Frances and Rob were married back in June, and i have been itching to share their beautiful wedding since i first clapped eyes on it.
Frances and Rob are unique in that they wanted something that was budget, local, hand crafted and eco friendly. Frances’ dress is so very striking isn’t it… can you believe she made it herself from vintage table cloths… what a talented lady and she looks so so so beautiful.
I absoltely love the blooms in this wedding, which were grown locally, are seasonal and eco-friendly and were a surprise for Frances on the day.
Another must mention is the amazing, quaint and beautiful Church where they were married…. its utterly delightful. I so so love this couple and their beautiful wedding.
Thanks so much to the incredible, South Wales based wedding photographer, photoTOM Photography for sharing her work today, here is what she had to say about the day;
“Frances and Robert got married on the 11th of June 2011 in Church of Saint Mary, Craswall followed by drinks, canapes and speeches at bride’s parents’ front yard leading to an evening barbeque and dance arranged in their back yard by the river. Majority of the guests were camping on the field nearby. I met Frances and Rob at this place for their pre wedding shoot, not sure if you remember the thunderstorms we were witnessing that day (http://www.phototom.co.uk/blog/portrait-photography/frances-and-rob-e-session-sneak-peek/3013) so I knew what to expect in terms of the scenario and location of the wedding.
Majority of this stunning day was hand and home made by the bride and her family/friends. Frances made her own wedding dress which fit just perfect in the whole rural wedding theme. I loved the wild flowers from the local florist – wonderful, absolutely wonderful bouquets and compositions decorating the church. Local village church also fit perfectly the countryside wedding theme – traditional, with exposed timber roof and white painted walls provided beautiful light and made it a very photogenic ceremony place. I was lucky again to be allowed to photograph from next to the altar so could see the wedding couple and guests for most of the time, and even move around during hymns.
The weather was playing games but in the end the day turned into sunny intervals and the speeches planned to happen in the front yard outside took place as arranged. We had to rush back from the church as it started raining pretty heavy, but other than that I can say we were very lucky. I actually love the looks of all the umbrellas!
Good weather, warm welcome, relaxed atmosphere, delicious food that I was lucky to taste, fun bunch of friends & family and most importantly bride & groom – at ease, down to earth, positive about everything. I could spread my wings during the couple photo shoot as it lasted a good 40 min whilst both Frances and Rob were up for trying quite a few different ideas. I loved the fact that we walked and the scenario was changing – as well as the weather; sunny intervals is my most favourite weather as it provides beautiful variety for photographs.
Throwing the bouquet was fabulous, it would work absolutely perfect with second photographer on alternative lens (focused on the girls catching) but I was photographing this wedding on my own so had to do my best with just one pair of hands. And the cake – haha, makes me chuckle when I look at the images.) home made wedding cake was all sliding when attempted to form three layers; you can see how it’s falling apart when the couple tries to pose with it and formally ‘cut it’.)) But in all honesty I don’t think it could work any better for the atmosphere and photogrpahs, LOVE the moments it created, guests with their cameras laughing at the whole scene, panic in bride’s eyes – everything. So natural, fun and… real.”
Names…. Rob and Frances
Wedding Date…. June 11th 2011
The Proposal…. A freezing day in January 2011. I had sort of clocked that something was going on because Rob had bought a whole new outfit, including shoes, booked a lovely restaurant for lunch and a play that I wanted to see for the evening and we had a great day out, but the whole time I was wondering… what’s going on, is he going to say something? We walked over Hungerford bridge in the moonlight with the saxophonists playing… got on the train… got home. And I was like: Thanks for a lovely day darling; I’m bushed, going to get my pyjamas on. Rob was like: STOP! And then he proposed kneeling by the bed. I had no hesitation :D
The Vision for the day…. A celebration with family and friends. The most important thing to us was that the people we cared about were there and were enjoying themselves. I especially didn’t want an average ceremony that was over in 5 minutes, our vicar the Reverend Nicholas Lowton spoke beautifully and was funny and personal, the ceremony was amazing.
The Planning process…. This involved lots of surfing the net and getting extremely intimidated by the perfection of other peoples weddings! My parents helped loads with practical things like arranging the catering (a barbeque with local meats raised and cooked by the amazing Pauline Goodwin from White Haywood Farm, and family) Once we’d decided we wanted it in the garden, and we weren’t bothered about a matching theme, it all sort of fell into place, as we used people recommended to us, or chose people closest to the quite remote location.
The Venue… Church of Saint Mary, Craswall, Herefordshire – unusual, because it is built on a solid rock there are no graves in the churchyard, and Frances’ parents garden in Craswall.
The Dress + Accessories….. My wedding dress I made myself and appliquéd with embroidered flowers from old tablecloths. My sister Lucy’s bridesmaid dress was from a vintage shop in London. We both wore espadrilles because we didn’t want our heels to sink into the grass. I borrowed a coral heart necklace from her, which I wore around my wrist, as it didn’t look right around my neck with the dress. I wore some vintage horseshoe clip earrings from eBay, for good luck! And flowers in both of our hair (some of which were blue).
