Would you just look at that colour pop bouquet! Isn’t it dreamy. Bride Kirsty actually pulled it together herself on the morning of her wedding day to groom Tom at the romantically rustic wedding venue Fforest in Wales.
This gorgeous duo almost didn’t get to marry at the venue of their dreams but as luck would have it, a last minute cancellation and a quick dash to see Fforest in the snow meant they could secure the spot to say I do. Talk about serendipity…
I adore this wedding, in the main because there is so much love and laughter which pours out from the photos captured by the talented Nicola Thompson Photography. Oh and you need to see the cute superbaby; you’ll see what I mean if you flick through the slider above.
Kirsty The Bride: I’ve always loved 1930s inspired gowns so was naturally drawn to Jenny Packham when looking through the huge variety of beautiful dresses in Pan Pan bridal. It was actually the first dress I tried on and after a few weeks of wanting to go with something “less predictable” I returned to the Esme, which just felt right. The prospect of wearing this on my wedding day gave me excited butterflies so I knew this was the dress for me.
Tom wanted to go with something different to the navy or grey suits he would usually wear to formal occasions and so settled on an electric blue three-piece suit from Ted Baker accessorised with tan brogues from Kurt Geiger.
Tom and I live in London, with friends living all over the UK and across the globe. Travel was inevitable so we decided on Wales for the location. It has a special connection for both of us, Tom is Welsh, as is my mum, we spent most summers there as a family.
One thing we were both clear on when planning the wedding was that one day for our wedding celebrations just isn’t enough! We loved the idea of our friends and family all being in one place. Parking their cars on Friday night and forgetting about everyday life for a couple of days. We also wanted somewhere the kids could run about (or be parked up in buggies) without parents needing to worry.
When we came across Fforest it seemed to tick all the boxes so when I was told the venue was booked until 2016 I was devastated. Only by luck (he claims he was listening) did Tom call them again a few weeks later just as they’d had a cancellation. It was meant to be!
I drove to Wales in the snow the very next weekend to look around and booked it without Tom even seeing it.
We didn’t want a particular colour scheme and so as the venue is in middle of a nature reserve; we let nature’s backdrop dictate.
In keeping with “nature’s theme”, we wanted seasonal flowers to decorate the venue. Our families are keen gardeners and so riding on their enthusiasm and asked our mums, along with Tom’s brother, Al, to pick wild flowers en route and arrange these throughout the venue.
To supplement the wild flowers, we visited the Flower Hive, Pencoed. This is a flower farm that allows you to pick and fill buckets of seasonal flowers yourself. The selection available way exceeded my expectations and so we were able to pick lots of vibrant summer flowers. This turned out to be a good reminder of the summer season, despite the – all day – rain!
My bridesmaid, Fiona and I spent the morning of the wedding drinking champagne and hand tying our own bouquets which was a good way to distract us from wanting to be in the thick of the action.
The Wedding Party
Fiona wore a simple Hobbs lace shift dress in ivory. She accessorised this with the shoes and jewellery from her own wedding day, which I was bridesmaid for, just the year before. My flower girl and niece, Sophie wore a dress from Debenhams and gold sparkly Mary Janes from Monsoon kids. In keeping with the relaxed vibe, the groomsmen wore whatever they wanted.
We got legally married on the Friday in Bwthyn, the tiny bothy style pub on Fforest camp. It was a gorgeous little ceremony with just family and a handful of friends. After a morning of solid rain, the sun came out just as we left the pub and stayed put for the most beautiful sunset which greeted the remainder of our guests as they arrived to a supper of the infamously delicious Fforest wood fired pizzas.
On Saturday the main event was a humanist ceremony in the centrepiece of the camp – the Tipi. We wanted the ceremony to be held by someone that knows us both individually, and as a couple, so we asked our good friend Lucy to hold it for us. Lucy wrote a beautifully, intimate ceremony. We chose four readings in total; My true love hath my heart – Philip Sidney, read by the mother of the groom, A letter to John Steinbeck from his teenage son, read by usher Charlie, Valentine by John Fuller read by friends Catherine and Lisa followed by an extract from the novel The Luminaries, read by our friend Anita.
We trawled the Internet listening to various wedding bands however none were quite hitting the mark. A friend of ours told us about this band – The Spin, they’d been at a wedding he’d attended a few years back and came highly recommended. They didn’t disappoint! The spin specialise in 90s music – the soundtrack to our youth – you couldn’t drag us off the dance floor.
Tom and I are really into food so this part of the wedding was particularly important. For the wedding breakfast, we had a champagne high tea followed by a mouth watering Hog Roast in the evening. The Fforest catering team got everything spot on. The little details supplied by the venue made this extra special too – mismatched vintage crockery and cake stands for the high tea and enamel-ware for the informal supper.
My talented big sister and baker, Suzy, made the cake. It consisted of four tiers, each with a favourite flavour combination of mine; Champagne and Elderflower, Sicilian Lemon and Poppy Seed, Bourbon vanilla and Kirsch cherries and Orange blossom and pistachio. The cake was decorated with wild flowers and a cactus on the top, all hand made using sugar craft. Table favours were homemade gin and home-brewed beer that we named “the better half”. The labels were kindly designed and supplied by our talented friend Chris Dobson.
The photos speak for themselves. Nicola has a style that we instantly loved – relaxed and informal with an eye for the little details. Nicola has an amazing ability of putting people at ease and instantly fitting in. She very quickly became just one of the guests which allowed her to capture every aspect of the day. We honestly couldn’t have asked for anything more.