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The Wedding of Alun & Rachel
19th November 2016

Our special day…

We got married in November of 2016 at Tower Hill Barns.

Alun proposed to me on August 7th 2015 at Black Rock Sands in Porthmadog. He tried to plan a really romantic proposal – picnic on the beach, nice romantic stroll with the dog, that sort of thing. And when, finally, he pulled out the ring box and presented to me… it was empty! He hadn’t realised that the box had opened as he took it out of his pocket and the ring had fallen into the sand. Luckily, we found it, and so the proposal was perfect after all.

From the minute we first visited Tower Hill Barns, we just knew it was the venue for us. I had never wanted a big wedding and didn’t like the idea of all eyes being on me. But when we walked into the barn, I felt completely at ease. Its cosy and welcoming atmosphere made it the perfect spot for a cosy winter wedding.

My makeup was done by Made up by Cathryn. Cathryn really listened to what I wanted and I don’t think I have ever looked so good! Hannah Taft who works for Hair by Toni styled my hair and she had plenty of patience, making sure I was happy during the practice run and on the day itself.

I wore a Mori Lee dress from Tina Louise Heswall, Wirral. I tried a lot of dresses on when I was looking, but I always came back to the same one in the end. I just knew it fitted the venue and the day we wanted, perfectly. Our rings were from Rigby Jewellers in Chester. My engagement ring was Clogau, so I just picked the one that matched with that. Alun found his ring with their expert help.

My mum was first to get her outfit. As the mother of the bride, she chose Jacques Vert. We hired the wedding suits from Tefor Jones Ruth. The adult bridesmaids wore Dessy dresses from Bespoke Brides in Chester. I wanted something that would suit all three, given their varied ages. The plum colour was perfect for the winter time. The flower girls’ dresses were from Debenhams.

We could not have asked for a better service from florists than we got from Vivid Floral Design, Wrexham. They listened to my ideas, provided plenty of suggestions, and made the venue displays and our wedding flowers perfectly. The cake was made by a family friend. It turned exactly as I’d hoped. Chester Wedding Cars were so helpful. They even waited until after the wedding to take us to the Aqueduct for some photos.

We’re still completely in love with our wedding photos, which were taken by photographer, Carla Blain. We just can’t stop looking at them and reliving it all. We also used Premier Videos, and actually it was one of the best decisions we made to have the day filmed. We didn’t realise how much we missed at the time until we look back and watch our friends and family all having a brilliant day.

Laura Allen, one of my bridesmaids, had searched for Llangollen wedding venues, and Tower Hill Barns came up first. As it was in rural North Wales, and just down the road from where I grew up, it was perfect, Steve loved it and said, “It’s so us!” I went for a neutral theme as the venue itself was spectacular, and mum has always said, ‘Less is more!’

 

On the wedding day itself

On the day, we both got ready at our parents’ houses. I had stayed at my mum and dad’s the night before, with my maid of honour. My mum woke us up in the morning with tea and toast and I couldn’t believe how calm I felt! Those first few hours flew by, but I took in every second of being pampered and getting ready with my mum and bridesmaids.

We got married in the Old Barn at Tower Hill Barns. When I arrived the nerves finally hit me and I didn’t know how I was going to get down the aisle without crying! The music started and my bridesmaids and flower girls walked in ahead of me. As I walked down the aisle, the tune of Ellie Goulding’s How Long Will I love You was played by our very talented harpist, Oona Linnett. I could feel my nerves again at that point, but as soon as I saw Alun waiting for me I relaxed. The registrar was so lovely and really made the whole ceremony a wonderful experience. Our friend Laura also read a beautiful reading.

After the ceremony, our photographer took us off for some photographs at the Aqueduct. While we were away the staff at Tower Hill Barns looked after our guests extremely well and provided canapés.

Our wedding breakfast was leek and potato soup, poached chicken and sticky toffee pudding (although a fussy groom requested a different main and pudding!) It was no trouble at all for the staff to provide an alternative. Our guests didn’t stop talking about the food and still when we see, them they still comment about how wonderful it was – especially the soup!

We had our speeches first as no one was particularly keen on public speaking, and we wanted them to be able to relax and enjoy the food. We had ordered canapés for everyone to make sure that no one was really hungry while they listened. In any case, the speeches went perfectly and everyone was thoroughly entertained by our best man – especially when he raised a toast to the most important people in the room, the bar staff!

Our harpist played again during the reception drinks, and then we opted for the Barn’s own music during the wedding breakfast, and we couldn’t fault it. In the evening, we had the band, Fletch, who were amazing and had even taken the time to learn our first dance song for us, which was Kodaline – The One.

For our honeymoon we travelled to Singapore, New Zealand, Australia and Hong Kong. It was definitely the holiday of a lifetime.

 

Here are my top tips for other brides

Things that went a bit wrong? Well, after the wedding breakfast, Alun’s dad decided to give another speech, and during this, somehow he managed to spill a full glass of red wine over his white shirt! The staff at Tower Hill Barns were amazing though, and managed to clean up before I even noticed. (I had no idea about that until the following day!)

I wish I’d known how quickly the day would go. We were so pleased we booked a videographer as now we have the opportunity to live the day all over again, and watch the moments we would totally have missed!


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