One of the loveliest parts of this job is watching people's life journeys unfold. Paddy and Debs joined the RMW pages in 2015 to blog about planning their big day. They made us giggle, they made us cry and they genuinely made us fall in love with their infectious positivity and authenticity. They are both truly kind people and so today it's a real pleasure to their wedding with you. It is everything I imagined it would be and more. I've honestly never seen a wedding filled with so much joy. The images from Claire Penn and video from Papertwin Weddings are just beautiful and capture the essence of the day perfectly. (Oh and I must give a big shout out to new List member Willo Photography for second shooting). There are just so many thoughtful details too - writing personalised postcards for guests instead of favours is an idea I simply adore. Alcoholic ice lollies is another idea I can totally get on board with ;) and the confetti bomb? What a way to create gorgeous portraits! Right, I hope you've got a cup of tea and a packet of biscuits for this wedding, as it's definitely one to be savoured slowly. Congratulations gorgeous Debs and Paddy - we wish you all the best for the future and are very thankful to have had you as a RMW real Bride and Groom.

Paddy the Groom: Good afternoon one and all. It's been quite a while since our last post. I honestly couldn't tell you where the time has gone. It really only seems like yesterday that myself and Debs were getting married, not a year ago. So, this is how it all came together...

The Venue

We struggled initially with finding the right place in north Wales that wasn't prescriptive and would allow us to use local suppliers as much as possible. After a bit of detective work from Debs we came across Hafod Farm. On the first visit we both fell in love with the place because it was a blank canvas with oodles of potential and both Joanne and Pete were fantastic. They changed their entire business plan and worked like Trojans to turn it into an amazing wedding venue which we now believe is very popular and if you’re looking to book there anytime soon you’ll have to be quick! Debs and I had very little to do with the decor at Hafod. We gave Joanne a free reign and she made the place look absolutely stunning. From the Tall Barn where the ceremony took place to the marquee with the hundreds of torn strips of fabric hanging from the ceiling it was so much better than we could have possibly imagined, and a nice surprise as we didn’t get to see the final layout until the day. It did get us thinking that perhaps employing a wedding coordinator would have been money well spent to help us with the other bits throughout the planning process.

The Decor

We did add a few of our own little touches, including the mini flags for the ceremony with various phrases or symbols printed on them which seemed to keep kids, and adults, entertained for a while. It was also lovely to see the ‘In Love We Trust’ theme (taken from Deb’s t-shirt that she wore to get ready in) carried throughout the day. We also received a lovely gift from our friend (and fellow RMW Real Bride) Karen which sat beautifully at the front of the Tall Barn. Being able to include things like this allowed us to really involve friends and family. We should also say a huge thanks to Karen for making us a table plan at the last minute. She politely asked if there was anything she could help with at which point Deb threw a picture frame, sharpie and a piece of card at her safe in the knowledge that she could transform it into something awesome. Who else carries around a Craft Box to a wedding ‘just in case’? Are we that predictable? One of the main reasons that we approached Hafod was that we wanted a relaxed and flexible wedding. For those who need to have every detail thoroughly planned and confirmed, this relaxed attitude may not be to your taste, and you may find that a location with a thorough contract and agreement would be more up your street. Although the more relaxed approach doesn’t suit everyone, in the most part it worked for us but in hindsight we’d probably have benefitted from triple checking that our conversations throughout the planning process were formally agreed to save a bit of last minute panic. The day started with torrential rain right up until an hour before the wedding, when we had blue sky and sunshine, thankfully, which presented our photographers and video team with a great backdrop for our pics and wedding film.

The Photography & Videography

In previous posts you will have read me banging on about the super talented combination of Claire Penn and Papertwin Weddings, and yes you've guessed it, I'm going to do it all again. Claire Penn was a delight to work with, just brilliant and she made us feel instantly at ease which is what you want from someone who will be following you around all day. We were also lucky enough for her to invite fellow List member, Lee Williams of Willo Photography to join her. We were thrilled with the final pictures and would recommend both of them in an instant. Their friendly style and amazing eye for capturing those little, personal moments between friends meant that our guests were also at ease and we have some gorgeous pictures of them looking so happy, not something that you can achieve with formal, posed pictures. The team at Papertwin Weddings are fantastic and crazy talented. We recently received our film, together with a couple of bags of popcorn, and immediately sat down together to watch it. The day went so quickly that it's been great to look back over it and see the things we missed or had forgotten. This was something that Deb had said she wanted and certainly, looking back we’re glad that we saved the extra to have a film by Papertwin. If you want to see the highlights trailer for our day (and some of how it all came together) you can see it here:

