This morning we’re sharing a welsh speaking ceremony followed by a rustic homespun reception in Snowdonia and it is out of this world beautiful. Not only did bride Anwen have TWO stunning bridal gowns (because if you could you would wouldn’t you?) but her entire wedding party were super super stylish with a unique dash of floral liberty print whimsy.
The flowers are the perfect mix of feminine and perfectly “un-done”, all pastel hues and just-picked pretty. The portraits are exquisite, I couldn’t decide which ones to pick for the gallery so basically added them all. Besides, you can never have too many angles of such a gorgeous flower crown and ridiculously happy so-in-love faces.
I. Love. Wales.
Anwen The Bride: I had wanted a Jenny Packham dress for as long as I can remember as I didn’t want anything too traditional, and spent hours on the website picking out my favourite designs. It was because of this that I made an appointment at The White Closet in Didsbury as it was our nearest Jenny Packham stockist. I tried on several Jenny Packham numbers and, although I really liked them, none of them really suited me. I had spotted a beautiful Lusan Mandongus dress in the window as we arrived and asked if I could try it on. The dress was much more traditional than I had expected, a beautiful lace column dress with capped sleeves, adorned with pearls and beading and a big train. When I put it on I felt so comfortable and fell in love. I knew instantly it was the one! My Mum crying was the confirmation of this, as she never cries!
About a year later I decided that although I absolutely loved my Lusan Mandongus dress, I still wanted something a little less traditional, a little bit sexier and easier to dance in for the evening reception. I fell in love with a few Belle & Bunty designs and decided to make an appointment at their boutique down in London. When I tried on The Petal dress, I knew it was the one as it was so light and comfortable and easy to move in, and accentuated my curves in all the right places. I felt a bit like Pippa Middleton in ‘that dress’ in it!
The shoes were actually the easiest part of the outfit as I had always wanted to own a pair of Jimmy Choo’s so what better excuse!
Myrddin’s outfit pretty much fell around our ‘Liberty print’ theme and the fact that I had found him a Bow Tie and Pocket Square on etsy in my favourite liberty pattern ‘eloise’. I knew that a bright blue suit would complement the colours perfectly. After trying on a fair few, we plumped for a lovely blue two piece suit from Reiss. His tan brogues were from Grenson.
The church is our local parish church. My parents were married there and it is also where I was christened and confirmed. I had always visualised getting married there as it has so many family ties.
As for the reception, we were initially on the hunt for a converted barn, however they were either all too far away or too small to house the 120 day guests that we had. It was then we decided to hold the reception on my parent’s farm and also discovered teepees! We loved the atmosphere and natural warmth the teepee’s created and after attending an open day held by Event In a Tent we went on to book them. Having the teepees definitely helped to shape the theme of the day.
Colour Scheme And Theme
The main aim of the day was to create a relaxed country show/village fete theme. Much of the decor also centered on the Liberty print fabrics I had bought. Everything from our invites, order of services, bunting, groom’s accessories and table numbers used the liberty print fabrics. Even though there was no set colour scheme, there definitely ended up being a pale pink and burgundy undertone. As for décor, we wanted a vintage, rustic, homespun feel to the day. The vintage china we had been collecting, bunting and old hand painted furniture helped to shape this.
The brief I gave our florist, Andrea from Luna Flower, was for colourful, relaxed arrangements, incorporating my favourite flower the Hydrangea. I also knew that I wanted slightly larger than normal bouquets and some floral crowns for myself and the flower girls. I put a lot of trust in Andrea as I was very vague about the colour scheme and which flowers to include. I am so glad I trusted Andrea’s judgment as the flowers ended up being one of my favourite elements of the day. A vibrant mix of pinks, blues, purples and yellows. With plenty of hydrangeas,roses and dahlia’s and some astilbe, crospedia and rosemary thrown in the mix. The rosemary made the arrangements smell amazing! and our milkchurn arrangements outside the church were a nod to my family’s past of running a milking farm.
The bridesmaid dresses were 50’s style dresses from Ted Baker as we wanted something they would be able to wear again. We decided on the very pale nude/pink colour as it was pretty much a blank canvas, suited all of the girl’s skin tones and also allowed the flowers to stand out nicely. The flower girls also had similar colour dresses from Monsoon with pale pink sparkly cardigans, and little gold glittery pumps from Next.
We knew we wanted a bilingual service as Myrddin and I speak Welsh with each other at home. To accommodate this, we said our vows in Welsh and we also decided to incorporate a Welsh hymn and a Welsh reading into the service. ‘Mi Gerddaf Gyda Thi’ is a beautiful welsh poem and was read by Myrddin’s sister Llinos. The translation ‘I Will Walk With You’ was also read by his cousin Sioned.
