Today’s wedding is gorgeous with a capital ‘G’. Definitely one I’ll be adding to my various Pinterest boards so make sure you check out the gallery below. Laurie and James said ‘I Do’ at the beautiful Fforest wedding venue in Cardigan and the photos captured by Sam Docker are sublime.
There are so many things I want to talk about in this wedding but there simply isn’t enough time and the pictures will say more than I ever can. For now then I’ll simply say this – can we just take a moment to look at Laurie’s exquisite Sanyukta Shrestha frock which suits her down to the ground (as does her colour pop bouquet and her matching floral headpiece).
I also have a LOT of love for the pair’s wedding favour – a bespoke enamel camping mug packed full of marshmallows for guests to toast over the fire pits after the wedding breakfast. How flipping epic is that?!
And lastly I would very VERY much like to go to a wedding with a silent disco – that my friends would be awesome.
The Bride’s Fashion
Laurie The Bride: Soon after getting engaged I was endlessly posed with the question of “what kind of dress are you going to wear?!” I had never been one of those women who had planned their wedding day since they were a little girl, so I was absolutely clueless on this topic. I decided to take to Pinterest for my initial research and immediately lost hours and hours of my life scrolling through pages of wedding dress ideas. Luckily for me, one of the first dresses I happened upon was a stunning dress by Sanyukta Shrestha called the Evelyn. I immediately assumed I couldn’t afford the dress and put it aside as ‘inspiration’!
It wasn’t until weeks later, lying in bed scrolling through dress ideas, I happened upon a lovely little store in Ireland called Ivory Lane Limerick. They had one ‘Evelyn’ Sanyukta Shrestha dress left in my size at an affordable price so I snapped it up!! That was long before we had even looked at venues or set a date, I loved the dress so much, I took the risk and had it shipped over from Ireland. I had the accessories handmade directly from Sanyukta Shrestha herself. The silk bolero is one of my favourite aspects of the dress, it adds a beautiful dimension of movement to the dress.
The Groom’s Fashion
James had a custom made Ted Baker suit. It fit him like a glove. The flashes of colour in the lining of his suit jacket were stunning.
James and I first visited Fforest in South Wales on a very grey day in October. When we arrived the rain was coming at us sideways. Due to the time of year, all of their temporary structures had been taken down for the winter months. Even with the rain whipping at our face (and using a great deal of imagination!), James and I immediately fell in love with the venue.
The owners of the Fforest wedding venue, James and his wife Sian are just the coolest couple. They used to live and work in London but moved to Cardigan with their young family to set up what has now become Fforest. Their ethos and outlook on life is so infectious. Everyone wants to sell up and move to the country after meeting them and hearing about their life and dreams of the future for Fforest. It was a risky choice arranging a wedding at Fforest, since most of our guests had to embrace ‘glamping’ to stay with us for the whole weekend. We aimed for a non traditional and relaxed wedding, which I think we managed to achieve with the help of Fforest and their fantastic team.
It would have been a crime to have over dressed the venue. James and I loved Fforest for its natural beauty and rustic appearance so we tried to be as sympathetic as we could to the existing decor. We added only a few paper pom poms and a small table display for the seating plan.
Our table gift to our guests was a bespoke enamel camping mug (since our guests had to ‘glamp’ at our wedding) packed full of marshmallows for our guests to toast over the fire pits after the wedding breakfast. Thankfully for me, I was able to turn to my talented friends Steve and Dave Shaw who came up with the logo which James part designed to mark our wedding.
We worked with Jill Watson from Designer Blooms on the bouquets and flower crowns. Jill was great at understanding what I wanted. I was really keen to avoid the classic wedding bouquet. I wanted my bouquet to fit in with the Welsh setting by using lots of beautiful wild flowers! She got it spot on, I couldn’t have been happier with what she did.
The Wedding Party Fashion
My bridesmaids wore gorgeous skirts from Coast and bought their own tops and boleros to match. James was very keen for his groomsmen to not be dressed identically to each other but instead went for a relaxed preppy theme. I think it was an effort for the boys to arrange but they all looked great on the day! Our gorgeous niece, Grace, wore a flower dress from Monsoon and our handsome nephew, Harry, wore a cute suit from Zara.
Neither James nor I are religious so we opted for a humanist ceremony and it was probably the best decision we made about the whole wedding. I cannot recommend our humanist enough. Lisbeth Johns really took the time to hold our hands during the nerve wracking run up to our big day. Lisbeth is a beautiful writer who helped us write our own vows, something which was really important to James and I.
James and I had a real nightmare trying to find a good music band, which hadn’t already been booked 3 years in advance. Over a year before our wedding we had secured a band which months later had broken up and reformed with new members. Luckily for us Tailored Entertainment went above and beyond to find us a better replacement. We were able to book a young band called Gravity who had everyone up and dancing all night, they really were such lovely boys who went all out that night!!
As our venue is surrounded by agricultural land, we aren’t permitted to play music past midnight so we decided to keep the party alive by surprising everyone with a Silent Disco from Silent Discomania. We were really worried about the pitfalls of arranging something like this on our wedding day but the guys at Discomania were so helpful and it went off without a hitch.
The amazing staff at Fforest created and looked after all of the catering at our wedding. 6 months before our wedding we were invited to stay at the venue for a “Wedding Taster Weekend”. James, Holly (my bridesmaid) and I gorged ourselves all weekend on hearty meals and their amazing cupcakes and brownies! For the actual wedding day we ordered a slow roasted Welsh lamb, it would have been rude not to having made all our guests travel to Wales. It was to die for!
The one piece of advice I was giving by a dear friend, Caroline Harman, (also featured in RMW!) was to invest in a really good photographer. Boy am I glad I found Sam Docker! Not only is Sam a genuinely great guy, he is incredibly talented. The greatest compliment I can give Sam, is that he was somehow able to capture every single magical moment of that day without once ever being imposing.
Sam has the incredible talent for capturing the perfect moment instead of staging it like I imagine most wedding photographers do. Nearly all of my favourite images Sam took that day, are when I wasn’t even aware Sam was there, snapping away in the background. I once read on a blog, after I had booked Sam for our wedding, “every wedding needs a Sam Docker”. I couldn’t agree more!