Bride To Be Diaries: Our Spring Bride Ali Is Planning

spring bride profile

Our Spring Bride Ali is planning in this post. She is telling us all about marking off all of her to do list and making sure that she is organised. Over to you Ali.  Our Spring Bride Planning, planning, planning… … Continue reading

Kate and Marc’s Informal Wedding by Rocksalt Photography

Wow Wow Wow!!!

This beautiful informal wedding in the Brecon gave me goosebumps. Once again Rocksalt Photography has knocked it out of the park! I cant wait for you to fall in love with Kate and Marc’s photographs and I hope that you are inspired by this little gem. 

Marc_Kate-167Marc_Kate-142What was your budget? 

The budget spreadsheet was the first thing we put together after booking the venue. We set a budget for everything we thought we needed or wanted for the day…and pretty much kept to it. We decided on the things we definitely wanted, such as a live band, and those that were nice extras if we had any budget left.Marc_Kate-140

How would you describe your wedding theme?

We really didn’t want to choose a specific theme or colour scheme and have everything matching. We wanted a more informal, rustic look. But in the end yellow ended up being the main colour, which we used with lots of different coloured flowers so not to be too matchy.Marc_Kate-244Marc_Kate-246

What was your favourite part of your wedding?

It was lovely to have our friends and family at the venue the day before to help decorate the venue – that was a really fun part of the whole weekend.

Walking up the aisle after the ceremony with everyone clapping and cheering was a lovely moment. And the dancing in the evening was brilliant!Marc_Kate-118

Tell us about your Wedding Dress

My dress is by La Sposa, from Timeless Elegance in Cardiff. The biggest money splurge was my dress, it was way over the original (unrealistic) budget I set . The dress was worth every penny though!Marc_Kate-1Marc_Kate-2

Why did you choose your venue?

We wanted a relaxed venue which felt like ‘us’ and somewhere we could hold the entire day. The views are fantastic at Brynich and it has the advantage of gorgeous cottages on site so friends and family could celebrate with us all weekend. When we were driving away from the appointment, we were sure we had found the right venue for us. We only looked at one other venue – and then decided on Brynich.Marc_Kate-254Marc_Kate-41

Tell us about your photographer

We looked up Hannah at Rocksalt after seeing photos she had taken for a friends wedding, and liked her informal approach and reasonable prices.
We were both apprehensive about the photography and thought we would feel really uncomfortable with a photographer but as soon as we met Hannah we knew we would have a giggle and feel comfortable with her. Also her photos are amazing! Hannah was brilliant to have around on the day as well – a fun and calming influence!Marc_Kate-168

How did the proposal happen? 

We went to Rome for a few days with Marc’s dad and Marc proposed at a viewpoint overlooking the city…after subtly asking his Dad to leave us alone for a minute!Marc_Kate-318

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

We made our own invitations and order of the day cards. We made up a photo board of us as a couple and another including a photo of nearly every guest at the wedding.
We decorated jam jars for the table flowers – this added to the rustic afternoon tea look.
My Dad & Pat provided all of the flowers to decorate the venue and me and my bridesmaids helped to put together the table floral arrangements the day before – this was a really nice part of the preparations.
My Dad made small wooden hearts for each guests place name which looked lovely on the tableMarc_Kate-250

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

Nothing!! We loved how all our friends and family were mingling and having a really good time. We were suprised by how relaxed we both felt and how smoothly the day went. We would love to do it all again.Marc_Kate-253

Do you have any advice for future couples?

