A N N & M I C H A E L
Willow tree outdoor ceremony | Sloe Gin tasting | African Drummers | Gold animal place settings | Blush Bridesmaids |
How did you both meet?
We met at Bangor University 16 years ago but then Mike moved away to work in Zimbabwe. We met again seven years later and haven’t looked back, renovating our rst home and having our two very lovely daughters!
How did the proposal happen?
Mike proposed when we were on the Queen Mary II. He got down on one knee in the restaurant – a true romantic!
We celebrated Christmas in North Wales and while driving through, I noticed that Wedding Belles bridal boutique had a sale. I couldn’t help myself when I spotted the ‘Gatsby’ Maggie Sottero gown – I loved the lace detail.
I kept my jewellery simple because the dress was so pretty, I didn’t want to overwhelm it. I wanted some comfortable, colourful shoes but struggled to find the right pair, so I opted for a champagne coloured pair accessorised with sparkly clips.
Mike loves clothes so shopping for them was fun. He chose a beautiful blue suit. I especially liked the finishing touch of a trilby hat.
I found their dresses in House of Fraser. My adult bridesmaids wore slightly longer than knee-length champagne dresses.
Hair and Make-up
I did my own simple makeup but hired a hairdresser to take care of my bridal hair. In the weeks before the wedding I visited many makeup counters to get tips on applying makeup and try out different makeover looks.
What was your favourite part of the ceremony?
We actually had two! Our venue in Surrey didn’t have a wedding license so we had to get legally married beforehand at Llandudno Registry Office, which meant two ceremonies and two dresses! We then had a humanist ceremony in Surrey and got to say our vows outdoors beneath a beautiful willow tree.
What did you have for your wedding Breakfast?
I love afternoon tea and after two years of trawling antiques fairs I finally had enough vintage crockery for our wedding. A Cup of Vintage catered for us and did a brilliant job.
We wanted to personalise our wedding as much as we could and, apart from my dress and flowers, made every decision together. I made bunting, my dad made sloe gin for the favours and Mike and his mum made the four-tier wedding cake! The fourth tier was a surprise for me.
Mike has lived in many different African countries, so we had a slight safari theme to the day with African drummers playing. We also involved The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, encouraging our guests to donate to them in place of a wedding gift. We are both from North Wales so also wanted to include something Welsh in our day, introducing it with Welsh cakes, Bara Brith, Brecon Gin and a traditional ‘twmpath dawns’ Welsh party.
As well as my dad’s sloe gin, we gave our guests home-brewed beer named after the giraffes we saw on safari years ago and Bara Brith for their wedding favours.
I loved choosing the flowers. Our lovely florist Jamie was very patient and created an elegant bouquet with a few pops of orange and red for me and informal colourful table centrepieces.
The first dance
Mike and I both love Cesario Evora, a singer from Cape Verde, so we chose ‘Tiempo y Silencio’ for our first dance. We learned a few salsa steps from a DVD – it was great fun practicing together before our wedding!
We went away with our parents and children to Kent, staying in a Safari Tent at Port Lympne Safari Park. It was lovely to unwind with the people who had helped us so much in the run up to the big day. Mike and I are looking forward to having a honeymoon when our children are a little bit older.
The connection I felt with Mike as we said our vows was amazing.
Involve your other half as much as possible so the day is personal to both of you.
VENUE Private farm in Leigh, Surrey | DRESS Maggie Sottero at Wedding Belles, Wales | GROOM For similar, try Moss Bros | BRIDESMAID DRESS House of Fraser | FLOWERS For similar, try Interflora | CAKE For similar, try Patisserie Valerie | FAMILYMOON Port Lympne Safari Park, Kent | PHOTOGRAPHER Louise Bjorling | VIDEOGRAPHER Ryan Nangle Media |