I have been absent from the Whose Dress HQ for a while but alas I am back and where to start!? Well with this amazing wedding that took place in a Lighthouse back in June! Ashley and Graham, a creative and artistic couple, met at Huddersfield university 10 years ago, “I was studying textiles, Graham was studying music. We were in the same flat in halls and kept our relationship ‘a secret’ so we didn’t make our flat mates feel uncomfortable, although it was revealed at the wedding they knew all along! We moved to London after graduating and were there for 6 years before moving back to Grahams roots in South Wales last year”. Graham proposed to Ashley at midnight after a meal on the balcony of the oxo tower, London, overlooking St Pauls which Ashley says is her favourite building in London, adding “after 10 years together it was a BIG surprise!”.
The wedding took place at Nashpoint Lighthouse “Nash point was special to us as since meeting we have spent every Easter with Grahams parents in Llantwitt Major, we always spent a day with a picnic by the lighthouse as the views are amazing. The pub is just down the road from the lighthouse and perfect for our laid back reception”
The overall feel for the day was “1950′s inspired, handmade and fun”. Being a textile designer, Ashley has an obvious eye for design and says that colour was an important factor in planning out the styling for the day “once the palette for the day was decided the rest was simply a collaboration of all things Graham and I love! We wanted the day to be a real reflection of our relationship over the past 10 years.. fun, bright, laid-back with a kick ass soundtrack”
Ashley’s stunning dress was an original 1950′s gem…”The dress was handmade in the 50′s, It was a very simple silhouette at the front, with a layered tulle pleated top and draped chiffon sash to the back. I wore 2 petticoats underneath. Surprisingly the dress did not need altering, it fit perfectly when I tried it on, I took that as a sign it was the right one”.
Ashley’s top wedding planning tip: When people offer to help and contribute to your wedding, accept the help, not only because it will relieve your stress levels but it makes for an even more special day, knowing every one has made a little contribution. Graham and I were so touched by everyone’s efforts, it makes for lots of mingling opportunities and talking points too.
COUPLE: Ashley McMath & Graham Stephens
WEDDING DATE: 22 June 2012
PHOTOGRAPHER: Franka photography
CEREMONY VENUE: Nashpoint Light house, Marcross
RECEPTION VENUE: Marquee in The Horseshoe Inn, Marcross
BRIDE’S DRESS: original 1950′s ballet length gown from London, my original intention was to make my own dress but I found the perfect gown whilst ‘inspiration’ shopping with my best friend and bridesmaid… I couldn’t leave it! http://elizabethavey.com
BRIDE’S SHOES: My school friend is the very talented Joanne Stoker who custom made my shoes as a wedding gift, they were metallic emerald green leather and navy suede with a black gloss heel.
BRIDE’S HEADPIECE: I made my own headpiece using a trim I found on a silk dress from a vintage shop, I embellished it with freshwater pearls and small lace daisies, and added a birdcage veil. I have since started my own little business in bespoke vintage inspired headpieces, called With Love From Bobbin
BRIDE’S JEWELLERY: I don’t wear much jewellery so I made my own subtle drop back set of pearls, with a blue stone at the end for my ‘something blue’, and matching bracelet
GROOM’S OUTFIT: Vintage Italian charcoal grey 50′s suit with black satin collar/buttons
BRIDESMAID’S & FLOWER-GIRL’S DRESSES: My sister as ‘chief’ bridesmaid wore an original 1950′s dress we found whilst in Edinburgh, My two best friends wore dresses in the same palette which were from Coast and we added straps to give them a mix & match feel.
BRIDESMAID’S & FLOWER-GIRL’S ACCESSORIES: I made the girls headpieces and gave them all a highlight colour, lemon, duck-egg and coral… I changed the head pieces slightly with coloured roses and they each wore different shoes to match the head pieces.
RINGS: Graham had my engagement ring made in Hatton Garden, London. Its a platinum band with solitaire diamond. My wedding ring was a plain platinum band from Paul Gentile, Barry.
Grahams ring belonged to his dad who sadly passed before the wedding, which was touching as in some way he was with us that day
CAKE: We had 2 cakes, a family friend made the bridal cake, which was Victoria sponge and fondant icing, customised with mini bunting to match the bunting in the marquee. Grahams grooms cake was a chocolate log fort, the same cake he had at his 5th birthday party, his mum and sister made this the day before the wedding!
FLOWERS: David Austin roses, peonies, berries, daisies and wild flowers with selection of herbs like dill and rosemary – the smell was amazing! Diane from Aspirations in Barry was fantastic and got it just right!
