Real Weddings

MillaNova for a relaxed beach wedding in North Wales – Kerri & James

09th September 2019 | Sarah Symonds

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Let yourself be swept up in the romance of Kerri and James’ peachy, beachy Welsh wedding.

The sheer happiness and relaxed vibe of the day is evident in all of the beautiful photos, and the lovely Kerri looks every inch the blushing bride.

All details are sheer perfection in this pretty, pastel wedding, from the stipulation that there should be no green foliage, to the dreamy blossom trees as table centrepieces, complementing the navy, blush and ‘toasted almond’ tones of the colour scheme. Kerri pulled together a dream team of suppliers that included friends, family, her regular hairdresser, old school pals and personal recommendations, and together they’ve created a vision.

Looking stunning in lace and satin, alongside her ‘maids in their unique two-pieces, Kerri, her handsome groom and Robbie Williams (well, almost!) partied the night away, and then kept the festivities going the next morning with coffee and wedding cake on the beach for the girls and a couple of nights up the coast, in a cosy lodge complete with hot tub, for the happy couple.

If you want to know how to pull off the perfect chilled-out beachfront wedding but with a high-end, luxe finish and a lot of personal touches, then you’ve hit the nail on the head with this one.

With images by Bobtale Photography

Proposal

Kerri says: James proposed on the 25th of March 2017. We were on holiday for my 30th birthday in Las Vegas. He woke me up one morning with a Starbucks coffee and a diamond ring! Very unexpected and very romantic.

Setting

Our wedding was on Saturday 15th September 2018. It gave us 18 months to plan the wedding and we figured that September usually has better weather in North Wales, where we chose to get married. And it was perfect!

We got married in a village called Llanbedrog. The ceremony was in a small church and the reception was in the art gallery next door, all right on the beach! My entire family have been holidaying there for years and years so there was never any other option when it came to choosing a location! Photos on the beach were a must too! I’m so glad James approved because there was never a Plan B!

Theme

I didn’t have a specific colour theme, but I was very specific with my bridesmaids dresses and the look I wanted. I picked the look before the colour, which was ‘toasted almond’ in the end. One of my favourite colours is blush so there was lots of blush pink too. The men’s suits were navy with subtle blush stripe.

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Dress

I kept an open mind and tried every style of dress on, but after day one of dress shopping, I knew exactly what style of dress suited me. A lace high neck top with a low back, a huge plain, satin skirt from the waist, with a button up train. I saw the designer on Instagram and located the stockist. I actually tried a similar dress on, as mine was part of the new season collection. When I saw the pics I just knew that was the one and bought it.

The designer of my dress was MillaNova and the only stockist in the UK was in Swindon so I had a three hour drive!

Groomsmen

I didn’t like any of the suits I saw in the high-street stores. As the wedding was located on the beach, I didn’t want anything too formal. I found Marc Darcy suits through Instagram and loved a few of their designs. All the groomsmen had pin bars on the collars instead of ties. I really loved that look. Simple but effective.

Bridesmaids

I had four bridesmaids of all different shapes and sizes, so this was by far the most difficult part of planning. I didn’t want a bold block colour and I really wanted them all to feel amazing in their dresses. My friend from Liverpool recommended a small clothes designer who also designed a wedding collection. When I saw the tulle skirts I was sold. The girls just paired them with a tailored cami top, as the skirts were such a statement. I was actually jealous of their final look!

Beauty

I used my hairdresser from home and a friend who is a makeup artist. When your wedding isn’t local it’s really difficult to organise people who’ll travel, so I was really lucky. Although it did take me about 6six months to convince my hairdresser to do it as all the bridesmaids had French braids with pieced in extensions and she was really nervous! She did an amazing job though.

Transport

We were so lucky that the bridal accommodation was literally outside the church, so I didn’t need any transport to the ceremony. The vicar actually said I was the first bride ever to be early. I hate being late!

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Photographer

Robyn from Bobtale Photography is an old friend from college, but a few friends who had used her to photograph their weddings had recommended how creative she was too. I didn’t want too many formal shots and wanted more natural ones, especially on the beach, which was totally Robyn’s style. Some photographers can be very dictating and pull you away from your day for hours which I really didn’t want. Robyn blended in with our guests perfectly and captured the best shots!

