Hello cwtchers. Well, today we have the beauty! Real Weddings: Emily & Dan’s Homely, Country Wedding by Gareth Scanlon is just so pretty, with a gorgeous feel to it. So many clever DIY bits in here from the clever bride, Emily, like her coffee jars she turned into vases. But I won’t spoil anymore, I will hand over to the bride and groom and the talented Gareth, to tell and show you more….
Emily & Dan’s Homely, Country Wedding by Gareth Scanlon
What was your budget?
Around ten thousand pounds.
How would you describe your wedding theme?
No theme really, we always wanted a relaxed-style wedding and we loved the Vintage/Country style the venue had; we just incorporated it into our wedding! Emily made all the decorations herself using empty coffee jars and decorating them with hessian and lace for candles and flowers. Our florist – Issy & Bella – supplied the flowers and really listened to what we wanted and delivered fantastic in-season wild flowers.
For the clothes, the boys could wear any colour tweed suits they wanted; the maid of honour picked a beautiful vintage style dress. We wanted everyone to look and feel comfortable.
What was your favourite part of your wedding?
Emily & Daniel: One particular highlight was when we released two balloons in the afternoon, one for Emily and one for Daniel – which was our way of remembering those from our families who we’ve lost and couldn’t be with us on our big day, but we knew were looking over us. It was such an emotional part of the day for everyone whilst we remembered our loved ones but it added so much more, and we are so glad, and grateful, to have been able to do it.
Emily: waking up to a little letter that had been posted by the night porter from Daniel, it was beautiful! – It just made everything more exciting and special.
Emily & Daniel: The toasts – simple, emotional but meaningful!
Daniel: Emily’s maid of honour – Grug (and her husband Steve) – bought Daniel a pewter brooch of a Whippet. We have two Whippets, who couldn’t be there on the day and Daniel was made up when he saw that – quickly sticking it to his jacket where it continues to sit proudly.
Emily: Seeing my Dad for the first time that day, as he came to collect me to walk me down the aisle! I will never forget the look on his face… To see both my parents so proud, I will never forget that!
Emily: feeling terribly nervous waiting to walk down the aisle and then when the doors opened, and I saw Daniel, forgetting everything and everyone; the look on his face when he saw me, I will always remember that!
In all there are so many favourite moments it’d be impossible to pick just the one (apart from getting married obviously!); one thing was seeing everyone so relaxed and enjoying the occasion. It really was the perfect day, which sounds so clichéd but it’s true. We wanted the day to never end and it was so nice to get our families together and celebrate our special day.
(Also, almost forgot: the karaoke needs to be mentioned… We’ll just leave that there…)
Tell us about your Wedding Dress
I’ve never been one to follow the crowd when it comes to trends and I love to always be different. I love lace and chiffon so I knew it was definitely going to be the main material of my dress, I wanted a free moving style dress that wasn’t going to hinder my dancing (I love to dance). When I visited the first bridal shop and explained what I was looking for they gave me a blank look… This was a bad start! I persevered and tried on a few dresses, fishtails, a-line, even short. Nothing was convincing me… We moved on to another shop.
We weren’t intending to go dress shopping that day so I was very nervous and when it came to the next shop I suggested we just looked at the dresses from the window… Haha mum my grabbed my hand and pulled me into the shop – you could see the excitement all over her face.
They walked me into the room which was full of dresses and grand looking chairs and listened to what I was looking for. We walked round and pulled out 8 dresses, mostly in the style I was looking for. They were all lovely but I wasn’t getting the ‘feeling’ everyone talked about! My mum then handed me another dress that had caught her eye. I stepped into it and gasped – this was it, i knew instantly! I walked out and onto the pedestal where my mum was sitting and she instantly started crying. It wasn’t what I had envisioned and planned to pick but when it was on I knew this was the one for me… It was perfect, small train, free flowing and most importantly comfortable. The detail around the bust and shoulders was beautiful. Thank heavens for Maggie Sottero and her Alanis dress – it felt like it was made for me!
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why?
Emily picked her best friend Grug to be her maid of honour; Dan picked his best friend Jack – we wouldn’t have had anyone else and having them made our day that extra special. We didn’t have any ushers or bridesmaids.
Why did you choose your venue?
So many reasons we can’t list them all, but here’s some:
Brecon is a lovely place and we always wanted to get married in that area. It is a perfect place to get lost in the picturesque countryside and away from the hustle and bustle of working life! Llangoed Hall is an absolutely beautiful venue. With its incredible staff, that helped make the day perfect for us – particularly Lynsey the wedding co-ordinator and Brian the Manager – who were only too happy to help out, it was the perfect location for our wedding that exceeded our expectations.
