Wanting a small, intimate wedding, Sam and Reid headed to Wales, where they were wed under a canopy of umbrellas in a sweet little garden, surrounded by their closest friends and family. The bride wore her mother’s dress and a ring of flowers in her hair; the groom wore a key on his lapel. Select vendor Kate Murphy was there to photograph everything, from the big moments to the little details.

Says the bride: “Although we wanted a relaxed and low-key wedding, the small details were important to me, and I took extra care with them. There was a hint of a “Secret Garden” theme, as this story was very special to me and my mother who passed away 5 years ago. My sister-in-law made my beautiful bridal headpiece with tiny keys woven into it, and the men’s boutonnieres were keys as well (alluding to finding the key to the secret garden).”

Sam wore her mother’s wedding dress.

Despite a drizzle, Sam and Reid were married in the garden under umbrellas held by friends and family.

“The flowers for the table and my bouquet were gathered on the morning of the wedding from the nearby fields and arranged by my good friend Rachel, who also set the table with beautiful books, tea cups and doilies that belonged to my grandmother. Our family style dinner was made that day by our parents and friends. It was all a labor of love that we are so incredibly grateful for. The efforts of our loved ones resulted in a day that was deeply personal.”

SEE THE FULL GALLERY FOR TONS OF GORGEOUS SHOTS FROM THIS RAINY SECRET GARDEN WEDDING IN WALES.

 

Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  “Why Wales?” We got that question so many times I started betting people I could guess what their first question would be after I told them where Reid and I had decided to get married. We chose Wales for a few reasons: 1. We wanted a very small, intimate wedding; 2. We figured the best way to do this was to have a wedding very far away; and 3. We know people in Wales and believed their beautiful home, garden and village would be the perfect setting. Dwygyfylchi (prounced Dew-guh-vul-key) is a little village in North Wales tucked into the mountains near the sea. It has a charm, a rugged beauty and a family that I adore dearly…and I knew all of those components would magically meld to create the wedding of our dreams.

What was your favorite moment or part of the day? It is so hard to choose one moment, as they were all so dear to us. I think my favorite part of the day was dinner. Originally we had planned to eat outside on the terrace overlooking the garden, but because of the rain we relocated to the dining room. We cobbled together two long tables into one giant square table we all sat around. It was a family style dinner, with delicious homemade food that had been lovingly prepared that morning. We were able to relax, laugh, talk and eat with everyone since we were all so close together around the table. It was intimate and lovely.

Did you include any traditions in your wedding? We did things a little differently for most of our wedding decisions, from having a destination wedding to making all our own food to gathering our own flowers. But I did wear my mother’s wedding dress, which was one of the most special aspects of the wedding to me, as she couldn’t be there with us.

What was the best advice you received as a bride? Be in the moment. Don’t get sucked into all of the details that can take time and attention away from just being present. And don’t get upset over the things that happen that you didn’t count on and can’t change. It’s better to laugh and move on than get upset on what’s supposed to be one of the happiest days of your lives.

What advice do you have for other brides? Stick up for what you really want. It was very difficult to tell our extended families that we were getting married overseas and only inviting our parents as family. But because of certain family dynamics, it was what was going to be best and least stressful for us as a couple. As a bride, you get advice coming at you from all directions, but you really have to be true to yourself and not be bowled over by everyone else’s opinions of what your wedding should be. Make it what you want.

Do you have any budget tips for other brides? Spend your money on what’s important to you. Being photographers ourselves, photos were the most important investment to us, so we put most of our budget there and then had our close friends and family help with everything else. But DEFINITELY invest in a wonderful photographer.

Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day?  Being photographers ourselves, our photographer choice was of utmost importance to us, so we asked the incomparable Kate Murphy, who captured the moments, big and small, with such grace and perfection. And our dear friends Jeremiah and Rachel Spray (the same Rachel who styled everything!) created a beautiful video for us that transports us back to the day immediately.

Photography: Kate Murphy / Videography: Jeremiah and Rachel / Venue: private residence in Dwygyfylchi, North Wales / Dress: vintage / Shoes: Seychelles / Headpiece: CAKE / Suit: J. Crew / Shoes: Allen Edmonds / Boutonniere: Whichgoose / Ring Box: Secret Safe Books / Hair: Debbie Coombs with Clinton James Salon

Kate Murphy is a Snippet & Ink Select vendor.