Finding the dress…. I was pretty stumped about this to start with. Lucy and I went to a local bridal shop with traditional gowns, but everything I tried on felt like somebody else’s wedding dress. I had a look at the website of the Vintage Wedding Dress Company in London, but their dresses start at £800 which was way above my budget. I had always had the thought that I wanted to be untraditional and might want to get married in red, so I ended up spending £200 on a red vintage 1950s prom dress with pink brocade roses and a giant skirt, but I felt pale and washed out in it, so it was back to the drawing board (oops, no returns either!). I’ve done some sewing in the past so, in browsing wedding blogs for ideas I stumbled across a bride wearing a dress that I fell in love with: http://devlinphotos.co.uk/2010/07/29/vintage-wedding-sussex-lauri-stuart/ But of course it was vintage and I couldn’t find anything like it, so I decided to take the things that I liked about it and make my own version. I bought lots of old embroidered tablecloths and (with a lot of guilt) cut out the embroideries I liked best and embroidered them onto a wide piece of fabric to go around my shoulders. I decided to have the bottom long and tied with a sash at the waist, sort of unstructured, country style. I learnt to crochet (from YouTube) and crocheted borders around the top and sleeves. I did have some help with the hem as I found it totally impossible to measure it on myself. My Mum had had her dress for the wedding made by Snezhana at Finiks dressmaking in Hammersmith and so I went along there and she saved the day only a week before the wedding.
Groom’s attire… Lots of searching again – Rob wanted something indie and not too formal, and we ended up buying the suit at The Kooples in Selfridges. Rob eventually went for brown brogues for the shoes as they were something he liked and could wear again.
The Readings + Music…. We looked through a lot of readings, and decided that it was too hard to find original things that matched up to the old classics, so we went with the hymns O Perfect Love, Lord of all Hopefulness and Jerusalem and readings, Sonnet 116 by W Shakespeare, Apache Prayer and Corinthians 13. I came in to the theme from Swan Lake and we went out to Handel’s Arrival of the Queen of Sheba. All played rather charmingly on an old pedal organ with an 85% note accuracy rate!
Beautiful bridesmaids….. Frances’ little sister Lucy.
The Flowers… We were so lucky to have Charlie Ryrie very close by. She grows beautiful flowers which are wild looking and wonderful, and as they come from nearby, seasonal and eco-friendly. The flowers were my favourite part of the wedding, apart from Rob, obv. There was a beautiful garland above the entrance to the church. I had poppies and cornflowers and some other spiky ones and alchemilla mollis in my bouquet. They dropped their petals elegantly everywhere I walked! My bouquet was a surprise on the morning, as we had so much rain the week before Charlie had warned me that she’d have to work with what was good on the day. She tied a bouquet for me and had beautiful bunches in jugs on the tables. I loved a jug bouquet so much that I swapped it for my bouquet.
The Cake… The cake was made by a local lady called Lucretia. She makes delicious cakes for the Hay-on-Wye market. I stacked them up with the help of some cake sticks, but didn’t do a great job of that as it fell down halfway through the day, which made for some comedy moments with the cake cutting. Tasted great though!
Your Photographer…. Aga! What can I say – her photos speak for her. We chose her for her beautiful, sun-filled, happy images, and throughout the lead up and during the e-shoot etc she was so lovely and fun to be with. She worked so hard on the wedding day, I was amazed by her. And the photos! They were very important to us, because when the day’s over they’re all you have left really (apart from a husband). We are so, so happy with them.
The Details + Decor…. Bunting. Until it came out of our ears! My mum and I made about 250 metres of bunting from old bed sheets and random scraps of this and that. I also designed and screenprinted all the invitations and orders of service myself (inspired by some of the flowers from my dress). I was pleased with the result, but it took hours! We printed out some childhood pictures of us, which we pegged up in the marquee for a bit of diversion for the guests. And my Mum grew some pots of roses that were put outside the marquee for decoration.
The Honeymoon…. A lovely week in Cyprus with blue cocktails and a glass-bottomed boat ride to see a shipwreck. And lots of swimming in the sea. And when we got back we moved into our first flat together, which was amazing.
Memorable moments… Millie trying to take the strawberries from on top of the wedding cake as we were cutting it (She was very clear about strawberries, not raspberries, these were crushed and replaced on the cake.). It was really lovely to have a little person there. Also, the actual cake falling down, and refusing to stay up as we were cutting it; that was pretty comic. And my cousin Ben trying to do the caterpillar and landing on his face!
Advice for other couples… Trust your judgement. Don’t worry about what other couples did. If you’re on a budget, spend on the important things like photography and ignore things like matching napkins and wedding favours (unless they’re important to you) Little things like that aren’t going to make the day a happier one. Make sure your guests are comfortable and that they’re not standing around for hours without food or drink (If we were doing it again we’d have a heater in the marquee, it was cold, even in June). Try to talk to everyone, especially those who’ve made a long journey – the thing I worried most about afterwards was whether I had ignored certain people because I was too busy with things. Most of all, have fun!
Credit where credit’s due…
Charlie Ryrie at The Real Cut Flower Garden http://www.cutflowergarden.co.uk/
Aga Tomaszek – Photographer http://www.phototom.co.uk/
Snezhana Ruseva at Finiks http://finiks.co.uk/Finiks
Pauline Goodwin at White Haywood Farm – Catering http://www.blackmountainsfarmrestaurant.co.uk/
Regan Dugan – local DJ near Abergavenny
Alan Kaye – wine and delicious cider supplier http://www.alkwines.co.uk/
CW Garden Marquees Ltd http://www.gardenmarquees.co.uk/
The Convenience Company http://www.conveniencecompany.com/
Thanks so much to Frances and Rob for sharing their amazing wedding with us today, aren’t they just the sweetest couple? :-) xoxo
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