Jon & Sam’s Rustic Wedding at Wolfscastle Country Hotel, Pembrokeshire by Maria Farrelly

Oooo… today we are sharing Jon & Sam’s stunning rustic wedding at Wolfscastle Country Hotel in Pembrokeshire. Photographed by me (Maria Farrelly Photography). Pembrokeshire is one of my favourite areas to photograph in Wales and this couple were an absolute joy to work with.  They were relaxed throughout the whole planning process, right up to the day itself! The weather couldn’t have been any better and the whole day went without a hitch (which in this industry is VERY RARE!) haha… enjoy! ~ Maria x 

Jon & Sam’s Rustic Wedding at Wolfscastle Country Hotel

wolfcastle_Pembrokeshire_wedding_076What was your budget? 

We didn’t have an exact budget. We tried to be as careful with our money as possible. So lots of research and I (Sam) haggled where possible, and even sometimes when not – but I think if you don’t ask you don’t get! We did discuss a budget but Jon wouldn’t give me one to work with. His actual words were “If I give you a budget you will reach it, and then some – it’d be more like a goal than a budget! So if we don’t set a budget then we may be able to keep the costs down!” He is lucky that I still married him ;-)wolfcastle_Pembrokeshire_wedding_067

How would you describe your wedding theme?

From the beginning we wanted a summer wedding with a very rustic feel. A marquee, hay bales, jam jars with flowers in, barrels of ale, a hog roast and a live band. A simple, pretty wedding. But when we actually sat down and looked at the cost of venues and all the costs to achieve this idea we were so surprised that it was all so much more expensive that choosing a more formal setting. We were lucky as we chose to marry in our home county of Pembrokeshire so we had lots of more affordable choices, that weren’t too far from the original idea. So I guess to sum it up, our theme was formal elegant yet rustic wedding!  wolfcastle_Pembrokeshire_wedding_083

What was your favourite part of your wedding?

To sum up one part of our day as the favourite is just impossible! From start to finish it was perfect. The sun was shining, we had a lovely breeze (which massively helped when the nerves kicked in, no one wants to be a ‘sweaty Betty’ on their wedding day!), everything went to plan. It’s true what everyone had said “it’ll all come together” and it did, and more!

Sam: I wanted to inhale every second during our actual marriage. I wanted to remember the look in Jon’s eyes when we said our vows. I was sure I’d cry, or maybe he would have, but it was all just dreamy and I am so glad that every last word sank in. I will never forget that. wolfcastle_Pembrokeshire_wedding_048

Jon: When we sat in the wedding car and I looked at Sam, I just thought “that’s my wife!” that was a pretty incredible moment.wolfcastle_Pembrokeshire_wedding_072

Tell us about your Wedding Dress

My bestie and Matron of Honour, Adele and my Mum came with me to White Bride bridal shop in Narberth, my home town. Adele had bought her wedding dress from there, and she told me how lovely the owner Sally, and her staff were. So I felt at ease before I had even walked through the door. I tried on 5 dresses that day, although Adele had picked out a 6th that unfortunately I didn’t have time to try on. Although I wasn’t that bothered about not trying it on, as it didn’t seem like a dress that would suit my curves, and it had a belt which I thought would have been a no no. I then visited a different bridal shop miles away in Winchester, and that very same dress I didn’t try on was there. I wanted to try it on just to be able to tell Adele that I tried it, then I could eliminate it and move on. Well, when I put it on, it was just breath taking (even if I do say so myself!!) The dress was made by the wonderfully talented Sassy Holford. The dress is called ‘Ruby’. I wanted to purchase my dress at White Bride. The ladies who work in this bridal shop just have such a friendly, wonderful approach that there was no where else I’d rather have gone to purchase my wedding dress. I have a complex with exposing my back. ‘Ruby’ had a ‘V’ plunge back with a silk trim. This wasn’t for me. I explained all this to Sally, who then contacted Sassy herself! Sally came up with a design that covered up this detail, and all of a sudden my dream dress was there! I had a ‘one off’ Sassy Holford – it was love at first sight!!wolfcastle_Pembrokeshire_wedding_004wolfcastle_Pembrokeshire_wedding_003wolfcastle_Pembrokeshire_wedding_070

