Real Weddings: Jenny and Mike by Carly Turner

Good morning and happy Friday!

We have a superb wedding for you today! Images by the gorgeously talented and Lush Lister, Carly Turner, Jenny and Mike’s wedding looked amazing! Including a pink dress, gold belt and taxidermy mice!!

I will hand over to Jenny though to tell you more about this beautiful day….

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Jenny and Mike

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What was your budget?

Not as much as we spent on the honeymoon ;)

How would you describe your wedding theme?

It was us themed!

When we were planning our wedding we didn’t have a theme in mind, we just went for things that we liked. Thankfully it all came together and looked amazing!

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What was your favourite part of your wedding?

I have so many favourite parts!

One of the things that struck me the most was just how amazing it feels to have all of the people you love in one room together.

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The ceremony has got to be my most favourite part, closely followed by the food and speeches!

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Tell us about your Wedding Dress

I knew choosing a dress was going to be difficult for me. I didn’t want to wear a wedding dress, I didn’t want to wear white and the thought of spending hundreds on a dress, for me, seemed wasteful.

I visited a few shops and wedding fairs on the look out for a dress but I didn’t find anything I loved.

I bought a vintage dress a few months after we got engaged, it was a nude, beaded, full length gown, I loved it at the time. However, I tried it on a few months before our wedding, I had lost some weight so it didn’t fit and it just didn’t feel like me anymore. Cue major panic!

Luckily I came across my dress on ASOS when I was sale shopping one day and instantly knew that was the dress I wanted to get in married in! I loved the blush pink colour and delicate detail of the embroidered flowers and I felt like a Queen in it!

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

For me, picking my bridesmaid was easy! I chose my cousin Holly. We grew up together and were inseparable when we were younger. She’s been my best friend my whole life – plus she’s super creative and throws awesome parties!

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Why did you choose your venue?

It was completely by chance! Adam from Llwyn Hall had posted a Facebook advert and as we were on our way to Llanelli to visit family anyway we thought we’d pop by to check it out.

We loved it instantly! It was quirky, charming and served amazing food. We loved that we could have the venue all for ourselves and our guests.

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New owners took over the venue a month before our wedding and started renovations immediately – it was really stressful!! – but thankfully it turned out great, the renovations were beautiful, and Alex the new owner was so lovely and helpful!

Tell us about your photographer

Our photographer was Carly from Carly Turner Photography.
She was awesome – we found her through Facebook and loved her style, it was exactly what we were looking for! We met Carly for a coffee and clicked with her immediately!

Carly did an amazing engagement shoot for us! We were a bit nervous but she made us feel relaxed and we had loads of fun! We used some of the pictures in our wedding stationery.

Carly Turner COTW (Jen and Mike)

On the day she was incredible, a real photography ninja, catching amazing moments and fantastic photos. We really couldn’t be happier with the pictures and we feel so lucky to have had Carly as our photographer!

How did the proposal happen? 

We were on holiday in Krakow when Mike proposed to me.

We’d been out for an amazing meal followed by cocktails in the rooftop lounge in the Sheraton. On our way back to our apartment, as we were walking past the fire breathing dragon outside the Wawel castle, Mike asked me to be his wife. I don’t think he’d even finished asking the question before I said yes!

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

We DIY-ed loads for our wedding, and I am so grateful for our army of family and friends that spent the weeks running up to our wedding crafting, brewing and tying twine on everything!

We made our centrepieces from beer bottles we’d collected from different countries, we made our own table runners from some hessian we bought off eBay, my aunty made limoncello (or Manda’s Marvellous Medicine as it was labelled) for favours and instead of place cards we handmade Christmas decorations with our guests names on them!

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Mike is a Graphic Designer so he created all of our beautiful wedding stationery, including our wedding logo! All of family and friends loved them so he’s now starting his own wedding stationery business!

Making our decorations meant that our wedding was really personal and represented us as a couple and all the things we love!

What was your first dance & why?

Our song is 2Bears – Church but it isn’t a great first dance song! So we chose an acoustic version of Beyonce – Crazy in Love by Daniela Andrade.

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

Probably held off the alcohol a little… We had very sore heads for the next few days.

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Do you have any advice for future couples?

Remember that your wedding day is a celebration of your love and the commitment you’re making to each other – don’t stress about the other stuff.

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Glow sticks! Forget about hiring entertainment, just buy glow sticks for your guests. They provided hours of entertainment, as you’ll see by the pictures!!

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

We made some cards for the tables that asked people to write some marriage advice for us. We got some really funny responses but our favourites had to be;
– Keep going as you are
– Make sure the curry is always hot and the beer is always cold
– Don’t know LOL I’m just a kid (from Zac, aged 11)

and a surprising amount of them said, Remember Jenny is always right.

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What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

All the extra time you spend with family and friends :) We had loads of afternoons spent crafting, drinking tea and eating cake.

The Suppliers

Photographer: Carly Turner Photography
Ceremony Venue: Llwyn Hall Country House 
Reception Venue: Llwyn Hall Country House
Bride’s Dress: ASOS 
Bride’s Shoes: Borrowed from my mum!
Bride’s Headpiece: Sixpenny Bride
Groom’s Outfit: Formal Hire  
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Lindy Bop 
Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Vintage
Cake: Wally’s Delicatessen 
Flowers: Ruth Milton Jones 
Hair: Signature Style 
Make Up: Makeup by Nicola 
Stationery: Design Yo! Wedding Stationery 
Caterers: Signature Catering

The Wedding Album

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Real Weddings: The Beautiful Welsh in Breathtaking Italy

Good Friday to you all Cwtchers!

