Happy Friday Cwtchers!
Excited to show you all our gorgeous Real Wedding this week. Not only is it beautiful, with stunning images by David Wickham, but its of our one and only Graceful Bride.
If you have been following her blog entries, then you know about everything that went into making this day so wonderful! And its not just about the shoes (although they are, of course, pretty spectacular!)
Without further ado, I shall hand over to the beautiful Victoria, to tell you all about her and Robs big day……
Victoria and Rob
What was your budget?
We had an initial budget of £20,000 with £18,000 being joint money and then a £2,000 budget of my money for my dress. I figured no one could tell me off for spending too much money on the dress and shoes if it was my own! We still managed to go over budget in the end though!
How would you describe your wedding theme?
I have these great ideas in my head which I’m then useless at explaining to people so I think that Wendy our florist was the only person to get my theme in the planning stages!
I was describing it as relaxed country elegance. I wanted everyone to just be chilled out and enjoy themselves. A church wedding but not too traditional, a country house for the reception but not too formal, everything had it own meaning. My aim was it to look like it was effortless, that the house was ours almost and we’d just used whatever was around to decorate with flowers cut from the garden that morning.
Trouble is once you start saying to people about centrepieces with books and teapots everyone automatically thinks a vintage theme which wasn’t quite my aim! I hope people got it in the end, or at least a feel for what I was going for. Maybe I should have walked around saying relaxed country elegance a lot more!!
Colour wise we decided to stay away from the traditional Autumn colours and go slightly different. Rob wanted to wear a navy suit and the hints of blush just seemed a perfect compliment to it.
What was your favourite part of your wedding?
I’m not sure I can pick just one part! Our wedding turned into a bit of a 4 day extravaganza and I loved it all.
We had a great few days beforehand with various golf, afternoon tea and dinners out and the Friday with my family setting everything up at the venue was just great fun. On the day itself we had such a relaxed morning getting ready and then walked to the church to try and stay calm!
I don’t remember any finer points of the ceremony, only that we probably laughed too much and that atmosphere carried on for the rest of the day.
If I was really pushed then one of the best bits for me was walking down the driveway to the church. The sun was shining, the mist had lifted over the mountains and I could hear the choir singing as we got closer. It was beautiful and I had no nerves going in to marry Rob after that!
Tell us about your Wedding Dress
With me living in Essex, my Mum in Wales, one bridesmaid in Kent doing a PhD and the other working it Hertfordshire it was always going to be a bit of a mission to organise dress shopping.
In the end we managed to get everyone free for a run of 3 days and we crammed 5 dress shops in. I was really worried about how finding a dress would go, I’m tall and have curves and had no real idea of what would work on me. By the end of it all though I was beginning to think I was in the wrong job with all the consultants going nuts over getting to dress someone of my height and shape.
They put so many extra dresses on me that they wanted to see that I was so confused with what one to get! We found my actual dress in our second shop. Anna, the owner, was so brilliant and we’d been there for about 3 hours going through all her stunning dresses. Again it was a dress I hadn’t picked but towards the end of the appointment she said it was my dress and I had to try it on. We realised we were on to winner as all of us spent the first few moments in silence and Mum teared up (given we mostly giggle and mess around this was a huge difference).
We still did all the other dress shops and came close to falling for another dress which was virtually the complete opposite (another you must try this one for me from the consultant) but after a week of thinking about it, it was the same one that kept coming back into my head. Turned out Anna had been right from the start!
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why?
I had no choice on my bridesmaids! About a week after my cousins met Rob I was being nagged into marrying him so they could be bridesmaids as they’d not been before! I don’t think I even officially asked them, unless you count letting them know we were engaged by sending them a picture of an awful 80’s style dress and threatening to put them in it! They were great though and put up with me texting random wedding things virtually weekly.
Robs best man was his boss Paul. He may be his boss but he’s also his best friend, cricket captain and sort of big brother figure I suppose. Robs known him since he was a teenager and I swear they spend more time talking to each other than they do to me and Pauls partner Ann!
Him and the ushers were also brilliant, especially as I left them all a huge list of things they needed to do on the day and they got on it with no complaint taking away any niggling stresses from us.
Why did you choose your venue?
In my head I had another venue that was perfect so only booked to look at some others for comparison. I’m so glad I did though as I had such a clash with the owner of where I wanted that I came away vowing never to set foot there ever again!
Peterstone Court on the other hand was just brilliant from start to finish. Not only is the house beautiful and the views just stunning, the staff really made it.
Nothing felt like too much trouble for them, phone calls and emails were answered quickly and they always knew who you were on the phone to have a chat with. Absolutely everyone from the managers to the waiting staff were just lovely. Plus if I could kidnap the chef I would, we’ve never had a bad meal there and we’ve had a few now! Having taken over the place for the whole weekend we really did feel like the place was ours, I would so recommend it for anyone looking for a venue.
Tell us about your photographer
I got slightly obsessed with David our photographer, in a good way though, not a creepy one!
I don’t remember how I stumbled across his website but I’m so glad I did! Not only are his pictures beautiful, he really understood what we wanted with regards to the photos. I was slightly worried that him and his colleague Catherine wouldn’t come back after we all spent the church rehearsal in fits of laughter but they just went with it and joined in!
