Oh its Friday again! Yippee!
And to start your weekend off in style, we have a truly lovely wedding for you!
It truly looks like it was just the most wonderful day, and we are totally loving this couple!
Over to Jenny and Thomas to tell us all about it…….
Jenny and Thomas’s Edwardian Manor House Wedding
How would you describe your wedding theme?
No real theme. We tried to keep it in keeping with the décor of our chosen venue, an Edwardian Manor House in the Wye valley, Llangoed Hall.
What was your favourite part of your wedding?
We genuinely loved the whole day. We wanted a relaxed wedding that we would enjoy celebrating with our guests in beautiful surroundings. The tone of the day was set by my friend’s gorgeous toddler who decided to abandon her parents and follow me down the aisle immediately making everyone laugh and it was the best way to calm our nerves.
Our best men were also brilliant and leapt up at completely the wrong moment to give us the rings making everyone laugh again and setting the tone for an incredibly fun day.
This carried through to the speeches during which all the speakers managed to balance genuine emotion with as many funny stories as they could squeeze in. As the bride, I particularly became a target and every personality quirk and childhood mishap suddenly became public knowledge.
My younger brother also decided he would do a speech as part of the father of the bride speech (fairly sure I didn’t actually give permission for that!) but it was incredibly emotional to hear our families talk about us with such love and affection.
During the groom’s speech, Tom decided to share the story of the first proposal attempt which caused a lot of laughs at my expense particularly some of my friends decided it was time to share some of the antics from my hen weekend with the entire room.
The laughter continued when the band started. I can honestly say I never expected to see my 80 year old grandmother who last danced at her own wedding in the ‘60s dancing with all my friends to Teenage Dirtbag and my parents – who also last danced in the ‘80s – jumping around to Mr Brightside. The band were amazing and getting everyone up and dancing and the set kept the energy going all night with a mix of music.
I’m not sure anyone is going to forget the dancing of that night, and fortunately – or unfortunately depending on how you felt about it – the photos and videos are circulating to remind those who would rather forget…
Tell us about your Wedding Dress
As we only had had 8 months until the big day, dress shopping was all a bit of a rush. I visited Laura May Bridal with one of my friends just to figure out what kinds of things I liked.
I still couldn’t really imagine myself in a long white dress so had no idea what kind of thing I wanted.
We described the kinds of dresses I liked and thought would suit me so along with the assistant, we picked shapes, materials, and styles to narrow things down.
I was picking up art deco style pearl numbers, or lacy Kate Middleton style dresses, but the assistant picked up a plain silk waisted dress with beaded detailing on the back to try the shape. I barely looked at it and had passed in on the rack as not interested.
I tried it on first to test out the shape and instantly loved it. It was simple, tailored and I didn’t feel completely overwhelmed by it. I told myself it was just because it was the first time I had seen myself in a wedding dress but every other dress I tried on felt like it was someone else’s dress and that I was completely overwhelmed by lace and beads and skirts.
I had taken one of my bridesmaids with me who was brilliant and telling me honestly when things suited me or not and I completely needed that brutal honesty because all the dresses were lovely.
We narrowed it down to two dresses; the first one and a vintage 1920s beaded dress, and so I brought my mum back a week later to look at them.
All week I had been thinking about the first dress. I tried them both on for my mum and we both fell completely in love with the first accidental dress and ordered it that day with plain ribbon edged veil and just prayed it would arrive in time.
I ended up doing the thing they say you should never do, I brought the first dress, from the first shop, in under a week of looking.
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why?
Picking the bridesmaids was difficult because there were so many candidates who would have done an amazing job.
We eventually decided on two of my uni ex-housemates and one of best friends who had just returned from living in Australia. This worked brilliantly having people representing different friendship groups and bringing alternative ideas and the wedding would not have been so amazing without them.
From the hen weekend to the them completely taking over decorating the venue and organising everything the day before – working a night shift 24 hours before your wedding turned out not to be such a good idea- they just completely sorted everything and did an incredible job.