We have an absolutely stunning wedding for you which is about to inspire the socks off you!  Our gorgeous couple, Jenna and Gareth always wanted to get married abroad.  So after lots of researching, they, and the rest of the Welsh contingency, flew to the stunning Lake Garda.

You wait until you see the results! Over to Jenna to tell you more about their breathtaking big day…

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Jenna and Gareth

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What was your budget?

£15,000 (approximately)

How would you describe your wedding theme?

We didn’t really choose a theme per se, we wanted the whole day to be a reflection of us with I suppose a touch of boho in terms of the dresses and flowers.

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What was your favourite part of your wedding?

Definitely the ceremony! It was just magical!

On a terrace of a castle over looking Lake Garda surrounded by mountains. I walked down the aisle to ‘Everybody’s Free’ by Jennifer Ann, which was playing when Gareth proposed on the last stretch of the Ironman. I have very talented friends and family who arranged to sing it flash mob style. It was beautiful and caused a lot of tears. Gareth and I wrote our own vows, mine were a lot more elaborate than his, including the line; ‘I promise to always lock the doors before bed and love you forever’.

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My youngest sister, Sienna, wrote a love poem for us. It was both funny and emotional. That poem, by a 10 year old, had the biggest tears and cheers.

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After the ‘I do’s’ were exchanged, we danced down the aisle with tambourines to T Rex’s Ride a White Swan. It was just perfect.

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Tell us about your Wedding Dress

I was probably an exception when it comes to the wedding dress cliche of going for something completely different to what you’d imagine.

I imagined a dress and was determined to find it. I visited a wedding gown boutique, tried on some beautiful dresses but none of them fitted in with my vision.

I went on a Pinterest mission for a few months and eventually came across Rime Arodaky. I fell in love with all her dresses but there was one ‘Solane’ that had all the elements that I’d envisioned; a low back, the neckline, beautiful embroidery, light fabric and flowy yet sexy.

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I hunted down the only shop in the UK that stocks her, The Mews in Nottinghill, London, and made an appointment. It became clear that Rime Arodaky was the designer for me, my maid of honour and my mum were sold too. All her dresses just suited me perfectly even though they were all so different. As soon as I tried ‘Solane’ on I felt like it was me, of course my mums tears helped. The price tag was way over my budget, so I held off for a few months until I knew there would be a sample sale and luckily ‘Solane’ was part of it.

The lovely girls at The Mews put the dress to one side for me & sent it up to the Bristol shop for me. I cannot recommend The Mews enough!

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

I had some difficulty picking bridesmaids as I have an amazing group of friends and also two sisters and two sisters in law.

Getting married abroad and wanting a small intimate wedding, I didn’t want to have a huge bridal party. I decided to involve my sisters in law in other parts of the wedding and have my niece and nephews as part of the bridal party. They both sang phenomenally, and were witnesses for us too. I had both my sisters, one as my maid of ‘dishonour’, my longest best friend of 25 years as the other maid of ‘dishonour’, school best friend of 20 years and my best friend from University of 13 years.

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Gareth knew who he wanted as best men probably before he knew he wanted to marry me. Geryn and Gavin have been his longest most loyal friends. They are complete opposites. Geryn is the organised and sensible one while Gavin is the wild and mischievous one.

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Why did you choose your venue?

We always wanted to get married abroad. We originally France, as we love it there.

However after some research we realised that we couldn’t legally get married there and actually becoming man and wife there was important to us, I couldn’t have a blessing and pretend.

A friend of ours had been to a wedding in Malcesine Lake Garda and said it was immense. We booked our flights and made various appointments for different venues around the lake.

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We visited the castle in Malcesine and the restaurant Al Corsaro first and was sold straight away. It was exactly what we wanted, laid back, rustic, open and the views were incredible.

Tell us about your photographer

We did a lot of research for a good photographer. Photography is important in our family. My father loves a camera and it’s his hobby. Originally he would take the photos but I wanted him to relax on the day and enjoy it.

Nikola Smernic popped up on Facebook as there was a competition running to win him photographing your wedding. He had won a National Geographic award and several wedding ones. I entered but didn’t win.

However, due to entering he offered us a deal. His photography is random, relaxed and natural just how I like it. He and his wife are both so laid back to work with. We met them the morning of our wedding and said how we’d like a 10 minute photoshoot at the most as my husband hates it and that’s exactly what they did. To be honest I didn’t even really notice they were there. The end photos are amazing.

How did the proposal happen? 

I was very lucky to have the most incredible surprise proposal. Gareth competed in IronMan UK. The friday I arrived in Bolton he had already picked up all the merchandise and event booklet. I was sat there reading about the event when I came across a page containing messages from the competitors, I just scanned the page and saw Gareth’s name. I was about to read it out loud when Gareth snatched it from my hand and said I wasn’t allowed to read it. I should’ve clicked then, but I’m pretty gullible. Gareth said that he had arranged to do something stupid on the finish line and that I would spoil the surprise if I knew. He is pretty random so I believed him, I thought he’s not going to carry a ring around the course with him anyway and carried on eating Pizza.

