Real Weddings: Emily & Dan’s Homely, Country Wedding by Gareth Scanlon

 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….

All Images by Gareth Scanlon Photography

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Nope!

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.

The Suppliers

Photographer: Gareth Scanlon
Ceremony Venue: Llangoed Hall, Llyswen
Bride’s Dress: Alanis by Maggie Sottero
Bride’s Shoes: Abigails Party by Irregular Choice
Bride’s Headpiece:Wildflowers from Issy and Bella
Bride’s Jewellery: Self-supplied
Groom’s Outfit: Hammond & Co.Ltd at Debenhams
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Maid of Honour – Jenny Packham (Debenhams)
Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Self-supplied
Cake: Supplied by Sister-in-Law “Cupcakes by Rejoco”
Flowers: Wildflowers from Issy and Bella
Hair: Hair: Beauty and Hair by Rebecca
Make Up: Self-styled
Stationery: Self-supplied
Any Reception Decor/Props: Made by the Bride

The Wedding Album

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 Such a lovely personal day guys – thank you so much to you Emily and Dan for telling us all about their fabulous day, and to Gareth Scanlon for sharing these beautiful images! xx

 

 

Real Wedding: Annie & James’ Vintage Welsh Wedding in Berkshire by Gareth Scanlon Photography

Annie & James have had almost a whole week dedicated to them on Cwtch the Bride! On Monday we featured James and his best man Gareth in a big bromantic Cwtch of the Week, yesterday Annie told us how her & James got together and we shared their gorgeous E-shoot, today we finish the hat trick with their gorgeous wedding which was captured by Gareth Scanlon Photography

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What was your budget? We didn’t set out with a budget but paying for the majority of the wedding ourselves (with a bit of gratefully received help from parents) we knew we didn’t want to get into debt. By giving ourselves over a year to prepare we were able to save and pay for things along the way and saved a lot of money by making things ourselves. Overall we spent roughly £8000.

How would you describe your wedding theme? The wedding took place in a village close to where I grew up in Berkshire. Getting married in England, we wanted to bring a bit of our life by the coast in Wales to the wedding.  Having a fifties style dress also naturally gave the wedding a vintage feel. So I guess you could call it ‘Welsh seaside with a vintage twist’! DSC_4219

Most of the decorations were handmade in sea blues and greens and we found some fantastic sea themed table clothes and napkins. We used photos I’d taken of local beaches as our table names and for the invitations. Other details ranged from wearing a stunning silver and sea glass bracelet, to having a welsh love spoon attached to my bouquet,  to serving heart shaped welsh cakes to guests on arrival, baked fresh that morning in Swansea Market! DSC_3859

DSC_4074What was your favourite part of your wedding? The whole day was incredible from start to finish. It was such a happy day. Obviously marrying James was a highlight! Walking down the aisle to see all our family and friends and James waiting for me at the front was an amazing feeling. It was so great to celebrate our relationship in front of all the people who have been with us along our journey so far.DSC_4300

Our friends and family helped a lot with making the day run smoothly. I loved all the personal touches they’d created; from a table worth of delicious cakes, to making decorations, to my brother singing as I walked down the aisle and reforming his old school band The Playthings for a short set at the reception! One of my favourite moments was in the evening. We hired an amazing funk band The Snitch to play and I stopped to look across the room and the whole place was full of people smiling and dancing, it was great to see everyone else enjoying the day as much as we were. DSC_4977DSC_5307

Tell us about your Wedding Dress My dress was Josie by Lizzie Jayne Designs. I always thought I wanted a shorter style fifties dress but did the dutiful bridal shop visit first and tried on everything from a sleek Grecian style gown to a giant puffball, much to my bridesmaid Meg’s amusement! Within 5 minutes of being in a full length gown my suspicions were confirmed, I felt far too constricted for a bride that planned to spend A LOT of the night on the dance floor! I was recommended to check out Lizzie’s dresses by my sister who lives in the same village as her. I instantly loved her designs and the way she uses a bit of colour to help make the dresses stand out. I was extra lucky that Lizzie had a sample sale on at the time. I tried on a range of dresses and Josie was “just right” from the outset – a perfect fit that required no alterations! The lace and darker ivory colour also went perfectly with the 150 year old family veil I wore. The blue silk bow completed the dress for me. I absolutely loved wearing the dress it was comfy, beautiful and perfect for dancing :) DSC_4685

Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why? My older sister Evie was my maid of honour and my two nieces were my flower girls. I’m lucky to still have a close group of school friends. I chose one of my oldest school friends Alison, who I was paired with by the head teacher aged 5 when Ali joined the school, and we have been firm friends ever since! My other bridesmaid Megan is a friend from Swansea. I found a kindred spirit in Meg almost a decade ago working in a pub together. Meg was an absolute trooper in the lead up to the wedding and coaxed me along to BMF (British Military Fitness) three times a week to get me in tiptop shape for the day.  Between them they threw me the most amazing hen do and I could have asked for lovelier ladies to be by my side on the day. James chose one of his oldest friends, Gareth, to be his best man. DSC_4496 DSC_4515

Why did you choose your venue? There were a few factors that came into consideration when choosing our venue, including cost, location and size. My mum was the one who originally suggested considering Hampstead Norreys, a small village near where I grew up in Newbury. The setting was perfect. It’s such a picturesque village. The church is beautiful and the congregation in the lead up to the wedding were so helpful and welcoming. Having a village hall for our reception was great, as it was a blank canvas so we could really make the venue our own. Not to mention it was big enough for all our guests! I also loved being able to spend the night before the wedding at my parents. I felt so relaxed on the day and think that was helped by being in such a familiar place. For James I think a venue which had a cricket pitch outside sold it for him! DSC_3974 DSC_4896How did the proposal happen? Click here for Annie & James’ proposal story

Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share? To keep costs down and make the day more personal a lot of things were handmade. Pinterest became my saviour during the preparation stages and I created a board ‘Operation Wedding’ to save any good ideas I came across. Family and friends then helped to make paper hearts, giant pompoms, and other paper decorations from the tutorials I found.

Our seaside theme also meant James and I beach combed for pretty shells for the tables. We also collected over 120 pebbles from our local beach which I then decorated to double up as place names and favours. We created table names using photos I’d taken from local beaches and creating stands for the pictures out of rocks and copper wire. I also used photos to create invites making them into postcards using an online site. Keeping in theme I wrote the table plan onto an old surfboard of James, a simple idea but it looked really effective.DSC_3906DSC_3927

What was your first dance & why? James and I have never had a song as such. However, the song that always gets the two of us on the dance floor is Stevie Wonder Superstition but the lyrics are not very appropriate for a first dance. So we chose to have Moondance by Van Morrison. It’s a song I remember hearing live years ago and saying to a friend at the time that I wanted it to be my first dance at my wedding. Not been keen to be on our the dance floor alone for long we ensured we had some key friends to start dancing halfway through the song, then got the band to break into Superstition straight after and got funky!DSC_5265

In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently? No, other than get someone to put us aside a spot of the evening buffet. We were too busy dancing and having fun, and it had been well and truly demolished by our guests leaving us none left for a midnight feast!

Do you have any advice for future couples? The best advice we received was not to worry about what anyone else wants you to do but do what you like. It can be too easy to get bogged down trying to please others and lose sight of what you’d like and what the day means to you.  DSC_4663DSC_4650

What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received? We didn’t receive much advice as such, having been together 11 years already I guess we’re already doing something right!

What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding? All of it! There is nothing better than planning the best party ever with someone you love, which involves inviting all your favourite people, where you can pick exactly what you want, including amazing food (tapas and paella, yum!) and have your favourite type of music playing all night long :) DSC_4544 DSC_4754

The Suppliers

Photographer: Gareth Scanlon Photography

Ceremony Venue: Saint Mary’s Church, Church Street, Hampstead Norreys, Berkshire, RG18 0TD
Reception Venue: Hampstead Norreys Village Hall, Dean Meadow, Newbury Hill, Hampstead Norreys, Berkshire, RG18 0TR
Bride’s Dress: Josie by Lizzie Jayne Designs
Bride’s Shoes: Nora in Teal by Agnes & Norman
Bride’s Headpiece: Starfish hairclip by Anthropologie; 150 year old family veil
Bride’s Jewellery: Sea glass bracelet by Tania Covo at Notonthehighstreet.com
Groom’s Outfit: Gibson Marriot Slim Fit Suit from House of Fraser; wave print tie from Asos; shoes from Clarks;  cufflinks were his late father’s. Handkerchief made out of a bit of spare material from the brides sash.

