Ed and Kya held their wedding at the wonderful Nantwen, here in Pembrokeshire. This wedding was in all senses of the words, truly beautiful. Simple and real and full of all that matters on a wedding day. Ed and Kya had messaged us about us capturing their day. They really wanted to reflect who they are as people in the manner in which they held their wedding day, so they chose to keep it a small and intimate affair with their dear family being their witnesses. These guys are beautifully modest people and didn’t feel a big wedding would have suited them. To be able to share in their actual wedding day was therefore a huge honour.
We say it a lot, but making your wedding day your own is the best thing you can possibly do. The air of relief you can feel when a couple knows that their day is them is often so very tangible. It certainly was with these two and their family. A sense of feeling welcomed in, rather than doing a job. This is always we something we don’t take for granted. A hugely appreciated feeling and it allows for freedom to do our job as we love and hope our couples love too.
We asked Kya a few questions about their day and how they came to make it the day they had Please enjoy the photos first!) . You’ll see in the answers that she shared, again, just how wonderful these two are. Thank you so so much guys for choosing us to capture your day. It means the world and we are over the moon that you love your photos and so do your friends and family.
Why did you decide to hold a small and intimate wedding?
Both of us are quite modest people and a big wedding wouldn't have suited who we are. The most important thing to us was getting married. We didn't want to wait years to save for one day in many together. To quote Ed quoting When Harry Met Sally, "when you realise you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible".
We wanted the day to be about the most important thing - our love. We also didn't want to put our friends under financial pressure - we really didn't want anybody feeling like they had to travel all the way to Wales to stay in a hotel for a couple of nights, buy a new outfit, buy us a gift etc. If we had opted for a wedding in England, that would have ruled out Umpa and Nan coming as they're too ill to travel too far. Unfortunately, nan was too ill to make it on the day, but she did get a fresh bouquet of flowers that evening.
The best option for us was to have a small intimate wedding in Wales, which was really just about us and our love and commitment to each other followed by a party in London where we could honour our friends, share pics of the day, put on some food and relax with them. Some welsh friends travelled up to London and stayed in airbnbs, which I was really grateful for - we really didn't want to put anybody out.
Why did you choose Nantwen?
Looking back, there were so many reasons why it stood out.
I found it on a website called the natural wedding company as a place to hold a small, intimate and eco friendly wedding. As we thought more about wanting an intimate wedding over a bigger wedding, we kept coming back to Nantwen.
Although we had never visited Jemma and Dan, we had both holidayed near there a year before - close to Lammas eco village. I was brought up in Wales, and Ed went to Uni in Wales, spending a lot of time climbing, hiking and surfing around our beautiful country. We fell in love with the area as a haven away from the bustle of London - somewhere that offered complete silence, and in the night complete darkness to clearly see the stars - it's nature we miss most about living where we do. We decided to get married without any music playing to honour the quiet of where we were.
I should also mention that Jemma made our rings - that was a beautiful touch.
Where your flowers were from?
Flowers were from Linda at The Woodland Farm. We chose them because of their eco-credentials - they don't import any flowers, so we can feel a little less guilty about our carbon footprint. We ordered my bouquet, a couple of buttonholes for Ed and Umpa (granddad) and a couple of corsages - one for each of our mums.
Finally, Linda made me a beautiful flower crown. I wish I could say that there was some greater symbolism at work - a nod to Apollo and Daphne in Ovid's Metamorphoses - but I'm not a literary genius like Umpa (whose speech we're still trying to understand!!), it was really just the boho hippy vibe I wanted.
Because we didn't have a bigger wedding, we didn't see the need to order buckets of flowers from Linda (if we had done something bigger, we definitely would have!). With no decorative flowers in situ, Dan, Jemma and their beautiful children picked their daffodils to put in the hall. It was really kind of them, a lovely gesture.
Where your dress was from?
For somebody who didn't want a traditional wedding, I really agonised over the dress!
I hoped to find a chic second hand dress or a skirt and top combo that I could wear again, so I could feel good about how eco friendly we were. I had it in my mind that with Ed's mum's help (also a very talented Linda,), I could could revamp something so I spent a lot of mornings scrolling through still white, a website that sells second hand dresses. Unfortunately, everything I liked was too expensive for me to justify buying for only a few hours' wear.
When nothing I loved popped up, I took to the high street. After a bit of research I realised that Anthropologie (a really beautiful high street shop with a bohemian vibe) have a bridal arm in the US called BHLDN where I found a skirt and flowing top in the sale.
Ed was heading to Seattle for a wedding in December so I got the items sent ahead to where he was staying, and he brought them back (wrapped and unseen, to preserve all the luck!). I felt a little less guilty about the air miles as he was going there anyway, plus I get to wear each of them again - the top is in my wardrobe, ready to wear with jeans in the Summer.
What did you think of the photos you received?
Photographs are incredible! We really ummed and arred about whether or not to have professional photographs, afraid that they might have distracted from the intimacy of the day but we are TERRIBLE at taking selfies and both our mum's are somewhat visually impaired so we couldn't trust them.
We didn't get one good shot when we got engaged, in Chamonix - an area of such beauty, it should have been easy peasy to take at least one usable frame, so we took the leap to ask you guys to snap our wedding. Jemma and Dan recommended a few photographers, including you and after an hour or so browsing different portfolios, your pictures were by far the best - they were arty and natural.
Umpa put it perfectly when he said that having you at our wedding was just like having one of our oldest friends around. Everyone was immediately comfortable around you (and your camera), and I loved that you didn't stage our photos. They're as beautiful as they are because you captured everyone in their natural state - no forced smiles. I think it's the difference between "to be" and "to have" - we were fully in our being state, present in the moments we had together and being photographed, and not "having" photographs taken, grasping for a perfect frame without being fully in the moment - does that make sense?
Lastly - the video you secretly made us was beautiful. It brought tears to both of our eyes. At the party, we shared it with our friends and everyone commented on how it made them feel a part of the day. Our friends that have careers in the arts pointed out how well you captured little moments between us, and how great the editing was. My favourite comment was from one of ed's actor friends - he was in tears watching it and said to Ed "man you have to share that video with our guests" so that they could watch it again - but we both loved how he said "our" guests, like he was a part of the day and wanted everyone to be able to replay what he had experienced first hand.
Thank you so much Kya for so many lovely words and for being so real in your answers. We love you guys!
If you’d like to know more about our wedding photography and weddings at Nantwen, please let us know by dropping us a line here. We would truly love to chat! xx