“It was a pleasure to photograph Nick’s & Lousie’s wedding. They were full of smiles and affection and had a fantastic group of family & friends around them adding to the amazing joyful atmosphere of the day. During the evening celebrations the grooms and his friends serenaded the bride, whist the rest of the guests held back tears yet again!” Nanette Hepburn
This lovely couple got married at Cripps Stone Barn in the Cotswolds. I love the smiles from all of their friend and family but one of the other things I love apart form this being an amazing Cwtch is that there is a couple in in the right of the photograph are also lost in a little cwtch.
If you have a cwtch of the week that you would like to share with us please send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope you all have a great week. ~ Kate
Today we have a gorgeous boho/country styled wedding shoot submitted to us by Hepburn Photography to show off all that Monmouthshire has to offer in terms of wedding suppliers. Nanette from Hepburn Photography tells us all about it here.
These are the photographs from a recent styled photo shoot that I photographed at Kate Humble’s farm ‘Humble by Nature’ in Monmouthshire, South Wales. The idea for the photo shoot came about whilst talking to my friend and fellow wedding supplier Kelly of WhiteCrafts (wedding stationery) one day at the school gates.
It was suggested that we get together wedding suppliers from all over Monmouthshire to showcase their skills in a photo shoot. We never set out with a theme in mind we just wanted to show off individual talents. However once I sourced the venue ‘Humble by Nature’ the story for the wedding shoot became clear.
The open farm landscape of the venue suited a relaxed country feel and the trees and plants called for a floaty Boho style bride with flowers in her hair. The groom needed to be comfortable too, no stiff suits or hard lines. Tweed & braces were the starting point and it went from there.
My goal as photographer was to make the wedding shoot believable. My style is real, natural and relaxed and I didn’t want it to look staged and false. Luckily the models were an actual couple so I could show the real affection and tenderness between them.
Humble’s Hideaway is a secluded area in the woods with shepherd’s huts and trees. It is a magical place to visit and I wanted this to be the main focus of the shoot. I am a massive lover and owner of ducks, so had to get some of the local runner ducks in the shot. Thanks to all involved!
The Styled Shoot
If you are looking for a wedding supplier in Monmouthshire hopefully you will have been inspired by the suppliers in this shoot, here are all of the details of the suppliers involved.
Photography: Hepburn Photography – Nanette Hepburn
Based: Monmouthshire, South Wales
T: 07977 097 934
Professional Make-up Artist: Alex Gallop
Based: Abergavenny South Wales
Alex said – The lace dress was really reminiscent of an Edwardian day gown so I wanted the make-up to look capture a little of this era. Also, the bridal bouquet included some really pretty coral peonies so that gave me a strong colour to incorporate into the design.
I kept the model’s skin as natural as possible, using an illuminating moisturiser and dewy foundation. The eyes were defined with warm, nude colours which were softly blended to look pretty rather than striking. I used pencil to define the brows but brushed this through really thoroughly for a more natural look.
I wanted the cheeks and lips to mimic the pretty shade of the peonies so used cream blusher and two shades of lipstick blotted to give the appearance of a stain.
Designer Bridal Boutique: Victoria Valentine
Based: Abergavenny South Wales
T: 01873 852866
‘Lucy-Lou’ by Charlotte Balbier.
‘Lucy-Lou’ is a full lace Romantic Gown with delicate lace sleeves and stunning pearl and crystal embellishment. A vintage boho gown with a modern twist. Styled with a gorgeous Charlotte Balbier Pearl & Crystal Belt. £1,725.00
Jewellery: Gus Jones Jewellers – Danielle Booth
T: 01495 223338
We are an Independent family run Jewellers established since 1903. Based in the heart of Wales, selling a large range of Gold and Welsh Gold Wedding rings and beautiful bridal jewellery as well as Gents accessories and Giftware.
Models: Laura Chesters (Friend) & Simon Pengelly (Actor)
Simon is an actor and stuntman , Laura is a wedding co-ordinator at Buckland Hall in Brecon.
