The Pride Of Britain.

Sometimes a submission drops into my inbox that is so awe inspiring that by the time I have reached the end I realise I have been holding my breath the whole way through.

The wedding of Allison and Nathan captured by Hannah from Kinver-Miles Photography is one of those submissions folks. And Allison might be one of the most amazing women I have ever come across.

In 2010 Allison was awarded a Pride of Britain award as she made medical history by being the first person in the UK to have all of her major organs transplanted due to a lifetime battle with cystic fibrosis. Though spending most of her life in and out of hospital on an operating table Allison has honoured a teenage vow to one day pay back the medical world for giving her the gift of life – Allison is now a fully qualified doctor.

Having had her liver, lungs, heart and kidney’s replaced Allison does not in anyway consider herself unlucky, quite the opposite in fact – Allison considers herself very lucky indeed as the number of organs available for transplant is so low.

If I’ve learned anything, it is don’t fear death, fear the unlived life. But I’ve had more than a second chance thanks to two people who sadly lost their lives, and I’m not throwing it away.”

You can read more about Allison’s story on The Pride Of Britain website and I strongly suggest you do, it is inspirational beyond words.

Allison and Nathan’s Big Day is spectacularly beautiful in every sense of the word and Team RMW would very much welcome your comments of appreciation for Allison, her bravery, her selflessness and the fact she is sharing it all right here with you, our gorgeous community.

We are truly honoured.

A Twist Of Pretty

My dress was a Jasmine Couture dress which was bought from a wedding boutique called Magic Moments in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire. I took a couple of days off work and Mum came to stay so we could start looking at dresses.

Mum and I started off in Cardiff where I did like a few dresses but knew they weren’t the one. I was looking for something different, something with a twist and originally thought I liked a style completely different to the one I picked. I had been recommended Magic moments by colleagues in work and so mum and I made an appointment and went for a look. I was amazed at the choice they had and the owner and staff were so friendly and helpful. What I particularly liked was the dressing rooms, they were so spacious and mum could sit on the sofa whilst I tried the dresses on in the private area within the room itself. Unlike the other shops I had been into where you had to walk out to the main shop area to have a look and so others could see you. This was completely private and I didn’t feel pressured or rushed. I had picked out a few dresses to try on and had spotted a couple that I really liked but thought wouldn’t suit me. The lady in the shop encouraged me to try them on as they looked different on. When I came to try my dress on I fell in love with it straight away. I just felt so special in it and didn’t want to take it off. Mum said I was just beaming from ear to ear and looked delighted. Mum loved it too.

The Finishing Touch

I had a veil and a tiara. I had told mum that I didn’t want a veil as I thought it would look to fussy but I fell in love with it when I tried it on. It was two tiered, waist length veil with piped edging and encrusted stones. My tiara had clear and white stones. Both my tiara and veil were from magic moments too. My earrings and bracelet were from Swarvoski crystal.

Chic And Simple

My shoes were Rainbow wedding shoes, in ivory white with a two and half inch heel. I wanted to last the day in the them!!

I wanted to look as natural as possible and still look like me on my wedding day so opted for loose curls and the top of my hair pinned back underneath my tiara. A great hairdresser called Kelly James who lives down the road from my parents did my hair. I had a hair trial about a month before and experimented with a few styles and decided to keep it not too formal looking. My chief bridesmaid Nina and I had decided that we would do our own make-up and went for a makeup trail in Mac in Cardiff for tips and advice. We ended up buying some lovely makeup and so I did my own make up on the day, and I did the bridesmaids makeup!

Ivory And Silver

I had seen a silver/ grey colour for the bridesmaid dresses when buying my own dress that I loved. I really wanted to stay away from any garish and bright colours which aren’t really me. We bought the two bridesmaid dresses in a bridal shop called Perfection in Cardiff. Nina, my chief bridesmaid and I went looking and she tried heaps of dresses on. We really did have lots of fun. I picked a gorgeous ivory white flower girl dress with a large silver grey waistband and bow on the back in the same material as the bridesmaid dresses.

Once I had decided on the colour of the bridesmaids I wanted to stick to a monochromic white/grey/black colour scheme and just have colour in the flowers. We decided to hire the grooms party suits from Dyfed Menswear in Cardiff. Nathan and I decided we didn’t want the fancy waistcoats that everyone seems to have but wanted the old style three piece suit with waistcoat the same material and colour as the jacket and trousers. I picked a gunmetal grey sil tie for Nathan and the bestman, ushers, father of the bride and two young ushers had taffeta silver grey ties to match the bridesmaid.

