Hands up who misses the blossom already? Me. Isn’t that darling image above next to the Magnolia just beautiful? This bride and groom held their Spring nuptials in a theatre in the city and it was a cracking day all round.
WWW readers Julia and Carwyn tied the knot on the 16th April 2016 at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. It was important to them that their wedding had a modern feel, that they planned it all together (including the dress shopping) and that they used local suppliers. One really lovely touch was the bilingual ceremony where they said their vows in Welsh and English.
The colour scheme they picked was super gorgeous, think mint, gold, grey and copper tones used in an array of fun décor and details. There were stylish paper goods, pom poms, a chevron cake and sequin table runners to name a few. They both looked stunning in their bespoke outfits and and stylish accessories. LOVE.
Thanks so much to Studiocano for providing these fresh and fun shots.
THE PROPOSAL | We were celebrating 5 years together at the Crazy Bear in Stadhampton. Once we were back in our room after enjoying a fabulous tasting menu, Carwyn got down on one knee… It was private and perfect and very us! I love my Clogau Welsh rose gold and gold ‘lovespoon’ engagement ring – unusual but very me!
THE VISION | We used mint green, gold, copper and grey (colours that we both love). We tried to make the day as personal as possible with Carwyn designing a lot of the elements of the day!
We tried to create a ‘welsh’ wedding, from using local businesses to having a bilingual ceremony. We wanted to keep the wedding intimate with around 50 guests and aimed to create a relaxed, modern day, which celebrated love, family and friendship!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | When planning the wedding we tried not to worry about what was traditional, only what was right for us as a couple. My favourite example of this was having both my mum and dad walk me down the aisle/stage.
I know some husbands-to-be don’t get over involved with wedding planning – Carwyn was the opposite. We planned the whole day as a team and believe the day we created was very representative of who we are as a couple.
We started planning the wedding about 16 months before. After booking a lot of the main suppliers early on, we were very relaxed about the whole planning process (both of us are very organised when we want to be!) We used blogs and the Internet to research local suppliers – we went to a wedding fair and hated it!
THE VENUE | We chose the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in the centre of Cardiff and about 15 minutes from where we live. After visiting the venue, we were instantly convinced! The building is absolutely stunning with a modern feel that suited our wedding perfectly.
You can get married in a number of the rooms in the college, but when they showed us the Richard Burton Theatre, we knew this was the venue for us! I love theatre and being the first couple to get married in the theatre made it even more special. This also meant we had a blank canvas to work with!
Good food is really important to us, and the venue was perfect as they allowed us to design our own menu. They were also great at letting us create every aspect of the day – not at all a ‘package’ wedding! The events and catering team we worked with at the venue were outstanding and worked so hard to pull off our vision!
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Dress and Veil – ‘Mair’ by Helen Rhiannon from Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique in Penarth.
Floral Head Piece – Bespoke by With Love From Bobbin.
Shoes – Dune.
My earrings and necklace were from Fossil and my bracelet from Ted Baker. I wore a Clogau heart ring on my right hand that was a wedding present from Carwyn.
FINDING THE DRESS | Finding the dress was one of my favourite parts of planning. Initially I was very apprehensive about the prospect of trying endless ill-fitting sample dresses on in countless bridal shops with over-pushy assistants. Then by chance I decided to visit the Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique in Penarth.
What Rachel does is so special, supporting local Welsh designers and encouraging brides to represent who they are on their wedding day. Supporting local business is very important to me and to have my dress handmade by a very talented Welsh designer (Helen Rhiannon) made the whole experience so personal.
Carwyn actually came with me to pick the dress. It would have felt very odd to pick the most important dress of my life without him by my side. When I tried ‘Mair’ on and saw the look on Carwyn’s face, I knew it was ‘the dress’. When I then turned up to my first fitting to find the dress fitted perfectly (Rachel’s perfect measuring skills!) and needed no alterations I knew it was fate!
The dress was a dream to wear on the day. So easy to put on, stayed perfect all day and more comfortable to wear than I ever thought a wedding dress could be! I loved every visit to the boutique and would recommend Rachel and her boutique to anyone – even if you have to travel to get there!