Bridesmaid’s Dresses: The Pretty Dress Company – Seville Hourglass Swing & Pencil styles
Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Bridesmaids own
Cakes: Made by family and friends
Flowers: Bouquets & ButtonholesWillow & Blooms, Newbury; Church flowers by church florist; Table centrepieces by mother of the bride.
Hair: Annika Brindley
Make Up: Done by bride and bridesmaids themselves
Bands: The Playthings and The Snitch
Stationery: Designed by the bride
Caterers: Facing Heaven Food Company
Any Reception Decor/Props: Most décor collected/made by bride & groom, family and friends
Transport: Courtesy of Voodoo VW

The Wedding Gallery

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I’m so glad we got to share this super laid-back, fun-filled wedding with you, huge thanks to Annie & James for getting in touch. Please show them some love in the comments below :)
Charlie x

 

 

Engagement Shoot: Annie & James by Gareth Scanlon Photography

On Monday we gave you a little taster of Annie & James’ wedding day with our Cwtch of the Week. Today we have their gorgeous Engagement Shoot to share with you ahead of featuring their wedding tomorrow- make sure you come back because it’s really gorgeous! Annie tells us how her and James met and how she got her perfect mountain top proposal, all images are by Gareth Scanlon Photography.Gower E Shoot Image

How we met

James and I met through our mutual friend Rachel, who I lived with whilst studying at Swansea University and James knows from growing up in Pembrokeshire.  Rachel and I had a somewhat wine-fuelled evening after graduation which resulted in me leaving a rather interesting answerphone message on James phone. Several phone calls and texts later we arranged to meet for the first time in Portsmouth, where James was living at the time. We clicked from the offset, both having a love of the sea and similar interests and outlook on life. Within 6 months we’d decided to move to Cornwall together, and have since travelled Australia before settling back in Swansea, where the fated phone call first brought us together.Gower E Shoot Image2

The Proposal

James and I had been together for over 9 years before we got engaged. We had discussed marriage and regularly browsed rings in shop windows, so I knew a proposal was on the cards at some point! We went on holiday to the Llŷn Peninsula in North Wales and speaking with James afterwards he had been trying to propose all week. However potential sunsets over the sea had clouded over, and a hike up Snowdon had been met by a mountain top full of tourists, so up another mountain he sent me!DSC_1409

We’re both keen walkers and James has done the Welsh 3 Peaks challenge a couple of times, which takes you up Cadair Idris as part of it. He was keen to take me up there as the views are meant to be spectacular. We camped at the bottom of the mountain through a rather large storm and set off the next morning.  Instead of taking the usual path James encouraged us to walk up the Gulley. It was a gruelling hike (rock climb!) to the top. Stood on a very foggy precipice James (as best he could) got down on one knee and asked me to marry him – the perfect mountain top proposal. As we descended the mountain the fog started to clear and the views were breath taking. All those years of window shopping paid off too, he picked me out a beautiful antique diamond ring. DSC_1907DSC_1970

The shoot

With the Gower on our doorsteps and James and I both loving the outdoors and sea, it made sense when Gareth suggested a shoot at Three Cliffs Bay. The scenery there is stunning and we already have lots of good memories there, including many walks, BBQ’s, rock climbing, surfing and our friends “first swim” (as opposed to first dance!) for their wedding there. Not being “natural posers” having an engagement shoot to get used to the way Gareth works was great for us.  It meant when it got to our wedding we felt comfortable in front of the camera and was one less thing to worry about on the day.

Gower E Shoot Gallery DSC_1331 DSC_1337 DSC_1367 DSC_1409 DSC_1482 DSC_1504 DSC_1533 DSC_1664 DSC_1690 DSC_1778 DSC_1784 DSC_1788 DSC_1799 DSC_1808 DSC_1830 DSC_1849 DSC_1873 DSC_1885 DSC_1907 DSC_1933 DSC_1941 DSC_1970 DSC_1976 DSC_1996 DSC_2050 DSC_2151 DSC_2160 DSC_2214 DSC_2246How gorgeous! Thank you for sharing these with us Annie & James, I can’t wait to feature your full wedding tomorrow,

Charlie x

Cwtch of the Week: James & his Best Man by Gareth Scanlon Photography

This week is mostly dedicated to readers Annie & James who took Wales to Berkshire for their wedding on the 31st of May this year. On Thursday we will be featuring their Engagement Shoot which took place at The Gower and on Friday their wedding will be gracing your screens. Here is a little teaser from their wedding day, James and his best man Gareth enjoying a cwtch! Image by Gareth Scanlon Photography.

James & Gareth's cwtchMake sure you come back Thursday and Friday (and why not Tuesday and Wednesday too!) for the rest of Annie & James (and Gareth!)’s story.