A small group of family and friends gathered by a painted wooden house, in the cool green shade of a Welsh valley that is home to a mighty waterfall. A little while later, Dan and Charlotte would sign their marriage certificate in the little wooden house, but until that moment their wedding was going to be as ‘outside’ as possible, just as they had wished. So, with moss for carpet and walls of proud trees, with the waterfall roaring and the drizzle tapping out its tune on brollies and hats like nature’s drumroll, this magical setting waited patiently. Bob the dog waited impatiently, a ring tied to his collar. Dan also waited (and watched and smiled and paced) in a doorway decorated by friends with flowers and vines.
The sun arrived with the bride.
This was the start of a weekend of wedding magic, and it began at a waterfall in Wales.
WELCOME TO PART ONE: TWEED JACKETS, WELLIES, AND A WELSH WATERFALL
These two are very dear to me, and their wedding was always going to be as unique as they are as people. Suspicions were confirmed by an invite to their three day long ‘Welsh Wedding Jamboree.’ It can take guts, ingenuity and a certain amount of charm to do things your own way. Dan and Charlotte are brilliant at it, so this was Part One of a wedding of two parts, the beginning of three days of laughter and celebration, featuring one bridesmaid, two flowergirls, three best men, and an over excited ring bearer called Bob (the dog).
Charlotte is a talented dressmaker and made her beautiful wedding dress herself. Dan is a creative businessman, lively, driven and quite the natty dresser. Together they run Junk Shop, an inspiring, award-winning business where vintage clothes and possessions are recycled and reworked, given a new lease of life. It’s a manifestation of their thoughtfulness, hard work and creative flair – and was recently voted 7th Most Unusual Shop in Great Britain, by the Guardian! (If you want to learn how Charlotte made her dress you could try signing up for one of their courses in the School of Junk).
They follow their hearts and do things their way.
After the ceremony by the waterfall Dan and Charlotte planted a tree, the bride saying a few words she had written for the occasion, as everyone helped cover the roots and pat down the earth. Vows exchanged and tree planted, it was time for a knees up at the local pub. We wandered back up the river to the cars, only stopping to say hello to the resident horse, who promptly ate part of Charlotte’s bouquet.
I can’t express here quite how wonderful and funny and soaked in their spirit this day was, needless to say I’m glad I was a part of it.
Look out for Part Two, coming soon: the wedding party travel onwards to a blessing by the sea and a Harvest Moon Jamboree.