Welsh Countryside | Vintage Tandem: Real Wedding

 In All, Country, Real Wedding, Vintage

I’m totes in love with todays real wedding. London couple Charlie and Tess [Baker, remember that] married in the pretty Welsh countryside at their families holiday home located near the sea. Tess took a hands on approach to the planning and styling of their wedding day and all the details were carefully thought out by, and had meaning to the lovely couple.

I particularly love Tess’ polka dot wedding dress and floral shoes. Their super cute tandem ‘love bike’ with tin cans was a fantastic touch. The fact this handmade wedding then turned into a bit of a bake off and later a mini rave is right up my street too! Read on to see all the gorgeousness of their wedding day… Oh… I nearly forgot… naked men alert [pronounced neck-ed]

© 2013 Esme Ducker Photography


We always wanted our wedding to be a country wedding. We didn’t want it to be traditional because that doesn’t reflect our nature. It was all about being outside, having fun and incorporating our love of the sea.

Welsh Countryside | Vintage Tandem: Real Wedding

Our wedding inspiration came from the most unexpected places. We would wrack our brains about how to work a certain aspect but then it would come to us in a dream, on a long car journey, through discussions with friends and family, in beautiful places we have visited. Our wedding was our partnership summarised in a heart felt ceremony with a messy party in one of the greatest locations in the World!

Welsh Countryside | Vintage Tandem: Real Wedding
Welsh Countryside | Vintage Tandem: Real Wedding
Welsh Countryside | Vintage Tandem: Real Wedding

The wedding took place in Llangwnadl on the Lleyn Peninsula in North Wales, where Tess’ dad first holidayed with his parents in 1947! And the reception was held in a marquee in a nearby field.

The ceremony was at St Gwynhoedl’s church, Llangwnadl, where Tess, her brothers & cousins were christened, Aunt & Uncle were married and Grandparents are buried.  The family still uses the grandparents home as a holiday house.

Welsh Countryside | Vintage Tandem: Real Wedding

Welsh Countryside | Vintage Tandem: Real Wedding
Welsh Countryside | Vintage Tandem: Real Wedding
Welsh Countryside | Vintage Tandem: Real Wedding

The honeymoon yurt and guest teepees were from Hummingbird Tipis located at Llecyn campsite.

-®EsmeDuckerPhotography_Tess&Charlie_016 -®EsmeDuckerPhotography_Tess&Charlie_017-®EsmeDuckerPhotography_Tess&Charlie_022
-®EsmeDuckerPhotography_Tess&Charlie_027 -®EsmeDuckerPhotography_Tess&Charlie_030-®EsmeDuckerPhotography_Tess&Charlie_039

I wanted floral shoes but am rubbish at shoe shopping. Three wonderful colleagues found the perfect shoes and bought them for me as a surprise! Made me cry!


I loved the rustic idea of dried flowers for my wedding bouquet and button holes and was thinking of doing them myself but I had already taken on too much! I’m so pleased to have found Ruth she was so helpful in her communication and sending samples.


The buttonholes matched perfectly with the boys’ suits and there was no risk of my bouquet wilting, in fact I still have it on my dressing table. Such a lovely, daily reminder of our wedding.


Initially we thought it would be fun to have a tandem bike for wedding transport but I wasn’t sure how that would work in a wedding dress. So I started looking into shorter dresses. My mum and I both saw an episode of Call The Midwife where there was a snap shot of a gorgeous 1950s wedding dress and we knew that was it!

1950s polka dot wedding dress

Once I had an idea of what I wanted I found pictures on the internet and sent them to a few dress makers. Ali got back to me and was absolutely brilliant! I love that the dress was quirky in its style and with the spots. I’m not very girly so the style suited my nature!

