Rebecca & Ryan’s intimate wedding at Nantwen in Pembrokeshire is totally the kind of wedding for you if you are looking for something that breaks the rules of what a wedding day should be. Nantwen which is a really gorgeous small venue in Pembrokeshire near Newport. It also happens to be one of my favourite places in the country to be so I was dead chuffed to be shooting a wedding there. Rebecca and Ryan decided to get ready together in the morning, to only have the closest of their family members at the ceremony, to go to a couple of lovely places after the ceremony for photographs and then to have a really nice meal in the afternoon at a lovely little restaurant in Newport as celebration.
I’ll let Rebecca & Ryan tell you the rest of the story at the bottom of the page .
Tell me your story
Rebecca: We met when I was 17 and Ryan was 18, when a mutual friend invited me to go out and then stay at hers one night. We hit it off straight away and were friends in no time. Within a month we’d gone from strangers, to friends, to best friends and then we started dating. Ryan proposed to me on the 10th of July 2016 ( we got married exactly 11 months later) after 4 years, a move to Plymouth, a move back home to Wales and lots of life stuff in between.
Ryan: I had the ring for just over a week before I actually proposed. I’d even taken it to Hereford with us as the only day I could pick it up from the jewellers was the day before Rebecca’s sisters wedding. It was so difficult to keep it to myself, I couldn’t help showing it to Rebecca’s mum and siblings.
Rebecca: I had a feeling something was going on as I kept getting lots of “It will be you next!” comments that weekend. I’m so glad he waited a week though as I couldn’t imagine stealing my sister and sister-in-laws thunder like that! Ryan: I’d decided that I wanted to propose in Bute park in Cardiff because I’d found a spot that I really liked which was full of flower beds and pretty secluded. That didn’t end up going to plan though! As we were walking towards the garden we took a short cut through some arching trees and I decided there and then that I couldn’t wait anymore.
Rebecca: I was walking along in front with my cup of coffee completely oblivious when I felt Ryan tug on my hand. He pulled me in for a cwtch and a kiss and I thought it was so sweet I said “I love you”, to which Ryan replied “I love you too…do you want to know how much?” and then proceeded to get down on one knee. I was so shocked I literally span away from him before remembering I should probably say yes and put him out of his misery before I broke down.
Ryan: Considering she was so shocked she didn’t burst out into loads of tears like i expected. Instead she just shed a single tear.
Rebecca: I was saving the other one until we got married haha!
What made you choose your venue and locations?
Rebecca: We’d said from the start that we only wanted a small wedding, and when we started looking I found Nantwen online and loved the idea of an elopement style wedding. After lots of searching and nothing else seeming to come close to Nantwen we decided to book a viewing. One look around the venue and we both instantly knew it was perfect. The owners Daniel and Jemma are absolutely lovely and if you’re looking for somewhere cosy and secluded to stay or get married we couldn’t recommend them enough. Jemma even made our lovely wedding rings.
What made you choose your outfits? What did you love about them?
Rebecca: I found my floral headband way before I found a dress. I’d ordered it online from Rock N Rose and when it arrived I knew I had to save it for our wedding day. I looked at a couple of different dresses but couldn’t seem to settle on one. I knew I didn’t really want a white dress and I definitely didn’t want anything too showy or ‘princess’ like. I spent ages trying to find something more bohemian/vintage inspired and after scouring ASOS I found the Voyage maxi dress from The Jetset Diaries and knew I had to have it! Once it arrived I took it into a local sewing shop to have the hemline brought up at the front and some more alterations around the shoulders and back, and after that it was perfect. With alterations my dress came to £205 so not bad at all. My shoes I picked up in New Look, and for jewellery I just wore my everyday earrings…very glam I know.
Ryan: We both knew we didn’t want to spend loads on our outfits, so I went to my old faithful Next and immediately found the suit I wanted. After a few try-ons in the changing room to work out sizing I was pretty much ready to go; all I had to do was pick out a tie and shirt. After a few minutes going through the tie selection I found a snazzy little floral number that I really liked and Rebecca approved of because it matched the hairband she’d chosen. I picked out a white shirt to finish it off and knew I had some brown shoes and a belt to match at home, so that was my outfit done!