On the day itself David was great up with us whilst we were getting ready while Catherine got some lovely shots of all the stuff I was missing out on. For the rest of the afternoon I can honestly say I felt like I didn’t see them, in the nicest way possible of course! The pictures we got back I felt really captured the fun and relaxed vibe of the day, there’s some truly stunning ones of all our guests just enjoying themselves and I just love them all!
How did the proposal happen?
I knew we’d get married as we’d spoken about it a lot and half my family had bets on when a proposal would happen yet he still managed to surprise us all by proposing on a random Saturday night. In a wonderfully romantic setting (ha!) of him in pyjamas after a bath, me in a blanket freezing cold and our collie in a panic after one of his episodes where he’d bashed his head on a radiator and was bleeding, he said he’d got me a gift. Sitting down I was given a Tiffany bag and did the obvious thing which was to start giggling! In my head I was thinking “oh my god he’s gonna propose, but then he said a gift so maybe it’s a bracelet, but who gets a bracelet from Tiffany after talking marriage” etc etc. I’m not even 100% sure if he got down on one knee or if I actually said the word yes, I just kept laughing!
Luckily he knows me well enough to not get hurt by that reaction!! I think he’d been planning on being slightly more extravagant in his proposal but he’d text my Dad to sort of ask permission (think the gist of it was I’d like to ask Vicky to marry me, thought I’d see if that’s ok but I’m doing it even if you say no. I think Dad was pleased with that!) and after getting a nice text back from my Dad, who is a man of few words, he just decided to do it there and then!
Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?
Rob is great at making things, he’s transformed our garage into a full on man cave complete with bar! Me on the other hand, I have zero patience and if it’s not done to a perfect standard within 30 minutes then I’m just done with it, so we didn’t do a vast amount of DIY!
I am quite proud of our scrabble name places though, again, mostly made by Rob. Trying to keep the cost down we just bought some scrabble letter tiles from craft stores online and then made the rest. Rob made the holders from 2 different types of wood and then I did all the gluing.
Rob also did a fair bit of printing, he made the table plan, order of service booklets and created personalised menu and information cards! My only other contribution to the DIY side of things was asking/forcing my family into making up the confetti cones and favour bags! They looked like they didn’t mind though!!
What was your first dance & why?
Our first dance was Home by Michael Bublé as the lyrics mean a huge amount to us. Having spent 15 months living in Paris with Rob still in the UK and the constant feeling of wanting to be somewhere I wasn’t, the song kind of became our anthemn.
I could never play it right through to the end until the day I left France! To lighten everything up we had Shut Up And Dance by Walk The Moon straight afterwards.
I love that song and figured jumping around surrounded by people was a good antidote to the fear of dancing on our own getting emotional!
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?
The only thing that we felt really let us down was our band. I thought I’d been clear enough with the list of songs that we definitely wanted played in the live sets and the sort of music for the DJ sets. However they seemed to think differently and it did ruin our evening slightly. They were so talented and having seen them before we thought would be perfect for our guests so my only advice to couples having a band is really reiterate to them your choices. Given that we’d been talking about Metallica, Foo Fighters etc, to have Mike Posner played instead really got me wound up!
Do you have any advice for future couples?
Probably the same advice that everyone else gives! It’s your day so do things your way, don’t try and please everyone else as it’ll never work, you really can’t do it. The day does just go so try and take a moment to be just the 2 of you to have a breather, whether that’s with a photographer tailing you for some shots or just in another room having a quick sit down for 5 minutes!
What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received?
I don’t think we had any specific marriage advice. Both of our parents have been together a long time, as has most of our families so we’ve had plenty of examples of marriages over the years. Plus we’d been together a while, dealt with a long distance relationship, house buying and loss of a parent before we got to the wedding so we’d weathered a lot of storms! We knew what worked for us and always make sure we communicate, especially as with our jobs we can go days without seeing each other awake to have a proper conversation!
What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?
Now I love planning but planning a wedding over 18 months even took it out of me! Attempting that, work and life in general is hard! I suppose though my favourite bit was getting to see people more. We’d normally only get to Wales once or twice a year yet I was going virtually every month and my parents were having to come to Essex more often, same with getting to see my cousins more frequently. I’m sure they were all bored beyond belief having to listen to me going on and on but I enjoyed it! Also I loved dress shopping, I really wish I could do it again but then we’d probably end up having to renew our vows yearly as I’d keep buying them
Photographer: David Wickham
Ceremony Venue: Llanhamlach Church
Reception Venue: Peterstone Court
Bride’s Dress: Essense of Australia
Bride’s Shoes: Harriet Wilde Christian Louboutin
Bride’s Jewellery: Ivory & Co Tiffany
Groom’s Outfit: Anthony Formal Wear
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Monsoon uk
Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Wanderlust Life
Cake: Family friend
Flowers: Wendy Scotford Friend of Faux
Hair: Lisa Bidwell
Make Up: Alex Gallop
Band: The Hot Shots
Stationery: On the day – Rob, invites etc by Pretty Lane Weddings
Caterers: Petersone Court
Any Reception Decor/Props: Own various
Personalised cake topper: Feats Of Clay
Wedding favours: Blaenavon Cheddar Co Wilkin & Sons Tiptree Chutney
Ushers ties: Mrs Bow Tie
Choir: Brecon Male Voice Choir
The Wedding Album