“James photographed our wedding back in July 2019. From the first time I spoke to James on the phone I knew he was the photographer for us, we got on like a house on fire! He slotted in beautifully with our family and friends and quickly proved our most popular guest. He took beautiful natural photos and was very un-intrusive, which was exactly what we wanted. I’ve been asked for his details by several of my wedding guests since the big day!”- Rosa & Tom
As a groom, imagine the morning of your wedding day being surrounded by your best mates, in your childhood home and then heading down to the local for a quick pint, looking forward to marrying your best friend and love of your life. It doesn’t get much better than that! Hold the whole celebration in Tall Johns House in Wales and you’re in for a pretty perfect day.
Now that’s enough from me, let me handover to HRosa & Tom to tell you a bit more about their wedding.
‘Tom grew up just down the road from the venue, we both love going to Wales to visit his family. It’s so beautiful, it was always going to be where we got married. When we first saw the venue, it was in the middle of the renovation with a digger in the middle of the barn and it was pouring with rain, but it just felt right. We had 130 guests and it took 18 months to plan.’
How they met
We met on Tinder back in Autumn 2014, our first date consisted of several G&Ts on a school night. From that day on we never looked back!
We snowboard every year in Meribel, France. It’s a place that we love. We were on holiday with a group of friends, the weather was terrible, white out snowstorms every day. There was a break in the clouds and a view of the valley appeared – Tom seized the opportunity to pop the question to the cheers of our friends just down the mountain. Turned out he had been carrying the ring around in a shopping bag all week, terrified he was going to drop it.
How did you allocate your budget?
We weren’t terribly organised with our budget, we knew that great food and a good party were priorities so that and the venue were our big spends.
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
Our big spends were the food and venue. My dress was not a ‘real’ wedding dress so I made big savings there. Apart from the bouquets and hanging floral hoops we arranged the flowers ourselves which saved on the flower budget. My mum made the cake and friends and family brought home made cakes and biscuits for dessert. I also spent about a year making pompoms which ended up everywhere!
How did you choose your photographer?
We found our photographer James on Instagram – Tom is a designer so was very picky about the editing styles people used, James was the only one he liked! I spoke to James on the phone and knew immediately that we would get on like a house on fire. I didn’t even bother getting any quotes from anyone else!
I bought my dress online from Sezane, they don’t traditionally make wedding dresses but I loved the dress. Lovely and simple, made from beautiful silk. I had it altered locally so it fitted like a glove.
My shoes were my grandmothers, vintage cream suede, the most comfortable heels I’ve ever worn. I’d been planning to wear them at my wedding for nearly 10 years.
My earrings were little mountain ranges that I found on Etsy – they matched the cufflinks my parents gave to Tom. I wore the necklace Tom gave me on the morning of the wedding, a beautiful delicate bee.
The suit and bridesmaids
The boys suits came from Slaters and the girls dresses were Phase Eight in the sale – the dresses were called Rosa, it was meant to be!
Theme or colour scheme
Our themes were quite loose – we collected gin bottles for our flowers, everything was brightly coloured and were we could we had a mountain/ski theme. My mum collected retro ski wear for our homemade photo booth.
My brief for Jo was bright coloured and seasonal and she definitely delivered!
We had big hanging floral hoops in the barn, but otherwise we just let its rustic feel be its own decoration. We strung multicoloured pompoms on gates and trees around the venue for a bright festival style vibe.
Our food was made by the pub in village where Tom grew up – The Castle. We had lots of dietary requirements for our guests and they did an amazing job. We had mezze style starters, followed by a traditional roast dinner. Pudding was homemade cakes as well as cheese and biscuits. For our evening snacks we had mini fish and chips in cones, tasty!
My mum made a beautiful rustic style cake, topped with a border terrier just like our dog Pip.
Velvet Soul are a Welsh Funk & Soul band, they were excellent and kept the dance floor full all night. We saw in the small hours with a playlist made by my legendary brother in law – who also happens to be a DJ.
Who supplied the stationery?
Tom designed all our stationary including the seating plan, it really added the personal touch.
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We had a friendsmoon with our best man and our witnesses in St Davids straight after the wedding weekend. It was great to wind down with our friends for a few days. We then went to Devon to visit Tom’s Nan who was unable to travel for the wedding. We stayed in a gorgeous little tabernacle with a woodfired hot tub.
In November we went on our proper honeymoon to New York – cocktails in The Rainbow Room with views of the Empire State were a highlight.
All of it! Everyone falling about laughing when I walked up the aisle telling Tom to ‘get your shit together Griffiths’ when he cried. My sister’s speech – she had all of the girls from the hen do stand up and take part in the speech Dead Poet Society style. It was so empowering. Ski shots and dancing all night.
Advice for other couples
Try not to be too fixed about what you think the day will be like, it will evolve as you plan things and even on the day. Just go with the flow and enjoy being with the people you love.
It sounds silly but what surprised us was how much we loved it all. We had never really intended to have a big wedding, it just turned out that way but it was wonderful to have so many people we love in one place.
My whole weekend surrounding Rosa and Tom’s wedding was amazing. Is Wales beautiful or what?! I loved photographing Rosa and Tom and I was so impressed that their smiles only seemed to get bigger throughout the day- they must have had jaw ache the next day! Apart from a few emotional moments leading up to the ceremony, it was grins and laughter all day. And we can forgive wedding morning emotions- they get to the best of us!
A Tall Johns House Wedding
Once we got to this incredible venue, all set up for the ceremony in the garden, the day was off and promised not to stop until the small hours. The ceremony was beautifully unique with Pip, Rosa and Tom’s beloved dog, taking centre stage as she was escorted down the aisle by her nephew. Rosa also asked both her Mum and her Dad to walk her down the aisle. It’s moments like these that make wedding infinitely special.
After the ceremony, it was onto the reception. Many more laughs were to be had, but Rosa’s sister brought that wedding day emotion right back to the surface. It was such a special sisterly moment. However, there was no more time for tears once the band got started in the evening! Wow! Tom and Rosa know how to get a party going- it is honesty one of the wildest and most fun wedding parties I have ever seen! And to top it off, we wrapped up the day with a solitary moment between Rosa and Tom, cuddled up, having a moment together after what I’m sure was the best day of their lives.
The beauty of getting married in Tall Johns House is that you can host your whole wedding there and it has everything you could possibly need. We took all of the couple portraits in the grounds and a neighbouring field, which created the perfect backdrop. And not that Tall Johns House really needs any additions but Rosa and Tom added their own boho twist to the day by adding a plethora of pom-poms and colour. Everything came together and made for some amazing moments which I loved photographing.