Flowers: Catherine Gray
British grown seasonal flowers, rustic style. Bouquet Flowers included Peonies, Alstromeria, Forget-me-knots, daisies, alchemilla mollis. Vase arrangement also included Sweet Williams, Viburnum, Alliums, Pinks and Solomon’s Seal.
Awesome handmade wedding stationery: White Crafts – Kelly White
Based: Monmouthshire, South Wales
Paper flowers/fans, ribbons, table decorations
Hair: Lisa Logan Bridal Hair Design – Lisa Bidwell
T: 07807 881233
Lisa said: The rustic, natural setting at Humble by Nature and the bohemian style of the dress inspired the hair design. I used a bun ring and soft curls to create volume and height, and give the illusion of long, thick hair pinned up. The hair style was structured but romantic, with braids to create texture and small wild flowers for a pretty but relaxed look. I particularly liked the fresh flowers as they added a lovely country feel to the style. Often, brides think their hair needs to be long to create this kind of look but the model’s hair was shoulder-length. It’s surprising what you can do with mid-length hair.
Cake: Little Black Cat Wedding Cakes – Kathleen Butler-Donnelly
Based: Monmouthshire, South Wales
email@example.comT: 01291 691234
Rustic ‘Naked’ Cake – Three tier Victoria sponge cake with all edible flowers.
Based: Raglan, Monmouthshire
Extons has been established since the 1960s with 3 stores, Raglan, Usk and Abergavenny. Stocking ladies and gents clothing and accessories as well as gents formal hire wear. A growing trend in wedding attire this season is tweed which Extons has a large selection of, pop in to see our full ranges or visit extonsonline.
Behind the Scenes
Here is a sneak peek of the fun that was had by all on the day!
This weeks real wedding feature is a stunning rustic country wedding courtesy of Ceri & Jon. They were married on the 27th April 2013 at Glangrwney Court, Crickhowell and had the lovely Hepburn Photography on hand to capture most of the day :)
How did the proposal happen?
It was the day after Boxing Day and we’d planned to do a walk on Pen Y Fan. On the morning Jon was being a bit odd, asking where my toothbrush was as I might want to freshen up after the walk and other little odd things, but I didn’t really take any notice of it at the time. What I didn’t know was that he was trying to pack me an overnight bag! We did the walk on Pen Y Fan and the weather wasn’t brilliant – lots of rain and fog and we got to the top and couldn’t see anything! Then on the way down, he took us ‘off piste’ , going down a steep edge of the mountain to take me to his secret waterfall where he used to go as a kid. It was a very arduous climb down to the waterfall and really cold, so when we got there, we sat on a rock and had some leftover xmas dinner sandwiches watching the waterfall. It was really beautiful and I knew something was going on, when he suddenly turned to me and said lets go and make a wish at the waterfall and produced a coin from his pocket. He has never done or said anything like that before so in that moment I pretty much knew what was about to happen! We went to the edge of the waterfall and he got me to throw the coin in and make a wish, and whilst I was doing that he got down on one knee and asked me if I would do him the honour of becoming his wife! To say I was overwhelmed was an understatement so I just hugged him and forgot to answer, so he had to ask again! Of course, I said yes, and then we spent the hour’s walk back to the car basically planning out our dream wedding, which is pretty much what we ended up having! He then whisked me off to Gliffaes hotel where he’d booked a room with a 4 poster bed and we had a romantic dinner. It was perfect in every way.
What was your Wedding budget? £12000
How would you describe your wedding theme?
It was a country, rustic theme really – lots of lace, hay bales, natural looking flowers…. with a cream, green and pink colour scheme. We wanted it just to look relaxed and natural and to just reflect us and what we love.
What was your favourite part of your wedding?
There are so many favourite parts that its hard to choose just one. I loved every bit of the getting ready process in the morning. I found the build up really surreal and exciting at the same time and everyone commented on how calm and serene I was but I was nervous inside.
