Real Weddings: Andrew and Courtney’s Pink Rose Wedding

Good morning one and all Cwtchers!

Well I know I promised this wedding last week, but we had a little mishap, so here we are with this stunning day, shot by Sandra Ace, to keep you on the edge of your seat no more!

Enjoy!

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Andrew and Courtney’s Pink Rose Wedding

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What was your budget?

Our budget was £10,000 all paid for by ourselves. Courtney’s mum did pay for the church and beautiful flowers.

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How would you describe your wedding theme?

Our wedding theme was based around a flower that the bride liked which was a pink rose. We used a lot of hessian and roses in our decorations.

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All made by the bride and stationary from a company called The Vow.

What was your favourite part of your wedding?

My favourite part of my wedding was saying my vows to Andrew. Then walking out of the church to our guard of honour by Tenby RNLI Crew and Mid and West Tenby Fire Brigade. While our string quartet played our favourite Oasis song ‘whatever’ – that for me was so wonderful as Andrew is a crew member of Tenby RNLI and Tenby Fire Brigade. The services are very close to our hearts.

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Tell us about your Wedding Dress

I went to Allison Jayne Bridal Studio in Cardiff to try on wedding dresses and I chose eight to try on. My wedding dress was actually the second dress I tried on. It was a dress by Mark Lesley and had only been in the shop a week. I was the first person to buy the dress and I fell in love with it straight away, so much so that I ended up buying it 15 months before our big day. The bridal shop ordered me extra fabric from Mark Lesley which was used to create a different look to the top of the dress. Originally the dress had two thin straps at the front but I got a local seam stress from Tenby to alter it and make it more elegant at the shoulders.

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Gina Clode was the seam stress and she transformed the dress into exactly what I wanted. Gina even made my veil from the remain fabric we ordered for shoulders. I loved choosing my wedding dress. I wanted something that was different and that I’d not seen another bride in.

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

I picked my 3 best friends Cassie, Marcie and Leah, then my sister Keeley and sister in law Nikki as bridesmaids. My 3 best friends have been by my side and supported me through such difficult times through my life and I felt they were the girls to be my bridesmaids and by my side that day. Our flower girls were my friends daughter Ruby and my daughter Halle Aston.

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Andrew had two best men his life long friend Dean and his friend of many years Robert. Andrews usher were close friends Scott,Trevor and Peter. These also have helped Andrew through tough times in his life expescially when Andrew lost his father.

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Why did you choose your venue?

We are from Tenby and a lot of the venues used for weddings we have visited over and over for Christmas parties and other weddings.We chose Broadway because we had never been to a wedding there and when we viewed it we fell in love with the beautiful grounds and location. We wanted a special place to create our own memories in a place we had no memories of others.

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Tell us about your photographer

Our photographer was the lovley Sandra Ace. I came across her wedding photographs on Facebook and we both just loved her work. Sandra was amazing on our wedding day, capturing the most beautiful moments not only between Andrew and I but also between Andrew and his Nan. Sandra understood how Andrew felt about his nan and the bond they have, she was amazing. Sandra made us feel so comfortable and relaxed we loved every second spent with her.

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How did the proposal happen? 

Andrew proposed to me in Cardiff. He whisked me away for a night away when I was expecting our second child. The hotel room was filled with flowers and champagne on ice. It may not be a great proposal story but it was perfect.

Andrew knew that I liked a ring in a near by jewellers and although money was tight whilst we were renovating our house and with a second baby on the way, he went into the jewellers and paid off the ring weekly, just so I could have it.

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I had no idea, until he got down on one knee.

What was your first dance & why?

Our first dance was by Zachary Kibbee called Baby Blue. Andrew was working on a roof one day and heard the song on the radio, so he chose the song as all he could think of was me throughout the song. We both love it and enjoyed dancing to it on our wedding day.

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

We would not have done anything differently. I think our wedding was a true reflection of the love between us and the banter between us. We were so happy with everything.

Do you have any advice for future couples?

Do not aim to please others. It is one day for you, so put yourselves first and do the best you can with it. Enjoy it and take 5 mins to yourself as a couple to take it all in, as it goes so quick.