The next day was brilliant. The pride I felt watching him complete the swim then the bike was immense. His parents arrived to watch his marathon as well as his best friend. We positioned ourselves along the finish line. I wanted to see him cross the line so made my way through the crowds a few meters before it. I saw him approaching and shouted out for him so that he knew I was there.

He to my annoyance turned around and came over, I waved him on as I knew that they timed the last 100meter split. He luckily ignored me. He gave me a sweaty hug, whispered in my ear that he had travelled 140 miles for me, that I was his first, his last & his everything and got down on one knee.

I still wonder how he got down on that one knee to this day. There was a huge crowd clapping us, Everybody’s Free was playing at the finish line and the presenter stopped the music to congratulate us on the big screen. I grabbed the ring before I even said yes, I was completely speechless.

All was captured on camera which I was so thankful for as it was a complete blur.

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

I made complete use of my friends and family’s talents.

From creating the chalk board signs, filming the wedding, musicians, to hair and make up. I am very fussy with hair & make up & getting married in Italy it was very difficult to shop around and have trials.

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Instead I had some trials with my bridesmaid Nicky, who, due to having a baby 6 weeks prior to the wedding, didn’t even know until 4 weeks prior that she’d make it. She also did some of the other bridesmaid’s hair too, whilst breastfeeding I might add. She’s brilliant at multi tasking. She did a beautiful job and it was exactly how I wanted.Jenna and Gareth (8 of 97)

My maid of honour Rhian did my make up. We had been to MAC and another make up artist for ideas and stocked up on the make up at the airport. It meant the getting ready was intimate and nobody knows me better than these girls so it made complete sense.

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All the name cards for the reception were polaroid photos of some of our favourite memories of our guests. I’ll be honest it took ages and the website crashed many times. But, the fact that most took them home with them showed how much they appreciated it. These doubled as a favour too as my husband has an unhealthy hate towards favours.

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We hired cameras from ‘Shoot it Yourself’ to film our wedding and chose responsible friends to film the day for us. Shoot it Yourself then does the editing for you. I was nervous, as were they, but it worked out amazing. I didn’t want the usual romantic montage as that’s not us at all. I wanted it to be funny and us. The final edit was exactly how I’d hoped and both of us were crying tears of laughter and happiness watching it.

What was your first dance & why?

First dance song obviously wasn’t the usual romantic ballad type, as that is just not our style. But, it wasn’t easy to choose a non-ballad that meant something to us.

We spent many wine fuelled nights playing different songs and trying to dance to them to see if they were right. We kept coming back to ‘our song’ which we had originally decided was too hard to dance to and a bit random.

I read somewhere to not choose a crowd pleaser song but choose one you’ll always remember as yours however random.
So we did.
We dance to Johnny Cash ‘Walk the Line’ with tambourines being played for added effect.

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After the first chorus we invited everyone in to join us for a boogie.

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

I’d have had a few Proseccos with everyone the day before to relax me as I was running around like a headless chicken trying to get everything ready and stressing. I’m guessing this is normal. I also found it tricky to recruit helpers as I was very aware that everyone had paid a lot of money to join us in Italy and were on holiday.

However my day before stress did mean that on the day of the wedding I was completely relaxed. I know also it’s a cliché but I would’ve got married a little earlier. The day flew by and by the time the 4 course meal and speeches were over we had little time for dancing.

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It really is true what they say, time does fly by.

Do you have any advice for future couples?

Don’t make decisions based on what’s trendy or what you think your guests will like. Choose what you both want as that’s what it’s about.

It’s good getting a man’s perspective as they don’t care about décor and details, a wedding day is a day to remember because of the atmosphere you create, good food, good wine, good people and good music.

Also if you’re planning a wedding abroad don’t feel as though you have to fork out those extra thousands for a wedding planner. We did it without and managed perfectly. It meant we got a few small trips to Italy in prior instead.

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

Always say I love you!

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What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

Our favourite thing was definitely the trips to Italy we made. We got to explore the Lake and visit nearby Verona and Venice, drank good wine and Limoncello, and ate a lot of Italian food.

The Suppliers

Photographer: Nikola Smernic 
Videographer: Shoot It Yourself 
Ceremony Venue: Castello Scaligero Malcesine
Reception Venue: Al Corsaro 
Bride’s Dress: Rime Arodaky ‘Solane’ 
Groom’s Outfit: French Connection
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Jarlo at ASOS and Millie Mackintosh
Flowers: Tania Muser 
DJ: Roberto Palma
Stationery: Etsy
Any Reception Decor/Props: Etsy

The Wedding Album

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I think you will agree, this is a killer wedding! I wish so much I could go back in time, find Jenna, become her best friend, then be invited to the wedding!  But that sounds a bit creepy. So scrap that!