Exactly What I Wanted

Nathan wore the same three piece suit as the groomsmen but with a gunmetal tie. As he is a New Zealander I had asked his parents to bring over some cufflinks too. Of course when I saw him, he looked stunning.

I had decided that I wanted the flowers to look very natural. I was very close to my late grandmother who had left some beautiful antique jugs for me after she passed away.

I decided to use them on the tables with fresh flowers in them so it looked as if they had just been cut from the garden and put into the jugs. I discussed this idea with the florist Bridgette from Amaryllis Flowers in Fishguard, Pembrokeshire who loved the idea. I wanted to keep the colour scheme soft and not overpowering and opted for shades of pink in my bouquet and pinks, lilacs, white and lots of foliage inc grasses and euculuptus leaves in the jugs and pedastals. Bridgette really did bring my idea to life and I was over the moon with what she came up with. I will never forget the impact of the flowers on the day, they looked so beautiful and done exactly how I wanted.

Red Dragon Entertainment

As the guests arrived, my friend Carys Evans played the harp. During the service, friends of Nathan and I John and Andrew Evans, Colin Hancok and Ian Hunter who sing in a male voice choir sang two songs, one Maori song from New Zealand and a welsh song, accompanied on the piano by my friend Carys Evans. Then during the signing of the register our friend Anna Lewis sang I the Arms of the Angel, also accompanied by Carys Evans.

For the evening entertainment, we decided to hire the band that played in my 30th birthday party called One size fits All, a group of 5 boys from Cwmbran, south Wales who sing rock covers. They were amazing at my birthday and really got the crowd up and dancing so we decided to ask them to play at the wedding which they did and they were even better than the first time.

Home-Made Treats And Perfect Pictures

My mum’s friend Janet Williams made the cake which was delicious. Nathan and I had decided that we wanted a white chocolate cake with plain sponge on the top and bottom tear and a chocolate sponge in the middle. It had a layer of buttercream in the middle and was surrounded by a lemon marmalade to make the chocolate stick.

I picked Hannah from Kinver-Miles Photography as I love her style. She is from my home town Fishguard, we went to the same school and she’s married to my friend. Although I didn’t realy know her in school I knew her brother. I knew she was a great photographer but didn’t know she was a wedding photographer until I saw some photos that she had taken of a friend’s wedding. I like the way she captures the moment naturally and does not take too many ‘posed’ photos. I was delighted with the photos we had, she really has captured the feel of the day.

A Romantic Proposal

Our first dance was a song called Anchor Me by a New Zealand band called the Mutton Birds. The song was significant to us as it was playing when we got engaged in New Zealand. Nathan had proposed on a beach under the stars in Samoa, but we picked the ring together in New Zealand. Nathan decided to put it on my finger on top of the Kaimai mountain range to this song.

Doing It Their Way

We decided against favours and we don’t really like to many frills and spills….. We had some silver hearts strewn on the table and that was about it. There were also fairy lights around the beams which the venue have up permanently.

A True Celebration

Nathan and I often have alternative ideas to everyone else and we stuck by our decisions all the way and I’m so happy we did. It’s very difficult to please everyone and it’s important to remember that it’s your day. What made it so special for me was that we made it so personal to us by getting friends and family involved in the service. It was also very chilled out and a true celebration of our love for each other.

Venue – Rhos Y Gilwen Mansion

Brides Gown – Jasmine Couture At Magic Moments

Brides Shoes – Rainbow

Maids – Perfection

Groomsmen – Dyfed Menswear

Florist – Amaryllis Flowers

Entertainment – One size fits All

Photography – Hannah at Kinver Miles Photography

You see the man in the last image? When Allison had to have her healthy heart transplanted due to a complication with her lung replacement she gave it to this gentleman – heart attack victim David Hamilton.

And Allison’s new married name? Angell.

Yup. Allison Angell, I couldn’t think of anything more fitting for someone who has given life, is saving lives and has never given up. May you and Nathan have a long and happy marriage.

Big Allison Is My Hero Love

Charlotte xxx

Author: Charlotte O’Shea
Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.

39 thoughts on “The Pride Of Britain.

  1. I’ve been gagging to see this wedding ever since you told me about Allison’s story. What an inspiration, what a woman! And what a beautiful wedding, I bet it was a fantastic day, emotional and full of love.


