Alun and Ben met online. “We started chatting on a Saturday afternoon and decided to meet for a drink the day after. We wondered why there were so many couples out, both forgetting that it was Valentine’s Day!” they tell us.
“The first thing that attracted me to Ben was that on our first date, I paid him a compliment and he accepted it,” Alun says. “I enjoyed how talkative and confident Alun was, he made the conversation seem effortless,” adds Ben.
The couple became engaged during a weekend away in the Lake District. "I knew that I was going to propose somewhere in the area," Alun tells us. "Early on the Saturday morning, I suggested that we go for a walk near one of the lakes hoping that I would find the right spot to get down on one knee. I found the perfect place overlooking the lake and popped the question. Ben seemed a bit shocked and responded by reaching into his jacket and revealing a ring box because he had also planned to propose on the same weekend! I beat him to it by about 20 minutes because he was going to ask me to marry him on the old wooden pier. Neither of us knew that the other was going to propose however a close friend of ours had known for about three months and had managed to keep it a secret!"
The couple chose The Swan hotel in Bibury as their ceremony and reception venue. "It had so much character and was completely different from the other venues that we had viewed," Alun and Ben tell us. "There was a homely feel about the place and from our first visit, all of the staff were amazing. We loved the idea of holding our ceremony outside in the garden with the river flowing in the background."
After weeks of flicking through wedding magazines, the couple were unable to decide on a colour theme but both knew that they wanted wildflowers to be incorporated into their day. "We wanted splashes of colour but nothing too bright," they explain.
"Because we got married during the middle of July, we were optimistic about the weather and provided all of our guests with a colourful fan and a packet of wildflower seeds to sow in their gardens as favours, plus a small box of petal confetti. We were also keen to avoid the use of plastic wherever possible so our table decorations were made from paper, cardboard, string and wood."
Alun and Ben's cake was based around a design that they saw on Pinterest. "It was a three-tier cake with white icing, a personalised cake topper and a colourful splash twisting around it to match our wedding outfits."
The couple’s table plan was an upcycled blackboard draped in fairylights lent to them by a friend. “We decorated it with sweet peas picked from our garden,” they tell us. “We handmade our place names, table names and table plan, plus other stationery, using recycled cards.”
Alun wore a raspberry suit while Ben chose a blue one.
The groomsman wore a grey suit and the two 'bros-maids' wore red dresses that matched Ben's tie. "They chose their outfits with one wearing a 1950s-style look and the other in a floor-length gown," the couple describes. "We wanted them to feel relaxed and comfortable.
Alun and Ben's 18-month old miniature dachshund called Pickle was there for the entire day. "She was particularly vocal during the ceremony and at one point, Ben went over to calm her down before we could continue with the service," Alun explains.
"Pickle wasn't pleased to be missing out on the first dance either so ended up being held between us during the end of the song!
Also, due to travel restrictions in place at the time, we were sad that one of our groomsmen, who lives in Singapore, was unable to attend our wedding in person but he was able to give a joint groomsman speech via Skype."
Cake and cake topper
First-night and guest accommodation