Today we have the absolute pleasure of sharing WWW readers Sarah and Iwan’s delightful wedding celebrations. They were married on the 24th November 2018 and held their reception at The Druidstone in Pembrokeshire. The location really is spectacular, with views of the coastline and it made for the perfect spot for their couple portraits.
I love how they really used the Autumn season throughout their wedding with seasonal flowers and decorations. There was leaf confetti scattered on the tables, alongside squashes and pinecones. Also keep your eyes peeled for really special illustrated stationery, delicious favours and fireworks to end the festivities in style.
Sarah and Iwan both looked gorgeous in their chosen outfits. Iwan and the boys all went for tweed suits and sage green accessories, which tied in with the mix and match bridesmaid dresses in greens and greys. Sarah chose a darling lace Charlotte Balbier gown with long train and teamed her dress with a long veil, flower crown and crochet cover up.
If you are considering an Autumn wedding, I think these stunning images by the amazing Florence Fox Photography may just sway you. Thanks ever so much for sharing these wonderful captures with us Florence.
Iwan proposed last year in December at my favourite place in all the world which is my home town, Ludlow. It happened on a hill looking down over Ludlow castle with a view of our first house we rented together so lots of happy memories. You think it would be super romantic; I was super hungover and Iwan in true Welsh adventure fashion dragged me out on a walk. We plodded around for a while in the rain, with Iwan acting slightly odd. All worked out great in the end and he got down on one knee. . . I got engaged!!! I was soooooooo excited.
Umm I suppose our vision was to make the wedding stress free, informal and slightly quirky! It was really important to us both to have as many friends and family as possible there with us on the big day. We really wanted to enjoy the whole experience and wanted to avoid the usual pre-wedding stresses so we made sure we got everyone super involved from the start and were quick to allocate any and all tasks to family and friends! I think we took quite a laid back approach – I am pretty disorganised with planning and Iwan was still in shock that he was getting married. I think the strategy was delegation, delegation and delegation!
However, Iwan and I love a bit of eccentricity so something which brought out our personalities was totally in there somewhere. Although some ideas had to be thought about twice eg putting my very pregnant bridesmaid on a mountain bike with loads of flowers was soon to be vetoed.
I definitely wanted a November wedding. Iwan and I met at this time of year. I love this time of year with moody skies and that slight wildness in the air. I also love winter clothes, everyone just looks smart in their long coats and tweed. No short summer skirts in sight.
The Planning Process
My mum took me to buy a wedding planning book, I think at this stage I was still in shock. I had already decided on my bridesmaids and my MOH which was my sister Ruth. Deciding the venue was the most difficult decision in the whole process, after we had done that and set a date everything else just fell into place thanks to everyone helping out.
- Bridesmaids – nailed the hen
- Best man- nailed the stag
- My mum who is super arty was in charge of anything basically creative – invitations, order of service and generally making decorations.
- Iwan – band
- Me – well usually throwing out some out there ideas.
- Iwan’s mum – in charge of booze
- Iwan’s dad – transport and cutting large pieces of wood into smaller ones for table decorations.
I just really wanted everyone to get involved. We both had pretty busy jobs at the time so it was great that so many people were able to help. Wedmin like making confetti cones, paper hearts and stamping pieces of paper can seem like a chore at the time but looking back at it, doing these things with some close friends and family with a nice cup of tea in hand and a solid supply of chocolate while catching up on the latest gossip made for such a fun experience!
SOOOOO budget wise. Iwan and I sat down early doors and decided what was important to us: including family friends was a big priority, and we ended up having around 120 people to the day and maybe 20-30 evening guests. We both loved music so went for a live band, “Wildcard” who were great, they also did a cracking DJ set after they finished their live sets.
We totally knew what we would splash the cash on and other things that we were not too worried about.
Food also was important in that we didn’t want anyone going hungry so we opted for a buffet style meal which also kept things informal which fitted in with what we wanted from the day. We made sure there were some pulled pork baps later on the evening to keep everyone going into the early hours!
Finally we wanted to make sure we had some lasting memories of the day so we opted for a professional photographer which was 100% worth every penny. Decorations could be done by family and my mum who loved anything crafty.
In hindsight, we should have budgeted better (maybe I should have delegated that as well!) but I think we spent our money wisely all the same.
I had two pregnant bridesmaids so dress choice was always going to be difficult. I really wanted to make them all feel super special and look their best. After all they are my really close friends and why would I want to put them in a dress which makes them feel uncomfortable just because I like it. So I delegated the bridesmaids to find their own dresses. They had a colour palette which was dusky sage green and greys with a touch of sparkle which would work with those November days. The dresses came from QUIZ, NEXT, Self Portrait, Hobbs and Eloise’s Secret Closet. My flowers girl dress was from Monsoon.
For our bridesmaid bonding experience, instead of shopping for dresses together we went out to Birminghams Boozy Bingo where we danced on tables and sang loudly all night – this was a great chance for the bridesmaids to all get to know each other before the big day!
The Attic Hair and Beauty in Haverfordwest. These guys were so good and professional. I don’t tend to wear much make up so it was important to me I looked natural. I loved how they did my make up. They also advised well on hair so again it was less decisions I had to make.
