Good morning! Did you have a good weekend? You can catch up with my personal stuffs here. Today’s wedding is beautiful. Their day was truly about family and friends, and dragons. More weddings should have dragons.
imagery by Kevin Belson Photography
Darren’s aunt made our cake – it was so good that people have kept mentioning it to us. So many wedding cakes taste synthetic so we were very lucky to have a star baker in the family. It was four tiers – Victoria sponge with homemade jam and butter cream, orange and almond on the top 2 layers and the middle layer was lemon with lemon buttercream.
My mum drew every one of the place names with a hand drawn welsh dragon (Darren is Welsh) and Yorkshire rose on each and every one. She’s pretty handy with a pen!! Table names were made by my mum with my own photographs of the local area. They were mounted on foliage covered hearts by Bloom (a silk flower company).
The flowers we ordered from an online wholesaler and did ourselves. There were peonies, and roses in soft pinks and whites to match the flower on the Naomi Neoh gown. The tables had 3 jam jars of mixed flowers including spray roses, alstromeria and gypsophila.
Lara’s parents’ beautiful home in Pembrokeshire. It’s our happy place and the most stunning area. The house is not far from the sea and has a beautiful view of ‘Dinas Mountain’ in the background (it’s not quite a mountain, more like a large hill)!
My dress was Naomi Neoh from Carina Baverstock Boutique in Bradford on Avon near Bath. I totally fell in love with Naomi Neoh dresses when looking online right after we got engaged. I used to do some ballet dancing and still have a thing for gorgeous, floaty material that moves beautifully with you. The dress I wore was Dita and I adored it. I’m trying to think of an excuse to put it on again!! Carina and her team of fitters were very professional and seriously talented when it came to the seamstresses. I would recommend them to anyone. Shoes were a Dune gold court, mid heel.
Bride’s Jewellery – Earrings – from notonthehighstreet (blush pearl drops). Necklace was my great grandma’s drop diamond pendant on white gold.
Bridesmaids dresses – Ghost maxi dresses in bright blue – stunning.
My favourite part of the day was the first half – the morning with my favourite girls and then the ceremony and champagne reception. On our way into the Marquee, when we were first announced as Bride and Groom, our bridal party threw confetti over us. This had not been planned but was so much fun and has provided some of my favourite photos.
One totally unique part of the garden is a huge galvanised steel welsh dragon, made by the local blacksmith. We mounted our table plan in the Dragon’s lair and the guests all walked through the lair to get into the marquee. I loved that this added a slightly magical touch to the day!
We didn’t really have a theme but if I had to label it; shabby chic meets seaside rustic with some great champagne and wine thrown in.
We wanted our wedding to be all about friends and family. It probably sounds cliché but we count ourselves very lucky to have so many brilliant friends and both of us are very close to our families. All our friends who have been to Pembrokeshire to stay with us are just as in love with the place as we are so when it came to the venue there was no decision to be made. Being by the sea gives the house and garden a gorgeous relaxed country feel to it. We wanted our day to feel relaxed and informal (with the just the right amount of sincerity and emotion) at the same time as being original and clearly having our stamp on it. We had a humanist ceremony in a Marquee in the garden with a legal ceremony a few days before at Harrogate Registry Office (Bilton House) in my home county of Yorkshire.
The humanist ceremony was conducted by John Durbin, who we found online and got on with so well. He met us several times and we wrote a couple of paragraphs about one another and tailored the ceremony exactly as we wanted it. John was friendly and respectful, leaving us feeling like we had known him all our lives. Many of our guests had not been to a humanist ceremony before but commented that they loved how refreshingly personal and individual it was.
The part of the marquee that was our ceremony room later became the dance floor and a reveal was lifted to the dining room. The champagne reception was on the beautiful patio designed by the Dad, with shade under an oak gazebo and the garden flowers providing colour and texture to the view.
We did a lot of DIY. I decorated the chairs for our ceremony room in the marquee with tiny flower garlands, again from Bloom (Barny Lee Marquees, again a brilliant, efficient family run company.) I made signs for the local roads and for outside the Marquee from large Pallets, painted and then strung silk flower arrangements around them. I also painted unused bits of slate from my Dad’s renovation project on the house as smaller signs. We made photo collages using pictures from our childhoods and I used my Dad’s pretty wooden wine cases for cards or presents.
Our Caterers were incredible. I cannot recommend them more highly – Qube Catering from Tenby. They have a restaurant there where we first met Matthew, the boss. He and his lovely wife run a fantastic business. Right from the start we felt that we could trust them with everything. Matthew thought of everything so we didn’t have to lift a finger. On the day, they were attentive but not intrusive and the food was insanely good, again lots of our guests have commented on how good it was.
Kevin Belson Photography – Kevin was recommended to us by a friend based on her engagement shoot, the photos from which were amazing. I had been struggling to find a photographer whose website I was bowled over by until I found Kevin and Carol’s. After talking to our friends who, like us, had been nervous about having a camera in their face, he seemed an obvious choice. We honestly could not have found a wedding photography team who were better suited to us. Kevin and Carol are relaxed and funny – a must for us – as well as being professional and fabulous at what they do. They made us feel at ease right from the start and more importantly have given us the most amazing photos that will last a lifetime.
Band: from the function junction. 4 piece band called the Party Rockers or Popinc depending on where you find them. Very good band, nobody left the dance floor the entire time. They were flexible when we were late in starting and very friendly.
There is absolutely no need to be stressed. I have seen so many friends have arguments with their families over their weddings and I find it really sad. We had 3 days in Pembrokeshire before our big day to set up and make everything pretty and it was so much fun. We honestly all loved every minute and there were so many family and friends around to help out that those few days were almost as special as the wedding day itself.
There are so few moments in life when we have all the people we love around us, all for one reason and I loved stopping and taking that all in. It meant the world to us that people had come such a long way and we have been quite emotional reliving it all.