Our Bride jokes she barely knows how to dress herself but oh my she looks stunning and her choice of dress by Caroline Campion is perfect! I love the delicate lace capped sleeves and matching waist detail. So I’m going to have to strongly disagree with you Jeanette and say that you definitely do know about fashion!
I’m loving the fusion of heritages, from Welsh cakes, flags & cufflinks to Chinese fortune cookies and the adorable tradition of incorporating the eldest generations from each family to bless the marriage during the wedding ceremony and then accept a cup of herbal tea from the Bride & Groom is too cute!
Bursting with sentiment, this wedding is definitely a fabulous & fun affair that will brighten your day. I can’t stop smiling!
Jeanette The Bride: “Organising a wedding from half way around the world is easy if you have a great sister and enthusiastic parents in law”.
We met back in the UK a long time ago before Owain started balding. Our mutual love for the outdoors drew us to the land of the long white cloud – New Zealand where we have lived for the past 6 years. We decided it would be ideal to get hitched in Wales as the scenery there is stunning and Owain’s parents are locals and able to help scout out venues.
We found a few locations on Google that looked nice and were available! The scouts (Owain’s parents) were sent out to collect videos and photos. They did a great job and even came up with spreadsheets to compare the venues.
We fell in love with Rhosygilwen immediately. It’s an old Mansion House with a concert facility called the Oak Hall, on site, surrounded by beautiful gardens and fields. The Oak Hall is a frequently used by local groups for concerts, and proved a perfect venue for the dinner and dance. Attached to the Oak Hall is a large Orangery where we had the ceremony itself. This proved a bright and cheerful place for our nuptials.
Bride Fashion Decisions
“I barely know how to dress myself let alone think about fashion ideas”.
So a local fashion show seemed the ideal place to start, which is where I found Caroline Campion a young Christchurch designer who’s dresses embodied what I liked. She designed a dress drawing on different elements of her established designs, putting it together to fit my body perfectly. Also, she had experience with transporting dresses on aeroplanes – always hand luggage and water proof cover.
Colour Scheme and Décor
“We generally aimed for a yellow, purple and white colour scheme… …which seemed to work ok?”
To be honest we did not put a huge amount of thought into decor and colours. A lot of it was a result of chance, e.g. we wanted Chinese lanterns, they happened to be yellow and white. We choose flowers to match.
“Always check if you’re allowed to take the vases home afterwards!”
Found a great local florist, Jill who gave us invaluable advice. And even though we didn’t see the flowers until the day of the wedding, she knew exactly what we wanted. Beautifully arranged, simple colours that complimented each other well.
Wedding Party Fashion
“Shoes, we said brown, they were allowed to choose their own socks…”
We decided on light grey suits for the groomsmen. Mainly because we thought it would look nice with the dark blue of the Groom’s suit, plus we hoped it would be easy to get hold of at that time of year. We allowed them to choose their own suits and fortunately they all rocked up looking pretty similar. Having said that we were happy to accept different shades of grey, thinking it would add to rather than detract from the photos. Shirts were simply white, ties we got from Debenhams last minute. We found a shiny patterned lilac design that seemed “weddingy” and looked like it went with the grey.
Bridesmaids’ dresses and shoes were sorted out early on, as this was the project of the maid of honour, who was definitely our most organised team member. The dresses and shoes were both sourced from Monsoon.
For the flower girls we just asked them to wear white but only don it last minute to avoid sticky fingers adding unsanctioned colours. The pageboy was my one-year-old nephew who wore a little grey suit along with some yellow Converse trainers.
“We sat around and drank tea”
For the marriage ceremony we tried to keep things as simple as possible. Owain’s Mum read a beautiful Welsh poem, which talked about how love does not age in a world where everything else does. A good friend of the family Emyr Llywelyn kindly translated it into English, which we printed on the back of the order of service cards. Cousin Sophie read a poem in English, before making way for the Chinese Tea Ceremony. This is a traditional part of Chinese weddings where the older generations on both sides of the family bestow their blessings on the marriage, whilst accepting a cup of herbal tea from the couple.
“They played all he best 1990s Brit pop, which took a lot of us back to our youth.”
We hired a quartet for the ceremony and dinner, which added a nice atmosphere whilst people were milling around. Naturally the acoustics in the hall were fabulous. We found a gem of a band called Dirty Harry on Entertainment Nation. They did a great job of getting our relatively small group of guests up and dancing all night. We also set up a Polaroid board where guests could take pics of themselves wearing silly outfits, then write a message on the photo and stick it on a display board. Additionally we had a ‘tree-thumb print canvas’ where guests could use ink to leave a thumbprint to form the leaves on a previously sketched tree.
“Charis and Owen have an impressive awareness of colours, light levels and other technical photography mumbo-jumbo that I wont even pretend to understand.”
As you can see they are very good at their job. Great communication both before hand and on the day. We had a Skype session early on to exchange ideas and get to know each other. We are both quite shy and normally avoid attention, which worked well with O&Cs more natural approach. There were only a few formal photos, the rest involved Charis and Owen blending in and capturing those special unscripted moments. For our bride and groom photos they took us away to explore the grounds of Rhosygilwen, which was also a nice time to get over the butterflies in the private with my newly betrothed.
“Coracle caught Salmon and Preseli Lamb”
Strawberry Shortcake provided catering and cooked delicious local food that impressed even our fussiest guests, both in terms of quantity and quality.
Our wedding cake was made by a friend of the family and comprised of an assortment of cupcakes that included a lot of our favourite flavours.
“Celtic designs from Welsh mythology”
For our rings, pendants, cufflinks and wedding gifts we used a local jewellery company called Rhiannon. They are based up in Tregaron and make bespoke celtic items. Gwern and his team did a fantastic job getting everything ready and produced some lovely pieces.
Hair and Make up
“Owain didn’t take long at the hairdressers”
Found Nicola and Meinir for hair and makeup, they were fantastic at communicating with me by email with hair and makeup ideas. I had a trial session with them to experiment with different looks. Their experience was invaluable as they knew exactly what would work with my dress.
Photography by O&C Photography
- Dress Designer Caroline Campion
- Venue Rhosygilwen
- Florist Designer Blooms
- Groomsmen Ties Debenhams
- Bridesmaid Dresses Monsoon
- Entertainment Dirty Harry from Entertainment Nation
- Welsh Cakes Fabulous Welsh Cakes
- Chinese Fortune Cookies Unique Wedding Favours
- Catering Strawberry Shortcake
- Jewellers Rhiannon
- Hair & Make up Naturally Perfect