Paddy & Debs: The All Important Basics.


Well hello there, thanks for the warm welcome! Before I start I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone that voted for us. It really was a surprise to read that we’d been short-listed and then that we were one of the final four, how awesome! Also thanks to our lovely friends and family who sent some very thoughtful (amusing) cards and gifts on our engagement.

So here we are. Post one. I suppose I should start with a bit about us just so you know who you’re dealing with for the next 12 months…

Here’s us in a nutshell. I’m Paddy, I have a regular day job but at the weekends I’m mostly found guiding a raft down a river at The National White Water Centre in Bala – it’s popular with stag parties so if you know anyone coming up this way give me a shout. Debs works for a charity as a Fundraising Manager and moved in with me last year. Some of Deb’s mates crashed out first date, and our second come to think of it. We’ve got an awesome dog called Spud and an unhealthy amount of prosecco in the fridge. We’re mostly found kicking around the lakes with the dog or climbing (indoor as we’re rookies) or in the pub drinking cider. That’s pretty much us, not too rock and roll, just bimbling around.

Right, down to business. Wedding preparations…

Paddy&Debs1Paddy&Debs2Paddy&Debs3Paddy&Debs4Paddy&Debs5Paddy&Debs6Debs organises events a lot with work so isn’t fazed by big projects and I go along with most decisions “we” make. We had the date in mind, we want a relaxed wedding (probably because we’re a bit rubbish at making decisions and get distracted easily) with a few friends and family. We genuinely thought that this would be an easy-ish thing to arrange. Simple, right? Wrong. So very wrong.

We really are blessed living in north Wales. We’re surrounded by the most beautiful everything; amazing food and drink suppliers, artists, jewellery makers, views, old buildings and farms, the list goes on. So finding a venue that had that oh-so-popular rustic charm, where we could cater ourselves and that was close to accommodation for those travelling, we thought, would be easy…Nope. Not so.

We had a venue pencilled early on but had the budget versus number of guests dilemma, which I’m sure everyone goes through at some point. We were looking at being crippled by corkage and tied into the venue’s catering that wasn’t exactly what we wanted – but we both loved the setting and we wanted our guests from outside the area to see what Wales is like, other than the A55 of course! A quick rethink and a phone call to the local registry office and we *think* that we have a winner…we’ll be excited to tell you all about it soon enough, but at the time of writing this we don’t want to jinx anything. For couples who are in north Wales and looking for something similar to us, well, you’re in for a treat! (There’s a sneak peak above…)

The next stage is to get our friends and family together for an engagement ‘party’ of some description so we’ve booked a picnic and white water rafting at our centre in Bala and we should probably introduce our parents at some point in the near future too! So that’s where we’re at…

(Enter Debs…)

So, it’s not quite that simple to be honest. While Patrick has been helping on the venue hunt and arranging an engagement party I’ve also been busy, well, as busy as a Bride-to-be is. I’ve never been a ‘girly girl’, I’ve never really thought I’d end up getting married and I’m not really fussed about the detail in anything outside of work. But then we got engaged and that all changed. I’ve found my inner crafter, developed an unhealthy interest in ‘stuff’ that I’ve never needed before and generally just become a bit more girly.

Accidentally I’ve prioritised learning to make things that every DIY bride *needs* over the venue and the guest list. My accountabilibuddy (Kirsty) and I went to an amazing craft warehouse and missed out on dress shopping as a result (not so accountable it turns out, eh, Cooper?), but we did find some dual coloured card to make pin wheels out of. I don’t have a clue what to do with pin wheels and forgot to put a bead on the back so they don’t spin so I’m *delighted* with how they turned out. I’ve also bought some kit for making photo props which I’m sure I’ll play with when I’ve had too many mojitos at Christmas and an old photo frame. All in all, I’m doing well…

Then, last week I was reading over the blogs from Real Brides of the recent past and found some of the most helpful advice, but something that made me actually say out loud “errr, what? WHAT???” That advice was simply: don’t forget to book the registrar for the date you want. Now, I’m sure that there’s a manual somewhere that tells you this, or a class I missed at school but we didn’t know we should have done this ASAP. The boy paints a nice picture because it ended well, but actually we had a bit of a panic because there was only one slot left for the date we wanted – so we’re in at 11am.

Anyhow, by next time we can fill you in with the venue (hopefully), how my dress shopping is going (which is much more fun than I thought it would be), whether the boys are happy with what they’ll be dressed in and whether I’ve managed to Mod Podge my hands together again. Seriously, Spiderman had nothing on me…

Much love xx

Author: Fern Godfrey
Fern spends most of her time dreaming about weddings and trying to convince her long-suffering boyfriend to propose. Lucky enough to live in sunny Cornwall, if you need her – you’ll find her at beach.

52 thoughts on “Paddy & Debs: The All Important Basics.

