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The "slightly alternative but traditional" Castle Wedding! 26th August 2012

At long last I'm finally getting to write my report. I was waiting for the professional pictures to come through, which took nearly 10 weeks, and going almost straight back to work without a honeymoon and being stupidly busy sorting our house out ( with the wedding money, naturally :P)

I hope I don't bore you with the story bits - I had to shorten it down from 14,000 words, so this is the short version lol!

Anyway here goes:


Firstly about me:

I'm Jen, I'm 26. I'm from Manchester originally, but went to Bangor university to study music. That was a few years ago, but 8 years on I still haven't left the area. I just love the Welsh scenery too much! It wasn't until I go a job at the university that I met Dylan though. And if I hadn't have rebelled against my parents' wishes, I would have never met him. Long story, so I won't go into that bitimage I was doing a part time MA in music, he was doing a PhD in maths...

but it doesn't start with him... it starts with the ex - I have to include him in this, and you'll see why below...

Hope you'll enjoy reading anyway! x


and one sneak picture:





  • My story starts in 2007, when I’d just started dating another bloke. As had happened in the past in my love life, guys seemed to appear in twos. I’d gotten myself into a rather messy love triangle in sixth form and vowed never to repeat. Come autumn 2007 and here we were again, but I didn’t know it yet...


    I’d just applied to be a support worker at University to go alongside my MA in Music, and had just found myself a boyfriend after what had taken me 18 months to get over the last heartbreak. I was quite content that finally someone had noticed me, and was addicted the new found attention I was receiving. I was a shy and very quiet person, and my new next door neighbour had noticed me one day outside my flatmate’s downstairs window, trying to fix some cabling.

    A week later, I was asked to go to a training lunch at the university to learn the ins and outs of the job I was going to start. I always used to sit in the corner, eat the food, and not talk to anyone. I was just too shy!! This day, everything changed. A guy came over to me and introduced himself. He chatted away like we’d known each other for ages, and I was quite glad of the break of silence.

    We went our separate ways and I thought nothing more of it. I was happy with my boyfriend, and I was busy planning his 21st birthday party.


    Two weeks later, there was a second training lunch, and the same group of people turned up, including the guy who introduced himself to me the last time. He marched straight over to me and started up a conversation. I had completely forgotten who he was, but to save face, I just decided to smile and nod in the hope that he hadn’t noticed my blank expression at the beginning! We were about to go our separate ways at the end of the meeting again, and I was on my way into town for some shopping. He offered to walk down with me, and he left me to it in HMV. Ten minutes later I was still in the shop, and he reappeared, complete with a bag of Aero bubbles! (I’d told him at the first meeting that my favourite chocolate was aero bubbles.)

    I vowed to remember his name this time...


    A week later again, and an email popped up. It was him. He had found my slightly unusual name on the university directory and decided to email me to ask me how I was getting on with the job. After a few weeks of emails going back and forth, he mentioned that he had a “2 for 1” voucher for the local tapas bar, and would I like to have it so I could take a friend. I suggested that as it was his, then I could go with him instead!

    On the 1st November, we went to the tapas bar, and a lunchtime turned into a whole day! He was apparently planning to ask me out here, but I spent most of the time talking about my boyfriend!

    That day, we got to know each other, and we found out that we both loved Nintendo and Super Mario. I mentioned that I had an N64 back at home, and he said he had a SNES.

    I used to work Monday evenings in Morrisons, and he used to go to poker just down the road. We decided to make Mondays a regular thing – I’d join him and his housemate at poker, and then we’d go back to his for some SNES gaming. This carried on until nearly Christmas. The boyfriend was completely fine about it, as he worked evenings anyway, and why shouldn’t he have been, it was innocent after all!

