Today’s real wedding is your go-to guide on how to create the simple, classic, hassle-free wedding of your dreams, with the stunning boutique Faenol Fawr Country House in North Wales providing the most enviable and secluded backdrop for both the ceremony and celebrations afterwards.
Tying the knot back in 2019, Lian and Sam always wanted an autumnal wedding, not just for the rich earthy palette synonymous with this season, but because it was the ideal time of year for loved ones to travel over from Canada. It’s no surprise to hear the bride describe the wedding as a family affair, and the couple really made the effort to include them in lots of different elements of their big day, whether it was enlisting help with their stylish stationery, tasty shortbread favours, or semi-naked wedding cake!
There are so many pretty details to pore over, we’re not quite sure where to start – we’re certain you’ll be borrowing an idea or three as you scroll down the page! Lian has all the fabulous details, so let’s pass the blog over to her and dive straight into the couple’s fairy-tale day.
With images by Fox & Bear Photography
Lian says: We got engaged on our two-year anniversary. Sam took me out for a nice meal to celebrate and had planned to propose on our walk back to the car afterwards. He knew I didn’t want a big fuss with people around to witness it. But, I ruined the plans when I pointed out there was a parking space right in front of the restaurant and insisted we park there instead of where the nice view was. So in the end, Sam popped the question in the car and I gave him a hard time for not having to get down on one knee!
We got married on 26th October 2019. I always wanted an autumnal wedding and it was a better time for family and friends in Canada to travel to the UK.
We got married and had our reception at the Faenol Fawr Country House in Bodelwyddan. We chose this venue because it gave us some traditional British vibes that we thought people travelling across to the UK would appreciate. The owners were very warm and welcoming, and we were totally sold once we went for a viewing!
My maid of honour Taylor had put together a little planning booklet for us (she was a massive help through everything, couldn’t have done it without her!) and we essentially called the style ‘rustic elegance”’ We wanted to keep things simple, classic, and easy, without much fuss.
We went for a neutral palette of burgundies, greens, browns and beiges. We thought it went well with an autumn wedding and really liked something earthy with red as a pop of colour.
I definitely wanted a dress with sleeves, a full-bodied skirt, and a train. I went home the Christmas before the wedding to find my wedding dress with my mum (something I wouldn’t compromise on) and ended up finding my dream wedding gown in David’s Bridal. The dress ticked all my boxes and I knew it was “the” dress when my mum instantly cried upon seeing me wearing it.
Sam wore a suit by Twisted Tailor and we found it on ASOS. Sam’s brother Tom was his best man and we gave him free rein to pick his own suit as long as it was tweed and grey, as Sam always wanted tweed suits at his wedding.
We only had one bridesmaid and that was my maid of honour, Taylor. She wore a burgundy strapless dress that we ordered from Dessy, as we couldn’t go dress shopping together since we were located in different countries.
My makeup was done by Rhiannon Pritchard and my hair was done by Kelly Roberts from Taylor Ashley Hair. Rhiannon’s work was perfect. We all wanted something natural to enhance our features and she did exactly that. I’ve never felt more beautiful than I did on my wedding day.
Fox & Bear Photography were our photographers. We can’t recommend Dewi and Vicky enough! Dewi blended in seamlessly with our day and was such a good sport with the number of times he was asked to take a photo – seriously, everyone asked for their photo to be taken! We absolutely love the style and how down to earth and natural the photos are. He captured so many candid moments and we love our creative couple shots – we can’t fault them at all!
It was such a joy having Dewi photograph our wedding. He was game for anything and everything and loved his idea of grabbing a coffee before the big day so we could get to know each other. Vicky’s editing style is so beautiful and natural, and the pair had the photos to us in such a timely manner. Not to mention so many – more than we thought we were going to get. We could not recommend this team enough!
Our flowers were provided by Kirsty at Rock and Meadow. The arrangements were absolutely stunning and she provided flowers for the cake as well.
My bridal bouquet was a natural foliage hand-tied posy of white o’hara roses, deep burgundy garden roses, burgundy red pom pom dahlias, deep red astilbe, white veronica, peach garden roses, ivory ranunculus, maroon hypericum, navy steel berry, berried eucalyptus and large leaf eucalyptus, bound together with ivory ribbon.
We also had floral centrepieces on all the tables and along our top table too, provided by Rock and Meadow.
Kirsty was just fantastic. She listened to everything we wanted and was great at working things through so we could get everything while staying within our budget. The bouquets, boutonnieres, and flower arrangements were all stunning.
Sam’s sister-in-law’s mother baked our wedding favours for us. We had mini shortbread cookies packaged in little paper lanterns.
Sam’s mum baked our wedding cake (this wedding was truly a family affair!). It was really important to us to try and involve as many family members as we could, and Pam practised so much leading up to the final product! We had two flavours and wanted a semi-naked cake decorated with florals.
Our food was provided by the venue and was absolutely perfect. Sam’s side of the family is all vegetarian so we had one veggie option and one meat option. For starters we had a homemade leek and potato soup garnished with deep-fried leeks. Then for mains we had either Welsh slow-roasted beef with homemade Yorkshire pudding a red wine and thyme jus, or a Mediterranean vegetable gateau drizzled with delicate pesto cream. To round off the meal, we had rich chocolate brownie with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream.
For a late-night snack, we tucked into fish and chip cones, something traditionally British for the out of towners!
We had a DJ for dancing at the reception, provided by Kuta Events. Sam’s family was surprised by how unafraid and confident the Canadian side of the family were on the dance floor! We even all broke out into choreographed line-dancing to Shania Twain.
We put together our own doughnut wall and a candy/snack table for people to munch on throughout the night.
My brother is a graphic designer and he created all the wedding stationery. It was really nice having family help out so much and be a part of our special day!
We also had a photo booth, provided by Picture Blast.
The whole team at the venue were absolutely amazing. The day went absolutely perfectly and smoothly without any mishaps. The owners are wonderfully warm, welcoming, and accommodating to anything and everything you throw at them. And to top it all off, the food was phenomenal, with fantastic portion sizes.
Finally getting married to my best friend! It may seem like this happened quickly, but it just made sense for us. We couldn’t imagine being with anyone else and couldn’t wait any longer to finally say “I do” to each other.
We went to Rome for our honeymoon. We only stayed for four nights and I wanted to cram in lots of sightseeing (we averaged 20,000 steps a day!) and we met some lovely people while we were there, ate fantastic food, and drank plenty of wine. We can’t wait to go back again one day.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are so many people around you who would love to lend a hand and you should definitely let them! It allows the people you care about to become more involved in the wedding, and it gives you some peace of mind (and hopefully some relaxation) by not having to do everything by yourself.