HAIR: I asked the girls to look up there favourite 1950s style and promised we would do our best to recreate it for the wedding, Brideology got it just right on the day
MAKE UP: as above
ENTERTAINMENT/BAND/DJ: The numbers racket, a 7 piece swing/blues band got everyone on the dance floor, they are amazing fun – they even fulfilled our request and opened the set with a swing version of the ‘Ace of Spades’, one of our favourite memories of the day.
WEDDING SONG: I walked up the lighthouse steps and entered to ‘you make it easy’ by Air, chosen as we listened to that album on repeat when we first met 10 years ago, the lyrics are very fitting too. For our first dance we did some modern jive lessons in Penarth before the big day and did a routine to ‘signed, sealed, delivered’ by Stevie Wonder http://www.southwalesmodernjive.co.uk/
STATIONARY: We designed the stationary but Grahams school friend Alistair Stuart has his own illustration company in Cardiff so did a custom portrait of us which was great, really quirky, we used the illustrations on all signage throughout the day http://www.slightlywobbly.co.uk/
WEDDING FAVORS: My mother in law and bridesmaids helped me make jam and chutney, bound by the same fabric as the bunting. We gathered the fruit from Graham’s grandmas garden.
CATERING: Tina at The Horseshoe Inn knew we wanted a very laid back day, so we had ice-cream cones with bottled beer or cider on arrival. Hog-roast with all the trimmings and a salad bar for our main meal with a choice of homemade cakes for dessert. We stuck to our heritage and had a ‘scottish vs Welsh’ cheeseboard for the evening.
RECEPTION DÉCOR/STYLING: We wanted a very ‘laid back and handmade’ feel to the marquee, so we had mix/match floral table runners, charity shop finds for the tables and a lot of bunting. Grahams really creative too so he arranged some hay bales to dot around the marquee and made the photo booth. We had a little ‘kiddies’ area too where they could play away from the adults, all the parents loved this idea.
WEDDING PLANNER/STYLIST: Im a textile designer and freelance with a company in London, through this job I have met some of my best friends, we have a very creative circle. Each and every one of them helped to style the wedding in some way. We could not have achieved the day we did without the help of our family and friends.
TRANSPORT: Daisy the cream VW was our transport of choice http://weddingcampervans.co.uk As the lighthouse ceremony was actually very small (15 guests) A 1960′s coach collected our reception guests and transported them to the pub in style with a 1950′s soundtrack getting everyone in the mood for the party.
HONEYMOON: We havn’t been yet as its monsoon season but we are trecking Peru in March, a dream we have always had since meeting, and Graham has managed to ‘twist my arm’ into a little amazon visit.
Thankyou to Ashley and Graham for sharing their day with us!Read More »
Teenage sweethearts now grown up and recently married, here is the wedding of Clare and Mathew who met at the local village store they both worked in “Across the confectionery isle we became the best of friends for 5 years and then started dating…the rest is history!”. Clare and Mathew got engaged in August 2011 in Algonquin National Park in Canada…”We ventured out for an evenings canoe on ‘Trout Lake’ (of all names it could have been it had to be called that!). We landed the canoe on a small beach where a nursery tree was growing out of the foliage into the lake. I perched myself on the tree and before I knew it Matthew had full on lunged (literally) into the proposal!”
“Oh it was dreamy! I had always envisaged what I would like; something a bit different, of vintage style, pretty and ivory. I wanted to make sure that I looked like me on the day (if that makes sense?!) and have a dress that suited and flattered my shape. Allison Jayne was the first bridal store mum and I went into. I tried on probably 6 dresses, all of which were progressively getting more and more towards the image I had in my mind. Before I had even got the 7th dress above my knees, I knew it was the one! It really was exactly what how I had imagined it! From the lace, to the straps, from the train to the buttons down the back this was the one for me!”
Clare utilised her families creative skills when planning their wedding day and wanted to incorporate lots of homemade arts and crafts to create a shabby chic wedding theme….”From my dad’s amazing carpentry skills to my mums beautiful needlework & craft skills, we were able to create the perfect ambiance showcased against the beautiful Welsh countryside.“
They chose Glangrwyney Court the picturesque surroundings of the Brecon Beacons National Park as their wedding venue. “The décor and period of the venue was so in tune with how we had envisaged our special day. Nestled in and amongst the beautiful Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains, this Georgian Country House offered us the perfect back drop to put a personalised stamp on our wedding day. It really was a rare gem snuggled into our homeland that we wanted to share with all our friends and family.“
Most memorable moment…
“Probably when Matthew decided let loose with his dancing and break out into to do a forward toll on the dance floor which resulted in him splitting his trousers beyond the point of repair!! Oops!”…..hahaha i do hope he had something on underneath!!l
Can you share any wedding planning tips…
“Early organisation is the key! And a mum and dad who are super heroes! Do not be pressured into anything you do not want – it’s your day!!”
