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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Featured Wedding Venue: Nantwen

If a couple were to build their own wedding venue how might it look?

Nantwen Cottage photographed by Owen Howells

Nantwen Cottage photographed by Owen Howells

Set down an off road track in Pembrokeshire the secretive Nantwen cottage has been a personal project for owners Daniel & Jemma. As they plan their own wedding there in August, they tell us a little about their journey so far…

Nantwen Logo

The thought of getting married before building a house never came to us. Instead we chose a joint mortgage and let a team of builders run wild on our barns whilst we continued with our careers as a Cellist and Goldsmith in London.

The moment the first barn was complete it became a firm favourite with honeymooners from all across the world. Hiraeth eventually set in so we left London and endeavoured to carve out a living in Wales. (Daniel as a teacher at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff and Jemma as a bespoke goldsmith with Slade Fine Jewellery.) [nb Hiraeth is a Welsh word that has no direct English translation. The University of Wales, Lampeter attempts to define it as homesickness tinged with grief or sadness over the lost or departed. It is a mix of longing, yearning, nostalgia, wistfulness, or an earnest desire for the Wales of the past] Our attention also started to turn towards the 3 stone walls which made up the derelict barn next door – affectionately known as The Bull Pen.

Daniel & Jemma at Nantwen

Daniel & Jemma at Nantwen

As a distraction from the question of what to do with these three stone walls we got engaged.  I commissioned a ring from Jemma’s Hatton Garden colleagues, dropped it in the mud by a waterfall in the Gwaun Valley before popping it on her finger.That afternoon we phoned the bank, the council and the builders and the bull pen was set to be restored as a studio in which to get married.

Daniel and Jemma walking along on the coast near Nantwen

Daniel and Jemma walking along on the coast near Nantwen

The builders restored the entire thing in a few months working solely between 11am and 4pm on the change over days of the increasingly popular Nantwen cottage. Meanwhile Jemma and I were busy getting to know and enjoying our beautiful little daughter Elsbeth. Our next project was to think about getting married ourselves so we had the studio licensed for very small and intimate civil ceremonies.

Jemma a week before Elsbeth was born

Jemma a week before Elsbeth was born

This is our first season as a venue for intimate weddings and we are really excited to be planning our own wedding here alongside the other couples.  With a venue on our doorstep and a goldsmith as the bride the only thing to really think about is the wedding feast and whether our guests will be able to find the secret little cottage with blue doors!

Nantwen wedding space photographed by Owen Howells

Nantwen wedding space photographed by Owen Howells

What makes Nantwen so important for us is that it is formed completely out of its surroundings.  Guests to the cottage, don’t get told where it is until a few weeks before their stay, this adds to the charm of it.  It is small, rugged, wild, unusual, peaceful and romantic. The contents has been scavenged from the old farm, it is incredibly eco friendly and the abundance of wildlife inspired the wilderness garden and wildflower meadows that surround it. We also love sharing it. 16134489837_7e4dd0a55d_o-570x350 Nantwen-Photographed-by-Owen-Howells-224-570x350

Photographed by Owen Howells

Photographed by Owen Howells

Nantwen offers various wedding packages including runaway weddings and honeymoons. See www.nantwen.co.uk or call 01239821139

WOW! What a BEAUTIFUL venue! I am very jealous of any couple that get married here! In fact if you are a Nantwen couple please send us your story, or if you are married send us your wedding photos! Email charlie@cwtchthebride.com