  • It was the last week of the Semester at university, and I wanted to spend some time with Dylan and his housemate Dave. I also wanted to spend the last day with the boyfriend, so he promised we’d do something nice and perhaps go somewhere on the bus. Dylan wanted to make a giant jaffa cake for his best friend and asked if I would like to help. We made a day and night of it, and watched a film with some cider. Whilst Dylan had gone to do the washing up after the baking, we chatted some more, and it got down to a very poignant question. “Do you ever think of me as more than a friend?” It caught me by surprise, but I’d had an inkling since the tapas bar that he might have a soft spot for me. I admitted that I did, but I tried not to think about it because I was with someone already. That moment something clicked. It was Dylan I wanted, not the guy I was with! He gave up his bed for me in the evening, and took to the sofa for the night.

    I enjoyed the baking afternoon so much, that I wanted to stay another day in the house. Problem was the “second” day was the final day of term, which I’d promised to spend with the boyfriend. The boyfriend hadn’t bothered to organise anything for the “bus trip” and it was Thursday evening already. As someone who likes to be very organised, I was fed up about the lack of information so decided to stay with Dylan instead. I went to tell the boyfriend whilst he was out in his work’s car park. Obviously he wasn’t best pleased that I didn’t want to spend the day with him, but it’s not like he stood his ground either... he simply said “whatever makes you happy”.

    The second night at Dylan’s and we watched another film. “Finding Nemo”. (Dave had been at work both nights) 

    The second night we were up a lot later, as we’d been on the SNES again. After watching the film it was 2am, and rather than set up the bedding downstairs, I said I wouldn’t mind if he just stayed in the bed with me. We ended up talking even further into the early hours, before falling asleep side by side.

    Upon waking up we just lay there, and he ended up putting his head on my shoulder for a while. Even though it felt weird, because I was with someone else, it also felt really.... right...


  • After a confusing and nightmarish Christmas break, with barely any contact with the boyfriend and plenty from Dylan, i decided I would give the boyfriend one more chance. If he made an effort with the Christmas present! I opened it a day early because the suspense was stressing me out. He hadn’t put any thought into it. He bought me a duplicate of a DVD I had, and a “generic” classical music album, which is pretty much the ultimate insult to a Music student!! That was it, decision made. As soon as i got back to university, I finished it with the boyfriend, telling him I was going downhill academically (true) and I needed the break because having a boyfriend got in the way. (half truth)


    The next day, Dylan suggested that we could go for a walk to take my mind off things. I had to do a morning shift in Morrisons first, so had to endure that feeling pf being both sick and strangely “free”...

    We went to a coastal path down by a local Castle and sat on a concrete block on the edge of the shore. We sat there for a good hour and just talked. It was tense though, as I really wanted to just give him a big hug, and I couldn’t help thinking that he was feeling the same thing. It was too soon though...

    The next day was a Monday. This meant poker and SNES gaming night was back on. I did my usual morrisons shift and then headed back to their house for some gaming. Dylan had suggested that I could stay over so we were both able to drink.

    We played games until about midnight, and then he suggested we could watch a film upstairs. On the way up I had a thought. There had been a few “moments” over the last couple of days, where I could feel that he wanted to say something, and I felt that I knew he wanted to make a move of some sort soon. I took the chance and suggested that we could watch “Never been Kissed”, on the logic that a RomCom will enhance our emotions, and if he was going to make a move then the end of the film would give him that opportunity. It worked like clockwork, and as the film drew to a close, Dylan leaned in for a kiss. A slow and tender kiss... which had been imminent for a while, but it wasn’t right until that moment. This sealed things. We were an item ( a mere 3 days after I ended it with the other guy!)

    the earliest picture I have is from May 2008. (we don't have many pictures - maybe average one a year - neither of us like cameras usually!)




  • So, in June 2008 we moved in together. My parents thought we were rushing things a bit, but in the end it was down to financial reasons - my student tenancy was ending, and I needed somewhere to live!

    There were a few hiccups at the beginning, because he didn't like many food things that I did, and I wasn't one for doing housework! In  the end (and after numerous disagreements lol) I ended up with a checklist of all the foods he liked or didn't like, and i agreed to do all the vacuuming if he did all the bleach related stuff! image

    After about 6 months, it was also sorted though. We had a balance. I was chief dryer upper, potato peeler and vacuumer. He was washer upper, bleacher and cook image

    Our First Christmas together and we got ourselves a wii. Had to be done, the newest version of mario kart. And now we couldn't possibly split up because where would the wii go?!

