Spring Bride Ali’s Non Traditional Ceremony

Photo 02-03-2016, 15 55 51

We all have to have a little bit of compromising to do for our wedding. Whether it be inviting less people, finding a cheaper option on the suits or leaving off the one friend who could have been a bridesmaid but the … Continue reading

Real Wedding: Nicola & Dan’s Humanist Vintage Wedding in Pembrokeshire by Whole Picture Weddings

Nicola & Dan had a beautiful humanist wedding at Dan’s family home in Pembrokeshire in September last year. The day was captured beautifully by Whole Picture Weddings, huge thank you to Naomi from Whole Picture for submitting! As always we asked the bride and groom a few questions about their day.


How would you describe your wedding theme? I would best describe our day as a Vintage Tea party. We didn’t have any firm ideas to begin with but we knew from the very beginning that we wanted to have as relaxed a day as possible, with not too much structure. Neither of us wanted to get married in a church, but we didn’t want to settle for a registry office, and both of us loved the idea of getting married outdoors, but it seemed like that was not an option, until we came across Dee Phillips who is an accredited Celebrant with the British Humanist Society, and as soon as we met her we knew we wanted a humanist ceremony and we had the perfect spot! I had my heart set on afternoon tea instead of a sit down hot meal so we worked around that and everything else fell into place.

288DN 383DN 191DN428DN

What was your favourite part of your wedding? It’s really hard to pick my favourite part; the ceremony was really special to us, but I was so nervous that at the time it seemed like a bit of a blur! I really enjoyed mingling with our guests and seeing everyone enjoying all the little details we had put together. We were so lucky that we had amazing weather on the day and it couldn’t have been more perfect as we had giant garden games and a ice cream van which seemed to go down a storm.


One of the things I loved the most was having all of our family and friends together. My family and friends from home had a long way to travel and it was a lovely opportunity for them to see where I live.

233DN 253DN

Tell us about your Wedding Dress My dress was a Charlotte Balbier dress which I found at White Bride in Narberth. I wasn’t really looking forward to wedding dress shopping and after me and my mum had an awful experience at a discount wedding dress store I put off dress shopping for a while. I visited 3 bridal stores and in the end narrowed it down to 2 dresses, but the Charlotte Balbier dress was perfect; it had the vintage look I wanted and most of all it didn’t feel restricting! All along I didn’t want a dress with a train but in the end, after being talked around I decided to keep it and I’m glad I did. Sally at White’s made the experience so enjoyable, walking into her boutique is like stepping into a fairy tale! The shoes I had for the day were the ones Sally gave me to try on when I first tried my dress and from hen on I couldn’t imagine any others!

117DN 121DN057DN

Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why? My best friend Robyn was my Maid of Honour, she has known Dan and I since we first became a couple and we were all at university together. I also asked one of my closest friends Emily, who I met when I moved to Pembrokeshire. I didn’t know many people at all when I moved here and she made it so much easier for me to settle in here. I also asked my cousin Ashleigh, who was really excited to be a bridesmaid for the first time, and Dan’s two nieces Teagan and Shaylyn, who I think nearly drove my sister in law Shauna mad in the run up to the wedding!

Dan’s best man was his friend Gethin. They’ve been friends since play group and Gethin was one of the first of Dan’s friends that I got to know when I moved here.


Why did you choose your venue? We were so lucky to be able to have our wedding at Dan’s family home which has a lot of happy memories. With such a magnificent setting right on our doorstep it felt silly to go elsewhere! Our ceremony overlooked the lake and my now parents in-law put it so much hard work to make the place look amazing.


How did the proposal happen?  The proposal was no grand affair but it was our style and I think sums us up as a couple. Dan proposed on my birthday, whilst we were staying at my mum and dad’s house. I woke early and dan was already awake. He said happy birthday and pointed to my birthday card which was propped up on the bedside table. I took the card and behind was a ring box. After opening the card I opened the box and saw a lovely ring inside, but I assumed it was a birthday ring, and not “the” ring, so I said thank you and placed it back on the side so I could wake up properly. This was when Dan told me it wasn’t just any ring, and that was how we got engaged! It was just like his style and it was perfect. When we got back home we went shopping together to pick out my engagement ring, so now I have 2 beautiful rings!


Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share? I set out with the intention of doing most things myself. I’m quite crafty and handy with a sewing machine, but it didn’t take long to realise maybe I needed to be more realistic. In the beginning I wanted to make the bridesmaid dresses myself and even did a trial run, but my dad talked me out of it as he was worried I was taking on too much, and I think he was right! I did make all the bunting myself, and was sewing until 3 in the morning a couple of nights in the week before the wedding, but I was so pleased with the way it looked in the end. One of my favourite details was the glass jars that we used as centrepieces. I collected coffee jars for months and with the help of 2 of my friends, Jane and Rachel we decorated them with ribbon and string etc to fit in with the vintage theme, they looked fab! I had a lot of help from family and friends. My mum came to stay for a week and we spent most of it making bunting! I had loads of ideas pinned on Pinterest and I didn’t get round to half of them, but it didn’t matter in the end. I also made some beaded flowers for each of the bouquets and my mum and Dan’s mums buttonholes. They took me a lot longer than I anticipated but I was over the moon with the way they looked. I found all of the instructions for the things I made online.

078DN 384DN 474DN
I also spent a lot of time collecting vintage tea cups and saucers, and I had a ball! My friend Jane and I visited all sorts of places from auction houses to flea markets, charity shops and car boot sales. I was quite sad when I didn’t need to collect anymore! The vintage china was one of the things I wanted from the beginning to tie in with the afternoon tea and I was so pleased with how it all looked.


What was your first dance & why? Our first dance was to The Guillemots, Made up Love Song. Neither of us were looking forward to this part, and it was the longest 3 minutes of our lives, but it’s an important rite of passage and I think we would have been disappointed had we not had a first dance. I told my friends that they had to join us quickly on the dance floor, which they all ignored, and thought was hilarious!


In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently? We had the perfect day for us and we wouldn’t change it for the world. There were times in the lead up that we said we wished we had gone away somewhere and had a low key wedding but after the amazing day we had with our friends and family and now being able to look back through our beautiful photos we wouldn’t change anything at all.

161DN 286DN410DN 494_IMG_3051-38 519DN

Do you have any advice for future couples? Stick to your guns with what you want even if it’s a little out of the ordinary. When we said we were going to have a humanist ceremony no one knew what to expect and were a little apprehensive but it was the perfect ceremony for us, and we had so many comments afterwards about how lovely and personal it was.

083DN 289DN 322DN 422DN

What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received? My dad gave Dan a good piece of advice in his speech, he said the best way to remember an anniversary was to forget it once!

461DN 551DN

What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding? One of my favourite things about planning our wedding was letting my creative side run wild and trying out making all sorts of different things.

148DN 395DN 427DN 495DN557DN

The Suppliers

Photographer: Whole Picture Photography
Videographer: Simon Clarke Films
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Dan’s family home
Bride’s Dress: Charlotte Balbier Annabelle from White Bride, Narberth
Bride’s Shoes: Rachel Simpson
Bride’s Headpiece: Glass Oyster at Not on the High Street
Bride’s Jewellery: Jon Richard
Groom’s Outfit: Mr Roberts Formal Hire
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Dessy
Cake: Edward Taylor
Flowers: Mary Adams
Hair: Sarah @ Ava Marie, Narberth
Make Up: Amrie Dassen
Band: Sounds Familiar
Stationery: The Noble Hound
Caterers: Four Cooks
Any Reception Decor/Props: Cake Stands from The Vintage Tea Party Company, Carmarthen
Other: Ice Cream Van: Top Class Wedding Cars, Whitland.
Post box: Floatations Balloons, Narberth.

The Wedding Album

016DN 020DN 039DN 044DN 050DN 051DN 057DN 059DN 060DN 078DN 083DN 089DN 100DN 102DN 110DN 114DN 117DN 121DN 122DN 145DN 147DN 148DN 152DN 156DN 158DN 161DN 178DN 191DN 208DN 213DN 222DN 224DN 233DN 239DN 253DN 261DN 263DN 268DN 274DN 278DN 285DN 286DN 288DN 289DN 290DN 299DN 303DN 322DN 333DN 342DN 355DN 373DN 375DN 383DN 384DN 395DN 407DN 410DN 422DN 423DN 424DN 427DN 428DN 434DN 440DN 451DN 461DN 470DN 474DN 490DN 492DN 494_IMG_3000-34 494_IMG_3051-38 495DN 502DN 504DN 505DN 511DN 513DN 519DN 525DN 534DN 535DN 538DN 539DN 551DN 554DN 557DN 606DN 607DN 631DN 632DN 655DN 662DN 674DN 677DN 680DN

How beautiful! How many cwtchers have considered a humanist wedding? We’d love to hear from you, the why’s how’s and where’s! Leave a comment in the box x

