Last month on the 16th of September we celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary. We had a glorious time – we woke up in a castle in the prosecco region, had a glorious breakfast (including prosecco, of course) then spent the afternoon vineyard hopping, sampling a variety of the areas delights and taking in the stunning views. In other words, it was bliss.
The only ‘difficult’ part had been wondering what on earth to get Chris as a gift, the tradition for the first year being paper. In the end I commissioned a beautiful family picture from the fabulous Steve at Archibald Edwards as he’d designed all of our wedding stationary, including our table plan which is now hung in our hallway.
I was thrilled was the result, as was Chris when I gave him the gift, and it got me thinking about all our wedding suppliers. I didn’t start this website until July of 2018, nine months after our wedding. Mainly it’s for food and travel, but I’d like to take a moment to mention some of our wonderful wedding suppliers, who helped make our special day so very memorable.
Wedding Stationary – Archibald Edwards
Our beautiful invites were as I mentioned designed by Steve. We visited him and told him all about us and the things that mean something to us and where we were getting married. From this, he created gorgeous personalised invites that our guests told us were the most unique they’d ever seen! (You can see these illustrations below as they were on our table plan.)
The illustrations from our invites were then used, along with some new designs, for our table plan, place cards, table names, order of service and other bits and bobs. We loved how Steve’s designs were unique to our wedding and to us, and how friends and family said each time they looked at the invites they spotted something different. The cost was really reasonable considering what we were expecting, and especially taking into account they were personalised. It also helped Steve was so friendly and listened to exactly what we wanted – so I had no hesitation in going back to commission the gift!
The Venue – Matara Centre
We looked at A LOT of venues. Over forty. We were planning on having around 60 guests and wanted somewhere that wasn’t too small or too large. Originally, being Welsh I wanted to get married in my homeland – but unfortunately a lot of Welsh venues have minimum numbers on a Saturday and wouldn’t negotiate on this point, so it ruled a lot of places out.
Other places had hideous carpets, office style ceiling tiles, a beautiful ceremony room but no outdoor space, beautiful outdoor space but dark dingey ceremony rooms… The list of our complaints went on. Until we found Matara.
We loved the outdoor space for the ceremony, we loved having the whole house for the weekend so we would enjoy it with our loved ones, we loved the beautiful room for our wedding breakfast and party with its hilarium and fairy lights, the grounds for our photos, the food, the flexibility whenever we suggested anything… It was all perfect. Geoffrey, Holly and the team were fabulous too – they were super relaxed and friendly and incredibly helpful throughout the whole planning process.
I’ve heard so many nightmare stories about venues but ours was an absolute dream. Everything was more beautiful than I could have imagined and I still can’t get over it to this day!
The Dress – Suzanne Neville at The Mews, Clifton
Some have dreamt of their wedding day since they were small, planned their wedding dress… I had no clue. We found my dress on my first shopping trip with Mum and bridesmaids but being indecisive I didn’t purchase until three months later. I didn’t have the whole ‘everyone burst into tears and I just knew’ moment (does that really happen?!) but I’ll always remember Kerrie saying it was the dress that I beamed the most in.
The girls at The Mews were fabulous and the dresses were gorgeous, they gave us a glass of fizz and made the whole thing a pleasure. (Unlike other shops were one assistant made us feel quite uncomfortable and wasn’t particularly helpful and another shop where we liked the girls but not the dresses!) I’d definitely recommend a visit there to any future brides.
Make Up – Beauty by Emily Faith
I found Emily on Instagram and noticed she was the make up artist for a friends wedding. She’d done a beautiful job of catering to everyone in that bridal parties varied make up requirements, and I was very aware that Mum is not a fan of having her make up done and has had many disastrous trials at various department store counters… So I knew I needed to find someone amazing that could listen, and Emily was fantastic!
When I had my trial, she let me go and look at everything in different lights and then adapted it and I was thrilled. Similarly, Mum and the girls were all really happy with their make up on the day too. She even sorted Ro out with a bit of concealer!!
Emily was incredible and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend – she also does make up lessons and lash lifts, I’m just waiting for an excuse to treat myself!
Hair – Claire Patch
Due to a bereavement in the family my regular hairdresser was unable to commit to do my wedding hair, but I was lucky that one of Chris’ ushers had a sister who was a hairdresser and did both of his sisters weddings. I met with Claire a few months before my wedding and I knew she’d be great fun!
She was also brilliant at adapting my totally vague instructions (hair vine, volume, plait at the back) of what I wanted into a hair do I loved and am waiting for some sort of event to be able to go back to her and have it done again. Even if apparently it did look like a ‘cheese twist’ (Thanks Ro!).
Also have to mention the fab ladies at Britten Weddings, who did a veil consultation via email using only photos of my dress! I ordered an additional veil on their recommendation and I actually preferred the one they suggested.
The Cake – Rosie Shaw Cake Company
We spotted Rosie Shaw Cake Company at a number of wedding fayres and having tried some scrummy samples, arranged a consultation. Sarah was a delight – the cakes were incredible, and she’d even laid on an extra plate for Wills and Theo to try which was incredibly kind and a lovely touch.
She was our final consultation having been to one where the cake was fab but the lady seemed lovely but a little disorganised, the other where the lady was super organised but the cake was unimpressive, Sarah was the perfect mix of the lot!