When planning – make decisions and stick to them, don’t over think every last detail. Limit the number of wedding magazines you buy, they are filled with brilliant ideas but you can’t do everything and it can be overwhelming. You will make sure the things that are really important to both of you are completed, if there is anything left on your to do list the night before it isn’t that important to you so forget it and enjoy your day!
On the day – relax and enjoy every minute and make sure you spend some time together!
We put together playlists for the day and booked Coverland Band to play in the evening. This was a risk as we booked them off the internet and had not seen them play live. They were brilliant, and we would highly recommend them. We also put together a ‘metal’ playlist to play during the band break – it’s fair to say this led to some pretty amazing dancing!
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What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

Reading this blog!!Marc_Kate-165Marc_Kate-145

The Suppliers

Photographer: Rocksalt Photography
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Barn at Brynich, Brecon
Bride’s Dress: Timeless Elegance,
Bride’s Shoes: Marks and Spencer / Converse
Groom’s Outfit: Moss Bros
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Kaliko from John Lewis
Cake: Mum
Flowers: Dad and Step mum grew the flowers
Band:  Coverland Band

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I told you it was a little gem. So what wedding jobs are on the list for this weekend? If you don’t do anything else you should book your Cwtchfest tickets! Buy them HERE!

Real Wedding: Cathryn & Caradog’s Relaxed Brecon Wedding by Zoe Preston Rayne

Cathryn & Caradog’s beautiful wedding at Christ College Brecon has been warming our cockles this week! With gorgeous images from Zoe Preston Rayne here is Cathryn to tell us all about their big day.

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What was your budget? £12000 …. there or there abouts :) We were incredibly lucky to have help from our generous families.

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How would you describe your wedding theme? We decided that we wanted a wedding that allowed our guests to totally relax and enjoy themselves. We knew we didn’t want an ultra glam wedding or anything too quirky because it just wasn’t us. So we decided we would go for a rustic traditional theme. From the moment we got engaged we knew where we wanted to get married and so our theme had to fit with buildings that were built in the 13th Century and have a great history behind them.

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What was your favourite part of your wedding? Caradog and I have gone through the day so many times and we keep changing our mind on this one. At the moment mine has to be the marriage ceremony in St Nicholas Chapel. It had such significance to get married in that chapel, as I was confirmed there, my good friend also holds the position of Chaplain, and so to be married by him made it truly special.

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I actually put the whole service together myself, the hymns are ones we love singing in church, I wrote the prayers and the blessings and all the music was chosen by myself and Caradog.
Trio Canig, who are an amazing male voice trio, (one member happens to be Caradog’s Father) welcomed our guests and entertained them whilst we signed the register.
Due to the personal nature of our ceremony we both felt so emotional throughout it and if our wedding day had just been that 1 hour service I still would have been the happiest girl in the world.

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Tell us about your Wedding Dress I didn’t rush out to try on wedding dresses and left it about 6 weeks before I took my mum with me on a little ‘girls day out’. I had an idea of what I wanted but I received wise words from so many of my already married friends. So I tried on every style and went to about 3 different shops that day. It was lots of fun but I didn’t come away from those shops feeling like any of them were really me. I knew exactly what everyone was expecting and whilst I didn’t want to wear anything that was different to my usual style I still wanted to cause a little surprise.
A few weeks later I booked an appointment at Timeless Elegance in Cardiff. So I went on my own and again tried on a number of dresses but I had my eye on two particular ones.I had looked at Eliza Jane Howell online and was in love with her designs and as soon as I tried on the ‘Eliza’ I knew it was perfect. I telephoned my mum who was so excited she drove up from Swansea the next morning to see it. I remember walking out and she just said ‘Yes!’.
The ladies in Timeless Elegance were so lovely and we loved the experience.

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Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why? I chose 4 glamorous ladies as my bridemaids. I had been bridesmaid for three of my best friends already and before Caradog and I got together it was a bit of a case of ‘3 times bridesmaid never the bride’. But after meeting Caradog and getting engaged I was delighted when I could ask Gabrielle, Lucy and Joanne to return the favour. Joanne also has a gorgeous little girl, Myla, who couldn’t wait to be a princess at my big party so I had her as my flower girl.  35

My brother got engaged a couple of months after me and so there was no question about having Victoria, his fiancee, as my fourth bridesmaid. Its been really fun planning two weddings together. They get married in December and I really can’t wait to be her bridemaid. I now class myself as highly experienced! 