So, to try and shake off the last nerves before I put my wedding dress on, I grabbed 2 of my bridesmaids and best friends and we put the Beastie Boys ‘Sabotage’ on and rocked out. It totally worked and made us all laugh, so then I was ready to step into the dress and go get married!
The favourite part of the actual ceremony for me was saying ‘I do’ and as well as sealing the vows with a kiss we also high fives each other, and just that overwhelming feeling of being surrounded by everyone we love and having just promised commitment and love to each other, was just incredible and that feeling and memory will stay with us forever.
And a special mention has to go to my gorgeous, romantic and comfortable dress. My mum amazingly bought me the dress as her wedding gift, and she’s the most beautiful garment I have ever, or will ever wear. Lacey, fitted, floaty and just ‘me’. I enjoyed every minute I got to wear her, I love the way she made me feel so beautiful and elegant and yet free and a little boho. And I hope to put her on again one day to recapture some of that feeling! (I bought the dress from a fantastic little boutique in Richmond where the ladies were so friendly and honest and its the Garbo dress by Charlotte Balbier but I customised it by adding silk covered buttons all down the back (my mum’s fab idea – thanks mum!), and removing a crystal empire line detail to keep it simpler.)
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why?
I picked my 4 best friends to be my ‘she-wolves’ as I ended up calling them (and still do now – the name stuck!). 3 of them, Tammy, Becky and Cathy have been my best girls since school and I’ve known them longer than I haven’t and 1 is a great friend I made through working in TV.
I was so proud to have them on my team and they went above and beyond in their duties. Cathy took photos all day from a wedding party perspective and as we only had Nanette doing the professional photos until 5pm, Cathy diligently took over in the evening and captured all of the wedding breakfast and dancing festivities too. Becky made 82 napkin favours out of different vintage, country fabric I’d sourced and they were such a hit that people were trading them between each other and trying to scoop up any spares left on the tables afterwards! Tammy and Becky also did a speech during the wedding breakfast and did me very proud, and Nikki gave an absolutely heart warming and incredibly honest speech during the ceremony, even quoting from Ryan Gosling which was spot on!
The best men were Jon’s brother, Dave, who had come all the way over from Australia where he now lives and Mike, who has been Jon’s best friend since they were 3 years old.
Why did you choose your venue?
We were quite specific about our venue requirements, and Glangrwyney ticked all of the boxes. We wanted a country house style feel with a barn, and wanted to do the ceremony and reception all in one place and have accommodation on the same site for the wedding party to stay. When we saw the amazing house and gardens of Glancourt we fell in love. Its the right mix of shabby chic and vintage with the most incredible natural views of the mountains and wild flowers, that we knew we felt at home there. The mix of rooms and cottages for people to stay were just brilliant, and the staff and owners were so relaxed and friendly and helpful, the whole process was a delight.
We loved the simplicity of the barn and that we could use it for the ceremony and then the reception and then make it into a giant dance floor! It kept everything so intimate and relaxed.
Stress-free was a major priority for us and it was, plus we think the place is a bargain!
Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?
The whole wedding was very D.I.Y, as we not only wanted to make the most of our budget, but I also wanted to do as much as we could ourselves as I think it makes it more personal and is definitely more satisfying to see something you’ve worked on being admired by guests.
I did my own flowers, which everyone told me I was crazy for doing but it totally calmed me actually and gave me a focus and was lots of fun! I’ve since gone on to set up a flowers and cake business with a very good friend, and my wedding was basically the dress rehearsal to see if we could pull it off! I had some invaluable help in the planning and ordering of the flowers from my lovely local florist where we live in Balham, London, Lisa at The Flower Sanctuary, and I cannot thank her enough for all the help and advice she gave me, and for making the buttonholes to give me a little less to do! I loved doing the flowers the day before with my team of family and friends helpers!
