Oh how I absolutely adore Natalie’s bridal look. The warm vintage lace of the Charlotte Balbier Tabitha gown, the decadent Jenny Packham Acacia II Golden Opal Headdress and of course the adorable vintage brooch to customise the dress *swoon*. Dan looks pretty dapper too in his bright blue high street suit complete with unique wheat stem and beer cap buttonhole.
But the absolute wow factor for me has to be all those cleverly crafted pin wheels adorned to make THE most fabulous backdrop! So bright, so fun and SO affective. Natalie obviously having a keen eye for pretty details being a graphic designer and crafter by trade chose their gorgeous wedding venue Barn at Brynich as it fitted with the relaxed vision of their day.
This wedding is literally the perfect eclectic mix of vintage elegance and rustic charm and we think you’re going to love it. I certainly did!
NatalieThe Bride: From the start I knew I wanted a vintage look and lace of some sort, but at the same time keeping an open mind trying on many different and varied styles. It actually took me a while to find the perfect dress, people were saying to me that you’ll know when you find the one, except I didn’t and was starting to get a little worried! I nearly bought a dress based on my Mothers reaction – she burst into tears as soon as I walked out of the changing room, but after going home and sleeping on it I knew it wasn’t the right dress for me. The dress I eventually chose I had actually tried on previously but they didn’t have the colour that I was looking for, so I looked at other stockists of Tabitha and found Sally from White Bride and she had the antique gold version that I wanted to try. As a red head the whiter dresses really didn’t suit my complexion so was looking for a dress with a warmer colour to it. Sally was great right from the start, and when I visited she purposely made me try on other dresses first before trying on the Tabitha, just to make sure it really was what I wanted. Sure enough, when I put it on I knew instantly that was the one, the change in the colour of the dress made all the difference! Suddenly there was no doubt in my mind. It had the perfect mix of glamour and elegance. I also added a beautiful second hand brooch to the dress which I found in a vintage fair.
After choosing the dress, everything else was quite easy. I went to have a makeup trial with Angharad opting for a glamorous vintage look with smokey eyes and red lips. Angharad also recommended the Jenny Packham Acacia II Golden Opal Headdress for me which was perfect with the whole look and suited the vintage colour of the dress perfectly.
My hair was a difficult one as I am extremely fussy with my locks! I knew I wanted quite an unstructured look to suit the feel of the day but I didn’t know if I wanted it up or down. After meeting Annie my hairdresser and discussing what I was looking for, she nailed the style within the hour opting for a soft tousled updo which was a huge sigh of relief for me! I could finally rest assured that I would look fabulous on the day!
We decided quite early on we would buy the suits for the men instead of hiring them, as there was much more choice on fit and colour and tied in with our relaxed feel for the day. Dan is a very outgoing person and wanted something to match his personality. His favourite colour is blue, so naturally he wanted a bright blue 3 piece wedding suit! We searched for quite a while to find that perfect blue suit, and we eventually found it in Next at a very reasonable price. He wore a dicky bow instead of a tie and all of the boys wore boutonnierres fitting in perfectly with our rustic/vintage theme. Dan is a big lover of beer and ales, the more random the better, and is an avid collector of the beer bottle tops. To reflect this we had wheat boutonnierres made up and glued the beer caps to a button on the front, and the finished result looked great!
From the start we knew we didn’t want a hotel, or a golf club, or anything that had a sense of formality about it. We just wanted an atmospheric, cosy, relaxed and flexible space where everyone could enjoy and have a good time. It was also important for us to have the ceremony and reception in the same place. We found all of these qualities in the Barn at Brynich, a gorgeous 18th century converted barn in the heart of the Brecon Beacons with beautiful landscaped gardens in the rear of the property and amazing staff to boot. It was ours for the weekend with the added bonus of accommodation on site so everyone in the wedding party were able to stay too and make it a weekend event rather than one day. The barn comes pretty much as a blank canvas so we were able to customise it to suit us, from the venue decoration, to the caterers. This was great because as a designer, I am quite creative and really wanted to put our individual stamp on the day.
The choice of venue obviously dictated the style of the wedding to a certain extent, but we also wanted to incorporate what was important to us during the day too, and being a designer by trade I had a big vision of how our day should be. The day definitely had a rustic feel to it with a touch of vintage. The main colour scheme was mint and coral but I also wanted subtle mismatched florals in there too to add to the rustic feel. The invites had a floral envelope, the bridesmaids were in floral dresses and I sourced a floral fabric for the napkins. Dan’s love of beer followed through with beer bottles for vases on the tables and beer for reception drinks, and my love for design followed through in all the crafty elements of the day from the pinwheels, which were the main feature of the ceremony, to all of the wedding stationery. I was able to create all of the wedding stationery myself, I also created a website with all the necessary info, and we were quite hands on throughout the whole process, crafting most of the elements ourselves with the help of family and friends. We also outsourced some of the more time consuming jobs, like the pom poms, bunting and lighting. We collected all the beer bottles for the tables but hired all the jars, as I wanted so many dotted through the venue. You have to be realistic about what you can and can’t do throughout the process.
