Everybody loves a wedding, don’t they? The W&M team included! It is a chance to get dressed up, enjoy catch-ups with friends, cutting shapes on the dance floor, and of course to see the happy couple tie the knot. In May last year, we experienced a whole different understanding of attending weddings, because I, myself found myself getting married (Emily here!). Here I will go into detail on how I put my Interior Design skills and expertise to the test and styled my own wedding, to make it (in my eyes) the most beautiful day ever!
My husband (it’s still strange to say that), Ashley, and I got engaged in October 2019 and booked our venue within weeks of our engagement. We only visited one venue, Fairyhill by Oldwalls, and fell in love with it straight away, but knew we needed to save, so allowed ourselves 2 years and 7 months to plan. I was very particular about how I wanted our wedding styling to be and knew that I wanted to inject some interior design inspiration into the scheme, both purchased items as well as being creative. Both Ashley and I are Welsh and wanted to show this in the styling, choosing local Welsh suppliers and injecting the culture into our day.
Flowers are the perfect way to bring in a touch of colour to a wedding, some people love bright bold displays, whilst others like subtle hues. We wanted a tonal theme, with champagne colour bridesmaid dresses with contrasting black ties for Ashley and the groomsmen. We went for a mix of tones within the flowers to compliment the bridesmaids colouring but also add a pop of colour. Our flowers were created by the amazing Eve Francesca Designs, using a display of white orchids, pampas grass and beautiful toffee, quicksand, cappuccino, and white o hara roses.
Tip: Flowers can be extremely expensive, so we focused on only a few key areas; the bridal bouquets, some long-stemmed quicksand and white o hara roses and ruscus for the table styling, and some beautiful garlands for our signage.
When designing our wedding invitations, I wanted to keep the design simple but also include some creativity. I put my sketching skills to the test and drew our venue, I liked the idea of having a line drawing of the venue so our guests could envisage where they will be celebrating with us on the day. The amazing Nikki Swift Designs created all our stationery for our big day, including the beautiful wedding invitations which included my hand-drawn sketch of Fairyhill. Consistency is important to me, so the invitation design was carried through onto the wedding day stationery, using the same sketch on the menus, along with personalised names and champagne wax seals.
We carried the same font and style from the invitations and menus onto the signage which was situated around the venue. I loved the idea of an acrylic sign for our seating plan which was a subtle nod to bringing a modern touch to a traditional setting. My favourite was our welcome sign which read It’s Friday I’m in Love, a song by the Cure which Ashley and I had played as we walked back up the aisle after the ceremony. Perfect for a Friday wedding!
Choosing favours for our guests was a tricky one, because we wanted to do something different (after being to so many of our friends’ weddings) and wanted something our guests would love as much as we do. So, we settled on mini cheese & olive jars, which went down a treat! Not only was it one of the things our guests remembered and complimented us on, but it was also the cheapest part of our day! We purchased the ingredients a couple of days before the wedding, along with some mini hexagon jars from Hobbycraft and a lovely name tag made by Nikki Swift Designs, and got to building the favours in the comfort of our own home.
Mature Cheddar Cheese (cubed)
Double Gloucester Cheese (cubed)
Pitted Green Olive
Tip: If you want to save money on your favours, get creative and make something like this yourself. We had over 100 guests and the favour ingredients cost us less that £25, what a bargain!
Sometimes being an Interior Designer can be hard because you focus so much on the smaller details rather than the bigger picture. I had sleepless nights about whether I should purchase charger plates or not (I know it’s so silly isn’t it!) but as an Interior Designer, these are the things I notice. Anyway, I decided against the charger plates, because let’s face it, I would be the only one who would notice (and Danielle!). We opted for a simple table centre, consisting of different-sized clear glass vases with roses, ruscus, and candles. Simple and beautiful!
Our table numbers were acrylic signs with the number and Welsh wording below, we thought this was fitting for a Welsh wedding.
We wanted our guests to remember the day, and nothing brings back memories better than beautiful scents. We added a few scented candles around the venue, including the tables so that our guests could relish in the seductive aromas of Amber and Musk. We chose the Coco Eros candle by That Coco Company.
Tip: You don’t have to have a scented candle on every table, if you have a luxury quality candle, the scent will be strong enough to just have one on every other table as we did. Don’t forget one on the table near the cards and guest book, a lovely touch for your guests as they enter and exit the wedding.
Our cake was made by The Cake Cwtch and was so delicious. We opted for a Salted caramel base tier, an acrylic middle tier filled with real roses, and a Coconut and Lime top tier. We had subtle gold flecks on the cake for a touch of elegance with some additional real flowers by Eve Francesca on the side and top.
I thought picking the dress was going to take a lot longer than it did, I had an idea in my mind of what I wanted but until I went to try them on, I just didn’t know how I would feel. I booked a day with my mum and sister to visit Laura May Bridal in Cardiff, I showed the lovely sales assistant some dresses I had seen, and she proceeded to pull out a selection. I had wanted something a bit flowy so I could feel comfortable on the day, but after trying on a few more fitted ones, I felt in a predicament as I liked them all. Finally, the bonus dress I tried on was the winner, it was an Enzoani dress from their new Blue by Enzoani collection and was a stunning embroidered fitted dress with an additional overskirt attachment. WHAT A DREAM! I had two dresses for the price of one, I knew I could walk down the aisle with the beautiful long train and overskirt, then later in the evening I can take it off and dance the night away.
Tip: You don’t need to spend a fortune on your veil unless you are particular about it, mine was a beautiful extra-long veil which I took off within minutes of the ceremony being over! It was a nice touch for the ceremony but was too much like hard work for the rest of the day!
I wouldn’t have been able to plan this wedding if it wasn’t for Danielle looking after the business. Planning a wedding can take up so much of your time (not to mention the hen weekend before and the honeymoon after!) so it wouldn’t have been possible without her there to support me.
LOCAL WELSH SUPPLIERS
Venue: Fairyhill, Gower
Stationery: Nikki Swift Designs
Flowers: Eve Francesca Designs
Cake: The Cake Cwtch
Dress: Enzoani at Laura May Bridal
Suits: Formal Hire Swansea
Makeup: Jessie Dallimore Makeup
Wedding scent: That Coco Company
Photography: Sophie Collins Photography