I’m thrilled to share this beautiful set of images by Carmel.T. McCabe Photography today.
American couple Jen & Mikey tied the knot in Washington DC then planned the most amazing honeymoon travelling around Europe. With roots in Wales and the gorgeous Caerphilly Castle meaning so much to Bride Jen, It was a no brainer for the couple to pack their wedding outfits and bring them along to wear for a stunning photo shoot within the castle grounds.
Lets hand you over to bride Jen to tell you all about their awesome wedding and honeymoon adventure!
Mikey and I are very creative, artistic people and we wanted our wedding to reflect that. We don’t really fit the mould so didn’t think having a traditional wedding was the right direction for us. Our wedding Day was outside in a field on a working farm by my aunt. We wrote the ceremony, sang with each other and wrote our own vows.
Instead of readings, our friends sang with the help of a piano and excerpts were read from children’s books. Retro music played during the reception (nothing later than the 80s but focusing on the 60s) and karaoke followed so our talented friends could show off! Italian cookies were also served instead of a cake so people could grab one and keep dancing.
Our biggest shock for our guests was having a hawk as our surprise ring bearer! We created a fake scene in the middle of our ceremony where we “lost” the rings. Mikey and I started chastising the best man (he was in on it). People were concerned and tension was high. I subtly grabbed a falconer’s glove and said “oh do I have to do everything myself!” and a hawk flew to my hand with the Rings in tow! Besides people’s reactions, the funniest part about this was that I was looking down the aisle waiting for the bird to come and he was heading straight for my friend’s head in the back row and he just missed it!
Planning all of this seemed so natural to us because we love creating magical moments for others but we ran into so many roadblocks with vendors and family alike trying to steer us in a more traditional route. I’m so glad that we had the wedding we did.
With a wedding like that we took a break before planning the honeymoon of our dreams! It took a year to save and plan. Our honeymoon was booked around our 1st anniversary! While planning our month long trip where we would hop from Bath, Cardiff, Paris, Prague, Amsterdam, and London, I remembered when I visited my Welsh family a couple of years earlier. They were joking at how I should get married in Caerphilly Castle since I loved it so much and my cousin lives down the road.
I found Carmel on Instagram, bought a special duffle bag for our wedding outfits and an idea was formed. If we were going to truck our wedding attire all around Europe for a month we should make it worth it! With the help of airbnb experiences we booked photographers in each city! Follow me @jenbevarelli on Instagram or #becomingbevarellis to see those. I will say that our Wales photos are my favourite because they inspired it all and I have family roots that make the Castle feel special to me. It was also our first photo session of the trip. We were so excited to begin the longest vacation of our lives. Even though it was raining and we were drenched Carmel made us feel special and warm. The weather was a blessing in disguise because we had the whole castle to ourselves and we would never have been able to get the shots we have and hold so dear if it was crowded with tourists.
From Needle and Thread. I wanted a playful colourful dress that had a boho feel but was also formal. It was also important to me that I could wear the dress again for very special occasions or anniversary dinners. I didn’t want to drop a bunch of money on something I would wear once. Having tried on a few dresses at Bhldn, I fell in love with this designer, went to their website directly and found my dress. Then I had to use Net-A-Porter to get it to the USA. On my wedding day I wore a veil I made and handstitched 480 little flowers on it and I made a flower crown. I decided bringing them would be too much but while in Bath I saw a little crown and decided I needed it so that’s what you see in the Castle photos.
Mikey’s tailcoat is a vintage Dior from Ebay! It was actually cheaper than the groomsmen outfits (shhhhh don’t tell them). His cravat, vest, pocket square, and cufflinks are from TieDrake.net. I always wanted to marry a man in tails. It feels very traditional and whimsical. Luckily, Mikey was very into the suggestion.
Huge thanks to Carmel for Submitting this beautiful shoot. Have you recently got married in Wales? Would you love your wedding to feature on Cwtch The Bride? If so, send us some images to firstname.lastname@example.org