Rosie and Andy’s wedding day is the absolute perfect wedding for RMW to feature, as the couple have created a day that truly reflects them and the history of their relationship. Having been together for over 10 years, the pair got married back home, in the idyllic Usk Castle and brought in loads of elements from their life together over the years, making their wedding day so personal. Naturally, working in fashion, Rosie’s styling is totally on point – lots of foliage and simple white flowers which work beautifully in the striking venue. I’m LOVING the bridesmaids look too, a blue tonal palette with the most gorgeous fabrics – and all from the (virtual) high street.
Rosie the Bride: We’ve known each other since we were children, and went to the same primary school together in rural South Wales. Andy was actually my boyfriend for a few days in primary school until we went on a school trip to the London Eye in the year 2000, and I didn’t like the trainers he wore so asked my best friend to dump him for me…
We’ve been together since we were 17, when after a few months of dating, I finally asked him to be my official boyfriend the day before he left for uni in Exeter – that was day 22nd September 2007. Our wedding day was 23rd September, ten years later.
Since then we have been together and moved from Wales to Bristol, then to London about 5 years ago where we now live in our first owned home in Crystal Palace, South East London. I work in digital advertising specialised in fashion, and Andy works in finance.
In October 2016, when I was actually temporarily based in Paris for work, Andy arranged date night to cheer me up after a stressful week of work. Playing dumb enroute to the restaurant and pretending we were lost, he took us on a detour that ended up walking over my favourite bridge in London – the Albert Bridge – where he sneakily got down on one knee as I was taking an Instagram shot of the bridge!
The Wedding Planning
I’m pretty OCD and a serial organisation queen. So wedding planning sort of came natural to me and I loved it! From curating endless Pinterest boards and shopping around for bargain bridesmaid dresses, to a neatly executed Excel spreadsheet to keep our budget under control. We knew that we couldn’t totally splash the cash on everything, but also wanted to invest in some key parts of the day to make it really special – the Prosecco Van for example was a last minute luxury addition because I just couldn’t resist it!!
Friends & Family Help
We were really lucky to have friends and family who could help out with various bits and pieces – a close family friend made our delicious brownies and the burgers were provided by the company who I used to waitress for as a student in Bristol! We’ve always stayed good friends with the owner since leaving Bristol and as soon as we started wedding planning I just knew that I wanted the nostalgic throwback to that time in our lives – as well as wanting to avoid anything too formal in the way of a sit-down meal.
We used Papier for our wedding invitations, and then for the day itself designed our own very similar versions and printed them out at home – with the help of parents. The theme was simple, with greenery rather than flowers and this was the look we wanted across the whole day – from barn decoration, to bouquets and crowns.
Neither of us are religious so we had a civil ceremony and chose some readings for our Mums to do during the service. My Mum read a poem from my favourite, Maya Angelou and Andy’s Mum read a quote from Bob Marley – an artist who we both love and had his songs playing for when guests were arriving in the barn ready for the ceremony to start.
We walked down the aisle to River by Leon Bridges and played History by One Direction as we were signing the register – it’s the most fitting song ever for us as a couple and felt like a nice playful way to end a really emotional ceremony!!
The story of my dress was a bit of a journey to say the least! I originally fell in love with the amazing quality of the lace – but the dress was a sample in a sample sale and was far too big for me and a much more structured shape than it ended up being. After lots of creative brainstorming about how we could make it what I wanted – which was something a bit more casual and relaxed, as I didn’t really want anything “princessy” or “too bridey”, my amazing seamstress Grace transformed the dress into two separate pieces – a lace overlay with a slinky satin slip underneath. With the genius idea of two sets of removable straps, I was able to take off the lace layer entirely for the evening, replacing clear straps that had previously been invisible with white matching satin straps to make the slip dress! I hadn’t told anyone about the 2 in 1 dress so it was a really fun “reveal” moment when I came into the marquee just before the speeches in what looked like a totally different dress!