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

Never go to sleep on a argument

(By Andrews nan Theresa Aston)

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What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

Our favourite part about planning was hand making all our decorations and all the personal touches

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The Suppliers

Photographer: Sandra Ace Photography
Ceremony Venue: St Mary’s Church, Tenby
Reception Venue: Broadway Country House, Laugharne
Bride’s Dress: Allison Jayne, Cardiff
Bride’s Shoes: Rainbow Club
Bride’s Headpiece: Etsy
Bride’s Jewellery: Earrings by Pandora.
                                  Bracelet by Joma Jewellery
Groom’s Outfit: Mr Roberts, Pembroke Dock
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Etsy
Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Etsy and Joma Jewellery 
Cake: Cake by Mairwen Head
Flowers: Flowers by Shelley Webb
Hair: Hair by Jamie Hughes of Jamies Salon, Tenby
Make Up: Make by Nicole Devereux
Singer: Mike Jones
DJ: Nikki and Annemarie WestCoast Mobile Disco
Stationery: The Vow
Any Reception Decor/Props: All made by bride and groom. Bought from various places
Transport: Top Class Cars

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. He had won a National Geographic award and several wedding ones.  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 Wedding: Jenny and Thomas’s Edwardian Manor House Wedding

Oh its Friday again! Yippee!

And to start your weekend off in style, we have a truly lovely wedding for you!

Beautifully captured by the ever so talented Oliver J Photography, Jenny and Thomas got married at the breathtaking Edwardian Manor,  Llangoed Hall at the beginning of October.

It truly looks like it was just the most wonderful day, and we are totally loving this couple!

Over to Jenny and Thomas to tell us all about it…….

Real Weddings Banner

Jenny and Thomas’s Edwardian Manor House Wedding

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How would you describe your wedding theme?

No real theme. We tried to keep it in keeping with the décor of our chosen venue, an Edwardian Manor House in the Wye valley, Llangoed Hall.

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What was your favourite part of your wedding?

We genuinely loved the whole day. We wanted a relaxed wedding that we would enjoy celebrating with our guests in beautiful surroundings. The tone of the day was set by my friend’s gorgeous toddler who decided to abandon her parents and follow me down the aisle immediately making everyone laugh and it was the best way to calm our nerves. 

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Our best men were also brilliant and leapt up at completely the wrong moment to give us the rings making everyone laugh again and setting the tone for an incredibly fun day.

This carried through to the speeches during which all the speakers managed to balance genuine emotion with as many funny stories as they could squeeze in. As the bride, I particularly became a target and every personality quirk and childhood mishap suddenly became public knowledge. 

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My younger brother also decided he would do a speech as part of the father of the bride speech (fairly sure I didn’t actually give permission for that!) but it was incredibly emotional to hear our families talk about us with such love and affection. 

During the groom’s speech, Tom decided to share the story of the first proposal attempt which caused a lot of laughs at my expense particularly some of my friends decided it was time to share some of the antics from my hen weekend with the entire room.

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The laughter continued when the band started. I can honestly say I never expected to see my 80 year old grandmother who last danced at her own wedding in the ‘60s dancing with all my friends to Teenage Dirtbag and my parents – who also last danced in the ‘80s – jumping around to Mr Brightside. The band were amazing and getting everyone up and dancing and the set kept the energy going all night with a mix of music. 

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I’m not sure anyone is going to forget the dancing of that night, and fortunately – or unfortunately depending on how you felt about it – the photos and videos are circulating to remind those who would rather forget…

Tell us about your Wedding Dress

As we only had had 8 months until the big day, dress shopping was all a bit of a rush. I visited Laura May Bridal with one of my friends just to figure out what kinds of things I liked. 

I still couldn’t really imagine myself in a long white dress so had no idea what kind of thing I wanted. 

We described the kinds of dresses I liked and thought would suit me so along with the assistant, we picked shapes, materials, and styles to narrow things down. 

