TNWC Real Brides: introducing Lisa and Tom’s Welsh country folk festival wedding
It’s time to introduce you to our second TNWC Real Bride of the year – her name is Lisa and she’s getting married to her Mr-to-be Tom this coming July in South Wales. As well as sharing some of her lovely wedding plans, we have another sweet love story today.
Over to Lisa…
I am and never have been one to be rushed, so when my long term partner Tom asked me to marry him back in June 2012 I knew that our engagement was going to be a long term affair. It’s not that I didn’t want to get married in a year, it’s just I always wanted a DIY wedding and knew that this would take time.
I know many other brides to be who would have easily managed everything that I am trying to do within a year but that just isn’t me. I felt as though I wanted to relish and savour my engagement and by making it last over two years I felt I was relieving some of the pressures and stresses that I was determined to avoid.
Tom and I are what you can call ‘childhood sweethearts’ having got together when we were 16 in school. Since then we have pretty much grown up together, going to University, moving to Cardiff, finding jobs, buying a house and just generally sharing our major life experiences.
I have now been engaged for over a year and it has been bliss, although not a lot has been done. I have purely just enjoyed thinking, discussing and thrashing ideas out with my other half and for this I am very grateful to have had the time to do so. We both have very similar ideas of what we want with the theme being a mixture of vintage, festival, fete, folk and country. We plan to do much of it ourselves with a very strong link to family and friends all tied together with our Welsh roots.
To start off the DIY theme I wanted to ask my four closest friends to be my bridesmaids by making them cards. I hadn’t told them that we were engaged yet or what the cards were about as I wanted it to be a surprise, I just said that I had been practising my homemade cards (I had made some Christmas cards before).
The design of the cards were very simple and said on the front “Will you be my Bridesmaid…” then on the inside it said “please?” I used vintage style rubber stamps that I bought from Cox and Cox and plain white cards and envelopes. This went down a treat with tears and shrieking, and they all loved the personal touch, plus I just really enjoyed making them!
One of the most difficult parts of the very little we have done so far in organising our wedding was sorting the venue. We already knew the site, which is Tom’s family’s field in an idyllic little village in South Wales called Cwmdu (Black Valley in English) which is opposite the country pub and chapel where we will have the ceremony.
When Tom and I were at Green Man Festival a few years earlier we both fell in love with Nordic Kata type tipis and so decided that this was what we wanted to house our wedding reception. It took a lot of scouring the net and e-mailing companies for quotes and to see if they would even consider it (as the location is so remote).
This is where I need to thank The Natural Wedding Company directory as for if it wasn’t for me stumbling upon the site in my searching I wouldn’t have found Cariad Canvas who also run Wedding Tipi. Being based in South Wales it made complete sense to approach this company and I’m so glad that we did.
We went to their open day in April and we were truly blown away as were both sets of parents who had previously been sceptical about the idea. So we have reserved these beautiful venues and although you could pretty much leave it at that I want lots of homemade details and touches to really make it ours.
I am very fortunate that before my mother became a textile teacher she was a wedding dress designer and maker and although it has been a long time since she made anyone’s wedding dress I couldn’t think of anyone who I’d like to do it more. And it’s not just that, she is making the bridesmaids, the men’s waistcoats and flat caps (it is a country theme) and her own!
This is a huge amount for one person so me and the bridesmaids will be helping with the beading and stitching as required and I am even more grateful for the extra time I have given to the planning stages. I am extremely lucky to have someone who has the skill to do this and it offers such freedom to the styles and patterns.
We are in the process of choosing the fabric at the moment as we have already decided on tweed for the men; we just need to find the right tweed and of course we are in discussions over my dress.
There is still a vast amount of work to be done and below is the list of some of what is outstanding:
- Organising catering – food is hugely important to us and we want it to fit our theme and also represent use as a couple, plus being locally produced and seasonal.
- Wedding cake – I have asked my Nan to do this, she is a mean baker. I don’t want a traditional wedding cake but more of a fete table top of Victoria sponges and chocolate squares and in my opinion she does make the best (not biased at all).
- Flowers – Tom’s mother is a keen gardener and has offered to grow the flowers for the whole occasion.
- Save the dates and invitations – I really want to do these myself and see it as a chance to get really creative, this will then also match the design for the order of service programmes and table designs.
- Wedding favours – this is something else I want to do myself, just need a few ideas.
- Decorations – I want lots of bunting and country style details, hopefully made by me and the gang! I’ve already started doing some of the bunting.
This is my initial list and I am sure that I have missed or not thought of a lot more! Either way I am excited and looking forward to getting stuck into the rest of the planning!
Images: (1 – 7) Brides own pictures
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