A very warm welcome to Tesni and Ryan who are kindly sharing their stunning Carreglwyd Estate wedding in Wales with us. Their day was a beautiful reflection of them as a couple, with nods to family, the fire service and their bohemian style. So gorgeous!
From the vibrant colour scheme to the DIY wedding decorations, their day was a dream. I really love all of the wonderful outfit choices, the amazing cake table and the sunset photos. Wow.
Thanks ever so much to Amy and Omid Photography for sharing these absolutely beautiful images of this very special celebration indeed.
Carreglwyd Estate Wedding
Ever since Tesni was a child she had dreamt of going to Sydney Australia. After 2 years together, Ryan decided this is where a future proposal had to take place.
Ryan planned an elaborate treasure hunt for Tesni’s 22nd birthday where he told her that the following year he’d be whisking her away to Sydney! Before leaving for Australia he got in touch with one of Tesni’s favourite local jewellery makers Angela Evans, and spoke to her about crafting a ring.
He knew that Tesni wanted an opal, and following a chat with Angela they decided that as Australia is where 95% of the world’s opals are mined, that he could get a stone whilst they were out in Australia. In the meantime, Angela produced a single silver band so that Ryan had something to use for the actual proposal.
During the planning stages of the Sydney trip, Ryan also reached out to the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb, as he knew this was something Tesni wanted to do. He had also decided this was where he wanted to propose.
Flash forward to March 15th 2019. He got down on one knee at the top of the Sydney harbour bridge (Tesni obviously said yes!). Over the next few days, they visited local opal dealers and cutters, before finding the perfect stone at Australian Opal cutters. The stone was then brought back over to the UK where Tesni and Ryan worked with Angela to come up with the perfect ring.
Our vision was quite simple. We wanted a day that was predominantly outside (including the ceremony), at a venue where we and our guests could camp, and for the whole day to feel almost like a mini-festival. Our main concern was bringing all of our friends and family together to celebrate, eat good food and dance!
The only other thing we wanted was for the day to feel as unique to us as it could.
Our budget was established after visiting our first potential wedding venue. The venue and food alone would have cost us £20,000. From here we quickly decided we wanted the whole day (including clothing, décor etc) to cost between £15,000 – £16,000.
Carreglwyd Estate, Llanfaethlu, Anglesey.
Our main priority for our wedding was to have an outside ceremony. During 2019 the laws on outside weddings were a lot more stringent and there weren’t many venues that offered outdoor ceremonies for an affordable price. There also weren’t many venues that felt like us.
We came across Carreglwyd Estate by complete accident, in a desperate last-minute Google to find a venue that spoke to us. When we first visited back in July 2019 we instantly fell in love and knew this was the venue for us.
Nestled in the middle of Anglesey, surrounded by gorgeous woodland and with a beautiful boat house and pontoon situated on the centre of a large open lake, it is everything we could have wished for! In addition to this it had two barns, one for the sit-down meal and another for the party, an outdoor patio area and ample fields for camping!
We also adored that every time we visited the venue it always seemed to be sunny (even if it was raining back home!) plus as soon as you got out of the car all you could hear is bird song. It was so peaceful and the perfect venue for us.
Another amazing thing about this venue was that we could have access for 5 days! Meaning we had 2 days before to set up, the day of the wedding and then 2 days after to take down! This was a godsend as it meant we didn’t need to rush around; we could relax and enjoy the whole long weekend.
The Ceremony & Music
We got married in the boat house which was situated on the lake. All of our guests were sat on a pontoon which was attached to the boat house, so different to some weddings. Tesni and the bridal party actually walked towards the guests rather than down an aisle.
The ceremony was kicked off with Does Your Mother Know by Abba and with one of the best men playing the part of ‘flower man’ wearing a flower crown and dancing his way towards the guests, spreading petals and dried flowers as he went. (This was something that only the immediate wedding party, registrars and photographer were aware of, so it was a nice surprise for all the family and friends!)
The bridal party then entered to a cover of The Book Of Love by Peter Gabriel. We’re really blessed to be surrounded by such talented and generous friends, as one of the bridesmaids (Katie) and her partner/one of the best men (Josh) offered to record a cover of the song for us as we wanted an acoustic version sang by a woman. It was such a lovely personal touch to our day, and so nice that we have that song to keep forever.
For the ceremony, we decided to write our own vows as we both wanted to make the day as personal and unique as we could. I (Tesni) spent most of the vows in tears, but again it’s so nice to have written our own vows which we can keep.
As we sat down to sign the register an acoustic version of Dancing In The Moonlight played, and we had Tesni’s grandmother and Celyn’s sister as witnesses. We then finished the ceremony by leaving the boat house to Praise You by Fat Boy Slim.
First dance: Earth Angel (Will you be mine?) – Marvin Berry, The Starlighters
Ryan has always loved Back to the Future and frequently sings this song whilst pottering about the house and so it felt essential to have this as our first dance.
