Olivia Finch is a very special little girl, who at the age of just 2 was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma, an extremely rare but extremely aggressive form of cancer.
A huge fundraising effort by Olivia’s family, friends and the local community of Port Talbot has raised over £300k to support Olivia with specialist treatment. And as part of that, an amazing group of wedding suppliers joined forces to offer the chance to WIN A WEDDING! If I’m totally honest I still can’t believe we pulled it off; from a gorgeous woodland venue to midnight snacks, every detail was covered.
Olivia’s Dad, Nick, is a wedding videographer, which no doubt really struck a chord with all of the suppliers involved – as self employed individuals, we know the extra stresses and worries that any sort of illness, family issue or emergency can cause – if you don’t go to work, you don’t get paid, it’s as simple as that; and so it was no surprise that when I put the plea out to some of my favourite suppliers in the industry, every single one of them said yes within minutes.
The response to the competition was phenomenal, with over £5600 being raised in just a matter of weeks. Excitement was through the roof on the day it was drawn, as little Olivia rocked up to TDD HQ wearing a beautiful princess dress and very fitting flower crown.
The lucky winner was drawn; Ryan Phillips, a local lad and his soon to be wife, Darcie. When we managed to get Ryan on Facetime to give him the news, he was laying flooring in his new house. He literally threw down his tools and rushed to the shop like an excited puppy, it was hysterical and a totally surreal moment – I’ll never forget the pure excitement and joy.
The Wedding Day had arrived
A few months later, on a crisp February morning, Darcie and Ryan’s wedding day had arrived. Surrounded by their nearest and dearest at Gellifawr Woodland Retreat, they were married in a special and unique ceremony provided by Hywl Celebrations. I was lucky enough to attend the wedding as a guest, as strangers have now become life long friends.
The already beautiful venue was oozing with style and finesse with gorgeous decor, tableware and sparkle from Megan and Claude. And of course, the flowers were show-stopping – an abundance of ranunculus, orchid, hydrangea, roses, anthurium, thistles and delphiniums with a rich colour palette of pinks oranges and reds, set against the contrasting tables.
Thank you to Flower Vision Bristol, our wonderful flower wholesaler who took a chunk off the flower bill for this special cause!
Darcie initially wanted a classic and muted colourway of whites and beige throughout the wedding, however very quickly we agreed that those just weren’t ‘her’, and the vibrant jewel tones were much more suited to her personality and their love!
Ryan is a welder by trade and wanted to add his own touch to the day; he created the hanging cloud centrepieces and the right-angled archway, both in a statement black, which complemented the strong colour palette perfectly.
Darcie and her girls looked absolutely gorgeous after a morning spent with Zoe May MUA and Bethan Bennett Mobile Hairdresser. The day was perfectly captured by the dream team that is Richard Savage Photography and Paul Harries Wedding Films, and copious amounts of cake and sweet treats were provided by What Sophie Baked and Honeysuckle Bakery.
It really was a special day, for a special couple. Darcie and Ryan have been through their fair share of emotional ups and downs over the years together, and so to see them surrounded by so much love was simply wonderful. Their attitude to life and the sadness that they have experienced is pretty inspiring; they are avid fundraisers themselves and from what I’ve heard and learnt over the last year or so, they have a brilliant way of turning terrible situations into positives – they simply love life!
Words from Princess Olivia
Of course, their wedding day couldn’t pass without a few words from princess Olivia, and so during the speeches I read a short letter that she had written (with a little help from her Mammy) to the newlyweds. An extract from that letter reads “Kindness defines this couple; my Mam says you are crazy too but that’s for another time”, and I would certainly agree.
It was an absolute pleasure to organise and attend the Phillips wedding, and even more of a pleasure to support such a heart wrenching but heart warming cause. Olivia, you are constantly in our thoughts – SHE CAN, SHE WILL, SHE MUST!