Kelly and Dave met on 28 November 2003. They were both in the Army and met on operational tour in Iraq. Dave was immediately smitten and credits Kelly's beautiful smile for that. Kelly on the other hand, put her attraction to Dave down to his boyish good looks and silly dancing.
Seven months later, Dave popped the question! They were at their local steak house in Germany, where they were living at the time. On the walk over, Kelly noticed that Dave's palms were a little sweatier than usual so she grew excitedly suspicious.
As they sat down, Dave popped a ring on the table and looked at Kelly without saying a thing. Kelly had previously said to Dave that if they were to get engaged, she didn’t want a fuss, Dave thought she meant it!
Then came the wedding, only one month after the loss of their beloved little boy Ryley-Alex at only 9 days old. Understandably, it wasn't the big white wedding they'd dreamed of but was full of love. Fast forward 15 years, Kelly and Dave decided that they were to renew their love and finally have that white wedding they'd always dreamed of. Their plan for a dream white wedding landed on my desk with 6 weeks to go before the big day. 250 guests, 6 weeks, 46 suppliers - piece of cake!
Having worked at Buckland Hall since May 2017, it was a no-brainer that Kelly wanted her big white wedding there. Kelly fell in love with the venue and its beautiful grounds as soon as she stepped foot in there for her interview. Dave obviously didn't need much convincing.
Props Aerial Media captured the grounds in all their glory and from their footage, you will see how jam packed this amazing day was. From an owl ring delivery to giant bubbles on the lawn and fun and games from Jitterbug Circus in their mini big top tent. Everyone was taken care of and kept entertained from start to finish.
Getting Ready And That Beautiful Dress
Eclipz Hair Studio, Ladiva Hair Studio, Beauty Bug and Christina Cooling had four hours to work their magic in hair and make-up for the bride, the mother of the bride, 9 bridesmaids, and 2 flower girls. Most would assume that's a stressful task but I popped in and out a few times to make sure all was well (and to bring my much needed planner emergency kit) and the room was full of joy, silliness, and laugher, as well as artistry! And you can see that for yourselves.
After the bridal party breakfast and the getting ready, Kelly had a beautiful moment with her mum before I got the thumbs up that she was ready to re-marry the love of her life. She was glowing in her beautiful dress from De Mariee Boutique finished off elegantly with a bouquet designed by friends and colleagues at Centre of Attention.
Dave on the other hand was as nervous (but still composed) as most grooms are the first time around. I remember checking in and him saying to me, "well at least she can't say no and not go through with it". It was such a lovely moment for me. I had come to know Kelly and Dave very well during the previous 6 weeks but it was in this moment, practicalities complete, that their love for each other really hit me. These moments are precisely why I do what I do.
The room was ready, the bride was ready, the 150 guests were being seated. The excitement in the air was infectious and the bridal party look sensational. Harpist Katie Bayliss filled the room with beautiful music that was just the right vibe for the audience. The ceremony commenced with 9 bridesmaids and 2 flower girls making their grand entrance. They were the most breathtaking bridal party and not just because they looked amazing but because their love and support of Kelly shone through the whole day. Friendship goals springs to mind.
And then came the bride and her two dads. As she walked to her groom, there wasn't a dry eye in the room and the ceremony had hardly begun. Jane Grayer of Create Ceremonies had spent time with the family: Kelly, Dave, Beau, Chance, and the family's memory of Ryley-Alex and expertly crafted the most emotional, personal, humorous, and engaging ceremony.
As the rings were about to be exchanged, ring bearer at the ready, I remember hearing gasps of surprise, "it's an owl", "oh wow", "there's a bird", " mum, look". It was a great moment but as the planner, I know all too well that there's never a guarantee that a wild bird or animal will do exactly what you want, and of course, I don't think we should expect them to. On this day however, the beautiful owl glided down the centre of the ceremony room and it was breathtaking. The owl landed on Beau's arm and Beau didn't flinch, he listened perfectly to the training provided by E and C Falconry to make sure the owl was well treated and not frightened and Beau carefully untied the rings and the owl, as if his best friend, completed the task and flew back as gracefully as he flew in. It was quite remarkable and luckily, or not as the case may be, no one got pooped on!
The vows had been exchanged, the rings delivered, and tears wiped. It was now time for a unity sand ceremony where 5 different colours of sand were poured into vessels for the family to keep, each colour representing a family member: Kelly, Dave, Beau, Chance, and Ryley-Alex. Ryley-Alex's cousin, Josh, did the pouring honours on Ryley's behalf. The tiny particles of sand, once combined, can never be separated. The epitome of unity. Just beautiful.
The Confetti Shot
With 150 day guests, and everyone keen to be fully immersed in the celebrations, there was a lot of confetti. It looked beautiful but it smelt even better! I have to say, I am a sucker for a confetti shot!
Dave's only mandate throughout the whole planning process was to give Kelly everything she wanted, no matter what. Quite frankly, he was the dream groom to plan a wedding with; hands on, organised, sensible, and focused on the most important part of the day, their love. He also smashed the idea that grooms to be sit back and let brides to be do all the work. That's not always the case and it wasn't here. The love and determination to make his wife beam with happiness is only too evident in these wonderful moments.