The Food & Music

One really important part of the day and something that we’ll treasure is that MoH, Kirsty, agreed to sing while we signed the register. Again, this was a lovely way of keeping the ceremony interesting for others and more importantly having a very personal touch from our closest friends. As I mentioned earlier we wanted to use local suppliers as much as possible. The food from Chuck Wagon was just immense. When we saw the list of potential options we knew they were the caterers for us. There was so much food that everyone had seconds or thirds and we still had enough for fourths. There were quite a few people in food comas afterwards which is always the sign of a good feed. Our lovely friends and family brought desserts along, as is now fashionable, and we were fortunate to have some of Cait’s Mum’s sorbet to pop into the Prosecco which we’d highly recommend. The team did a great job! We read somewhere that food is one of the main things that people remember about a wedding, so we were pleased that Chuck Wagon, and our lovely friends and family did such a good job. We met Ace Lolly at the one and only wedding fair I went to where they lured me over with their selection of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic lollies. We went with Ace Lolly for a couple of reasons. Firstly they were local. Secondly they make a mean mojito lolly and thirdly let's be honest, nothing says Summer like an ice lolly in the sun. The lollies went fast and everyone raved about them which speaks for itself really. One of the only things that I had said right from the start of the planning process is that I wanted a ceilidh in the evening. Debs will be the first to admit that she was somewhat dubious about swinging her Grandpops around, but I was adamant that this would be the entertainment. We found Aderyn Prin and they were perfect. They got everyone up and dancing and from what I can tell a good time was had by all. They really understood when, at the last minute, we asked them to extend their set by an hour as we had to cancel the DJ due to a misunderstanding with the timings. However, if you want an evening that includes everyone, young and old then, in my humble opinion, you can't go too far wrong with a ceilidh. After this had finished, most people were pretty tired from dancing and started to make their way home, we then lit a bonfire, got changed and joined our friends with a bottle of rum. The perfect end to the day. We opted not to have favours in the traditional sense; instead we decided to take the time to write every one of our guests a thank you postcard. We bought a couple of postcard boxes from Amazon and multi-coloured envelopes which added some colour to the tables and went from there. It took ages, but we really wanted to make sure that our guests knew that we were so grateful that they took the time to join us. The feedback we got from this was some of the nicest about the whole day and people didn’t seem to mind that there wasn’t a more traditional favour.

The Outfits

We opted for a relaxed dress code. Our outfits (shoes, trousers and waist coat) came from Debenhams. The assistants in the men's department couldn't have been more helpful in providing an unbiased opinion. The shirts and ties for us all came from Moss Bros. Deb bought me a pre-wedding gift for my outfit – a stag brooch, which was designed by Love Bird Jeweller. This fit really well with the waistcoat and helped people who I hadn’t meet yet know that I was the Groom, rather than Johnny or Tom. For Deb’s dress we had a bit of a change of plan a few weeks before the big day. Following a visit to White Bride in Narbeth whilst on holiday, she found the Charlotte Balbier Daydream which she fell in love with and Sally and her team were really helpful in getting it ordered and delivered in time. Deb had originally worked with her Mum’s cousin to make a dress for the ceremony, but with a slight adjustment (shortening it) it made the perfect evening dress for the ceilidh. The evening dress was blush silk with black shadow lace over the top; something quite difficult to work with but cousin Janis did an amazing job. We let the bridesmaids choose their own outfits, feeling that they’d be more comfortable and happier throughout the day and they looked gorgeous. We gave them a rough colour scheme but they all decided on blue so we got them from a couple of Lindy Bop outlets online. For hair and makeup, the girls took the morning to pop up to Llandudno and visit Deb’s usual salon which gave them the chance to relax and grab a coffee, before heading back to the accommodation where Deb got ready where Jess Dineen from Colwyn Bay Salon came along to make up the girls. The accommodation at Coed y Celyn is a great base for anyone using Hafod and who need extra places to sleep guests. The rooms are huge and as they’re self catered and they’re only a couple of miles from Hafod so easy to shuttle people around.

The Flowers

All of our flowers were handmade origami by Carmel Chameleon. Carmel made all the button holes and bouquets and they just looked truly awesome. The reason why we wanted origami flowers was for the simple reason that we have them now forever, rather than just having them for a few days only then to be consigned to the bin. Our invites and save the dates were done by good friends Mr and Mrs Party Pants. We opted for A5 sized invites primarily to save on postage and instead used a wedding webpage to put all the useful information on. As we asked our guests to forward us a recipe on the back of their RSVP we also have a fab collection of family favourites which we can use and make into a book at some point in the future. Right, that is just about it from us, I think we’ve covered everything. I'd just like to say a massive thank you to everyone that helped make our day just one of the best days - ever.

Final Thoughts

Your wedding can be planned down to the final details but there is always a chance that something unforeseen can happen whether it's torrential rain, an uninvited guest or last minute changes to your ‘planned to the minute’ schedule. At the end of the day take a deep breath and just roll with it. Weddings are stressful enough as it is without worrying about the things that might happen. Also, try and find somewhere quiet, just the two of you, for a moment, and let it all sink in. One of the best moments was standing next to each other in the Tall Barn, giggling, relaxed and happy. The initial nerves disappeared as soon as Debs was standing next to me and we were there together enjoying every moment. Now that our Rock My Wedding journey has come to an end, we’re looking forward to following the new Rock My Family blog and certainly Rock My Style which has provided much inspiration for our nursery, as we welcomed the baby Gryff to our family back in June. As always, much love. The Mahons x

Fern Godfrey

Written by Fern Godfrey

Venue: Hafod Farm | Videography: Papertwin Weddings | Food: Chuckwagon BBQ | Ice Lollies: Ace Lolly | Groom & Groomsmen: Debenhams | Shirts & Ties: Moss Bros. | Stag Suit Pin: Love Bird Prints | Boutique: White Bride | Dress Designer: Charlotte Balbier | Hair : Clinton James | Make Up: Face 2 Face Beauty | Accomodation: Coed y Celyn | Origami Flowers: Carmel Chameleon | Stationery: Mr & Mrs Party Pants
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