Brides to be of North Wales… if you are looking for some inspiration from some local suppliers, then you are going to love this!
We are sharing a gorgeous styled shoot by Tony Fanning and a team of exceptional North Wales wedding professionals. Let’s hand you over to Tony to tell you all about it! There’s even some behind the scenes images for those interested in how a styled shoot works. Enjoy! ~ Maria x
North Wales Styled Shoot by Tony Fanning
A little while ago I brought together some of the best wedding suppliers in North Wales for a bit of a jolly, and to photograph two gorgeous ‘brides’ in the stunning location that is Caer Rhun Hall.
I chose the end of April to do this shoot as we had the best chance of half decent weather. As it turned out it was the coldest it has been for ages. I cannot remember seeing models shivering quite so much. I really do have to thank them both for not throwing a diva strop and walking off.
I carefully chose the two models, Iwanted two different looks for the dresses I had chosen from Wedding Belles in Llanfair PG on Anglesey. I photographed Leanne’s wedding last year in Bryn Eisteddfod so I new I wanted her to be the ‘girl next door’ look the tea-length wedding dress. Jen was new to me but as soon as I saw a photo of her I new she would be perfect for the full length fitted wedding dress. Both of them absolutely rocked it!
Obviously we couldn’t do a shoot like this without immaculate hair and makeup. I asked Julia Nicholls Creative hair and Kay Evans make up artist along as I have worked with both of them before and I know their work is always amazing.
What do you need to finish off a bridal look? Flowers! I asked Sarah from Scent with love to come up with something and she certainly did not disappoint. We had a variety of bouquets to work with with, and always they were flawless.
We needed some behind the scenes video as well so Geoff from Tudno TV did his thing for us. You can check out his short video HERE.
Last but not least we had a visit from Nelly the vintage VW camper. Kindly bought along by Nelly-Weds. Nelly looked fantastic in the sunlight in front of Caer Rhun hall.
Thanks so much to all the suppliers who came along and contributed to this wonderful day. I can’t thank them enough.
I must not forget the very trusting ladies who were kind enough to lend me three pairs of Irregular Choice shoes for the shoot. I know girls like shoes, but it wasn’t until this shoot that I realised just how much girls LOVE their shoes. I knew it was a bit of an obsession but I was nicely warned to look after them with my life
Laura and Andrew tied the knot in May this year in an intimate ceremony at St Tysilio Church, Menai Bridge, followed by a gorgeous reception in a botanical garden! Photographer Alexa Loy was on hand to capture all the magic :)
We asked the lovely couple some questions about their big day…
What was your budget? Our target budget was £10,000, which we did not exceed. We planned on the wedding being as much a DIY effort as possible. We made the invitations ourselves, as well as the place settings, favours, table centrepieces, games and signage. The dress and bridesmaid dress were homemade and I decided to do my own make up on the day.
How would you describe your wedding theme? Our wedding theme was very much based on the country garden, as our venue was the garden of my childhood home. I wanted it to have an air of elegance and simplicity, rather than too rustic. I love anything period, and I must admit that Downton Abbey might have given me some inspiration, I just love that period!
I wanted there to be lace, silk, roses, pretty garden flowers, and a wonderful afternoon tea with china cups and saucers and an array of gorgeous cakes. I chose a colour theme of sage green, pale pink and ivory.
What was your favourite part of your wedding? The ceremony in the tiny church of Saint Tysilio on Church Island was magical. The church has no electricity so we had candles everywhere and it brought the most wonderful golden glow to the service. We had decorated the church very simply with ivy and it felt like we were transported back to another era. The church was full with our nearest and dearest and it was such a beautiful, intimate and loving service.
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why? We had Andrew’s younger brother Neil as our bestman. They are very close and he wanted to have a family member play a part in the bridal party.
I had my cousin Georgie as my bridesmaid. I had always imagined her as my bridesmaid, and she was the most wonderful bridesmaid I could have wished for. She was so attentive and helpful. She even helped my mum make and decorate the wedding cake! She made sure that everything ran smoothly, along with the best man.
Why did you choose your venue? I was lucky enough to grow up in a botanic garden, as my dad is the curator. I had always dreamed of having my wedding reception in a marquee in the garden. One of the most magical things about the day was that the cherry blossom was in full bloom and was blowing like confetti all over the garden. That was what I had dreamed of.