    May 2009 was the first hint of possible engagement. We were at a friend's wedding, and I didn't take him seriously! I have to add here that he thought 1 year was a long term relationship, and my definition was more like 3 years!!

    It came to July 2009 and he mentioned it again in passing, but I thought he was on the wine, so i brushed it off... though added another comment about the 3 year thing!

    That was the last I heard of it, unless you count my mum joking to my dad in Christmas 2009 that Dylan was his future son-in-law!!

    My mum did say that she didn't think I was ready though, as she'd asked me in the "jokey" conversation previously what i thought of having a husband, and i'd said "we haven't been together that long, that's just weird!!" It was left at that, and no one said any more on my part after that Christmas...

    Dylan actually ended up asking my mum's permission to marry me in June of 2010. He was actually planning on doing at Christmas but he had chickened out! Even in June, he chickened out of asking my dad!!


  • More please!!! Keep writing!! image. Your sneak peek photo looks gorgeous and I'm really enjoying reading this image xx

  • More please! xxx

  • Really enjoying reading this. Love your sneak peek photo. Can't wait to see the rest. image

  • TickleyJessTickleyJess Posts: 1,649 New bride
    I've loved reading your report so far and the wedding photograph is lovely. Congratulations! x
  • More more more! Great story so far x
  • OOOOOOooooo more please image

  • The “non” Proposal

    On the 7th July 2010, we were coming to the end of a stay at Dylan’s parents’ house. We were due to go back the next day, but he took me by surprise when he said I might need to get up early. I grumbled a bit, and then he said that maybe we could go a bit later instead. I agreed and nothing more was said.

    The next morning we had breakfast as usual, and packed our things up ready to go. Just as we were putting our coats on about to leave, Dylan’s dad said “I hope you both enjoy the train ride.” Silence. Then his mum said “Get some good photos of the grave!” Silence again... what a strange thing to say?! Dylan frowned at them and said “yeah thanks, you just ruined the surprise!!!” They laughed and said they were sure it would still be a surprise. I worked out the train bit, but didn’t realise about the grave until we got there. We drove the hour and a half to Caernarfon and got on to the Welsh Highland Railway train, bound for Beddgelert. Dylan never missed out on an opportunity to be ”on the cheap” – he’d even got complementary train tickets from a  support worker as a thank you present! (I must add here that he was the co-ordinator at this point, not a support worker himself like when we met.)

    It had started to rain, and we had chosen to sit in an “outdoor” carriage, but it didn’t put us off. Dylan decided to go and find food about halfway into to the journey, and returned to ask what I wanted. Being gluten free is always a challenge when out and about, and the only thing I could really have was a coconut macaroon. I replied that I was ok, and off Dylan went to get himself some food. He returned again.... with a macaroon!! I was a bit confused as I was sure I’d said I wasn’t bothered about having one, but out of politeness I thought I had better eat it...

    Once we got to Beddgelert, we decided to get some lunch at one of the local cafés. The special menu was advertising “whole lemon and coriander trout”, and as a passionate food and fish lover, I just had to try it! Never mind the fact that Dylan hated fish, and I had never eaten a whole one in my life before! To my surprise Dylan offered to pay for all the food, and said that I could have what I liked. I wasn’t expecting it because of what I wanted, but it wasn’t uncommon for him to pay generally so I didn’t think a big deal of it. Dylan kept his choice fairly conservative and had a pepperoni pizza.

    After lunch I was stuffed so Dylan suggested that we went and walked it off in the direction of “Gelert’s Grave”. Anyone who knows of Beddgelert will know the story of the place, but I didn’t, and so I wondered why the grave was so important...


  • We headed over to the ruins of the house by the grave and chatted for a little while. He had asked me there what I thought of the relationship, and whether I considered it a “long term” thing.. or even a “forever”. I thought it was a weird question to ask, but I answered in agreement before we headed over to a bench by the river. The rain had calmed down a bit by now, but it was still drizzling! After we were settled there, he continued on the conversation, and asked me how I’d feel if we made things more permanent, before telling me he loved me. I agreed that I could indeed see us like that, and then in barely a whisper, he said “will you marry me?” I didn’t actually hear him properly, as it was *that* quiet, but I could tell he was scared! He never was one to get stressed or nervous, but I make one exception for this moment! (Probably because of what my mum had told him before!)

