Once you get to the end of the wonderful account of Beth & Sam's wedding you will mouth a big ahh and have a huge lump in your throat and immediately feel all fuzzy inside. This couple are not only absolutely gorgeous (like model alert gorgeous) they are unconditionally in love and it's so adorable. The ceremony portraits in particular, captured by Matt Willis are full of emotion and special moments, and the reception pictures are equally as fabulous and full of family, friends, fun and laughter. It really does look like a spectacular rustic barn wedding at Pencoed House Estate in Wales, with everybody having an absolute riot. Plus the decor, blooms and Welsh countryside are heavenly.
The WeddingBeth the Bride: When we started planning our wedding we knew we didn’t want to go down the stuffy, cheesy, traditional route. We’re both laidback people so we wanted the day to be really relaxed and for our guests to have lots of fun. We also didn’t want a colour scheme, we wanted it to be really colourful and happy to reflect the type of day it was going to be. So we had our bridesmaids in different coloured pastel dresses and I had a beautiful colourful bouquet. We’re both immensely proud to be Welsh so wanted to include lots of Welsh elements throughout the day such as the Welsh ice cream that was served in the afternoon.
The DressWhen I started to research my wedding dress I knew exactly what I wanted – lace sleeves, backless and a fishtail silhouette. No train and no veil. When I went to the bridal shop I tried a few alternatives on before my ‘dream dress’ but when I tried it on I felt like a granny; certainly not like a bride! So next up was a suggestion to try on a fuller dress, something that I was always totally against. But you’ve guessed it, it was The One! I felt amazing in it and it was the one dress that made everyone cry. I also ended up with a beautiful veil!
Grooms AttireSam the Groom: I knew I didn’t want a traditional suit; I wanted something that I felt like myself in, something individual. I always wanted a mixed suit so went to lots of different places to find the right look. I decided on a blue tweed style jacket and grey waistcoat.
VenueBeth the Bride: I was so clueless when it came to finding a wedding venue that I just zoomed in on Google maps in the general area we wanted to get married! I spotted Pencoed House Estate on the outskirts of Cardiff and we booked a viewing straight away. Even on a grey February morning it blew us away! It couldn’t have been more perfect with beautiful grounds next to a forest and full of Welsh history. The very next day we paid our deposit.
PhotographerWith Sam being a photographer it was certainly a difficult task trying to find someone to photograph our wedding! We searched through many before I stumbled across Matt, on Facebook of all places. Straight away I knew Sam would love his style. He came to meet us at our home in Cardiff over a few beers. We clicked straight away, and even though having my photo taken was something I was incredibly nervous about Matt made me feel a whole lot better. The engagement shoot was so much fun and a great experience for us to share. Having Matt there on our wedding day was a great reassurance and we are beyond happy with our photos.
VideographerWe didn’t think we could fit booking a videographer into our budget. But a few months before the big day I kept saying that we’d regret not having one, especially as Sam works in TV and has his own production company. I started doing some research and soon found Irene’s website, I loved that the clips were fun and shot beautifully. I showed Sam some of the videos and he agreed that we should check Irene’s availability; thankfully she was free on our date! When we met Irene, and her partner Sam, we realised we were all on the same wavelength. We are so glad we booked them! We cry every time we watch it! Sam’s brother Morgan was the best man and having his speech/rap on video is priceless.
CeremonyOnce we finally saw each other the nerves just disappeared, I even felt unbelievably calm which I wasn’t expecting at all. I think we were both trying to absorb the actual moment of becoming husband and wife. We asked two of our best friends to do the readings during our ceremony, it made the whole process a lot more personal, especially as one was written specially for us.
FoodWe are both huge foodies so when we chose our ‘wedding breakfast’ there was no way we were going to pick small portions or fancy food that no one could pronounce. We had to go for a big summer BBQ – one of our favourites. Cresta Caterers were absolutely brilliant, the food and service were outstanding. When I met with them they were more than excited and happy to create our menu with burgers, steaks, hot dogs, chicken, wedges, coleslaw and as much Welsh ingredients as possible. Being able to see our guests’ faces when the food was brought out was brilliant, everyone was so excited and happy to have a proper fun meal. On the day I even forgot we had asked for a summer dessert of strawberries and cream.
Proposal & DetailsSam the Groom: Beth is a huge fan of Peter Pan. I proposed by setting up a treasure hunt around our flat a few weeks before Christmas. The clues lead her to her stocking where I’d put a silver thimble engraved with our initials. Whilst she was opening it I got down on one knee and proposed! We wanted to incorporate this into the wedding somehow without it becoming a theme of the day. I came up with the idea of a map of Neverland being the table plan for the guests with each table being a different part of the island. It was great being able to let out our creativeness with something that was so personal. It certainly made a talking point at the tables too.
AdviceThe whole day was utterly perfect, we were so lucky that nothing went wrong as you often hear of something happening on the day. Every minute was a dream. We’d tell anybody planning a wedding to do what you want, how you want. Don’t do something if it isn’t for you. We think it speaks volumes of the day that a few of our guests sent us thank you cards! So we’d like to send out a huge thank you to our wonderful guests for helping to make our wedding so fabulous.
Favourite MomentsBeth the Bride: It has to be Sam’s reaction to seeing me walk down the aisle. An incredibly special moment. Sam the Groom: Turning around to see Beth walking down the aisle towards me. The most amazing moment of my life.
Videographer: Irene Piera Films | Dress Designer: Modeca | Bridal Boutique: White Orchard Bridal | Bridal Shoes: Rainbow Club | Headdress: ASOS | Grooms Suit: ASOS | Venue: Pencoed House Estate | Bouquet & Buttonholes: Blush Floral Art | Caterers: Cresta Caterers | Ice-cream: Icicle Tricycle | Photo Booth: Memory Makers | Props: The China Library | Stationery: Pip Designs