My dad and Jon’s parents were in charge of re-potting the herbs and bay tress that lined the entrance ways and wedding breakfast tables and I made all of the other arrangements from little posey arrangements in recycled jars and bottles, to large jug arrangements using jugs borrowed from my mum and the venue, to the bouquets for me and the bridesmaids. (These I finished off on the morning of the wedding which was actually a great way to make me think of something other than how I looked for a part of the morning, which was ideal for me to keep me relaxed and centred). The best thing about doing table floral arrangements in recycled glass jars and bottles was that I was able to give lots away after the wedding as thank you gifts to anyone who had helped.
My sis in law and some friends tied sprigs of lavender to the napkin favours my best friend had made and attached a name tag that I had written and stamped our initials and tree logo onto the back of, and they looked beautiful. Such a simple idea but really effective. I would recommend doing something like this. I just used everyday manila luggage tags and lots of twine to attach them – cost very little, but looked great. I found Etsy an indispensable source of inspiration and help too. I got paper bird garlands, lace bunting, wooden birds, dried flower corsages for the mums (so that they could keep them after the wedding) and the bridesmaids necklaces from different sellers on the site, and the prices were really reasonable and all of the sellers really lovely to deal with and happy to customise anything for me. I knew I wanted to make our save the date cards and invites ourselves and we really liked a stamp effect, so I found a lady who owned an Etsy shop called stamp online who I commissioned to make us 3 stamps, 1 with all the save the date details, 1 for the invites and 1 that had a tree logo ( as I was marrying an Elms!) and our initials and the date, which we ended up using to stamp on all of the napkin favours and on the envelopes for the invites which added a really great personal touch. We bought recycled card and then printed out inserts with all the wedding details on and spent an evening stapling and gluing them all together. We felt really proud with the end result and everyone commented how lovely and natural they looked and totally summed up what the wedding was going to be all about. It costs very little to get your own stamps made and then you just buy 1 big ink pad and its still going now and you’ve got the stamps to keep as a memento so I’d recommend looking into this as a cheaper and more sustainable options than going to an expensive printers.
We also got our table numbers done by another great seller on the site, I knew I wanted it to look like the invites, so on recycled brown card, with a stamped tree, number and quote from a song that tied into the number and the seller that made them for us totally got the brief and made some fab table numbers which we then just put in a herb pot. They went down a treat!
Other things we d.i.y’ed were, I got all the wedding guests to keep any nice looking jam jars, bottles, vases etc… and then my bridesmaids came over for a weekend, and we filled the bath up and scrubbed the glassware to get any labels off, then used craft glue spots to attach different ribbons to the bottles and jars to make them look prettier and more vintage, and these were then filled with small flower posies and used as table arrangements on the tables for the wedding meal. They looked utterly charming and were a big talking point amongst the guests.
I also collected mini San Pelligrono glass water bottles from work which I ended up lining up in the windowsills of the venue and filling with single stemmed flowers which looked brilliant. Recycling and getting your family and friends to help you collect things is a great way to make everyone feel involved and get some free decorations! What was your first dance & why?
We ummed and ahhed for ages over this, but in the end, we chose ‘Rise’ by Eddie Vedder. its a gentle, acoustic song by one of our favourite artists and its from a film soundtrack that we both really love and always reminds us of being outdoors in breath taking scenery (i.e Wales!). It was also short and sweet as we didn’t want to be dancing on our own for long!
One of the most important moments for me was also being able to walk down the aisle to my favourite song of all time, Pearl jam’s ‘Yellow Ledbetter’ – its an emotional and uplifting song for me, and I’d always thought of the section in my head when I wanted to reach Jon after walking down the aisle, but having never practised the actual length of the walk I didn’t think it would actually happen on the day. But, as serendipity would have it, I got to Jon at the exact section of the song i had wanted to – clearly it was all meant to be!
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?
