Good morning everyone, I hope you’re all safe and my heart goes out to those of you affected by flooding today. We had some of the worst gales here yesterday, but it’s much calmer now here on the west coast. Now – if you haven’t seen me sneak peeking this wedding on the English Wedding facebook page, where’ve you been?! I’ve struggled to hold back on sharing all the beautiful images and ideas with you.
Clare and Ian are just incredible. Their wedding is breathtaking! The rustic styling is beautiful and colourful, with gorgeous DIY touches throughout. Clare looks stunning and Ian and all the guys look great in sand coloured suits – perfect for the rustic theme. There are so many gorgeous things to watch out for, I think you should grab a cuppa and at least one biscuit and settle down to enjoy this one properly.
I’ll leave you to discover this beautiful wedding through the images by North West wedding photographers Pixies in the Cellar, the very lovely Peter and Sara. All the other suppliers involved in Clare and Ian’s big day are listed at the end of the blog post alongside the fabluous Pixies… so do take notes if you’re getting married in Wales or the North West of England next year.
Huge congratulations to today’s fabulous couple – Clare and Ian you have made my week with your amazing wedding. Thank you for the lovely wedding report and for sharing your day with us all today. Everyone – enjoy!
A beautiful, rustic Powys wedding in the sunshine! Clare and Ian
Your names: Clare & Ian
Your wedding photographer’s website:
The Sychpwll Centre, Llandrinio, Powys, SY22 6SH
What was your reaction to seeing your wedding photos for the first time? Were you pleased with your wedding photographer?
Wow. Peter and Sara were fabulous all day – especially towards the end during the funky light shots where we’d all had a bit to drink! They managed to capture our day perfectly and get all the shots we’d asked for at the same time as using their own magical flair, we were so glad we booked them.
Your wedding style and theme:
Any happy tears on the day?
Ian on a few occasions both during his speech when thanking his folks and whilst chatting to his old sea cadet leader Kevin! I had my tearful episode the day before during our legal ceremony, which set off both the mums too.
How long did you spend planning your wedding?
After our engagement in July 2012 Ian put an embargo on wedding talk till after xmas so that meant we had 9 months to plan everything. It was quite stressful cramming everything in and in hindsight I wish I had started earlier. A handmade DIY wedding needs every minute you can give to it.
Best bit of budget advice?
Get crafty! I made most of the decoration myself as I love crafts and lived in charity shops collecting all the crockery & cutlery to make the vintage theme possible at an affordable price.
Invitations and stationery:
We had recycled brown card for everything. All credit goes to Ian for the invitations, I had the vision & Ian made it a reality, they took a while but they were well worth the wait! The order of service cards were also of the same style and I made card leaves for the place card/favours and the seating plan to tie everything together.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Absolutely. It took a little bit of searching for and 4-5 intense trying on trips. In the end I ended up travelling to Newcastle-under-Lyme (we live in Chester) and round the corner from my old house, to Elle Louise, a bridal shop that had a dress I’d seen online and loved the look of. In reality it wasn’t nearly as nice when I tried it on but my friend and bridesmaid Vanessa who was with me pulled out a lace dress from the rail and said have you thought about lace? I hadn’t because I thought I knew exactly what I wanted in my head. From the moment I saw it in the mirror I was head over heels, I really didn’t know what everyone was talking about when they said you’ll know “the one” when you find it, that was when I knew!
Glitz and sparkle: the bride’s accessories:
I really wanted to add something sparkly and vintage to add to the dress and had seen a blog of a wedding with my exact dress and a Jenny Packham embellishment on the hip. However Jenny Packham was a little out of my price range so I found exactly what I was looking for from a shop on Etsy, however it didn’t look right positioned on the hip and decided it looked fabulous just underneath the bust. With this bling in place I didn’t seem right to have a necklace so I decided on some sparkly earrings and after searching for the perfect ones it turned out that I already had a pair that I’d brought for a xmas ball years ago that matched the dress embellishment perfectly and they were then my something old.
On the day my friends said that as I came round the corner at the top of the field they could see me sparkling away as the sun hit the bling.
The groom wore:
To create the relaxed/rustic vibe we wanted, the groom and groomsmen wore sand coloured suits from Brook Taverner. They were left to the very last minute, as is the norm with Ian; his nickname is “last minute.com”. This wasn’t a problem however as they were all in stock and Brook Taverner have a excellent customer service and delivery and they arrived next day with free of charge delivery with free returns!
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
This was one of the most stressful wedding issues I had during the planning! I had two older and one younger bridesmaid. I wanted 1950s tea length dresses for them but my older maids both hate their legs & wanted full length. I also didn’t really have a colour scheme which also made this process a whole lot harder. I the end I decided on a colour scheme of Ocean blue, Dusky blue & Lemon (because I couldn’t really decide). After much internet searching and a fruitless Manchester shopping trip I ended up back at Elle Louise in an emotional mess and Chelsea, one of the assistants, sat with me and tried on dresses to help me decide. I ended up ordering their dresses without them seeing them until they arrived 2 weeks before the wedding and they were fitted for alterations. My younger maid’s dress came from an online shop and was absolutely gorgeous, fitted like a glove and was the tea length 1950s style in dusky blue that I wanted to start with, she looked stunning. The Flower girls wore lemon dresses I found on E-bay and were a steal!
