Bride Holly refers to her best girls as bridesbabes instead of maids. And they are, they truly are. Their mis-match high street grey dresses are to die for and look absolutely gorgeous against the greenery of the Welsh countryside and their giant foliage bouquets. Holly leads her ladies in an unbelievably stunning Emma Beaumont gown with an embellished top with loooong sleeves. But my absolute favourite details of the dress has to be the incredibly sexy low back and front spilt in the billowing skirt.
Holly the Bride: As soon as we were engaged, we knew we wanted to get married at Nant Gwrtheryn on the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales. We’ve been visiting North Wales with our families since we were young and with the chapel, reception venue and accommodation for all our guests on site, it meant we could make a full weekend out of it. And it’s the most stunning wedding backdrop I’ve ever seen.
Our wedding coordinator Mair at Nant Gwrtheyrn was amazing – really communicative throughout the whole planning process and super helpful on the day making sure everything went without a hitch.
The venue catered the whole day from the canapés and reception drinks post ceremony, to the 3-course wedding breakfast menu and evening food. We wanted a menu to reflect the venues Welsh heritage so to start was Glamorgan sausages with a choice for the main course of braised local belly pork with fennel, cider and baked apple, roast fillet of salmon with a lemon and caper crust and dill emulsion, or a cashew nut, Nantmor mushroom and spinach terrine with a roast pepper sauce. Dessert was a Nant lemon cheesecake and the evening food a traditional lobscouse and home made bread rolls, with a cheese stack and the wedding cake as dessert.
We wanted a fairly traditional but short wedding service so the chapel at Nant was perfect for us. All our guests commented on how fun the ceremony was, a lot due to our fun-loving Minister Marcus. He was cracked jokes throughout the ceremony and made sure it was light-hearted as well as going through the more traditional motions (the beginning of the ceremony was quite an emotional one with me not being able to stop crying happy tears as I walked down the aisle!). I walked down the aisle to Ben Howard’s ‘Old Pine’ with both of my dads on either side and had one hymn; ‘One more step along the world I go’ – a fun and fitting choice. We had two readings, one written by my cousin (cue more tears!) and ‘The Friendship Poem’ by Mike’s Godmother. My mum arranged a surprise trumpeter to perform the Wedding March on our way out which was a really nice touch and set the tone for the rest of the day!
We wanted a Mancunian/Welsh/Ibiza mix for the day when it came to the entertainment (not the most traditional route!) so my sister’s boyfriend played the guitar and sang on the veranda overlooking the beach during the reception drinks, and at sunset we had a saxophonist play old school Ibiza tracks. Mike and I even did an impromptu first dance to Addagio for Strings with a perfect Ibiza-style sunset behind us. The saxophonist had all the guests up dancing with their hands in the air and it was one of the most special moments of the whole day. For the evening entertainment we had a DJ from Wedding Jam.
My vision for the décor included lots of greenery and foliage, keeping everything else simple and white. Our family and friends helped us collect glass jars to display the floral arrangements and foliage and I bought a few clear and green botanical style jars and vases. We made a last minute decision a week before the wedding to hire a draping company drape the reception hall with white drapes and it was one of the best decisions we made in terms of the décor. They really transformed the room and created the perfect ambience.
One of my favourite décor pieces was a ‘Best Day Ever’ sign. I found a lady on Etsy who printed my design onto fabric and shipped it over but she’s sadly closed the shop down now. The garland that surrounded the sign was by the fantastically talented Bolton-based Wedding Stylist Nina Marika.
Other décor included a greenhouse card box and light up letters from Hobbycraft for the top table. We also placed white candles on the veranda outside for sunset and I did a few DIY bits such as black boards and signs for around the venue.
Memory Booth is great in that it’s one of the cheapest options out there and super easy to use. They post the booth straight to your venue, along with a few props and it proved a big hit with the guests. After the wedding they then email a link to all of the images and even make a slide show with your chosen track. I couldn’t recommend them more for the big day, the booth is easy to use and is much more pleasing on the eye than the traditional large box booth.
I used a few online tools in the run up to the wedding including Top Table Planner, which was a lifesaver when doing the table plan. I also designed and created my own wedding website using WordPress which included all the info for the more tech-savvy guests. We asked our guests for contributions towards our honeymoon to Hawaii next May using Buy Our Honeymoon.
My colleague and friend Hollie helped design the initial save the dates and invites. From there I made the rest of the stationery myself including the place names, table names (places Mike and I have travelled to together) and ‘wed-lib’ cards for the guests to fill in their marital advice at the tables. I used Printed.com for all of the invites, table names and wed-lib cards, and Moo.com for the smaller place names.