I had my mind set on a shoulder length layered veil with ribbon edging. On my second visit to the boutique, Rachel pulled the exact veil out to go with the dress without me even describing it! I wanted something to go in my hair as I thought I would take the veil out for the evening (I didn’t – I went home at 1am still wearing it!) but struggled to find anything ready made. Ashley from With Love From Bobbin was brilliant, creating the perfect silk floral piece to sit in front of and complement the veil.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | It became a bit of a joke that we spent longer picking Carwyn’s suit than we did my dress! On Rachel’s (from the boutique) recommendation, we visited Hawkes in one of the arcades in Cardiff. Carwyn had a 3 piece bespoke suit made in 100% cashmere which was unbelievably soft! The whole experience was fabulous and Carwyn looked amazing!
His tie and pocket square was from Mrs Bow Tie. We also chose two complementary pocket square designs, one for my family and one for the groomsmen. We paired them with mint green spotted ties and asked the men to wear their own grey suits so that everyone was able to wear a suit they liked and felt comfortable in! Carwyn also made felt grey flowers that were worn as buttonholes.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We decided on a bilingual (Welsh and English) Ceremony as Carwyn and his family are first language Welsh speakers. In the main, Carwyn said his vows in Welsh and I said mine in English. A lot of guests commented how much they enjoyed the bilingual aspect of the ceremony, even those who don’t speak Welsh!
To follow on from this, Carwyn’s sister read a lovely Welsh poem ‘Mi Gerddaf Gyda Thi’ and my older brother read Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116 ‘Let me not to the marriage of true minds’. The second seemed particularly fitting since we were on stage in a theatre.
We had a string quartet who entertained our guests before I arrived. I’m reliably informed that the ‘Theme to Jurassic Park’ was a particular highlight! We had a selection of modern music played by the quartet throughout the ceremony and walked off the stage and through the theatre as the new Mr and Mrs Jones to ‘Happy’.
We also had a harpist for the drinks reception and a jazz pianist for the wedding breakfast. It was important to me that the day was filled with live music and to be able to use students from the college was an added bonus!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | The bridesmaid dresses were a bargain find by my Maid of Honour, Laura in Roman Originals (not a shop I would ever usually go into!) The mint coloured shoes were from Debenhams. I then asked the girls to accessorise with their own jewellery as all 3 girls are so different! They all looked beautiful!
I also had a super cute page boy, Aled (Laura’s son) and a gorgeous flower girl, Zoe. We gifted Aled a cuddly dinosaur and Zoe a bride-bear on the day which they loved.
I loved getting ready with the girls on the morning of the wedding. I decided not to have the photographer or videographer in the hotel so we could 100% relax and enjoy the morning. Kellie from Henderson and Co is my usual hairdresser and she did a fabulous job of all of our hair. Emily Porter did my make up which after two trials (I changed my mind completely!) was perfect. Both girls were chilled and calm and the perfect people to have around the morning of the wedding!
THE FLOWERS | My very clever bridesmaid Carys arranged all the flowers. We ordered them online from Triangle Nursery and then she spent the days before the wedding in my kitchen making them look beautiful. Spending this time together in the run up to the wedding was such a special (and funny) time!
My bouquet was all white/ivory flowers and used gorgeous Peonies and Garden Roses which smelt fantastic! Carys used some of the cut off material from my dress around my flowers and finished them with the same daisy trim as my dress. Zoe, my flower girl had a smaller version of my flowers with smaller Roses and the girls had white bridal Carnations with gold sequins wrapped around them. We also used Ranunculus, lots of Gypsophila and Eucalyptus greenery.
THE CAKE | Our cake was by another local business, Little Cake Cupboard. Rachel did a fabulous job of creating a cake that visually matched with all the other aspects of the day and more importantly tasted fantastic! The top tier was a raspberry and white chocolate which we saved and enjoyed the next day whilst looking through all our cards and guestbook messages.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Jorge is a friend of ours and a very talented photographer. We were thrilled when he agreed to photograph our wedding.
It was really important to us that it was clear from the photos that we were married in a theatre. We didn’t want the photos to try to hide or mask this! I love the photos of me and the bridal party entering through backstage – I had the option of going through a corridor instead but wanted the authentic ‘backstage’ feel!
Initially I wasn’t bothered about going into the park for photos but I’m so glad we did as these are some of my favourite photos. Seeing the guests enjoying the drinks reception behind us was such a special moment of the day.