 

Real Weddings: Hannah and Jack’s Country Vintage Wedding

Happy Friday you lovely lot! So we have a deliciously gorgeously pretty wedding for you today! Shot by the ever-so-talented Leri Lane Photography, Hannah and Jack invite you all to find out the finer detail of their big day.  And its just wonderful – that tractor!! I mean, come on! I defy anyone to not want a tractor as their wedding car once they see it, and those shoes…..the dress…..right, I will leave you to find out for yourselves……

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Hannah and Jack’s Country Vintage Wedding

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Firstly, a few words from Leri……

Hannah and Jack…. What can I say….? The moment I met these guys they were so excited about planning their wedding, we chatted for ages. It’s like I’d known them for ages. You could tell they were so excited to share their thoughts and it was so exciting to listen to… I knew I was going to love this wedding. They wanted Jack’s sister to design all the invites etc, Hannah wanted to grow flowers in her parents garden and use all around the wedding and she was so excited about going dress shopping! I was so happy when they booked me, photography was special to them, they even chose a second shooter within their package to make sure every element was captured.

Prior to the wedding day we discussed group photos and a wishlist of photos and I received instructions to ‘just capture the emotion of the day’ – which i just love to do! I feel we were just a perfect match.

The wedding day arrived and I made my way to Hannah’s parents home, the girls were getting ready and champagne popping! Hannah was blown away by all the details coming together in front of her it was so beautiful to see, how lucky am I to capture such precious stories. I then saw the dress, wow!!!! Beautiful and elegant and sparkly! One of my favourite photos is when Hannah looks at herself in her dress, her eyes filled up and she saw how beautiful she is!

I was so excited for Jack to see Hannah, I knew they were soul mates by what I had gotten to know of them leading up to the wedding and I absolutely loved watching Hannah walk down the aisle to stand next to Jack and being totally over the moon that they were married…. super cute!! As you can imagine I was so click happy in this day, I giggled alongside them, even shed a sneaky tear behind my camera during jacks amazing heartfelt speech about Hannah and thoroughly loved taking them away for a few photos as the sun was setting – they were such a pleasure to photograph.

They married at Gregynog Hall, which has truly beautiful grounds. There are pockets of hidden delights all around to photograph whether you want to capture the lawns, the building, or cwtch up in a little corner away from everything.

They are such a wonderful couple, their love, friendship and happiness just burst out of them xxx much love xxx

How would you describe your wedding theme?

Country festival meets vintage glam.

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What was your favourite part of your wedding?

Everything!

-Hearing our guests singing “It must be love” behind us during the ceremony.

-Stealing 5 minutes together to absorb the fact we’d just got married!

-Seeing our reception room transformed with all our carefully thought out bits for the first time

-The speeches

So many stand out snippets!

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Tell us about your Wedding Dress

This was the only part of the wedding planning I wasn’t looking forward to. I just didn’t believe I was going to find anything that suited me and thought I’d feel silly in everything. Luckily, my sister, mum and bridesmaids were excellent dress shoppers. I tried around 20 dresses on in all, at 4 different shops and quickly went from believing I’d never find anything to wondering how on earth I was going to choose. It was my sister who eventually picked out my dress from the rail – I had already walked past it.
As soon as I put it on, that was it. It sounds silly but I’d always hated my bum, but I actually thought it looked ok, so that was it! I had two more appointments booked in that day but cancelled them. I’d found my dress!

It was a Ronald Joyce, fitted number with lace, sequin and scallop detailing. I fell in love with the low back and gorgeous train. It was a sort of pale goldy colour, sparkled and just made me feel very glam.

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

I chose my sister as my maid of honour, one of my best friends from home and by two best friends from uni. I could have had at least 3 more but chose my other special 3 ladies (my 3 oldest friends) to be official witnesses and do readings/speeches. It was really important to me to share my day with all the people that mean so much to me.
Our best man was one of my husbands best friend and partner in crime. We knew he’d do a great job of the speech and he didn’t disappoint. He wrote a tongue in cheek poem which had all the guests in stitches.

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Why did you choose your venue?

The venue is smack bang in the middle of where we both grew up. Just after university, Jack worked behind the bar at our venue. I was a guest at another wedding when I first “noticed” him. We’ve actually known each other for years, but only as we grew up near each other. We got chatting and I asked him for a lift home. He actually left me there, but that was definitely the beginning of things to come. This meant, there really wasn’t another choice of venue for us. Gregynog Hall has played an important role in both our lives and is just stunning. It has amazing grounds, we go walking there all the time.

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Tell us about your photographer

Leri Lane is fab. I remember our first meeting to discuss our ideas. I could tell she knew what I was talking about. We just clicked. I was probably slightly over enthusiastic and our first meeting lasted a couple of hours whilst we chatted.
Then we had our pre-wedding shoot, where she gave us some tips and put us at ease.
It was great on the day to have a photographer that you thought of as a friend. It just made the whole experience enjoyable. We had fun. She did a great job in capturing our informal moments and all our little details. Toby H was her second photographer on the day. He was great and meant we had two perspectives of our day. He mostly hung out with the boys in the morning, so it was great to have both mine and Jack’s “getting ready” shots.

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How did the proposal happen? 

It happened about 2 weeks before my husband to be had planned it! It happened on Snowdon. We’d planned to climb it two week’s later but due to some glorious weather I made him come with me on that day. He’d always wanted to ask me on one of our hikes up Snowdon as it is one of my favourite places and somewhere I have been plenty of times with my Dad. Jack had wanted to be traditional and visit my dad to ask permission, but because of me and the “weather window” he ended up doing it over the phone while I was obliviously packing our hiking rucksack. At some point, he sneakily hid the ring in the same rucksack and refused to let me carry it, or retrieve my own coat/water from it for the rest of the day. He chickened out asking me on the top as there were too many people, so it actually happened on the way down, on a quiet, lesser trodden path – it was perfect. The first thing I wanted to do was tell people, but we didn’t have signal or see a soul on the way down. It was so exciting.