1950s polka dot wedding dress1950s polka dot wedding dress

Pretty bride with fishtail braids
Pretty bride with fishtail braids

My bridesmaid dresses were from asos!

floral embroidered bridesmaid dresses -®EsmeDuckerPhotography_Tess&Charlie_072-®EsmeDuckerPhotography_Tess&Charlie_055dried flower lavender and corn boutonnieredried flower lavender and corn boutonniere

dried flower bouquet wedding
dried flower bouquet wedding bride
Polka dot wedding dressPolka dot wedding dress

My Dad walked me down the aisle to ‘Bron Y Aur’ by Led Zeppelin (which still brings a tear to my eye). Our friend Ash played the organ for the hymns. Charlie’s sister and cousin sang the Garielle Aplin version of ‘The Power of Love’. Our exit music was ‘Music for a Found Harmonium’ by Penguin Cafe Orchestra.

Polka dot wedding dress, dried flower bouquet wedding
Polka dot wedding dress, dried flower bouquet wedding
Polka dot wedding dress, dried flower bouquet wedding

Charlie’s proposal was a surprise trip to Paris after work on my 30th birthday. Supper followed by a hike up Montmartre.

polka dot bride, fish tail braid

Charlie dropped to one knee outside the Sacre Coeur overlooking Paris at night. The ring was inside a clam shell which had been in our seafood linguine at supper.

polka dot bride, fish tail braid

polka dot bride, fish tail braid

I had said that if a boy ever proposes I’d want the ring to be in a clam shell. I didn’t even question why the bill appeared to be so thick!! I arrived back in London in time for work the next day with a beautiful ring on my finger!!!


polka dot bride, fish tail braid, floral shoes
polka dot bride, fish tail braid, floral shoes
-®EsmeDuckerPhotography_Tess&Charlie_100 hand dried flower bouquet
Bride and groom on 70s vintage tandem
Bride and groom on 70s vintage tandem
Bride and groom on 70s vintage tandem

Our ‘wedding transport’ was a 1970’s vintage tandem bike from Ebay that we renovated and refurbished with Brooks saddles, original white tyres and vintage bells & basket.

Bride and groom on 70s vintage tandem - love bike
Bride and groom on 70s vintage tandem - love bike
Bride and groom on 70s vintage tandem - in shades
Bride and groom on 70s vintage tandem - love bike
-®EsmeDuckerPhotography_Tess&Charlie_122 -®EsmeDuckerPhotography_Tess&Charlie_126

Our creative shoot took place at our favourite thinking/sunset location known as white rock at Porth Colmon. Esme Ducker Photography was recommended to me by my bridesmaids (both wedding photographers themselves who run Cotton Candy Weddings).

Esme did an amazing job and worked hard to cover all aspects of the day. So personable and adaptable, we were very happy with our choice!

-®EsmeDuckerPhotography_Tess&Charlie_148-®EsmeDuckerPhotography_Tess&Charlie_142 -®EsmeDuckerPhotography_Tess&Charlie_138 -®EsmeDuckerPhotography_Tess&Charlie_144

We did absolutely everything ourselves – including helping to put  the marquee together, mum & I made the bunting and stuffed hearts, my Stepdad called for a tin can amnesty in his village in order to make 250 heart shaped tea light holders!


All of the children at our wedding received a book called ‘Charlie and Tess‘ by Martin Hall and many of our guests took their place setting home which was their name written on a rock.


We had several unbelievable barrels of beer from Sadler’s Ales which were an absolute hit. Our wedding crossed over to a mini beer festival!


The church & reception flowers were put together by Karen Hutchings (my Father’s partner) who is a flower designer, with the help of my aunt. She used to do this professionally with her sister. I wanted something simple and country! Apparently it’s very complicated to do simple!! The flowers actually took my breath away!! The whole thing was a military operation starting with a 7 hour drive from the wholesaler in Ipswich.



In true Baker style we had a Bake Off! We invited everyone to bring along a homemade cake and the best won a prize. It was an absolute hit! We had to get more tables to put them on! So many people made such an effort and they were all so personal to us. It was the perfect way for everyone to have a part in our special day (and it was free!!)

