Chris and I met back in 2007, when a dear friend played cupid. We bought a house and moved in together in 2013, and Chris proposed on holiday the following year. He was adamant that the wedding should be a year exactly from that day - so, the date was set, and as soon as we returned from holiday we booked the venues.
The wedding ceremony was held at the rather imposing looking Cardiff City Hall, a beautiful Edwardian building from 1904. We've attended weddings there as guests in the past. and knew that the St David's Room within the building would be an elegant choice, as well as being big enough to hold all 70 of our guests.
After the ceremony we held a reception in the nearby seaside town of Penarth, at a church hall also from around the turn of the century. The hall is Grade II listed (of architectural importance) and we've attended many events there over the years. On arrival at the hall, Pimms was served, along with canapes. The little Mr & Mrs stirrers were ordered from Ebay, and the bride patiently stuck the stickers on each one.
Seating was arranged traditional style, in long tables, and it meant we could have 'sharing' starters for the wedding breakfast. These were enormous slate platters of our favourite kinds of food, including olives, cold meats, falafel, Spanish omelette, stuffed peppers - absolutely delicious! We put bottles of wine on the tables for people to help themselves to, and we stocked a bar and hired someone to play barmaid. Being in Wales, one of the main course options was lamb of course. The caterers, Fresh Food Events, really did such a wonderful job. We had so many compliments on how good the food was. In the evening, they supplied a spectacular fruit platter to accompany a tower of cheese we'd ordered from Cenarth in West Wales, and we had lots of olives, crackers, chutneys and such to serve alongside.
I found myself getting annoyed with questions about 'the theme' and 'colour scheme' because I was adamant that we didn't really have either. I wanted the 'theme' to just be us and our shared interests. Inevitably though, our interests of influence were vintage ones, and so the day ended up being a mixture of Deco touches alongside '50s Americana.
The table plan was typed out in a Deco style font, and pinned to a noticeboard within a gold frame. Menus were also typed up in the same font and laminated (thanks Mum!) and distributed around the tables. Place cards were hand written on luggage tags, and each female guest had a vintage brooch pinned to their tag. I spent a year collecting vintage brooches from car boot sales, charity shops and table-top sales.
We kept decorations simple and minimal, with jars of rose petals and mini whisky bottles filled with ivory ostrich feathers, all tied with ribbon and decorated with vintage clips and brooches. There were also photoframes with slogans, or lyrics from the groom's songs written about the bride, and a display of family wedding photos. My sister-in-law had swagged white fabric around the hall to hide noticeboards and things like that, and we also tied up bunches of giant fake roses and draped fairy lights everywhere.
For dessert, we served the wedding cake. This was a magnificent looking Deco tower, created by one of my sister's neighbours after I sent her a picture from Pinterest. Isn't it gorgeous?
The Best Man made us cry with laughter with a comic song he'd penned for the occasion, recalling amusing childhood memories of his brother the groom. The music continued with the groom's speech being in the form of a newly written song for his new bride, a really wonderful wedding gift. There wasn't a dry eye in the room!
Music & Entertainment
With the groom being a musician by profession, the music at our wedding was a very important part of the day. I walked in to the ceremony room to 'Hawaiian Wedding Song' by Elvis Presley, and we signed the register to 'Be My Life's Companion' by the Mills Brothers. Walking out we had 'Sweet Inspiration' by the Sweet Inspirations. During the drinks reception and meal we had Big Band Swing music playing in the background, and then in the evening the groom took to the stage, followed by a rockabilly band, the John Lewis Trio. To end the night we had the DJ from the Penarth Soul Club play a mix of soul and rock and roll. It was great to see so many people on the dancefloor, and people were also entertained with a 'photobooth' in the next room, with lots of silly props. The atmosphere was wonderful, joy was in the air.
The Bride's favourite part of the day
Walking to the hotel at the end of the day, just Chris and I, at 2am, hand-in-hand along the deserted streets with a little mist unfurling under the street lamps. I'd put on a faux fur shrug for warmth and was carrying my shoes, and Chris was still looking dapper in his lovely suit. It was silent, and I felt like we'd stepped back in time to the 1920s!
The Groom's favourite part of the day, in response to the Bride asking
"Seeing you walk down the aisle with a smile on your face!"
So there you go, that's our wedding in a nutshell! Sorry for so many photos! Next time I'll post about where we saved money and what we splurged on. Please feel free to email me if you are planning a wedding and have any specific questions.
Bridal car: Dragon Taxis
Caterers: Fresh Food Events