The theme of the venue was perfect – it was Laura Ashley’s old home and the décor/furniture was beautiful. Exactly what we were looking for: a country home to get married in. As we had exclusive use it felt like we were staying in someone’s home. As Brian kept saying – This is your home for your wedding day.
The style of the manor helped make our wedding day. The long drive down, and seeing the front just blew our minds. Not forgetting the incredible bedrooms. All the guests felt it was a very relaxing family get-together as opposed to the more formal nature of some weddings. Again, a relaxing day (with a ceremony in between) was what we wanted!
Everyone was able to spend the night which meant they could fully enjoy the occasion!
Tell us about your photographer
Legend. We had complete trust in him from the moment we first met. It was easy to see that this wasn’t a job for Gareth, it was his passion. We were constantly being asked whose side of the family he was on (which tells you all you need to know about his personality) We didn’t want the standard ‘everyone stand here’ type photographer – we wanted someone who could capture our day without us noticing and getting everyone in the most natural of ways. We could never thank him enough for such beautiful pictures. We’ve hopefully made a friend for life.
How did the proposal happen?
The proposal took place at the location where Dan first knew he was in love with Emily. On their 5th anniversary of being together, Dan asked if Emily wanted to go to Langland Bay for the day and booked a night at Morgans Hotel.
Emily didn’t suspect anything during the day but Dan had to make sure she was walking in front of him at all times as he had the ring in the box in his back pocket – which stuck out as you’d expect a box would be.
As they were walking along the coastal path Dan kept looking for the right spot – but there were council workers in nearly every bench area cutting the grass. After turning around and coming back towards Langland they passed the same council worker who just laughed and waved (he must have known something was going on). They eventually managed to find a quiet spot and sat down (although rather awkwardly for Dan due to the ring box). They sat and chatted for a little while then Dan asked Emily for a photo. Emily got up to move in to position for the photo and Dan started to say “You know this is the place where I knew I was in love with you” (commence lowering on to knee) and then “will you marry me?” (commence increased heart rate) to which Emily said “YES!”.
The newly engaged couple then went back to Mumbles for a lovely meal and on to Swansea for drinks to celebrate.
Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?
The seating plan/table layout was made out of our bathroom mirror! Emily turned the glass around and put some brown paper over it and used that (with other lovely decorations). People were asking us where it came from and when we told them it came from our bathroom, it went down a storm.
Our wedding cake was made by Daniel’s sister (and now Emily Sister-in-law); it was beautiful and tasted fantastic too!
Emily made her maid of honour ‘”Open When” Letters’ which were simply letters that you give to someone, instructing them to open them at a specific time. For example ‘Open when you need a laugh’ and inside would be a little letter to do with that subject. I loved writing them as they could be as personal/meaningful or as silly as you wouldn’t them to be; I felt they were the perfect gift and loved Grug’s reaction when she got to open the ‘Open when you receive these letters’ on the morning of the wedding. I also wrote a letter to my mum (who burst into tears before she even opened it…lucky our makeup wasn’t on at this point!). Sometimes you don’t need to buy expensive gifts to show your love for someone.
In the orangery/reception room, where we had our meal and evening entertainment – we draped old photos of all the guests across the welsh dressers, which went down a treat. Seeing the photos hanging there was again emotional for some people but also an ice breaker, as people were laughing and joking at old memories; it was Emily’s idea and was such a nice touch to do.
Emily also made the table centres herself, from empty Dowe Egberts coffee jars – wrapping them in lace and hessian and adding a taillight candle.
What was your first dance & why?
We chose ‘December 1963’ by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. We loved the song and it wasn’t the typical slow burning song you normally get at weddings – we wanted our guests to also want to get up and dance with us too – which they did, after about 20 seconds! The whole dance floor and room was full of everyone dancing and enjoying – exactly what we wanted.
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?
Do you have any advice for future couples?
Do exactly what you want, stick to your guns – don’t let anyone influence you as it’s your day, your ideas and your dreams all rolled in to one.
What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received?
We didn’t have any advice; only best wishes and love from both our families and friends.
What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?
Spending quality time with my mother planning and designing almost ever aspect of my wedding – they are memories I was always treasure.
Being reassured and guided by my best friend when things got stressful.
Most importantly having total control of what we wanted for our big day. Knowing that what happened on the day would be exactly what we had wanted and set our minds to.