We are so pleased to showcase this beautiful North Wales Wedding by Stu Worrell. Gwenllian & Matthew got married in June at Gwydir Castle followed by a marquee reception on Gwenllian’s parents’ farm. Lets hand you over to this lush couple to tell you all about their wedding day. What was your budget?
We tried to keep costs down as we didn’t want an extravagant and over the top wedding but somehow we still managed to spend a lot! I think the final total was around £14,000. Shocking for just one day but worth every penny! We basically lived on nothing for 7 months, we got engaged in October and got married the following June so it was a massive challenge but thanks to the generosity of our parents we were able to do it!
I wouldn’t say we had a theme, it was just ‘us’! We knew we wanted to have our reception on my mum and dad’s farm and wanted an intimate wedding. So we decided on a marquee reception overlooking the mountain range of Snowdonia – absolute bliss! For the ceremony itself we fell in love with Gwydir Castle and it was perfect as it was on the outskirts of my home town. As it only held 75 people for the ceremony it made the decision for us regarding the size of the wedding – small and intimate. We invited 80 people to the day and that was it, no extras at night. It made it so special as we had the opportunity to mingle with every single person there!
The ceremony! Without a doubt! I’ve never felt so amazing seeing Matthew waiting for me at the front and being able to say my vows to him! My first language is Welsh and even though Matthew doesn’t speak it he decided he wanted to do his vows in Welsh for me, that’s true love right there!
But the whole day was unbelieveable and I enjoyed every single second (apart from the first dance….that was majorly cringeworthy ha!)
To be honest with you I didn’t really enjoy the process but when I found the ‘one’ everything changed! All the dresses I saw before finding the chosen one all looked the same, the same lace and bling…..and really weren’t for me :-(
Then everything changed when I walked into an amazing little boutique in West Didsbury on the outskirts of Manchester called the White Closet. I tried a few amazing dressed on but fell in love with my dress by a designer called Claire Pettibone. The lace and detail on it was out of this world but the pricetag definitely wasn’t! I’d told myself before I started looking for dresses that I was never going to spend a ridiculous amount on a wedding dress for one day but OMG when I put it on there was nothing I could do I was completely and utterly sold on it! I left the shop and couldn’t stop thinking about it, I returned a few weeks later, tried it on again and decided there and then that dress was mine, I emptied my savings and bought the dress! Ouch!
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why?
I have quite a few best mates but I really wasn’t looking for the massive bridal party look, I really wanted to keep it simple and believe in less is more so I decided to have one bridesmaid, my sister. She’s also an amazing soprano and agreed to sing two spine tingling songs at the ceremony too which was a bonus!Mat: I’ve always said if I would ever get married that I’d ask my dad to be my best man and was so thrilled when he agreed. It was such a great feeling having my dad stand with me when Gwen came in, I felt calm and relaxed. It was also great to have my best friends, Matt and Mark as my ushers and they helped with the music and confetti!! Why did you choose your venue?
We chose Gwydir Castle for our ceremony, it was such a magical little place and the grounds had grade 1 listed gardens which was perfect for photos!
We had our reception in a marquee on mum and dad’s farm – this is where I was bought up and spent most of my childhood playing in those fields with my sister Heidi and brother Osian. It makes me smile thinking my dream of getting married somewhere so close to my heart became a reality. It really, really is a special place for me.
Tell us about your photographer
Stu Worrall was our photographer and he was amazing. He made us feel so at ease and all our guest commented at how good he and his wife were (they are a husband and wife team which makes them even better!) He stayed until really late and really gave his heart and soul to us that day, we really can’t thank him enough! It’s one thing having amazing photos but another to have such an amzing experience on your wedding day. Thanks Stu :-) How did the proposal happen?
It was an average Saturday afternoon and I had no idea it was going to happen!! We went to the local town in the morning as Mat thought it would be a good idea to get a dine in for two from M&S, obviously he knew what was coming! It was a lovely afternoon so he suggested that we go to a place called the viewpoint which overlooks the coast and the Conwy Valley (Mat’s from the coast and I’m from the valley which was very fitting!) It’s a really special place for us as we go there often on Sunday afternoons to get some fresh air and to take in the stunning scenery.