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

We tried to do a lot ourselves. My Dad and Gran grew a lot of my table flowers. Home grown sweet peas made the wedding smell so good!

My Gran makes her own jam, so has a hoard of jars, some of which were quite vintage. I raided her shed for plenty of jars, put them through the dishwasher, added minimal decoration to them and they made brilliant table vases for our homegrown flowers.

For our guests place names I engraved pebbles from our favourite beach in Pembrokeshire. They also doubled up as a great favour/memento for guests to take away.

We are fortunate enough to have some very talented designers in the family (My husband’s sister and husband). They helped us design all our own stationary and table plan (Which was based on routes up Snowdon). We only needed to organise for them to get printed. They were exactly how we wanted them and tied in with our colours and themes.

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What was your first dance & why?

Gabrielle Aplins version of “The Power of Love”. We’d seen her at a festival a few years previously and it’s just a special memory to us. We put up festoon lighting too from a gig memory, so everything about the first dance was festival themed and amazing.

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

Maybe found some money in the budget to have our ceremony video’d. There is so much that goes on during the day that you just don’t get to absorb everything. We are quite lucky as we have a lot of guest footage, but we don’t have the speeches filmed for example.

Do you have any advice for future couples?

Make sure you eat some of your cake! Our amazing friend Caroline made our cake and it looked stunning. I just didn’t get to eat any! It’s one of my only regrets of the day.
Other than that, don’t sweat the small stuff and try to enjoy the planning. Even if things don’t go to plan on the day, it really doesn’t matter as you are having such a good time.

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

Always remember you are a team and each other’s biggest fans. Work together, always.

What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

Working together, not just as husband and wife to be but also with extended friends and family. It was overwhelming how many people wanted to be involved and to help.
My god father immediately volunteered his vintage tractor as a mode of transport. That was a special part of our day.
We had a family friend who made our cake, flowers were grown by family, stationary was designed, poems were written, wine was selected. It was such a team effort and we loved sharing it with everybody and seeing how much they all enjoyed it too.

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The Suppliers

Photographer: Leri Lane Photography
Ceremony Venue: Gregynog Hall, Tregynon, Powys http://www.gregynog.org/weddings/
Reception Venue: Gregynog Hall, Tregynon, Powys
Bride’s Dress: Bespoke Brides of Chester
Bride’s Shoes: Monsoon
Bride’s Headpiece: Jessica’s Bridal, Shrewsbury
Bride’s Jewellery: Tiffany
Groom’s Outfit: Moss, Peter Posh, M&S
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: ASOS
Cake: Family Friend
Flowers: TMS Events
Hair: Unique Hair
Make Up: Nerys Lloyd
Band: Anthemic Live Band
Stationery: Hatched Creative 
Caterers: TMS Events / WestEnt / and our own 
Transport: My god father’s vintage tractor and a friend’s Range Rover.
Other: We also had a vintage photo booth which really made our evening great. The guests loved it. The vendor is Martha the photo booth.

The Wedding Album

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Real Weddings: Kerry & Tom’s Snowdonian Weddings by Amy & Omid

And here it is!! Real Weddings: Kerry & Tom’s Snowdonian Weddings by Amy & Omid!  After showing you our North Wales couple, Kerry and Tom’s love story in the form of a Cwtch of the Week and their Engagement Shoot, we can now reveal their amazing big day, and its breathtaking.  Thank you Kerry and Tom and your fabulous photographers, Amy & Omid  for sharing this with us all. We’re going to kick it off with my absolute favourite of the couple.Over to you……x

Kerry & Tom’s Snowdonian Weddings by Amy & Omid

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What was your budget? 

Approx £10,000

How would you describe your wedding theme?

We wanted our wedding to be elegant, traditionally romantic with a touch of vintage colour and flair.

What was your favourite part of your wedding?

Kerry – I really enjoyed walking down the aisle with my Dad. He’s suffered with ill health over many years, and in the months leading up to the wedding Tom’s father passed away, so just to be able to have him there to walk me down the aisle was such a blessing.

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Also, I was so overjoyed to see for the first time all our friends and family who were so happy for us to have found one another both at the ripe age of 39! The other favourite part was the disco. The DJ was excellent and I’ve never been to a wedding where so many people were on the dance floor for so long! We had a blast!

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Tom – My two favourite parts of the wedding were walking out from the wedding ceremony, to Pharrell Williams’s song “Happy” and seeing all our friends congratulate us and throw confetti over us in celebration. It was a time to be able to relax after being announced as husband and wife. Also, the first dance – after the emotion of giving my speech, it was our time to spend together dancing to a song special to us.

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Tell us about your Wedding Dress

I have to say I think I was quite excited and a tiny bit stressed about getting the dress. With only five months from engagement to wedding, I took just one opportunity to go shopping to two different wedding dress shops. With my Mum and Mother in law to be, I tried only about 8 different dresses before finding the perfect one for me that was on sale and I could take away that day!

