C&T25 Jul, 2021
Our Real Wedding
On the 25th of July 2020, Chris woke me up to a treasure hunt for my birthday. I'd been asking for a watch for months and so when the last hidden gift was a watch box I was very excited; except when I opened the box something much more special was inside - he'd place his mothers engagement ring and as I looked in to find this, he got down on one knee. Our daughter Cali, who was 5 at the time, immediately burst into tears screaming "ARE YOU GETTING MARRIED??" Of course I said yes!
Exactly a year later, we were waking up in separate hotels and travelling to the venue for what will always be the best day of our lives. There had been some hiccups with planning to get to the date, we originally were due to get married on the 24th of January but Covid-19 had other plans. We then subsequently had a date in the calendar for every month up to July 25th. Looking back on it, there was no better than this. What better way to celebrate a birthday than marrying your best friend?
Choosing the venue took time, we had a look at a few different options and they were nice but nothing felt like "our" venue. Then we remembered that earlier in the year, Chris had a motorbike drive into the side of our car whilst we were turning into a beautiful hotel for my dad's birthday. Thankfully, nobody was hurt and we laughed at how the place was exactly what we were looking for. We knew we wanted to get married in Wales, in the country, in a place that we could have exclusively ours but would feel homely. It ticked all of the boxes and more. Suzanne, who helped us coordinate and plan the day, was so brilliant; we could not have asked for a better venue.
Because restrictions meant that we were initially only allowed 30 guests, our planning style was very laid back. Our original plan was to have a "whirlwind wedding", where we would set the date and get married all within 6 weeks; this meant I had found (and bought) my dress within a few weeks of setting the original date. Both of my parents and our baby daughter, Erin (who was only 4 months at the time), came with me to Perfection Bridal in Cardiff, where we found my dream wedding dress, made by Justin Alexander. Chris was looking at suits but as his father is Scottish, and half of his family were up in Glasgow and unable to attend, he wanted to honour his heritage and so him and the groom party donned the smartest looking kilts.
The flowers were the easiest choice for me, an old friend from school had started a florist shop based in London called Pollenet, and I'd been in love with all of her bouquets and arrangements posted on Instagram for a long time. I gave Holly a basic guide in terms of the type of style and colours I wanted, and she just completely smashed the brief. Looking back through the pictures, the flowers really do stand out, they were perfect.
There was one moment on the day, right at the beginning, where we almost didn't have a photographer. He arrived at the venue and was sent upstairs to the bridal suite, where he ended up waking the bride from the night before! He ran back downstairs after apologising profusely to the newly wed and was told by a member of staff that "the bride is not here"; thankfully my sister was upstairs at the time directing the hair stylist to the venue and heard what happened so with my 11-month old in her arms and wearing only her bridal party dressing gown, she started running down the drive to catch the photographer just as he was indicating to leave the venue!! Thank God she did catch him as we wouldn't have such perfect shots captured without them.
We hired The Face Boss to do our makeup on the day and she made us look like different people, I've never felt so confident in my appearance. If anyone is looking for a makeup artist, do not hesitate to contact Meg as she knows her craft very well. My sister's friend, Amy, did our hair and she did it all in record time. All I knew was I wanted a low bun, and she made it look so special and compliment my entire appearance.
One of my favourite moments of the day was when Chris and his friend surprised me by dressing up as Nessa and Bryn from Gavin & Stacey from the barn scene for Gwen's party, and sang "Islands in the Stream" in full costume. Another, very special, surprise was that my parents had hired a wedding car to take us around Brecon for a drive with my grandfather. This meant the world to me as earlier in the month, we lost my grandmother who was one of my favourite people in the world. We weren't sure if my grandfather was going to be able to make it as his care home was isolating due to a Covid case and we had to fight for him to attend, but thankfully the council agreed that after 10 days of isolating he should attend, which was so special.
Honestly, the day was so special - from our guests, to the venue, to our suppliers, to my partner. We had such a perfect day that we'll never forget and we can't wait for the rest of our lives together now!
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