If you haven't heard of Marryoke yet, you're in for a treat. It's essentially one song, your guests, and a choreographed mimed music video. Not only does it have everyone involved on the day, it can be done without getting everyone together all at once so logistically, it's easy and it's the editing that brings it all together. I wouldn't recommend it in place of a formal videographer but it's definitely a fun addition and brings about a lot of laughter, both on the day and after.
The Banquet And Speeches
After enjoying a delicious starter and main course, it was time for some heartfelt, hilarious, and inspiring speeches. To kick off this part of the day, a video was played of messages from Kelly and Dave's friends who could not make their day. It's amazing that two people can have in excess of 250 friends but having got to know them, I can see why they do!
As the guests settled down to listen to some warming and sincere messages of congratulations and love, the room filled with intermittent applause, ooooos, and awwwws and when the last video started, the room erupted even more given how big a part Ed Sheeran had played in this vow renewal and the couples' lives. He had seen Beau and Chance singing Perfect and had sent messages to the family prior to recording this lovely message for the day itself. Top guy!
Then there were speeches. We had both of Kelly's dads up on their feet, the best man, the maid of honour, Dave, and rather unconventionally, I was invited to offer a short speech on behalf of Kelly and Dave to thank the hundreds of suppliers who set out to make the day so special, as well as the nearly 50 who contributed on the day. It's rare that a wedding planner would have such a privilege and to make my day even more special, I was thanked with a gorgeous bouquet alongside the mums - it doesn't get much better than that on a job satisfaction front!
There were so many elements to the day and the detail can be seen everywhere. The torn Italian paper used by Clarendon Designs for the on the day stationery was just beautiful. The handmade soap wedding favours by Bubble and Fizz added a personal touch with a message from the couple to their guests, "We couldn't say our I do without you" and of course, given how big a role Ed Sheeran has played in the family's lives of late, the ginger Ed men favours courtesy of Mamma Lou’s Cakes went down a treat.
There was so much more, the circus, the owl, the LED love letters, the flower wall and matching table plan and welcome sign, the wonderful Beauford Open Tourer that gave the couple an all important 20 minute escape from the jam packed day of activity.
The First Dance
As far as first dances go, this one was the ultimate tear jerker. Beau and Chance, Kelly and Dave's loving and brave young sons stood in front of 250 guests and sang every lyric from the first half of Ed Sheeran's Perfect as their parents danced and radiated love and positivity right before their eyes. It was beyond emotional and the boys joined their parents to enjoy the second half of the first dance to a song that had developed such a meaning to the family.
After a couple of hours of dancing, we stole the couple for a sparkler exit and a wonderful firework display by Pen Dragon Fireworks.
The rest of the night saw everyone dancing to an amazing performance by live band Fonz and the Poet who broke through the crowd and rocked it on the stairway.
After their work was done, they made their rock n roll exit through the windows so as not to get in the way of the dance floor as DJ Timothy Belcher of Beacons Disco kicked in until an epic 4am!
Timothy, being the type of person to go way above and beyond, after spinning his decks for hours, volunteered to take some tired dancing feet home as the sun started to rise (well almost)! What a guy!
And of course, the perfect end to the Perfect Wedding is getting to meet Mr Perfect himself which happened only yesterday!
Watch out for this amazing wedding soon to be featured in Your South Wales Wedding Magazine which goes on sale on 29 June 2018.
For more information on how you can get your hands on a digital or printed copy of the magazine, please click here.
Kelly, Dave, Beau, Chance, and Ryley-Alex, you are quite the family and you really have touched the hearts of the nation.
It's been the biggest privilege.
Supporter: Wish For A Wedding
Wedding PA/Planner: Bisous d’Amour: The Wedding PA
Venue: Buckland Hall
Photographer: Kath Evans Photography
Videography: Orchid Films
Drone Footage: Props Aerial Media
Stationery: Clarendon Designs
Dress: De Mariee Boutique
Band: Fonz and the Poet
Hand Painted Shoes: Inanna Bespoke Shoes
Pageboy Gifts: Lauri Li Design
Suits: Ashworth & Bird
Groomsmen Gifts: Magpie Memories Keepsakes
Floristry: Centre of Attention
LED Love Letters: To Have And To Hire Events
Flower Wall: Fidelis Events
Confetti: Confetti Wishes
Celebrant: Create Ceremonies
Owl Ring Delivery: E and C Falconry
Harpist: Katie Bayliss
Cake: M Bakery
Bar Hire: Black Dragon Bars
DJ: Beacons Disco
Children's Entertainment: Endless Entertainment
Circus: Jitterbug Circus
Creche: Brecon Mobile Creche
Fireworks: Pen Dragon Fireworks
Flower Girl Gifts: From Hereford, With Love
Bridesmaid Jewellery: Lucibelle Bridal Hair Accessories & Jewellery
Personalised Paper Cut: Book Folding Forever
Personalised Antique Card Trunk: Mad Hatton’s Attic
Giftbags: Ty Cariad
Vinyls: The Craft Cave
Wedding Newspaper: Photo Press
Speech Support: Wedding Speech Guru
Paper Flowers: Hibah’s Paper Petals
Wedding Car: Brecon Wedding Cars
Bridal Party Afternoon Tea: White Swan Tea Room
Guest Accommodation: Rhimiau - A Hillwalker’s Heaven