    I didn’t want to upset him by saying “no” (like I’d told my mum I would), but rather a “yes”, quickly followed with “but not next year... maybe in a couple of years’ time!” Then I burst into tears. Typical me! I even set him off too! We had a long and tearful hug... in the rain!

    No ring to show, as he was awful with jewellery, so he said we could look at rings online when we got home instead. I picked one out at the local H Samuel a week later. image


    Us just after he "proposed". (on a wet and windy day - guess that's Wales for you image )



    The ring I chose:

    (9ct white gold with diamond.) I picked an eternity ring because I like sparkle, and don't like the bands with the single stones in! (i'm too clumsy!)


     The river he proposed by:




  • Snowy xSnowy x Posts: 1,100

    I LOVE Beddgelert!!! just thinking about the story has got me all welled up! I cant think of a more touching place to have a proposal! Now please continue!!!

  • Venue –We started looking at the end of August 2010, all over North Wales. Castles, National Trust places, hotels, even Wrexham football club (neither of us are football fans, but Dylan’s dad is!)

    The easy bit was agreeing on the Wales bit - Dylan wouldn't have it anywhere else, and I kinda see Wales as home now. (And besides, the best place I could think of near my hometown was chatsworth house... a bit out of my league!!) My extended family (who are all from York) had a bit of a rant at my mum (poor her!) for not having it in Manchester, (or even York!), but I stood my ground!

    We couldn’t agree because Dylan’s family wanted a hotel, and I didn’t. My parents didn’t get involved, so it was up to me to convince the other side!

    I really wished we could get married in Erddig, but it wasn't licensed. Dylan's parents wanted white waters hotel in Llangollen, but i didn't like it. In the end we settled for a possible idea of Chirk Castle for the ceremony, followed by Wild pheasant (in Llangollen) for the reception. I liked the castle idea, but the only thing that I really liked about the latter was the hot tub in the honeymoon suite...

    It didn't help that when we went to see the castle, it was pouring with rain, and the lady told us we got to have it for 3hours, but 2 hrs and 15 of it would have to be outside... hmm...

    I was struggling to think of ideas at this point...

    Someone in passing happened to mention “Ruthin Castle”, but I’d previously ruled it out as I thought it was a little hotel pub! (There’s two “castle hotels” in Ruthin) The person said look again, and I found “Ruthin Castle” itself! We booked a viewing in November 2010, and that was it! Sorted! A castle AND a hotel! The only question was how were we going to pay for it. With big families, there was no way we could cover it all alone, we only had about £2-3k between us... image

    Dylan’s parents stepped in and offered us a fixed amount, so I thought it only polite to ask mine too. They offered to match it, so there we were. Budget x3!

    We asked my parents to come to the 2nd viewing, so they could give their blessing on the venue, and could also meet Dylan’s parents. Success! Venue booked December 2010.


    Ruthin Castle:



  • The Dress – After looking round the YAYW forum, I came to the conclusion that I should be looking for a dress in the sale – there was no way I was going to pay £1000 for a dress!! January sales 2011, one of my bridesmaids and I decided to hit Chester!

    After 3 shops, no lunch, and 30 dresses, I went back to the first shop and ended up torn between 2 sale dresses, both Mori Lee. My friend was torn too, so we put the decision on hold, and i took the mums there a few days later to help me decide. They had opposite opinions, argh! At this point I did manage to decide though, and went with the MIL’s view! So there we had it, the Mori Lee 4606 for a bargainous £350! image


    The "other" dress:




    The Mori Lee 4606:






    Detailing of dress. This defined the start of my theme - crystals!


     Bridesmaids' Dresses:

    I had a fixed idea in my head ever since I saw this most amazing dress online, in the EXACT colour I wanted too! it was a branch of Mori Lee called "Angelina Faccenda". One problem... nowhere in a suitable location sold it!