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
I was very lucky to land on Kylie Jonkman a professional hair and make-up artist who was free on the day of the wedding. I called over 30 make-up artists who were all booked or double-booked for our date! Kylie was fabulous and immediately put me at ease during the trial and was a trooper on the day with all the bridal party to fit in and finishing right on time. Kylie did hair and make-up for my mum, sister and friend but just my make-up. My cousin and bridesmaid Michala, did my hair as a wedding present. We had many trials as she’s not done too many up-dos before but it was great as I got to spend lots of time catching up with her before the wedding.
Flowers were by Juliet from Thoughtful Flowers. We met Juliet at the Tatton Park Wedding fair and knew that we had found the right person from her rustic display with an old weathered door and flowers trailing over it. We gave Juliet an idea of what we wanted and she was so enthusiastic and just knew (as if she was telepathic) exactly what we wanted. On the day I was still bowled over by the impact that the flowers made, with huge heads of single stem dahlias, lots of vintage vases, vivid colours and the best and biggest button holes I’ve ever seen.
On the day we had a technical hitch with the music as one of the groomsmen forgot to open the speakers so I couldn’t hear my cue to start walking down the aisle… It looked like I was milking every second of my very long walk. We’d opted for a humanist ceremony as neither Ian or myself are religious and we thought that the humanist approach was very personal with Anne our celebrant reading a lovely piece on how we’d met, why we’d chosen the venue and our hopes for the future. We were lucky enough to experience a heat wave on the day which meant that our fair weather plan could be used and we were able to have our ceremony outside at the bottom of the event field at the venue, including the spiral aisle I’d dreamed of.
We had two readings during the ceremony one from a close friend of mine by Clare who read poem a translation of the song I walked down the aisle to (Praan sung in Bengali). The other reading was by Lee, one of Ian’s friends since childhood who read the poem Marriage is Madness which had all the guests laughing.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
As our venue was essentially a tent in a field we had a humongous task of creating a venue from scratch as soon as the tipis were erected, on the Wednesday of the week of the wedding. We were lucky enough to have a lot of help from close friends and family a few days before the wedding and a flurry of activity in the morning (right up until the start of the ceremony) to get everything sorted. The highlights were the chair ribbons which were a massive undertaking by my wonderful mother-in-law, Sylvia, the lamp shade display erected by friends Lee and Zoe and the illuminated helium balloons, which were Ian’s idea and inspired by a festival we’d attended the year before. Other touches were origami map cranes, tea cup candles, handmade chocolate favours, a typewriter and vintage card suitcase.
The wedding cake: traditional or quirky?
We opted for a twist on the tradition of cutting the cake by eating the cake instead and had some hilarious cupcake eating shots taken with linked arms. We chose Kirsty of Truly Scrumptious Cupcakes in Shrewsbury to supply these as she was close to the venue and is extremely talented, creating amazing flavours and designs. We had, Vanilla, Chocolate and elderflower flavours in various designs of lace, flower petals and edible pearls and there wasn’t a crumb left in sight! All our guests remarked how wonderful they looked and tasted.
We’d purchased a variety of games for kids & big kids including badminton, giant jenga, hula hoops and a box-kite, which Ian’s Uncle Dave was determined would fly! In the evening the best men organised a fireworks display. Our DJ, Steve “Cozzie” Cosgrove, is a good friend and provided the evening disco inside one of the tipis complete with disco ball and funky lights.
On the day tips and advice:
Be sure to choose level headed and helpful people for your bridal/groom party, you will need to rely heavily on them on the day and you need to be sure they won’t crack under the pressure!
What’s the best thing about being married?
Every time I look down at my ring finger I’m reminded I’ve found my soul mate and it’s such an amazing feeling.
Quick supplier list for other brides and grooms:
- Photographer: Pixies in the cellar (Peter Farrell) http://www.pixiesinthecellar.co.uk
- Dress: Elle Louise Bridal http://www.ellelouisebridal.co.uk
- Dress Embellishment: Florence and Rose on Etsy http://www.etsy.com/shop/FlorenceandRose
- Brides Shoes: Rachel Simpson from Elegant Steps http://www.elegantsteps.co.uk
- Make-up: Kylie Jonkman http://www.kyliejonkman.com
- Suits: Brooke Taverner http://www.brooktaverner.co.uk/
- Flowers: Thoughtful Flowers (Juliet) Tel: 07711 763 704
- Cakes: Truly Scrumptious Cupcakes in Shrewsbury (Kirsty) http://www.truly-scrumptious-cupcakes-shrewsbury.co.uk
- Caterer: La Cantina (Mark & Liz) http://www.lacantinachester.com/welcome.html
- Tipi Hire: All About Me Marquees and Events http://www.marqueesandevents.com
- DJ: Steve “Cozzie” Cosgrove https://mobile.twitter.com/DJCOZZIE
- Decoration, props etc: All sourced by myself and Ian and available for hire email@example.com