This beautiful eco wedding was held at Coed Hills in South Wales, a zero waste events space set over 180 acres of unspoilt ancient woodland. Laura & Ollie chose this unique wedding venue because of its rustic charm and flexibility to have the day they wanted.
Laura & Ollie run their own catering company and are well used to running events and the organisation and detailed planning that had gone into this wedding was amazing. They designed the menu and catered their own wedding breakfast, with Ollie doing much of the food prep in the days before the wedding. Laura and her Mum were very creative making the flower arrangements and the table details.
Laura & her girls stayed over in the rustic cottage on site which was great for bridal prep photographs and many of the guests stayed in the glamping pods on site. Coed has its very own stone circle which was perfect for couples portraits. This was a very relaxed wedding in a cosy space complete with roaring log fire, and many guests commented on the homely nature of the venue.
Coed Hills has long been a leading centre for low impact living and brings this approach to hosting weddings. They even grow their own certified organic vegetables on site and this can be incorporated into the wedding feast. Their ethos is that weddings shouldn’t cost the earth and the vibe of the place is more like a chilled out festival than a wedding venue! ~ Words & images by Hannah Time Photography
Wedding photographer’s website:
How did you choose your photographer?
We met Hannah at our chosen wedding venue – Coed Hills – during an evening for upcoming Brides & Grooms. They host an evening every year, ahead of wedding season, and it’s a chance for everyone getting married there that year to meet each other, exchange ideas, and meet potential suppliers.
Hannah had a big smile and some beautiful images on display, she also seemed as excited by Coed as we were so we got in touch not long after that evening and booked her! I (Laura) am an Event Manager by trade and have seen my fair share of weddings, so it wasn’t hard to make our decisions and stick to them!
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer? Do tell… we love a brilliant review!
Absolutely! Hannah went over and above in the lead up to the day, and of course on the most special day of our lives. We weren’t the most natural on our engagement shoot, very awkward & nervous, but Hannah climbed the hills of Cwmcarn Forest Drive with us at sunset and captured some beautiful shots.
On the wedding day, our families and guests commented on how Hannah was everywhere without seeming rushed or stressed and granted we had a small party of 70, but she got pics of everyone and all the important parts of the day. I’m pretty sure she was still there after our allotted time had run out, but the day went so fast I can’t remember!
Tell us about the moment you saw your wedding photos for the first time?
There were loads! But of the 1000+ pictures, I only disliked one – and that was a close up of my face! They were stunning, they captured Coed in all it’s ethereal beauty and we had lucked out with a 2 hour break in the stormy Autumn weather – so the couple’s pics of us exploring the grounds are great. A nice mix of posed and special moments captured – like when I couldn’t get my wellies off!
Can you describe your wedding in fewer than 10 words?
An epic day spent making memories for life
Your wedding style or theme:
Rustic, relaxed – with a pop of gold glitter and baby pink. Quite a strong nod to Gin too!
Where did you find your suppliers? (Blogs, magazines, recommendations?)
Mostly locally using the internet. Again, Oliver & I run our own business in the events industry – as Wedding Caterers – Two Simmering Pans. So we were aware of a lot of suppliers, and really didn’t need that many as we could do a lot ourselves
What’s your top tip for saving money?
Get the Mother of the Bride to be your florist! Mine did an incredible job dressing the venue, but honestly if you are willing to go ‘DIY’ on some aspects of your wedding or have family/friends with creative skills – don’t be afraid to ask for help
… and which elements of your wedding are you glad you spent more on?
We spent the most on the venue and it was definitely the right call. It was a whole weekend of celebrations, with close family and the bridal party s staying on-site with us over the weekend, meaning when the bar closed at 2am that wasn’t the last we saw of everyone. They were back for breakfast the next day, reminiscing (and helping us clear up!).
But Coed’s flexibility is it’s selling point – no corkage, no £15 per extra tablecloth, it takes a lot of the stress out of the wedding planning and makes it feel much more personal
Where did you buy or source your wedding stationery – or was making it a labour of love?
I made everything for the wedding day myself, using Canva (table names, menus, orders of service). It didn’t take long and I created a website to hold all of the pre-event information, with emails sent as invitations. It’s not traditional but it’s kinder on the environment and more efficient for RSVPs!
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
Immediately! I had tried on about 10 and was about to give up, when Mum passed one more through the curtain and I cried when I saw it in the mirror! It fit perfectly, I didn’t need one alteration and I felt incredible in it
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
It was a Charlotte Balbier dress from her Willa Rose collection and I got it from One Bridal in Cardiff
Tell us about your accessories: jewellery, shoes and anything else!
I wore shoes from the Rainbow Club at John Lewis, so that I could die them and use them again. They were like slippers! Then just a pearl bracelet borrowed from Mum and a beautiful hair piece that I got at the bridal shop with my dress. Nice and simple
And what did the groom wear?
A three piece suit from Next – he looked very dapper!
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
I had them mix and match, so two wore full length gold glittery gowns and one (plus the flower girl) in Grecian style baby pink dresses.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
We hired the incredible Jodie from Minxies. They are magicians with a make up brush and also the friendliest team,
Describe your wedding flowers. Who arranged them for you? (florist details would be lovely please)
The majority I bought from a flower market and had them delivered, then my Mum arranged them for the table decorations and to dress the venue. The bouquets were from Nicola Downies florists in Caerphilly and were the exact boho feel and beautiful colours I had asked for
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
It did, it had quirky sculptures, art and a million fairy lights already there but we did everything else. Which I really enjoyed as I’m a huge control freak and luckily have very creative friends and family
Crafts and makes – tell us about any homemade elements of your wedding… did you enjoy them?
I did enjoy it as I took my time, probably over about 6 months we slowly made bits and bobs and stored them in the attic until the big day. I’m a very organised individual, so it didn’t phase me and when it all came together on the day, it was so rewarding to hear everyone’s appreciation
The wedding cake: what kind of cake did you choose and why?
A friend made our wedding cake, and like everything else it was relaxed. A naked cake, with caramel frosting and some gold leaf to match the colour theme! It was delicious
Entertainment: any musical recommendations, surprises or treats?
Brohemian were our band of choice, they are like Mumford & Sons and absolutely smashed it! The dance floor was full all night, they were brilliant. The rest of the day, we made a playlist for and it was a great experience spending an evening with my then fiancé putting songs together (you don’t always agree but it’s fun!)
Words of wisdom: share your best piece of advice for other couples:
Don’t stress. Take your time, be decisive and stick to it! It’s the most incredible day, honestly the best of my life so far, so don’t ruin it by worrying. And take your time to lap up every moment of the day, it disappears in a second
What’s the best thing about being married?
Saying husband – or hearing wife! Cheesy. Nothing much has changed to be honest, but it feels somehow more ‘together’ or ‘connected’. Like a unit, ready to take on the world!
Favourite supplier web links for other brides and grooms:
Food is such an important part of your day, all guests do is talk about it – Two Simmering Pans know how to cater weddings – https://www.twosimmeringpans.co.uk/weddingcatering
Minxies will make you feel beautiful – http://www.minxiesbeauty.com/
Coed is the most magical of venues – https://www.coedweddings.co.uk/
Photographer – https://www.hannahtimmphotography.co.uk/
Bridal boutique – https://www.one1bridal.com/
Dress designer – https://www.charlottebalbier.com
Florist – https://www.nicoladownie.co.uk/
Cake – friend – Rachael Moverley
Band – https://www.brohemianband.co.uk/