     I couldn't find anything I liked, and I was contemplating doing it the ebay way, but just as I'd given up, I called into my own dress shop at the end of 2011 with my bridesmaids to look around and they had it! well, nearly... It was black, had a "blingy" top, and was by Mark Lesley... hmmm...

    One maid tried it on, and told me that in my own colour of blue, it would look amazing, and that the bling wouldn't be so.... blingy.... ok then. I was persuaded. It was the closest I was going to get, and in the end it was the shape I liked, not the lack of bling!

    (sorry guys, no pictures of this, as they only had a black one in, and no one got a proper picture! imagination all the way! :P )


  • Mrs BoundsMrs Bounds Posts: 1,311

    what a lovely story, I can't wait to hear more xxx

  • nenjennenjen Posts: 1,524

    I've been waiting for your wedding report, I'm so excited to see your day!

    I'll be looking out for tips - just under 5 months until our wedding at Ruthin Castle image

  • Accessories:

    Now I can't remember the exact timescale of these, but I do know what order I did it in!

    Firstly was the tiara. Crystal obviously! At the beginning of the planning I assumed that ALL brides wore veils, and then when I picked my dress I realised that the crystal fingertip veil I saw in the bridal shop was £250... pfft no thanks! I asked my auntie if she would make me one, and just after she agreed, my mum decided to pipe up and tell me she didn't think I should wear a veil! (my mum sucks at timing!)

    Anyway, in the end, I had another scout around YAYW and realised that in fact not every wore veils, so decided to scrap that idea. After all I had long hair and for once I wanted to take the opportunity to show it off! (Glad I did too, because on the day my bridesmaid's boyfriend congratulated me on my amazing hair extensions! tehehe!)

    soo... tiara.... I was nosing around websites, and didn't actually like anything! They were all too princessy/vintagey/flowery. The 3 things I really can't stand!!!

    I always liked wearing alice bands when I was younger, so I thought I could do that instead, but have a "blingy" version. The same week, a groupon offer popped up on YAYW, and it was for a swarovski headpiece from a shop based in South Wales. I got straight on it and picked a tiara... or two... (Why does eveyrthing come in twos?!)

    I loved a really slim band that had crystals on it, but little bits of dotted colour too. I also like the bigger version which was just crystal. Both were aurora borealis too! (The crystals that glow different colours) - I must add here, I love rainbow colours, but can never get away with them usually. This was how I finally could - without it being obviousimage

    I couldn't choose, so again,  I asked the mothers (and again they had opposing views!!) ... and again I went with the MIL in the end. One hitch. I had received one tiara. Then I got news that the shop had gone bust.... eek!! (I totally blame groupon for overloading them with orders!!)

    Anyway, in the end I didn't have to decide, as it was the "MIL" one that arrived. Job done! (sorry I don't have a picture of the slim one, I custom made it, but it never got done!)




    I came runner up in a competition in one of the North west bridal magazines, with "Rachel Wood Designs" who offered free earrings if I ordered a headpiece or necklace, so I thought i may as well have a look and see what she could do. In the end I tried to describe what I wanted based on her existing designs and my crystal theme. Sorted. And with some maths in there too for Dylan's benefit :P

    26 crystals, 8 pearls, 12 mini pearls. Rachel made up two ideas and asked me to pick. I actually put it on facebook and took a vote of my friends haha! i ended up picking the one at the top of the picture below. (The stars were pendants for the bridesmaids)






  • Shoes were a major thing for me:

    I kinda assumed that I had to have ivory satin shoes the same colour as my dress, and I'd fallen in love some shoes in the bridal shop. one problem. They were flower girl shoes lol! They did have adult sizes, but they definitely looked more bridesmaid and less bride. They were maggie by Rainbow Club:



    After looking around and again finding nothing that appealled to me, I nosed on YAYW for ideas. I realised a lot of brides had actually got statement colour shoes, and ok so I couldn't afford the likes of Jimmy Choo etc, but I loved the idea of it! So here came my first DIY project.