I had liked pictures of lace and tulle ballgowns in magazines and found a beautiful one made by Sincerity in Perfection Bridal in Cardiff City Centre. My Mum cried for the first time that day when I walked out in it, confirming that it was definitely the one!

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Although I got the most gorgeous dress that I loved, I did wish that I’d had time to try on more! I still like to watch “Say yes to the dress” a programme on Sky!

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

Kerry – I chose a long-standing friend and my two lovely nieces as my bridesmaids. I had done my friend’s hair for her wedding and knew she would be a wonderful bridesmaid to me. She was so calming and helped me so much on the day. I needed to take my dress off for a breather a couple of times and she had the unenviable task of undoing and doing up a number of little covered buttons! My nieces did wonderfully and looked really beautiful too.

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Tom – I chose a friend of 15 years. He is a former colleague (Teacher) and in fact interviewed me for my second teaching job. We worked together, socialised and played football for a team in the London area for many years. He is a very caring, understanding friend who’s been such a close confidant for many years. On the day he was so calming and reassured. He’s a very charismatic and genuinely funny guy …his speech (Although fairly lengthy) was just right and VERY, VERY funny. Given recent family events he pitched it ‘just right’ along with an amazing, thoughtful stag do 6 weeks before in the city of Bath.

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Why did you choose your venue?

Our venue was quite easy to choose. With nothing suitable in Tom’s beautiful home village of Beddgelert, The Seiont Manor is set in such a beautiful area out in the countryside near Mt Snowden and had plenty of rooms for our guests to stay with us for the weekend.

We were able to hire the whole venue which suited us well – most of our guests had to travel quite far and many had babies and children with them. We were able to have our legal and Baha’i ceremonies, reception, Wedding Breakfast and evening party all in one lovely venue. We didn’t worry too much about the weather (which was typically Welsh on the day!) as we didn’t have to travel anywhere! We still managed to take formal photographs in the hotel’s grounds.

Tell us about your photographer

Our photographers Amy and Omid were absolutely wonderful. They’ve been friends of mine since before they offered professional photography and we were just so pleased with their professionalism and with their comfortable and capable attitude.

We’d suffered the sudden loss of Tom’s father and had some inevitable sense of trepidation and emotion about the wedding, but after the engagement shoot, even before seeing the unbelievably amazing pictures they took, I felt a sense of such relief, I knew that they would keep us feeling relaxed and happy on the day itself. Such a priceless gift to us at that time.

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

I really enjoyed making up my own flower filled bird-cages for the top table, just picked up material flowers in our vintage dusky pink and lilac and ivory, some fairy-light roses and rustic birdcages from The Range. We also made up our own party bags which gave the table name, filled with goodies for each table, with pics of us and our dating story and wedding breakfast menus.

We also borrowed a large vintage suitcase from my brother for guests to drop any cards and gifts and simply strung bunting letters across it.

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We had wanted to do a lot of things ourselves, but with so little time in preparation we did as much as we could and enjoyed seeing people enjoy what we had created or put-together.

What was your first dance & why?

We chose the song “Better Together” by Jack Johnson and had those two words inscribed on the inside of our wedding rings as they very much sum up how we feel about our relationship.

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About twice before the day we tried to plan a dance to the song – but we gave up pretty quick and it was very much a natural style – nothing stylised or much-practiced! Luckily Tom’s a great dancer and he is able to turn me around and dip me down which I love!

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

We don’t really feel that there is much we could have changed or done differently. A little more time might have been helpful but we were very happy with the day and weekend.

Do you have any advice for future couples?

Every couple is different, but choosing things together was very important to us. The feeling that I had had a vision for the wedding and had put things together made me proud, but I would say that keeping things simple is also important! Being able to relax and enjoy the day rather than worry over every little detail was really important to us and has left us with our wonderful joyous memories of the day.

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

We have a lot of great guidance on marriage in The Baha’i Faith, some of which we read in the spiritual ceremony. Also we asked my lovely friend who is 91 years old to read a wise and beautiful piece ‘The Prophet on Marriage’ by Kahlil Gibran – I like the advice thats held within the poetic piece which starts;
“You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you”

What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

I enjoyed many things during the planning of the wedding. There wasn’t much time, but I enjoyed choosing our guests, the ideas stage, the buying stage. I found little ideas of things in magazines and online by chance like stickers to personalise coat hangers for the wedding party and crystal stickers for the bottom of our shoes saying ‘I do’ and ‘Me Too’. The little things made me happy and excited in the build up to the day!

