The Wedding of Nathan & Rhiannon
6th October 2022
A detail oriented, rustic wedding with a heroic twist. For local couple Nathan and Rhiannon from Flintshire, who simply couldn’t leave their dog Alfred out on their big day.
This down-to-earth couple couldn’t believe their luck when they stumbled across their perfect, dog-friendly wedding venue just a stone’s throw from their home in Hope, Flintshire. They immediately set the date and set about planning a paired-back summer wedding.
After two heart-wrenching postponements ℅ COVID-19, Nathan and Rhiannon finally tied the knot on 6th October 2022 in a rustic outdoor ceremony. Spoiler alert: It was worth the wait.
Bridal Party – Outdoor Ceremony Area – Tower Hill Barns
Old Railway Bridge – Tower Hill Barns – North Wales
– Nathan _ Rhiannon – 168-Stacey Oliver Photography – Tower Hill Barns
– Nathan _ Rhiannon – 674-Stacey Oliver Photography – Tower Hill Barns
Dog friendly wedding venue – North Wales – Tower Hill Barns
Oak Clad Gazebo – Outdoor Ceremony Area – Tower Hill Barns – North Wales
Dog friendly outdoor ceremonies – Tower Hill Barns – North Wales Wedding Venue
Bridesmaids – Old Railway Bridge – Tower Hill Barns
Outdoor wedding ceremony- dog ring bearer – Tower Hill Barns
Rolling Views Over North Wales Countryside – Rural Wedding Venue – Tower Hill Barns
Oak Clad Outdoor Ceremony Area – North Wales
Dog friendly weddings – Tower Hill Barns
Outdoor Bar- Tower Hill Barns – Summer Wedding
Oak framed gazebo – Tower Hill Barns – North Wales
– Nathan _ Rhiannon – 471-Stacey Oliver Photography – Tower Hill Barns
– Nathan _ Rhiannon – 487-Stacey Oliver Photography – Tower Hill Barns
– Nathan _ Rhiannon – 776-Stacey Oliver Photography – Tower Hill Barns
– Nathan _ Rhiannon – 363-Stacey Oliver Photography – Tower Hill Barns
– Nathan _ Rhiannon – 837-Stacey Oliver Photography – Tower Hill Barns
– Nathan _ Rhiannon – Sept Stacey Oliver Photography – Tower Hill Barns
Nathan popped the question to a shocked Rhiannon in the couple’s favourite beauty spot on the Llyn Peninsula. “I (Rhiannon) was very surprised when Nathan dropped to one knee. My first answer to that all-important question was ‘You’re weird’ – not exactly the reaction he was hoping for I’m sure. Thankfully he persisted and I did say yes eventually!” – That’s what counts right?
Thanks to COVID, we went on to have several mini-moons in the same spot ahead of our eagerly awaited big day as we waited out the inevitable postponements. It’s safe to say the Llyn Peninsula will always have a special place in our hearts.
The Perfect Local Dog-Friendly Wedding Venue
When we began the search for our perfect wedding venue we knew we wanted somewhere beautiful, in a stunning location which was also reasonably priced. It was actually my mum who found Tower Hill Barns, earning herself a few brownie points in the process. Suffice to say, it is everything we were looking for and more.
Upon visiting, myself and Nathan were simply blown away by the elegance and beauty of the venue. And when we realised that Tower Hill Barns is very dog-friendly and staff were more than happy for our fur-baby to be part of the ceremony, we were sold. As an added bonus, THB turned out to be just a stone’s throw from where we live in Hope, Flintshire – what more could we ask for?
We originally set the date for a June wedding date as we were hoping for good weather, without it being too hot. However, after a few postponements thanks to COVID restrictions we eventually tied the knot on the 6th October 2022. And it was perfect.
Wedding Planning In A Pandemic
As a very organised, detail-oriented person, I (Rhiannon) was the natural choice for the role of chief wedding planner. Although, of course, I did run everything past Nathan before storming ahead with the details.
We didn’t have a strict budget as such, but kept track of our spending with a good old Excel spreadsheet. Having only been to one wedding at the time, I had to do a lot of research and attended numerous wedding fayres (part of the fun right?!). And in the end, it all came together. Our wedding décor supplier, Skellon Events even commented that we’d thought of everything (You’re welcome Nathan!).
Overall the experience of planning a wedding was very exciting. Brainstorming our ideas and searching out the perfect suppliers was great fun. However, throwing COVID into the mix did add an element of stress. Especially dealing with our wedding insurance providers (even as a solicitor!). And it was of course upsetting when we had to keep postponing, but I would love to do it all again!
The Theme and Styling
If we had to put a label on our theme – although we didn’t specifically have one – I think it would be rustic. We adore how Tower Hill Barns looks and feels in its own right. And we opted for minimal décor in order to maintain this natural, rustic look for our wedding day as much as possible.