SEE THE FULL GALLERY
  • Secret Garden Wedding in Wales

    11 February 2014
  • 21 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings

    Last month we featured Stephanie Fishwick‘s beautifully quirky custom crests. Today she’s here with a fun How To for creating your own eccentric envelopes, even if you don’t think of yourself as particularly artistic.

    I’m sure you’ve heard the cry of “perfectly imperfect!” It’s a way of thinking that values character, personality and sincere hard work over surface gloss or flawlessness. True to that ethic, this little tutorial sits firmly in the natural, the irregular, or maybe even the haywire! But I happen to think imperfect things are beautiful. As my body of calligraphy work can attest: I love the eccentric factor in pretty much all things.

    Not everyone can be (or wants to be) a calligrapher. Nor can everyone hire a professional calligrapher when the time calls for it. But for those of you who would like to make your envelopes a bit more deluxe and delightful, I’ve got some great ideas that won’t break the bank, take little skill (just character!), and are sure to make the recipient beam. “Look what I just got in the mail!”

    These are sooo easy to make. If you have any inkling of artistic motivation you can create an eccentric envelope.

    I won’t go into too much detail about technique, except to say: just do whatever comes naturally to your hand. Your own handwriting has a voice and a style. Go with it! See what happens. It might be a little ugly. So what? It’s handmade and that’s what counts.

    Try to keep the color palette limited, and decorative details simple and small. Repetition and symmetry are key. Add little flourishes that relate to the theme of your event, letter or things the person you’re sending it to would like.

    Note: Tools and materials really make or break this look. If you tried to do this with a ballpoint pen and envelopes you picked up at the pharmacy or big box art store, your finished product would not shine quite as much. I’m sure there are some of you who can make a masterpiece out of those materials, but for the rest of us, well, we need the good stuff! Here’s where to start:

    Get yourself some nice black ink, a straight pen-holder, a nib, a Japanese brush pen, and a few watercolor brushes. A full list of materials and links is at the bottom of the post for help in purchasing.

    I can’t stress enough how crucial high-quality envelopes are for this look. The envelope above is a letter envelope I bought at a local stationery shop. It is Original Crown Mill 100% Cotton. You can’t go wrong with any 100% cotton envelopes or water-color envelopes. Crane also makes some very affordable every-day envelopes that are widely available in stores. Tell the person at the shop that you’re looking for envelopes that will work with pen and ink.

    Pictured above are some REALLY cheap watercolors I purchased at an art store. Bottom-shelf stuff! But still completely great if you ask me. Invest in the quality watercolors if you like (recommended would be the brand Windsor & Newton), and some mixing pans. Experiment. Watercolor is your friend for these because of its naturally occurring anomalies.

     

    ECCENTRIC ENVELOPE SUPPLY LIST
    - Simple black ink. I highly recommend Higgins Eternal for both lettering and calligraphy.
    - Black acrylic ink. If you want inks that won’t bleed much when watercolors come near it, opt for acrylic inks.
    - Straight pen holder and nib
    - Windsor & Newton Cotman Water Color Brushes: Series 222 and 668. Synthetic brushes are best for lettering because they bounce back and are stiff. These are more affordable than nice, sable brushes too.
    - Any larger nylon or synthetic brush for daubs and dots
    - Angora Water Colors (these are my favorite inexpensive watercolors that I use in my studio)
    - Windsor & Newton watercolors for a higher quality product and better mixing abilities
    - India inks in an array of colors for use with brushes
    - Japanese brush pens
    - 100% cotton envelopes

    MY FAVORITE CALLIGRAPHY SUPPLIES
    Find more beginner calligraphy essentials in my shop!

     

    This post originally appeared on Stephanie Fishwick’s blog. Reposted on Snippet & Ink with permission.

    24 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: DIY

    Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and I can think of no better way to mark the occasion than with this stunning red and gold styled shoot at one of my favorite Bay Area venues, from three (three!) of our brilliant Select vendors. With design by Shannon Leahy, flowers by Max Gill, and photography by Josh Gruetzmacher, you will definitely want to check out the gallery for every last detail.

    From Shannon LeahyThe inspiration for this photo shoot comes from the fabric, toile. Toile du Jouy (named after a French town) originated in 18th century Ireland and traditionally was used for window treatments and upholstery. In many ways toile has come to represent stuffy, outdated design and I wanted to find a way to take a relic of the past and update it in a fresh and modern way.

    Of course, the photographs from Josh Gruetzmacher who found the space and spearheaded the shoot take it all to the next level. The crisp, classic look of his film in this light and bright space bring everything to life and let us all step into the fantasy of what it must have been like to sail across the ocean in a 22-carat gilded saloon.