I was picking up art deco style pearl numbers, or lacy Kate Middleton style dresses, but the assistant picked up a plain silk waisted dress with beaded detailing on the back to try the shape. I barely looked at it and had passed in on the rack as not interested. 

I tried it on first to test out the shape and instantly loved it. It was simple, tailored and I didn’t feel completely overwhelmed by it. I told myself it was just because it was the first time I had seen myself in a wedding dress but every other dress I tried on felt like it was someone else’s dress and that I was completely overwhelmed by lace and beads and skirts. 

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I had taken one of my bridesmaids with me who was brilliant and telling me honestly when things suited me or not and I completely needed that brutal honesty because all the dresses were lovely. 

We narrowed it down to two dresses; the first one and a vintage 1920s beaded dress, and so I brought my mum back a week later to look at them. 

All week I had been thinking about the first dress. I tried them both on for my mum and we both fell completely in love with the first accidental dress and ordered it that day with plain ribbon edged veil and just prayed it would arrive in time. 

I ended up doing the thing they say you should never do, I brought the first dress, from the first shop, in under a week of looking.

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

Picking the bridesmaids was difficult because there were so many candidates who would have done an amazing job. 

We eventually decided on two of my uni ex-housemates and one of best friends who had just returned from living in Australia. This worked brilliantly having people representing different friendship groups and bringing alternative ideas and the wedding would not have been so amazing without them. 

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From the hen weekend to the them completely taking over decorating the venue and organising everything the day before – working a night shift 24 hours before your wedding turned out not to be such a good idea- they just completely sorted everything and did an incredible job.

The two bestmen – in the end we couldn’t pick – were two of Tom’s uni housemates. They did a great job from organising a stag weekend in Dublin which Tom loved, to helping organise the suits, and the speeches. As always they were on great form and helped make the day what it was.

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Why did you choose your venue?

Llangoed Hall was the only venue we visited. I had heard about it from friends and researched a few, but just kept coming back to it. 

We are wanted somewhere that we could have the ceremony and reception, and that could accommodate our guests overnight. We visited and it was even more beautiful than we had imagined and we loved it instantly. 

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We liked having all the rooms downstairs available to our guests so everyone could mill around as they pleased, making the day more relaxed.

The team there were also great at helping organise things and were invaluable on the day. They took care of everything from rounding up guests, helping our florist set up and took care of everything we asked. It freed us and the bridal party up to simply enjoy the day.

Tell us about your photographer

Oh Oliver. I had seen some of Oliver’s photos of a colleague’s wedding and I loved what I had seen on his website. 

We wanted our photos to be more documentary type, and make the most of the beautiful surroundings. 

I met Oliver about five months before the wedding and got on immediately and this carried on through to the big day. We really appreciated his input and ideas – even if it did end up with a last minute rush order on sparklers – and they all worked brilliantly on the day. 

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He managed to somehow completely blend in with the guests and just become part of the wedding whilst keeping everyone on task and on time. 

Neither of us particularly likes being the centre of attention or having our photo taken, but Oliver put us both at ease and made the photos an enjoyable experience.

How did the proposal happen? 

So the proposal took two attempts!

Poor Tom with the help of his groomsmen had planned a romantic surprise weekend away in hotel and was going to propose at the evening meal. It was lovely. We had a suite with champagne and strawberries, amazing food with matched wine for each courses. 

Unfortunately I’ve always been a bit of a lightweight and enjoyed the wine with our lunch a bit too much and never made it to the evening meal where he planned to propose. 

He was so traumatised it took six months for him to plan another weekend away. 

He proposed at a hotel in Covent Gardens when we had been discussing our plans for the following day by revealing a fake ring and a plan to go ring shopping for a replacement together the following day. 

It was a lovely and low key way to propose and I loved it , and it did explain his panic when I had suggested after dinner drinks on the way back to hotel. 

We went shopping the next day and picked the first ring I tried on in the first shop and bought it there and then.

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

We made all of the stationary and a lot of the decorations ourselves because we just struggled to find things we liked. The stationary seemed endless, but it made it more personal and was definitely worth it in the end.

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What was your first dance & why?

