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.

32 thoughts on “Paddy & Debs: The Much Anticipated Venue Story.

    1. Thanks so much, we’re excited!
      We’re so lucky to have found Joanne, via Glenys. We’re sure that there will be more updates as the venue develops too – watch this space 🙂

    2. I’m originally from Porthmadog (about 45 minutes for Bala) in fact I’ve lived there all of my life but moved to live down in Essex just 9 months ago with my fiancé because I was going to University in London. I’ve been engaged for 18 months and recently started planning our wedding. I naturally want to get married back home in North Wales but absolutely horrified by the prices of venues around there which to be honest has broken my heart as I thought getting married back home would never happen….but I’ve just read your blog and honestly I have a big smile on my face. I can’t wait to research more about Hafod. Thank you so much for posting this blog!!!

  1. Just up the valley from me, sounds wonderful a perfect venue. If you need any rustic decorations, cake toppers or local honey or jam wedding favours look no further . Good luck with your planning.

    1. Thanks Pam – and for the reminder about favours, hadn’t even thought that far ahead!
      *adds to the list*
      Where about are you based?

  2. I adore the venue – it is just perfect! Very D&P too. Is Spud invited? He’ll like it too!

    Am disappointed that there was no mention of my excellent rafting skills from the engagement party – think I was a natural!

    Can’t believe we have past the 1 year mark! 357 sleeps to go xxxx

      1. Dogs at weddings…maybe not. Spud at your wedding? I think that would be perfect. But you won’t just have spud, and a puppy at your wedding might be bonkers!!!

          1. It would. So Natalie and Alex are safely in the Yes camp!! I can just picture Paddy stood up at the top of the aisle with Spud sat next to him looking all proud. It would be gorgeous. Can’t picture Rue yet….because she doesn’t exist!!

            Natalie says she will look after Spud at the wedding. He can eat her cucumber because she doesn’t like it. I don’t know where that came from but she asked me to tell you!!

  3. Oh guys, it’s just perfect… I was lucky enough to know about this a few weeks back but in so much detail and no idea about HOW you got it. Amazing. I think this is exactly the kind of venue North Wales needs as there’s nothing like it as you’ve said. I cannot WAIT to meet Joanne & Peter and see the place for myself. I am wishing a year away and shouldn’t but I’m just beyond excited for your wedding. xxx

  4. Hi Paddy and Debs,

    WOW. That’s all I can say. A truly unique venue. The fact that it ticks all your boxes and more, plus the way you found it…just amazing!! Its absolutely lovely and perfect for the both of you, well done. Worth the wait for the announcement, definitely!!

    Your bank hols sounds like my kind of fun!! I am all about a good karaoke session. We were actually supposed to be your neck of the woods (ish?? Barmouth?) over bank holiday for some outdoor exploring but I injured my ankle running, so it ended up just being home and indoors 🙁 Yours sounds like way more fun!!

    Enjoy planning what to do with that gorgeous venue!! xxxx

    1. I know. It’s always worth asking the question. You never know what people are going to say. A massive thank you to Glenys for pointing us in Hafods direction.

      We are so lucky that Joanne is so flexible and has allowed us to have what we wanted. Their (Joanne and Peter) enthusiasm for what they are creating is really infectious.

      If you ever find yourselves over our way again give us a shout. It would be great to meet up. Barmouth is literally just round the corner from us.

  5. Hey guys! I hear summer is coming back tomorrow for one last hurrah…!

    Your venue is beautiful, top work on thinking outside the box and finding somewhere that is going to be so magical. I wish all the best to Joanne and Peter for turning their home into a wedding venue – what an exciting time for them!

    Re: dogs at weddings. You obviously know my thoughts on this, but I highly suspect the views will be divided exactly like they are for kids at weddings (for me, a polite no thank you!)

    1. It would appear you’re right Danielle, about summer coming back – awesome! I’m not sure a young puppy is necessarily conducive to a stress free day, although Spud would totally rock the whole ring bearer thing (so long as he decides not to go chasing rabbits with the rings).

  6. Danielle is a yes to dogs at weddings, Katy is on the fence… I hadn’t given it much thought to be honest!

    It’s true, Spud is going to be a daddy so we’ll have not one but two! Can’t wait to introduce y’all to the newest member of the Mahon (to-be) clan but it’ll probably be after Christmas.

    I think Hafod are open to it, in fact, I’m sure Joanne said that there was someone planning to have their lab as a ring-bear, ring bearer there sometime next year… Problem is Spud would steal the show.!

    1. YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY a puppy!!!! We can’t wait to see her!!

      On a side note – I had to take the boy up to North Wales last weekend (his car was broken) and although it was an epic journey from Cornwall, it was absolutely incredible…we were in Dolgarrog which I don’t think is too far from you guys 🙂

      What an amazing place to live and get married.

      And I love your venue story so much – it was clearly meant to be.

      Fern x

      1. I know we’re really excited. Got to start all over again with the training but will be fun.

        Dolgarrog is like super close to us! It must have taken you ages to get there but I think you’ll agree the scenery is well worth the trip. Hope the boy got his car sorted. If he didn’t and you find yourselves up here again give us a shout.

  7. Aah sorry I only just got to some Welsh wifi to have a read. What an unforgettable weekend. Thank you both!

    And I LOVE Hafod Farm… awesome find. Can’t wait for the big day! Xxx

    1. Can’t wait for you to see Hafod in its full glory. If the truth be told (and don’t tell Debs) I got a little emotional seeing the Tall barn and thinking of watching Debs walk down the isle

  8. Thank you so much for finding hafod farm were due to get married next year and after trawling the internet for what seems like forever, I came across hafod farm thanks to you. It has everything we want and fingers crossed we will be having our wedding here

  9. Hi Esther!
    That’s fab, we’re so pleased that you’re getting married there too, and that we could help in some way.
    Good luck with all of your plans!

    1. Really cant wait to see the marquee up now, joanne said some time end of the month lots to plan!!xx

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