We incorporated a hint of baby blue here and there, to tie in with the bridesmaid’s dresses. And for an added personal touch, we opted for superhero-themed table names and plans in a nod to Nathan, who is a huge fan of Batman and Marvel.
The Wedding Cake
For our wedding cake, we decided to do away with the traditional fruit cake. Opting instead for three tiers of Biscoff, Devil’s fudge cake and a classic Victoria sponge. We have no regrets!
Our very talented cake supplier ‘Mel’s Amazing Cakes’ did a wonderful job of encapsulating our chosen colour scheme with the silver and baby blue marbled effect. And she even helped us to include a little personal touch at the back – a lego batman! She also modelled an amazing figure of our pup Alfred which took pride of place at the top. Our guests couldn’t get enough of it- it was almost too good to eat!
A Chilled, Celebratory Start To The Day
My bridal party and I spent the morning of the wedding in the hair and makeup room at THB. It was a lovely, chilled way to start the day. There were plenty of laughs, the champagne was flowing and I also received some beautiful heartfelt gifts from my mum and bridesmaids, as well as a heartfelt, last-minute surprise from Nathan. It was perfect.
I loved getting ready at the venue, as it allowed me to see all our guests arriving. And I even managed to have a sneaky peek at Nathan and Alfred (our dog) having some wedding portraits taken by our wonderful photographer, Stacey Oliver ahead of the ceremony (Without getting caught!).
Overall, everything was perfect and I felt incredibly calm. The registrar said she’s never met such a chilled bride!
Nathan and Rhiannon finally tied the knot on 6th October 2022 in a long-awaited, intimate outdoor ceremony beneath the sandstone arch of our historic ‘Old Railway Bridge’. In front of 60 of their nearest and dearest.
Rhiannon walked down the aisle to a rendition of ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love With You’ by Elvis Presley, played by the couple’s harpist. In a stunning, figure-hugging, floor-length column gown with lace detailing, designed by Morilee. Accompanied by her father and four beautiful bridesmaids who wore floor-length, chiffon gowns in a cool baby blue hue in keeping with the colour scheme.
Another thing that drew us to Tower Hill Barns initially was that it is a ‘dog friendly wedding venue’. Our dog Alfred loved being included in the ceremony, yapping throughout the entire thing and jumping straight onto me (Rhiannon) as soon as he was freed from his lead! But we wouldn’t have had it any other way, all good memories!
After saying our vows, we exited to a rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ by Gerry and The Pacemakers – no prizes for guessing that Nathan is a massive Liverpool FC fan! I even got him a signed congratulations frame from the club and LFC Liverbird tissues to celebrate the big day, #topwife.
For our wedding food, we decided to play it semi-safe, opting for dishes that we felt most people would enjoy without compromising on the food that we love. Tower Hill Barns were great at accommodating our guest’s dietary preferences and food intolerances. And the pizza station we chose for our evening food went down a storm!
As the weather was nice, we also hired Isabelle’s Ices to come along instead of offering canapés with our welcome drinks, which our guests loved. And we loved the variety Tower Hill Barns offers in terms of its drinks packages, opting for a gin bar (the bride’s favourite tipple) alongside the usual beer and Prosecco.
A First Dance On The Terrace
Our first dance took place outside on the terrace, surrounded by the beautiful views of the rolling North Wales countryside. I would have loved to have done a choreographed dance, but my dress was too big for that – a lucky escape for Nathan! It was perfect, but we did have a ‘bloopers moment’ when the song we had chosen stopped as it approached the chorus and we had to start the first dance again!
We chose our wonderful photographer Stacey Oliver based on her style, which we both loved. Stacey is so lovely and our wedding album came out beautifully, the perfect embodiment of our big day – we definitely made the right decision.
A moment we will never forget is when we headed up to the top of the railway bridge with our wedding party to try and take some fun wedding photos using smoke bombs. Long story short, there were far too many of us, a good few bumps here and there AND one of my bridesmaids ended up with a little more than she bargained for in the form of pink hair and a dress to match!
Advice for future couples
If you’re thinking of booking a Photo Booth – do it! Ours was definitely a hit with our guests during our evening do!
Don’t plan the day around what will make everyone happy; the day is about you and your partner so do what you love and what you want to do!
Book a taxi for your food taster! We attended the food taster at THB which was a wonderful experience, but we hadn’t really planned ahead and the cocktails were WAY too good to do without. We learned the hard way that THB is in a semi-rural location so I would definitely recommend booking ahead to avoid a long wait for a taxi!
Photography by Stacey Oliver Photography
Florist: Emma’s Country Choice| Cake: Mel’s Amazing Cakes| Bridal Boutique: The Bridal Sewing Room| Dress Designer: Morilee | Bridal Shoes: Valentino| Makeup: Rebecca Foreshaw| Hair: Toppers Salon| Wedding Décor: Skellon Events| Wedding Stationary: Renbrand Creative| Ice Cream Cart: Isabelle’s Ices| Band: DJ Mark| Wedding Jewellery: Mappin and Webb