No your eyes aren’t deceiving you, this is the wedding of the cool couple whose atmospheric engagement shoot we featured this morning. I thought it would be fun to share both sets of images in one day, as often we swoon over engagement shoots, but either never get to see the wedding photos or we see them months later and you lose that sense of connection. (Plus we all love a good nose and a proper love story don’t we?! It’s why we all read RMW everyday…)
I think this morning’s images probably gave you an indication that Abi & Alex weren’t going to have a conventional wedding, and you would be totally right…their big day is just bursting at the seams with quirky decor details and colour. We love that they took over Rosedew Farm and filled it with things they loved.
Claudia Rose Carter clearly *gets* the couple too, as their wedding photographs are just as stunning as the engagement shoot. Wait until you see the images taken during the speeches, you almost feel as if you are there…
Oh and Bride Abi has some of the prettiest Bridal jewellery we’ve seen and we’re totally jealous that she gets to wear it all daily and remind herself of her lovely wedding!
Abi The Bride: I knew from just looking in the windows of bridal shops that a typical bridal gown wasn’t going to suit me or make me feel like ‘me’. I’ve never been good at ‘formal’ and am always the most confident and comfortable in my pyjamas! So I looked on the high street for something floaty, boho and most importantly NOT WHITE. I found my dress on ASOS and it was actually reduced from £100 to £80. I instantly knew it was right for me as I had about a million ideas for accessorising and styling it up as soon as I saw it (I had a LOT of accessories!)
I then went on the hunt for the perfect jewellery to compliment it so headed to independent retailers to make sure I had something really unique. I got some custom orders made from Etsy shops and found a gorgeous crystal pendant that I loved from my favourite online vintage shop, Waiste. I didn’t want any cut flowers at the wedding as for me, they’re a huge expense to have to throw away at the end of the day, so my flower crown was made by Amore Bride as a custom Etsy order and continued only dried and silk flowers. I found my vintage 1920s shawl on eBay for an absolute steal (£28!) and the colour matched my dress perfectly – it was meant to be! To top everything off, I found an amazing gold feather vintage belt and had belt loops and an underskirt sewn into my dress to perfect it. I felt beautiful but like I wasn’t playing dress-up – I wanted Al to recognise me when I walked down the aisle towards him. I love that I can still wear my accessories with my everyday outfits – it reminds me of our day everytime 🙂
Alex knows what he likes, and knew the right suit for him the second he tried it on. He went for a woolen grey/brown suit from Next with a waistcoat and tan brogue boots from John Lewis. He styled this with a knitted burgundy tie from M&S and a simple white shirt, along with his late grandfather George’s tie clip and cufflinks.
We knew that we wanted a venue that we could treat as a complete blank canvas as I’m an artist and designer and was determined to create all of the decor myself. We originally could only find venues we liked in the Brecon Beacons but eventually stumbled across Rosedew Farm in Llantwit Major which is only 20 minutes up the road from us. It was absolutely perfect and even had holiday cottages onsite that all of the bridal party could stay in prior to the wedding (which was a Godsend when setting everything up). Gaynor and Rhodri who own the working farm are absolutely wonderful people and together with their family, went out of their way to make sure we had the best day possible. We also had help from our on-the-day coordinator Steph, of Plan-It Events, who was incredible at organising everything on the day, arranged keg’s of Al’s favourite Brewdog beer to be served at the bar, and just made everything run so smoothly. She even cleaned up the barn the next day with her team so we could have a lie-in!
We definitely weren’t ever going to lock ourselves in to a specific theme, but if I have to describe it with one word, it would have to be NATURE. It was more a mix of nature/vintage/hippy/boho/cats/colour/collage/art/craft/antiques and basically just reflected both of our interests and loves. As I’ve always got a new creative project on the go, the decor changed over the two years we were planning it as I got hooked on more and more colour and even had to throw in a bit of glitter to satisfy my urge towards the end! I handmade or sourced every piece of decor and my brother, who is a propsmaster, lent us some amazing pieces for the day which just pulled it all together.
I was determined not to have floral arrangements as the cost just seemed so high considering we’d have to throw everything away afterwards. I drafted in my highly talented cousin Rhiannon, who is a florist and visual merchandiser, to create our centre pieces. We knew we wanted loads of branches grouped together to look like trees inside vintage tins, adorned with birds, but I only had the idea in my head and wasn’t sure how I was going to pull it off (flower arrangement has never been my strong suit!) – Rhi stepped up to the plate and BLEW OUR MINDS! She took my ideas and just made everything so much better than I imagined. She also helped to style and set-up the venue and really pulled the whole thing together for us. LEGEND!! To add a few finishing touches, she collected flowers and foliage from the surrounding farm and we arranged bunches of rosemary, thyme and lavender to give a beautiful smell as people walked in and throughout the day.