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The Suppliers

Photographer: Amy & Omid Photography
Wedding Planner: Kerry McGrath
Ceremony Venue: The Seinot Manor 
Reception Venue: The Seinot Manor 
Bride’s Dress: Sincerity Venice beaded lace over tulle ballgown
Bride’s Shoes: Debut by Debenhams
Bride’s Headpiece: Perfection Bridal, Cardiff
Bride’s Jewellery: Brides Own
Groom’s Outfit: Ted Baker Suit in Mid Blue
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Coast
Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Perfection Bridal, Cardiff
Cake: Brides Friend
Flowers: Ty Blodau
Hair: Local Hairdresser – Sioned
Make Up: Bride
DJ: Gav’s Disco
Stationery: Colorworks, Bath
Any Reception Decor/Props: ‘I Do’ Wedding Hire 

The Wedding Album

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Congratulations Kerry and Tom! This is just beautiful to see and to read – how amazing to have a ceremony in your Bahá’í Faith, so personal and important to you both.  Thank you so much to you both and Amy and Omid for sharing your love story with us. It has been a joy to watch it unfold. xx

 

Real Weddings: Emily & Dan’s Homely, Country Wedding by Gareth Scanlon

 Hello cwtchers.  Well, today we have the beauty! Real Weddings: Emily & Dan’s Homely, Country Wedding by Gareth Scanlon is just so pretty, with a gorgeous feel to it.  So many clever DIY bits in here from the clever bride, Emily, like her coffee jars she turned into vases.  But I won’t spoil anymore, I will hand over to the bride and groom and the talented Gareth, to tell and show you more….

All Images by Gareth Scanlon Photography

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Emily & Dan’s Homely, Country Wedding by Gareth Scanlon

What was your budget? 

Around ten thousand pounds.

How would you describe your wedding theme?

No theme really, we always wanted a relaxed-style wedding and we loved the Vintage/Country style the venue had; we just incorporated it into our wedding! Emily made all the decorations herself using empty coffee jars and decorating them with hessian and lace for candles and flowers. Our florist – Issy & Bella – supplied the flowers and really listened to what we wanted and delivered fantastic in-season wild flowers.

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For the clothes, the boys could wear any colour tweed suits they wanted; the maid of honour picked a beautiful vintage style dress. We wanted everyone to look and feel comfortable.

What was your favourite part of your wedding?

Emily & Daniel: One particular highlight was when we released two balloons in the afternoon, one for Emily and one for Daniel – which was our way of remembering those from our families who we’ve lost and couldn’t be with us on our big day, but we knew were looking over us. It was such an emotional part of the day for everyone whilst we remembered our loved ones but it added so much more, and we are so glad, and grateful, to have been able to do it.

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Emily: waking up to a little letter that had been posted by the night porter from Daniel, it was beautiful! – It just made everything more exciting and special.

Emily & Daniel: The toasts – simple, emotional but meaningful!

Daniel: Emily’s maid of honour – Grug (and her husband Steve) – bought Daniel a pewter brooch of a Whippet. We have two Whippets, who couldn’t be there on the day and Daniel was made up when he saw that – quickly sticking it to his jacket where it continues to sit proudly.

Emily: Seeing my Dad for the first time that day, as he came to collect me to walk me down the aisle! I will never forget the look on his face… To see both my parents so proud, I will never forget that!

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Emily: feeling terribly nervous waiting to walk down the aisle and then when the doors opened, and I saw Daniel, forgetting everything and everyone; the look on his face when he saw me, I will always remember that!

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In all there are so many favourite moments it’d be impossible to pick just the one (apart from getting married obviously!); one thing was seeing everyone so relaxed and enjoying the occasion. It really was the perfect day, which sounds so clichéd but it’s true. We wanted the day to never end and it was so nice to get our families together and celebrate our special day.

(Also, almost forgot: the karaoke needs to be mentioned… We’ll just leave that there…)

Tell us about your Wedding Dress

I’ve never been one to follow the crowd when it comes to trends and I love to always be different. I love lace and chiffon so I knew it was definitely going to be the main material of my dress, I wanted a free moving style dress that wasn’t going to hinder my dancing (I love to dance). When I visited the first bridal shop and explained what I was looking for they gave me a blank look… This was a bad start! I persevered and tried on a few dresses, fishtails, a-line, even short. Nothing was convincing me… We moved on to another shop.

We weren’t intending to go dress shopping that day so I was very nervous and when it came to the next shop I suggested we just looked at the dresses from the window… Haha mum my grabbed my hand and pulled me into the shop – you could see the excitement all over her face.

They walked me into the room which was full of dresses and grand looking chairs and listened to what I was looking for. We walked round and pulled out 8 dresses, mostly in the style I was looking for. They were all lovely but I wasn’t getting the ‘feeling’ everyone talked about! My mum then handed me another dress that had caught her eye. I stepped into it and gasped – this was it, i knew instantly! I walked out and onto the pedestal where my mum was sitting and she instantly started crying. It wasn’t what I had envisioned and planned to pick but when it was on I knew this was the one for me… It was perfect, small train, free flowing and most importantly comfortable. The detail around the bust and shoulders was beautiful. Thank heavens for Maggie Sottero and her Alanis dress – it felt like it was made for me!

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

Emily picked her best friend Grug to be her maid of honour; Dan picked his best friend Jack – we wouldn’t have had anyone else and having them made our day that extra special. We didn’t have any ushers or bridesmaids.

Why did you choose your venue?

So many reasons we can’t list them all, but here’s some:
Brecon is a lovely place and we always wanted to get married in that area. It is a perfect place to get lost in the picturesque countryside and away from the hustle and bustle of working life!
Llangoed Hall is an absolutely beautiful venue. With its incredible staff, that helped make the day perfect for us – particularly Lynsey the wedding co-ordinator and Brian the Manager – who were only too happy to help out, it was the perfect location for our wedding that exceeded our expectations.