The two bestmen – in the end we couldn’t pick – were two of Tom’s uni housemates. They did a great job from organising a stag weekend in Dublin which Tom loved, to helping organise the suits, and the speeches. As always they were on great form and helped make the day what it was.
Why did you choose your venue?
Llangoed Hall was the only venue we visited. I had heard about it from friends and researched a few, but just kept coming back to it.
We are wanted somewhere that we could have the ceremony and reception, and that could accommodate our guests overnight. We visited and it was even more beautiful than we had imagined and we loved it instantly.
We liked having all the rooms downstairs available to our guests so everyone could mill around as they pleased, making the day more relaxed.
The team there were also great at helping organise things and were invaluable on the day. They took care of everything from rounding up guests, helping our florist set up and took care of everything we asked. It freed us and the bridal party up to simply enjoy the day.
Tell us about your photographer
We wanted our photos to be more documentary type, and make the most of the beautiful surroundings.
I met Oliver about five months before the wedding and got on immediately and this carried on through to the big day. We really appreciated his input and ideas – even if it did end up with a last minute rush order on sparklers – and they all worked brilliantly on the day.
He managed to somehow completely blend in with the guests and just become part of the wedding whilst keeping everyone on task and on time.
Neither of us particularly likes being the centre of attention or having our photo taken, but Oliver put us both at ease and made the photos an enjoyable experience.
How did the proposal happen?
So the proposal took two attempts!
Poor Tom with the help of his groomsmen had planned a romantic surprise weekend away in hotel and was going to propose at the evening meal. It was lovely. We had a suite with champagne and strawberries, amazing food with matched wine for each courses.
Unfortunately I’ve always been a bit of a lightweight and enjoyed the wine with our lunch a bit too much and never made it to the evening meal where he planned to propose.
He was so traumatised it took six months for him to plan another weekend away.
He proposed at a hotel in Covent Gardens when we had been discussing our plans for the following day by revealing a fake ring and a plan to go ring shopping for a replacement together the following day.
It was a lovely and low key way to propose and I loved it , and it did explain his panic when I had suggested after dinner drinks on the way back to hotel.
We went shopping the next day and picked the first ring I tried on in the first shop and bought it there and then.
Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?
We made all of the stationary and a lot of the decorations ourselves because we just struggled to find things we liked. The stationary seemed endless, but it made it more personal and was definitely worth it in the end.
What was your first dance & why?
This was really tricky one because we don’t have “a song” most of the dancing we had done together had on nights out.
I came across Ben Folds’s, ‘The Luckiest’ when it was featured in the film About Time and loved it and felt it best summed out how we felt about our relationships and each other. We have even learnt to waltz (via youtube) but then at the last minute abandoned the idea of a routine and waltzing and decided to take the pressure out of it and just wing it.
And whilst we will never win awards for our dancing, it was lovely to have a moment just the two of us together.
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?
Absolutely nothing. We went in with the attitude of not stressing out about things being perfect because it would be a great day anyway and it worked for us. This meant we actually enjoyed the preparation and everything was perfect on the day. Not working nights 24 hours prior to the wedding would have been nice though!
Do you have any advice for future couples?
Go with your gut. If you like it and know what you want go for it.
We booked the first venue, bought the first dress, bought the first engagement and wedding rings, and wouldn’t change a thing.
We only had 7 months from engagement to wedding so had to get organised and make quick decisions, but it actually took a lot of the stress out of it because we didn’t overthink or question our choices.
What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received?
Laugh with each other and have fun. That way you will always be best friends as well as husband and wife.
What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?
It was a great excuse to get together with friends and plan something fun together.
Photographer: Oliver J Photography
Ceremony Venue: Llangoed Hall
Reception Venue: Llangoed Hall
Bride’s Dress: Martina Liana at Laura May Bridal
Bride’s Headpiece: Etsy
Bride’s Jewellery: Etsy
Groom’s Outfit: Ted Baker
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Monsoon
Cake: Family Friend
Flowers: The Flower Hive
Make Up: Brideology
Other: Favours – Fabulous Welshcakes
Harptist – Alis Huws
The Wedding Album