Well here it is, the REAL WEDDING blog post that you’ve all been waiting for … mine! (ahem, sorry Mr Jade ‘ours’). Yes, we finally got married on March 9th this year at the beautiful Bach Wen, which is a bit of a hidden gem of a venue in this part of North Wales. To rest your inquisitive minds, Mr Jade does have a real name; Iwan. And we had the BEST day finally becoming Mr and Mrs. Our eldest daughters particular highlight is reminding me that I have now joined the girls exclusive ‘Leung-Jones’ club and I am proud as punch to have been made a member. It took me a good few weeks to recover from the wedding, and all of the emotion that came with it. I’m obviously used to weddings, and the planning process but I must admit I was completely overwhelmed by it – in many ways.
First a little background on the venue, Bach Wen. We loved it as soon as we saw it. It had everything we wanted …
Cosy barn which is registered for legal ceremonies and has a fully stocked bar for evening celebrations – tick
Gorgeous little cottages to accommodate wedding guests – tick
Stunning location, right on the coast of Gwynedd – half way between Penllyn which is where Iwan’s family hail from, and Caernarfon where I grew up, meaning that it would be pretty convenient for most guests to get to - tick
A private beach giving you views of both locations - TICK TICK and bloody TICK!
So that was that, venue confirmed. But we still had a big piece of the jigsaw to find – a marquee. The barn at Bach Wen can cater for wedding breakfast too of course, but we specifically wanted a separate space for dining so that we could be involved in setting it up ahead of the big day, and having it look exactly how we wanted it to. When you spend as much time as I do planning and creating beautiful tablescapes, you can become a bit of a control freak over tiny details! This also meant that on the day we wouldn’t need to be worrying about any spaces being turned around and re-set. All perfectly normal things to happen on a wedding, and something I have managed myself many times – I just didn’t want to be doing it in my wedding dress! We pretty quickly realised that we wanted a ‘different’ structure … and we settled on, a GEODOME!
Our wedding planning process went pretty smoothly and zero arguments were had. Granted, there were tensions over budget and a few ‘looks’ given across the dining table about this and that - but on the whole, we loved planning our day together. Mr Jade was really involved with the styling of the day too, and I loved that he was so into it (I always knew he would be, considering how he likes to have his say at my styled shoots!). We crafted together, to be fair he did most *all* of the crafting and I did all of the paying hahahaha! Funny how one can laugh at spending the most insane amount of money on that one day, but the next is studying the price of cereal in Morissons. Is the 3 for 2 deal actually more expensive than buying a couple of bigger boxes? Yes, I am THAT girl who stands there doing the math just to make sure!
Sorry, got distracted! And images are coming soon, I promise as to be honest I just want to share EVERYTHING with you. But before I do, I need to give you a little info about what happened in the days before our wedding. And our unwanted guest … STORM FREYA!
We were getting married in March, on the coast of Wales so of course we knew we weren’t guaranteed sunshine – or many hours of natural sunlight at all in fact! We also knew that there was a pretty high probability of rainfall. We were OK with all of that – we had planned to light the fire in the barn so it would be nice and cosy for our afternoon ceremony. We didn’t want lots of formal images so we didn’t have to worry about lighting late in the day either. We were going to position the domes panoramic windows overlooking the coast so that we’d have the backdrop of an amazing sunset behind our top table whilst we dined … and we would be back in the cosy barn for the evening party – perfect! What we didn’t bank on was Storm Freya and her 80mph winds meaning that on 'build day', it was unsafe to build the dome at all!
Now I won’t lie to you – I did suffer a moment of panic, I did have an inner crumble at the thought of our intricate plans falling apart by no fault of our own. But that’s the thing, it’s the weather – NOBODY can control that! So I stayed strong, as strong as I would when representing any of my clients. For a while I actually forgot that I was the bride at all. I had to call on all of my inner event management strength and professional poker face, to work our way out of this bloody windy mess that we had found ourselves in.
Plan A became plan B … and then became plan C. Much of the day before the wedding is a blur, but the dome was eventually built - and looked amazing! I remember looking at Mr Jade just before midnight – both of us looking a hot bloody mess, desperately trying to get the interior ready for the next day. We were surrounded by our amazing friends and I just thought ‘sod it, tomorrow I am marrying that hot mess and I’m going to bloody well enjoy it. Even if we blow away’ …
Enter our wedding angel, Nia. THANK YOU! I have coordinated many weddings and events by now, and so I know just how much there is to juggle. The suppliers, the timings, the styling, the guests, the food, the WEATHER! A bride just shouldn’t be thinking about that on her big day (or a groom, bridesmaid, mother or anyone else you want to actually enjoy being a part of your day for that matter!). It’s a tough but super rewarding job and Nia smashed it. I’d promised myself that I would ‘switch off’ at 9am, giving myself 5 hours to 'bride it up' – and, although forced into it by my bestest friend, fellow event industry professional and Maid of Honour … I did! The moment my wonderful bridal glam squad arrived at our cottage, that was it. I totally embraced bride mode. Yes, little things deviated off the plan. Some timings over ran. Our caterers ended up cooking in a make shift kitchen and carrying our food over to the dome, and Nia had to deal with some pretty major logistical decisions right throughout the day. But, just as I have advised so many brides in the past and will continue to do so in the future ... when it comes down to it the most important thing is marrying your chosen spouse – it's as simple as that. And it’s true - I didn’t care about anything else! SOPPY or what?!
