This relaxed couple had a beautiful English country garden wedding that was full of homemade touches…
How they met
“We went to school together and travelled on the same bus, although there was a few years age difference between us,” remembers Joanne. “We used to hang out in the same pubs and clubs together with friends, and it’s gradually grown from there.”
“Late in 2010 we were out shopping in Abergavenny and popped into a lovely jeweller, where we saw a beautiful engagement ring. Although we hadn’t seriously discussed engagement we both felt the time was right. The ring was bought and the next step was the proposal to make it official,” explains Joanne. “We went to London to celebrate my 40th birthday in January, and Fraser proposed at the hotel where we were staying. Although we had arranged it to be that weekend, we kept it a surprise for all our friends and family. Everyone was over the moon when we rang them, I remember the screaming and crying down the phone!”
The bride’s outfit
So many of Joanne’s friends and family thought her wedding gown was a vintage treasure, but it actually came from high street hero Phase Eight. “I didn’t want anything too formal, or princessy, and I loved the antique cream colour and matching bolero of my dress,” smiles Joanne. “On the day, as soon as I put it on with my make-up and hair complete, I knew it was perfect and would fit the theme of our wedding,” she smiles.
The groom’s outfit
To fit in with their relaxed country wedding style, the men’s suits were hired from Dyfed Menswear. “I’ll never forget how handsome he looked when I first saw him,” beams Joanne.
While some people might have thought this couple slightly barking for their choice of bridesmaid, we think it’s just adorable. “We decided that our precious dog Winifred Doris was going to be our bridesmaid and my sister was going to be the ‘dog handler’, explains Joanne. “We wanted her to play such an important role as she means so much to us. I made her a little neckerchief and lead made out of beautiful Liberty print material. I also made a matching bag, in which we placed the rings. She walked down the aisle behind me and my father – she was so well behaved and sat on a pew for some of the service.”
“This was set in a small quaint village church in Llanhennock, not far from our parents’ homes,” recalls Joanne. “The setting was very picturesque with an old red phone box and a little wooden stile close by. The church could only seat around 70 people, which made it ideal for us. The parish were also very accommodating at letting us decorate the exterior with bunting, flowers, signs, an old vintage bike, and, of course, letting Winifred Doris into the church, which all helped us create our dream theme for the day.”
The couple chose florist Monique Quinn to co-ordinate their beautiful blooms. “She was superb not only on the day, but also beforehand,” says Joanne. “When I first explained my vision she listened carefully, and interpreted it perfectly.”
“While I was stood outside a pet shop one day, I saw a beautiful cream Morris Minor convertible. I introduced myself to the owner and asked if he’d be willing to drive me to my wedding in it! Luckily, he didn’t think it was too zany a request, and agreed to do it!” smiles Joanne.
We’re bowled over by Joanne and Fraser’s incredible attention to detail with their wedding decor. “Everything to do with the day was either handmade by us or used personal bits of material, items from our home, or heirlooms to create a really unique touch,” remembers Joanne. “As I love arts and crafts, it was so important to me that I made all the stationery, bunting and finer details myself. These included creating the table numbers, the table plan, wish tree, memory table and each individual tag on the homemade cakes.”
“Naturally we wanted a holiday of a lifetime, something we could treasure, and look back on as a once-only experience,” explains Joanne. “For our first week we went to Dubai, followed by a week in the Maldives for pure tranquillity, beaches and relaxation.”