COUPLE’S NAMES: Clare & Matthew Anthony
WEDDING DATE: 18 August 2012
PHOTOGRAPHER: Simon Gough Photography
CEREMONY VENUE: Glangrwyney Court, Crickhowell
RECEPTION VENUE: Glangrwyney Court, Crickhowell
BRIDE’S DRESS: Pronovias from Allison Jayne, Cardiff
BRIDE’S SHOES: Debenhams, customised courtesy of my mother!
BRIDE’S HEADPIECE: Lonkoosh via Etys.com
BRIDE’S JEWELLERY: Earrings and necklace from Jonathan David Jewellers, Cardiff
GROOM’S OUTFIT: Slaters, Cardiff
BRIDESMAID DRESSES: Oasis
BRIDESMAID ACCESSORIES: The girls decided on their own jewellery; some chose to wear their mother’s jewellery because it had that vintage look. Shoes were from Beverley’s Boutique
RINGS: Mine was made by contemporary designer jewellery craftsman Richard Llynfi based in Cardiff . Matthew’s was from: Goldsmith of Jersey
CAKE: Marks & Spencer. The cake topper was made by my cousin out in Australia – Aunty and Uncle kindly brought it over for us! Homemade cupcakes were for pudding courtesy of Matt’s sister Rebecca.
FLOWERS: Clare Flemming, Cardiff
HAIR: Friend: Rachelle Simmonds from Cardiff
MAKE UP: After several trials, I decided to do my own make-up using a combination of Urban Decay, No.7, Maxfactor, & Clinique
ENTERTAINMENT/BAND/DJ: DJ was a friend of my brothers from London . He actually saved they day because the DJ we had initially booked was admitted to hospital two days before the wedding!
WEDDING SONG: “Aint no mountain high enough” by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
STATIONARY: All designed and hand made by myself, images purchased from Sarah Parker©
WEDDING FAVORS: Handmade love spoons courtesy of my extremely talented dad, homemade shortbread courtesy of Matthew’s Nana Joan & love heart sweets.
CATERING: Sugar Loaf Catering
RECEPTION DÉCOR/STYLING: All very vintage and welsh country garden. – predominately all handmade by my mum and dad!
WEDDING PLANNER/STYLIST: Me, mum & dad
HONEYMOON: Veligandu Island, Maldives
The couple would like to add a special mention “Without the help of family & friends, especially my mum and Dad, none of what we achieved on the day would have been possible. Words can not express how grateful Matthew and I are for everyone’s help in creating the most stunningly perfect day. Whoever was looking down on us on the day – thank you for the sunshine!! And I would also like to say a massive thank you to our photographer, Simon Gough, for producing the most beautiful photographs – he has given us lasting memories of our truly amazing day!“
Thankyou to Clare and Mathew for sharing your day with us and Thankyou to photographer, Simon Gough.Read More »
Guest post by Emma Butler, Stylist and Wedding Planner from Sylvie and Joan
As a wedding planner, I’m often asked for wedding favour ideas. My favourite favours are those which are easy on our environment and reflect the season. Here’s a selection of budget-friendly DIY projects using recycled materials and natural ingredients.
Autumn is a wonderful season for natural, colourful and quirky wedding inspiration. Apple season starts in September in the UK and brings with it an abundance of delicious favour possibilities.
Toffee Apples – One of my favourites and always popular with guests. You can add name tags to your toffee apples to double up your favours as place settings. You’ll find inexpensive toffee apples in local green grocers and sweet shops during October. If you’d like to candy your own apples (and make your kitchen smell heavenly) here’s a tutorial from The Natural Wedding Company.
Apple Chutney – I know, I know, making your own chutney may sound daunting but it really is quite simple and can make for a fun day in the kitchen with a few glasses of bubbly and your Mum. Here’s a super easy and quick recipe for classic apple chutney and Wedding in a Teacup do some super-cute chutney labels to pretty up your jars.
Homemade Cider – How about making your own wedding cider? Even better, encourage a budding cider-maker in the family to do it for you! Homemade cider can look extremely pretty presented in small bottles with printed labels.Read More »
The bride and groom….
