A Jamaican and Welsh fusion wedding: Zuwena and Ryan Lewis

03 Jun 2016

Celebrating the union of two cultures, Zuwena and Ryan Lewis sought to include details of their national heritage in the big day

How did you meet?

I went out with some of my teacher training friends when I was studying in Cardiff and we wanted to relax. While I was having a mocktail I spotted a guy across the room (I know, cliché) who was matching from head to toe - from his jacket to his polo to his shoes, and I thought he was a well-dressed kind of guy.

So I waited all evening to see if he would spot my gaze and he did and winked at me. But then next thing you know, he was gone. So I thought that was it, but as my friends and I were leaving I spotted him across the road, walked up to him and asked him for his BBM (it was Blackberry times); he said he didn’t have a Blackberry so I walked away. He stopped me and said: "But I have a number though, and it would be nice to have yours", so I gave him my number and the rest is history (sorry, another cliché).

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Tell us about the proposal.

It was a cool summer's evening and we decided that we were going to go to the Captain’s Wife pub, just outside of Cardiff. When we got there we walked out to Sully Island, a tiny Island which at certain times of the day when the tide is out you can walk to and look at England from Wales. We walked around for a while and then I decided that we should go, but Ryan said that we should enjoy the view a little longer (as he was looking for a place to kneel, which I didn’t know at the time!).

So I went and sat down, ruining his plans! He sat next to me and started to tell me how lovely I was and how he thinks we are great together, then he took out a small red box, opened it and asked me to marry him. I started to cry and kissed him and said 'yes'.

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What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?

We didn’t really have a theme, but wanted to combine our cultures so it was a more of a hint of Welsh/Jamaican. Our colour scheme, which was chosen by Ryan, was navy blue and lemon yellow.

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For the bride, when did you know when you’d found ‘the’ dress?

I went to two stores and I thought I found the one at the first shop, but my mum told me to keep looking just in case, as I could always go back to the first shop. So we went to LuxQuisite Bridal Couture in Bath, as I have always wanted a Pronovias wedding dress and they stocked many different samples. I tried on five, but there were two clear favourites. As I came out in the second dress I started to cry. This weird feeling came over me and I think the glitter embellishment helped! And I was completely overwhelmed by how beautiful it was and how it made me look and feel. I just had to have it and I did!

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For the groom, where did you find your suits?

We hired our suits from Suit direct in Bridgend.

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Tell us about your floral arrangements.

Our floral arrangements were done by Evolution Floristry. The flowers were incredible; I had a teardrop bouquet that had lemon yellow and navy gerberas and yellow and blue roses to fit in with our colour scheme. Flower wands were made for all my bridesmaids, petal baskets for the flower girls, button holes for all the groomsmen and corsages for the mothers and my grandmother. Each individual flower had a diamanté in the centre, as the icing on the cake for everyone’s looks.

David also did all my table centrepieces and the top table floral design. All centrepieces were in tall vases with a blue or yellow bouquet of gerberas with diamantes in the centre of each flower, stood on a mirror with more crystals scattered around.

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Tell us about the details of the day.

We had lots of little details such as a sweet table to reflect mine and Ryan’s sweet tooth, a photo-booth to capture all our memories, a finger print tree for all our guests to stamp their prints on in either blue or yellow, a Jamican dutch pot to put messages in once they were written on Welsh dragon ribbon, Welsh cakes serviced on arrival, Spanish music played during the meal as Ryan is a quarter Spanish, traditional Jamaican food serviced in the evening, a caricature seating plan board (all table names were hand drawn and named after Ryan’s favourite chocolate)

I had personalised champagne floats made for the top table, hand painted letters which spelt Mr & Mrs Lewis for the mantlepiece and cake table and last but not least - a spectacular fireworks display.

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How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?

Overwhelmed with happiness, because at that moment I knew God had made this man for me and that although times may get tough way into the future, we will always have each other forever.

What was your most memorable moment?

Looking into each other's eyes and saying "I do" (the fireworks display was a close second).

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What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?

Not having a wedding planner to do everything for me!

What was the most important investment for you?

The venue and the food, because I have always wanted to have my reception in an impressive building and we wanted to make sure both of our cultures were represented in what we ate.

What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?

Our song was Ed Sheeran – 'Thinking Out Loud', because the lyrics completely sum up how we feel about each other and how we want to see each other even when we are old and grey.

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Tell us about your wedding cake.

Our cake was made by Angie from Angel Cakes. It was a bespoke four tier cake with navy ribbon around every tier and yellow handmade gerberas and ribbon on every other tier, with a swirl design on the navy ribbon tiers.

Each tier had a different flavour on the inside. The 12” was chocolate fudge cake filled with chocolate ganache, the 10” was lemon sponge filled with lemon curd and lemon buttercream, the 8” was vanilla sponge filled with strawberry conserve and vanilla buttercream and the 6” was a carrot cake filled with orange curd. It was the most beautiful cake I have ever tasted.

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If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?

Nothing, it was perfect. However Ryan says: "You being on time!"

Was there anything you wish you’d known before?

Yes, how you will not be able to please everyone, but that it is your day and in the end, everything will work together.

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Where did you go on honeymoon?

Kuramathi in the Maldives.

Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?

Things will get stressful, but just remember that you have each other and it’s the marriage which is important and the vows which you make and everything else will just fall into place.

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Steal their style: 

Reception venue: Leigh Court, http://www.leighcourt.co.uk/
Church: Bethel United Church, Bristol, http://www.bethelunitedbristol.org/
Cake: Angie, http://www.angelcakes-worle.com/
Photography: David Parker-Woolway, http://www.parker-woolway.co.uk/
Videography: Cherish Wedding Films, http://www.cherishweddingfilms.com/
Photo Booth: Magic Photobooths, http://www.magicphotobooths.co.uk/ 
DJ: Nite Vision – Julius Weithers, www.nite-vision.co.uk
Guitarist: James Daubney, https://www.facebook.com/jwdaubneyguitar/
Pianist for first dance: David Oliver
Stationery: Mick McCarthy
Flowers: David Martin – Evolution Floristry, http://evolutionfloristry.co.uk/index_files/ABOUTEVOLUTION.htm
Fireworks: Firestorm pyro fx, http://www.firestormpyrofx.co.uk/
Caricaturist: Ian Lloyd, Parody Portraits: http://www.parodyportraits.com/

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