I have to say I really respect a couple that are concerned about their environmental impact when organising a wedding, it really makes for a thoughtful and local celebration.
WWW readers Lizzy and Mark set upon tying the knot on the 17th June 2017 at the stunning Valle Crucis Abbey in an outdoor humanist ceremony, followed by a reception at Abbey Farm in Wales. They were blessed with the hottest day of the year, which ensured that much of the day was held outdoors, just so perfect. Eco friendly choices by the couple included the 1930s original vintage dress, swoon. The locally grown blooms, which were just incredible and bountiful in quantity too. Plus they borrowed some of their lovely decorations for the marquee from friends.
I really love how their daughter takes centre stage in their day as a flower girl too, she looked so adorable. The photograph with her daddy by Kelly J Photography is so lovely, what a perfect moment captured forever. In fact all of these images today are so stunning, we cannot thank Kelly enough for sharing them with us. Perfect.
THE PROPOSAL | A low key proposal at home after a walk around a local RSPB reserve. Mark was going to propose at the RSPB reserve but it was a cold February day and Lizzy wouldn’t stay still long enough. Luckily he had the sense to wait until after lunch at Pizza Hut!
THE VISION | Informal, colourful and natural. We hated the idea of a colour scheme so the only colours really were the flowers, which were amazing and colourful – purples, pinks, yellows and with lots of greenery. We wanted the wedding to have the feel of a family party so people could relax and enjoy themselves and so could we! We also wanted to think about the environmental cost of the wedding and tried to select suppliers to minimise our impact on the planet, as well as supporting local independent businesses.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We were engaged in February 2015 when we were expecting our daughter Sophie (born September 2015) so we didn’t do any planning until she was at least six months old. Then we visited two venues and Abbey Farm was the only real choice for us after we found out we could have a ceremony in Valle Crucis Abbey on site. We then chipped away at the planning up until the day and did quite a few things ourselves.
THE VENUE | Ceremony at Valle Crucis Abbey and reception at Abbey Farm, Llangollen. Valle Crucis Abbey is a ruin so the ceremony was outdoors in the most beautiful setting, surrounded by countryside. It was very atmospheric. Abbey Farm is right next door so after the ceremony we wandered over the the marquee.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Genuine vintage wedding dress (approx. 1930s) from Honeybomb Vintage Wedding Boutique in Chester. Rachel Simpson shoes. Before I had even found my dress I knew I wanted a flower crown, so that was central to the look I was going for. The cathedral length veil was made for me by Dressing Miss Daisy (who did the alterations on my dress). I wore pearl earrings and borrowed a beautiful pearl necklace from my Mum.
FINDING THE DRESS | I visited a typical bridal boutique in Chester and tried on lots of different dresses. They were nice but nothing stood out. Being eco-conscious I loved the idea of a vintage dress and found out about Honeybomb online. Heather, who runs it, was fantastic and guided me through her fantastic collection of vintage dresses. I tried on lots and finally narrowed it down to two. After thinking about it for a week I made my decision! I loved the warm colour of the dress and the tiered skirt and the fact that it had real history.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Bespoke dark blue suit from Gieves and Hawkes, Chester and shoes from Loake. Mark had had his eye on a bespoke suit for a few years so it was the perfect opportunity!
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We had a humanist hand fasting ceremony, which was incredible. I entered to Pachelbel’s Canon in D and we left to the Wedding March played by a classical guitarist. There were no readings or music during the ceremony.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Lizzy’s sister Grace, who wore a floaty lilac dress from ASOS. We also had two flower girls, our daughter Sophie and Mark’s cousin’s daughter Lowri, who wore cream dresses from Monsoon.
THE FLOWERS | Our flowers were so important to us and they completely exceeded our expectations. I hated the idea of flying in flowers from abroad for environmental reasons, so we found The Flower Garden at Stokesay Court in Shropshire, who grow their own flowers in a beautiful walled garden, as well as being florists. They provided all the flowers for the bridal party and decorations for the Abbey and the marquee, which included spectacular “flower trees” and informal jars for table decorations. We trusted them to provide something special, so left it mostly up to them and we were amazed with the results, as were our guests.
THE CAKE | A four tier semi-naked cake from Emz Cakes in Wrexham, decorated with fresh flowers. We had different flavours: carrot cake, strawberry and lemon and it was delicious.
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Kelly J Davies. We knew we mainly wanted reportage photography and had come across Kelly’s work when we were looking for venues. She is such a natural and made us feel right at home, even though neither of us are that keen on being photographed.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We borrowed some decorations from friends, like rustic hearts and candles, which were the perfect finishing touches. We decorated the marquee with colourful bunting. The menus and seating plan were on chalk boards. We had lots of games outside the marquee, which kept children and adults entertained! We also had hay bales outside for informal seating, which was ideal as it was such a hot day.
THE HONEYMOON | We went to Cornwall with our daughter and stayed in the Rosevine Hotel, Portscatho. It was lovely to get away and relax after all the wedding planning.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | The weather was amazing, one of the hottest days of the year. We needn’t have worried about not having a backup plan in case of rain!
Mark and I did a joint speech, which was really special. We wrote most of it together, but we each kept a section about the other a secret until the day and it lovely to express our love for each other in front of all our family and friends.
The ceremony was exactly what we wanted and it felt so special.
The band in the evening (Me and Deboe) who played some brilliant tunes and got us dancing.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | It is really hard not to, but try not to get too stressed about the finer details. Some things will go wrong on the day but it won’t matter at all. Remember it is a day for you so don’t get too bogged down with tradition if you don’t want to. We kept the traditions we liked and ditched the rest and it worked really well. Also, pick suppliers you have faith in. You don’t want to be worrying about whether they will do what they are supposed to.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photography | Kelly J Photography
Reception venue and caterer | Abbey Farm
Ceremony venue | Valle Crucis Abbey
Celebrant | Annette Furley
Flowers | The Flower Garden at Stokesay Court
Band | Me and Deboe
Cake | Emz Cakes
Bunting hire | The Big Beautiful Bunting Company
Groom’s suit | Gieves and Hawkes
Veil | Dressing Miss Daisy
Marquee | Tents and Events
How very lovely?!
Lizzy and Mark, thank you both SO much for sharing your gorgeous day with us xo Lou