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

Jon picked his best friend Kane to be best man. When I first met Kane I knew that I had stepped on the toes of their bromance! They are great friends, so there really was no one else for the job. I had 10 bridesmaids. Yes I know 10 is a lot – everyone I said the number ’10’ to gasped! We have big families and I didn’t want to leave any of my special girls out. I had 3 older bridesmaids in one style of dress and the younger 6 in another style. My beautiful little flower girls Isla was just 6 months old so she had the same dress as the younger girls but in a different colour. Choosing a dress to suit 10 girls all of different ages would have been impossible so I wanted to have them slightly different. The colours and styles went together beautifully. The girls all looked sensational. Kane scrubbed up well too ;-)wolfcastle_Pembrokeshire_wedding_058

Why did you choose your venue?

Wolfscastle Country Hotel, Pembrokeshire, Wow what a truly beautiful venue. It would have been great for all weather conditions, and considering our wedding was in Wales, we realistically had to plan for rain and anything else was a bonus. We happened to be incredibly lucky and had perfect weather!wolfcastle_Pembrokeshire_wedding_001
The staff were exceptionally helpful. The owners went above and beyond to make us happy, and we went through all the details with a fine tooth comb. Nothing was too much to ask for. The fact it was a hotel was a bonus. We had friends and family coming from near and far, so to have somewhere for people to stay was brilliant. The food was out of this world. All of our guest complimented our choice on venue!

Tell us about your photographer

Maria Farrelly photographed Adele’s wedding. She was brilliant that day, so we just had to have her! I love a selfie, but Jon is not keen on being centre of attention. Maria made us feel at ease. She went above and beyond her photography role, she even helped Adele to do up my wedding dress! She had beautiful, inventive ideas to photograph parts of our day that we could never have dreamed up. The images are stunning. We also had the photo booth – what great fun that is! We have got hilarious images of all of our loved ones just having THE BEST TIME! I would highly recommend her and her team.
wolfcastle_Pembrokeshire_wedding_027wolfcastle_Pembrokeshire_wedding_053How did the proposal happen? 

We had been together for 6 years. Marriage had been talked about, it was definitely something we both wanted, but felt there was no rush.
My Mum and step-dad Pete came to looked after our eldest son Dylan who was 2 at the time. Jon took me to London. I must admit, I had suspected that this could be THE weekend, but when Jon was so casual about us sharing cases, and didn’t appear to be hiding anything or being at all on edge I dismissed it and just wanted to enjoy a weekend just the two of us.
Jon surprised me with dinner at a restaurant that is special to us. Gaucho Broadgate. We sat at the table we had sat at a few years ago. It was a perfect coincidence! After our food we walked out of the restaurant straight onto Finsbury Avenue Square. If you don’t know where this is, then to set the scene, the floor is lit up in squares, it’s a very cool sight. Jon at this point was being a little odd, directing me to the centre of the square. Then all of a sudden he went down on one knee! It was breath taking! He said he loved me very much and would I marry him! I said “yes of course I will!”. There were a few people around who applauded and cheered! I cried! He slipped the ring on my finger, and then realised I hadn’t even looked at it. Surprising how handy the torch on the iPhone is! Wow. I am one lucky girl. I wear my engagement (and wedding ring) with pride. We had a magical weekend. Champagne bars, a meal at The Dorchester Hotel!!, a night at the theatre and a belting hangover!! A truly wonderful, unforgettable weekend.wolfcastle_Pembrokeshire_wedding_082