    In the end I got "Bea" by Rainbow club, had them dyed electric blue, and decided to imitate the crystals on the "maggie" shoes and stick the crystals on myself. (thank you ebay for the supplies!!)

    It took ages, and they were supposed to be symmetrical... but i'm messy, so one ended up having more crystals than the other, and they were placed somewhat randomly... oh well! This was the finished product:



    And on the day:



  • Stationery – Simple but effective was my motto. I used an interweaved heart design that I’d remembered from one of my mum’s art classes, and used inspiration from a wedding card I’d sent my friend a few years ago. Ok, more like “upgraded” the original design! With a few tips from a friend’s mum who owned a craft shop and a commentary on my invitation design from a group of tourists (the joys of living on Anglesey!!), we were good to go! It was a gradual project – I have a seasonal job, so every time I was on “holiday” I would do a bit more. I did all my invitations summer 2011, then gradually followed Order of the Days, Table Plan, and Place Cards.

    wedding card I sent my friend in 2008:



    And the wedding stationery i made:










     The place cards were just plain luggage tags attached to the favours. (A box of homemade shortbread with our colour of ribbon round it.) Reserved seat cards were also just plain ivory with the stationery font on.

    I used my own handwriting for most of it. I practically write in script, so thought I may as well - beat waiting around for my mum to dig her calligraphy pen out!

    Also - colour was picked because I didn't want purple! Blue and purple are my favourite colours, but everyone I knew seemed to be doing purple at the time, and I always want to be differentimage I love deep colours best, so we settled on cobalt/sapphire blue. (or as i described to suppliers, "peacock head blue!") - made sense in the end - Ruthin Castle is particularly famous for its peacocks!

    The table names were: Revolution, Nitro, Iris, Oxygen, Cafe, Reality, Atlantis and Dolphin. (Dylan's idea - they were the concept names of Nintendo consoles before they were released to the public! genius - I loved the air of mystery it caused on the day!)


  • Flowers – I was at a loss with flowers. I simply just don’t like them!! I knew I’d have fake ones because I have really bad hayfever at the best of times! I scouted numerous wedding fayres, and ended up bumping into a lovely lady called Wendy, who was looking after her daughter’s designs for the day. They’re a lovely team, and they make bouquets out of all sorts of “craft” materials. Even though it didn’t suit my wedding I was drawn to their multicoloured button bouquet! These were the guys I had to have!

    In the end I told them my ideas (pictures of different flowers/bouquets), sent them a swatch of my colour, and pictures of my shoes and dress (and eventually accessories.) I essentially left them to it, with a request of one thing. I found these amazing orchids which I just had to have!



    They actually found a version of them... in Australia!

    I also a bouquet I really liked online for the bridesmaids - a simple handtied ivory rose bouquet, with tiny little star flowers in it. They got that spot on! image

    The buttonholes were based on something I saw at their stall in the wedding fayre. Mini ivory roses with sparkle was what I requested! (told them to use their imagination!)

    Once everything was ordered, they just got on with it, and I saw the final products when they’d finished!

    (apologies, I don't have a proper picture of the buttonholes, you'll have to wait until the end :P)

    bridemaids' bouquets:


    My bouquet:




  • ChazzytChazzyt Posts: 918
    Ooo I'm loving reading this! Your bouquets are lovely! Can't wait for next installmemt image x
  • Music – This was a nightmare. I’m a musician by profession, and obviously I can’t play the piano to myself walking down the aisle... and there’s just soooo much choice out there! I had to be different, and it was also our chance to get some “gaming” theme into the wedding, so I took it on myself to find the perfect ensemble to pull it off. At the beginning I wanted full choir, then I wanted string quartet, then piano, then a barbershop quartet, then a harp... argh!! In the end it came down to which of my student friends were free, and how much space was at the front of the ceremony room. In the end I wrote an arrangement for harp, flute and clarinet.

    The track name is “The Tico and the Hat”, but no one knew that other than Dylan, me and the musicians! (google it if you dareimage )

    I always kind of wanted a harp somewhere anyway, so it was harp for signing of the register too. Clair de Lune, followed by her singing along to her playing of “Songbird” (Eva Cassidy style).

