a bargain but I felt really special in it and more importantly felt like me.

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I was actually more bothered about my shoes! I didn’t like traditional wedding shoes and knew I wanted something colourful. I found the most amazing burgundy shoes on Mod Cloth and instantly ordered them, they were perfect.

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Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why?

I chose my two best friends, Bobbie and Becci and my Cousin, Jess. Even though we have spent long periods of time miles apart and sometimes go weeks without talking and months without seeing each other they are three of the most important people to me in the world. It was definitely an easy decision. There’s never any expectations and when we do see each other it’s like no time has passed at all.

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Rafe chose his two closest friends from when he was a teenager, Brad and Drinkel (Tom). Both live overseas now so it was amazing that they were able to join us for our day.

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Why did you choose your venue?

As soon as we walked into Rosedew Farm we knew we wanted to get married there. It was the only venue we actually looked at. A big old empty barn by the sea. It was just perfect for us.

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Tell us about your photographer

Our photographer was one of our splurges. I saw his photography on a wedding blog and I fell in love. I love Andrew’s style of photography and photos are really important to me so we contacted him. It was important to us that moments were caught on camera rather than just a posed image. I love our photos so much.

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How did the proposal happen? 

We were chatting one day about our next travels. We love to travel and usually have our next two trips planned. I was saying to Rafe that I really wanted to go to Japan next year and he said “well can’t we get married instead?”. So that was that and we started planning.

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Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?

The whole day was more or less DIY. From the invitations to the centrepieces to the cheesecake. Even the flowers were DIY. My mother in law and I spent many an hour digging in charity shops and antique shops for dream bottles and teapots, and evenings spent tying wooden cutlery and napkins. Rafe and I particularly enjoyed sampling the cheese in the shops before deciding which ones to have. My bridesmaid Becci was chief ‘florist’ and handtied all the bouquets and button holes. I think doing things DIY is more stressful and time consuming however you get to have things exactly as you want (whilst being a lot more cost effective too!). It just made the planning more exciting too as we could see everything coming together.

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What was your first dance & why?

We didn’t want an announced first dance so we asked the DJ to play our first dance song later in the evening unannounced. We didn’t fancy the awkward sway with everyone watching. We danced to Bob Marley, Could You be Loved at a random point of the evening. It brings back happy memories of traveling around Central America and the Caribbean (then after returning home finding out we were going to have a baby!)

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In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?

I don’t think so. It was perfect.

Do you have any advice for future couples?

Relax and enjoy yourself. You only do it once and it goes so fast. Stop worrying and just enjoy your day. There’s not enough time to sweat the small stuff.

What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

CHEESE! I’m not kidding. Cheese shopping was so good. Getting to go around all the cheese shops and deli’s and taste loads of different cheeses before making our selections for our cheese cake.

The Suppliers

Photographer: Silverbirch Photography
Ceremony Venue: Rosedew Farm 
Reception Venue: Rosedew Farm 
Bride’s Dress: Chi Chi London
Bride’s Shoes: ModCloth 
Bride’s Headpiece: Asos
Bride’s Jewellery: Brides own
Groom’s Outfit: BHS and Gap
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: H and M, ASOS
Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Their Own
Cake: Various cheese shops
Flowers: The Flower Monger
Make Up: MAC 
Caterers: Garth Fish and Chips, Mr Creemy LTD, Alan John Butchers
Any Reception Decor/Props: Dear Florence, Bella Rose Wedding Planners

The Wedding Album

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