Absolutely not. We did it our way with lots of help from family friends and it turned out better than we could ever have hoped. The only thing we’d like to do, is do it again! (Oh, and if there was one thing actually, I had wanted to wear a flower crown or some flowers in my hair originally and then changed my mind, partly out of easing up the amount of flowers i had to do!, but in hindsight I wish I had made a small flower crown to wear for the ceremony.) If that’s the only regret though, I think we did good!
Do you have any advice for future couples?
Don’t be pressured to do anything or make any decisions that aren’t right for the two of you. If a family member wants you to have something that you don’t, like a certain type of cake for example, just be kind but be firm, and say no. Always remember its your wedding, so do it your way.
However, involve people as much as possible and use every offer of help – people love to feel a part of your big day and you’ll be grateful of the help too! (Plus its a good way of keeping costs down and because your friends and family know you, their input just makes it all the more special). We made a list of everyone we knew who might be able to help out with the wedding and ended up using them all which made the whole affair much more personal and interactive. My uncle and cousin dj’d the disco and went down a storm, our close friend Polly did an amazing job doing not only my bridal hair on the day but also did 4 beautiful up do’s for my bridesmaids.
My mum and aunty made hundreds of Welsh cakes to serve for the evening guests, a close family friend made our wedding cake for us, my bridesmaid took extra photos in the day and evening and 2 of our friends filmed the ceremony and speeches for us on their iPhones – a simple gesture but a huge saving as we didn’t want a wedding video as such but we did want to be able to listen to those two parts again in the future.
Be realistic about your budget early on too. Work out what you want to spend the most money on – i.e the dress, the venue, the food… and then try and find d.i.y ways of doing the other stuff that will mean you can spend more on the things you think are more important.
Lastly, make sure your wedding dress is comfortable! You have to sit in, stand it in, dance in it, eat in it, drink a lot of fizz in it (bloating!), sweat in it and look good in it so its really one of the hardest working pieces of clothing you’ll ever buy! Don’t be tempted to buy too small or too tight and ‘hope you’ll get into it’ – that’s too much pressure to put on yourself at a time when there is enough going on, so buy it in the right size, get it tailored to you and remember to leave room to eat and drink. I made sure I could bust out my signature dance move in mine before committing to buy and I knew it was ‘the ‘ dress because I burst in to tears when i saw myself in it! (as did my mum and best friend and the shop owner!).
What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received?
The best advice was just to keep loving and respecting each other, and keep doing what we’ve been doing for the past 7 years. He’s my best friend and I’m his and that’s what makes us work.
What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?
I loved every single detail of the planning. I especially loved designing the flowers and decorations side of it and even drew sketches of how I wanted the barn room to look for the ceremony and the reception. I knew exactly what I wanted and enjoyed the process of working out how to achieve that.
My nan and uncle unfortunately passed away before the wedding, but I loved finding a way to have them with us by hanging vintage photo frames of them on their wedding days in the venue.
I also loved writing and designing our invites and programmes with Jon – he designed an amazing tree logo of the front cover with our fav open and fav song lyrics as the branches and leaves of the trees. It was amazing to see him create something so incredible just for us, and we had a lot of fun writing the biogs for our bridesmaids (she-wolves) and ushers (wolf pack).
And I loved getting to spend so much time with family and friends all coming together to get something done – they were invaluable in helping us set up the barn for the wedding the day before and equally to help us clear it all up again the day after, collect glass jars and bottles for the flowers and generally show their love for us by helping out in whatever way they could. We cannot thank them enough!
Jamie & Anna had been together for ten years before they decided to get married – we love the proposal story! :) They chose to have a relaxed, vintage styled day with a wedding dress made by Anna’s mum (!) and photography by Nanette Hepburn from Hepburn Photography :)
We asked them some questions about their wedding…
What was your budget? We had no set budget as such. We just knew that we would pay for everything with the savings we had, and buy something we could each month for the year leading up to the wedding so we wouldn’t start married life in debt. We were also very lucky that our families helped and that we didn’t have to buy dresses as my mum made them all!