    The harpist also continued playing for the drinks ceremony, but I was gutted that I didn't hear any of it, as I got dragged off for photos lol! (hopefully video guy caught some of it...)

    I burned some CDs for the background to the wedding breakfast and the family tradition of singing “Calon Lan” was fitted in around the Cutting of the Cake, to the backing of a CD track. This ended up being a last minute rush, as my brother was going to do it via ipod, but I sent my tunes over by various methods and they just didn't want to sync! With 1 week to go, I did next day delivery for blank CDs, got through a 20 pack for 4 discs, and we were good to go... blergh!!

    DJ was simple - I spent so long being indecisive, since I couldn't afford a proper live band who could do everything. (My music taste is VERY broad!) We just went with the resident DJ to the castle in the end - "Double Vision Discos" they were called. Lovely guys from Manchester image I messed up the playlist though, as I put too many songs on AND told them they didn't have to play in. I also had a blacklist, (e.g. Dylan hates Adele, and I hate Rihanna) - I forgot to ban Amy Winehouse.... argh!!! (trivial I know, but it just really bugged me on the night! image)

  • Hair & Makeup –

    I didn’t have a clue about makeup originally – I don’t wear it unless you count a bit of eye colour for nights out occasionally!

    I was invited to a “demo” evening at the castle (April 2011), and the girl tried out some Bare Minerals on me. A makeup that you can’t tell you’re wearing because it’s so light. Perfect, that was me hooked. I booked her at the castle’s wedding fayre in January 2012. This turned into a nightmare too, because the girl ended up leaving in Easter 2012 at short notice, and just sent me a message saying “sorry”, and that “Charlotte” will take over. I panicked! I rang the new person, and she said I could have a second makeup trial free of charge. All sorted. Then nearer the date itself, Charlotte said she wouldn’t be able to do it. Panic again! It turned out that she could in the end though, holiday mixup sorted that out for us.

    Hair, I didn’t really think about it until pretty late on, by which point it was 6 months to go, and no one wanted to work on the Sunday of the bank holiday weekend. Fair enough! When I had the 1st makeup trial at the castle, I mentioned it to the "original" girl, and she recommended me her friend. The castle wedding co-ordinator also gave me the details for his sister who is a hairdresser too. Location dictated it for me. The first girl was lovely, so I booked her straight away image

    Hair trial:



  • Photographer – There was a lack of communication here, because we thought Dylan’s relative was doing it as well as videoing it. In the end he meant one or the other, so I told him to do videoing. I started looking for a photographer around Easter 2012, and noticed that an old school friend who got married in February had absolutely amazing photos! I asked her for the details of the guy, and got in contact with him. Neil Redfern was lovely and really helpful, and since I was going to my parents for Easter (he’s based in Manchester) I suggested he could come round to the house to show us his portfolio. He was quite pricey, so I needed to convince Dylan that he was worth it. Dylan loved it, but the price put him off. In the end I was so desperate to have the guy that I offered to pay 2/3rds of the price rather than ½! Job done!

    And I have to say that was definitely the best choice I could have made in the whole of the planning. (and it was the ONLY thing we splashed out on - we were on a budget remember image )

    - I only wish we could've had a proper videographer, as I met the most amazing girl in June!

    A bit of a side story - I did the Boudoir shoot with Nicola Grimshaw-Mitchell, and it was a weird day because Nicola had asked if it would be ok to shoot a video of how things worked. I agreed in return for a few extra shots, and Charlene from "Love Gets Sweeter" turned up. Nicola had a promo video, i had a bigger photo album, and I met the most amazing videogrpaher ever! :P

    one sneak of that shoot:



  • And that's it from the planning side, other than people!

    Best Men: yes there were two of them. Dylan has two best friends who are equal to him, so there was no way he was going to choose. unfortunately I managed to accidentally agree that I would only have 2 bridesmaids, becase that made it symmetrical... ahhhh! He met them at uni and they all did mathsy things together! (They also both love nintendo related video gaming!)