Videographer

My husband’s friends specialise in drone footage and agreed to film our special day. They did such an amazing job editing considering they had never filmed a wedding before.

Styling

Choosing a florist is a minefield and I just didn’t feel comfortable with any local florists in Wales, so I met with Diddibox Flowers in Sale, and loved that they really got my vibe. I was very specific that I didn’t want any green leaf in my bouquets, just greys, and she came up with so many ideas, including the hand dyed silk ribbon finish which really completed the look. I was so nervous the men’s buttonhole arrangements would die on their three-hour journey to North Wales but they were perfect. In fact I hung, dried and framed my bouquet. That’s how obsessed with it I was!

We actually found our florist through Woodyatt Warner event stylist. I wanted blossom trees as centerpieces and a flower wall as a photo feature in the venue. Barry was amazing, transporting it all up and setting up the room. I would thoroughly recommend them.

Cake

This was actually the only aspect of the wedding I didn’t stress about. My bridesmaid wanted to buy us the cake as a wedding gift and she knew a lady who could make it. So, I chose the design on Pinterest and I didn’t even see it until the day.

I chose chocolate and carrot cake and then I had a ‘coffee and cake date’ with a few of my guests on the beach, the morning after the wedding. It tasted amazing!

Favours

We did have wedding favours but I say this with my head in my hands because, at this point, I think my family thought I was crazy with the amount of detail I’d gone into with this. I wanted my favours to be in the theme of the location so my guests could take a piece of North Wales away with them.

For the men, I sourced a gin from a local distillery and filled 100ml glass bottles, finished with edible rose petals which turned the gin a blush colour. I don’t think many of the ladies were impressed they didn’t get gin though. It tasted amazing!

For the ladies I’d sourced tiny heart shaped glass bottles and handpicked specific shells off Llanbedrog beach and filled them. Every favour completely bespoke and they looked so stunning. So many of my friends have them as keepsakes in their homes now. It was exactly what I wanted to achieve.

Dining

We chose a roast turkey dinner but with summer vegetables. The caterers were in-house and were so accommodating with our requests. The food was amazing.

James actually decided to open a free bar until the evening guests arrived. Let’s just say it never ended as James was feeling generous! It was all worth it, but the bar bill the morning after was a bit of a surprise!

Entertainment

A friend of ours is an entertainer and a Robbie Williams impersonator. I have to say this was what our guests remembered the most and there were no lulls or quiet periods. He was accompanied by a 12-piece band and entertained the guests all night. He was also our master of ceremonies and completely made our wedding day!

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Special touches

I spoiled my bridesmaids with personalised bags to open and robes to get ready in, which looked great on the photos. All the groomsmen had matching socks with their names on too.

Thanks to

We would love to recommend our venue to other couples, because it was brilliant, but it isn’t really a wedding venue! It’s just an art gallery open to the public. I had to hire my own tables and chairs etc and set the entire place up myself. Luckily, I am very organised and knew exactly what I wanted, but I only had a three-hour window which was beyond stressful. It looked incredible when it was finished but if you like to have a lot of details like I did, I would only recommend it if you are very organised! The location is so picturesque though. It was all worth it.

Best bit

It was all so dreamy! I really loved my first dance because you’re on such an adrenalin high all day, but I felt that for those few minutes we actually stopped and took it all in, and just really enjoyed the moment. We also entered down a huge grand staircase which I loved.

Honeymoon

My parents paid for a chalet on the beach with a hot tub as a surprise the night of the wedding, so we stayed there for a few days which was lovely.

We are very fortunate that we travel constantly, so I guess we are kind of always on a honeymoon!

Advice

My top tip for other Brides Up North would be to invest in the entertainment. We spent more money in this area, as lots of my friends had told us how important it is. And they were right, good entertainment is definitely key.

Also, don’t feel like you’re too organised. People kept asking me why I was organising things way in advance, but I loved every minute and it soon creeps up on you. Do it your way and don’t let anyone try and interfere. It’s your day!

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