Cultural Weddings/Destination Weddings

Intimate & Idyllic Wales Country House Wedding

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Meaningful and picturesque, this Welsh countryside wedding was planned with so many personal details and yet seems so effortless, intimate and relaxed thanks to Heledd Roberts‘ light and airy photography.

Samantha & Gary’s very first conversation ‘over the water cooler’ was about their opinions on the world’s greatest cake. Not only was their choice – red velvet – a match, but so many other aspects of life that they found themselves marrying seaside in front of dear family and friends with their own four-tiered red velvet cake (that they drove eight hours for!) in tow.

We can’t decide if it’s more impertinent to talk about how incredibly idyllic their country house venue scene was or all the sweet little details that filled the space. Pops of pink roses – akin to those Gary had always given Samantha – contrasted against blues and greys of the seaside manor.

Samantha’s attire nodded to her own mother’s wedding dress while Gary’s fulfilled Scottish tradition. Shoes and clutches were embellished with cute sayings and favors were hand selected for guests. Samantha says not to stress the insignificant details and we say – Samantha, will you be our wedding planner?

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Our Love Story

Gary & I met at work! We didn’t immediately speak to one another, but Gary had a tendency of bringing in amazing home-baked treats which I ended up trying. What he’d made was so delicious (I think it may have been a brownie), I went over to thank him, we ended up discussing our fave treats and we both agreed that red velvet is the ultimate cake. He ended up making me a red velvet and cream cheese frosting ice cream (!) for one of our first dates. One guess as to what flavour our wedding cake was!

Gary & I had started a yearly tradition of ‘fake Christmas’, which was usually a week before Christmas and just the two of us, before the real day with all the family. We give a gift each and cook a proper Christmas meal.

On this particular fake Christmas, Gary said he needed a bit of time to prep his present. I waited in the bedroom and when I came out, there was a red ribbon tied around absolutely everything, leading into the front room where I saw a big bouquet of my favorite flowers. I followed the ribbon, which was eventually tied around the tv remote. When I hit play, Gary had made a little montage of some of our moments along the years and it was set to our song – “Latch” by Sam Smith. When it finished, Gary was on one knee, it was amazing. I always wanted to pick my ring, so Gary used a little love heart ring to propose but then gifted me with a custom-made rose gold skull band by The Great Frog. I still wear it with my engagement and wedding ring, it’s perfect!

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The Dress & Attire

Gary is Scottish, so it was important that the classic kilt attire was worn. Gary preferred the darker grey tweed and it was perfect with the white rose boutonnière that had a rose gold wiring detail.

My wedding dress was Maggie Sottero, beautifully fitted, cinched me in all the right places and made me feel like a queen! It was altered by Chambers Tailors in Wimbledon, who were fantastic.

I wanted longer lace sleeves to mirror my mother’s wedding dress, so we opted for a bolero. I fell in love with the lace detail on the dress, particularly the detail on the bottom. I wanted a contrast of this beautiful vintage lace dress with the spikes of my ivory Louboutin heels – which I’d actually purchased before anything else! It was perfect.

I opted for a Sophia Webster ‘wifey for lifey’ clutch. A bit of fun, with rose gold class detailing that complimented my rings. I also opted for Sophia Webster’s Jo Jo ivory satin heels with ‘wifey for lifey’ on the sole, because who needs just one pair of wedding shoes?! Lastly, I chose a long, sheer veil with tiny diamantés which gave this beautiful, subtle glint in the sun. This completed my look perfectly. Elegant, bridal but most importantly, still me.

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The Destination & Style

We wanted a cottage where our families could stay for days before and after the wedding, plus somewhere where we could have the ceremony and reception in the one place. It was also important that my mum & dad’s dog, Poppy, would also be involved.

We found Mynydd Ednyfed Country House, an 18th century home in Criccieth which was a sweet seaside town. We wanted a vibe that was romantic, personal, relaxed and this venue captured all of that. Colour wise, we wanted to feature rose gold which matched our engagement & wedding ring jewellery. We also wanted blush with flushes of hot pink – the latter of which came through with the flowers which were varying types of roses, my favourites and a nod to the bouquet Gary has gotten me every year (including in the engagement!)

It was important that we kept things simple and personal, whilst not getting hung up on insignificant details. Our primary focus was our guests and family, wanting to create not only an amazing day but an amazing ten days in this venue. A chance for our families to relax, bond and do their own thing.

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Favorite Moments

Difficult as the entire day was truly perfect. It didn’t feel like it went too quickly and I remember every moment.

I did enjoy getting ready, there was a moment in the morning before anyone else had gotten up, just Kasia (hairstylist) and I. I was sat in a chair, looking out of my bedroom window whilst Kasia started to prep my hair. It was such a calm moment, an ‘I’m getting married today, this is happening’ moment just for me.

I also loved Gary and I taking photos at the beach with Heledd. We made the decision to take ourselves off for a little bit during the day which I am so thankful for. Those photos are incredible and it was so amazing to spend that time together.

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The Favors

Glass bottles of rose lemonade with miniature Hendricks gin for the women. Glass bottles of Coca Cola with Jack Daniels for the men. We also got everyone a large chocolate love heart lollipop from Choccywoocydoodah that read ‘S&G just married’ in white chocolate. Delicious!

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Family Heirlooms

No heirlooms as such, but it was very important to me that we feature my Nan somehow. We lost her in 2001 but she remains one of the most important and amazing people I will ever know and I will always miss her. It was already quite special we were getting wed in Wales, as she was Welsh. I therefore collected some of my favourite, treasured photos of nan & I, including some with her and both of my sisters. I framed these and had them hanging on the wall, together with some being placed on shelves in the conservatory, with the single roses and tea lights featuring next to them. It was subtle and really special to me.

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The Flowers

I love roses, so Rebecca (of Ivy Pip & Rose) sourced several types of roses which looked incredible. Wanted whites, creams, pinks (blush to hot pink) as a nod to the bouquet Gary gets me every year and it all came together perfectly. I didn’t want tidy bouquets and wanted a bit of foliage to be amongst the roses so they were absolutely perfect and finished off with an ivory ribbon.

Simple white rose boutonnières with rose gold wire finished off the men’s looks perfectly. Rebecca also suggested small rose trees to line the aisle that could then be moved around the venue (and eventually came home with us and are now in my garden!) They really complimented the country house venue and romantic vibe of the day.

We had large, medium and small flowers down the centre of our wedding table together with smaller, singular vases of roses around the venue which brought everything together.

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The Cake

A three-tiered, red velvet cake from Hummingbird Bakery. Absolutely worth the eight hour round trip from the venue to their branch in Spitalfields! Agreeing that red velvet is the best type of cake was mine and Gary’s very first conversation, so it had to be this!

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Advice to Other Couples

Please don’t stress or worry too much on what other people may think or want. Focus on what you and your other half want and don’t worry about anyone else’s opinions. None of that matters, what matters is getting a day that you can look back on and know it was exactly everything the two of you dreamed.

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