Oh, I do enjoy a seaside wedding – and a castle wedding – so this one is doubly brilliant for me, because it took place at a magnificent coastal castle perched right on the cliffs near Tenby, in south west Wales.
It’s also a day in which our couple were supported by the beautiful and thoughtful contributions of their family, from ceremony music, to the cake, the favours, and even 700 handmade Japanese origami paper cranes.
This is the wedding of Angharad, who works in the research department for a reinsurance magazine, and Stuart, who works in marketing for an investment consultancy firm. They were married on the 11 May at the beautiful Manorbier Castle on the Pembrokeshire coast in Wales.
Images by Claudia Rose Carter Photography
“We wanted a rustic and laid back wedding. We’re not religious and the venue has a beautiful ‘chapel’ we wanted to get married in. The whole vibe was chat, drink and party. It was awesome. Manorbier Castle was the first and only venue we saw. We wanted a Welsh venue that was by the beach, and it was different, had enough space – and it’s a castle!”
This was a day full of lovely colour and coastal charm, and it was all captured elegantly and sensitively by Claudia Rose Carter, whose work we love, and who is also part of our Little Book directory of trusted suppliers. Little Book is also where Angharad and Stuart discovered Claudia, and proved to be a really helpful resource in the planning of their day.
“We loved Claudia’s photos! She really captured the fun day that we all had. She was never pushy and had tonnes of patience, especially during the family photos and when we went down to the beach with the bridal party. She kept us informed from the beginning until the end.”
There’s great news if you’re on the lookout for a wedding photographer, as Claudia is currently offering two photographers for the price of one, an amazing 50% discount on weekday weddings for the rest of this year, and 30% off weekend weddings between October and December.X
To go with her dress, Angharad wore ankle-strap sandals from Aldo, and in her hair, a pretty, floral inspired hair comb of wired seed pearls and beads from Ivy & Pearl. She also added a spritz of classic Chanel No. 5.
“I wore a 21st birthday diamond necklace given to me by my grandmother, and one of my bridesmaids lent me her diamond earrings, and they went great with my necklace.”
The flowergirls looked lovely in embellished tulle dresses from Next, with flower crowns from Claire’s, and love heart wands made by Flowers by Annabel. The sweet page boy wore a smart pair of shorts with braces, a white shirt and flat cap from Next.
“The bridesmaids chose their own dresses after I said that I wanted different colours. They did amazingly well and, they all looked great together.”
Flowers by Annabel created for Angharad and her bridesmaids a splendid assortment of bouquets filled with vibrant blooms; protea, pink peonies, astilbe, waxflowers, daisies and sea holly alongside ferns, eucalyptus and other greenery.
“Annabel was local. I loved the big flowers she used, and the greenery. I wanted a big bouquet and she absolutely loved doing it for me.”
The bridesmaids dresses, in a lovely array of summery, ice-cream shades came from a number of different places, including ASOS (sadly, no further details provided).
Angharad was accompanied down the aisle by her father, as her aunt played Canon in D, by Pachelbel, on the harp.
“We met at Swansea Uni in 2009. We got engaged at the Kyoto Imperial Palace, Japan, at night in October 2017. We were engaged for just under 2 years.”
The couple opted for a civil ceremony within Manorbier Castle’s historic chapel, with its wonderfully weathered walls and vaulted ceiling. They said their vows to each other in front of a picture window adorned with white drapery and wild arrangements of summer blooms and foliage.
Angharad chose her dreamily romantic dress (the ‘Tamsin’) in a delicate shade of blush pink at designer Catherine Deane’s London boutique. The dress has a beautifully embroidered tulle bodice and a soft tulle skirt, tied with a wide satin sash.
“I highly recommend Catherine Deane. They were so helpful, and they also didn’t push anything on me, and let me decide on the dresses I wanted to try on. I also think the dresses weren’t too expensive either, however, my mum did do the alterations.”