  1. Hiiiii guys! So nice to see you completing the real brides quartet & lovely to read more of your plans. So far what I gather from the four entries is that none of us ladies feel like bridey-brides…which makes it even more exciting to see where our newly found bridal-planning skills lead us to! Can’t wait to journey with you together. xx

    1. Obviously to places of beauty, where cocktails and champagne flow freely and we’re all happy planning parties and looking at lovely things… right? RIGHT??


    2. Obviously to places of beauty, where cocktails and champagne flow freely and we’re all happy planning parties and looking at lovely things… right? RIGHT??


  2. Hey check it out… There’s another boy on the blog 🙂

    Welcome Paddy & Debs – great first post… Loving the crafty twin colour card and I can’t wait to learn more about this Welsh venue you’re getting excited about.


    1. We can’t have the women taking over everything now can we…?

      Thanks for the warm welcome. Quite a lot of fun to be had in the RMW world it seems!

  3. Hooray!! Fab first post from Paddy and Deb! Favourite part is definitely “we have an awesome dog called Spud and an unhealthy amount of prosecco in the fridge”. there is no such thing as an unhealthy amount of prosecco…surely?!

    Completely agree about the registrar, someone gave me that advice before we’d even booked the venue…luckily we managed to get the dates and times right.

    Love how you are so creative as well, I’m just sort of hoping the magic wedding fairies will do all the small detailed stuff on my behalf!

    Can’t wait to read more!

    Lauren xxxx

    P.S. Spud is ridiculously gorgeous xxxx

    1. Spud knows it – don’t give him anymore of an ego!

      And no, never too much prosecco. You never know when you’re going to need to celebrate!

  4. Loving your write up!! One of your photos of the writing made me think of the song I walked down the aisle to- Marry Me by Train. Loved it and set the scene for an incredible wedding for us!! Happy planning!! We loved every second and all of the planning and hope you both so too x

    1. We listened to that the other day, purely coincidental that it came on the stream while we were talking about the wedding. I think we’ve already decided on first dance but not really thought about aisle music yet – I guess that depends on the registry office / ceremony decision.

      Thanks very much for the post Lisa, the planning is more fun than we thought it would be to be honest, every little decision we make we have a cheeky little cider to celebrate though so we should probably stop that… (!)

  5. Um… are you referring to my ‘we almost didn’t get the registrar’ crying fit I had that time? That was a fun day in the office.

    I can’t wait for the white water rafting (pfft) / day of lake drinking / Welsh holiday, so I can finally give Paddy the once over and have Spud cuddles. Loved reading this, and I love that Debs has become a proper wife and girly girl now… WELCOME TO WIFE LIFE. Most of all, I love that my mate is so obviously the happiest I’ve ever known her, that makes me very happy indeed. Well done team.

    So excited that you’re both sharing your story on Rock My Wedding, I love Debs so Paddy, I know I’ll love you too. Can’t wait for the next installment!


    1. Yes Charles, t’was you…. imagine if out of all of the lessons you’ve taught me in life, THAT would be the one I forgot.

      Looking forward to seeing your face too, and Willo of course.

      Also , stop gushing so publically – you’re ruining my street cred with the cool kids *flicks up collar* 🙂


  6. Welcome! If you are having issues getting a registrar slot at the right time on your chosen date I would suggest considering doing the legal part separately. We are having a very short basic leagal ceremony at the register office on the Friday with just a couple of witnesses followed by a full Humanist ceremony in front of all our friends and family on the Saturday. There’s more info on Humanist ceremonies at: but there are also companies that you can use to craft your own ceremony or you could just write it yourself and have a friend act as celebrant! I think this gives a lot more flexibility not just with the ceremony but also with the venue you use as you don’t need to worry about it being a venue registered for weddings. Good luck, looking forward to hearing more about your plans!

    1. Thanks Clare, this is something that we’re going round in circles about at the moment, but we’ve got lots of options and we’re not too worried about making the decision now that we’ve got the security of the registry office booked, but we’re open to lots of ideas.

      Maybe we can take some suggestions off friends and family alike and piece together what works from there…

  7. So excited reading about all your adventures along the engagement route. Can’t believe you forgot to book the registrar – obviously left that part out when dispensing my advice to you several months ago!

    Just in case you haven’t come across it before and you want to rethink your timings, there’s a company called ‘One Life Ceremonies’ who can hold ceremonies for you wherever you like All you have to do is have the ‘legal bit’ done in a registry office a day or two before or after then big day and then you can have your wedding wherever and whenever you want. Worth looking into 🙂

    Looking forward to hearing more about the big day!

    Lots of love xxxxx

    1. ha! your advice, as ever, is invaluable Mrs Walker, as wedding planners go you’re certainly the go-to-girl! I just think that it’s a bit selfish that you’ve based yourself so far away from me. *pfft*

      Thanks for the links too, that’s tonight’s bedtime reading sorted!