Now, to the crux of this blog post – how do you manage to be a super chill bride in super stressful situations?
HIRE A PRO TO MANAGE THE STRESS FOR YOU!
Since the day, the planner and stylist in me does still find herself thinking of the little things that didn’t quite go to plan. Some nights I literally sit thinking about the hours spent on the freaking amazing giant hanging structure/chandelier that Mr Jade and I made Blue Peter style on the living room floor (ok, mostly him – again!). I’m the brain, he is the braun, that’s why we work! It would have looked INSANE hanging from the centre of the domes roof. Some days it really bothers me that our pudding had to be served during the evening reception and not at the end of the wedding breakfast as planned. But that’s me. I care TOO much about detail. That’s a fault that I have, and that’s why I’m good at my job! (trumpet blown).
In all honesty though, if you have a 'DIY' wedding, or a complex wedding, or a wedding with many intricate details/changes of spaces, or a wedding where the weather could be a factor in your plans ... it really is worth hiring someone to manage the day for you. If Nia hadn't been around on our day - there is no way I would have felt like a bride. I'd have been consulting suppliers, making logistical decisions and moving furniture around. I might as well have walked down the aisle with my clipboard in hand rather than my beautiful bouquet! I don't want this blog to be a sales pitch, so I'll leave it at that ...
We got married. We loved it. We would do it all over again, bluster and all! And here are the images, and video to prove it!
I’ll forever cherish this morning with my girls, my bridesmaid and my Maid of Honour.
Mr Jade chose a dark green suit, with a floral tie – and I approved!
Our girls were our ring bearers and they loved their moment in the spotlight! We had two readings, one an English quote by Bob Marley and the second a Welsh poem wrote about our family, by our amazingly talented friend Lisa. We had some added bits of comedy thanks to my brilliant Father heckling both the registrar and those doing the readings. I kid you not. He did. He is one of a kind.
Mr and Mrs ... finally!
We used lots of modern acrylic throughout the wedding. Black became our staple colour and was used in all the bold lettering and in the centrepiece pots of gorgeous blooms featuring anemones, fluffy white roses, ranunculi's and fern. We chose accents of pale blue and pink and this really brought the styling of the whole day together.
My bridal party wore simple nude gowns with a v-neck, beautiful flute sleeves and a feature low back. They both chose a half up hair style, with loose boho braids.
For our Mr and Mrs photo session, we headed down the beach front. It was a little precarious getting down there - my leopard skin heels not the best choice of footwear for the treck! But I've said this before and I will say it again - that precious time in the middle of our day where we could just be 'us' was so special. We aren't a 'strike a pose' type of couple, but we felt so relaxed and at ease with the wonderful Heledd that we didn't really feel we were being photographed at all.
We all know by now that I will use absolutely any excuse to eat one of my good friend, Hayley's cakes! I've also mentioned previously how the cake was the thing that Mr Jade was most looking forward to. HA! Well, I'm sure you can now see why. It looked and tasted AMAZING, as did all of the extra little treats to match!
My favourite moment of the day turned out to be the first dance. Being announced as Mr and Mrs and joined by our girls for a live version of ‘Use Somebody’ by The Kings of Leon will be something I will never forget. Three Strikes, our amazing band performed it perfectly. We were quickly joined by all of our friends and family on the dance floor and it really kicked the party off in style. There were tears, laughter and even a few goosebumps as I looked around the room to everyone signing! I will never be able to hear that song again without feeling pure joy!
If you want more, check out this super special video of our days highlights ...
A huge thanks to all of my wonderful supplier friends:
Photography: Heledd Roberts, Photographer
Videography: Emily J Roberts
Venue: Bach Wen Holiday Cottages
Flowers: Ivy Pip & Rose
Cake and desserts: Hayley's Piped Dreams
Hair: Elin Wyn Bridal Hair
Make-up: Fflur Hogan and Colur gan Anest Parker
Gown: Willowby by Watters from The Silk Loft
Wedding ring: Angela Evans Jewellery
Jewellery: Claire Hill Designs and gemwaith Lora Wyn
Stationery: Dyluniadau Magnetig
Band: The Three Strikes from The Function Hub
Catering: Hardy's Events & Catering
Dome: BAYA Hire
Furniture, Props and Signage: Jade Leung Weddings & Special Events
WE DID IT!