This was really tricky one because we don’t have “a song” most of the dancing we had done together had on nights out. 

I came across Ben Folds’s, ‘The Luckiest’ when it was featured in the film About Time and loved it and felt it best summed out how we felt about our relationships and each other. We have even learnt to waltz (via youtube) but then at the last minute abandoned the idea of a routine and waltzing and decided to take the pressure out of it and just wing it. 

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And whilst we will never win awards for our dancing, it was lovely to have a moment just the two of us together.

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

Absolutely nothing. We went in with the attitude of not stressing out about things being perfect because it would be a great day anyway and it worked for us. This meant we actually enjoyed the preparation and everything was perfect on the day. Not working nights 24 hours prior to the wedding would have been nice though!

Do you have any advice for future couples?

Go with your gut. If you like it and know what you want go for it. 

We booked the first venue, bought the first dress, bought the first engagement and wedding rings, and wouldn’t change a thing. 

We only had 7 months from engagement to wedding so had to get organised and make quick decisions, but it actually took a lot of the stress out of it because we didn’t overthink or question our choices.

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

Laugh with each other and have fun. That way you will always be best friends as well as husband and wife.

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What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

It was a great excuse to get together with friends and plan something fun together.

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The Suppliers

Photographer: Oliver J Photography
Ceremony Venue: Llangoed Hall
Reception Venue: Llangoed Hall
Bride’s Dress: Martina Liana at Laura May Bridal
Bride’s Headpiece: Etsy
Bride’s Jewellery: Etsy
Groom’s Outfit: Ted Baker
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Monsoon
Cake: Family Friend
Flowers: The Flower Hive
Hair: Brideology
Make Up: Brideology
Band: Rockit
Other: Favours – Fabulous Welshcakes
             Harptist – Alis Huws

The Wedding Album

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Lisa And Steve’s DIY Welsh Barn Wedding By Maria Farrelly Photography

We love, love, LOVE a DIY Welsh Barn Wedding here at Cwtch HQ!

Today we are sharing a wedding that I photographed last year. Lisa & Steve, along with all their friends and family rolled their sleeves up and completely DIY’d this working barn for their wedding day. Every bit of detail you see in these pictures was put together by them all. If that wasn’t great enough, every single one of their guests were simply fabulous individuals and I’m a huge believer that your guests can make or break your wedding day. The Ceremony was full of laughter and tears by all, the dance floor was never empty and the photo booth at the end… well, you can see for yourself :) 

It was an absolute pleasure to have photographed this wedding and to also work alongside some great wedding suppliers such as Kate Petersen & Holdens Catering.

I’m so thrilled with all the images, especially as I know Lisa & Steve adore them. So… without further a do, lets hand you over to Lisa to tell you all about her wedding. ~ Maria 

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All images in this post are by Maria Farrelly Photography 

welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.084How would you describe your wedding theme?

Handmade, everyone pitched in barn wedding.welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.079

What were your favourite parts of your wedding?

The emotional roller coaster that was the service.welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.044 We had a wonderful few days with everyone chipping in to help. welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.074Walking down the aisle with my dad surrounded by everyone we loved, just floored me.welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.040

My step dad officiated, our wonderful Usher, John prepared the most wonderful personal reading and I wouldn’t have made it through the vows with out sobbing, had our badly planned ceremony back drop not provided some light relief & broken the ice. The photos of Steve and I laughing surrounded by streamers are some of my favourite of the day.welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.043

welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.047Tell us about your Wedding Dress

I love a beautiful gown but the idea of spending more on one dress that my entire wardrobe didn’t sit too well with my bargain hunting nature…so it was with a little trepidation that I ventured out dress shopping one spring day with my wonderful bridesmaids in tow.

