Lifestyle Magazine

We Met at Primary School… a Welsh Wedding

By Claire


Bryn­g­wyn Hall wed­ding: Alice and Jamie

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Even though Jamie and I live in Lon­don, we are both from the same area in Mid Wales (we met at pri­mary school!) and knew we wanted to get mar­ried back there.

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The weather on the day was per­fect! We were so lucky, par­tic­u­larly at that time of the year. The morn­ing was spent with respec­tive fam­i­lies, get­ting ready. We had my two nephews (age 4) as page boys and my two nieces (age 2) as flower girls with my other older niece as bridesmaid.

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The church ser­vice was beau­ti­ful. The vicar was very per­son­able and patient — par­tic­u­larly when, halfway through my vows, I was feel­ing very emo­tional and found it dif­fi­cult to get my words out. We had the hymns ‘Make me a chan­nel of your peace’, ‘All things bright and beau­ti­ful’ and ‘Cym Rhondda  –Bread of Heaven’. A friend played ‘Black­bird’ on his gui­tar dur­ing the sign­ing of the register.

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Jamie’s suit, includ­ing tie, hand­ker­chief and waist­coat were from Favour­brooks, Jermyn st, Lon­don. His shoes were from Loakes, and his shirt from Emma Willis.

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My shoes were my very first wed­ding pur­chase! I saw them in a mag­a­zine and knew they were the ones-whatever my style of dress was going to be! The brand is ‘Irreg­u­lar Choice’ from Schu online.

My ear­rings were pearl and dia­mond from John Lewis, my hair acces­sory was bor­rowed from my lovely friend Laura, who had pur­chased and worn it for her own wed­ding (it’s a hair­band but my hair­dresser, Bon­nie, man­aged to clev­erly place it in my hair like a clip). Jamie bought me the pearl neck­lace as a wed­ding present. The pearl bracelet (my Mum’s) was a last-minute addi­tion about half an hour before going to church! My ‘some­thing blue’ was a sap­phire ring that belonged to my Nanna.

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My wed­ding dress: Jim Hjelm 507 from Black­burn Bridals in Black­heath, Lon­don. Found after much search­ing! Cape over dress was from Phase Eight, Deben­hams. Because of the unusual dress mate­r­ial, I found it really hard to find some­thing to com­ple­ment it. The cape was a lucky find and only tried it on on my final dress fit­ting– a week before the wed­ding. I was pleased that it worked!

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My local church-2 min­utes from my par­ents’ house– was our first choice for the ser­vice but it was more dif­fi­cult to find a recep­tion venue. We just wanted a mar­quee in a field some­where to throw a good party! We realised quite soon that this wasn’t that prac­ti­cal and so when Bryn­g­wyn Hall was men­tioned to us, we knew we had found the per­fect place! Beau­ti­ful grounds in which to put up a mar­que but knew we wanted some­thing a bit dif­fer­ent… Then we found our beau­ti­ful teepees with Papakata.

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As we drove up to the venue, we knew it was going to be a very spe­cial day. The tepees looked amaz­ing against the back­drop of the hall and the coun­try­side, the sun was shin­ing, jazz music was play­ing and the cham­pagne was already flow­ing. It was great to see the guests’ faces as they arrived at the teepees, as we had kept the choice of venue secret.

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We were lucky with the weather to be able to have our pho­tos taken out­side. Fol­low­ing on from that, we joined our guests at the teepees and sat down about an hour later to a gor­geous meal.

The florists, Jenni and Val, had done such an amaz­ing job; with all the flow­ers, but par­tic­u­larly the table cen­tre­pieces with the lanterns were beautiful.

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We wanted to have a welsh touch some­where and the heart welsh cake favours, made by my mom and sis­ter, were perfect!

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Wed­ding day advice:

A clichéd one but enjoy every moment. For us, that included the plan­ning itself. I loved research­ing, find­ing and mak­ing (with help from friends and fam­ily). The day itself goes by so quickly and we tried to savour every moment.

Also, try not to get stressed about it all. We both agreed, that if any­thing on the day wasn’t run­ning exactly as we had planned, then it shouldn’t affect the enjoy­ment of the day. And it didn’t!

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Mem­o­rable wed­ding day moments:

Hav­ing my nieces and nephews walk­ing down the aisle with me, all dressed up and look­ing gor­geous. A very spe­cial moment.

Say­ing our vows – a very over-whelming and emo­tional moment.

Our first dance and being joined by fam­ily and friends on the dance­floor at the end of the song.

One of the ush­ers dress­ing up and danc­ing as Bey­once later on in the evening! On my hen night, my friends had dressed me up as Bey­once (though not in the glam­orous sense!) and my sis­ter thought it would be great for Bey­once to make an appear­ance at the wed­ding party!

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Our first dance was ‘One day like this’ by Elbow. We had taken a cou­ple of dance classes in the weeks before­hand, but ended up for­get­ting most of it on the evening and just doing it freestyle – it actu­ally worked out bet­ter and didn’t involve too much shuf­fling! Every­one came onto the dance floor for the end of the song. A really lovely, emo­tional moment.

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The band and DJ were fan­tas­tic and got every­one onto the dance floor. I couldn’t believe it when the music ended at the end of the night – the evening had just flown by!

A very spe­cial mem­o­rable day shared with very spe­cial people.

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Alice and Jamie’s rec­om­mended wed­ding suppliers:

Jean Luc Pho­tog­ra­phy After see­ing the pho­tos taken at a relative’s wed­ding, by Jean Luc, we booked him for his amaz­ing shots and his calm manner.

PapaKåta’ Amaz­ing tents from a friendly, pro­fes­sional team.

The Soul Jets band Fan­tas­tic music from a band that gets every­one up on their feet.

Roslin Caterering Gor­geous food and great service

Tim’s Tip­ples very good slick ser­vice. The bar staff and cater­ing team worked with each other to ensure every­thing ran smoothly.

Black­burn Bridal A place where I was made to feel very spe­cial. And where I found my beau­ti­ful dress!

Bryn­g­wyn Hall (our won­der­ful venue)

Wed­ding car Our dri­ver, Frank, was a lovely guy.

Jenni and Val Florists (details on request) – Two very lovely ladies who spent a lot of time and effort, to ensure that every­thing was just right.

On Eng­lish Wed­ding blog tomorrow

I promised to tell you some­thing spe­cial about Alice and Jamie’s wed­ding pho­tog­ra­pher Jean-Luc Benazet — and I’m very excited to be shar­ing his own wed­ding on the blog tomor­row! It’s always great to see who a wed­ding pho­tog­ra­pher chooses for his or her own wed­ding pho­tog­ra­phy… but you’ll have to wait for the morn­ing to find out.

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