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

We wanted to make our wedding invites ourselves, thinking this would save us money. Actually when we priced up the stationary and how long it would take we had someone else to make them. Especially Made Wedding Stationary (Southampton), did a wonderful job. We ended up getting the lovely Natalie to do all our stationary, table plan and a post box for wedding cards. She was exceptional!wolfcastle_Pembrokeshire_wedding_022 We liked an idea we had seen where the run of the day was written out to show guests what time to expect things to happen. We chose to use a wooden crate. Jon’s brother Sam had been able to get us one of these. Steph (Jon’s sister) and I painted out our chosen wording. This looked very effective, and I think it was nice for people to know what to expect. The wooden crate meant we kept with our theme too.
We borrowed a black board from my cousin Rhiannon, and asked people who used Instagram to hashtag #whitbywedding15 so we would be able to look at photos that people had taken.wolfcastle_Pembrokeshire_wedding_079 We had invited a lot of children to help celebrate our day with us and our boys. So trying to think of entertainment for them was tricky. Trying to make sure that at the forefront of our minds, this is our wedding not a child’s birthday party. So we had a ‘kid’s table’. It had lots of colouring books, crayons, sticker books, stick on moustaches (everyone loves a ‘tash), small connect 4. We had outside games too. We borrowed these off friends, giant Jenga being one of them. Needless to say the kids were well entertained. wolfcastle_Pembrokeshire_wedding_089

What was your first dance & why?

Our first dance was You Are The Best Thing by Ray LaMontagne. The lyrics were perfect for us. I love music, and pay attention to the lyrics. Jon probably only remembers the chorus!
Jon and I are fun people so we didn’t want anything too heavy, and also didn’t want anything too slow. We didn’t want to end up doing the traditional ‘school disco’ dance. Also we had a swing shift band who played this song. The start alone was outstanding, give me goose bumps just thinking about it :-)wolfcastle_Pembrokeshire_wedding_090

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

Hmm… yes and no… I loved my dress, it was so beautiful and I felt like a princess. Buuut it was quite big. In the bridal shop, lots of space to prance around :-) however the reality of the wedding day, it got trampled on A LOT. That wasn’t the end of the world I know, but I felt like I took up majority of the dance floor when I graced it with my presence! :-D So I wouldn’t have wanted to change my dress really… a bigger dance floor would have been great!

Do you have any advice for future couples?

Think of exactly what you want your day to be like, remember it’s just one day and you have to do it your way, not how you think others will want it to be. Don’t compromise as you may regret it. Something I regret is not spending enough time with my close friends. I was so conscious that I needed to spend time with family we do not see often I felt I neglected not only my close friends, but myself! I wish I had spent more time with my besties.wolfcastle_Pembrokeshire_wedding_099

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

Be happy, listen to each other, take care of each other, enjoy each other.

So far so good :-)wolfcastle_Pembrokeshire_wedding_056

What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

As soppy as it may sound, knowing that we were going to be ‘The Whitby’s’ was amazing! I felt left out, Jon, Dylan and Evan were Whitby’s and not me, so as silly as that sounds that was exciting!
I had a few surprises for Jon, so knowing that he would have those on our special day was lovely. I got Jon and his Mum a hot rod to take them to church. They loved it! You can hear Edith squeal, (with excitement I hope not fear) as the car rode off from her house.wolfcastle_Pembrokeshire_wedding_015
We had seen the band at our friend’s wedding. That was exciting as we knew our friends and family would love them.
In the last few weeks of planning, when everything just started to come together, they were amazing moments. Just being able to visualise this fabulous day!

The Suppliers

Photographer: Maria Farrelly
Videographer: Nick Pudsey – Pembrokeshire Video
Ceremony Venue: St Mary’s Church, Spittal, Pembrokeshire
Reception Venue: Wolfscastle Country Hotel
Bride’s Dress: White Bride, Narberth
Bride’s Shoes: Monsoon
Bride’s Jewellery: My Mum’s pearls she wore on her wedding day
Groom’s Outfit: Ted Baker
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Monsoon
Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Monsoon
Cake: Sian Lewis – a family friend
Flowers: Elsa Sharp
Hair and Make Up: Katie Evans – Katie Marie Mobile Hair Stylist
Band and DJ: Barry Hammett’s Swing Shift Band
Stationery: Especially Made – Natalie Studwell
Any Reception Decor/Props: Brother in law Sam Whitby made centre piece circles of wood, and for cake
Transport: Top Class Cars & Weddings

The Wedding Album

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Boutique Wedding Fayre: Ivy Bush Hotel, Carmarthen on Sunday 13th March,

We have a date for your diary… and its THIS SUNDAY! 12828300_1170837222962741_6399099454696547608_oThe beautiful Boutique Wedding Fayre returns to the Ivy Bush Hotel, Carmarthen on Sunday 13th of March 2016.