The flowers followed the coral and mint colour scheme. For my bouquet, I wanted something quite natural and not too formal, consisting of peonies, lots of gyp and daisies wrapped in hessian. The Bridesmaids had simple gypsophila bouquets wrapped in a silk ribbon, to complement their dresses. The boys had boutonnierres as alternatives to flowers. For the ceremony we had two big milk barrels filled with gyp at the top of the barn, one either side of the pinwheel curtain. Instead of centre pieces for each table we bought lots of flowers in bulk and friends and family helped to arrange in them all in the jars and beer bottles for the tables the day before the wedding. Every table had a hessian runner, with various jars filled with flowers and candles, and the floral napkins were tied with string, each displaying a name badge for the guest to wear. The table numbers were displayed on a pinwheel which was placed in a beer bottle.
I had two Bridesmaids, both Katies! One being my best friend and the other Dan’s Niece. I knew I wanted them in 50’s style printed floral dresses. I found the dresses online at My Evening Dress and the colours matched the day perfectly, pale green with hints of coral. I also bought them netted skirts to go underneath their dresses, a cute little belt, and coral accessories to finish.
The Groomsmen also had grey suits bought for them from Next, with a mint tie and the wheat boutonierres, along with floral pocket squares which matched the napkins.
We had a civil ceremony which also took place in the barn. The day before, we had to set up everything up ready which was a real team effort as there was so much to put together! It was all worth it though as the finished result looked amazing.
All morning I was very calm and relaxed with all the girls getting ready. It was only when I put my dress on that the nerves really kicked in! As we lined up outside the barn ready to go in, and the music started, I really had to hold back the tears. As I walked down the aisle to Toothpaste kisses by the Maccabees, Dan turned around and had the biggest smile on his face, which made me want to blub even more, think my bottom lip was going at that point and I was desperately trying to keep it together! I was so overcome with emotion that the registrar had to prompt me a couple of times as my mind went completely blank! Saying our vows was a very touching moment, and it’s something that will always stay with me. We also had a short reading from one of our good friends Eleri, reading a poem that a friend of hers had written. When the ceremony finished we walked up the aisle to Elbow’s Day like this, one of our all time favourite songs.
In the day we compiled all of our own playlists for ceremony and the reception. Music plays a big part in our lives, so we wanted that to reflect in the day and make it more personal and full of songs we both love. In the evening we hired an awesome eight piece funk and soul band called Brother Ray Music, having a band was essential for us, as we are big lovers of live music. Everyone loved them and they kept the dancefloor full all evening. Once the band finished we continued the party with our playlist of dance tunes. We also hired a photo booth called Guest Who which was a massive hit with everyone, their props were so creative and they personalised a lot of them for us as a couple, which was a great touch.
Luckily for us, the Barns list of preferred suppliers had a caterer called Purple Carrot (from Brecon) who had done my friends wedding so it was an easy choice to make as the food was delicious and very creative in comparison to the usual wedding food. Sara and Simon are incredibly skilled and creative, and they encouraged us to have whatever we wanted for the wedding and designed a menu specifically around the foods that we loved, which not many caterers do, so that was very refreshing for us. In the end we opted for a sharing platter to start with lots of cheeses, cured meats, olives, breads dipping oils etc. This was a great choice to get everyone talking and socialising. For mains we had a choice of Sea Bass or Welsh Lamb, and for dessert we had the most amazing D.I.Y Eton Mess. The food on the day blew our minds, it really was incredible and everyone loved it, we had so many compliments with people saying it was the best food they ever had at a wedding!
I spent a long time looking at photographers, it’s one of the most important elements of the day and when I saw David’s images they instantly caught my eye. We knew we didn’t want the traditional style of photography, we wanted someone to capture the day as it happened and pick up the real emotions, which he captured so perfectly! He was extremely patient and accommodating, and we felt very relaxed with him from start to finish. The pictures were just amazing, and are something that we will both treasure forever.
We wanted to document the day on video, but we didn’t want the expense that came with it. After doing some research I discovered Edit You Wedding. They send out 4hd cameras, let your guests film the footage and then send it back to them to be edited. This saved us a lot of money and we had a wedding video filmed from a very personal perspective which most videographers wouldn’t have been able to achieve. The finished result was very organic, but also hilarious, and captured some brilliant moments from the day, it wasn’t polished but for us it was perfect as it was made by the people who are important to us.
All in all we definitely set out what we wanted to achieve in the day. There was a lot of perspiration and hard work involved but it definitely paid off. We had a vision of how our day would be and we followed that. If I have any advice for future Bride and Grooms, it would be to do things the way you want to do it, and don’t be pressured by family or friends to conform to the normal. If you want it, have it, regardless of others opinions. Our wedding day was a huge success because so much of the day reflected who we are as a couple, and that is very important, as it’s the main reason you are getting married!
Photography by David Griffin Wedding Photographer
- Dress Designer Charlotte Balbier – Tabitha
- Bridal Boutique White Bride
- Acacia II Golden Opal Headdress Jenny Packham
- Veil Helen Martin
- Bridal Shoes Rachel Simpson
- Makeup Angharad Gibbs
- Hair Ann Mccormack
- Brooch Sue Lace Jewellery
- Bridesmaids My Evening Dress
- Groomsmen Next
- Venue Barn at Brynich
- Caterer Blue Carrot
- Florist Flowers by Becca Jane
- Cheese Tower Vin Sullivan
- Entertainment Brother Ray
- Photo Booth Guest Who
- Videographer Edit Your Wedding
- Pom Poms Deco Pom Poms
- Jam Jars Barney Wooster Vintage
- Lights CineMATTaG
- Bunting The Wedding Bunting Company
- Table Decor Wedding in a Tea Cup
- Not on The High Street