We’ve had a bit of an unintentional seaside theme going on here at Whimsical Wonderland Weddings this week. But I certainly am not complaining, we’re blessed with ample scenic beautiful coastline here in the UK and it’s no wonder so many couples are making the most of it. Not only as a backdrop to the day but as the perfect location for those all important portraits, which will be treasured for years to come. Today’s couple will definitely be treasuring their gorgeous images shot by Rachel Lambert Photography, as they were over the moon with the end results.
Mari and Daniel’s day was all about relaxed beachy vibes, with Spring in the sea air and vintage rustic details galore. They chose to get hitched on the 13th May 2017 at Oxwich Bay Hotel in Wales and opted for a marquee reception. The decoration was made up of hessian, kraft paper stationery and wooden touches alongside the loveliest of blooms. Mari’s bouquet was a real show stopper, featuring thistles, roses and ranunculus.
Talking of Mari’s look, there isn’t a thing not to love about her exquisite gown. Her long sleeved Essense of Australia floral appliqué gown gave me all the feels, it’s no wonder she fell for it in the first shop she visited. The gents went for relaxed country style attire in check jackets, sand chinos, desert boots and bow ties all round. The whole bridal party looked really rather marvellous. Enjoy these images in full folks.
THE PROPOSAL | After 6 years together, Dan proposed on a weekend trip to Geneva on 17 June 2016. He had planned to propose on Mont Saleve, a mountain accessed by a cable car with incredible views over Geneva, but the pressure was too much and he gave in at our hotel room on the first night. We took a trip up the mountain to celebrate the next day instead.
THE VISION | Vintage inspired, laid back and relaxed wedding near the beach. We’ve lived in London for 4 years but knew we had to head back home and take advantage of the beautiful scenery on our wedding day.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We were both adamant that we were going to enjoy the planning even though we only had 10 months to plan. All of our friends asked how we were so laid back and calm about the whole process! The secret really was little and often, once the venue was sorted, we filled in the gaps over the course of the next few months. Delegation was also key and a great way to ensure that everyone in our families felt involved in the planning process.
BUDGET | We didn’t have a strict budget, we were very lucky that our parents paid for the venue. We just knew that there were certain things such as our photographer, florist and band that we were prepared to spend a little more on.
THE VENUE | Oxwich Bay Hotel, a small hotel nestled on a beautiful beach on the Gower coast line in South Wales, with a marquee overlooking the bay for the reception and evening party.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Dress: Essense of Australia. I always knew that I wanted a dress with sleeves; this along with the beautiful lace detail was the dream dress.
Shoes: Rachel Simpson. I fell in love with all of Rachel Simpson’s shoes, which made the choice even harder.
Necklace: A gold locket that I had inherited from my grandmother, which has a picture of her and my grandfather in. It was such an honour to wear it and have them as part of the day.
FINDING THE DRESS | I booked my first dress shopping appointment at a beautiful boutique called All About Eve in Dan’s home town, Chepstow. For years I had walked passed the shop and was always blown away by the dresses in the window. My mother, now mother-in-law and bridesmaids came along with me where we had a lovely morning sipping champagne. It was the third or fourth dress that I tried on and when I put it on we all just knew it was the one. Since then my advice to anyone who has asked is how do you know when you’ve found the dress is “when you know, you know”. I had an appointment booked at All About Eve’s sister store immediately after but all the way through that visit I couldn’t stop thinking about the dress. I always had a vision in mind of the perfect dress and this dress was more that I had ever imagined.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Dan has to wear a suit every day as part of his job so he didn’t want to have anything particularly formal. Also, a formal suit wouldn’t really keep in with the relaxed and laid back theme of the wedding. So, somehow, Dan and his best men managed to put together an outfit of a blazer, shirt, chinos and brogues from high street stores. Dan wore a bow-tie to differentiate him from the best men and ushers, who all wore ties. We were (eventually!) able to find a matching tie and bow tie set which blended in perfectly with the bridesmaid dresses and the flowers on Mrs Bow Tie, an online store.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We are both very proud to be Welsh and wanted it to be a big part of our day. The ceremony was bilingual, during which we had a harpist to play some of our favourite Welsh songs.
