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An Evening in Florence

Accessory: FLEUR wedding crown
Dress: St. Patrick
Photography: Benjamin Wheeler
Venue: Pencoed House Estate
HMUA: Hair by Louise Thompson

Rachel’s bridal story:

With Rachel’s love of all things vintage, she and her fiancé, James, spent months treasure hunting through charity shops and car boot sales to find special pieces for their wedding venue styling. Their months of rummaging were well worth the effort. They were married in a country barn in Wales, and filled the venue with their vintage candle holder finds, fairy lights and flowers, to achieve the perfect rustic, romantic, fairy tale theme.

This theme was also echoed in Rachel’s stunning bridal look. With her off the shoulder lace gown and flowing hair adorned with our regal FLEUR crown, she was a garden princess.

Classic styling

Rachel and James’ ceremony and reception took place at Pencoed House Estate, which is an old, family run barn in the South Wales countryside. The estate features manicured gardens contrasted with wild woodland, providing the perfect setting for their fairy tale wedding.

“I knew I wanted lots of flowers, and I based a lot of the theme around a flower called Protea (my absolute favourite),” says Rachel. “This was used on our invitations, incorporated in my bouquet and in the centre pieces on the tables,” says Rachel.

The rustic vibe was enhanced with the brass and cut glass candle holders the couple found at second hand stores, which they used at the ceremony and on the reception tables. The also used brown paper bags with a drawing printed on them, as favour bags.

“James got an illustration of us done for my birthday a few years ago and we love it so much we got it printed onto brown favour bags which we then used for Welsh cakes for all the guests.”

Music also played an important role in achieving a relaxed and intimate vibe.

“James and I hired an amazing band for the entire day who were special to us after watching the singer busk numerous times the years before we got married. He sang Crazy Love by Van Morrison which is a special song for my dad and I. He later sang our first dance song which was Times Like These by the Foo Fighters, the lyrics are so beautiful.”

Rachel’s bridal look

Rachel was coveting an old Hollywood style but with a relaxed edge for her bridal look. She achieved this with a stunning off the shoulder gown, Hollywood waves and a gold crown.

“I wear a lot of Bardot dresses and jumpsuits and I knew this flattered my figure the most, so I knew exactly the shape I wanted before trying any dresses on,” says Rachel. “When we first got engaged my best friend bought me a bridal magazine and after flicking through it, I saw my dream dress! A gorgeous off the shoulder, embellished lace fish tail dress by Pronovias sister brand, St. Patrick. I searched the designer to see where they stocked it in my area. I found it in a bridal shop a short distance away. It was the very first dress I tried on and fell in love with it straight away.”

In keeping with the rustic, fairy tale mood of the day, our gold, vintage inspired FLEUR crown was the ultimate accessory for  pulling together this look.

“I found Tania on Instagram and fell in love with all the pieces. I actually found it difficult to chose which tiara to go for as I was torn between two others. I’ve always been a bit of princess growing up (haha) so I knew a tiara was definitely appropriate. Being a hairdresser I did a lot of research on how to wear my hair on the day – it was styled down in a Hollywood wave but still soft and natural as I wanted to feel special but very much still myself,” says Rachel.

Best tips

Rachel’s tips to couples planning their wedding is to organise your time. Save time, plan your time and take your time to enjoy your special day. She also suggests not worrying about the small stuff.

“It looks great in a photograph but it’s not worth losing sleep over!” she says.

And most importantly…

“The best advice I would give is: take it all in. It’s so cliché and you hear it all the time but the day really does go by in a flash.”