-®EsmeDuckerPhotography_Tess&Charlie_155 -®EsmeDuckerPhotography_Tess&Charlie_156-®EsmeDuckerPhotography_Tess&Charlie_160-®EsmeDuckerPhotography_Tess&Charlie_159 -®EsmeDuckerPhotography_Tess&Charlie_161

-®EsmeDuckerPhotography_Tess&Charlie_181 -®EsmeDuckerPhotography_Tess&Charlie_184 -®EsmeDuckerPhotography_Tess&Charlie_185

Our first dance was Adele’s Hometown Glory which was a mix done by one of Charlie’s Best Men, Phil. It started as the original version then dropped into the Drum n Bass mix by High Contrast. Only the Best men, Ushers and BMs were in the know about this so it all started romantically then the dance floor went mental! It was a perfect start to a crazy Ceilidh! We have regularly danced to the High Contrast version when driving in our van! We love it!

-®EsmeDuckerPhotography_Tess&Charlie_191-®EsmeDuckerPhotography_Tess&Charlie_188 -®EsmeDuckerPhotography_Tess&Charlie_193

What was the most memorable  moment from your day?

Too many! Hanging on to my dad’s arm for dear life when walking down the aisle. Charlie’s brother and brother in law half drawing their swords to defend Charlie’s honour during the lawful impediment part of the service. My Step-Dad’s amazing poem during the church service. Leaving the church on our tandem with everyone applauding. Rocking out on our first dance. Being completely overwhelmed by the fact that all the people there were for us, they had travelled for miles solely to see us get married.

And if you could impart any words of wisdom for future bridestobe?

A long engagement! Not that organising a wedding requires 18 months, but we wanted it to be personal to us. We wanted to come up with all the little details to reflect who we are as a couple, as a family and a group of friends.

The bride doesn’t sleep the night before the wedding!! I am the best sleeper and I barely slept a wink! I was exhausted and had enormous bags under my eyes! Plan for this and have a massage before bed!

Love, love, love this wedding. Tess and Charlie make a fantastic couple don’t they! And I adore all the heartfelt, personal details that went into the making of their wedding. Congrats to them both and a huge thank you to Esme Ducker Photography for sharing their gorgeous, Welsh countryside wedding on the WTW blog.

wedding credits | photography: esme ducker | dress: unique dress | floral shoes: l.k. bennett | headband: gillian million | bridesmaid dresses: asos | bride make-up: the bride | brides hair: bay waves, abersoch | grooms suit: handmade by cad & the dandy (saville row) | dried flower bouquets & button holes: daisy shop | tandem bike: ebay

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Showing 14 comments
  • Nathan

    A wedding cake has never made me laugh so much! Looks great and delicious to. And also all very good & great photos :)

    • Sonia

      Haha yes, happy as pigs in sh*t hehe!

  • Hot Chocolates - Clayton

    fantastic pics.. looks like it was a great party :)

    Especially lovin the pigs in sh*t :) xoxo

  • Tess & Charlie

    Thanks so much Sonia! The blog looks great! The Pig cake tasted as good as it looked!! Incredible!

    • Sonia

      You’re wedding was amazing Tess, absolutely love it and hope you and Charlie are enjoying married life! XxX

  • Martin

    Great blog. What a nice idea. Brilliant photographs. Brilliant wedding. Interesting to see that sword-drawing Jem is now Charlie’s brother-in-law. That means he has married my daughter on the sly ! Whatever next ? Dx

  • Lotus Eyes Photography

    Lovely Wedding. So Homey and cozy. Very relaxed and down to earth

  • Vows for Bride

    So stunning! Love those fields and the smiles on their face.

  • Woovow

    Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures, gorgeous.

  • Esme Ducker Photography

    Seeing all the photographs laid out here is such a treat, it was such an amazing day and an absolute joy for me to capture, thank you so much for sharing Sonia! X

    • Sonia

      Thank you for sharing your beautiful work with WTW readers Esme! XxX

  • Alex White - Pure Photos

    What a lovely wedding! Wales is such a stunning part of the world. My favourite bit has got to be the Tandem, I hope they had a good practice ridding it before the big day!

  • Charlie Baker

    Our 7 year anniversary today so lovely to see this is still live!

    • Sonia Collett

      Oh how lovely, congratulations! Hope you had a fab day in these strange times XxX

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