Danielle and Marc met in a nightclub where Danielle said she “pinched Marc’s bum as I fancied him” ….hehe cheeky lady! Their wedding, inspired by their love for Elvis and vintage styling, took place at the beautiful venue of Rhosygilwen in Pembrokeshire, near the borders of Ceredigion and Carmarthen. The couple got engaged outside the gates of Graceland in Memphis just before midnight New Years Eve 2009! How awesome!!
Danielle knew exactly what she wanted in her mind when it came to her wedding dress, it was just a case of finding it….“I tried on about 60 dresses before I found “the one” in a shop in Swansea called White Orchid. Had the picture of it in my scrap book and was looking for it, and comparing all the dresses I tried on to that one. Ivory, Sweetheart neckline, fishtail shape, lace, sequin detailed on front and back. Button back and ruffles at the bottom. Loved it!”Read More »
Lyndsey and Rich got married at the Cawdor Hotel in the pretty town of Llandeilo in Carmarthenshire. The couple met at work, as they romantically recall ” our eyes met over the VDU glare in the IT department!”. This laid back couple wanted to keep their day informal and and picked the wedding traditions that they believed in and ditched all the others. Lyndsey wore a dress from ASOS fabulously paired with some Vera Wang heels and Rich wore a smart designer suit with a pair of Converse High Tops. I am loving this couples style!
An informal affair….
Lyndsey and Rich opted to keep they wedding down to earth and very relaxed…“We wanted a very informal day, keeping only traditional elements that we believe in. We wanted the guests to have fun, have nice food and drinks. A bit like a casual dinner party with our wedding ceremony tagged on!”. By hand-making all of the details and the wedding favors they added an extra personal touch to their ‘dinner party wedding’…..”We went for handmade items, which did take us a lot of time to make, but the end result looked good. We made the favors which were lavender scented hand sewn felt cats and owls, in bags of retro sweets. We made the table plans which were named after our 2 cats, and all the room decorations”.Read More »
Guest Post by Emma Butler, Wedding Planner and Stylist from Sylvie & Joan
Asking your best friends to be your bridesmaids is a special moment for any excited bride. It’s a great chance to get together with your friends for a special day out and create some special memories. Here are just a few cute and fun DIY projects and trinkets to show your bridesmaids-to-be just how special they are over brunch, afternoon tea or a few cheeky cocktails.
A pretty vintage style handkerchief makes a special keep-sake. If you have the necessary skills you could embroider a vintage handkerchief with your own message. If you don’t have the necessary skills, then these beautiful creations from Allie Ruth on Etsy are a cute alternative.
Read More »
Guest Post by Emma Butler, Wedding Planner and Stylist from Sylvie and Joan
It’s no secret that we love a festival wedding here at Sylvie and Joan and we have a real treat for you this week – three simply stunning looks for a festival inspired wedding from the gorgeous Laura and Kelly at Festival Brides (festivalbrides.co.uk)
Laura says; “We wanted to inspire couples with ideas on how to incorporate festival elements into their wedding and we don’t like doing things by halves! From venue styling, decor and props to bridal fashion, our aim was to create a variety of moods and ideas inspired by festivals old and new……..think hippy Woodstock to colourful Glastonbury all rolled into one shoot!”Read More »
Kate and Simon’s wedding was a multi-coloured, Bollywood inspired extravaganza! Photographed by the brilliant Martin Ellard from MyBigDayPhotos. Warning : those with an aversion to colourful weddings…this may offend you!
Kate and Simon….
Kate and Simon met on a night out in Swansea (as do many of the couples we have featured!! It seems to be a reoccurring theme!… if your single and looking, Swansea town is the place to be!) Simon was in the city on business and “stumbled across Kate and her friends having a bit too much fun midweek in Wind Street!”. And as they say the rest is history! A romantic holiday abroad provided the perfect opportunity for a proposal “Our first holiday together was at a beautiful hotel called the Heritage Awali in Mauritius. Every evening we would order cocktails for 6.30 on the beach to watch the sunset. On the last evening just as the sun was going down Simon got down on two knees (he confused the etiquette!) and after much bumbling asked me to be his wife then continued with more bumbling and many ‘pleases’ not giving me a chance to reply with a big fat yes! Simon joked later that he waited until the last night just to make sure I met the mark over our week together!”Read More »
Paula and Dan got married at St.Mary’s Golf Club in the Vale of Glamorgan in early June. The day was captured by the fabulous Rocksalt Photography. The couple met when they were set up on a blind date. A few years later Dan surprised Paula with a romantic weekend away for her birthday “For my 30th Birthday Dan surprised me with a trip to Disneyland, Paris, Where he proposed in Sleeping Beauty’s castle!” Ahhh how lovely!!Read More »