We’re very proud of our heritage and traditions here in Wales. Why not embrace our unique and colourful Welsh culture throughout your big day too? Whether you choose to wed on the day we celebrate our patron Saint David, or any other time of the year we hope you’ll find these pointers useful. Here are our 8 top tips for making your wedding day that little bit more ‘Welsh’.
Welsh Wedding Venues
We have so many beautiful and breathtaking venus here is Wales. It’s near impossible to short list any for truly Welsh wedding. We have castles, barns, farms, mansion houses and museums alongside a whole host of fabulous hotels, large and small. If we had to pick our top three, here’s what we’d go with:
St Fagans National Museum of History, one of our faves as we have been invited to exhibit at their annual showcase in January for the last 5 years. A truly unique venue and you won’t find anywhere that says ‘Welsh wedding’ more than here. The hall upstairs in Oakdale Workmen’s Institute is the perfect setting for a relaxed vintage style celebration with a traditional Welsh afternoon tea – bring on the bara brith and welshcakes (read on for more about these)!
After something a little more contemporary? How about The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff with their stunning glass atrium overlooking Bute Park and Cardiff Castle.
Finally, a castle with a special place in my heart (Mr ByJo and I were married here many years ago) Castell Coch. Designed and built by William Burgess for the third marquess of Bute, it’s a tiny venue with room only for 30 guests in the Drawing Room. You don’t get better than this venue though for a true ‘fairytale’ wedding. Yes, that’s our actual wedding photo – ahhhh.
Welsh Designer Wedding Dresses
Fancy wearing a whole lot of wonderful Welshness? Go see Rachel at her bridal boutique in Penarth. She has personally, and perfectly, curated a collection of THE most beautiful bridal wear all designed and handmade right here in Wales. We asked Rachel to tell us more:
The Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique set out to achieve a unique bridal experience that supports handmade in Wales because, I, Rachel, (the owner) am passionate about supporting Welsh designers and giving Brides the opportunity to choose a dress that reflects their personality and allows them to set their own rules! I hope the Boutique inspires Brides to do Bridal THEIR WAY!
I get such joy in seeing our Boutique Brides totally rocking their dresses – they know what they want and what they want to look like on their wedding day.
They wear their dress / separates / jumpsuit proudly, knowing that they are wearing a truly unique item that has been lovingly designed and handmade by some of the most talented designers in Wales! During appointments, Brides have the Boutique exclusively, honesty and integrity are served alongside the tea and cakes. Building a solid fan base, the Boutique now meets returning bridesmaids and the friends that accompanied their ‘bride’, who are seeking her out for the same experience.
We can’t forget the boys (and girls that don’t fancy themselves in a dress!). How about kitting your wedding party out in a traditional Welsh Tartan. Wales Tartan Centres have a mind blowing range of tartans that you can buy or hire as kilts, suits or ties and accessories for a more subtle effect. Look up your family name or choose one of their National tartans (Pride of Wales, St. David’s or Spirit of Glyndwr).
When we think of traditional Welsh music, it’s a harp or Male voice choir that immediately springs to mind. Both are the perfect choice for any Welsh wedding.
We’ve met Harpist Katie Bayliss quite a few times and had the absolute pleasure of hearing her play – it’s divine! She has a huge repertoire of music to choose for your ceremony and reception, and many of those pieces are traditional Welsh tunes, eternally popular at weddings all over the country. Prefer something more traditional to walk down the aisle to? Check Katie out on YouTube here playing Canon in D.
For a church ceremony, you can include some of those traditional Welsh hymns – like Calon Lan or Cwm Rhondda (Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer). If the budget stretches to it, a performance by one of our home grown male voice choirs is sure to send tingles down the spine.
There’s loads more inspiration for Welsh tunes in this article we found at Wales Online.
Daffodils as Wedding Flowers?
They’re our national flower, they are beautiful and sunny and happy but do they work as wedding flowers? Amanda French says yes, for sure, and here’s how to incorporate them.
Cheery yellow daffodils herald the hope and optimism of spring. They bring with them a sense of joy and patriotism to those with Welsh heritage. Couples often want to include them in winter and spring wedding celebrations.
Not all daffodils are created yellow so a yellow wedding theme is not necessary to include them. There are so many varieties from small white varieties such as the highly perfumed paperwhites that start making an appearance just before Christmas and even one called bridal crown, through to delicate peach trumpets and traditional yellow.
Speak to your florist about incorporating daffodils into buttonholes and your bouquets for a really beautiful natural effect that your photographer will love to capture.
Hoping to DIY some of your wedding flowers? Here’s Amanda’s top tips:
A little care is needed to incorporate freshly cut daffodils with other spring blooms. Their sap can cause other flowers to deteriorate quickly. To avoid this, cut the stems of the daffodils. Plunge them into a container
filled with cool water, on their own, for at least 4 hours. After that all the sap should have naturally come out of the stems.
A lovely simple way of incorporating daffodils; grow them in pots yourself (or ask family members to do so). Run them along the aisle, group them on the guest book table etc.
Welsh Wedding Invitations and Stationery
Incorporating a Welsh theme through your stationery can initially seems a bit daunting. The obvious answer, if you and your guests are Welsh speakers, is to have your invitations and save the date cards printed in the Welsh language. We can do this for you, create a bilingual design or have two batches of invitations, some English some Welsh. It doesn’t cost any more but we ask you to be extra careful with proof reading. We don’t claim to be fluent ourselves!
If you don’t want to go all out with Welsh language invitations, just pick out certain elements, table names are a great start!
There are lots of other ways to include elements of the culture and symbols associated with Wales in your stationery. A red and white colour scheme can look very striking, especially for a winter wedding. We can include images of love spoons or daffodils, and use celtic style fonts on all of your invitations and stationery.
You can’t have a Welsh wedding without welshcakes right!? We have personally sampled (more than once!) the deliciousness baked by Sarah at Calon Lan. We just had to let her tell you all about how you can incorporate this taste of Wales in your big day.
‘Welshcakes are the epitome of ‘Welshness’ & form a part of so many weddings. Here at Calon Lân Cakes, we freshly bake the most delicious, artisan welshcakes which are made to a traditional recipe of only 4 ingredients. Such a versatile addition to your wedding which can be in the form of wedding favours, delicious bite size canapés, our beautiful, original welshcake tower or even a stunning welshcake wedding cake.
Our welshcakes are often eaten at weddings all over the UK (and further afield!) – a little piece of Wales to remind guests of home.
Welsh Wedding Favours
Wedding favours are the perfect way to give your guests a little piece of Wales to take home from your wedding. There are so many to choose from, here are some of our favourites.
Fun to put on your reception tables for your adult guests. Decorate with a quirky tag printed with ‘We’ve tied the knot, now have have a shot’. Look for Gwyr Gin in their iconic black and white striped bottles (they can even personalise them for you in your wedding colours or print with your names!). Gin not your thing? How about Whisky, Vodka or Merlyn Cream Liqueur from the Penderyn Distillery.
Just a word of warning if you;re thinking of spirits as your favours – check with your venue first that they allow them, not all do.
We’ve already mentioned these, but cake – it’s worth saying twice! Check out Calon Lans beautiful welshcake favours and their unique welshcake lovespoon favours.
Traditionally carved from a single piece of wood and given by young men to their loved one to show affection. Perfect for a wedding! Again, we can make a beautiful tag to attach to them with your names & wedding date. Add guest names to the label too and they double up as place cards. Check Etsy for traditional carved spoons or miniature laser cut versions, depending on your budget.
OK, so not the actual flowers, but little pin badge versions from Marie Curie. A beautiful gift and a charitable donation in one – winner!