One extremely special moment was when Aelwyd Bro Cernyw, the choir Myrddin and I first met in, sang ‘Y Weddi’ (a translation of ‘The Prayer’ by Andrea Boccelli and Celine Dion) A Capella.
There was no entertainment as such during the day, however we did have a football shoot out, coconut shy, photobooth and guess the name of the sheep to keep the guests occupied.
Myrddin and I love going to gigs and festivals so it was inevitable that we would have a live band at our wedding. We found ‘Friends of the Bride’ purely by chance! I think I googled something like ‘Indie wedding bands North Wales’ and ran through the results. When we found their website we listened to a selection of live tracks and we were really impressed. They weren’t just your average wedding covers band, they had the energy of a real live band. Also their set list was really varied so there was something for everyone’s taste. They performed 3 x 40 minute live sets and also continued to DJ until 1am. The fact that the dance floor was full to the brim from 8pm – 1am is credit to just how brilliant they were. They really made for a great party and everyone keeps asking me who the amazing band was.
We found out about Outside Food after they catered at a friend’s wedding. As we had already sampled the food first hand, we knew it would be delicious! I contacted them to discuss menu options and we arranged for a tasting session. We decided on a selection of 5 different canapes to be served on arrival from the church. For our main menu we chose a selection of terrines served with chutneys and bread as our starter, followed by deconstructed Beef Wellington as our main. The Dauphinoise potatoes were a particular hit! For dessert we decided that, since we have so many great bakers in the family, we should have a cake table. Various family members and friends contributed to the cake table and it was great that it was so varied and everybody could just help themselves to whatever they fancied. There was plenty to go around which meant there was lots of cake left over for when the munchies kicked in later on in the evening too!
Our evening food consisted of fish and chips served in little cardboard boxes. These were extremely popular! Our wedding cake was a two tiered ruffle cake made by my cousin Eleri. The bottom layer was a Victoria sponge, while the top layer was red velvet with cream cheese. She finished off the cake with a pair of my old Sylvanian Family figurines (I’m SO glad my Mum and Dad let me keep these!) and some mini bunting made from scrap liberty material.
Our photographer was one of the first things we booked back in early 2013. We found Ann-kathrin Koch featured on Rock My Wedding and fell in love with her style of photography. I soon arranged a skype meeting with her to discuss our requirements. She was so so lovely; it felt like chatting to an old friend. Myrddin and I decided to book her right away and we are so glad we did as our photographs are the best memory of our day. Ann succeeded to capture the emotion of the whole day so well. She was also a joy to have around on the day and everyone commented on how nice she was.
Initially we hadn’t budgeted or thought about a videographer, however, after discovering Shutterbox films on Rock My Wedding we knew we had to have them! Their 8mm films instantly reminded me of family gatherings where we used to have screenings of old cine films. Their style of shooting also fitted into our vintage/rustic theme really well. Lee and Dawn are such amazing and lovely people. It was so nice to have them around on our day.
And finally, if there are any unique aspects to your day such as DIY projects and any advice you would like to offer we would love to hear all about it!
Being brought up on a farm and having a general love for animals, we decided to have a couple of my Dad’s pet lambs at the reception for a ‘guess the name of the sheep’ competition. This went down particularly well with the children. Also, anybody who knows me will know how obsessed I am with our pet cat ‘Pickle’. I would have loved to have had her as a part of our day, but knew this wasn’t really feasible. With this in mind, Myrddin’s brother decided to make a giant wooden version of ‘Pickle’ to stand at the entrance of the tipi. She looked amazing and was very realistic! This was a definite talking point at the wedding.
Another particularly special moment was the speeches. Myrddin and three of his friends had won 1st prize in the Urdd National Eisteddfod (a national welsh competition) earlier in the year for their vocal ensemble singing a translation of ‘A little help from my friends’ by the Beatles. Little did I know that in the week’s running up to the wedding they had all been hard at work amending the lyrics to make them fit our wedding day. It was a complete surprise to me when the speeches finished off with Myrddin calling them up to join him in singing the special wedding day version. They received a standing ovation from all of the guests and everybody is still talking about it to this day. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house!
My advice for any brides to be would be, don’t sweat the small stuff, at the end of the day not everything will go to plan, and to be honest it won’t matter as you will be far too happy to care! Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help and delegate as much as possible. As I am a bit of a control freak I struggled to delegate tasks, but this is something I would definitely do more of if I was planning it again!