As I work in fashion and magazines, I also wanted to design my own wedding newspaper. I used The Newspaper Club to print them and wrote and designed them myself using InDesign. The newspaper included the story of how Mike and I met and our relationship. We met age 11 and lived practically next door to each other and went to high school together.
I thought I knew what I wanted and had a London-based designer in mind originally. However being based in Manchester I wasn’t sure I wanted to commit to travelling to London and back for every fitting so decided to look around for Northern based designers. I had a Google and came across Emma Beaumont Atelier based in Knutsford. From the moment we walked in to Emma’s studio we were made to feel welcome and so special – being offered champagne and tea and biscuits. I ran through some mood boards of what I thought I wanted with Emma, even going as far as choosing the fabrics and sketching out the design. Emma’s other bridal works in progress were hung up in her studio and my mum spotted a mock up of a really full skirt and eventually convinced me to try it on (I wasn’t keen as it was the opposite to everything I thought I had wanted). It turned out to be ‘the one’ in terms of the shape and even set my mum off crying. From there Emma and I worked together over 9 months to design and create the most beautiful and dream dress I could ever have imagined. Emma was the best and I can’t recommend her enough – her communication, professionalism and passion for her job is incredible.
I always knew I wanted a cathedral length veil so Emma also made that, complete with the date hand sewn in blue as my ‘something blue’. My something old was a ring given to me by my Nan who’s Great Aunt had gifted to her when she was young. I also had it blessed during the ceremony and now wear it on my right hand.
I struggled to decide on shoes but on my second to final dress fitting Mike surprised me with the most perfect pair of Jimmy Choo shoes – swoon! He also surprised me with my ‘something new’ on the morning of the wedding day with diamond earrings from Prestons in Wilmslow and two of my best friends and maids gave me a silver necklace engraved with the wedding date – I’m one lucky lady.
Wedding Party Fashion
I had 5 Bridesbabes altogether and wanted them to be in the same colour but different styles to suit their personalities. After lots of ordering and sending back we eventually went for different dresses from Missguided, Jarlo London, Quiz, ASOS and Atom Attire on Etsy. We opted for black tie for the Groomsmen in a waistcoat and trousers from ASOS and Mike also wore an ASOS 3 piece suit with Ted Baker shoes. He had tried on various designer suits but when it came down to it, ASOS was the winner. Our 10-month old niece and flower girl wore the cutest ivory dress with matching crop jumper and floral headband.
One of my closet friends Fiona who runs Fifi Boutique created all of the floral arrangements, foliage décor, buttonholes, bridesmaid bouquets, chapel displays, pew ends and bridal bouquet. She understood my vision exactly and everything turned out better than I could ever have imagined. We ordered everything from Triangle Nursery, which arrived a couple of days before the wedding day and everyone pitched in to help Fiona put it all together. I can’t thank Fiona enough for working so hard on it, she was amazing and the arrangements truly made our day and brought my vision to life.
The Cake and Favours
My Aunty is an excellent cake maker and created a 3-tiered chocolate wedding cake using a family recipe from my Grandma. It was decorated with foliage with help from Fiona and she also made all 120 of the limoncello favours – an absolute star!
I was recommended Dale Weeks by a photographer friend of mine and as soon as I looked at his site, I knew he was the one for us. Dale’s candid and natural yet cool photography style was exactly what I was looking for and his professionalism and communication throughout the whole process has been second to none. All of our family and friends commented on how good he was on the day – we barely even knew he was there and made us feel so comfortable and relaxed.
I work with photographers and videographers on a daily basis at work so always knew we were going to go with a videographer for the day. Dale actually recommended the Costa Sisters and oh my god – they’re amazing! I’m obsessed with their video style and they were so much fun on the day.
The only tip I can give to any brides out there is not to worry. I enjoyed every minute of wedding planning and thought of nothing else but having fun and spending time with the ones we love on the day. I think this really helped in making it a stress-free experience and the more relaxed you are, the more natural your photos will be too. Just chill, have fun and make it the best day ever. After all you’re marrying the love of your life and that’s the main thing, everything else will come together and you’ll be so surprised at how much love and support you’ll receive from friends and family.
Photography by Dale Weeks Photography
- Videographer The Costa Sisters
- Dress Designer & Boutique Emma Beaumont
- Bridal Shoes Jimmy Choo
- Earrings Prestons
- Bridesmaid Dresses ASOS
- Atom Attire at Etsy
- Grooms Suit ASOS
- Grooms Shoes Ted Baker
- Venue Nant Gwrtheyrn
- Wedding Stylist Nina Marika
- Flowers Fifi Boutique
- Triangle Nursery
- Entertainment Sophia Sax
- Wedding Jam
- Photo Booth The Memory Booth
- Planning Top Table Planner
- Buy Our Honeymoon
- Stationery The Newspaper Club