First song after the first dance: Rasputin – Majestic and Boney M. Great song to get all the different generations dancing as they either know the original or the modern version!
Bride Outfit 1: Shiloh dress by Watters. From: Along Came Eve, Chester.
This was one of the first dresses I’d seen a picture of and adored its bohemian feel but also its simplicity. It ended up being the last dress that I tried, and I just remember falling in love with the floaty skirt and how comfortable I felt.
I also had the realisation that any dress I’d tried on prior to this I wanted to chop and change, whereas this one felt perfect. I didn’t want to change anything. It then felt like fate when they told me that they could sell me that exact dress at a discounted rate as I could have it as an ex-display!
Shoes: Suede tan lace-up boots by White Stuff.
My number one priority for the wedding was that everyone was comfortable, and this applied to myself as well. I wanted to be able to keep dancing all night, be able to run, jump and cartwheel (which I did later in the night). So for me my footwear needed to be comfy, but I also wanted them to be something that represented me and that I’d wear again so what better shoes than tan suede boots!
I also had my trusty tan suede jacket with me for the evening, but because it was so warm I didn’t get a chance to wear it. It made for cute décor on the top table chairs though!
Early on I realised that a veil wasn’t for me, so I opted for flowers in my hair! But I wanted something that I could cherish and possibly hand down one day. With this in mind, I took to Etsy to find a part faux, part dried flower crown and came across Flower Crown Magic who helped me create a custom flower crown inspired by my colour scheme and flowers.
Outfit 2: In the evening I had a white playsuit to change into, nothing fancy, just because I loved my dress and I know what I can be like so I wanted to protect it as much as I could!
Groom Outfit 1: Marc Darcy – Slim fit Dion blue three-piece suit with a burgundy tie and pocket square.
Initially, I wanted a burgundy suit, but whilst looking I came across this suit online and loved the colour! We ordered it to see whether it worked with our colour scheme and it went perfectly! We then decided to buy the same suit for any immediate male family members, but we choose to pair it with a tan waistcoat which matched the best men, this way I was the only one in all blue.
We paired the suit with tan brogues and a tan belt, to match the earthy/autumnal tones of our colour scheme.
Outfit 2: North Wales Fire and rescue service – undressed uniform.
As I am a retained firefighter, I really wanted an opportunity to wear the undressed uniform that you can request from the service for special occasions. We decided I would get married in the blue suit that I loved and then change into the undressed uniform for our first dance and evening photos. This way we got photos of me wearing both.
Our photographers were Amy and Omid. We first came across their work back in 2019 and fell in love with their documentary style and vintage film-like colouring. We also loved that they were local and that they both would be there on our wedding day.
As part of the package with them, we got an engagement photoshoot which was such a brilliant experience! It meant that we got to know Omid before the big day and also meant we got used to being in front of a camera! When we received our engagement shoot photos we were even more certain that these were the photographers for us. Omid had captured such beautiful moments and all the images were gorgeous!
Come the big day both Amy and Omid were fantastic! They were brilliant at coordinating our families and friends, they didn’t force any weird poses, they let us and our guests be themselves and in doing so have captured people’s personalities perfectly. But also encapsulated magical moments that we’ll cherish forever!
Amy and Omid’s photographic knowledge is unbeatable. They know how to curate the most beautiful photos by utilising natural light and the surrounding colours. Some of our most loved photos are thanks to Omid, as he decided to capture some evening shots at golden hour, and my god these photos are breathtaking. To this day people still comment on how beautiful our photos were. They were like something out of a film!
The Styling & Decor
For the décor, we wanted to incorporate several elements; fire service, family and bohemian. Fire service – we achieved this by having some hoses and branches and had them dotted around the venue.
Family – we wanted to try to represent family members that couldn’t be there through our décor, we achieved this by sourcing old family oil lamps and bottles. Cleaned some and upcycled others and used them as key features of our décor. Also, we found a toolbox which used to belong to Ryans Taid (grandfather in Welsh) which we used as a ‘post box’ for our cards. We loved these elements of our décor as it felt like past family members were part of our day.
Bohemian – to achieve this we used a lot of dry flowers and faux foliage. Tesni also had collected lots of patterned fabric over the years and so these were incorporated in the décor and helped create a cosy feel. We sourced a variety of fairy lights, festoon lights and LED candles to make the areas feel warm and inviting. To add to the bohemian feel we used most of our candle/tea light holders from home and plastered them around the venue.
As Ryan is a firefighter we wanted to integrate this into the cake in some capacity. So we decided to get a four-tier cake but we chose not to have them stacked. Instead, we had each tier on a different hieght log, had each cake decorated with fire-coloured flowers. I then made a firefighter wedding cake topper out of polymer clay and placed him on a ladder between two of the tiers. We then had a bride on top of one of the tiers, so it looked as if the firefighter was going to save the bride. Another way we choose to integrate the Fire Service into the cake is we choose to cut our cake with a fire service axe!