During our drinks and canapé reception, we had a very talented local artist, Bronwen Lewis, singing a mix of Welsh and English songs to entertain our guests.
Our first dance was to Ed Sheeran “Hearts don’t break around here”. We both love Ed Sheeran and just knew it had to be one of his songs.
In the evening, we wanted a band that would engage our guests so we opted for iLectric who sing pop songs that everyone can sing along to and have a good old dance.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My maid of honour was my best friend Kirsty who I met on my first day of secondary school. I also had three bridesmaids who were Gemma, Dan’s sister, and my two best friends Sophie and Lyza. We opted for a pastel pink dress from ASOS, which looked beautiful on all of them and shoes of their choice in rose gold.
THE FLOWERS | Amanda French. Our vision for the flowers was soft pastel colours with grey/green foliage. As soon as we saw Amanda’s work we knew that she could create what we had imagined. We wanted to use Mari’s late grandmother’s Kilner jars as centre pieces for the flowers. Amanda was incredibly talented in creating amazing floral displays to complement the jars and in keeping with the vintage theme. Amanda also made a flower crown for the flower girl and individual floral pieces for Mari’s hair. Her work was beautiful and blew us away when we saw the flowers on the morning of the wedding.
THE CAKE | Dan’s sister loves baking and had volunteered to make the cake. We didn’t want a traditional wedding cake so went for a modern naked cake instead. The cake looked and tasted incredible.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Rachel Lambert Photography. As soon as we saw Rachel’s photos we fell in love with her work! We wanted someone who could capture the day in a relaxed and natural way and Rachel certainly ticked all the boxes. She captured the most beautiful photos and we don’t think the day would have gone so smoothly without her around, she had to remind Dan and the boys to put their buttonholes on for one!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | Our main decorations were the flowers but we complemented these with vintage inspired accessories such as hessian bunting and vintage suitcase for the cards and gifts.
We didn’t spend a lot on decorations, instead we all got creative! Mari’s brother made the table plan from driftwood that he collected from local beaches, Mari’s mother made the ceremony seating arrangement sign, and we both made the bunting together, which definitely tested our marriage before we were even married! We also created a picture display using a recycled pallet.
THE HONEYMOON | We went on our dream honeymoon to the Maldives two days after we got married. It was the perfect holiday after the stresses of the wedding. We spent the week relaxing on the beach sipping cocktails and eating so much that we couldn’t move!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | For Dan: Having a jog along the beach with one of my ushers as the sun was rising over the Gower, it really helped to settle the nerves before the big day. After that, the classics. Seeing Mari walk down the aisle (she looked amazing, I was blown away), first dance and dancing the night away with a few shandies and all our guests.
For Mari: It’s difficult to choose as the whole day was more that I had wished for. The ceremony was definitely the highlight of the day and being able to say my vows in Welsh was lovely. We both did also enjoy the Father of the Groom’s speech… it was basically ten minutes of blubbering from him. We all continue to laugh about it and he hasn’t stopped crying at all the photos ever since.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | With regards to planning, make sure that the process is enjoyable and doesn’t become too stressful! On the day, take some time, even if it’s five minutes alone, to take it all in as even though everyone had forewarned us that the day would be over in a flash, we really didn’t believe them until it happened to us.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Rachel Lambert Photography
Venue | Oxwich Bay Hotel
Dress | All about Eve (Chepstow)
Bow tie and ties | Mrs Bow Tie
Florist | Amanda French
Make-up Artist | Eleri Thomas Make-Up Artist
Harpist | Katie Bayliss
Singer | Bronwen Lewis
Band | iLectric
Marshmallow tower | La Maison Guimauve
Stationary | Papier (Design by Peggy & Kate)
Well wasn’t that just so special?
Thanks ever so much to Mari and Daniel for sharing their wedding story and to photographer Rachel for sharing these divine images today xo Lou