Pete and Sylvia’s woodland wedding in Wales was one those downright magical, down to earth, warmth & joy filled, chilled, filled with family & friends, yet intimate weddings that you tend to only come across in blog posts of destination wedding photographer’s websites. I always wondered if a wedding like this could really exist or it’s just the power of telling a story online; can a couple really get away from the pressures that often surround weddings these days, and can they get the family’s full support to create a day that truly makes them feel at ease and happy? The answer was obvious that day: yes, it can.
It rained all day but under the trees’ shelter it somehow didn’t matter. People were outside, having a drink and a chat, all smiles, genuinely happy to be there for Pete & Sylvia’s day. Rain and mud were two things I hadn’t imagined for it, as I had been dreaming about it for months, but I soon realised that I had been trapped into this “perfectionist” world of weddings more than I had thought. This moment, in the woods, so relaxed for everyone, was the real feeling that I wanted to experience at weddings. Sylvia herself never complained one bit that her shoes and dress would get muddy, her and her bridesmaids happily spent about 20 minutes together in the rain, laughing and posing for photos before the meal, I just couldn’t believe my eyes. Thank you, girls! And Pete, Sylvia, your whole wedding was like a breath of fresh air for me and I couldn’t be happier that I got to be your photographer!
P.S. Their wedding has also been published on the Rock My Wedding website shortly after!
P.P.S. Special thanks go to Father Anthony Beer from St. Teilo’s Church for a great service and appreciation of photography – he was our 2nd breath of fresh air that day.
The day, in Pete & Sylvia’s words:
“Our wedding took place in St Teilo’s, a small church hidden in the trees by Ogmore river, South Wales. A church used to a congregation of around 20 was packed with 95 wet guests. The bride arrived with her 6 bridesmaids in her dads beloved van come camper decked out with ribbon (the same van we took around Cornwall for our honeymoon). A mile down the road lies a woodland which hosted our local reception which had the feel of being somewhere Mediterranean (despite the pouring rain). Often used for LARP (live action role play) events and the occasional filming (Lady Chatterley’s lover), we centered our DIY wedding around the main barn with our added marquees. A groom from Devon and a Bride from South Wales and an army of friends and family came together in the week prior to make, decorate and create the perfect location. We chose an Italian theme based on the bride’s heritage, our love for Italy and an ode to our proposal location. This shone through in the form of the antipasti, the wedding breakfast, the 3-tiered Ferrero Roche cake, gelato and wood fired pizza (and of course loads of wine, prosecco and aperol). Within a week the barn was transformed from a home of cobwebs and dust to a magical and intimate setting for a wedding banquet and a busy dance floor. Decked with fairy lights and ivy from our own garden, willow decorations made by the bride’s mother and miles of hessian and white lace bunting courtesy of the mother of the groom. The surrounding woodland followed suit with paths laid out with bunting festoon lights and hand painted signs by the groom. Guests were welcomed with Prosecco, a bar made from a converted caravan (called Margot) serving our favourite Italian drinks and barrels of both Hay and Cob ale made by a local brewer with a help in hand from the groom and the bride’s father. The table centrepieces were, like the bouquets, the button holes, church flowers and the church arch all done by the mother of the bride and her florist friends. With a limoncello for each of the guests they were served their pasta dishes. Whilst the barn left little room for movement it provided a very warm atmosphere. The three-tiered Ferrero Roche cake, trialed at the previous Christmas was made by the bride’s sisters and mother and was served with a selection of ice creams and sorbet from the families’ ice cream bicycle. The DIY continued into the games fort where the bride’s sister made and painted the coconut shy, the photo booth and other fete games. The rain did nothing to dampen the spirits and brought everybody closer together (under the shelter!) The tables and chairs were cleared away and made way for a dance floor that remained busy from the band’s sound check through to the first dance and the bride and groom’s last (drunken) dance on the bar. Guests had the option to camp within the woodland where ever they could pitch their tents whilst the bride and groom and the bride and groom’s parties could retire to the 4 yurts a stone’s throw away from the barn.”
Venue: Candleston campsite
Mobile bar: The Roaming Caravan Co
Dress: Scarlett by Suzanne Neville
Hair: Blaise Llewelyn (Marooned hair cutters)
Makeup: Dominique Young
Flowers: The flower hive (Eva) + Bride’s mum
Cake: Bride’s mum
Caterer: Tracey Sanderson (Vale catering)
Suits: Brown tweed
Bridesmaids dresses: Asos (TFNC)