There are some lovely special touches present at today’s real wedding between Alun and Sophie, which takes place by the sea for an extra air of romance. We love the personalised order of service with its bridal party roll call and amusing message to the guests as they await the bride’s entrance. Then there’s the sign that states “Uncle Alun – here comes your bride”, proudly held by the groom’s nephew to signal her arrival. Not to mention the personalised poems written for the guests and left at their place settings.
In sight of the glorious coastal view, the couple arranged lawn games to keep guests entertained and hay bales with blankets around a fire pit upon which family and friends could toast marshmallows and enjoy the sea breeze. Which leads us nicely on to cocktails – all personalised of course to add to the unintentional theme noticed by Alun and Sophie’s guests as very “them”!
The tipi wedding setting looks spectacular against the cerulean Welsh sky – we can totally see why Alun and Sophie wanted an outdoor wedding in such a spectacular location!
With images by Jess Yarwood.
sophie says: Alun wanted to make sure I didn’t suspect the proposal – not an easy task as all I had spoken about for the last three years was getting engaged! As I’m a teacher, he decided to surprise me after school; keeping me in school was tricky but, with help from my workmates, Alun managed to sneak in and be in my classroom as I walked back from the staff room. I was surprised to see him there! He handed me a letter and, as I read the beautiful words, I had tears in my eyes. Alun went down on one knee and asked, “Will you marry me?” Of course, my answer was yes!
We got married on 5th August 2017. We needed to choose the school holiday and, as we wanted an outdoor wedding, we felt August would be perfect.
We had the ceremony in a beautiful church in Llangwnadl and the reception was in a field overlooking the coast. I fell in love with the church when I first visited Alun’s sister’s house in the same village. As we both love the sea, the field was the best choice and the tipi made it extra special. Having a tipi meant we could personalise everything.
The order of the day was fun! We wanted everyone to be relaxed and enjoy themselves. I’m not sure there was a theme as such but lots of our friends commented afterwards that the wedding was very “us”.
For our colour scheme we chose burgundy and baby pink. I liked the contrast of colours and wanted summery and country flowers.
When it came to the dress, I visited lots of shops and tried on several dresses but couldn’t quite find the right one! I wanted a simple gown due to the venue. I finally found one in a little village down south when visiting my best friend for the weekend. It was in a pre-loved wedding shop and, as soon as I saw it, I knew it was the one. After a little altering by a wonderful seamstress in Chester, the dress was perfect.
Alun wore a suit from Moss Bros in Chester. We wanted to keep it simple, so he had chinos with a tweed-style jacket and waistcoat. The boys had the same suit from Moss Bros with a different-coloured tie.
We found the bridesmaids’ dresses online and their little cardigans came from Matalan.
Our photographer was Jess Yarwood. She was fantastic from start to finish – we hardly noticed her there. She popped in and out, capturing the most perfect moments. On the day, I was so relaxed but Jess kept us to schedule and made sure she captured the right pictures at the perfect times of the day.
Our videographer was La Boda Photography.
Our flowers were our main decoration. We used Scent with Love in Llandudno. They were brilliant and decorated the church the night before. On the day, they moved the flowers over to the tipi. Everyone commented on how beautiful the flowers were.
For our favours we had scratch cards. We both love a cheeky scratch card, so we thought it would be a personal touch. For the children, I made up little bags with things to keep them busy during the speeches.
Our cake was made by Cegin Vernau in Pwllheli. They made a four-tiered cake in plain white and the florist added flowers. Cegin Vernau also made our cake table; as we had afternoon tea, we thought it would be a nice touch. After all, everyone loves cake!
When it came to the drinks, we asked Five Star Bar Company to supply them. They are good friends of ours and make the best cocktails. They provided Pimms when the guests arrived and bubbles for the toast. The bar was busy all night and our guests enjoyed our personalised cocktails, made just for us.
As mentioned, food-wise we had afternoon tea, and pizza in the evening.
For the entertainment, we had a harpist and violinist in the church and whilst we were eating. Trio Canig, a male vocal trio, sang in the church and as the guests arrived at the tipi. Then we had a wonderful band in the evening; everyone loved the music. We also had lawn games, blankets and a fire pit with marshmallows.
Trying to choose our favourite moments of the day is tough as there are so many: looking into Alun’s eyes as he said his words; dancing with my dad; celebrating with all our friends and family; and Alun says he loved watching me walking down the aisle.
We haven’t been for a honeymoon just yet, but we did sneak away to see family friends in Bulgaria at the end of the summer to have chance to relax with each other.
My top tip for other Brides Up North is – remember to enjoy every moment. Be busy and stressed up to the night before but, on the day, smile and enjoy. It’s your day. Plan and have things you love but be prepared not to eat any of the food – you’ll be so busy laughing and talking!