So that we can reminisce in years to come, remembering the speeches and seeing all our friends and family together. I want to be able to show our children our special day in more than just photos, and to have special mementos of family members who may not be around any more.
Recommendation from Leslie Choucard, and when looking at your website we loved the wedding videos, so got in touch!
You guys? ...What do you do?..How do you spend your days?..What's important in life?
Sam - Bride - I'm a Primary School Teacher working with Reception classes at the moment in Bristol. Love, love, love my job, but it's also why there aren't any children at the wedding..! When not at work, I spent my days playing and cuddling with our miniature dachshund Maxi, watching films (HUGE movie lover), or catching up with friends over a few cocktails. No particular hobbies other than reading a good book, and taking walks in the Valleys with Tom and Max. We're both 'foodies' so really like exploring new pubs and restaurants to try new dishes!
Tom - Groom - I work at an EdTech company with secondary schools and Universities in the UK and abroad, helping students to find their next steps post A Levels (apprenticeships, university courses, etc). I've recently been given a promotion to head up the UK as we merge with the US so life is very, very busy at the moment! Spend most days travelling here, there and everywhere but at least I get to see some amazing sights. When at home, I spend my time with my family (Sam and Max, the dog) going on long walks, catching up with friends and a beer, or releasing stress at the gym.
The proposal? ...Tell us everything!
It was Easter Weekend (2017) and I (Sam) had my best friend, Anna, to stay for the weekend. I am a huge Disney fan and a 'big kid', so when Tom suggested we go on an Easter Egg Hunt I was completely on board. He took us on a drive and then handed me a list of 4 clues that Tom had created (nothing unusual there, I love cryptic stuff!) The 4 clues led us to 4 local places around the Wye Valley and Chepstow - 1) our old school where Tom and I met and started dating back in 2013. 2) the pub that my Mum and Dad used to run before he died. 3) Tintern Abbey as one of our favourite restaurants is right on the river there. 4) Our favourite walking spot along the Wye Valley - a clifftop overlooking the river and a beautiful scene. At each stop there were eggs for both Anna and I to find (we had baskets and everything!) At the 3rd stop, there was a GIANT egg in a box and at the 4th stop Tom asked me to open that one while we were walking ar ound with Max (the dog) and Anna. So, I cracked open the egg and at this point Tom went down on one knee - inside the egg he had written a message for me to read "Will you marry me?" Of course I said yes! Anna had at some point disappeared to give us privacy for this moment (she was in on it the whole time!!) and had taken photos of the whole proposal for us to keep. It was super special as Maxi was with us too.
Later that evening Tom suggested we go out for a celebratory dinner and drinks somewhere special, so we should all dress up. We hop in the car, all suited and booted, Tom decides to take a ridiculous detour of around 45 minutes.... by which point he decides he needs the loo. So we stop at Tintern Abbey to pop into their restrooms, as we go in, the function room has been shut off - Tom stands by it and suggests I go in. I'm cautiously entering (this is quite a strange request) when suddenly I'm greeted by all of our friends and family shouting 'surprise!' and 'congratulations!' while handing me a glass of champagne! Music goes on, there's food all arranged, bar open, cake prepared, Selfie Station on show; Tom had arranged a surprise engagement party for the same evening of our engagement; I genuinely don't think he could have done any of it any better.
The Venue/s? ... Why this place above anywhere else?
We looked at a couple of Castles as I really wanted the Disney/Royal feel but everywhere had been done so many times before it just felt like a bit of a 'copy and paste' affair. Very limited flexibility between couples, so what we would have is exactly what another couple would have had. Then we found St Tewdrics - a brand new venue, beautiful Italianette Villa oozing with class and elegance. The couple had bought the venue for their own wedding as they were finding the same struggle - no individuality or flexibility in many other venues. So they've kept the same option to other couples too! We hire the venue and then the rest is up to us, no corkage fee, and as much or as little fuss as we want. I am positive there will be no other couple with exactly the menu choices, decoration choices, music choices that we have, so thanks to St Tewdrics it's totally unique to us!
What experience do you want to give to your guests?
Magical. Romantic. Relaxed. Happy. We want guests to feel that they are fully catered for in all senses - we're not going traditional with much of the set up of the day as we don't want anyone to feel "on ceremony", and we want to be able to mingle with our friends and family as much as we can, rather than being sent away for various 'traditional' activities.