The ethos when planning this wedding was to create an eco friendly, nature lovers wedding. Think personal handfasting ceremony, locally sourced flowers and a barefoot bride and groom. Perfect.
WWW readers Cadi and Dan chose to tie the knot on the 27th August 2016 at Hendre Hall in North Wales. The setting was perfect for their bohemian country nuptials and the barn looked incredible decorated in floral balloons. WOW.
Cadi chose to wear Hollie by Grace Loves Lace and her hair in a plaited crown, she looked effortlessly beautiful. Dan meanwhile wore his own clothes; chinos and a blue check jacket for a relaxed look.
Steph Newton Photography, thank you so much for sharing these spectacular photographs.
THE PROPOSAL | We had been away on a weekend break to Bradford Upon Avon the previous year. Dan hired a small boat and rowed us up the river Avon with a bottle of bubbly and chilled music. It was a perfect day. We both felt so loved up.
When he decided to propose the following year, Dan wanted it to be just like that day in Bradford Upon Avon. Only, he got the name wrong and accidentally booked a hotel in Stratford Upon Avon…
Luckily, the beautiful Shakespeare town also has a canal and boats to hire. He was pretty relieved! After several hiccups (traffic, forecast of possible rain and only just about making it before the boat hire closed for the day), Dan rowed us slightly further up the river Avon, this time with a ring loose in his shorts pocket and a slightly anxious look on his face.
With only an hour to propose before the boat had to be back, Dan found the perfect spot underneath a giant chestnut tree, and pulled over.
Dan wanted the moment to be perfect and private. After getting down on his knees, he realised there was a chain of boats rowing towards us. He panicked and decided to start a conversation on the origins of prosecco (on his knees in front of me!). Delaying things further, he took a picture of us. The picture gets us giggling when we look back as I have a very confused look on my face as I wonder why he’s on his knees talking prosecco.
Finally, the boats pass and he asks me the question. After 5 minutes of swearing (I was in shock) I leap on top of him with my answer. We almost fell into the canal, ring and all.
THE VISION | Dan and I both knew from an early age we never wanted a traditional, extravagant wedding – and that we didn’t want to wear shoes! We were after a relaxed day, and tailored to be as personal as possible.
We’re both lovers of nature. An eco-wedding was important to us. We also wanted to appreciate nature, and the environment we live in as a part of our ceremony. This was the reason behind the handfasting ceremony. Each ribbon that bound our hands together represented each element of nature – Water, Earth, Air and Fire.
As we both panicked as the day got nearer and the to do list got longer, all that really mattered to us was that we got to recite our promises to each other in front of our loved ones, and our baby daughter, Indi.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We’re both the worst at planning. On top of that, we found out I was pregnant in October. The wedding was originally scheduled for May (the weekend she was due!), so the wedding was pushed forward to August. Planning a wedding with a 3 month old girl was a tad stressful.
With the help of my mum and sisters, we managed to pull it off.
THE VENUE | Hendre Hall, Bangor – North Wales.
I grew up in the mountainous North Wales. If you’re not into hiking or climbing, there isn’t a whole lot to do. The second we turned eighteen, me and my school friends used to regularly enjoy a good drum and bass night at this venue. It was strange witnessing it with sober eyes!
I’m not sure how to describe the venue… a combination of bohemian, welsh farmyard, medieval feel to it.
The second I took Dan to see it, he wouldn’t look anywhere else. It was us all over. It even had a permaculture garden on the yard where they grow their own food.
The venue is a series of converted farm buildings, with high ceilings and cobbled floors. Outside you have beautiful fig trees and fairy lights which make you feel like you’re sat in a shisha garden in Morocco. Hendre Hall is well known for its gigantic firepit in the middle of the main hall which gives it a medieval feel.
If you’re after a relaxed day and a good old folk hootenanny – I highly recommend this venue.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I found my perfect dress from Grace Loves Lace – Australian dressmakers who specialise in bohemian style wedding dresses.