      1. Let me know the date as soon as you have it confirmed so I can block it out in my diary for next year (assuming we’re invited of course!!). No way I’m managing someone else’s wedding when I can be watching you two exchange vows 🙂


    1. In my head you’re shouting HEEEELLLLLLOOOO and waving manically – I quite like that kind of welcome 🙂

      Right back at ya!

  8. Aww, aren’t you lot lovely. Thanks for all the welcomes *waves*. We’ve already got loads of other bits to add to this but will just have to sit on them for the time being!

    Certainly food for thought on the humanist ceremony, it’s something that we’d considered lots and definitely have the scope for, but just in case we’ve booked the registrar / town hall for the morning so we have loads of time throughout the day to have another ‘ceremony’ (we need a better word for it than that), and a party. Thoughts on this?? Has anyone had friends to perform the ceremony…?


    1. We had a humanist ceremony after doing the legal bit at the registry office in secrecy and scruffs with just our best friends in the morning… I’ll bore you with the details if you like Ferns… 😉

      1. Oh indeed! EVERYTHING you told me about your day makes me smile. I love that you were up all night baking and the way you got everyone involved! I think about that a lot. Sounds like it was the most perfect of days x

  9. Hey guys, loved you’re post. I’m so happy your venue dilemma worked out. We were asked if we are going to have another ‘pretend’ ceremony at our venue (most people do apparently) but I’m no good at role play and I’d probably either get all weird and sweaty or say something stupid or both. Are you setting up a proper Photo Booth area with props and a backdrop? I think thats something I want to do/make…theres so many fun ideas you could use. I’m not sure what I want yet. xxx

    1. haven’t decided about the photobooth/backdrop yet… I’m sure that there’ll be something along those lines though!
      Have a gander on old faithful Pinterest for inspiration, LOADS of ‘stuff’ on there…

  10. Lovely!!! You guys are just so…nice! Am well jel. I did think the blog would have a bit more…well…me in it, but I guess it is your special day blah blah blah!

    I can’t wait for the next one! More crafty tips please!!

    1. Ha! You’ll get your turn Mrs Jones, soooooon enough 🙂

      Crafty Tip #1: Don’t stick your fingers together with glue.

      Crafty Tip #2: If you want your wedding to look awesome, find SOMEONE ELSE to design/decorate it. If I do it it’ll probably end up looking like a my mum’s classroom wall, with pictures that 5 year olds have drawn stuck up everywhere…

  11. Awww welcome Paddy & Debs! I absolutely love that you’re both blogging together! This is going to be so much fun. Welcome to the ‘Real Brides’ party!

    I grew up in North Wales so definitely agree with you on how beautiful it is. Looking forward to seeing what you’ve come up with for the venue! Just promise me that Spud will appear somewhere??! 😉 x

    1. Hi hi!
      Where about did you grow up? I’m hunting around for local suggestions so if you have any links up this way let me know!
      Pretty sure Spud will be plodding around somewhere, we’re just not sure where!
      He gets a bit jealous not being the centre of attention though so we’ll have to watch that. We’ll be sure to feature him a bit more if he’s already got a bit of a fan club.


      1. I grew up in the North East in a little village called Penymynydd, not far from Wrexham and Chester. Hmmm not sure I know any good links I’m afraid though. I moved away when I was 16.

        Spud definitely has a fan in me! Looking forward to a carbohydrate overload…!! 😉 x

        1. Ah, not too far from sunny* Bala then!

          If we get a Spud bach you’ll have plenty of carbs to fill up on. (Struggling to think of potato related puns tonight. I feel like I’ve let myself down).

          1. I know, I can’t think of any more either…my head is a bit mashed… I’m sorry, that was just embarassing! I apologise.

            1. Is that where all the cool kids come from? So glad that we’ve got some fellow north Walians (I’m sticking with that Claire) to talk Weddings to. Much fun!

  12. Hello lovely Paddy and Debs!!! So excited to finally have you on the blog with all the other RMW Real Brides and Grooms – the quartet is finally complete! And your dog’s name? Completely and utterly awesome.

    So looking forward to hearing all about your planning adventures and Debs I completely get what you mean about finding your inner crafty vixen – even though my own big day didn’t have a huge amount of DIY, I found that the items I did make had to be just so. I even found that I was devising DIY projects that I never knew I wanted but I just had to have. I say go with the flow girl and embrace it.

    And Paddy – a picnic and white water rafting? You’re quite the planner aren’t you – I’m impressed. Perhaps I should send my husband to you for lessons.

    Anyway I digress, fabulous to have you both.

