WWW readers Hazel and Phil tied the knot on the 5th July 2014 at The Stone Mill in Monmouthshire. With a vision of a relaxed wedding with an outdoorsy feel they opted for a marquee reception. They homemade much of their wedding themselves, complete with multicoloured crafty touches, such as the pom poms and origami.
The bouquets were lush and beautiful, the bridesmaids donned blue frocks and the boys looked dashing in sharp suits. Hazel is a natural beauty and wore Edith by Charlotte Balbier with her hair loose, a long veil and Rachel Simpson shoes. Gorgeous.
Thanks so much to Matilda Rose Photography for sharing her wonderful photography with us.
THE PROPOSAL | We went on a 40 mile cycle and camping trip to Monknash in South Wales on one of the hottest days in July last year. Phil’s plan was to propose that day on the beach after we arrived but I couldn’t be persuaded to move anywhere. So the next day we headed down to the beach & Phil proposed there on a lovely sunny day. I really enjoyed the cycle trip home looking at my new shiny ring!
THE VISION | We wanted a relaxed wedding with an outdoor feel but also we picked a venue which wouldn’t rely on the weather to make it a success. We didn’t want the ceremony to be too formal so the venue we chose allowed us to fit in quite a few guests while not feeling too big.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | After we got engaged we started planning the wedding straight away so we had a year to organise it. We tried to get the big things sorted early on but we still got busy with all the small details in the last few weeks.
BUDGET | We tried to make as much as we could ourselves but spent money on the big things that we thought were important to make the day a success.
THE VENUE | We searched South Wales looking at venues & really enjoyed visiting lots of nice hotels. Then finally we arrived at the Stonemill which ticked all the boxes with excellent food, beautiful views and accommodation on site. The marquee for the reception was perfect for us to use as a blank canvass to decorate ourselves. Michelle was fantastic at running the show, never intrusive, but super friendly, helpful – we always felt in good hands and she was great at keeping us calm! All the staff were excellent too.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was Edith by Charlotte Balbier, I brought it at Hannah Emily Bridal which is where I also got my necklace which had a crystal at the back to show off the open back of the dress. My shoes were from Rachel Simpson, I brought shoes which I can hopefully wear again so I didn’t mind spending a bit of money on them. I got a long veil, which was beautiful and excellent value.
FINDING THE DRESS | After a long week at work, dress shopping became my new favourite thing to do so I was quite reluctant to choose my dress. I always knew that I wanted a lace dress so eventually after trying on every lace dress I could find, I went back to the first shop & made a decision. It was quite different from what I would normally choose but I loved it.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Phil got his suit from Next, some of the other groomsmen also got dark blue suits although we didn’t aim to have matching suits. We chose a tie for the best men and the ushers which was similar to the gunmetal colour of the bridesmaid dresses & then Phil went for a yellow/orange knitted tie which matched the theme colours.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We chose not to have any readings. I walked into the ceremony to Florence & the Machine – Dog days are over (instrumental version!). We left the ceremony to Phil’s favourite band El Ten Eleven – the sycophants are coming!
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I had five bridesmaids, three that I grew up with and two that I met at University. We chose a multiway dress in gunmetal so that each bridesmaid could choose how to wear the dress. We had our make-up & hair done by Anna Cooper who did such an amazing job of making us look our best while still allowing us to look natural.
THE FLOWERS | We wanted flowers which were quite unstructured and contained the colours we had chosen for the décor, but we were happy to be guided by the florist, as we liked her style. I wanted the bridesmaid’s bouquets to be similar to mine & they were great – all a little bit different which was perfect. The button holes were really different too we had a craspedia as the flower. We decided to do our own table decorations so we went to the flower market in Cardiff the day before the wedding & then our family helped us to arrange them. We really liked gypsophila so we made sure there was plenty of that involved!
THE CAKE | Our bridesmaid Stella organised our cake and my friends brought it for us as a wedding present. It was done by Alexandra Bakes, it was beautifully made and combined the bunting and the lace theme that we had used throughout the other decorations. The bride & groom on the top was made with a wooden peg by another of our talented bridesmaids – Kay.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Matilda Rose Photography did our amazing photos. Matilda arrived early on the day to take lots of great photos of us all getting ready. She managed to capture all the calm before the storm including all the decorations, my dress and our flowers. Matilda then took some very natural photos of us and our guests which captured the fun of the day perfectly. She was a great companion on the day and was amazing at getting the best out of us and everyone she photographed. Looking back at the photos she seemed to have got everywhere and was great to see what everyone was up to!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We tried to make as much of the decorations as we could, first off we made 500 foot of bunting. We decided to go for various different colours & patterns for the bunting to give it a more relaxed, less organised feel. Our friends helped us to make huge paper pom poms in blue, grey and yellow which we hung from the ceiling. That looked great and really added colour to the marquee. Phil’s sister was a massive help with all the decorations & made lots of beautifully coloured origami cranes which we hung from the flowers on the table & also along some of the walls. We also hired fairly lights for inside and outside to add to the look of the marquee in the evening.
We made a photo collage of all the guests at the wedding & propped that up against a hay bale. That seemed to go down well & added as talking point for guests. We found an old Georgian picture frame from a second hand shop which we used for the table plan which I loved! Our friend made a brilliant sign using a blackboard to welcome people to the wedding. We made mugs using pictures from our hen and stag do to give as gifts to people involved in helping us with the wedding.
Three of our expert baking friends made macaroons in our theme colours for our favours and each person had a selection in some vintage style paper bags. Phil is a designer so he made all our wedding stationery including the invitations, table plan, table names & menus.
THE HONEYMOON | We went to Sicily for two weeks, first of all we went to an Aeolian island called Salina which was very quiet & chilled, then we went to the busier resort on the mainland called Taormina & finished for the last four nights in the capital city, Palermo.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | The speeches were brilliantly written & delivered. We have kept a copy of the speeches to read which still make me laugh!
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | The advice we would give is to involve family & friends in the planning process when you can, it makes it more fun & you discover all sorts of hidden talents!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography |Matilda Rose Photography
Flowers | Forbes Field
Hair & Make-up | Anna Cooper, Hair and Makeup Artist, 07931 587 365
Cake: | Alexandra Baked
Dress | Hannah Emily Bridal
Veil | LOVE YOU BRIDE
Bridesmaids Dress | Marks and Spencer
Venue | The Stone Mill
Shoes | Rachel Simpson
Rings | Jewellery Studio
Fairy lights | Choco Falls Bristol
So very lovely. I just adore all of those personal crafty touches.
Thanks so much to Hazel and Phil for sharing their gorgeous wedding with us XOXO Lou