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The theme of the venue was perfect – it was Laura Ashley’s old home and the décor/furniture was beautiful. Exactly what we were looking for: a country home to get married in. As we had exclusive use it felt like we were staying in someone’s home. As Brian kept saying – This is your home for your wedding day.
The style of the manor helped make our wedding day. The long drive down, and seeing the front just blew our minds. Not forgetting the incredible bedrooms. All the guests felt it was a very relaxing family get-together as opposed to the more formal nature of some weddings. Again, a relaxing day (with a ceremony in between) was what we wanted!
Everyone was able to spend the night which meant they could fully enjoy the occasion!

Tell us about your photographer

Legend. We had complete trust in him from the moment we first met. It was easy to see that this wasn’t a job for Gareth, it was his passion. We were constantly being asked whose side of the family he was on (which tells you all you need to know about his personality) We didn’t want the standard ‘everyone stand here’ type photographer – we wanted someone who could capture our day without us noticing and getting everyone in the most natural of ways. We could never thank him enough for such beautiful pictures. We’ve hopefully made a friend for life.

How did the proposal happen? 

The proposal took place at the location where Dan first knew he was in love with Emily. On their 5th anniversary of being together, Dan asked if Emily wanted to go to Langland Bay for the day and booked a night at Morgans Hotel.

Emily didn’t suspect anything during the day but Dan had to make sure she was walking in front of him at all times as he had the ring in the box in his back pocket – which stuck out as you’d expect a box would be.

As they were walking along the coastal path Dan kept looking for the right spot – but there were council workers in nearly every bench area cutting the grass. After turning around and coming back towards Langland they passed the same council worker who just laughed and waved (he must have known something was going on). They eventually managed to find a quiet spot and sat down (although rather awkwardly for Dan due to the ring box). They sat and chatted for a little while then Dan asked Emily for a photo. Emily got up to move in to position for the photo and Dan started to say “You know this is the place where I knew I was in love with you” (commence lowering on to knee) and then “will you marry me?” (commence increased heart rate) to which Emily said “YES!”.

The newly engaged couple then went back to Mumbles for a lovely meal and on to Swansea for drinks to celebrate.

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

The seating plan/table layout was made out of our bathroom mirror! Emily turned the glass around and put some brown paper over it and used that (with other lovely decorations). People were asking us where it came from and when we told them it came from our bathroom, it went down a storm.

Our wedding cake was made by Daniel’s sister (and now Emily Sister-in-law); it was beautiful and tasted fantastic too!

Emily made her maid of honour ‘”Open When” Letters’ which were simply letters that you give to someone, instructing them to open them at a specific time. For example ‘Open when you need a laugh’ and inside would be a little letter to do with that subject. I loved writing them as they could be as personal/meaningful or as silly as you wouldn’t them to be; I felt they were the perfect gift and loved Grug’s reaction when she got to open the ‘Open when you receive these letters’ on the morning of the wedding. I also wrote a letter to my mum (who burst into tears before she even opened it…lucky our makeup wasn’t on at this point!). Sometimes you don’t need to buy expensive gifts to show your love for someone.

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In the orangery/reception room, where we had our meal and evening entertainment – we draped old photos of all the guests across the welsh dressers, which went down a treat. Seeing the photos hanging there was again emotional for some people but also an ice breaker, as people were laughing and joking at old memories; it was Emily’s idea and was such a nice touch to do.

Emily also made the table centres herself, from empty Dowe Egberts coffee jars – wrapping them in lace and hessian and adding a taillight candle.

What was your first dance & why?

We chose ‘December 1963’ by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. We loved the song and it wasn’t the typical slow burning song you normally get at weddings – we wanted our guests to also want to get up and dance with us too – which they did, after about 20 seconds! The whole dance floor and room was full of everyone dancing and enjoying – exactly what we wanted.

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

Nope!

Do you have any advice for future couples?

Do exactly what you want, stick to your guns – don’t let anyone influence you as it’s your day, your ideas and your dreams all rolled in to one.

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

We didn’t have any advice; only best wishes and love from both our families and friends.

What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

Spending quality time with my mother planning and designing almost ever aspect of my wedding – they are memories I was always treasure.

Being reassured and guided by my best friend when things got stressful.

Most importantly having total control of what we wanted for our big day. Knowing that what happened on the day would be exactly what we had wanted and set our minds to.

The Suppliers

Photographer: Gareth Scanlon
Ceremony Venue: Llangoed Hall, Llyswen
Bride’s Dress: Alanis by Maggie Sottero
Bride’s Shoes: Abigails Party by Irregular Choice
Bride’s Headpiece:Wildflowers from Issy and Bella
Bride’s Jewellery: Self-supplied
Groom’s Outfit: Hammond & Co.Ltd at Debenhams
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Maid of Honour – Jenny Packham (Debenhams)
Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Self-supplied
Cake: Supplied by Sister-in-Law “Cupcakes by Rejoco”
Flowers: Wildflowers from Issy and Bella
Hair: Hair: Beauty and Hair by Rebecca
Make Up: Self-styled
Stationery: Self-supplied
Any Reception Decor/Props: Made by the Bride

The Wedding Album

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 Such a lovely personal day guys – thank you so much to you Emily and Dan for telling us all about their fabulous day, and to Gareth Scanlon for sharing these beautiful images! xx