As we got there I knew something was going on as he was acting a bit stranger than usual (joke!) and was stumbling over his words as he was talking to me! He then made me stand on the Conwy Valley side and he was on my right, and there he went, down on one knee right on a muddy patch and asked me to marry him in Welsh (even though he’s a learner) and took an amazing box out of his pocket with even a more amazing ring in it! He got the ring custom made for me from a gorgeous jewellers called Steven Stone in a village called Hale in Cheshire. It was beautiful and he’d done so much research into diamonds and cuts (which really doesn’t surprise me) and decided on an amazing single stone ring with a stunning diamond and white gold band, it was perfect…. apart from being about 5 sizes too big for me!We then just walked back to the house and sat on the sofa in utter shock and just looked at each other wandering what to do next! As we’d never done this engagement thing before we were a bit shell shocked. It was nice just to spend the afternoon without anyone else knowing (apart from my dad of course). Later on mum passed by and we told her the amazing news and we went to see Matthew’s parents and told them the news. Matthew’s dad took us to the local pub and we had a few drinks to celebrate! We told everyone else the following day, we just wanted to enjoy this special moment before the rest of the world knew. Neither Matthew or myself are on social media like facebook or twitter so we couldn’t just post one message for everyone! We had to text and e-mail every single person individually which in a way made it more special, I don’t think my phone has ever pinged or vibrated so much as that day!
Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?
I don’t care what anyone says, it’s not all fun and games, and the night before the wedding was so hard! As we were taking care of a lot of things, my sister, mum, dad and I were still carrying cakes, drinks, decorations and all kinds of things up to the marquee at midnight before the wedding day, I thought I’d have to get some matches to keep my eyes open on the wedding day!
Mum made all the cakes for everyone to snack on and my sister decorated the wedding cake. My mum’s a fantastic baker so it was an obvious choice to ask her to do mine! I wanted a quirky cake so I bought a clear cake stand and mum made biscuit bases on each tier and my sister used fondant icing to look like doilly’s! Then we had all kinds of different cakes on each tier, and then a table full of different cakes for everyone to nibble on, there was definitely something for everyone! Carrot, lemon, key lime, millionaire’s shortbread, battenburg, coffee, mud pie, you name it, it was on that table!My childhood friend, Nia made the bouquets, I just bought three different shades of limonium from a flower company who delivered a few days before, we used the same flowers for the bouquets as we did for the table arrangements, I borrowed and bought some amazing earthernware pots from family, friends and e-bay and tied some funky ribbon around each pot. I used some slate my dad had lying around on the farm to go under each pot and recycled our spare wedding invitations by punching heart shaped holes out of them and scattered them on the slate.
My dad made the easel for the table plan and we used my mum and dad’s MG as our wedding car!
We also downloaded all of our own music and used an ipod which was on for the whole day which added a real atmosphere in the marquee.
I wanted to keep it as simple as possible and let the food, drink and company do the talking!!
What was your first dance & why?
The first film Mat and I ever saw together was ‘Drive’ with Ryan Gosling in it! The soundtrack has a very special place in our hearts and reminds us of the early stages of our relationship and the time when we fell in love (bleurgh)! We both LOVE Ryan Gosling (Mat definitely has a man crush on him!) so it made perfect sense to include him in our wedding!
We used ‘Under Your Spell’ by Desire for when we walked into the reception to our table and then for our first dance we picked ‘Real Hero’ by College! We got the band to cut into the song as soon as they could so everyone would join us on the dancefloor!In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?
Nothing! Not a single thing!
Do you have any advice for future couples?
The most important thing to remember is that we are all individuals and want different things! So make sure you make the day how you want it and to ignore what anyone else thinks. We decided not to have buttonholes, we didn’t bother with matching suits for the groom party, we didn’t want any speeches and although a lot of people probably didn’t understand why, we really couldn’t care less as it was our day!
Enjoy being someone’s wife or husband, it truly is a wonderful feeling and I never thought it would be so special! Knowing you have a partner in crime for the rest of your life is pretty cool! And just carry on as normal because nothing else really changes…….just your name!!What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?
Ticking things off the list and seeing things come together! And my hen night in Kilkenny as I didn’t have to plan that and it was an amazing weekend thanks to my friends especially Gwawr and Mared!! To be honest with you I wasn’t thriving on this wedding business, I just wanted to marry my best friend and to have an amazing day with our friends and family. I’m glad we planned it in a short space of time and now I get to spend time with my new husband which is lovely.
We’re planning our honeymoon as we speak and will be off for a month mid October spending two weeks in Japan and then another two weeks in Burma, we cannot wait!
Photographer: Stu Worrall
Ceremony Venue: http://www.gwydircastle.co.uk/home.htm
Bride’s Dress: http://thewhitecloset.co.uk/
Bride’s Shoes: http://www.stevemadden.com/
Bride’s Jewellery: https://www.etsy.com/
Groom’s Outfit: http://www.hugoboss.com/uk
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: http://www.johnlewis.com/
Cake: Marian Roberts (mum)
Flowers: Nia Goodwin (friend)
Make Up: Myself and some war paint from Selfridges
Band: Billy’s Jazz Connection
Stationery: Emma Wilson https://www.facebook.com/minniemoodesigns
Any Reception Decor/Props: http://www.snowdoniamarquees.com/