Paddy & Debs: The Much Anticipated Venue Story.

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Hello again lovely people.

As the weather has turned it would appear that Summer is over and there is a hint of Autumn in the air (sad times), but on the bright side it’s not long until Christmas!

In the wedding world, we’ve had a busy couple of weeks. Most recently making lots of bunting. Well I say we, it’s actually been Debs, Kirsty and Katy. The reason for the bunting is that we had a rather belated engagement party over the bank holiday. Friends from far and wide came to a sunny Bala for some rafting, a picnic, BBQ by the lake and then drinking.

Unfortunately, Wales being Wales, we awoke to torrential rain and no sign of the blue sky and sunshine we’d hoped for. Luckily we thought this might happen and so had a wet weather plan in place, but it certainly made us think that we will need a few more contingency plans in place for W-Day. Something for Debs to look at on Pinterest I guess…


The morning was spent putting up bunting in one of the teaching rooms situated next to the river at Canolfan Tryweryn, and trying to make it seem slightly less of a classroom. I’d like to think we achieved it, but with us running late and a crazy amount of bunting in various colours, shapes and sizes it did look a bit like we’d decorated blindfolded. Karen has asked that we don’t decorate the venue ourselves, and she usually* has good advice so that’s another thing to think about.

Thankfully once everyone started to arrive, the weather cleared and it turned out to be a fantastic day (blue sky and everything)! The picnic happened indoors and once five grown men had figured out the subtle nuances of the new BBQ, by staring at it, taking the lid off, putting it back on and relighting it twice, we had our sausages. After that we adjourned to the pub.

Particular highlights were Kris’ (Debs’ brother) solo rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody, Lees’ (of Karen and Lee, RMW bride of 2012/13) genuinely amazing versions of ‘New York, New York’ and ‘My Way’, and Badger entertaining us all with his dance to Right Said Fred’s ‘I’m Too Sexy’. This made Debs think that perhaps we could have Karaoke for some of entertainment at the wedding, something I may need convincing on, but we had a great time. Needless to say there were a few sore heads the following morning.

So, enough about our bank holiday weekend antics. We have some big news. A massive announcement. The one you’ve all been waiting for. The one we hinted at in our last post, and the one before that…The one that’s going to be awesome.

Fanfare and drum roll please…

We have our venue! *cheers* It’s Hafod Farm, Llanwrst.

We wanted to apologise for holding back on this for so long, l but there’s a good reason which I’ll let Debs explain…

So, where to start? If you saw our first post we mentioned that we were stuck for somewhere that had exactly what we wanted, and being in north Wales we thought that we’d be tripping over places to choose from. Don’t get me wrong, there are so many stunning places to get married in the area, but lots were out of our price range for the number of guests that we had and just didn’t quite fit ‘us’.

Running out of options I decided to use a bit of old fashioned networking and picked up the phone to our local registry office where I found Glenys. She has, without doubt, been the most helpful, kind and welcoming person I think I’ve ever met. Without her I don’t think that we would be where we are now. I asked Glenys whether, on the off-chance, there was anyone who had ever made an enquiry about a wedding licence but hadn’t followed it through, also mentioning what we were looking for and not really expecting a positive result. However, someone somewhere was looking out for us that day, and she mentioned that a little while back the owners of Hafod had given them a call. That’s all I needed…

We spoke to Joanne at Hafod, explained the situation and asked whether she’d consider allowing us to use her beautiful home and barn for our reception, we put our ideas for what we were thinking of to her (basically our Pinterest board) and asked if we could come and look around. Lucky for us Joanne was completely on board with our ideas for the feel of the day, and invited us to see the farm which was being used as a furniture showroom. They didn’t have a wedding licence or any solid plans to move in that direction, but had considered it at some point in the past so though the least we could do is have a chat about it.

So, here’s where it gets interesting. We certainly wouldn’t class ourselves as divas, we’re more than relaxed and really wanted a ‘chilled out’ wedding. That relaxed set up, it seems, is just as difficult to achieve as a formal event so that’s why we were so stuck for so long. We wanted the following things for our wedding:

– A barn. Not sure why, we just like them.
– Options for our friends to camp on site.
– Options for somewhere on site to stay for the Bridal party and some other friends.
– Somewhere we could bring in our own caterers.
– A beautiful place that wouldn’t break our, or our guests’ bank for drinks.
– Somewhere we could make our own for a few days, a home from home.
– A location that would show off north Wales’ amazing views.
– Somewhere close to accommodation for people who didn’t want to camp or drive home.
– Somewhere where the people who were letting us into their home, their business, were nice, good people who we could get along with.

Other things that we thought would be nice to have:

– Outside space for picnics/BBQ.
– A marquee.
– Car parking on site.
– Close to good transport links.
– Somewhere where we can have hay bales and picnic benches, just because.
– Spud to have somewhere to stay too.

That sounds like an awful lot of things that a ‘relaxed’ couple wanted, but the more I talk to other people planning their weddings, the more I find that these are really important things to consider, well, some of them anyway.

Hafod has all of this and more. Joanne’s other half, Peter, is a joiner by trade and makes ALL of their furniture, so he was excited by the prospect of turning the Tall Barn into the wedding venue from what was their furniture business’ showroom.

He’s made the benches (complete with heart cut-outs), the candle holders on the walls, flower boxes, tables and chandeliers, oh, and all of the kitchen add-ons for the cottages. This is another reason why we love the farm, Joanne and Peter take such pride in making this a place where people can feel at home, and all of their little touches make it very personal.

Once the Tall Barn got underway, they applied for a licence to hold weddings in the Tall Barn which was granted last week, that’s probably the main reason that we held back so long, just in case! They’ve also then decided to kick Peter out of his beloved workshop/barn so that they can turn this into a reception room and bar – this is the next job on the list but will be ready by next spring. If the Tall Barn is anything to go by it will look stunning. The reception room, or Wooden Barn as it’ll be known, opens up onto the lawn area right in front of the Tall Barn entrance, so people can sit outside before the wedding with a beer.

They’ll have a marquee, benches for outside and are able to switch the rustic country feel to anything that you want at the drop of a hat – so we can go all out on Pinterest and be limited only by our sewing/craft skills and time.

I’ve spent some time looking at the beautiful Rock My Autumn Wedding board and am so very tempted to change everything based on that, and how the Tall Barn at Hafod looks when the candles are all lit up. Perfect for a late afternoon Autumn ceremony, with those purples? Amazing.

Brides/Grooms of north Wales, we hope that you’ll have a nosey around – we didn’t find anywhere like it in Gwynedd, Conwy or Denbighshire so it’s worth popping by, (A470 between Betws and Llanrwst). Joanne will make you feel very welcome and let me know what you think. It shows that if you don’t have to just stick to the traditional local places because that’s all that is on offer, be a bit braver, suggest ideas that could help someone locally do something different, take a chance – you never know what might happen!

Anyhow, there we are. We hope that you like it. A massive thanks to Hafod for also arranging a wedding licence so we can get married there too and for going above and beyond our expectations. You guys are awesome, thank you. With just less than a year to go (eeek!) everyone says that it’ll come round quick, but I’m ready to go now! A year seems an awfully long time off. I suppose on the upside it gives our lovely friends a year to learn how to pronounce Mahon.

Much love,

Paddy and Debs x


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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.