Leanne & Brad: A Snowy Winter Wedding
When a bride starts off with, “everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong” you’re not too sure what to expect, but what can we say about this gorgeous wedding other than it was an absolute pleasure to help Brad and Leanne celebrate their special day with us at Tower Hill Barns, and really, these stunning pictures speak for themselves!
From the romantic sunset scenes of their Dubai engagement to our magical snowy setting in North Wales that caused more than a few last-minute change of plans, Leanne and Brad’s December 8th wedding is as memorable as they get.
Brad had left in early December 2016 for his 6-month deployment of the Gulf with the Royal Navy. Part way through his time away, he had six days ashore in Dubai so I flew out to spend some time with him. One evening he surprised me with a private yacht tour out of the Dubai Marina and along the coast. As the sun was setting over the Dubai coastline, with the Burj Khalifa as our backdrop, Brad got down on one knee on the front of the boat.
The Big Day
We kept it simple on the day, enjoying a lovely relaxed morning with breakfast in the cottage whilst getting ready. I loved that there was no rush and no pressure! I was calm right up until the music started for me to walk into the beautifully candlelit Old Barn (the Welsh Bridal March, beautifully played on the harp by Nerys Hewitt), and that’s when the nerves hit. But once I’d seen everyone’s smiling faces, I was fine.
With that being said, we did have a few hurdles (mainly due to the weather). That morning we had a tonne of snow (more than anyone was expecting), which made it really difficult for everyone to get to us. So our plans had to change; the flowers were dropped off to my Dad to bring, our photographer had to get his car pushed up the hill, a lot of our guests arrived an hour late, and some even travelled by AA after breaking down. I’d forgotten my earrings and had to get my dad to bring them on the morning, and my family’s minibus was cancelled as they were due to leave. In the end we were lucky, most people made it and even though we were married an hour later than planned (with a few people missing the ceremony), the day was absolutely wonderful from start to finish!
The setting was completely perfect. From the very beginning Brad had been clear that he didn’t want a ‘manor house’ or ‘hotel’ and that he really wanted something rustic and relaxed. So we narrowed our search down to two barn venues that we both loved. I visited both (taking photos to send to Brad who was still deployed), and we just loved the views at Tower Hill Barns and the location.
As soon as I met Toni and Jo, I knew Tower Hill Barns was the one! The staff had such a friendly and welcoming approach that really stood out in comparison to the other venues. Their willingness to get involved and help was also a bonus.
The Wedding Breakfast
We kept the food simple, but it looked beautiful and tasted even better. We had so many compliments! We went for a Christmas Turkey dinner with all the trimmings, and a melt in the middle chocolate pudding. But honestly, the tomato and red pepper soup was the real highlight, as it was the only thing Brad really wanted the whole day! Another lovely touch was our wedding cake, which was made and gifted to us by my amazing Nan. We also broke away from tradition and chose not to have speeches, as none of us were really fans of public speaking! Although, we did say a heartfelt thanks to everyone as bride and groom.
The First Dance
Our first dance was a little different from your average first dance! We started off with an acoustic version of Latch, and then mixed to the original Disclosure version, which meant we had everyone up on the dance floor! Later on we had a Paul from Marjeys DJs in Wrexham who got our party happening.
Getting married so close to Christmas, we didn’t want to be away for too long and miss all the Christmas fun so we booked our honeymoon for March. But we did manage a little getaway to New York for some festive fun at the last minute, which I’d highly recommend if you’re not going on honeymoon first thing.
What’s your top tip for other couples about to tie the knot?
Everyone says it flies by so quickly, and it really does! I wish I had have known how much of the day I would miss. I feel I didn’t get to spend enough time socialising with everyone, and looking back I wish we had chosen to video the day. Video was something neither of us wanted, and even now I don’t think I’d have watched a video more than once, but if anyone is considering it I think its highly worth it.
A gorgeous winter wedding colour palette with warm plum colours, and a man in uniform…
I’d always loved navy, however Brad and his best man were wearing black ‘Number Ones’ (military dress uniform) for the ceremony, and I wasn’t totally convinced that black and navy go well together. We looked at red (being a Christmas winter wedding) but it seemed a little too clichéd, so in the end we went for deep raspberry and plum colours. When we saw our gorgeous plum bridesmaid dresses in Monsoon, I knew they were the ones! The flower girls wore ivory dresses from Debenhams.
When it came to my dress, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted and what would suit me! So I knew I had to try on as many styles as possible to see what would look best. I found ‘the one’ by Nicholas of London and knew I’d made the right decision. On the day I wore a skirt from Oxfam Bridal in Heswall over the top, and accessories from Berketex Bride. I also had a gorgeous belt that my mum made, which was very special.
Our Wedding Suppliers
The wedding bands were from Diamond Heaven in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. Numerous friends recommended them to me, and I was very impressed with their range of choice and competitive pricing.
Our bouquets and the button holes (including the ones we gave to our guests) were from ElliMay Flowers in Drury, and we made our own floral centrepieces.
From table plan to centrepieces, we made all our own stationery and favours ourselves with the help of family and friends.
Makeup and Hair
We were so lucky that my mother – Traci Evans-Jones – is a hairdresser, so she did her own hair, the bridesmaids, and mine and Hannah Middleton MUA did our makeup.
Mother of the Bride outfit
My mother wore an Aubergine glittery dress, an online exclusive from John Lewis, to compliment the bridesmaids’ dresses.
The Suits & Grooms Fashion
We chose to purchase suits rather than hire. We bought the two-piece suits from Next with waistcoats, cravats and pocket squares coming from online company DQT.
With thanks to Richard Miller Photography for Leanne & Brad’s wedding photos.