Today is the first ever *Real Wedding Inspiration* feature, in which I will be sharing with you fabulous real weddings for fabulous wedding inspiration.
I have the pleasure of sharing with you the utterly stunning wedding of Claire and Richard who married on 27th October at West Usk Lighthouse in Wales followed by a spectacular wedding reception at The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny.
Claire and Richard chose to create an intimate wedding atmosphere with thirty guests and selected Wales as their location, as Claire’s family lives in Abergavenny. Everything about their wedding plans had their guests in mind as they both wanted guests to feel comfortable, at ease and to enjoy themselves.
This was reinforced when they sent out their Paperchase woodland lasercut invitations to their close family and friends. Guests had the choice of several delicious options for each course.
On checking in at the hotel, Claire and Richard had made little notes informing their family and friends that there would be welcome drinks in the hotel bar that evening followed by a delicious dinner at a local Italian restaurant in Abergavenny.
Guests drove from Abergavenny to Newport for the ceremony at West Usk Lighthouse. The drive up to the venue along the winding country roads built the sense of anticipation and excitement and our first view of the lighthouse in the distance certainly didn’t disappoint!
West Usk Lighthouse is such a unique venue and its interior is quite a piece of artwork in itself. Claire and Richard chose this as their ceremony venue because its small and quirky nature is perfect for an intimate wedding. Also its location by the sea suited both Claire and Richard’s love of the outdoors and the seaside.
Claire arrived in her father’s car, which was a lovely personal touch.
Claire wore a spectacular Dessy ivory grecian gown embellished with a beautiful jewel encrusted belt from Butterfly Bridal Boutique in Oxfordshire. She paired this with an art deco inspired Jenny Packham headband, a pair of silver Roland Cartier sparkly heels and a matching box clutch. Claire also wore an ivory fur shrug whilst at the lighthouse which complimented her dress beautifully. She oozed glamour and looked like she could have stepped into the world of The Great Gatsby.
She accessorised with pearl drop earrings that she had bought in Canada and a silver globe chain from Candy Jewellery. Claire had put a pearl inside the globe, which was just the most lovely touch!
Claire and Anna had vibrant red and purple bouquets from Hilary’s Floral Design which complimented their dresses beautifully.
The ceremony took place in the lighthouse dining room, which was full of little nautical themed treasures and overlooked the sea.
Chair covers were decorated with purple bows.
Claire and Richard beamed the whole way through and exchanged Welsh gold wedding rings from Clogau Gold in Cardiff.
Champagne and sandwiches were served in the roof garden, where the views over the Bristol channel were divine!
The photo of the day was taken when Claire and Richard went up to the top of the lighthouse and had pictures on the balcony of the lantern room.
Richard had taken on much of the organising of the wedding and especially the food and wine, which reflects his background as a trained chef. Claire and Richard had selected The Angel based on its reputation and its excellent quality for food and wine. On arrival back at The Angel Hotel guests were treated to tea, coffee and a wonderful selection of canapes.
Guests then sat down in the stunning ballroom for the speeches. The long rectangular table was dressed with crisp cream linen, tealights and rustic candles from the National Trust shop.
This candlelit ambiance was just perfect for the setting. Jars wrapped with a string of hessian and filled with country flowers lined the table. This floral decoration created by Hilary’s Floral Design was so effective and looked absolutely beautiful.
The wedding cake was quite a spectacle in itself – travel themed to reflect their love of travel, Richard’s mother made this. Comprised of two suitcases, one a fruit cake and one a chocolate sponge, both suitcases were covered in marzipan. The luggage tag ‘Mr and Mrs Whittall’ and the incredible marzipan spinning (yes spinning!!) globe was looked upon in awe by the wedding guests.
The evening was rounded off by a divine dinner, including individual cheese boards! The food was impeccable and the relaxed atmosphere allowed Claire and Richard to move round the table chatting to their family and friends.
The morning after the wedding, Claire and Richard had put on a wonderfully tempting breakfast spread in the ballroom so that all of the guests could eat together. Guests were given the beautiful flower arrangements and slices of the fruit and the chocolate wedding cake to take home with them.
Claire and Richard ended the wedding celebrations by spending a few days in Anglesey dining, walking and relaxing. They decided to have several mini-moons rather than one large honeymoon and will also be spending a week in Iceland in February and two weeks in India in April.
What I love about this: This was such a stunning wedding – so well planned, so well thought out and Claire and Richard had thought about their guests the whole time. Claire’s vintage 1920’s inspired look was spectacular and their choice of both the ceremony and reception venues were just stunningly perfect. Richard’s attention to detail with the dinner and wine choices were impeccable. This is a wedding that will inspire many I am sure.
With many thanks to Claire and Richard for sharing with *Sparkle Pearls and Lace* their truly beautiful and special day.