The dress was by Lusan Mandongus/Anna Sully & was the second one I tried on. I loved it. But in all honesty the trip solidified that spending that much on a dress wasn’t a priority for me…So a few more trips later & a lot of wonderful options explored, I was about to hire a gorgeous alternative when this one appeared on Preloved.welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.003

Picking it up coincided with a work trip up North, a random rondevous in a car park & breaking down in the middle of no where with my sister! There were a few tears when after trying it on I realised I’d been a tad optimistic in the sizing & it wasn’t in perfect condition, but with the help of my mum and a big dollop of patience we cleaned, adjusted and tweaked it back to life!welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.004welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.009

In the end I felt brilliant wearing it & the saving paid for a band..and LOTS of bubbles, totally worth the effort. welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.114

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

Our wedding party was made up of live long friends and people we both love to bits. They were all wonderful, chipping in, making the build up and the whole day so wonderful.welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.077

Surround yourselves with people you love & make you laugh & you cant really go wrong can you!

Why did you choose your venue?

We wanted somewhere we could decorate how we wanted, bring in our own caterers and allowed us to provide our own alcohol…That ruled out a lot. When we meet Mirander & her husband at the farm we knew it was a good match. Over looking the fact it was a working barn in the middle of winter they were so accommodating and nice. We knew it was a winner! welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.033welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.026welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.093

Tell us about your photographer

The AMAZING & super creative genius that is Maria Farrelly. We had met the year before at a Cwtch The Bride event and after spending the day with her at a friends wedding and seeing her wonderful work, no one else could come close!

Maria simply becomes one of the family for the day…The beautiful and natural images she creates is testament to how at ease she makes everyone! I will cherish her pictures for ever!

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How did the proposal happen? 

We were at a BBQ and incredibly drunk sat chatting on a friends sofa! Not a modern day fairy tale exactly, but very heartfelt & looking back very us. Ring shopping the next day was interesting way of warding off a hangover!welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.053

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

A lot was do it yourself with a big helping hand from family and friends. From the cake to the decor, lighting & stationary. I enjoy making things and work in a design industry so this was pretty enjoyable!

The biggest thing we pulled off was probably the flowers, with the exception of my bouquet, my green fingered mum grew & arranged all the flowers! Seeing her garden transform in the months building up to the wedding was exciting! She put so much love & hard work into planning & growing them all…welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.025You need to be the sort of person who can go with the flow a little, as you can’t really be sure what you’ll have to work with till the week of the wedding, but it was a personal touch that really transformed our venue.Its worth mentioning that the peonies came from Aldi…Who are great and if you call in a few days before hand will order in extras for you!

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

Picked a closer hotel. We had visions of staying up all night at a hotel bar chatting over late night drinks..In reality we were exhausted! A comfy bed, minus the hour long coach drive would have been a better idea.welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.129Also don’t stress the small stuff..Not everything will go to plan, but in all honesty you will be in to much of a happy bubble to care…and going off plan might even lead to some wonderful memories (Like our poor wind battered back drop photos!)welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.050

Do you have any advice for future couples?

Prioritise your budget right from the start…and stick to it. Some things really mattered to us & made the decision process a lot easier when we came across a few budget dilemmas…Like falling in love with a venue that was realistically more than we had planned. Some traditional things simply dropped off our list, like cars for example..Meaning we could splash out on a safari honeymoon in Africa!welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.036

What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

Seeing the months of work and planning all come together on the day. Take a moment and soak it all in when everyone’s eating or dancing or just chatting…it goes by so fast, but seeing everyone happy and there to celebrate with you is great!welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.056

The Suppliers

Photographer: Maria Farrelly
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Red Barn, Hedrehedog Farm (Brides Friends)
Bride’s Dress: Lusan Mandongus/Anna Sully
Bride’s Shoes: Accessories/Converse
Bride’s Headpiece: Fresh Flowers
Bride’s Jewellery: Something borrowed
Groom’s Outfit: Dyfed Mens Wear
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: BHS
Cake: Home Made
Flowers: Rachel at Sweet Peony
Hair and Make Up: Kate Petersen
Band: Oktoberfest
Stationery: Alice Eades via Etsy
Caterers: Holdens Catering
Any Reception Decor/Props: Furniture came from Blue Sky Marquees. Candles holders/Lanterns Belle Journee
Transport: A Friends Husband

The Wedding Album

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