The Readings & Music
We chose a passage/dialogue from Dylan Thomas’ “under milk wood”. This was read by Iwan’s Grandad (who is quite the character!) and Val, a good family friend of mine. Their performance had the whole congregation in pieces!
My suggestion for a bible reading was the Good Samaritan which was read by a good friend of us both. Maybe not traditional choices but definitely very us.
My friend Hannah sang and played the guitar which was so special. She was incredible.
Hymns – the whole world, and for those Welsh rugby boys Calon Lan and Bread of Heaven. I’ve never heard such loud singing!
The venue was the hardest decision we made. This was mainly due to the time of the year. I looked at tipi and marquee weddings in the garden at home. Florence my photographer gave me some solid advice about choosing the venue which helped (totally worth investing in a good photographer). I decided on Pembrokeshire a place that is very close to my heart. I went there when I was small, my dad went when he was young and my granny and grandpa also use to go there. Unfortunately my granny died this year so being in Pembrokeshire would have definitely been a choice she would approved of. Being by the sea is just magical especially when those winds are blowing and the sea is stirring.
Have you seen that view from the Druidstone? I think this was the deal breaker – its literally on the edge of a cliff on the Pembrokeshire coastal path, just gorgeous. The staff there are amazing – accommodating, laid back and helpful. All the things we wanted. They put on a buffet style feast of local food which had everyone talking for weeks afterwards.
Your Outfits & Accessories
Dress – la Couture – Charlotte Balbier – Alora. I was pretty chuffed with this dress. I bought the dress at a trunk show so it was at a very reasonable price. At this boutique they were all so helpful and they had a super duper seamstress to help fit the dress. With some alterations the finished product definitely was going to fit in perfectly with the sort of boho theme. They were very helpful in giving hints on the bra situation which I didn’t even think about.
Shoe s- Kurt Geiger – bargain from retail park.
Veil – My Little Wedding Shop Bridgenorth. I loved this veil – it had vines and leaves on the veil… perfect for an autumn wedding.
Cover up – MODAcrochet grey wool sold on Etsy – I loved this cover up. I didn’t want a fluffy coat. I thought it might look a bit odd on the beach. I decided on something warm and wooly. I was so happy with this purchase.
Florence Fox. I loved this little film. I think the film captures the day so well.
Florence Fox is an absolute legend. She literally took the most beautiful photos. Iwan and I find it pretty awkward having our photos taken but literally it was like having a friend rock up and you can just be yourself. Also as you may have guessed Iwan and I are not great at timings. I was (maybe, just slightly) late to the church, and at the reception I think we were so excited and having so much fun that timings flew out the window. Thank goodness for Florence – she saved us a cracking spot for the fireworks, made sure we were in position for the cutting of the cake and the first dance and definitely helped the day run smoothly. 100 % worth it.
The Details & Décor
Mum and her best friend Val literally created everything. I made the confetti cones though and threw in some ideas.
The décor was Autumn/Winter themed. We had autumn leaves, tea lights, squashes and loads of dried flowers. Mum painted glass and tied ribbons around jam jars. She also arranges the church flowers. We got up at 4am one morning in the week before the wedding to go and buy all the flowers from a wholesale market in Birmingham which kept costs down.
We had a minimoon in St Brides bay in Saundersfoot for a couple of days. A perfect get away. We are off to Mauritius next week for the full blown honeymoon!
The groomsmen looked so sharp. We love a bit of a tweed so finding somewhere you could hire tweed three piece suits from was difficult. We struck gold when we found Duncan James of Walsall. Iwan had a tailor made suit from the same place. He looked so handsome (again I’m biased!).
The amazing Clare at St Davids Flowers created the most beautiful flower crowns, buttonholes and bouquets I have ever seen (again I am biased). I had so many compliments on these flowers. I definitely wanted to include the cafe au lait rose. This rose I had never seen before it was almost a coffee brown rose. Literally stunning. Clare definitely knew what I wanted and definitely knew what I didn’t want which was a very formal hand tie so I trusted her to put everything together.
The service was my favourite moment. Iwan always said everyone just loves a good dance and a drink but he even changed his mind after the wedding. The service was just perfect it felt very us. Everyone belted ‘Calon Lan’ out which was definitely a goose bump moment.
I learnt the Welsh vows to surprise Iwan. You should have seen his face.
The fireworks were amazing.
Running down to the beach just the two of us just after we got married and wading through the waves was something I’ll never forget.
The speeches were all brilliant and a real highlight.
My very good friend Lauren created my wedding cake. Laurenholdercakery (Instagram). November themed it was an apple cake with caramel icing. She is really creative and talented so I left her to it. She nailed it and the cake toppers were the cutest.
Advice For Other Couples
Don’t get too bogged down by the minutiae. Delegate as much as you can as time goes quickly. It also means less stress and more time you can spend with friends and family. Don’t lose sight of what is important about the day which is two people showing a commitment in front of all their family and friends. They are all there to support you so let them all be a part of it.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Florence Fox Photography
St Davids Flowers
So cosy and romantic!
Sarah and Iwan, thanks ever so much for sharing your wonderfully romantic wedding story with us xo Lou