    Many of the traditional toiles are made in blue-and-white but for our shoot at the golden hued China Cabin we thought bringing in warm tones of yellow and cream would blend with the gold beautifully and set a perfect backdrop for Max Gill‘s dramatic red and burgundy toned flowers.

    The China Cabin is a historical location in Tiburon, just right over the Bay from San Francisco. The walls are gilded in 22-karat gold in this space which was once an elegant social saloon of the PS China. The ship was originally built in New York City in 1866 and was one of the four sister ships the United States Postal Service ordered to carry mail and passengers from California to Asia. The China Cabin, now docked permanently in the Bay Area was the officers stateroom.

    We really wanted to carry the toile through from beginning to end and so we incorporated a toile ribbon on the bride’s bouquet, a custom tabletop runner of yellow toile, a welcome box made we made for out of town guests made of toile and accented with glittering, over-the-top gifts that would set the tone for an evening in the China Cabin.

    The toile carried through to the paper products and invitations by Mira Aster as well. We adore the unique place cards she came up with that are made from gilded edged paper to look like a ribbon fluttering in the breeze, perfect for a wedding on an ocean liner.

    For this shoot, I found the perfect gowns from local San Francisco designer Trish Lee. The main dress for the shoot is called The Lady. We love the supremely elegant and refined look of this gown and can imagine a Bride who adores the traditions of the past but still wants a fresh and updated look slipping into this gorgeous gown. According to Trish Lee, The Lady was inspired by the poise and spirit of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aunt San Suu Kyi and is a tribute to the designers Burmese heritage. We can think of no better dress for a 19th-century ship that sailed between Asia and the United States.

    We imagined a second look for this Bride in the dress Joni also from Trish Lee. According to the designer this dress epitomizes that certain “je ne sais quoi” the elusory “it” factor. The fluttering capelet over the shoulder gives an effortless bohemian effect and to us, symbolizes the China Cabin’s final home in the free-spirited Bay Area. (See the second look in the gallery!)

    Julie Morgan styled our Bride perfectly with an elegant and refined Downton Abbey look for the first dress and a more sultry, whimsical look for the second dress complete with a crowning head wreath by Max Gill.

    We were so excited to use San Francisco’s own Frances Lane for the vintage tabletop rentals which really elevate the tabletop. Accents like the settee and vintage cake stand from One True Love vintage complete the story of romance rooted in tradition. The deep burgundy and fig tones of the floral arrangements, bouquets and boutonnieres from Max Gill add richness and contrast to this glittering gilded yellow and gold tablescape.

    To complete the entire look the toile coated cake by Sweet On Cake is the crown on top of the jewel box. Inspired by the architecture of the space, Amber from Sweet on Cake created a real masterpiece.

    SEE THE FULL GALLERY FOR TONS MORE RED AND GOLD VALENTINE’S DAY WEDDING INSPIRATION.

    Photographer: Josh Gruetzmacher / Venue: China Cabin in Tiburon, California / Event Planner, Designer: Shannon Leahy Events / Floral Designer: Max Gill / Dress: Trish Lee / Hair, Makeup: Julie Morgan / Shoes: Valentino / Stationery: Mira Aster / Rentals: Hartmann Studios, Frances Lane, One True Love Vintage Rentals / Cake: Sweet On Cake / Hotel Welcome Gift: Shannon Leahy Events

    Josh Gruetzmacher, Max Gill, and Shannon Leahy Events are Snippet & Ink Select vendors.

    SEE THE FULL GALLERY
  • Gold and Red Valentine Wedding Inspiration

    10 February 2014
  • 26 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Faux Weddings, Inspired Ideas

    Take a break from wedding planning with some of my favorite links from around the web this week. And have a happy weekend!

    Super happy gallery wall from The Design Files.

    Someone found a 114-year-old Porsche. In a barn.

    A perspective on time.

    If these winter salads taste half as good as they look then YUM.

    Artisanal toast (this is so San Francisco it’s hilarious).

    Queen of Hearts table from Coco + Kelley.

    The Great Language Game, via kottke.org.

    Things I never knew about The Little Prince (and Saint-Exupéry’s original watercolors).

    Valentine kiss tattoos.

    I’ve always been a pen-and-paper list maker so I might have to give this analog system a go.

    Turn your photos into watercolors with Waterlogue, via Ginny Branch.

    Select vendors Laurie Arons and Kathleen Deery will be at the Gump’s Wedding Chic event on February 23rd. Check it out!

    5 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Weekend Round-Ups