Tier 1: Gluten-free chocolate and salted caramel
Tier 2: Butterscotch and white chocolate
Tier 3: White Chocolate and vanilla
Tier 4: Chocolate and salted caramel
Cupcakes: Gluten-free/vegan chocolate and vanilla cupcakes
For the flowers as the bridesmaids were all wearing a different colour, I decided I wanted my bouquet to reflect their colours and their bouquet to reflect what I was wearing. This meant that mine was filled with autumnal colours and theirs were lighter and aerier. One thing I stressed in all my florist appointments was that I wanted them to look wild/natural and filled with a mixture of both real and dried flowers/foliage – Sandra didn’t disappoint!
Colours – earthy autumnal tones – mustard, rust, burgundy, teal, forest green, charcoal grey and petrol blue.
We created all the signs at our wedding from reclaimed wood. They’re all made from wooden pallets which people gave to us or we sourced for free! Ryan did a brilliant job of assembling them and Tesni used her artistic skill to decorate/paint them.
Confetti. This is one of those things that we didn’t realise how expensive it was until we started planning our wedding! I choose to try and save some money by making our own. This ended up being one of my favourite bits about our wedding! Over the course of a year, I collected petals from a range of places such as family/friends gardens, places we visited, flowers we’d received as gifts etc. I would then dry them out in the microwave or oven and store them in glass jars. This led to our confetti being a mix of large and small petals and being extremely colourful!
From scouring through Pinterest Tesni fell in love with the idea of having a circular hoop, adorned in dried flowers as a seating plan. To achieve this we decided to create our own rather than purchase one. We created our seating plan by purchasing a plastic hula-hoop, filling it with sand, spraying it gold and then creating a base out of a piece of wood. Tesni then used some dry flowers and foliage to decorate and used string and small pegs to suspend the table plan. We also used other hula-hoops sprayed dark green and wrapped in faux foliage to create easy instal/take down décor for the light fittings.
To create our place names we went down to the local beach and collected a stone for each person. Tesni then hand-painted each stone.
Wedding favours. We purchased sunflower seeds and decanted them into tiny bottles, and wrapped these along with a tea light and a custom roll of love heart sweets in some velvet fabric. We made sure we created extra of these and handed them out to our suppliers at the end of the day as a small token of thanks.
We’re only just now in the process of planning our honeymoon. We’re hoping to go to Banff in Canada and to Disney World Orlando! We did have some form of a mini-moon as we went stayed in a spa in Llangollen for a night before taking part in a Tough Mudder!
The morning of the wedding I (Tesni) got up early with some of the bridesmaids, made a cup of tea and went and sat down by the lake before the chaos of the day began. It was such a magical moment that I’ll treasure forever.
The speeches were all amazing! Ryan is usually a relatively quiet person, but he wowed everyone with a hilarious speech. He’d been practising in secret in his shed for weeks!
We got a member of the family to record the day on a VHS camera. This was a great way to capture different aspects of the day!
A large crowd of us got together to do cartwheels on the patio. It was hilarious if not slightly dangerous!
Capturing our evening photos with Omid at golden hour. This was magical!
Advice For Other Couples
Sounds cliché but do what’s best for you both as a couple. It’s so easy to get bogged down with making sure everyone else is happy, but you need to make sure you’re both happy. It’s your day.
Make the most of the planning and the day itself! It’s so easy to lose yourself in it all, but try to ground yourself and try to make as many core memories as you can.
No matter what happens you’ll feel like something could have gone better/you should have spent more time with certain people. Let these feelings go. From speaking to other couples that have recently gotten married, everyone feels the same, so please don’t dwell on it. I guarantee you something that you think wasn’t perfect, a guest will barely have noticed!
Save some of your cake if you can! We saved a large slice of our cake by freezing it when we got home, and we recently ate it on our first wedding anniversary. It was a nice throwback for us both and tasted just as good as it did on the day!
You’ll want to re-live this day for the rest of your life so make sure you fully immerse yourself in the day! Don’t sweat the small stuff just enjoy the day!
Leave your phone in your room. We both did this and it was the best thing ever to be totally disconnected. The best bit is, anyone that you would want to message or call is already there so you don’t need to worry!
Get a wedding website! We decided to use the site With Joy which was amazing! It’s totally free and you can put all the extra info about accommodation, taxis etc on there, as well as FAQs, which saves you having to get this info printed! It even keeps track of your RSVPs and dietary requirements so you can just forward the data onto your caterers! It takes some time to set it up, but it’s worth it in the long run!
Well wasn’t that just all so gorgeous?!
Tesni and Ryan, thank you so much for sharing your wonderful Carreglwyd Estate wedding story.
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