While Storm Emma in March 2018 threatened to put Emma Davies and Simon Davies' Welsh wedding on hold, it didn't stop the happy couple from having the most perfect of days
How did you meet?
We met when I was 16-years-old and Simon was 21-years-old on a night out in our local town, Carmarthen. The moment I met Simon I instantly knew I wanted to get to know him better and well, the rest is history.
Tell us about the proposal.
Simon proposed at about 7am on Christmas Day in 2014. I absolutely love Christmas and him proposing on this day made the day even more special for me. We had quite a long engagement of three years as we were also building our own house at the time.
What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?
I would say my theme was elegant and the colour scheme was blush pink, rose gold and gold.
What venue did you choose and why did you choose it?
I visited a few wedding venues but none of them were perfect. I am slightly obsessed with high grand ceilings and chandeliers, so once I walked into Nanteos Mansion I was really impressed. The wedding co-ordinator showed me the Music Room which had a grand gold ceiling and a beautiful chandelier; I instantly knew I wanted to get married there. I actually booked the wedding venue without Simon even seeing it.
When did you know when you’d found ‘the’ dress?
I only went to one wedding shop which was Cariad Bridal in Swansea. I tried on about eight dresses but none were the perfect dress for me. Vanessa, the shop owner, was amazing; she was really honest and she actually ended up choosing my dress. She asked me to try a dress on designed by Morilee. I walked out of the changing room and my mum and my sister Lorna just said 'wow'! I felt and looked like a princess.
What did the bridesmaids wear?
I knew exactly what I wanted my bridesmaids to wear as I researched dresses before going shopping. They wore a beautiful rose gold Kelsey Rose dress which we bought from Huw Rees Bridal in Llandeilo. The dresses really suited the wedding venue and theme.
Where did you find your suits?
After discussing the venue and bridesmaids' dresses with my photographer, he suggested that the men wore a tuxedo. Simon and I went to Dyfed Menswear in Gorslas to choose the suits. To be honest, Simon didn’t really have any input; he was amazing and knew I had an image in my head so just asked me what I wanted and that’s what he had. I have to say a tuxedo is timeless and, again, really suited the wedding venue.
Tell us about your floral arrangements.
I had the most amazing florist to do our floral arrangements. We had Wendy from Blodau Blodwen in Nantycaws. We had a few appointments to discuss what I wanted and Wendy also suggested a few ideas. I didn’t really mind what flowers were used as long as it matched my colour scheme and there was no foliage in the bouquets. The flowers were beautiful and they exceeded our expectations.
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day.
Being a little bit of a perfectionist I did pay close attention to the little details. I had made an Emporio Armani gift basket for Simon to open the morning of our wedding day which included cufflinks, watch, socks, wallet and underwear. I also left little gifts in my bridesmaids' rooms the night before the wedding which included pyjamas, lipstick, a personalised coat hanger and prosecco.
We had personalised wedding favours which were made by Heavenly Exquisite Desserts; they also made our wedding cake. And the place names on the tables were gold wooden place names which our guests could keep. We also had a photo mirror as I don’t really like photo booths, a light-up dance floor and light-up letters. The company Exquisite by Design, who created our wedding invitations, also made menus for each table. We didn’t have a menu choice for the wedding breakfast; the guests were therefore able to see what was on the menu before the food arrived.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?
I felt the happiest I could ever be, I was marrying my best friend. I didn’t stop smiling form the moment I saw Simon. He became a little emotional when he saw me, which the photographer captured, and I had to stop myself from crying. It was the happiest moment of my life.
How did you make the ceremony personal to you?
The ceremony was conducted through the medium of both Welsh and English but to make the ceremony personal to us we said our vows in Welsh. My sister, Lorna, also read a beautiful Welsh poem during the ceremony.
What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?
I am really organised and loved planning every aspect of the wedding, but what I didn’t plan for was snow. Our wedding was the week that Storm Emma hit the UK. I have never been so stressed in my life. We had 49 guests in the day and about 120 guests in the evening, but due to the snow storm one guest in the day wasn’t able to make it and few evening guests weren’t able to attend.