“I loved the colour of my dress. I didn’t want a white or cream dress, so went for blush. The top half had enough embroidery so that it wasn’t over the top, and the bottom half was girly enough to make me feel like it was definitely my wedding day (I usually wear jeans and a top).”
Platinum wedding bands were chosen at family jewellers, Spencer Morgan, and Angharad and Stuart exchanged specially written vows. Here, Angharad shares the words she said to Stuart.
“Stuart, I’m so lucky I am with you. You have always been by my side, shown kindness, understanding and patience. Thank you for always making me laugh, and for making me feel important. I am incredibly proud of you and everything you have achieved. I cannot wait to be the supportive wife you deserve.”
“I can promise that I’ll always be here for you, to encourage you and keep laughing with you. I will always do my best to make you happy and make you feel loved. I promise to always order something you like, so that we can share meals, and I will try my hardest to listen when you talk about Charlton. And foremost I will always love you. Rwy’n caru ti. (I love you).”
Post-ceremony drinks were enjoyed outside in the castle grounds, with the ancient walls providing a dramatic backdrop.
“My grandmother made 700 paper cranes! We wanted something to represent Japan, as this was where we became engaged. We put them on the tables next to place names, hung them up in the marquee with the fairylights, and my bridesmaids strung a lot together and hung them on the gazebo outside.”
Alongside the colourful cranes in the reception marquee, there was bunting, hoops of greenery suspended from the ceiling, garlands of foliage and vases of flowers around the edges and across the tables.
“Our friend designed our Save the Dates. We didn’t do paper invites. For our friends we created a Facebook group and asked our parents to sort out our families. Our table plan was a big mirror, and we wrote names on that.”
Place setting were custom-made napkins with pictures of Angharad and Stuart (no further details about these) and place settings were handwritten onto brown card.
“My mother made marmalade gin as favours. So tasty! My mother-in-law made sweet and savoury shortbread and myself and the bridesmaids made sweet and savoury Welsh cakes.”
Llys Meddyg made a laid back wedding feast for everyone to enjoy, including barbecued meats, which were then served by designated table carvers, resplendent in their red aprons and chef’s hats!
“My grandmother made our cake for us, and we let her do what she wanted. It was a three-tiered sponge cake, with the same colours and flowers Annabel was using for the venue.”
After dinner and speeches, some guests relaxed outside beside the castle, whilst Angharad, Stuart and their wedding party put on their trainers and flip flops for a walk down to the beach.
Shoes were promptly discarded to paddle in the sea (not to mention some fun with colourful smoke bombs!) as the sun began to set on a magical day, and live music back at the castle from The Ukes of Hazzard.
“They were awesome! They played our first dance on the ukulele too; Your Love Gets Sweeter, by Finlay Quaye. We heard the song for the first time while we were visiting Stu’s grandad in Edinbrugh years ago, and we love it. We’re not very good dancers, so it was perfect.”
“I would say going down the beach for photos with the bridal team was our favourite part of the day. It was a lot of fun! We got to hang out for a while, take some lovely photos on the beach and take a breather. I also absolutely loved getting ready with the girls in the morning. We had enough time to get ready before the ceremony, drink champagne and get ready for the day ahead.”
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“I would recommend (if your venue is far away from where everybody lives) hiring out an area at a pub or bar for everybody to meet the night before and get to know each other.”
“I would recommend going on a mini-moon straight after. We went on a big honeymoon to South America later, but decided we didn’t want to go back to work straight after getting married, and decided to go to Verona and Lake Garda for the week. Amazing.”
“Have fun! Nothing will always go to plan on the day but roll with it. It really doesn’t matter if you don’t have sparkling water on the tables!”
Angharad and Stuart, congratulations and thank you. What a spectacular venue you chose, and I love how different family members contributed in such lovely ways. Many thanks to Claudia Rose Carter for another collection of gorgeous images to add to the multitude gracing our pages, and be sure to check out her incredible offer.