Sunday, 30 November 2014

Our Wedding - The Details

Photo credit Joshua Halling
I have started this post a few times but I have not been able to publish anything as I usually just get too caught up in remembering what a wonderful day we had!

We got married on 10th May 2014 in a very windy and overcast Swansea, typical Welsh weather then!  We were on a budget and the wedding was relaxed and low key which reflected our personalities, we didn't want to spend a fortune on a wedding day (we spent it on a house deposit instead!) but we still wanted to have a celebration and a fantastic time.

We had a church service with family and friends and the reception was held in our local scout hall.  We both have links to guiding and scouting so this was a natural decision for us.  All our families and friends were involved in some way either with decorating, the cake, photos, the food and a lot of clearing up afterwards and without them we just wouldn't have pulled it off, so a huge thank you goes out to all of them.
Credit Kylie Robinson
We draped the hall in cream fabric which I found cheaply online to give it a marquee feel and wrapped it in the meters and meters of bunting that I made using the different pastel fabrics.  I would love to tell you that I did everything in advance but it would be a lie, the bunting was finsihed the day before it went up and even my wedding dress had adjustments made on the day of the wedding.  I should have done it all in advance but with the pressures of just gaining a full time promotion and just being an habitual procrastinator it just didn't happen.
Photo credit Joshua Halling
For the flowers I really wanted to include some of my favourite love-in-the-mist as well as roses, my mum's favourite of carnations and sweetpeas which were in my grandmothers wedding bouquets.  I did agonise over what to order in the way of flowers as I would have loved table arrangements and floral displays in the church but it just seemed liked too much money in the grand scheme of things.  The bouquets and buttonholes were just perfect and from Flourish Flowers and I would definitely recommend.

Photo credit Joshua Halling
Something else I didn't begrudge spending money was having the bridal parties hair done.  I am just rubbish at styling my hair let alone anyone else so it was good to know we were in safe hands.  The head dress was my grandmothers and is made from pearls and wax orange blossoms and is very delicate (and a bit squashed) but I really wanted to wear it.  I had ideas of how I wanted my hair but they were very vague and I didn't know waht would work with the head dress as it sticks up more than a more usual tiara would.  Amy Adamson helped me find a style and I was really happy with my trial and didn't change it.  She also did the bridesmaids lovely side buns and my mum's hair too.
Photo credit Joshua Halling

