Well this is a WWW first. This is not only a double wedding but a twin wedding, how special is that?
Joanne and Luke and Jenna and Phil were married on the 13th June 2015 at the Richard Booth Book Shop followed by a reception at the Globe at Hay in Hay on Wye. They focused on a beautiful literary theme, with books playing a central part of their wedding styling.
Twin sisters Joanne and Jenna looked utterly stunning in their romantic gowns while their bridesmaids wore navy dresses with yellow petticoats. I just love the fresh blooms and the unusual book wedding cake too. The boys wore coordinating navy suits, yellow ties and tan shoes, which looked very dashing indeed. What a wonderful day.
Thanks so much to Michelle Huggleston for sharing these fabulous photographs.
THE PROPOSAL | Joanne and Luke – After 6 years of dating. I came back to my dark house filled with candles, there were post it notes instructing me to go to the kitchen where I found Luke on one knee with a post it note saying “will you marry me?” He’d made me a romantic meal that I couldn’t eat because I was too excited. I said yes!
Jenna and Phil – On our 5 year anniversary he took me for a home made picnic on Rhossilli Bay cliff tops. He pulled out the ring and said “I don’t know what to say”. He eventually asked me to marry him. He was very sure of my response as he booked a meal at the Pen Y Cae inn and invited my whole family to celebrate.
THE VISION | Shabby chic book theme – we wanted a wedding that was personal to both couples with our passion for reading.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | It was quite organised. We met as both couples for regular meetings (minutes and all) and assigned each other tasks to do. It was great having 4 people to do the jobs all with different skill sets.
BUDGET | £11,000
THE VENUE | Hay on Wye – Richard Booths second hand bookstore and The Globe at Hay.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Joanne – My dress was Champagne Gold lace fishtail dress with Key Hole Back.
Jenna – White ivory dropped waist A line dress. Lace beaded top half with added lace sleeves and chiffon rivulets flowing skirt.
FINDING THE DRESS | Joanne – I knew I didn’t want to pay over the moon for a dress as I knew it would be only worn for one day. I always knew I wanted a fishtail dress but had lots of fun going to many shops trying all the shapes. I found a website that would create the dress from Hong Kong. I was lucky with the dress it was perfect and beautiful. It ended costing £200 with taxes. The only thing I would say is get someone to measure you properly when entering the size guidelines as it was too long and tight at the top of my thighs. I went to a local seamstress who altered the dress for £80. I was so pleased.
Jenna – Similarly to Joanne I originally ordered my dress online but I felt it wasn’t quite right for me. The lace wasn’t quite right and the look wasn’t quite what I wanted. I visited Ivory Bridal Suite in Ammanford to see if I could get a lace jacket to go over the top of it. By chance when I arrived I was surprised to see that there was a sale on. I got so excited and started trying dresses on and the owner was so lovely and helpful. My mum picked one, which I was unsure of but tried it on for her and funnily enough I loved it! The dress originally had spaghetti straps. I added the lace sleeves to the dress myself to make it perfect and made it individual for me.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | We didn’t like the idea of a formal wedding suit with a cravat and floral waistcoat, I wanted something stylish and modern yet would have a classic look when looking back at photos. The colours were decided and I knew a navy suit was what I wanted, the suit was a 3 piece from Slaters. Worn with brown brogues, a sunflower yellow tie and a lighter blue shirt it was perfect.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | The reading was chosen from A Bridge Across Forever by Richard Bach, it was read by Luke’s gran who filled it with emotion. It was a reading we all related to as it talked about finding your sole mate and knowing they were the one for you.
The music was incredible, we were very lucky to have a friend play the welsh harp and sing a collection of songs as we walked down the aisle.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | We had 6 bridesmaids in total, between the four of us. They wore lace navy dressers £25 from Tesco, we up styled them to make them more wedding appropriate with a yellow petticoat and sash. We styled these with shoes adorned with blue and yellow butterflies.
THE FLOWERS | We used the amazing Dandelion Wishes from Hay, we wanted a take on wild flowers with pops of blue and yellow, the brides had individual bouquets showing their main colour choice. The button holes and corsages had paper/book leaves, wild grasses and herbs. The table flowers were in jam jars wrapped in pages from old books, we had succulents sprouting from books that looked incredible.
THE CAKE | We all wanted something a little bit different, not the normal 3 tier white wedding cake. We wanted something that represented our style and echoed the theme of the wedding. We decide to have the cake look like a stack of old books. Little Velvet Cakery who masters in unusual cakes had fun creating our vision. The inside was yellow (lemon cake with Limincello curd and white chocolate ganache). A blue tier cake (blue velvet cake and amaretto ganache) and a chocolate mudcake. The colours reflected the colour themes of the wedding and brightened up the old brown books on the outside. So had a bit of wow factor when we cut into it. The cake was delicious! Phil created a template for the top book to match the theme of the invites and book centres.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Michelle Huggleston was our amazing photographer. We had known Michelle for years and admired her work. She always strives to mix the modern and unusual style with the classic. I couldn’t have imagined anyone else do my wedding. She had a major challenge on her hands doing a twin wedding as it was like doing two in one day and we got married in the evening, so even more pressure. She suggested we should do the couples photo the day after the wedding. So the next day we got to get glammed up and strutted the streets of Hay on Wye with no rush or stress. It was amazing having the time to get the best photos in unusual locations.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The look was rustic. It was simple in the book store with only home made pom poms at the end of bookshelves. We wanted it simple as the book store decorated itself, we wanted to keep its rustic charm and not make it into a stereotypical wedding venue. The second venue was a old Methodist Church converted into an arts centre, we used the rustic charm of the venue enhancing the already mismatch tables and chairs. We put hessian runners along the tables, jam jars covered in book paper with the table number and filled with wild flowers. The tables were names after our favourite books, like Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Narnia and lots more. There were piles of books recovered in brown paper and printed with the table name. We even went to the detail of ensure each book that were on the table was from the correct set.