Real Wedding: Laura & Dave’s Humanist Wedding in Snowdonia by Clive Nolan Photography

We know it’s cold outside but we’re hoping this stunning outdoor August wedding will warm your cockles! Laura & Dave got married in the most beautiful of locations: Llyn Gwynant in Snowdonia National Park. Their ceremony was followed by an outdoor humanist ceremony against this fabulous backdrop. We have spoken to their photographer, the fabulous Clive Nolan, to get his perspective on their magical day. clivenolan-dave_laura-56
Take it away Clive!
In Wales we are blessed with fantastic scenery and landscape and as a wedding photographer I love it when the location matches the wedding couple perfectly. This was definitely the case with Dave & Laura’s wedding at Llyn Gwynant in the heart of Snowdonia National Park. clivenolan-dave_laura-71
I’d met Laura and Dave some months earlier for their engagement shoot. Pre-wedding engagement shoots are very important to me. It allows me to meet the couple, talk through plans for the day, and try out some photography ideas. Every couple is different and the shoot is how I start to plan my visual approach to documenting a wedding.  I like to go to a location of importance to the couple – a favourite childhood stomping ground, the scene of their first meeting or, as in Dave and Laura’s case, the place where marriage was proposed. And what a location that was! Dave had proposed to Laura at one of their favourite places, the famous Uffington White Horse in Oxfordshire. The engagement shoot on top of the hill was a lovely, golden light-tinged evening complete with butterflies and a marvellous sunset and after a few hours talking, walking and photographing I knew how I was going to approach their big day with my camera.

A beautiful shot from the Engagement Shoot

A beautiful shot from the Engagement Shoot

As their wedding day arrived it looked like the weather was going to be perfect. Llyn Gwynant is a campsite nestled on the bank of a wonderful lake surrounded by the fabulous mountain ranges of Snowdonia. Most guests were camping and, not to be left out, I arrived with my tent and stayed the two nights as well. There was an early wedding-morning swim by Dave and friends and I needed to be there for that and it certainly made for a different set of groom-preparation shots! People swimming in a lake clivenolan-dave_laura-3
Meanwhile, Laura was getting ready in a nearby cottage with her bridesmaids and I popped over to photograph her as the morning went on. Her dress was amazing and there were some great spots outside the cottage for some portraits of her and her father before they left for the ceremony. clivenolan-dave_laura-28 clivenolan-dave_laura-33 clivenolan-dave_laura-36
I’ve photographed a few weddings at Llyn Gwynant now and the ceremony room has always looked just fantastic. A lot of effort and design had gone into making the place look just right. clivenolan-dave_laura-39 clivenolan-dave_laura-40 clivenolan-dave_laura-45 clivenolan-dave_laura-48A very emotional ceremony was followed by another humanist ceremony outdoors beneath the huge ribbon-tied oak tree. Outdoor ceremonies are always special and this one was particularly so as the wind rose down from the mountains and through the tree branches and the vows were made. A lovely ceremony indeed. clivenolan-dave_laura-58 clivenolan-dave_laura-60 clivenolan-dave_laura-63
The rest of the day flew by with tea and cake on the grass followed by some group shots up a hill before I took Dave and Laura off for some portraits around the landscape and beside the lake. clivenolan-dave_laura-51 clivenolan-dave_laura-52 clivenolan-dave_laura-55clivenolan-dave_laura-75 A married couple on the edge of a lake
After the wedding breakfast and speeches there was much dancing and celebrating well into the early hours. All in all it was a very special day indeed – one of those weddings when it is a total pleasure to document the day. clivenolan-dave_laura-86 clivenolan-dave_laura-101 clivenolan-dave_laura-103
As usual we asked the couple a few questions too.

What was your budget? Tight

How would you describe your wedding theme? Relaxed. We really didn’t want a theme, opting for bringing family and friends to an area that is really special to us both.

clivenolan-dave_laura-53 clivenolan-dave_laura-54 clivenolan-dave_laura-62

What was your favourite part of your wedding? The outdoor venue, and festival style accommodation arrangements – everyone really got to know each other. Also swimming in the lake was really magical.

clivenolan-dave_laura-1 Two girls running into a lake

Tell us about your Wedding Dress Dress at first sight… So to speak. Loved it immediately had the whole bridal party in tears.

clivenolan-dave_laura-15 clivenolan-dave_laura-29 A bride getting into her shoes on her wedding day

Why did you choose your venue? We have many happy memories of the area and wanted to invite all those that we love to come and experience a little of the magic of the valley

A just married couple on a hill clivenolan-dave_laura-84

How did the proposal happen?  Upon the eye of the white horse – Oxfordshire. With a surprise bottle of champagne.

