Simon and Ffion chose to have a weekend celebration with their loved ones for their wedding. Hosting the weekend at Ffion’s parents farm, they used the barn for their wedding reception set in scenic North Wales.
They wanted a fun colourful day with a festival vibe and their guests camping overnight. They home made much of their day, with wonderful fabric flowers and wicker hearts. I totally love the surfboard table plan, so fun!
Ffion looked incredible with statement flowers on her shoes, while the boys looked dapper in tweed and bow ties. Amazing.
Thanks so much to the fantastic Darren Williams for sharing his photography with us today.
The Proposal… 8th March 2011. Huge surprise on a friends snowboarding holiday in Avoriaz, France. We managed to loose everyone from our group, and when coming over the highest brow on the chair lift, I saw 22 of our close friends standing on top of the mountain, we had to take our snowboards off and hike, just before we arrived to the top, Simon proposed, I nearly caused an avalanche by screaming “Im getting married!”, we all danced and sipped champagne for the rest of the afternoon. He couldn’t have picked a better place at the top of the Mossette mountain looking over Mt Blanc and the rest of the Alps on a clear blue sky day – perfect.
The Vision for the Day… being a free spirit that we are, love for travel, extreme sports and intrigued by the outdoors we wanted a big party full of fun, colourful, vintage, festival vibe, we wanted to bring our travels essence into the wedding and use all our talented family and friends. One day of celebration was not enough for us with friends travelling from far, so we wanted a two day festival vibe with camping. We wanted our wedding to be about celebrating our love with our family and friends. We didn’t want to have a traditional wedding filled with things that “you’re supposed to do”.
We never used a theme or colour we just used what we love to make it unique. Used allot of personal items from our home, borrowed from parents and friends, which makes the day more special. It was genuinely an inspiration for me to do my own thing with this wedding. I think the thing that we cared most about was that the wedding would be fun and non-traditional. We wanted our guests to have a good time and really get to know each other.
The Planning Process… It was a special location to us and we got to build the venue into our own unique creation. When we first started on the barns they where filled with cows and muck! The entire ceremony and reception site was a complete reflection of all the hard work put in by family and friends and was a total transformation. The invitations made by my talented sister Gwenno which was a fun project, reflected on our life together, and perfect for us. It took months of organising but in the last two weeks family and friends came together on the farm and worked so hard to make our vision Come true. In an effort to stay true to ourselves we enjoyed the planning process, we wanted to create a celebration that would be memorable and beautiful, but most of all fun!
The Venue… The most perfect venue in the entire world, it could not have been anywhere else other than my family home in North Wales. We had a perfect outside ceremony down in the field next to the river Clwyd looking up on the family home and our favourite hills ‘Clwydians’. The reception was on the farm, we had three barns and a marquee plus a paddock to play with.
The Dress + Accessories… Customised Ivory Silk dress with french lace bolero, silk and lace sash, silk flower and the nicest lace shrug I have ever seen. Lace headpiece with vintage pearl made by a dear friend. I love my shoes so I needed to go wild and my shoes where a talking point, ivory with huge colourful flowers on each shoe – so funky. I also wore my grans vintage sapphire ring an pearl earrings.
Finding the Dress… Both my sisters got married 2 years before me, and we spent allot of time searching for dresses, but the three of us fell in love with one particular boutique, so I only had to visit one boutique and found my perfect dress. The dress came on its own as a one piece, so I added the other three pieces to make it more me!
Groom’s Attire… Both of us are not the traditional suit fans, so we went ahead with tweed, waistcoats, bow ties made by Sarah Simon’s sister and tweed caps, all the men wore bright pink and blue socks just for fun! Simon choose two best men and 4 ushers. We also had two paige boys Cai and Herbie carrying the rings on a cousin made by Sarah, so cute.
The Readings + Music… Sarah, Simon’s sister read in English and my brother Ioan read in Welsh, we told them to choose a reading themselves something lighthearted and funny, and without them knowing they both choose the same poem, and made it to suit Simon & I, was so special. Music was very important to us, we started off the day in the field with our friends playing jazz and continuing on the farm for reception. Early evening we had other friends from the ‘Rough Emeralds’ playing, without us knowing my mother, father, brother, sisters and brother in-law started singing with them a song that they made up about Simon. Another surprise to me was when Simon went up and sang a little song ‘falling in love with you!’, they had all been practising behind my back!. Later in the evening we had ‘The Wee Bag Band’ which played Ceilidh music, so the dancing was impeccable. We then danced the night away to funk, world music and reggae played by all our close friends.
Beautiful Bridesmaids… Both sisters Gwenno, Sian, and Nell my lovely niece, they looked so vintage and full of colour in their 60’s dresses. Our 11 month year old daughter Mabli and her cousin Lili was the cutest flower girls in the old vintage feeding cart pulled by the bridesmaids down the aisle.
The Flowers… I didn’t want many real flowers, as everything has its own natural beauty in the field and on the farm, so I decided to ask my sister Sian and mother to make flowers out of fabric, they where perfect, they made 100 of them all different sizes and placed them down the aisle and in the barns. The bridesmaids carried one each, so pretty. I had another idea to make large Gypsy Flowers, they looked fantastic as a focal point back drop by the river in the ceremony, we made 11. we also made all the buttonholes out of fabric, they where so effective, all the men have kept them! One of my best friend Sioned is an amazing well known florist, she knows me so well that I left my bouquet up to her, I just told her my colours. My mother made a blue heart out of fabric which was sown onto the left over silk fabric of my dress to rap around the bouquet, I also wrapped my gran’s pearls, which looked perfect overhanging down my arm. Sioned also made the flowers centrepieces for the tables at reception, with Simon making the actual centrepiece. I wanted colourful, rustic and a wild look with movement to the flowers.