  2. What an amazing inspirational woman and a beautiful wedding. Those bridesmaids dresses are exactly the colour I want for my bridesmaids – gorgeous. And those flowers!!!! Absolutely beautiful! xx

  3. What a story. Life truely is for living eh. I love this wedding it is so beautiful, the dress is stunning and that first picture lying down in the grass is nothing short of amazeballs! x

  4. I love the simplicity of everything which looks totally perfect – no frills or fancy, and it sets the tone beautifully. Many congratulations Alison & Nathan x

  5. Wow, the beginning and end of this had me really welled up. I can’t believe how much Allison and her family have been through, and how fantastic Allison has done in her life despite the trauma’s she went through.

    It really is inspirational. She looks absolutely stunning and that dress is just so pretty.

    The shots in the grass made me go all goopy. Love them!

    What a fantastic couple, may they have a long and healthy marriage & life. xx

  6. Dammit, I was doing so well to hold the tears back til I read the end bit!!

    Beautiful wedding, stunning dress, gorgeous story and inspirational woman xx

  7. This was a beautiful wedding and the photos are gorgeous. Love the dress too even though it’s totally not my usual cup of tea – looks so soft and stunning.

    That last picture though. Wow. Tears.

  8. Thanks team RMW for featuring The Angells amazing wedding, It was such a special day and during the speeches there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. They both deserve all the happiness in the world as they are such special people! x

  9. I normally, quietly read along to the polka dot blog during my lunch at work and coo to myself………….but this I had to share with my colleagues! Amazing! Conversation went something like this: (imagine me trying not to well up while telling them the story!)
    “so he’s got her heart?”, me – “YES!! And now she’s a doctor and her last name is ANGELL!” them – “wow! I’ve gone all goose pimperly!”
    Truely inspirational. Much love and happiness to Alison and Nathan xx

  10. What an inspration! Such a beautiful wedding. Allison looks stunning as does the rest of the wedding.
    I managed to get through the whole thing without crying, then I read the end! What an amazing thing to do!
    I wish them both all the happiness in the world, they deserve it.

  11. Gosh, weddings often bring a tear, and the speeches at this one must have brought the house down. It looks as though they had a beautiful, special day which was truly deserved xx

  12. I read about Allisons story on our internal news at work, when she won the pride of britain (I work at Cardiff Uni and University Hospital Wales is part of that)

    At the time I remember thinking: wow, what an amazing woman. Truly a pride of britain and a reminder of what anyone can achieve. And when we are feeling a bit sorry for ourselves, or feeling that we need to make changes in our lives, it is a fierce reminder that we can indeed do anything we set our minds to.

    Congratulations Allison, what a beautiful wedding and what an amazing individual you are.

    PS On a particularly selfish note: so pleased to see a welsh wedding! Although we are getting married across the bridge, we are sourcing alot of things locally (in particular clothing) Mike really wants a 3 piece suit but didnt want the fancy waistcoats so I have sent him a link to Dyfed Menswear… which we hadnt heard of! So thanks for that too 🙂

  13. Note to self – don’t look at RMW during a break at new uni, unless you are unconcerned about fellow trainee teachers seeing you well up whilst checking your phone.
    This would be a beautiful wedding regardless, but Allison’s inspiational tale, along with THAT picture (the last one) took it to a whole new level!

    Adore the confetti shot, the grass shot, and the cow shot! And am totally in love with the dress, the cake and Allison’s gorgeous make up – she looks utterly radiant!
    Congratulations you lovely couple xxx

  14. Allison is definitely THE most amazing woman, it was such an honour to be part of a truly wonderful wedding full of love and laughter. She was the perfect bride and Nathan and Alli didn’t stop beaming all day!
    They got every detail absolutely perfect.
    xo xo

  15. Beautiful wedding and such a beautifully written story – brought tears to my eyes at my desk – had to pretend I’d eaten a whole chilli when the boss noticed!

    Also, yay for a Welsh wedding!!


  16. What an incredible woman with an incredible attitude. Kind of puts the ‘guest list’ article into perspective, when Allison chooses to invite the man who has life because of her own heart.

    Jo from Shoot took the words out of my mouth – totally humbling. Makes me almost feel sheepish for submitting my own wedding to RMW when there are people like Allison in the world, who are far more deserving of recognition and a little bit of ‘fame’.

    Congratulations Allison and Nathan – live life to the full.

  17. Wonderful beautiful story ,wonderful beautiful wedding, we were there, wonderful beautiful couple we wish them good health and happiness cariad mawr i chi’ch dau xx

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