Real Weddings

Festival Wedding on Anglesey – Catrin & Chris

If you’re planning a festival wedding and need some inspiration, look no further! Catrin and Chris got married at the Carreglwyd Estate on Anglesey, home of the Gottwood Festival. Their outdoor humanist ceremony was conducted in an open-sided boathouse by a lake and all their decorations were made by friends and family. The party went on for three days with guests camping and making the most of glorious Anglesey! Read on for more inspo from a bride who most definitely kept it real…

How did you guys meet?

Chris, a Drayman (meaning he delivers beer throughout the North East) and Catrin, who is pursuing a career as a Paramedic met at a children’s activity centre in Shrewsbury, where Chris was a kayaking instructor and Catrin was a group leader. After what might have been a Summer romance, Catrin headed back to Bangor University to finish teacher training and on completion she made a rash (but amazing) decision to move to Newcastle to be with Chris and the rest is history!

outdoor wedding ceremony in Wales

Where did you get married and why did you choose your venue?

Carreglwyd Estate in Llanfaethlu, Anglesey. Llanfaethlu is the village Catrin’s mother grew up in and where Catrin has spent time her whole life. Anglesey has become a special place for us both and is also where we got engaged.

Bridal prep black and white

How did you keep things real and relaxed?

We are pretty relaxed and trusting – for example, asking friends to go and pick some flowers and foliage and do whatever they think best with it! The flowers ended up looking amazing and it was lovely to be able to just let friends do what they think best. Catrin’s bouquet was put together with flowers and foliage we picked and some family friends made it.

bride having her hair done Tattooed bride being buttoned into her Justin Alexander wedding dress

Our wedding was a 3-day affair. As Carreglwyd Estate is actually home to Gottwood Festival and we and all our friends attend many festivals, we thought it would be great to have a festival type wedding. Many guests camped on site and stayed for 3 nights; it was lovely to really be able to spend time with everyone and not have to cram it all into one night.

where did you have your reception?

Our friends Nicky and Rowan run a company called Roaming Tent Co. They make huge Berber style tents and yurts from scratch (including all the wooden poles and archway being produced using traditional methods and locally sourced timber) which are then hired out to events such as festivals and weddings. It was a really beautiful setting for our reception.

REAL moments

  • A real highlight was the band that some of our friends put together called ‘Reet Good Craic’ – a Fleetwood Mac tribute band. They performed most of the Rumours album and were incredible! So incredible that they have had festival and other wedding bookings since!
  • When Chris was a child, he made a bet with his parents – he said ‘I bet you £10 that I will not be married by the time I’m 30!’ They kept it in an envelope until opening it on Chris’s wedding day (when 28 years old) and his Dad informing he owed him £10!
  • Being on Anglesey – so many of our guests had never been before and many had not every heard of it either. It is truly one of the most beautiful places with such friendly locals. It was extra-special to share one of our favourite places with everybody and for our families to spend time there too.
  • How chilled out we were and the planning of the wedding. There was zero stressing and zero arguing. The planning process really was enjoyable and we’d do it all again.

Dreadlocked bride Bride walking down stairs to her Dad Guests at wild wedding in Wales Groom waiting for bride BRIDE WALKING DOWN THE AISLE OUTDOOR CEREMONY ON ANGLESEY

Who was your photographer and how did you choose them?

Ally M Photography. It was so lovely to have Ally and Lucy at our wedding – they really fitted in with our relaxed wedding and managed to capture so many fantastic moments on the day. They managed to get some lovely shots of just us without making it too embarrassing posing together (which is not something we are used to!) Some really fun shots from the wild party that ensued later in the evening too, they created some great effects with the lights that were an excellent representation of the mood! We were so happy with the photos and often sit and look through them again and again – takes us back and makes us want to do it all again!

Yellow bridesmaid dressesbride and groom walking down aisleWedding ceremony in boat house Guests holding hands at boathouse wedding ceremony

What did you do yourselves?

  • Nicola, Chris’s Mum made mini strawberry jam pots for each of the guests as wedding favours.
  • Catrin produced the table plan online with the help of her friend Emma. Place cards were the labels hand-written by Catrin attached to the mini jam jars, which were the favours.
  • Each of the tables was named after a place on Anglesey and Chris’s Dad painted a picture of that place which was set on each of the tables.
  • Catrin’s Mum and Dad – Llinos & Bob were a huge part of organising the wedding. With it being on Mum’s home-turf she was able to make lots of phone calls in Welsh to local suppliers and had some great contacts. Bob was probably the key organiser of the whole thing – with spreadsheets and word documents to work out every last detail – from renting portaloos to having hay bales delivered – could not have done it without them!
  • Our friend Katie, an amazing North-East artist, designed our invitations for us – she is super talented
  • All our friends and family made our wedding what it was – some travelled so far. It was a weekend full of smiles, joy, fun and love and we are forever grateful for everyone.
  • Jam jar wedding favours Wedding centrepieces gypsophila

Just married - bride and groom in boathouse groom hugging his father

What song played as you walked down the aisle?

Two Wooden Spoons by This is The Kit – Catrin’s favourite band and an absolutely beautiful song. We have followed the band round the country.

A local choir also performed a version of Bob Dylan’s Make you feel my Love half way through the marriage.

