North West Wedding

very venetian. mori lee for an elegant north wales wedding – sara & ross

18th November 2016 | Laura McDonagh

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After a romantic proposal in Venice, today’s real wedding couple Sara and Ross, decided on a Venetian-inspired theme and a navy and peach palette for their elegant wedding at Pentrehobyn Hall.

This party-loving pair wanted their big day to go with a bang and so had entertainment and food at the top of their agenda. And check out Sara’s jaw-dropping fishtail Mori Lee gown – real #dresscrush material, people!

With images by Will Hey Photography.


sara says: We got engaged January 2015 in Venice. Ross had actually planned on proposing in one of the restaurants while we were out but was suffering from sciatica at the time – he kept getting up and walking around the table! In the taxi on the way back to the hotel I made a joke about him being in trouble because my friends thought he was going to propose and he responded by saying he wouldn’t ask me to marry him just because my friends thought it would happen. I thought at this point I was going home single! When we got to the hotel he suggested dessert (even though we’d already indulged in the restaurant) and the most beautiful ring was brought out on plate. He got down on one knee, and I cried…a lot!

We got married on 13th August. There was no special reason behind the date – it was more a case of us falling in love with our chosen venue – Pentrehobyn Hall – and picking a date that was available. There were very few Saturdays left!


We picked a Venetian theme. We thought it would be romantic, and appropriate considering we got engaged in Venice.

Navy and peach were our main colours. Ross had his heart set on a navy or blue/grey suit with peach accessories. I’d originally wanted black bridesmaid dresses but I’m so glad that we opted for the navy/peach theme. It was so much more summery and looked great on the pictures.


My dress was a fishtail lace Mori Lee dress. Originally I’d had my heart set on a gown I’d seen online, but when I went to try it on it really didn’t suit me. My friend picked my dress out for me and I can reveal that it really is true what people say: you know when you’ve found ‘the dress’! Our very talented friend Zara made my garter and I had my great grandmother’s blue brooch tied to my bouquet as my something borrowed and blue.


Ross wore a blue grey suit, which he purchased from Reiss. He teamed it with a peach pocket square and socks, a white shirt and navy tie.

The bridesmaids wore long, navy dresses with embellished shoulder detailing from Little Black Dress. The ushers and best men wore navy suits from Slaters in Manchester, with matching accessories to Ross.


The venue was so close to my mum’s house that we decided not to hire transport. Instead, my maid of honour’s father kindly took the bridal party to the venue in his Jaguar. He even dressed it with ribbons so it looked and felt like the real deal.


Our photographer was Adrian Spencer of Will Hey Photography and we would recommend him over and over again. We found him online; we were attracted by his portfolio, which was fantastic. He made the whole process on the day completely stress-free. In fact, our guests were still talking about how great he was weeks after the wedding. He really did go above and beyond and we couldn’t be happier with our photographs.


The bridesmaids and I carried bouquets of calla lilies. My friend Claire actually offered them to us as her wedding present. She’s an extremely talented florist, although this isn’t her full time job: she’s actually a policewoman and a new mummy!

There was a real mix of decorations and arrangements around the venue. The majority of these were created by my mum, and I had some help with the glue gun! We bought most of the bits and pieces from Inspirations Wholesalers. On the table we had long vases decorated with Venetian masks and flowers. The masks were brought back from Venice by one of my bridesmaids who went there on holiday; her poor husband was dragged around the shops searching for the perfect masks for my table decorations! Our artwork was created by my very talented friend Sian and we had various other Venetian-style displays to set off the venue. We named the tables after special places that we’d visited and Sian made the most beautiful ‘adventure board’ combining them all.


We wanted the favours we chose to really represent us as a couple and, as we love a good party, there only seemed one option: personalised shot glasses! We bought these from and had them personalised with our initials, the date, and the phrase ‘take a shot, we tied the knot’.

Instead of a traditional wedding cake, we had a cupcake tower which doubled up as the dessert for the wedding breakfast. They were the most divine chocolate Guinness cupcakes with Baileys cream cheese frosting. Our caterer Catherine Skates recommended them: that woman really knows her desserts!

The whole wedding menu was inspired by the Venetian theme, and we decided to go wild with Italian-style canapés instead of a formal sit down starter. We had mozzarella and tomato bruschetta, filo prawns, satay chicken skewers and rice balls. The main course was chicken with a lemon herb dressing and courgette noodles. Catherine really guided us through the whole process; she was a dream from start to finish. It’s some of the best food that has ever passed my lips and the staff she supplied couldn’t have been more friendly and professional. We were able to provide our own wine for the tables and toast, and so we opted for a mix of Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and rose for the tables and prosecco and champagne for the toast and reception.


We really wanted the entertainment to stand out and six15 events were recommended to us by our friend Anna. I’d seen them perform at a few events but wasn’t aware they did weddings. We had an incredible DJ that kept the dance floor full all night and to add an extra ‘wow factor’ we chose one of their saxophonists and electric violinists to perform in the crowds. They really were worth every penny! We even got them to join us halfway through our first dance as their surprise entrance.

All of our suppliers exceeded our expectations: as previously mentioned, our photographer, caterer and entertainment were spectacular! The bar and staff from Voodoo Moon in Wrexham, did a fantastic job; they’re fantastic guys who really know how to mix a cocktail! An old school friend of mine serenaded the guests whilst we walked down the aisle and during our fizz reception. Liv Bowry Duncan made me and my bridesmaids look flawless; the girl knows how to contour! Skye Marquees gave us the most picturesque setting, Rob and the team are as efficient and thorough as they come. Last but definitely not least, our wonderful hairdresser Abbie, who has actually left the trade to go into teaching. A loss to brides across Wales but a gain for the kids!


Pentrehobyn Hall was the most perfect venue for us. Zoe and the team were great to deal with from the outset and it really is a blank canvas where you can make your wedding your own. They give you a great list of recommended suppliers, which is very helpful for a confused bride! The fact that you can hire the venue for the whole weekend also gives you a chance to relax and wind down from all the excitement and spend some extra time with family and friends.

It’s hard for me to pinpoint a precise favourite moment of the wedding: I got teary during the vows, laughed my way through the speeches and grinned all the way through our first dance. The whole day was just perfect from start to finish!


My top tip for other Brides Up North would be – don’t get overwhelmed by it all. There’s a lot to think about with planning and budgeting, but friends and family are on hand who will talk through it with you. And, if you’re as lucky as we were, they might have talents they can share to help you out on the day. Don’t stress about keeping it traditional; make the wedding about you two, and don’t feel like you have to conform about the stereotype. And finally, make sure you take some time alone just you and your partner. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the people who are there to see you both, so don’t forget to take a step back and appreciate the day you’ve created together.

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