With lots of amazing local, Welsh suppliers on hand to help you create the perfect wedding…This is one date you don’t want to miss.

 Free Entry, Goody Bags and prizes to be won!



Honeymoon hampers, Emma Phillips Bridal StudioMaria Farrelly PhotographyExquisite by DesignTop Class Cars & WeddingsJackie James,Leah James Makeup ArtistryLyn’s Cake Creations,Cariad CampersPiece of Cake WalesBlodau Blodwen FlowersGeorgina Cornock Harpist/Telynores, ,Cynhyrchiad CLIC Productions – Wedding VideographyMake-Up By NicolaDreams Events Styling – Chair Covers & Wedding Decoration Hire,Huw Rees BridesCatherine & Angharad – Stylish Wedding PhotographyGlyn’s Wedding Cars,Christina’s Chair Covers & Sashes and Roy Watkins Photography.

12832583_958473110855118_6082068817968774303_nFANTASTIC PRIZE TO BE WON

Valued at £150! Simply fill in your details on the post card provided when you enter the event.

Good luck x12802832_956759834359779_7752514128922302900_n

Real Wedding: Adele & Kris’ Beautiful Bluestone Wedding by Maria Farrelly

This week’s real wedding is an absolute beauty! Adele and Kris booked our very own super talented Maria Farrelly to photograph their West Wales Wedding. Bride Adele tells us all about it here. 


What was your budget? We did not have a budget but knew what type of Wedding Day we both wanted and were lucky enough to have people involved who were able to share their hidden special talents with us which helped us out financially but most importantly made it that extra bit personal.
These talents and generous offerings included the bunting (which was a main feature and looked amazing) and was made by my mum Julie, mother-in-law Louise, sister Danielle, sister-in-laws Kirsty and Rosie, bother-in-law Ali and supervised by myself and Kris. The bunting has since been lent out to other friends and family for their weddings.


How would you describe your wedding theme? We didn’t really have a set theme but if I was to describe the wedding it was a little bit country with some vintage aspects. We wanted a wedding and reception that was relaxed and suitable for all of the guests to enjoy. There were some afternoon garden games and the photo booth in the evening which was entertaining for everyone.


Tell us about your wedding dress: I only went to two bridal shops and both times this was accompanied by my mum and sister. I had an idea of what I liked and what I thought would suit me but was advised to try on a range of styles. I would definitely recommend future brides to do the same as it was so surprising to see how different the dresses looked off the rail and I really enjoyed seeing how they looked on me.
I found ‘The One’ at WhiteBride in Narberth. The dress on its own was not what I wanted but when the different parts were added, e.g. the sleevelet which I had attached to the dress, belt, veil and headpiece, it was perfect! I fell in love with it instantly and both my mum and sister loved it too. I did not commit straight away as I thought it might have been a bit too hasty and it was quite far in advance. A couple of weeks later the lovely assistant Amy at WhiteBride happened to be shopping in the shop where my sister was working and she asked how the wedding preparations were going, to which my sister replied that I had not looked at any other dresses and still loved ‘The One’. Amy then said that the dress was going to be going on sale and that an appointment had come up after a cancelation that day. That was the day I tried it all on again and ended up buying my perfect dress and accessories AND managed to get it on the sale.
I would highly recommend WhiteBride as Sally stocks absolutely beautiful dresses and the whole experience of being a WhiteBride for me was just so relaxed, personal and special!

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What was your favourite part of your wedding? We loved the whole day. I particularly enjoyed the church service, walking into the church with my dad by my side and my bridesmaids, flower girls and page boy following and being able to share the best day of my life with the people I care about the most.


I also thoroughly enjoyed the photo booth in the evening. It was so much fun and I think almost all of the wedding guests managed to get photographed. Maria Farrelly who was our amazing photographer managed to capture the whole day and night beautifully. She worked her socks off right into the late hours of the evening and witnessed some interesting posing in the photo booth.


Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why? I did worry about having a large wedding party but I am so glad I had the people I chose. My sister Danielle was my chief bridesmaid, my three other bridesmaids were my two sister in laws Kirsty and Rosie and also my best friend Sam. My three flower girls were my cousins Mia, Aimee and Eirianna and also my godson Dylan was our page boy.
I was so lucky as the bridesmaids were all really helpful with the hen and wedding preparations. I thought it might have been difficult finding dresses to suit them all that they all liked and most importantly felt comfortable in but this proved to be quite easy in the end and they all looked absolutely stunning.
It was easy for Kris to choose who his best man was going to be as it was his twin brother Keeron. His two ushers were his best friend from uni Adam and brother in law Ali. 

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Why did you choose your venue? Kris originally wanted a marquee on his farm but we realised there was a lot to consider and plan for including the extra costs. So we compromised and managed to find a beautiful marquee located at Bluestone Resort. It was perfect. 

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How did the proposal happen? In the words of Kris Stone…’It was magical!’
Well I have to admit it was special. Kris and I were childhood sweethearts and got together at secondary school at the age of 16. We were celebrating our 10 year anniversary in New York and on the night of our anniversary we were getting ready to go to watch the War Horse at the theatre and Kris was acting a bit flustered but I did not think anything of it. We had both really enjoyed the show and when we got back to the hotel room there was champagne waiting and Kris ‘fell’ to his knee and said so fast ‘will you marry me?’ It was really funny and awkward as he was so nervous even though we had been together for so long. After realising what had just happened I agreed and we sat in the room sipping champagne and laughing for a little while after. Kris thought it would be nice to do some ring shopping on Madison Avenue the following day but it proved to be a little bit of a pricey move and so later picked a ring in Cardiff.


What was your first dance & why? We thought for a very long time about whether we wanted to do a first dance and also what song we would like to have. After thinking about it long and hard we decided maybe we wouldn’t do one. However the night before the wedding, with the help and encouragement from my mum, sister and best friend Sam, we agreed we could maybe do a dance and quickly chose a song which was ‘Let’s stay together’ by Al Green.
This ended up being one of Kris’s fondest memories of the day…being able to have some time for a kiss and embrace (not only with his new wife but also with his twin brother during their ‘twin first dance’) in a lovely but hectic day.

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In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently? The whole day was perfect but I think for me I wish that I had sat in the back of the convertible car with my dad instead of sitting in the front. I did not think it was much of a big deal at the time as I was panicking we were going to be late and also did not know if it was a good idea climbing into the back of the car with my delicate dress. But even though it was a short distance it would have been nice to share that time with him and also it looked funny in the pictures with my dad being chaperoned in the back on his own.


For Kris he would have liked to have spent more time on the dance floor with his wife.  


Do you have any advice for future couples? The advice that was given to us a lot before we got married was to try and take in every part of the day and enjoy every second as it goes so fast. This was the best advice given and I think we really did try to do this all day.
This was also helped by having a fantastic photographer Maria Farrelly who seemed to capture the whole day beautifully. So if you haven’t already booked your photographer Maria is excellent.

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What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding? Getting everybody involved and sharing the excitement and preparations with them. 


Photographer: Maria Farrelly

Names of the couple: Adele & Kris
Wedding Date: 3rd of August 2013
Ceremony Venue: St Mary’s Church, Begelly
Reception Venue: Marquee at Bluestone Resort
Bride’s Dress and Headpiece: White Bride, Narberth
Bride’s Shoes: Rachel Simpson
Bride’s Jewellery: My Mum’s jewellery that she wore on her wedding day
Groom’s Outfit: Dress for the Occasions, Haverfordwest
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Phase Eight
Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Shoes from Next and Jewellery from Not On the High Street
Cake: Cakes by Karlos & Co
Flowers: Talented Friend Bethan Jones-Hughes
Hair: Caronwen at Ava Marie Narberth
Make Up: Lucy at Bella Bella Beauty Saundersfoot
Band: The Glory
Stationery: Tredeml Print Narberth
Any Reception Decor/Props: Christinas Chair Covers, St Clears
Transport: We used friends and family cars
Other: The wedding car started off life as a ‘banger’ in a charity rally across Europe. After some persuasion I agreed to use it for our special day on the condition that Kris at least attempted to clean and polish it. It turned out great on the day and in the photos looking back. It has a lot of sentimental value.

