Beth and Paul filled their sophisticated Welsh wedding with endless organic-inspired details
Beth, 27, Marketing Manager at Clogau, and Paul, 30, a business studies and ICT teacher, married at St Margaret's Church in Bodelwyddan, with a reception at The Hayloft in Conwy.
Photographer: Lowri-Ellen Photography
Floral budget: £3,000
At the time of his proposal, Paul and I were living with my parents while our new house was being built and near their house is a lovely National Trust Park, Plas Newydd, which we regularly visit and take the dog for walks. One Saturday morning, Paul and I took the dog and walked around Plas Newydd, making our way to our favourite spot there which is on the water’s edge, overlooking the Menai Straits. It was a beautiful morning, the water still and sun shining, we took a seat on our bench and there Paul popped the question!
Knowing that I would want my family around at this lovely time, Paul had secretly organised for our parents to be at Plas Newydd too, so when we eventually started walking back towards the car he suggested we go and have a drink and there sitting with big smiles on their faces were our parents. It was perfect!
Our theme was black tie-glamourous, with a natural, organic twist. We wanted a smart, sophisticated look that would be timeless. Deciding on the black tie dress code was easy and from there, everything else followed. The natural and botanic elements came from the flowers: I didn’t want tight-set bouquets, but more trees and foliage to set off the black tie.
Paul and I went to The Hayloft Restaurant on a date in the early days. The food is brilliant and the set up was perfect for what we were looking for: a beautiful stone-built building with a fantastic, bright, room with original wooden beams, and enough space for a big sparkly dancefloor!
The whole day was everything we could have dreamt of and more. The image I had of the day in my mind as we were planning it was exactly how it turned out and that is really thanks to the brilliant team at Bodnant and our wonderful florist, Carol.
My wedding dress was by Sottero and Midgely. I loved it for so many reasons: the shape, the plunging neckline and princess-style skirt was flattering, the embellishment was amazing on the top and it had pockets, which I loved! Also, since the wedding I’ve had the dress cut and I wore the top on our honeymoon. The dress was too good to only wear once!
Our flowers tied in with the organic, botanical theme of the day. I had lots of greenery and delicate white flowers in my bouquet, as well as on the tables. For the bridesmaids we had herbs and eucalyptus, and I had lily of the valley – my grandmother’s favourite and she loves the scent. In the church our florist made large trees from twine and foliage which stood at the beginning of the aisle and at the top where we said our vows. They had occasional glass bulbs with candles in which really sparkled – they were incredible. These were then moved to The Hayloft for the reception and a couple of extra, smaller trees were also made for the venue.
Our top table was also amazing – I had described to Carol, our florist, of this vision I had of foliage framing the top table; greenery falling from the wooden beam above the table and draping down along the table. She captured what I was looking for and more; it took my breath away as soon as I saw it.
Flowers were hugely important: I really feel they bring the theme and look for the day to life and add another element of romance to the occasion.
This was bought from Marks and Spencer; a traditional white tiered cake with an added personal touch. My 91-year-old grandfather is a baker by trade, so he handmade 100 beautiful white fondant roses that we added to the cake.
We didn’t do favours as such, instead we had silver mirrored acrylic laser-cut place names made which were the perfect addition to the glamourous look we were going for. And we made a donation to a local hospice whose work means a great deal to us as a family.
Our wedding was a real family affair, and that was really important to us. There were lots of personal touches to the day. My brother who is a musician played his guitar as I walked down the aisle, he and my cousin also performed a song we love by Beth Nielsen Chapman as we were signing the register, one of Paul’s best friends played the part of Master of Ceremonies during the reception...
A few very close friends couldn’t make it to the wedding but our best man managed to get them to send video messages before the big day and he played them to us on a screen during his speech, and finally my parents organized the evening entertainment which was a surprise! They booked The Jerseys, a fantastic tribute act who performed all night and really got everyone on the dancefloor – it was an amazing night!
I have so many favourite moments, walking down the aisle and seeing Paul was magical, and I think the moment our band, The Jerseys, strutted on for the evening party was a definite highlight!
Nothing to my knowledge went wrong on the day, however there was a slight* mishap with the best man’s suit. We had the suit in our house in the lead up to the wedding and Paul should have taken it with him when he left for the venue the night before the wedding – he didn’t. James frantically arrived, his car screeching to a halt outside the house the morning of the wedding, himself still smelling of booze from the night before, to pick it up. (*Slight is an understatement but my wonderful mum and bridesmaids dealt with it brilliantly!)
It was a real party, which is exactly what we wanted. Lots of amazing live music, dancing and laughter.
My advice for brides-to-be: Enjoy it all – all the planning and every second of the day. I would also say trust in yourself and what you like. The day should be a celebration of your relationship and your style so let that shine!
Steal their style!
Venue: The Hayloft, Bodnant Florist: Cherri Blue/Carol Rowlands Dress: Sottero & Midgely from Wedding Belles, Anglesey Bride's and bridesmaids' headdresses: Wedding Belles, Anglesey Engagement ring: from the Compose by Clogau™ collection Wedding ring: from the Windsor collection by Clogau Shoes: Jimmy Choo Bridesmaids: Needle and Thread top and skirts Groomswear: Moss Bros Cake: Marks & Spencer Hair: Beverley Jones Make up: Fflur Hogan