Real Weddings

The Wedding of Nome & MJ

26th September 2021

An outdoor ceremony. An intimate wedding space. And of course, a barn. Yep, it was only a short list but one that Nome & MJ felt confident we could deliver on.

Their eventual day, planned in just a few short months no less, was everything they wanted for their sequel wedding. Because when you have a barn full of heart and a whole bunch of wedding peeps full of soul, you just know that you’ll have the most incredible wedding ever!

Nome, from Wales, and MJ, from the USA, knew from their first conversation with us, which happened to be a virtual viewing due to the restrictions, that they’d found their venue.  It was perfect for them – inside, and out. There was a barn. The venue was already dressed. And everything they wanted was right there. This same-sex wedding was classy yet understated, casual, relaxed and fun – all of which culminated to bring together a feeling for the day that every couple wants: a sense of calm.

Photos provided by Rich Howman.

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photo by Rich Howman Photography...

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The Theme:

Nome & MJ’s wedding featured many personal elements and we were here for all of it. MJ wore a custom-made necklace and earrings made from Japanese coins, and Vleyn gold trainers made from a Turkish rug. The pair designed their own wedding invites, decorated with two sets of bunting – a Welsh & US flag bunting and a set with their names and wedding date on it – and in a nod to sustainability, even sourced their own lawn games from a local (hire) library.

Our main idea was that we wanted the whole day to be relaxed, casual and fun. There was no dress code, we wanted everyone to be comfortable in whatever they wanted to wear. We just wanted our best people all together and to have a fabulous time after what had been a crazy 18 months. We felt that Tower Hill was already such a perfect venue so it didn’t need much more added. Our theme was a bit of a mish-mash of autumn/woodland/US/Wales and sunflowers. We wanted to keep it simple and chose elements that we liked, and just hoped it all went together. It did!

For table decorations, we used jam jars with tea lights and US/Welsh flags mixed with autumn leaves and ivy trains and the wooden logs provided by Tower Hill. We made our own willow branch decorations, using the same autumn leaves and ivy trains with added sunflowers and fairy lights. The wooden stands we made ourselves using pallets. For the main signage again we used an old pallet and added sunflowers and Welsh/US flags. We also made our own signs for American S’mores and The Time Capsule.

The Ceremony:

This wasn’t a legal wedding so Sarah, one of our best friends who is also a barrister, conducted a sequel ceremony for us. We were able to be more creative with our vows, relax and have some fun.

We made quirky promises such as Nome promising to save MJ from spiders, and MJ promising to make tea the British way.

All of our guests were our Best People, but we did decide to have two ‘chief opinionators and organisers’. These were Alex and Jess. They were also our witnesses at both our legal wedding and at this sequel ceremony. Jess did a reading of a poem called When I Dream of You by Pavana Reddy. This poem was written by the author specifically for the same-sex wedding of her best friend, and MJ sent it to Nome during lockdown when they weren’t able to see each other for four months. It was incredibly meaningful to have it read on our wedding day.

We both walked down the aisle to At Last, by Etta James. Nome walked down with her dad who was cracking jokes along the way. MJ walked down the aisle with a close friend, Sally, who was dressed in military uniform. And we didn’t forget Nome’s mum – she was the ring bearer! We had a fake register for use and Sarah, Alex and Jess to sign, which doubled as our guest book for later. We walked back up the aisle together to For Once in My Life by Stevie Wonder. It was a perfect ceremony.

All the Edibles… including the cake

The main meal was a burrito bar and it had all the trimmings… salsa, guacamole, sour cream, rice, hot sauce – you name it, it was there! Tower Hill accommodated us so well and all of our guests enjoyed the beautiful food. We feasted on sausage butties, there were canapes, and Tower Hill Barns kindly repacked our s’mores kits after a minor biscuit incident. Selecting our wedding cake was a lot of fun and a little different. We went for a tiered cake of cheese supplied by the Liverpool Cheese Company – we were able to go and have tasters and choose the cheeses we wanted.

Girls just wanna have fun:

Nome and Mj wanted to have fun, and they wanted their family and friends to have fun. And with this couple, the fun never ended! From throwing the bride in the air to teenage boys throwing shapes on the dancefloor, to running outside for the perfect rainbow shot and dodging cows along the way, theirs was a day centred on joyous moments.

The Back Story + Engagement

The pair got engaged on New Year’s Day 2021; their story is a tale entwined by lockdown and the vaccine after effects.

The plan was for Nome to take MJ to the same beach on Anglesey where they’d had their first UK holiday. But after Wales went back into lockdown, the new plan was to go to the Lake District and propose on a mountain. But with the country going back into sudden Level 4 restrictions, they were unable to get out of Liverpool and so a new plan took hold. After sneakily asking MJ where her favourite place in Liverpool was, a new plan took hold.

During the lockdown, they had spent a lot of time walking around parks close to where they live. On New Year’s Day, they went for a walk at their favourite park to see the first sunset of the new year. Nome had burnt into a piece of driftwood the words, ‘Will you marry me?’ and put a ring on it. She sneakily placed it on the grass and asked MJ to come over as she had seen something. When MJ came over and saw it, she wasn’t sure it was for her and asked, “Is this for real?” Nome confirmed with a huge smile and a nod, and MJ quickly followed it up with a ‘Yes!’

Could anything have made it better?

A few more hours added to the day, just so we could indulge in the moment a little while longer. Don’t get bogged down in nitty gritty details, it wont matter on the day. Something will always go awry (the tear in the dress, our s’mores kits needing repacking), so just go with it.And make sure you have 10 minutes to yourselves, even longer if possible. It goes so quick so try and stop and breathe and take it all in.

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