What was your first dance & why? Brand new colony – The Postal Service. Has always been our song.

In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently? Not a thing!


Do you have any advice for future couples? Stay true to yourselves it’s your day

What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received? Don’t listen to anybody else and do what you want to do



Photographer: Clive Nolan
Wedding Date:3.8.13
Ceremony Venue: Llyn Gwynant
Cake: Darren Friend of the family
Flowers: Wild 
Hair: Sister
Make Up: Brides own
Caterers: Raynard and Brock
Transport: Our VW T4

The Wedding Album

clivenolan-dave_laura-1 Two girls running into a lake clivenolan-dave_laura-3 People swimming in a lake clivenolan-dave_laura-5 clivenolan-dave_laura-6 clivenolan-dave_laura-7 clivenolan-dave_laura-8 clivenolan-dave_laura-9 clivenolan-dave_laura-10 clivenolan-dave_laura-11 clivenolan-dave_laura-12 clivenolan-dave_laura-13 clivenolan-dave_laura-14 clivenolan-dave_laura-15 clivenolan-dave_laura-16 clivenolan-dave_laura-17 clivenolan-dave_laura-18 A woman sat in a chair clsping her hands clivenolan-dave_laura-20 clivenolan-dave_laura-21 clivenolan-dave_laura-22 clivenolan-dave_laura-23 clivenolan-dave_laura-24 clivenolan-dave_laura-25 clivenolan-dave_laura-26 clivenolan-dave_laura-27 clivenolan-dave_laura-28 clivenolan-dave_laura-29 clivenolan-dave_laura-30 clivenolan-dave_laura-31 A bride getting into her shoes on her wedding day clivenolan-dave_laura-33 clivenolan-dave_laura-34 clivenolan-dave_laura-35 clivenolan-dave_laura-36 clivenolan-dave_laura-37 clivenolan-dave_laura-38 clivenolan-dave_laura-39 clivenolan-dave_laura-40 clivenolan-dave_laura-41 clivenolan-dave_laura-42 clivenolan-dave_laura-43 clivenolan-dave_laura-44 clivenolan-dave_laura-45 clivenolan-dave_laura-46 clivenolan-dave_laura-47 clivenolan-dave_laura-48 clivenolan-dave_laura-49 clivenolan-dave_laura-50 clivenolan-dave_laura-51 clivenolan-dave_laura-52 clivenolan-dave_laura-53 clivenolan-dave_laura-54 clivenolan-dave_laura-55 clivenolan-dave_laura-56 clivenolan-dave_laura-57 clivenolan-dave_laura-58 clivenolan-dave_laura-59 clivenolan-dave_laura-60 clivenolan-dave_laura-61 clivenolan-dave_laura-62 clivenolan-dave_laura-63 clivenolan-dave_laura-64 clivenolan-dave_laura-65 clivenolan-dave_laura-66 clivenolan-dave_laura-67 clivenolan-dave_laura-68 Close up of teh flowers on a lapel on a suit Shot of a man on his wedding day with yellow flowers on lapel clivenolan-dave_laura-71 A just married couple kissing near a lake A married couple on a hill A just married couple on a hill clivenolan-dave_laura-75 clivenolan-dave_laura-76 clivenolan-dave_laura-77 clivenolan-dave_laura-78 clivenolan-dave_laura-79 clivenolan-dave_laura-80 clivenolan-dave_laura-81 clivenolan-dave_laura-82 A married couple on the edge of a lake clivenolan-dave_laura-84 clivenolan-dave_laura-85 clivenolan-dave_laura-86 clivenolan-dave_laura-87 clivenolan-dave_laura-88 clivenolan-dave_laura-89 clivenolan-dave_laura-90 clivenolan-dave_laura-91 clivenolan-dave_laura-92 clivenolan-dave_laura-93 clivenolan-dave_laura-94 clivenolan-dave_laura-95 clivenolan-dave_laura-96 clivenolan-dave_laura-97 clivenolan-dave_laura-98 clivenolan-dave_laura-99 clivenolan-dave_laura-100 clivenolan-dave_laura-101 clivenolan-dave_laura-102 clivenolan-dave_laura-103

Huge thanks to Laura, Dave and of course Clive for this special Real Wedding feature. If you would like to see your wedding up on our lovely blog next year get in touch with charlie@cwtchthebride.com