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.”
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.
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Secret Garden Wedding in Wales11 February 2014
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