When Ayeisha and Tom started planning their May 2022 wedding, they knew they wanted it to reflect their values. They spend a lot of their free time in nature, are both vegan and the environment is super important to them, so these for the main references for the day, The couple chose Hafod Farm in Llanrwst as their venue, as it was close to their home and had beautiful views of the countryside.
“We spend our free time climbing mountains, exploring woodland and wild swimming so we knew that we wanted to get married near our home in North Wales surrounded by natural beauty,” said Ayeisha. “I am a climate and social justice activist so it was really important to us that our wedding reflected these values and we did everything we practically could to make the wedding as low impact as possible. I also love Tolkien, so much so that Tom joked leading up to the wedding that he fully expected me to be wearing some kind of Lord of the Rings elf costume as my wedding dress! As part of our ceremony we included a reading that Tolkien wrote for his wife on their wedding day.”
The couple wanted to walk down the aisle together, but also didn’t want to lose that special moment where the groom turns and sees the bride for the first time. So, they got ready separately and planned a first look with their photographer and videographer, just before the ceremony. “It was a really special moment that felt like it was just for us, and helped us to feel calmer for the ceremony itself”, the bride continued.
“Both of us are neurodiverse and wanted to support ourselves to enjoy the day without feeling too overwhelmed or anxious. This is why we planned a first look and a sweetheart table, which were parts of the day where we could have time together just us two which really helped reduce our anxiety levels,” They also decided on no speeches and no first dance to ease their stress around those parts of the day, too.
As vegans, having an entirely plant-based menu was a non-negotiable. The wedding breakfast was vegan salads with artisan luxury vegan doughnuts for dessert. In the evening guests could queue up and order vegan burgers, kebabs or fried ‘chicken’ with fries. “Even the vegan skeptics loved the food and still rave about it now!” said Tom.
The nature surrounding their beautiful venue was a big influence to the decor of the day. They named the tables after their favourite mountains, beaches, lakes and waterfalls – ones which were particularly significant to them. “For example we had Carnedd Dafydd, the mountain where we had our first date and where Tom proposed almost three years later”, said Ayeisha. “My grandad is an artist and painted a scene of each place to be displayed on each table on Welsh slate that we had gathered from the slate quarries by our house. The place names were also pieces of locally sourced slate.”
The couple’s favourite part of their wedding day was getting out into nature and having their photos taken. “We went to a beauty spot close to our venue called Betws-y-Coed and had some really special moments there that we will always treasure,” said Tom.
“We are so grateful to have found Rock n Roll Bride”, the couple concluded. “The magazine, website and Facebook group were so helpful and validating throughout our wedding planning,. You gave us so much courage and inspiration to do things our own way.”