I knew 7 bridesmaids was going to be a challenge when it came to their outfits. I decided against matching dresses, as with so many shapes and sizes and styles, I wanted the girls to be able to feel themselves on the day and I had seen loads of “tonal” bridesmaid groups during my research. We decided on a blue/grey theme with lace and crochet detailing, and managed to find some amazing bargains – all the dresses were bought online without a single real store visit!! Each bridesmaid could show a bit of personality and chose a dress that fitted with their usual style – plus they have all said they will probably wear their dresses again so even better value for money.
I totally loved the boho look I had been obsessing over on Pinterest and Instagram, so I always knew I wanted some form of flower crowns. As I had 7 bridesmaids (!!) who were all wearing different dresses, I thought matching crowns could be a way of tying things together so it wasn’t all too random looking. I found A Golden Garden on Etsy and absolutely loved the plain and simple eucalyptus crowns – which were adjustable too so I could be sure they would fit my bridesmaids, and artificial which was much cheaper than the real deal – whilst looking really real!
My crown was made from real flowers and I felt like this was what I needed to help me look a bit more “bridal” than normal – I have very short scruffy hair so a little crown of flowers was the perfect finishing touch I think.
For flowers, I wanted something wild and rustic looking, and wasn’t a fan of anything too neat and traditional. Our florist was perfect and totally nailed the brief – I’m having the bouquet preserved and pressed because it was so beautiful. For the bridesmaids, I went for more simple greenery and white details as again – with 7 bridesmaids I didn’t want everything too look too random. I think the finished look of 7 different dresses, but matching crowns & bouquets was the perfect amount of mix & match.
Usk is both mine & Andy’s hometown where our parents still live, so the Castle there was the obvious choice as soon as we got engaged. The beautiful ruins is right on my Mums doorstep, meaning for local friends and family it was the most convenient wedding venue ever! For friends of ours from London and further afield, it was a chance to come and experience some rural Welsh beauty, and lots of guests went around the ground exploring the lawns and the ruins in the sunshine – it was perfect. With the venue being so beautiful, it also meant we didn’t have to spend a fortune on decoration!
For the barn where the ceremony took place, all we did for decoration was tie a few bunches of gypsophila to the chairs down the aisle. Then for the marquee, instead of paying a florist team to come and make centrepieces, we just bought big sacks of flowers we wanted – in the end just keeping things really simple with eucalyptus and gypsophila. The day before the wedding, we called in help from all the bridesmaids and family we could and just laid the greenery down the centre of the table, along with some really cheap hessian ribbon I found on eBay. I’d asked both families to save any small glass jars & tins for the few months leading up to the wedding, so we used these as little rustic vases for the gypsophila. We had so many comments on the decoration but it just goes to show you don’t have to spend a lot to achieve the look you want – just get a bit creative!
We were so so lucky that in our hometown and the surrounding area, there are a few hidden treasures that made the perfect wedding-weekend accommodation. For the bridesmaids & a few closer friends, the night before the wedding we all stayed together in a renovated windmill. The windmill is about 2 fields away from the family home I grew up in, and staying there with my sisters, and my Dad being there the morning of my wedding was incredibly sentimental and emotional.
For our wedding night, Andy and I stayed in the most incredible World War 2 converted decoy bunker – converted by the family who own the Castle where we got married. Totally in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by breathtaking views of the incredible welsh countryside, waking up here was like being in a dream – and sitting outside on the hammock with my first cup of coffee as a married woman really helped clear the hangover!!
Photography by Magda K
- Venue Usk Castle
- Bride The Wild At Heart Bridal
- Alterations Gracie Designs
- Bridesmaids ASOS
- Flower Crowns A Golden Garden
- Groom Hugo Boss
- Stationery Papier
- Flowers Upmarket Flowers
- Band Tom Cooper Music
- Burgers & Nibbles The Burger Joint
- Brownies Anna Humphreys
- Prosecco Van Prosecco Pronto
- Accommodation Llancayo Windmill
- The Decoy Bunker