How did the proposal happen? I have a love of historic houses and on my birthday last year in May, Andrew took me to Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. We had a lovely time exploring the house. For lunch, unbeknown to me, Andrew had arranged for a picnic for us to have in the grounds. Unfortunately there had been a mix up and it wasn’t ready. He very calmly took me to sit by the water terrace, as a member of staff brought out a complimentary glass of champagne.
He ended up explaining what he had planned, and as the weather had started to turn and there wasn’t anywhere sheltered to have a picnic outdoors, he didn’t know what to do. After nipping inside he came back and told me that they had a room we could use, The Indian room. It was a beautiful, colonial style room overlooking the garden. We were the only ones in there and had our picnic in luxury. Andrew then started to explain why he hadn’t brought me a birthday present, and as he was saying so, he pulled back his jacket to reach into his pocket, and I just knew what was coming!
I burst into tears before he had even uttered the words. He produced a tiny, rough brown leather box, and inside a beautiful five stone diamond ring. An antique, found all by himself, that fitted perfectly. I didn’t mind that it had started raining outside by that point.
Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share? I wrapped long canes with florist ribbon in pale pinks and white. At the top I attached strips of the ribbon with pins and then tied a bow and attached. We placed these in the ground along the walk way to the marquee, they looked lovely blowing in the breeze.
We hung jam jars with lace wrapped around them, amongst the trees. We made our own corn hole games out of plywood. We painted them in our colours of green pink and ivory. I made little hessian chicks to throw during the game. For the afternoon tea reception, Andrew and I had put together a playlist of our favourite jazz and swing tunes, and placed speakers around the lawn so that the music filled the air!
What was your first dance & why? For our first dance we wanted to impress! Having both tried Tango earlier on in the year, and loving dancing together, we decided that we would like to try learning a dance for the wedding. We found a wonderful teacher who took our song choice and choreographed a beautiful routine for us.
I was really keen to get a waltz in, and we did manage it, even though the music was a little too slow for it! We practised in our flat and hired the studio out for private training. I felt like I was on Strictly Come Dancing! It was a wonderful experience, and it was so lovely to have that time together during the wedding planning that was fun, relaxed and different. It was really a great chance to just chill out!
On the wedding day I did feel a little nervous that I might forget the moves, but Andrew was brilliant in leading the way. It felt amazing to actually do it, for real, in front of everyone. My mum was crying the whole way through I think, and thought it was wonderful! Oh and our song choice was from one of my favourite movies, The Young Victoria, and was called Only You by Sinead O’Connor.
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently? We had planned very carefully for all eventualities. As we were hosting the reception at my parents home, and having a marquee it was down to us to make sure it was all organised. We had planned for dry weather and wet weather.
The sun was not however on our side and it rained the two days leading up to the wedding. We should have reverted to our wet weather plan but I think we were all hoping and praying that it would be dry. On the day it did rain. In hindsight we should have gone for plan b. We underestimated how much there would be to do last minute and on the day itself, when you are doing a home wedding. Keep it simple!!
Do you have any advice for future couples? If you can, do the wedding planning together. If you are making items, such as favours or invitations, make them together and enjoy it! We definitely enjoyed our dance lessons and would definitely recommend that.
People will tell you before the wedding that it goes very quickly and so enjoy every moment. Well, they are not wrong!! It flashed by in a minute. Try and have a moment with your new partner to stand together and watch it all go by.
What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received? Talk to each other and be open. Communication is the key. Keep those channels clear, and respect one another. We attended a marriage preparation course which we found to be very helpful. It was a great way to focus not just on the big day ahead, but on the marriage itself. It is easy to forget in the chaos of planning a great party, that this is just the beginning of a wonderful journey together.
What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding? Aside from all the fun of deciding how it would look, making the invites, favours, decorations etc., for me the best part of the planning was helping my mum make my wedding dress. She is an amazing dressmaker and seamstress. We had always dreamed of making it, and there was never any doubt that I would be wearing something that she had made. We chose the fabric together, along with my Nan and my bridesmaid.
It was so exciting! We sat and worked together for many weekends, and she produced the most beautiful dress I could have imagined. It was perfect and felt amazing to wear. I was so proud of her and I will never forget the joy we shared in that time together.