What made you choose your decor and styling?
Rebecca: There’s not really a lot to say about this as we didn’t have any decor or styling to speak of. We’d ordered a gorgeous cake from Jemma at Nantwen which she brought over on the morning of our wedding day, and Daniel brought us some lovely little jars with flowers from the gardens to decorate the windows and table with. We did order a cake topper from Hanmade Designs on Etsy and that was pretty much it in regards to decor.
Tell me about your Ceremony including any readings, any special moments and your vows. Did you tailor your vows?
Rebecca: We knew the whole day was going to be quite laid back, so we didn’t spend too long agonising over vows. We just went through the selection sent to us by the registrar and chose the ones we thought were most suited to us. We didn’t choose any readings but the registrar did say a few words. Honestly, its a bit of a blur; I just remember feeling Ryan’s thumb stroke over mine as we held hands, and hoping I didn’t stumble over the vows too badly.
Ryan: Rebecca didn’t stumble over her words at all but I might have once or twice. Honestly the whole day was amazing, laid back and very memorable.
Did you have any entertainment (day & evening)?
Rebecca: Nope, we were our own entertainment haha! Larissa did take us to Pentre Ifan for some very windy photos and Cwm yr Eglwys beach for a quick paddle in the waves. We then went on to Blas at Fronlas in Newport for a lovely meal and a chat.
Was there any special music on the day? What was your first dance track?
Rebecca: Our music was actually chosen for us by Larissa. She asked us to imagine we were in the kitchen cooking together and tell her what music would be playing and how we would dance. After putting our heads together we came up with this list: Jason Mraz- I Won’t Give Up Ed Sheeran – How Would You Feel David Bowie – Heroes Blue Swede – Hooked on a Feeling Rupert Holmes – Escape (Piña Colada Song) Fred Astaire – I Won\’t Dance (Step Up 3 Remix) Kings of Leon – Eyes on You Luis Fonsi – Despacito Kings of Leon – Molly’s Chambers The Turtles – Happy Together Larissa chose Happy Together and Heroes for us to dance to. It was so lovely to go out into the gardens at Nantwen and wait for the music to start playing without any idea what songs she had picked for us.
What was your favourite part of the day and why?
Rebecca: I loved the whole day, but my favourite parts were probably spending the morning getting ready together and dancing in the garden. We’d decided pretty early on that we wanted to spend the whole weekend together, so that meant no worrying about hiding away from each other in the morning. Ryan actually helped me do pin my hair and buttoned the back of my dress for me. I also loved seeing the little looks on our parents faces throughout the day, there was so much love and pride there and it makes me glad that the day was something just for the five of us.
Ryan: I loved the whole the whole day but my favourite part was at the end when everyone had gone home and Rebecca and I had our dance, the way she looked at me, I couldn’t wait to spend the rest of my life with her.
If you could pass on any words of wisdom to a couple planning their marriage and wedding day, what would they be and is there anything you would do differently?
Just try to relax, hard as it may seem. Also remember that its YOUR day and no one else’s, as long as you’re both happy with your choices do what you feel is best.
What was it like working with Larissa Joice Photography?
We’d decided to book Larissa after seeing her photography online. There is something so beautiful and light in Larissa’s photography, every image has an ethereal quality that we knew we wanted for our wedding photographs. The photographs she took for us are completely gorgeous and we love every single one; the personalised photo box is a lovely keepsake and we’re so glad we opted for it. It was honestly so easy to work with Larissa, she has seemingly unending patience and a warm and inviting personality. We were all quite anxious about having our photographs taken as there were so few of us there it would have been easy to feel like we were under a microscope. However, Larissa made it so natural that half the time we forgot that she was there as a our photographer instead of a guest. We would recommend Larissa to anyone searching for a high quality photographer who is also a joy to work with. Thank you Larissa, for helping to make our day as delightful as it was.
Venue – http://nantwen.co.uk
Rings – http://www.sladejewellery.co.uk/
Dress: https://thejetsetdiaries.com via http://www.asos.com (No longer available)
Cake Topper: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/HanmadeDesignsUK
Nantwen ~ Pembrokeshire Wedding Photography