THE HONEYMOON | Luke and Jo – We went to the beautiful Sri Lanka and got to see the mountainous and the sea and sand part of the country. We wash elephants in a river, go on crazy tuc tuc rides, see the natural beauty of the mountains where spices and tea grew, go to a tea factory, visit beautiful Buddist temples, Sri Lankan cooking lessons, Yoga, massage, and relaxation by a beautiful beach and pool. We went in June which was their quiet season, which we preferred, we missed the hoards of tourists and constant parties in the south. It was amazing and were treated like royalty. We would definitely recommend this as a honeymoon destination. Food and drinks and experiences were very reasonable which balanced the cost of the hotel and flights.
Phil and Jenna – Our choice of honeymoon was easy, we had seen the Swiss Alps from a plane we were on and since then it was the only place we wanted to go, though we did explore a little more. We flew into Lyon, Frances gastronomical capital. We started each day with the best espresso and lemon tarte from a local coffee shop before, walking, cycling and eating our way around the city.
Next (via a train ride) was the beautiful Interlaken next to lake Thun in the centre of Switzerland. We glamped by the lake and marvelled at the mountains around us, we even went up a few. The highlight was a sky dive, Jenna was nervous all morning and I was strong….. until we went up in the plane, then we switched :-) It was such a rush and the adrenaline pumps through your veins for hours after.
Last stop was Munich. Germany is one of my favourite countries and I wanted to show this to Jenna. The people, the food, the history and the fantastic wiesse beer.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | During the ceremony Jenna kissed Phil, Phil then kissed Jenna’s forehead which was a really sweet moment, apart from the fact that Phil got a perfect lipstick kiss mark on Jen’s forehead. Queue some frantic scrubbing with a tissue which everyone sat down mistook for tears.
Joanne and Jenna’s Dad gave away both his daughters, when asked if he would give Joanne’s hand in marriage to me, there was a dramatic pause and a long stare. He was only joking but it entertained the guests.
Sweet Cart – Hogwarts sweets. We had an amazing sweet trolley which we filled with Harry Potter inspired sweets to tie in with the book theme. It was really fun and when the trolley turned up from ‘Caroline’s vintage candy carts’ it had a sign on it saying ‘Anything from the trolley dear’ which was a perfect quote and completely coincidental.
First Dance – Swap partners. Coming from a performing arts background Joanne and Jenna are good dancers. Luke and Phil on the other hand did not do their new wives justice. The grooms felt it only right we swap to great laughter and applause, this evened up the skill level.
Jo becoming a bridesmaid towards the end of the night some red wine was knocked off the table and covered the bottom of her dress. We had the photo shoot to plan for the next day and had to get creative. We had a spare bridesmaid dress as there’d been some changes earlier, Joanne and Luke went back to the cottage, soaked the wedding dress in the bath tub with some detergent and got to pretend to be a bridesmaid the rest of the evening.
Photo’s on the wall – Whilst waiting for food to be served we had old photo’s projected onto the wall of the Globe. From the top table we watched the reaction of our friends and family see there own memories projected on their walls which prompted so many discussions of happy memories with us.
Making our own rings – Luke’s aunty is an amazing silversmith. She gave us the opportunity to make our own rings. We visited her at her home workshop and made a trial run, then all got together at Swansea College where she teaches and had an amazing afternoon crafting our rings. It was so unique and special to us all.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | When planning a wedding don’t use the word wedding. When looking for a venue, band, florist, dress, suit or caterers don’t simply look for companies that specifically cater for weddings. Not only will they cost more but you may find by looking elsewhere you find something which means so much more to you as a couple and you can make into your own wedding, rather than someone else’s opinion of what a wedding should be.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Cake | Little Velvet Cakery
Photographer | Michelle Huggleston
Wedding Venue | Richard Booth Bookshop (especially Elizabeth and Helen)
Evening Venue | Globe at Hay
Florist | Dandelion Wishes
Stationery Designer | Philip Sheridan
Sweet Cart | Sweet Carolines
Band | Junction 47
Make up Artists/ Hairstylist | Jodie Amner and Stephanie
Wedding dress | Dylanqueen and Ivory Bridal Suite
Ring | Dawn Shackley
Wow. Oh how I adore this loved up wedding day.
Joanne and Luke and Jenna and Phil, thank you all so much for sharing your special story with us here today xo Lou