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Why did you choose your venue? Caradog and I met in Brecon, lived together in Brecon and I was a teacher at Christ College for a number of years. Since moving to Cardiff it only seemed fitting we go back to Brecon to get married and it was the only venue we were in love with as it had such a significance. The buildings are incredible, the grounds are immaculate and due to my personal connection with the College they could offer us a bespoke wedding.

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How did the proposal happen?  Caradog had told me he had 3 surprises planned overt he weekend of my birthday. The first one was my ‘farm yard’ birthday cake. We had been out with my brother and his Fiancee the night of my birthday in Cardiff and the following day Caradog had a sense of urgency in the morning. He wanted to get back to Brecon as he had an activity planned for us. So we got home and he packed a picnic basket. We walked down to the Canal in Brecon and he told me he had booked a boat and was going to drive us down the canal and we were going to have a nice lunch. The boat trip was surprise number 2.
After about 15 minutes he asked me to go into the picnic basket and have a look. I pulled out 2 Joe’s ice creams and since Joe’s is my favorite I thanked him for surprise number 3. He told me,quite quickly, the ice cream was not a surprise.
Shortly he moored the boat and led me down to a spot at the side of the River Usk. As I started to unpack the picnic I noticed Caradog fussing with something and next thing he was down on one knee and asking me to marry him. That was surprise number 3.
The boy did good! After I said yes, we continued on with our picnic in total bliss.

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Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share? The majority of the decoration was all DIY. We made our own invites, table plan, place cards, order of day, pew ends for flowers. We even made our own table runners and polaroid style photo booth. I felt our rustic theme didn’t need outside inspiration or help and the result was a fun, old-world-inspired vibe. We learnt quickly to accept help of those who wanted to help us and don’t be worried about if they don’t do it exactly as you visioned. It added to the character of the wedding.

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What was your first dance & why? Our first dance was played by our talented band ‘Pardon Madame‘. They covered Luther Vandross ‘Never too much’. To ask Caradog to slow dance would have been a crime. When given half the chance he is the first one up on the dance floor, as am I. We wanted something upbeat, that had great lyrics and that would entice our guests to come up and dance with us and feel the love. We planned a short routine that had made everyone giggle think we got the party started with it.

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In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently? Nothing at all. We were so grateful for all of our families help and we took advice of those who offered it and spent a little quiet time together to reflect half way through the day. Everything was perfect.

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Do you have any advice for future couples? Just remember everyone you invite are there because they love you and want you to be happy. Nothing will spoil that and if you are worried about something not being quite right then tell yourself that and it will put it all into perspective.

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What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received? From a dear couple with lots of wisdom; ‘You will learn from other people, but don’t feel the need to compare the life of your marriage to anyone else’s. That the plan for our marriage will be uniquely beautiful’.
That was written on our wedding jenga guest book.

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What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding? Spending lots of time together as a couple. Knowing that person has the same desire as you to put together a great day. We laughed and ate our way around 2 wedding fayres, tested out the photobooths, researched the bands, practiced the dancing……. I miss the planning but now my husband has me on wife duties which is just as much fun but with no deadline.

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The Suppliers

Photographer: Zoe Preston Rayne
Wedding Date: 27/03/2015
Videographer: Shutterhire Penarth 
Ceremony Venue: Christ College Brecon 
Reception Venue: Christ College Brecon
Bride’s Dress: Eliza Jane Howell from Timeless Elegance
Bride’s Shoes: Cancer Research Bridal Suite
Groom’s Outfit: Aiden Sweeney Brecon
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Own seamstress
Cake: Daisy Bake 
Flowers: Blodau’r Beudy 
Make Up: Farhana Ali 
Band: Trio Canig and Pardon Madame  
Caterers: Christ College Brecon
Transport: Bill Child 

The Wedding Album

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