    Bridemaids: After accidentally agreeing to the "rule", i picked my best friend from uni, and my current best friend. I really wanted my best friend from school too, but as I said above, I was only allowed two image ... on the upside it was much cheaper, because 3 bridesmaids' dresses would hav made them total more than the cost of my own dress - there must be some kinda of rule that says this should never ever happen lol!

    There was a bit of a saga on the girls side though - I had a flowergirl then I didn't! I never wanted one, as I'd banned all kids from the wedding! MIL wasn't aware and asked a family friend's daughter without consulting us! oops! So we had to work out how to tactfully uninvite her (not as mean as it sounds, the kid herself didn't want to be, it was the grandmother who was wanting her to - MIL's best mate) In the end, the grandmother played it cool, then about 2 months later had a strop, blamed it all on me, and never spoke to MIL again... image

    Ushers: SIL, my brother and my best male friend from school (who had been a mutual friend after I got with Dylan - another nintendo/mario fan haha!)


    And a few tiny details:

    Personalised cufflinks for each groomsman depending what we associated with them most: Lego for my brother, wii remotes for the school friend, chess pieces for the best men, a yorkshire rose for my dad, and a welsh dragon for Dylan and his dad. (with a Welsh Dragon Pendant for the SIL.)

    The readings I picked were "marriage fulfils the dreams and love two people share" by Glenda Wilm. (read by my dad's eldest brother - i never thought about it until afterwards, but it was convenient I chose him, because I was a bridesmaid at his wedding when I was younger image )

    We also had "Cariad" ("Love") by anonymous - read by a family friend of Dylans. (basically the one who was the most outgoing who spoke Welsh. We had it in Welsh and were supposed to have it followed by the English translation. The first hitch of the day was when she got nervous beforehand, lost her "notes" and read the Welsh before sitting down again. No English translation = a LOT of blank faces on my side of the room hehe!  (more about the day coming up soon!image )


    Cake - This is a tiny one, because my mum made it, and we wanted to keep it simple, she wanted me to design it, i wanted her to suprise me... in the end I gave her this:



    Everything makes sense apart from the top tier right? Just go with it, it's the game themed bitimage

    This was the finished product anyway:



    And a close up of the themed bit:



  • Stag Do -

    Dylan's best men organised for them to all go to a "Go Ape!" style thing - swinging around treetops is the last thing he imagined he'd do. He's about as far away from an outdoorsy type as possible! I still don't know to this day whether he enjoyed it haha! They finished the day off with pub, then to our house for pizza and gaming. (He loved that bit!) They had Tshirts made too... a bad picture of him on graduation day. on the back they had numbers... 3.1, 41, 59, 26, 53, 58, ... Naturally he was 3.1. That's maths graduates for you image


    Hen Do - I would never have trusted anyone to organise mine. My school friend wanted to but she's a clubbing type and I'm not. My bridesmaids were busy with work etc, so I just decided to do it myself. First thoughts: Chocolate and spa... hmm how to combine them...

    Using Dylan's friend's contact in Rossett I found a chocolate making workshop for a fraction of the price the agencies were quoting (£10 a head in Rossett, bargain!) - I then thought we may as well use the most local hotel, so booked us into Llyndir hall hotel. It was a lovely chilled out weekend, we made loads of truffles, chilled out, swam, ate loads of food, and drank pimms image It was lovely that were just 6 of us too, I couldn't be bothered to oragnise a big group - There we had it: me, the mums, SIL, and the bridesmaids. Everyone got along great, we had the time of our lives with the chocolateimage Problem was the mums loved the chocolate so much, they ate too much and got sick on sunday morning! oops! they both agreed it was worth it though haha!


  • BuddletBuddlet Posts: 1,289

    awwwww i love this thread! keep going xx

  • Lovely story so far! Looking forward to reading more! image

  • thanks all :P


    @LadyoftheperfectManor: check out the new promo video Nicola has on her website. (or facebook page) It's me who's featured "getting ready" and the pic I've posted on here, is the still picture she's used on the front of the vid image hopefully that'll persuade you hehe!

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