Our special day…
We were engaged on August 16th 2016, when Steve proposed to me on a sea kayak overlooking Balding Bay, Magnetic Island, Australia.
My dress was designed by Essence of Australia, style D1934. I found this dress the first day I went looking, and it was the third dress that I tried on. Anna Goli at bridal house allowed me to take photos, as I wanted to show my mum and dad in North Wales what it was like. I sent the photo to them straight away via Whatsapp! Mum and Dad loved it and so did I! I went back the next day and tried it on. I loved it so much I went back a third time, bought the dress and had it fitted.
I had always pictured a simple, elegant low back dress, with straps, light in weight, and without a train. This dress had a train which I wasn’t keen on to begin with, but the lace covered buttons, and the hidden zip, which went from the lower back of the dress all the way down, was an exclusive feature. The scalloped laced hem and on-trend spaghetti shoulder straps with embroidery detail were perfect. The dress had a kind of beachy elegance with a country rustic style, and I knew it was the one. There are over 73 stores in the UK selling Essence of Australia dresses. I only tried on four dresses in total!
For our wedding ceremony we opted for a beautiful church wedding in North Wales followed by a champagne reception at the amazing Tower Hill Barns, which is certainly one of the most impressive rural barns in the UK.
Laura Allen, one of my bridesmaids, had searched for Llangollen wedding venues, and Tower Hill Barns came up first. As it was in rural North Wales, and just down the road from where I grew up, it was perfect, Steve loved it and said, “It’s so us!” I went for a neutral theme as the venue itself was spectacular, and mum has always said, ‘Less is more!’
On the wedding day itself
On the morning of the wedding I thought I would be nervous but I wasn’t. I felt relaxed, calm and collected, and enjoyed getting ready with my bridesmaids. I loved walking down and seeing everyone, and it was amazing to see all the people who had travelled to be with us. I couldn’t stop smiling and looking at everyone. Everything I had committed to felt right, and I was so lucky to have my dad walk me down the aisle and give me away.
During the ceremony I valued how the priest, Father Moses, included everyone in the service. It made everyone feel at ease. He even asked us to give our friends and family a wave.
We arrived in my uncle’s car, and everyone came over to congratulate us. That was really special. The photographers, Lesley and Shaun Meredith, were outstanding. They were exceptionally professional, and made it fun throughout the day. The wedding breakfast food was superb. My family had moved all the flowers from the church and used them to decorate the balcony and the area around the cake. It was stunning and such a nice surprise. We had a playlist of our favourite chill-out songs playing in the background during the wedding breakfast; Jose Feliciano was a favourite. The food was fantastic, with salmon roulade, followed by welsh lamb. Our wedding favours were ‘welsh cakes’ – Steve’s favourite, and made by his mum. They were a massive hit!
Our first dance was ‘Let’s stay together’ by Al Green, mixed into ‘Jubel’ (Save Me) by Klingande. One of our close friends, David Bott, who works with Steve, travelled all the way from Australia to attend the wedding, and he mixed this for us. We then had the band play a live sax over the Save Me song, which was incredible, and a highlight for both of us. We had a ball!
After the wedding we went straight back to work and went on our honeymoon in September to the Cook Islands for two weeks. We were actually really pleased to have another really exciting event to look forward to. We are currently teaching in the southern hemisphere.
Here are my top tips for other brides
I wish I’d known…how quickly the day goes.
For us, the day was perfect, and ran very smoothly. It was the best day of our lives, and we spent it with our family and friends, the people who mean the world to us. It was very much an International wedding. We had many guests travel to North Wales from Australia, Dubai, South Africa, and all over the UK to share this special occasion. That’s why we chose place names as our table names.
Tip: Choose a decent photographer so your photographs are a beautiful souvenir of your memories at the end of the day.
On the morning of my wedding, my mum gave me a silver locket with those family members who were no longer with us. Mum sewed this to my bouquet and they were with me all day! I now wear the locket all the time. Steve and I got a lot of things done ahead of time, which we think was key. And we made decisions quickly.
Tip: The bridal party carried on the ‘peg game’ from the stag party, and everyone was involved throughout the day, even Lesley and Shaun our photographers.
Finally, the staff at tower hill barns were outstanding, and I would definitely book this venue for further functions in the future. Our guests are still talking about how magnificent the reception and staff were!
Our Wedding Suppliers
- Photography: Lesley and Shaun Meredith, Crewe Cheshire tel:01270829191 – http://www.lesleymeredith.co.uk/
- Ceremony Venue: Fr Moses Amune, msp (Parish priest) St Mary’s Church,
- Ruabon, N.Wales 01978 821568 http://www.stmarysruabon.org.uk/
- Dress Essence of Australia, Bridal House, Geelong (03) 5222 6272 http://www.bridalhousegeelong.com.au/
- Wedding rings: Cara, Dubai +97143478089 www.carajewellers.com
- Bridesmaids’ dresses: House of Fraser, Manchester http://www.houseoffraser.co.uk
- Hair: Laura Allen (Bridesmaid)
- Groom’s outfit: Off the Cuff menswear, Morton Stanley, 18 Town Hill, Wrexham 01978 310 444 www.offthecuffmenswear.co.uk
- Brides Bouquet: Wild, Chester 01244 321233 Brides Bouquet http://www.wildfloraldesign.co.uk/
- Table decoration and candelabras: Vivid, Wrexham +44 1978 350044 http://www.vividfloraldesign.co.uk/
- Rush Band, Manchester – Gavin Jones 07710544522 www.therushband.co.uk