The Wedding Album

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Real Wedding: Sue & Martin’s Pembrokeshire Wedding by Maria Farrelly

We have a very special wedding to share with you today. It was a very small intimate wedding that took place at The Grove in Narberth, Pembrokeshire. For Sue and Martin Brown, this was second time around for them both. Martin was divorced and Sue was widowed four years ago. They actually met when Martin, who is a Carpenter, came to do some work in Sue’s house! They always joke about Sue’s daughter Polly who said Martin is the carpenter who came and never left!

This was a wedding I was so pleased to have photographed myself and its an absolute pleasure to share this with you today. Not every wedding needs to be big nor does it have to have all the frills. Sometimes simply surrounding yourself with those few special people in your life and spending the afternoon together in a beautiful location can be just right.  Personally, I find small intimate weddings to be so special and quite emotional too! 


On another note, Our bride, Sue is an avid reader of Cwtch the Bride and when i asked her if it was ok for me to feature their wedding she wrote me the most touching and wonderful response, “So glad you asked, when I see all the beautiful weddings you feature I never thought you might think of including ours! it’s a lovely compliment and I feel very proud to be included”. Sue… I LOVED every bit of your wedding and I’m sure our readers will too! Huge congratulations to you and Martin and may you have a VERY happy marriage!  Love Maria 

I’ll hand you over to Sue now with all the details of her big day, Enjoy x 

All Images by Maria Farrelly Photography 

Budget – Our budget was around £5,000. It was a tiny wedding  – just us and our five adult children.
Wedding theme – We didn’t really have a theme and I’m too chaotic to be too matchy! We went for fun, vintage and informal and we got lots of ideas from Pinterest including the boys’ bow ties and mad socks. We opted for an afternoon tea rather than a formal meal which worked well for us and just chose pastel colours without anything specific.
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Wedding dress – Choosing a dress seemed impossible – I’m an older bride and all the dresses I looked at seemed to be for younger (and thinner!) brides. I knew Rachel, owner with her partner David of Swesky, a lovely bridal boutique near Porthcawl which really is a one stop shop for all things wedding. Rachel patiently helped me try on loads of dresses and I was able to choose one which was nearly right – some adjustments to the dress and the addition of a silk bolero and shoes in pale green completed the outfit. Jan Lewis of Pencoed who usually makes fabulous hats, made me a Swarovski crystal headpiece with a sequinned birdcage veil. I tried to achieve a 50’s style which I think does suit a bride a little past her prime!
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Favourite part of wedding – Hard to choose – the sun shone and we laughed all day. The highlights were the beautiful poem that my daughter Polly wrote and read out during the ceremony and the sight of Josie and Laura sprawled across the grass in an attempt to catch my bouquet!
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Best man and bridesmaids – Martin’s son Will was his best man, possibly the most handsome best man ever! Our three girls were honourary bridesmaids although they chose their own outfits; we wanted them to be comfortable and happy.
Proposal – We always knew we wanted to marry each other from the time we met, I must admit I can’t actually remember the proposal but seem to remember there were a few!
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First dance – no dancing but we did put together a playlist of our favourite songs for the ceremony and afterwards, we chose At Last by Etta James to walk in which we did together, it just felt right.
What we would have done diferently – not a thing – well maybe a dress with straps!
Advice for future couples – have the best venue you can afford; it will look beautiful and then you won’t need a lot of extra frippery such as chair covers, table decorations etc. Have the best photographer you can afford; the day will whizz by and your lovely photos will last you a lifetime and provide all your memories.
Favourite thing about planning – I found Pinterest really good for ideas and loved looking at other peoples weddings. Apart from that seeing the outfits the children came up with was great.

Suppliers List

Photographer – Maria Farrelly
Ceremony and Reception venue – The Grove, Narberth
Brides Dress, Shoes, Jewellery and Transport – Swesky
Cake – Lesley Brown, Groom’s sister
Brides headpiece Jan Lewis

 The Wedding Album

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