We also hired Aurora Wedding Films, Cardiff based videographers to capture our day. Richard was so discreet and we are so happy to have our big day captured to look back on.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We didn’t go for a traditional seating plan. We sat our guests in an ‘U’ shape which felt a lot more inclusive and intimate for our small numbers. It was lovely to see guests interacting which each other (and us!) from across the room. We also didn’t do a traditional ‘top table’, instead opting for a ‘family table’ where we sat with our immediate family.
Carwyn designed all the stationery. He also designed a J+C monogram which we had gold foiled on pretty much everything including the napkins and the teabags!
We had an extra long gold sequin runner made (notonthehighstreet.com) and used smaller versions on the guest book and card table. We sprayed a card box gold and displayed black and white photos of family weddings next to it. Instead of a guestbook we made guestbook cards with 3 different headings on for our guests to fill in. Carwyn also made dozens of grey and white pompoms which were hung from the bridge.
The copper bottomed and gold rimmed vases were both from H&M. Carys did an amazing job of filling them all with lovely white spring flowers. In-between the flowers we used succulents (which pre-wedding my dad looked after for us!) We also bought ‘J & C’ copper letters from Oliver Bonas which sat on the ‘family table’. We hired giant light up ‘J & C’ letters from a local company, Written in Lights. They looked amazing as the sun went down in the evening.
We hired gold cutlery from Classic Crockery Event Hire. The venue were amazing and let us completely design our own menu. We chose ‘Wedding Pie and Mash’ followed by ‘His and Hers Dessert’ where Carwyn chose his favourite, salted caramel tart and I had chocolate cake! We also created individual bento style buffet boxes for the evening which went down a storm!
My older brother was our master of ceremonies and kept the day running smoothly. He also did a speech that was equally as touching as it was funny – and completely not what everyone expected! Carwyn also said a few words and a very emotional toast to his late Dad. As my friends and family expected I did the main speech which I thoroughly enjoyed!
For the evening we replaced the long tables with small round tables as we wanted our guests to mingle and feel relaxed! We hired a 5-piece swing band, The Paper Moon Band and had our first dance to ‘Let There Be Love’. Laurie Beth, one of my bridesmaids put together a playlist for whilst we had evening food.
THE HONEYMOON | We spent a few days after the wedding in Vienna. We’ve now booked to go to Japan for our main Honeymoon in October!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | I think one of the most memorable moments was looking around and seeing all the people we love and care about in one room smiling and laughing.
My favourite moment was waiting on the side of the stage with my mum and dad waiting to make our entrance and then seeing Carwyn’s face as I walked towards him. The ceremony itself was so exciting! We both grinned through the whole thing!
Having a few moments together before we made our entrance on the bridge for the wedding breakfast was very special.
We stayed for the weekend in a lovely boutique hotel, Cathedral 73 with a lot of our nearest and dearest. It was so special making an entire weekend of the wedding, from food and drinks the night before to a very tired Sunday Lunch the day after!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Don’t worry about what is in fashion or what other people have done. Concentrate on creating a day that represents who you are as a couple. Everyone gave me the advice that the day would go so quick – which it did! However, we took time throughout the day to spend 5 minutes alone taking it all in which was so important.
Enjoy every minute of planning the wedding. We loved getting together with our nearest and dearest for wine tastings, flower trials and ‘planning’ nights! Choosing your suppliers is so important. Do your research and choose people who you feel ‘get’ your wedding. I’d also say try not to worry. I got a bit of a reputation as a ‘laid back bride’ and this just meant I enjoyed every second of the day!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Jorge Lizalde
Videographer | Aurora Wedding Films
Headpiece | Bespoke made by With Love From Bobbin
Groom Suit | Bespoke from Hawkes
Groom’s Tie and Pocket Squares | Mrs Bow Tie
Light up Letters | Written in Lights
Gold Cutlery | Classic Crockery Event Hire
Printing | Inka Colour Print
Flowers | Arranged by Carys Williams, ordered from Triangle Nursery
Cake | Little Cake Cupboard
Hair | Kellie from Henderson and Co
Make up | Emily Porter
String Quartet/Harpist/Jazz Pianist | RWCMD Hire a Performer
Evening Entertainment | The Paper Moon Band
Hotel & Car | Cathedral 73
Wasn’t that just so special?
Julia and Carwyn, thank you both so much for sharing your divine wedding with us today xo Lou