Wedding planning isn’t always smooth sailing. Today’s couple really went through the mill when their baby son was born prematurely and then they had a house fire. Of course the planning took a back seat and they over came these hurdles to plan their perfect celebrations. Getting through those hard times together is what it’s all about right?
Laura and Rhys were married on the 3rd April 2016 at Caerphilly Castle in Wales. They own their own restaurant and so decided to cater the day themselves and achieve their informal fun day on a £6000 budget.
I love so much about their day, mainly those brilliant colour popping yellow paper decorations at their ceremony. What a backdrop to say I do against! Laura’s lace gown was just something else, she looked stunning. The rest of the bridal party looked fantastic in their favourite yellow and blue hues.
Thanks so much to Elaine Williams for sharing these wonderful images with us.
THE PROPOSAL | We just opened our first restaurant together (The Pot Café, Cardiff), a massive venture for us. After our first week trading we had a restaurant warming party after hours with close friends where he popped the question very unexpectedly (even for himself as he borrowed a ring off one of our friends!) Went on a nice sunny walk a few days later where Rhys presented a beautiful vintage second hand ring.
THE VISION | Handmade, DIY, vintage style, informal and fun.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | A nightmare! After a positive pregnancy test we decided to set a date. Everything started well and with great intentions.
The plan was to use maternity leave as a time of creativity. Making copious lists of what to make, how to make them (Pinterest) and when. I managed to get going on the never-ending list taking several trips to Hobbycraft and charity shops (and of course late night spends on eBay) with best friend and Maid of Honour Cosima helping me glue gun lace, beads and ribbons.
Catering wasn’t going to be a problem as we decided we would do it ourselves…
Unfortunately, the list wasn’t finished before little Arthur was born premature by emergency caesarean, and we were left in a whirlpool of emotions. We spent a lot of time in hospital and the rest trying to keep the business afloat. To add to it all we had a house fire and lost all of our wedding fund on costs of accommodation and staff to be in work whilst we had to take a lot of time off. I must admit I lost all focus on the wedding at this point.
Once we were moved into a new home and adjusting to family life we tried to regain focus, so I started ticking off the bullet point list again. By this point my mum had become my hero, she came to look at the venue with me and looked at what we could make in the ways of decorations that would suit our style and colour scheme (and cost pennies!). Inspired from a recent trip to India with dad she came up with the idea of DIY bunting made from old sari material from eBay, without her help nothing would have been finished or ready on time for the big day! We really thought it was going to be an empty room and Dominoes affair.
BUDGET | Cheap as possible, we were aiming for £6000 max.
THE VENUE | We found the ideal venue (Caerphilly Castle) big enough to cater for our huge families and with picturesque surroundings for a fantastic price.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | I found my dream dress from Laura May Bridal, however was 7months pregnant by this point so had to guess the size and allow for a lot of alterations! My necklace belonged to my great grandmother (something old), my mother bought my earrings from her recent trip to India (something new). My mother in law lent me her engagement ring (something borrowed and blue). And with the wedding being in April and showers probably forecast I got a last minute Boohoo purchase on a red riding hood style cape.
FINDING THE DRESS | 3rd time lucky. First dress was an eBay find for £5, it wasn’t what it looked like. The second I found on ASOS £80, it was nice but I didn’t feel special, I figured one of the guests could be wearing it in one of the other colours! Cosima (maid of honour) had recently got engaged so I took her to try wedding dresses on for fun and to get her in the mood! I was purely browsing whilst she was in the fitting rooms and stumbled across what I can only describe as my perfect dress. I didn’t feel comfortable trying it on as I was heavily pregnant and didn’t feel too nice, but couldn’t stop thinking about it for the rest of the week. So I plucked up the courage to go back and try it on. It was decided.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | He opted to hire suits from a local suit shop Dyffryn Menswear from himself and all his groomsmen and Father of the bride.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We aren’t religious so didn’t opt for anything like that, we just picked what options suited us. Rhys’s cousin Rhiannedd played the harp whilst we walked down the aisle.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | My favourite colour is yellow, Rhys’s is blue. Hence the colour scheme. However, I know yellow isn’t the most flattering colour. So decided the decorations could be yellow and outfits blue. We didn’t want the groomsmen and bridesmaids to all the in the same colour, so opted for light blue for the girls and dark blue for the boys all with whatever brown shoes they were comfortable in. It was a risk; we didn’t know whether it was going to work or not until the day when they were all together. They all looked amazing and I was chuffed.
THE FLOWERS | Again, my favourite colour is yellow, I love Wales, I married a Welshman – Daffodils had to be done. I love Gypsophila- it’s pretty much around all seasons, it’s simple but elegant and it’s so cheap.
THE CAKE | Alys who works for us loves making cakes. We asked her as a joke one night at work if she wanted to make our wedding cake, which resulted in her actually making it! Rhys loves Malteasers so that was that.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | The best bargain buy of all. We enquired with a few people, including one of Rhys’s friends who offered us ‘mates rates’ of £900. This was not a price we were willing to pay when everything else was of budget and thought about just buying disposable cameras and using our own SLR as a pass around. I decided to look on Gumtree on the off chance there may be some sort of deal. That’s where we found Elaine. She offered us an incredible price which included a pre wedding shoot which we did with baby Arthur. We were so impressed. The guests were so impressed with the outcome of the photos when we published them on Facebook, she was so unobtrusive I didn’t even realise half the photos were being taken! Two of our friends getting married in a few months have already booked her and I know plenty more will!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | As explained, everything was hand made by myself, my mum and the odd friends doing great favours!
THE HONEYMOON | Short and sweet. We didn’t want to leave our two babies (Arthur and The Pot) we went to Bordeaux for 2 nights to drink good wine, eat plenty of cheese, relax and be inspired by all things French. It was just what we needed after the year that we had.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Seeing my dad see me for the first time and tell me he was proud. Seeing Rhys cry. Falling in a puddle and turning my wedding dress ombre brown to white.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Just go with it. No matter what happens you will not care on the day, and enjoy it, it goes so quickly!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Elaine Williams, for managing to capture every moment exactly how it was.
My husband Rhys for making a 3 course meal for 100 people with everything else going on.
Our staff from The Pot for working and making everything go perfectly.
My mum and dad for all the help and support they gave us.
Thanks so much to Laura and Rhys for sharing their really touching wedding story with us xo Lou