I loved this dress in particular (it’s called ‘Hollie’) due to its short length front and low back. I also loved the fact that I could tie the flowing trails up in the evening and dance in it!
FINDING THE DRESS | The second I found it, I knew there wouldn’t be another one to top it.
Their website is full of gorgeous and unusual dresses (and also affordable!). Unfortunately you can’t try any on unless you fly over to Australia. Luckily, they were amazing at checking in with me every few months to see if my measurements had changed (of course they had as my bump grew bigger and bigger!).
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Dan and the Bestmen went for a casual look – white shirt, brown braces and beige chinos. All clothes they already owned.
Dan got his gorgeous blue jacket from a small independent menswear shop in Bournemouth called Ashes.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | I walked down the aisle to one of Dan’s favourite songs, ‘You make my dreams’ by Hall and Oates. When we were first dating, he had the song playing as his alarm. He used to jump out of bed in the morning and do a little dance. I wasn’t going anywhere. He was the one.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I asked the girls to wear a dress that they could wear again, that was any shade of blue.
All three sisters have completely different tastes so it didn’t seem right to ask them to wear the same dress and feel uncomfortable. I’m glad as they all looked beautiful.
THE FLOWERS | I originally wanted colourful British wildflower bouquets. It was important to me that I didn’t use imported non-native flowers that had been chemically farmed. I also wanted to put the bouquets together myself to save money.
It turned out that wasn’t possible as our trials from mums garden quickly wilted.
So, we ended up drying lavender, statice and larkspur and putting them together the week before which also meant it was one less thing to worry about. My mum attached fern to my bouquet the morning of the wedding to match the fern down the aisle and tables.
THE CAKE | We love cake so we couldn’t decide on one flavour– we wanted a variety! A local handmade cake company called ‘Siwgr a Sbeis’ made us carrot cake, ginger cheesecake and choc cake.
As we have a family of cheese lovers we also had a cake of cheese made up for us from Bodnant Welsh Foods. We topped it off with a Mr and Mrs Pink topper from ‘Not on the high street’.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Steph Newton Photography
Steph was an absolute star from the moment we asked her if she would photograph our wedding. She went to loads of effort to keep in touch before the day to understand exactly what we wanted. The photography was one thing I didn’t have to worry about at all because Steph was on top of it. She put so much care and time into it all that she made us feel special.
The reason we chose Steph was for her ability to story-tell the day so well. We both dislike posing for pictures. Steph’s photos are natural shots that capture the little details and emotions that made our day what it was. She does this so amazingly well. I love all those smiles she’s captured.
Every second of the day was precious so what was special is that Steph didn’t take very much time out of our day for photos, yet she took so many beautiful shots. A very talented lady!
We really felt like we re-lived the day again when she made us a surprise video and sent a lovely package with our photos beautifully placed in a box.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The decorations are what took the longest time to prepare.
We had fern on wooden logs down the aisle and on the tables, along with hessian runners.
For the roofs I bought white paper lanterns and wisteria dangling down. Although it was a bit of a pain to get the scaffolding up to attach them to the roof, I think it was worth it.
THE HONEYMOON | Since we have a 3 month old daughter, we didn’t feel confident enough to whisk her away on a plane just yet.
We spent four nights in a little cabin in the Welsh mountains. It was so peaceful.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | The ceremony – We’re so glad we had such a personal ceremony. We’ve decided to read our promises to each other on our anniversary every year, just as a reminder ☺
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Every second is precious, and the day goes too fast. I would try and spend more of time with my new husband – I think we both got carried away with saying hello to all the guests.
Dan was also super nervous about his speech which meant he didn’t get to enjoy his meal. I would scrap the speech and ask him to read it to me privately. It would have been just as special, or even more so.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Steph Newton Photography
Caterer | Bodnant Welsh Foods
Venue | Hendre Hall
Cake | Siwgr a Sbeis
Dress | Grace Loves Lace
Jewellery | The Quarter Workshop
So sweet. And how gorgeous is their little girl, ahh.
Thank you Cadi and Dan for sharing your wedding planning story with us xo Lou