Straight from the off I said no fruit cake or icing! Chris took some convincing, but I won him around on naked cake!! Indecisiveness and greediness meant our planned three layers became four and we opted for:
🍰 Red Velvet
🍰 Champagne & Strawberries
🍰 Chocolate, Salted Caramel & Peanut Butter 😋
I love the mismatched layers and gorgeous flowers from @emerald_and_jade. Oh and my bestie @jen.on.tour won the light up letters behind in an Insta competition Sadly I didn’t actually eat any on the day – no idea how that happened, but luckily it really froze well!!
Flowers – Emerald and Jade
I know very little about flowers, but for some crazy reason Chris was happy to let me take the lead on this element of the wedding (which was worrying because as much as we’re usually harmonious, when it comes to colours and designs that’s generally not the case).
I met Fiona of @emerald_and_jade at a Wedding Fair and gave her the (vague) brief of ‘beautiful seasonal pinks, creams, greens, nice and bright with nothing wishy washy’ and she 100% came up with the goods! 😍 She put up with lots of random emails, and helped create my vision when I really wasn’t that articulate in conveying it! I still know nothing about flowers, but I adored ours.
Fiona has now moved to France, so I feel super lucky to have had her do the flowers for our wedding before she made the big move. You can follow her adventures here and she’s also soon to be seen on ‘A New Life in the Sun’!
Prop Hire – Elizabeth Weddings
I managed to source a few bits second hand (sequin table clothes anyone?!) but when trying to pull the last of my ideas together I spotted the fab Liz Wong of Elizabeth Weddings on instagram, and not only did she had a fab name but she had some beautiful gold frames that I thought would be idea for our table names.
I got in touch and although she doesn’t normally hire items she was able to provide me with the frames, tea light holders and some cut glass bud vases all of which helped finish the room. It wouldn’t have been the same without her finishing touches!
Music – Just 3 Harmony Trio
I first heard the lovely Just3 while walking past the Tobacco Factory one evening have been for a pizza (shock). We were planning to head home but Mum and I were enjoying what we could hear so ventured in (dragging my dad and cousin) to further investigate. Described as ‘Pitch perfect, rapturous vocal harmony trio singing Soul, Motown and modern pop classics’, I loved the Motown/nineties/naughties combo and once engaged promptly dragged Chris along for a listen.
He was sold too, and we were lucky that they were available for our whole day, singing me down the aisle with a specially reworked version of Can’t Hurry Love which still gives me goose bumps. You can have a listen to that, and their version of ‘And then I kissed her’ in our wedding trailer below. If you’d like to go and see them you can follow them on facebook for details of their next gig – we’re planning to go along to their next Tobacco Factory performance!
Evening Food – Ffwrnes Pizza
As I’ve said many times – I love pizza! And Chris does too (one of the many reasons I married him) so pizza was the natural choice for our evening catering. We actually originally booked another supplier for our wedding, but when we went to watch a rugby match at Depot in Cardiff and tried a Ffwrnes pizza I wondered if we’d made a mistake… Their pizza was incredible!! And all I could think was the pizza we’ve booked isn’t as good as this.
At risk of losing our original deposit, I contacted them to get a quote and unfortunately it just worked out too pricey having already paid so much for the first pizza people. But fate stepped in and said ‘you shall have the best pizza at your wedding’ – our original guys cancelled on us and thankfully Ffwrnes were still available ! Phew!
We had loads of compliments about our pizza (totally not surprising) but I didnt actually get to try any until breakfast as I was off my food on the evening! Shocker!! I urge you to go along to their new set up in Cardiff on the top floor of the market… I went along recently and it was incredible!
And not only did it taste amazing – it was an absolute bargain, with this Quattro Stagioni fully loaded with artichokes, mushrooms, olives, prosciutto crudo, basil and extra virgin olive oil costs only £7! And only £1 for a San Pellegrino?! In Bristol the soft drink alone would have cost £2.50. I just need to convince them to come over the dark side of the bridge…
Fireworks – Coates
We tried to keep the fireworks a secret by telling everyone using the sparklers excuse to get everyone outside.
That wasn’t too much of a big deal though because the display they put on was incredible, and lots of people told us on the night and since then that it’s the best display they’ve seen. Follow them on Facebook to find their next public display, and you can watch some of the fireworks for yourself in our video further up this page.
So that was a bit (a lot?!) more epic than I intended – and there are still some people I have left out! Hopefully you got the gist that we had the best day, and we’ve got huge love for all our suppliers (not just the ones we’ve mentioned), all our family and friends and of course each other – as the day wouldn’t have happened otherwise ha 🤣
Thank you for reading… oh and you need any help with your wedding planning – please ask someone else!!
Planning one wedding was more than enough for me!! Kidding. Well kind of…
Lizzie (and Chris) xxx
p.s. had to give one more mention, to Owen and Charis of O&C Photography, our wedding photographers, as they took the majority of these images.
They were incredible on the day, not only taking wonderful pictures which we will forever treasure but also the little things like helping with buttonholes and getting me into my dress (Charis that is – not Owen!) They were more like friends and guests than they were photographers, totally putting us at ease – we were super lucky to find them.