What was the most important investment for you?
Definitely the wedding venue as it was breath-taking but also my hair, make-up and photographer. My flawless make-up was done by Leah James at Hidden Beauty in Carmarthen and my hair was done by Taryn Williams at Taryns Freelance-Hair. They both made sure that I looked flawless for my wedding day. I think it’s also really important to research your photographer; we had Rob from Purecreations Photography. I instantly fell in love with his photographs the moment I saw his work and he captured the day perfectly.
What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?
Simon chose our first dance song which was Perfect by Ed Sheeran. He chose that song as he could relate to the lyrics.
I also surprised my parents, Kevin and Denise, as on their wedding day they never got to have a first dance. I remember my dad saying what song he would have chosen for their first dance and I surprised them by dedicating Three Times a Lady by Lionel Richie to them. They finally got to have their first dance after 32 years of marriage.
Did you have any evening entertainment?
We had the most amazing live band which was The Party Rockers; everyone was dancing all night.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
I knew from day one that I wanted Heavenly Exquisite Desserts to make our wedding cake. I’m not a big fan of icing and they decorated the entire cake with chocolate including the flowers. I had a three tier cake and the flavours were chocolate and blueberry, white chocolate and raspberry and salted caramel. The bottom tier was decorated with blush pearlescent chocolate, the middle tier was completely covered with gold leaf, and the top tier was decorated with rose gold glitter. The cake was perfect.
If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?
Given the circumstances, we were lucky to even have a wedding day. I know that many other brides had to postpone their wedding due to the weather conditions. I am lucky to have such amazing and supportive family and friends, and all the suppliers were more than helpful leading up to and on the wedding day to ensure that they made our wedding happen.
Did anything go wrong on the day?
Many things could have gone wrong on the day due to the snow storm. Unfortunately, the wedding venue was a two-hour drive from our home, but luckily my hairdresser, dress maker, flowers and cake all made it to the venue. My make-up artist and photographer both decided to stay in the wedding venue the night before. If anything did go wrong, I didn’t notice and it didn’t really matter because we had the most perfect day.
Was there anything you wish you’d known before?
I can honestly say no, I did plenty of research before booking suppliers and because I was organised everything went to plan (other than the snow storm).
Where did you go on honeymoon?
We went to Thailand for our honeymoon to Koh Samui where we had our own hut and infinity pool. We got married on the Saturday and we flew to Thailand on the Wednesday. I would recommend this for anyone that would want to go on honeymoon soon after the wedding as it gave us plenty of time to pack our suitcases after the wedding rather than having to do it before.
Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages?
The biggest advice I could give is to be organised and start planning your wedding as soon as possible. I started planning our wedding about two years before we got married. This made sure that I had my first choice of suppliers but gave plenty of time to find someone else if they weren’t able to cover the wedding date. It also enabled me to enjoy the process of planning a stress-free wedding, until Storm Emma hit which was unfortunately out of my control.
Steal their style:
Venue: Nanteos Mansion, Aberystwyth, www.nanteos.com
Photography: Purecreations Photography, www.purecreationsphotography.com
Make-up: Leah James Makeup Artist, www.leahjameshiddenbeauty.com
Cake and favours: Heavenly Exquisite Desserts, www.heavenlychoc.co.uk
Dress: Cariad Bridal, www.cariadbridal.co.uk
Floristry: Blodau Blodwen Flowers, www.blodwen.co.uk
Hair: Taryn's Freelance Hair, www.weddinghairdresser.moonfruit.com
Bridesmaids' dresses: Huw Rees Brides, www.huwreesbrides.com
Chair covers: Pretty Seats and Bows, www.pretty-seats-and-bows.co.uk
Entertainment: The Party Rockers www.liveweddingmusic.co.uk
Photo Mirror: Ultrabooth, www.ultrabooth.co.uk
Stationery: Exquisite by Design, www.exquisite-by-design.co.uk
Tuxedos: Dyfed Menswear, www.dyfedmenswear.co.uk
For more real wedding inspiration, pick up the latest edition of Bride magazine.