I think we can all agree that summer is on its way. Yes, we might be having the odd shower but the leaves are on the the trees, the flowers are filling our gardens and the days are getting longer. This also means that wedding season is in full swing. The excitement is building for many of you who will soon be walking down the aisle.
This beautiful beach Cwtch of the week was taken by the South Wales Wedding Photographer Clare Adams from Loveseen. This photograph smells of summer. The lighting, the setting and the way her dress is bundled up in such a carefree manner. The other thing that I love is the fact that Caroline is on her tip toes. It reminds me of my husband and I, as I’m a shorty as well.
“On Saturday I was at Freshwater East, Pembrokeshire, to photograph the wedding of Alain and Caroline. They are literally the coolest couple around and lead such amazing lives; spending 6 months of the year on the slopes as ski instructors and the other 6 months on the waves teaching water-sports. Their wedding reflected their outdoor lifestyle in all the little details and it was very fitting that their first walk of married life was to the totally unspoilt Barafundle Bay.” Clare Adams
Initially we had a set a budget of £10,000 and we set our date for two years after we got engaged to give us plenty of time to save. However, after going to a few wedding fayre’s and looking at lots of venues we realised that what we wanted for our day was not going to be possible on our budget. In the end we saved and spent £12,000. For this we got everything we could want for our big day. We had lots of help from family and without them we would probably still be saving now, or at least paying off a big credit card bill!How would you describe your wedding theme?
We didn’t really have a theme as such. We suppose we could have passed it off as vintage (tea cups, lace and vintage jugs) but we just had all the things we both love. We got a lot of inspiration from wedding magazines, fayre’s and blogs, especially Cwtch the Bride.
I LOVE flowers, so they were a big part of our day and we had an abundance of flowers at both the church and the reception venue in pinks, blues and green, supplied by The Ivy and our venue The Old Barn Inn. They were absolutely beautiful and our suppliers did us proud.
We had lace chair tie backs and my grandmother made vintage flowers for the centre. I made the table plan from a vintage style pin board (with a little help from a friend). Our cake was inspired by the colours of our flowers and was based on a design Rachel had previously made at the Little Cake Cupboard.
Overall, we wanted a laid back day where all our friends and family could be together and just enjoy the celebration. Even our photographer and DJ mentioned how laid back and relaxed the wedding was (until about 10pm anyway, that’s when the real party started!).
What was your favourite part of your wedding?
We couldn’t choose a particular part that we enjoyed most. Everything went so smoothly and we had so much fun at the reception venue. It was great to have everyone together as we have many friends and family that don’t live close by.The ceremony was just perfect. I walked in to ‘Oh Perfect Love’ by Joseph Barnby. I didn’t want the traditional ‘Bridal March’ but we did go for the ‘Wedding March’ by Mendelssohn as we walked out. Our Reverend so brilliant and everyone sang his praises afterwards. Hearing the church bells after the ceremony and enjoying a few moments together outside the church was lovely. We had a chance to let it all soak in before the reception.
Tell us about your Wedding Dress
I had so much fun trying on wedding dresses. I went shopping with my mum, sisters and grandmother. I knew my sisters would give me honest opinions on what looked good. I think I tried on about 10 dresses but I first saw the one I wanted on the internet. It was a design by Martina Liana and they only stocked it in Laura May Bridal in Cardiff so I made an appointment. I knew when I tried it on it was the one but being a woman of course I had to try on a few more. Just to make sure. I wanted a lace gown with a full skirt and that wasn’t strapless. This had all of those things. Plus a blush sash which went perfectly with my colour scheme.I didn’t decide on a veil until a few weeks before the big day. I’m sure I was still uncertain on the day. But I don’t regret wearing it at all. It gave me that little something that made me feel like a bride.
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why?
We chose Mike’s best friend Jamie as best man my two sisters Amelia and Isabella and Mike’s sister Kelly as bridesmaids. It was a no brainer really. I think Mike and Jamie had made a pact a very long time ago to be each others best men! I chose my sisters as they are who I am closest too and share everything with so couldn’t have them not share this special day with me. If I had had an unlimited budget I would have also had a few close friends as bridesmaids but wanted to keep the wedding party small so stuck to our sisters. A family affair! Why did you choose your venue?
We looked at a few bigger venues but found they all had minimum numbers or set menus etc. There was always a limitation that didn’t meet our needs.
Our venue was suggested by my grandad, he remembered it as a place where he and my grandmother used to go. Although he wasn’t quite sure what it was like these days. He took me there, it was great so I set up a meeting. Mike and I went back and after meeting Jackie the owner we didn’t look back. She was flexible in everyday, the food was great, the price was even better (compared to the bigger venues) and most importantly to us, the vibe was right. Relaxed, in the country but not too far for our guests to travel. It was perfect.How did the proposal happen?
After meeting through my sister Amelia, we started dating and then Mike went back to university in Exeter. I was working full time so drove down most weekends to spend it with him. I have to give it to his friends, I went down to see them too!
I dropped a few hints, looking at rings on the internet and in shop windows. The look on Mike’s face never failed to amuse me. Then on the morning of my birthday, after two and a half years of being together he popped the question. On one knee and everything! I said yes straight away of course. He had been listening and taking note of all the rings I’d pointed out over the months and my engagement ring was perfect. Except it was too small. We called the jewellers and they’d sorted it the same day. We went to Cardiff for the day to celebrate and had lunch at Jamie’s Italian, which he knows I love.
From then on we started gathering inspiration and planning our big day.Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?
My friend Sarah and I had been on a DIY mission for a while as she got married just six weeks before us. We made a few things ourselves. I wanted the table plan to be unique and found a vintage pin board whilst shopping that was perfect for the job.My grandparents helped to make flowers for the backs of the chairs, wooden hearts for the tables numbers, signs to the church and reception venue (we didn’t know about those until the day), wooden scoops for the sweet buffet and we did all of the favours ourselves.
What was your first dance & why?
This was probably the hardest part of planning the wedding. We didn’t decide until about two days before when we had no choice but to send our DJ a track. We had heard a few songs that we both liked but neither of us could agree on one which we loved. We had always said if we got married we’d have the Ellie Goulding version of ‘Your Song’, but as much as we still love it, we have heard it so many times and decided it wasn’t for us anymore.
In the end we went with ‘Latch’ acoustic version by Sam Smith, a few weeks before the wedding my sister played it to me and I fell in love with it straight away. It took a while to convince Mike and we both have such different tastes in music. However, it felt right going with that song and it is so beautiful. So every time we hear it we can be reminded of our wedding day.
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?
We don’t think we would have done anything differently. We had everyone we love with us and everyone had such a great time. The only thing we would have liked is for the day to last longer. The old saying ‘not enough hours in the day’ is never more true than on your wedding day.Do you have any advice for future couples?
Just to enjoy the day. Don’t stress over little things that won’t even be noticed on the day. The guests don’t know what to expect so won’t know if something hasn’t gone quite the way you planned. Do something DIY, it makes it more personal to you and you feel proud knowing you made that table plan or put together your centrepieces. Also, take some time out after the wedding, even if you’re not having a honeymoon. Enjoy a few days just to yourselves and shut off from the rest of the world. Sit and look through the photos together. Oh and make sure you have a Photo Booth for the evening!!
What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received?
We had plenty in our guest book, but we always stick to letting each other be your own person and have independence. We have our lives with our friends and we have our life together. Like being best friends as well as husband and wife. It has worked for us this far and we couldn’t be happier.What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?
Spending time going through ideas with each other, friends and family. The day turned out to be perfect and had a little inspiration from all of the best people in our lives.