The Cake… Best cake I have ever seen made by my beautiful talented mother, it was so perfect, just how I imagined and better.
Your Photographer… we knew about Darren Williams the photographer, he photographed my brother and both sisters weddings, we knew about his talented work. Photos are very important part of our wedding, and with working closely with Darren, he knew exactly what we wanted. The pictures are outstanding.
The Details + Decor… Everything was handmade and homemade. Guests were handed field guides to direct them through the day’s activities, by the river they where greeted with homemade Iced Tea (Simon’s favourite soft drink) and shortbreads made by both mothers. The wedding party arrived the ceremony by tractor in a trailer.
The first barn was decorated ‘granny vintage style’ with sofas, old lamps, vintage plates, candy bar, and a wishing tree. The second barn was a ‘wow’ factor with hand made colourful snowflakes and big white globes coming down from the beams, and another tree with homemade biscuits for the children. Through the second barn into the marquee with a very shabby chick feel with bunting and handmade rustic wicker hearts. Plus an awesome top table made in the shape of a surfboard. Through to the third barn with handmade pompoms, bar and dance floor. The table plan was placed on a surfboard and table names where of all mountains we have most memorable moments snowboarding, walking or trekking. All ladies had homemade chutney made with love by Simon’s mother and all men had sloe gin made by our neighbour. Outside in the paddock we had a huge bouncy castle for the children and friends doing face paining, pom pom making and a drum workshop. We had 35 children in the day do, so it was important to us to keep them separated from the adults and to be safe having a good time, they all had hot dogs and ice cream. We decided on keeping local with food and didn’t want to be sitting down for a long time. We started off with canapés, then a sit down meal with meat platters bbq style – delicious. For dessert friends of the family gave us homemade ice cream which was served in cones on vintage holders. We decided on a Tartiflette for evening meal served in a large cast iron pot. This is a traditional Alpine dish, and one of our favourites, this was served with pate made by friends business. We had a great photo booth, with the back ground made to look like snowy mountains, we had hats, goggles, scarves, snowboards, skis and vintage sledge as props – very popular, a couple of friends took the pictures. The first dance was a special song in our heart ‘Hoppipolla’ by Sigur Ross. We decided that one day was not enough to spend with your loved once so we offered camping and the following day we chilled, played games and had hog roast.
The Honeymoon… One month in California travelling in a motorhome with Mabli, surfing the coast and trekking the mountains.
Memorable Moments… We’re not sure that we can pick a single moment of the day to stand out more than another because in reality the entire day was absolutely perfect, more than we could have ever imagined. Arriving the ceremony in a canoe is up there, it was a huge surprise to even Simon!. It felt so magical coming down the river with huge red balloons through the trees to the jazz band playing ‘At Last’ and everyone in tears of joy, the memory will be with me forever then walking down the aisle with my father, looking at Simon, feeling the love from everyone and seeing our gorgeous daughter Mabli in the cutest vintage cart in such a beautiful setting. As another surprise Mabli was Christened with the water from the river. We all danced to ‘The 2nd Line’ back up the aisle. The day was full of surprises, singing, speeches, great photo booth, love, laughter and being so happy to marry the man of my dreams on family home, surrounded by the best people in the world.
Advice for Other Couples… Take 10 minutes after your ceremony to just be with each other and take everything in. We spent over a year planning our wedding and we woke up the next day and realized we didn’t get to see half of the details that we put into our special day because we were busy mingling with guests and dancing.
The one other word of advice would be to EAT!! Simon and I are HUGE foodies, so we spent lots of time creating the perfect menu for our wedding. And of course I never had time to eat much and I had to hear how we had the best wedding food ever! Don’t forget its your day, make it your own, there is no right or wrong. Whatever you do, enjoy the process! For most of us, the planning time that leads up to a wedding is much longer than the wedding day itself, so have fun with it! Make the preparation feel more like part of the celebration. And invest in memories (i.e. fabulous photographers and videographers) – you won’t regret it! All in all, we feel so grateful and blessed to have been able to share in our most sacred day with so many supportive and caring loved ones. For us, being in the company of good friends and family who brought their positivity was the one thing that mattered the most. We lived in the moment and left all of our worries and cares behind, letting the day unfold as it should. Take a step back from it all with your partner and look over at all the hard work and love you bought to the day, we got carried away in the moment and forgot, that’s our only regret. Thank you to everyone who made our day a dream come true and to love for binding us so tightly together. Don’t worry about pleasing others… this is YOUR day.
Credit Where Credit is Due…
Photographer – Darren Williams Photography – www.photographer-north-wales.com
Catering – Outside Catering – www.outsidefood.co.uk
Flowers – Tulipa – www.tulipaflowers.co.uk
Make-up artist and hair – Caroline James – www.carolinejamesmakeupartist.co.uk
Bow Ties – Tweed but Funky – www.tweedbutfunky.co.uk
Wee Bag Band – www.weebagband.co.uk
Pate and Ice Cream – Patchwork – www.patchwork-pate.co.uk
What a fun wedding, and the food sounds delicious. Thanks so much to Simon and Ffion for sharing their gorgeous wedding with us today XOXO Lou