Alternative bride and groom by a lake Outdoor festival wedding

And what about your first dance?

We danced to Roady by Fat Freddy’s Drop. We chose this song because it’s all about music, dancing and positivity – favourite lyrics from the song – ‘You know it feels so good when I know you’re skankin with me’ and ‘do it for the love of music’. We had a good bump and grind before inviting everyone to join us! Fat Freddy’s are also from New Zealand and we had planned to be seeing them at a festival in NZ for our honeymoon on New Years Eve!

Toddler holding umbrella with wedding guest Festival wedding on Anglesey

Your cake looked delicious! Tell us more…

Mum’s friend Wendy made the cake. It was absolutely delicious – A naked chocolate cake with cherries and cream and even cherry Kirsch in with the cream filling – with the top-tier staying booze free and pregnant and child friendly! The cake was placed on a round of wood prepared by our friend, Chico.

Naked cherry wedding cake

Bride and groom cutting naked cherry wedding cake

who did your hair and makeup

Did it ourselves – not many dreadlock hairdressers in Anglesey!!

Wedding up-do dreadlocks

Tell me about your catering. Was it done in-house or did you bring outside caterers in?

Anne Wilson Cordon Bleu Catering – delicious food and amazing service. As well as delicious canapés, we had:

  • Starter – parma ham, mozzarella, rocket, basil salad or Fig instead of parma ham for the veggies.
  • Main – Chicken with saffron and sun dried tomato sauce or cannelloni for the veggies.
  • Pudding – a trio of puds!
  • There was delicious cheese to munch on and late night sausage sandwiches to soak up some of the booze!

Dazzling Mobile Bar provided a bar for our party – they were lovely guys that helped us out massively with the set up and bought in all the drinks that we requested and knew our guests would enjoy!

How did you get everyone up on the dancefloor?

As mentioned above, our friends had put together a Fleetwood Mac tribute band and had been rehearsing for months. Catrin got up on stage to surprise Chris by singing on of the songs with the band.

We have lots of friends who are DJs so we had many of them playing tunes, including Chris on the decks too. We danced until about 3a.m and music went from funky to heavy bassline!

Wild wedding in Wales Alternative bride and groom walking through forest with festoon lighting

How did you choose to decorate your venue?

Lots of our wedding was outside – the ceremony took place in an open-sided boathouse at the side of a lake and so there was really not much of a need to decorate. We draped some ivy and ferns from the beams of the boathouse and a friend made a big hoop from wicker, which she entwined with foliage that was hanging behind us when we were married.

Inside of the reception tent we had foliage draped down the inner beams in the middle of the tent and behind the top table. On each of the tables were green bottles and jam jars we’d collected – in these were foliage we’d picked and fresh herbs. Festoon lighting was also provided by our friends who made and put up the tent that we were in.

For the party in the barn Chris’s Mum Nicola made bunting that we draped from the ceiling and other than that we didn’t need anything – our friends are colourful and vibrant enough to decorate any room or building!!

Festival wedding white and green decor in marque

How did you travel to the venue?

Catrin’s Uncle Maldwin drove Catrin and her Dad to the venue.

What made your wedding extra special?

We have so many talented and amazing friends and family – and so many helped in making it such an amazing day – from the tent we had the reception in to the band and DJs – one of which was Chris and Catrin sang with the band too. Two of Catrin’s best friends (Amelia & Emily) made it over from New Zealand and Dubai for the wedding.

Wedding guest wearing broccoli dress at festival wedding barn decorated with bunting

Any tips for saving money?

We saved money on doing a lot of the things ourselves.

Wild wedding party Bride dancing at festival wedding

Would you do anything differently?

Not one bit! Maybe had a four day wedding instead of three!

guests dancing at festival weddingReet Good Craic wedding band Wedding band at festival wedding

We love the vibe Catrin & Chris created at their three day festival wedding! Are you planning to have a festival theme too? Join the discussion over on our Facebook group and don’t forget to create a FREE account with us so you can save this Real Wedding to your profile!

REAL Suppliers

Bride’s dress: Justin Alexander | Stockist: Mia Sposa | Bride’s hair accessories: I picked ivy from the garden and wrapped it in my dreadlocks! | Bride’s jewellery: Green sea glass earrings to match my engagement ring (made by a friend) | Bridesmaid dresses: Jasper Conran | Page boy: Our godson was the ring-bearer and he had a specially made Northumbrian tartan romper suit by the Edinburgh Tartan Company | Tent hire: Roaming Tent co | Florist: All done by ourselves from things that we picked and found | Photographer: Ally M Photography| Hair & makeup: Did it ourselves – not many dreadlock hairdressers in Anglesey! | Groom’s suit: Tailor-made full Northumbrian tartan by the Edinburgh Tartan Company | Groomsmen: There were four best men and they all wore a waistcoat made form the same Northumbrian tartan as Chris | Cake: made by family friend | Catering: Anne Wilson Cordon Bleu Catering | Bar: Dazzling Mobile Bar | Music: Friends formed a band and DJ’d | Wedding invites: Katie Gulson


Gaia Hudson

Written by gaia_bkir

Founder of Brides Keeping it Real and mum of two little ones, Leon & Ada. Passionate about providing a supportive online community for brides and grooms who want an achievable, uncomplicated wedding planning experience.