How would you describe your wedding theme? Our main aim was for it to be relaxed. Our house is full of vintage, so that had an input too. It ended up having a slight 40’s feel, with my style of dress. Of course, it was a major DIY affair, with most things made by myself or my mum. Other things were sourced from Etsy, to support other craft businesses.
What was your favourite part of your wedding? The night before the wedding, a group of friends and family came with us to decorate the village hall. It was a lovely atmosphere, and we couldn’t have done it without their help. I loved how on the day, everything ran so smoothly without a hitch. It could have easily have gone wrong, with us having to plan it all, but friends and family were on hand to take over on the wedding day. The week before the wedding, we had the worst weather for April, but the day came and it was perfect sunshine and it allowed us and the guests to also gather outside the hall.
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why? We initially decided to have just two bridesmaids, our daughters. But when my mum said that she didn’t mind making the dresses, no matter how many, we took advantage of it and had seven. The best man was an easy choice. Matthew has always been around, even when he moved away for a bit, and he proved a brilliant choice, as him and his girlfriend Kirsty, were an excellent organisational team.
Why did you choose your venue? We are not religious so knew it would be civil ceremony in the registry office for us. We wanted a blank canvas without the restraints of typical wedding venues. We looked at a few village halls, but as soon as we walked into the hall at Dingestow, we knew it was perfect, with its wooden beams, arches and surrounding fields. Valerie, who takes care of the bookings, was lovely and we felt like she was a real friend by the end of the wedding.
How did the proposal happen? We have been together ten years and I had given up on the idea of Jamie getting around to actually asking me to marry him. On St Dwynwen’s Day (Welsh Valentine’s Day), Jamie surprised me with a meal (I spoilt that a bit by refusing to eat at the table!) then getting down on one knee with the most amazing vintage diamond ring which I love. It was perfect and a complete shock. I have always said that I didn’t want a long engagement, and a spring wedding, so the date was set for the following year.
Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share? Most things were DIY by myself: from the wedding invites, place settings, bunting, favours, cake decorating, table linen and flowers. The dresses were made by mum, and mine was the last wedding dress she will make, which makes it even more special. I initially wanted to do a lot more, including some of the catering, but as you start planning, you realise that it is impossible to do everything, and I then focused on the things which meant the most to me.
I took a one day floristry course with Love Lily, and then got the flowers from the wholesaler and did them all in the two days prior to the wedding. It was a massive undertaking, but we were so pleased with the result. The flowers were essential to the feel and look we wanted for the wedding.
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently? We wish we had chosen a videographer for the wedding. It wasn’t something I had thought was important, but in hindsight, it would have been brilliant to look back on the day with moving pictures.
Do you have any advice for future couples? At the beginning, choose what aspects are important to you and don’t feel you have to go with the normal. We wanted a cake table, so the wedding cake wasn’t a big deal. We had a supermarket one, which we decorated…and then even forgot to cut it.
When things get stressful with the planning, just focus on what your wedding means…marrying the person you love with loved ones around you. It makes you realise that the other bits are just details.
What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received? Being together ten years means that we already know what works for us. We talk lots, about everything and anything. We also try to make time for just us, which isn’t easy with two children, but little things like making sure they are in bed by 8 so we have evenings together and by arranging a night out once a month, helps to keep us sane and happy.
What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding? Everything about it. Just wish we could do it all again. We felt so special to have people around us who loved and cared for us so much. I have run an accessories business for a while now, and it caters for weddings too which helps to relive the special day.
HEPBURN PHOTOGRAPHY www.hepburnphotography.co.uk
My aim is to provide you with beautifully natural photos that show your wedding in its own unique style, with all the joy and emotions of the day.
Aww, isn’t this Cwtch of the Week super cute? :) Jamie & Anna’s vintage wedding will be coming up on the blog next Friday – be sure to look out for it! Big thanks to Hepburn Photography for snapping this cwtch :)