    Lolly xxx

    1. Thanks Lolly. I can’t take all the credit (as much as I’d like to), to be honest it’s a joint planning effort. I’m doing the rafting and Debs is doing the food. Actually I can’t take credit for the dogs’ name either – that one was my sister. I’m not doing terribly well here am I…

  13. Hello Paddy & Debs

    So pleased to hear you are having a Rustic Wedding, if you can’t manage to make everything you need pop over to my etsy site I sell rustic chic cake toppers, favours and decor you might find something you like.i sell all over the globe but I am based in North wales!!!
    Look forward to more news
    Good luck xxx

    1. Thanks Pam – I found you on Etsy. I spend far too much time in Conwy, our paths will probably pass soon enough!

  14. Ah hello Paddy & Debs! I love the sound of your engagement party, never mind what Karen says. I bet she’ll love it as long as the fringe stays dry. Another North Walian (spelling? Is it even a word?) here – lived there for the first half of my life (so far!) and I can vouch for its beauty and abundance of wonderful things especially food – we regularly venture out to Rhug for a proper Welsh lamb burger from the posh burger van. Yum. Anyway, excited for the next installment and seeing all your crafty creations – Paddy’s too! xxxx P.S. If Danielle & Scott come up to Chester with Vinnie for a play date with Badger (my dog, just to clarify) we totally need to get you guys and Spud there too!

    1. Hi Claire! If you’re free you should come along with Badger too, can’t promise it will be the picnic of the century but you’re most welcome.

  15. I LOVE your enthusiasm for your wedding day. It makes my heart go all warm as I’m sure it will translate into your marriage and you two are going to be super happy together. I really enjoyed reading your piece, thank you so much for sharing. Amy

  16. Hi guys,
    Love love love your post, this wedding sounds awesome, and so wonderful to read about my beautiful home of North Wales. I’ve been living in Sydney, Australia for the past 3 years and miss it massively!! We too have chosen to come back to Wales for the wedding, which we are hoping to do next year but I am in such a fit of panic about finding the right venue and organising it all from the other side of the planet… as if wedding planning wasn’t full on enough!!
    We too are all about the rustic charm, the locally sourced food and just having a great time at our wedding with family & friends. Especially as we live so far away and don’t get to see so many of them for a long time. I’m also not a ‘girly girl’ and have never actually thought about my wedding until NOW!
    We thought we’d found the perfect rustic barn venue but turns out they are having big renovations to bring it into the ‘modern’ era… and many of the details we loved about the place are going to be lost amidst the white linen table cloths, white rendered walls and twee outdoor furniture! We literally want something small, rustic and magical that we can add our own touches to, so all our guests (& us of course!) feel really comfortable with great locally sourced food, drinks and dance into the night!!! Soooo… I’m really intrigued as to the venue you guys have found. When will you be letting us know this little gem of info do you think? Do I really have to wait until next month??? 🙂 Would LOVE LOVE LOVE any help, pointers, advice you have for a weary little bride on the other side of the world!!!!!! 😉
    Ffion x

    1. Hi Ffion! How exciting to be living in Sydney, that sounds very glam.

      I might know where it is that you’re talking about, and if it’s out towards Llangollen then you’re right, it’s a great venue!

      We’ll certainly share the details with you as soon as they’ve got a few things in place, they’re applying for the wedding licence at the moment and we’re just waiting for a couple more details to come through to confirm everything. It’s pretty exciting though as there are very few places that tick all the boxes for us in this part of the world. Don’t get me wrong, the venues we looked at are all gorgeous, it’s just that with each of them there was something missing, that’s why we’re excited about this place.

      If you can get onto FB and find me on there I’ll keep you up to date if you like? I commented on the post with the ‘marry me?’ picture on it so should be easy to find

      How’re the other plans coming on? And when are you thinking of getting married?

  17. We have an early in the day registrar booking too but I think it will make the rest of the day more relaxed as we won’t be in any rush to get on to the next thing…and we can add in things we wouldn’t have had time for with a later booking.

    But onto the real reason I commented here…if you’re lucky enough to love in north Wales you need to get outdoor climbing! We went up Snowdon recently training for Kilimanjaro and regretted not bringing our harnesses and shoes…definitely on our list of climbing destinations now we’ve seen the rock there. I first went outdoors after only a month or 2 climbing indoors (with a more experienced climber of course) and since then we go whenever we can and have been off on trips etc I’m not very good only on an indoor grade 6A so it’s not just for pro’s.

    We had our engagement shoot at Stanage edge 🙂 just got to resist taking the climbing kit on honeymoon…

    1. That’s super – I wish I was that good! I’m fighting a knee injury at the moment so seem to be going backwards rather than improving and a 6a route indoors is a stretch challenge for me for now at least. It’s so frustrating!
      Go for a climbing honeymoon, why not! DO IT 🙂

      Thanks for your comment Katie – let me know how you’re getting on with the plans!

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