I handmade my bouquet from feather butterflies sourced from eBay which complimented the birds and butterflies we decorated the venue with.
The Wedding Party
I didn’t want ‘official’ bridesmaids as the idea of forcing my friends into a dress they might not like just stressed me out. I had my best friend, niece, two sister-in-laws, mum and Al’s mum walk down the aisle in front of me and they all chose their own outfits – they all looked stunning, themselves and I was so glad that they were comfortable! Dexter, Al’s best man, wore a stunning blue suit from Topman. Everybody wore what made them look and feel amazing, which showed on the day as we were all so relaxed, happy and loved up!
I created the button holes for the bridal party myself out of sculpey…and had a few strange looks when I showed them to people. I think they worked really well though and were a great alternative to flowers.
As the barn is a licensed venue, we were able to hold our civil ceremony there, but we always had it in our heads that we wanted a humanist ceremony too. So after the legal bit was over, our humanist, John Durbin, led us through a beautiful, emotional and hilarious service where we got to share with everyone how we met, what we love about each other, and what we love about them! We then had a hand fasting ceremony where our parents each tied a ribbon around our hands signifying our families joining together.
We didn’t plan any day time entertainment but we did have an open bar (which was entertainment enough). We had a simple disco in the night and had a yurt to the side of the barn with a log-burner which everyone congregated in. To be honest, everyone was so happy and chatty, I don’t think they would’ve even stopped if we had a full brass band play for them! It was so lovely to see so many of our friends who had met at the wedding add each other on Facebook and form friendships of their own.
We aren’t into formal sit-down dinners and our caterers Five Star Chef, excelled in providing us with beautiful Greek style Meze sharing platters including dolmades, humous, flat bread, cous cous and grilled meat. These were great as they got everyone sharing food, talking and trying new things. We then finished up with a ‘create your own ice cream sundae’ served in coffee cups, so everyone could sprinkle on their own favourite toppings and sauces.
We discovered Claudia when trawling through wedding blogs and, both being into our photography, we instantly fell in love with her artistic and unique style. Again, ‘formal’ is a dirty word in our house, so we knew that Claudia’s candid, documentary style of photography would be perfect to capture us looking ourselves! Claudia offers a pre-wedding shoot included in her package, and after a few conversations and meeting up, having already fostered a wonderful friendship, she proposed that we take our pre-wedding shoot to NORWAY! Al has always wanted to go so we thought ‘Why the hell not!’ and met her over there with her gorgeous son and other half. We had an amazing time trekking through the woods and mountains of Bergen. It was POURING with rain but it didn’t matter as, as my cousin put it, “Claudia can make an empty pint glass look beautiful!”. It’s true. She sees the world in a certain way that just brings the most beautiful and poetic aspects to the forefront in her photos. We were honoured to have her there with us on our wedding day and we’re now firm friends, hopefully planning another adventure together soon!
When the stress of planning a huge event such as a wedding starts to get a bit to much, take a step back and just remember the real reason you’re doing this! It’s about you as a couple. You are unbreakable. You are doubling your network of beautiful friends and family and they are all there because they love you and want the best for you. If your chair covers end up the wrong colour or it pours with rain from start to finish, it’s really not the end of the world. Try and keep things in perspective.
Also, I got hideously anxious about an hour before the ceremony having been cool as a cucumber for the entire morning (I started to think about everyone turning around to look at me when I walked into the room EEEeeeek!) I took some time out on my own and meditated using an app called Headspace – just having 10 minutes of ‘me time’ during the whirlwind of the morning was so so important and by the time I was getting into my dress, I was super relaxed and happy again!
Photography by Claudia Rose Carter
- Bride ‘Olsen’ Maxi Dress by Religion
- Alterations The Perfect Fit
- Groom Next
- Armlet, Slave Bracelet & Turquoise Necklace A La Pop
- Feather Belt Coco & Marie
- Crystal & Feather Pendants Waiste Vintage
- Shoes New Look
- Flower Crown Amore Bride
- Venue Farmers Barns
- Catering Bryngarw House
- On The Day Coordination Plan It
- Stationery Designed & Printed by Abi the Bride
- Entertainment JD Disco & Karaoke