My husband chose the suits, pinstripe trousers, grey waistcoats and black tails and the fathers, groom and ushers had blue, cream and lilac knot ties because I love a matching colour theme!  The suits were all from Dyfed Menswear and I cannot rave about them enough.  They were very helpful, fitted us all in for measurements and fittings even though only the groom actually lives in Swansea, had everything ready on time and replacements when the best man realised he has ordered too small.  I would definitely go to them for formal hire again.
Photo credit Joshua Halling
One thing I really wanted to do was to make my bridesmaid dresses.  I wasn't that comfortable making my wedding dress as with all my makes I am never 100 percent happy with them and I didn't want to feel like that about my wedding dress.  My dress was vintage 1950's which I altered at the back as I do not have a vintage waist and I am really happy with how it looked.  For the bridesmaids I used Simplicity 3780 which is an out of print pattern based on an original vintage pattern.  I have made this dress before for my sister so I knew it would fit her and I loved the style of it.  I also love the gathered chiffon dresses of the '50's so I went for that vibe layering chiffon over cream the same colour as my dress.  They are not perfect but I love how the girls looked in them all together.
Credit Kylie Robinson
A little note about shoes, I actually bought these fantastic bridesmaid shoes from Irregular Choice which is my favourite shoe brand before I even started the dresses!  They were just so pretty and perfect and I want them for myself though I really wanted baby blue shoes for my wedding day so....
Credit Claire Latchem
...I ended up with these bad boys!  They are fancy designer Badgley Mischka and I got them at a rock bottom price on ebay after nearly a year of stalking.  They were perfect, exactly what I wanted and sky high which coincidentally was the perfect height for my dress, no hemming required, result!
Photo credit Joshua Halling
The beautiful cake was made by our friend Ed and was a bit of a surprise as I had given him some photos of cakes I liked and fillings (chocolate, fruit and sponge) but we didn't really know what he had come up with until the day before the wedding when it was delivered!  He surpassed himself, not only was it baby blue, which I really wanted, but he covered it in lace and homemade sugar flowers.  The chocolate cake layer was so good that it all got eaten on the wedding day!  That doesn't often happen wedding cake!  Our toppers were little wooden moomins that I got on etsy which is a bit of an inside joke but also something we can keep as a memento.  Ed also made a brilliant pizza grooms cake as we have both worked at Domino's pizza and share our love of 'posh cheese on toast!' Haha!
Credit Kylie Robinson
Credit Kylie Robinson
For the favours I made wine glass charms after searching for ideas for ages.  I wanted something personal but also cheap to make as favours seem to be really expensive for something that half the guests won't even look at again.  I was hoping that they might use these again plus they added a little something to the tables.  Each guest had their initial in a scrabble tile (we all love board games in our families but I hate scrabble so this was a bit of a joke) a coloured glass bead and an appropriate charm.  The bridal party had 'best man' etc hearts, and I had a mix of dinosaurs, cars, tools, cooking utensils, flowers and butterflies.  I would recommend making these to anyone as they are quite easy to put together and you can customise easily and cheaply.
Credit Kylie Robinson
These beautiful desserts were made my mother-in-law, we had pavlova, lemon chill flan, chocolate amaretto dessert, fruit jelly and fruit fool.  We had quite a few different dietary requirements so this catered for them all and we had a variety of cheeses to follow.
Credit Kylie Robinson
My mother-in-law also put together these photograph boards of both myself and my husband which were a really nice touch.
Credit Kylie Robinson
One thing I wanted from the start was a sweetie buffet so I went to the cash and carry and stocked up on pink, white and rainbow sweets.  This went down really well and we had a fair bit left over even with people loading up their bags on the way out.  It isn't the cheapest thing to do but once I stuck to the cheaper sweets rather than going for expensive ones like sugared almonds it worked out ok.  I made the cake pops a few days before with my mum as I really love them and they ended up looking like little roses.  The stand I made from leftover polystyrene from our kitchen installation and the ribbon I used on the bridesmaid dresses.

Other ways I saved money:
  • Invitations - My sister is the graphic designer, Superfex, so she designed and got the wedding save the dates and invitations printed at a very cheap rate and they were lovely.
  • Photos - My sister also put us in touch with one of her photographer friends to take the pictures.  Josh is not actually a wedding photographer but made the exception for us and they turned out beautifully.  You can see his amazing live music photography here.
  • Canap├ęs -  I made heart shaped Welsh cakes a few days before which our lovely scout leaders griddled and served warm with a glass of Pimms.
  • Hog Roast - We avoided the expense and the difficult logistics of a three course meal by having a hog roast from Gower Crackling Hog Roasts and it was amazing!  I couldn't eat much on the day, I was too excited but everyone else enjoyed it.
Credit Kylie Robinson
  • Music - Playing recorded music was covered in my license so I actually made up a 'dance' and a 'background' playlist using Spotify on my laptop, plugged it into some speakers and hey presto!  I am so happy with how this worked and I effectively DJ-ed my own wedding without the expense and it meant I only had songs we both liked.  I could even take requests!  This may not be everyones cup of tea but it worked really well for us.
  • Bar - I applied for a license for the venue for the one evening which isn't much and we bought a mix of drinks and our scout leaders again obliged by working as barmen.  We charged a few pounds a drink just to cover our costs which worked really well as it kept the bar cheap but also meant we didn't spend a fortune on alcohol.
  • Service - we didn't have any wait staff, which might sound like a nightmare but it wasn't.  The families all knew this and everyone chipped in clearing tables, washing up and serving desserts.
  • Table plan - We worked this our in advance, it was actually pretty easy as we didn't have individual tables but combined them to make a village fete feel.  I loved this as I could see everyone instead of being isolated on the top table.  My mother-in-law decorated a board with confetti and coloured paper so people knew where to sit.  (seen behind the dancers!)
Credit Daniel Broadley
And a final silly one of my side of the family and bridesmaids.  If there is one thing you do, make sure you get some silly shots as well as the formal ones.  These are the ones you remember in the end, the silly, happy moments messing around and enjoying the day.

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