Our special day…
We’d been together for 5 1/2 years when Rich finally popped the question! That was in June 2015. I always told him I’d know whenever he was planning to propose because he’s just rubbish at keeping secrets. But, surprisingly, it was just a normal Saturday morning and I didn’t suspect a thing. He gave me flowers, and a card that said, ‘Marry me.’ I couldn’t believe it. That same day we went off to Chester together to buy the engagement ring. And it must have been fate because the only one they had that I loved was exactly my size.
The two years before had been a bit of a battle; Rich had gone through a bone marrow transplant with stem cells donated by his brother Rob, after being diagnosed with Leukaemia two years before. The surprise engagement was the perfect start of a new chapter for us.
I hadn’t heard of Tower Hill Barns before, but as soon as my engagement became common knowledge, it was one of many suggestions that came flying at me in the Wrexham office where I work. We knew we didn’t want a church wedding, and as soon as I heard ‘barns’ I was straight onto the website!
We had a viewing and I fell in love with the place. I knew this is where I was going to get married, despite Rich (being the sensible one!) saying we needed to look at other venues to be sure. I just loved everything about the barns: the ceremony room (old barn), the whole rustic feel, and the grounds are stunning. And the staff were always so friendly and professional.
I got my dress from Lady Jane Bridal in Ruabon on my very first trip out dress shopping. Jane was so friendly, and I found a dress that was perfect for my shape, and well within my budget. I did look at other dress shops around Wrexham, but the service I received there didn’t have a patch on Lady Jane bridal. The wedding rings came from H Samuel, which was the same place we bought my engagement ring. The flowers came from the Flower Gallery in Oswestry. They were delivered fresh to me in the morning, and they were stunning! I couldn’t have been happier. As for the photos, they were done by Katie Cowell Photography in Wrexham. Stunning pictures. Katie was so friendly and so professional, and she gave us every opportunity to have all the pictures we wanted taken on the actual day.
We hired a vintage bus from Boultons of Shropshire to take me and the wedding party to Tower Hill Barns. Hair and makeup were done by the amazing Emily and Harriet Morris, who have now opened a shop called Made Up in Chirk. The suits were bought rather than hired. We liked the fitted, slim fit look for the boys. I had five beautiful bridesmaids who wore oxblood red full length dresses with one shoulder strap, a beautiful autumnal colour I thought. My mum wore a long, blue velvet dress with full length sleeves from Debenhams, which was a perfect alternative look for a winter wedding. She had so many compliments on the day she looked amazing.
On the wedding day itself
The big day actually started the night before. I booked for my family and bridesmaids to stay in Henlle Hall Woodland Lodges behind the Lion Quays hotel. So we headed up there the night before and enjoyed Prosecco in the hot tub. In the morning, it was all go, with hair and makeup, and breakfast was brought to us by my brother. I enjoyed every second of getting ready. I wasn’t in the slightest bit nervous, just so excited! The morning seemed to flash by before my eyes, and I still couldn’t believe our luck as the weather was a perfect, crisp and frosty winter’s day, with blue sky and a low sun.
We had our ceremony at 1pm in the old barn. Our registrar was from Wrexham. She was so sweet and made us feel completely at ease. Following my bridesmaids, I walked down the aisle to Song Bird, by Eva Cassidy.
I have never heard so many positive comments from wedding guests about food. They loved it. We chose sweet potato croquets for starters, beef shin for main, and sticky toffee pudding for dessert. It was out of this world. Speeches came after the wedding breakfast and we had a sweepstake going round, which was good fun. My bridesmaid Kate won, and I think the money went on a round of drinks for everyone on that table.
We didn’t have entertainment during the meal, just background music provided by Tower Hill Barns. It was perfect. Very relaxing.
The cake was made by our friends, Rachel and Val. We had a DJ from Shrewsbury who was a work colleague of Rich’s, for the evening disco, and our first dance was after the cutting of the cake so that our guests were still present. We danced to ‘You and Me’ by Life House, chosen because it’s from Gavin and Stacey, which we love!
As our wedding was in November, we had a ‘mini moon’ afterwards in Pembrokeshire, at a little cottage with a hot tub. So cosy and romantic.
Fortunately, everything ran like clockwork on the day, and nothing much went wrong. The boys enjoyed their time drinking around the fire pit with marshmallows. Fortunately, I managed to pull off a broken dress strap for the whole evening by wearing it strapless. I looked like I’d changed for the evening.
We really enjoyed having the rugby on for all the Wales fans, after the wedding breakfast.
Here are my top tips for other brides
So. Top tips for other couples? Definitely get married at Tower Hill Barns! Don’t worry too much about decorations either, as the barns are picturesque enough as they are. Pack some comfortable dancing shoes as you’ll be on your feet all day.
I wish I’d known that the day would go as quickly as everyone had so. Make sure you enjoy every single second!