WWW readers Sophie and Tom tied the knot at Penally Abbey Hotel in West Wales on the 6th October 2018 and what a beauty their day was! The spot has special significance to them, even more so as it’s where they got engaged and they fell in love with the ceremony space.
I do love an intimate wedding, and how Sophie and Tom were able to gather their nearest and dearest in one place to celebrate their nuptials. The blush pinks and wine coloured hues really do create such a romantic atmosphere, and once you’ve added in the gorgeous candle light, it really is a recipe for romance. The florals are wonderful and the loose foliage just finishes off the look.
Their photographer Eleanor Jane Photography captured all the love and laughter just wonderfully. Thank you ever so much for sharing these images with us today Eleanor.
We had decided to go away to West Wales for the weekend to celebrate seven years of being together. It had turned out to be a very stormy and wet weekend, so we were sat in a pub in Saundersfoot when Tom very anxiously suggested a walk on the beach as there was a break in the weather. Half way across the beach he pulled out a ring box and popped the question- I really couldn’t believe it!
We had decided from the start that we wanted a small, intimate and relaxing celebration with our families. We also knew that we wanted to get married in a place that meant something to us. Tenby, West Wales was somewhere we had been to a lot over the years so it was perfect.
The Planning Process
Overall the planning process was pretty straight forward. We had just over a year to plan the wedding and a good idea of what we wanted (thanks to WWW). We booked the venue first which then set the theme of the wedding.
We had 35 guests in total made up of close friends and family, so it really helped keep the planning simple.
When searching for wedding venues in Tenby, we came across Penally Abbey hotel and fell immediately in love with the hotel. It is an 18th century building with just 11 bedrooms which was perfect for the small intimate wedding we envisioned. When we went to visit the hotel, the staff were so warm and welcoming. They took us through to show us the courtyard room, which was a newly renovated to hold events, the room was so beautiful and charming, we knew we just had to get married there!
The Details & Décor
I think one of the key factors of our wedding was for our guests to have a relaxed weekend with us filled with great food and drink. Our close family stayed in the hotel with us for the weekend and it made the weekend so special.
We left ‘Thank You’ gift baskets filled with goodies such as chocolates, wine and candles and put them in all the rooms to make everyone feel welcome.
For the ceremony, we kept the décor simple. We had rose gold lanterns at the top and bottom of the aisle and we had made pearl garlands to go on the back of the chair to try and tie in some details from my dress.
For the wedding breakfast we had the tables laid out banquet style with plenty of foliage and candles in the middle and we had rose gold laser cut wood place names. For wedding favours, we had macarons in mini cake domes as wedding favours and gift bags full of goodies for the children.
We hired some bulb lights from Megan and Claude prop hire and had them put up in the courtyard area outside for the evening so our guests could enjoy the outside area.
Your Outfits & Accessories
I always knew that I wanted something a bit different when it came to wedding dresses. I had spent hours looking at tea length dresses on Pinterest, when a friend showed me House of Mooshki. I was instantly obsessed with their dresses and loved the idea that every dress can be customised. When I made the appointment at the first boutique it was my first time trying on wedding dresses and they had limited styles to try on. I had found a dress that I had liked but decided to think about it. I then found another House of Mooshki stockist- Pleser Bridal wear in Swansea. After trying on more styles, I fell in love it was House of Mooshki Poppy in blush, with a champagne tulle overlay. It turns out I had actually tried this style on in the first boutique and thought it wasn’t for me!
My shoes were a complete stroke of luck. The colour of my dress was blush with a champagne overlay, which meant that finding a colour of shoe to match was a little tricky. Knowing that my shoes were going to be on show I wanted something a little bit quirky. I was looking through ASOS and came across a pair Betsy Johnson peep toe shoes with big Swarovski bows across the front. I ordered them to try and they were the perfect match.
When it came to hair and makeup, I was very open minded. I do enjoy doing my own makeup, but thought it would be nice not to have the stress on the morning of the wedding.
When I went for my trial, I have a vague idea of what I wanted but left it open to the hair and makeup artist to use her professional judgement. I had decided to have my hair up as it would show off the back of the dress so we decided to go for a classic chignon with a modern twist.
We only had one adult bridesmaid and I really wanted her to have a dress that would both compliment mine and that she could wear again. We chose the Coast Ava dress in a wine colour.
I had my three young nieces as flower girls and wanted to keep them quite traditional so we went for Ivory John Rocha dresses.
The Groomsmen were the easiest bit. We actually came across the exact outfits on Pinterest and when we followed the link we found OH! Suit Hire which was local to us. We went for navy three piece ‘Uppington’ suits with burgundy ties and pocket squares and a tweed waistcoat for Tom.
The Readings & Music
We didn’t want a long ceremony as we wanted the wedding day to be more celebration centred. With the venue being small and intimate we went for a harpist to play during the ceremony and welcome drinks.
We didn’t really know what to go for in terms of entrance and exit music so we took Sam’s advice. We had Pachelbel’s Cannon by John Sebastian Bach for the entrance music and Cynhansail Cymry by Gwilym for our exit music. Instead of having a reading in the ceremony, we had Sam kindly play Suo Gan- which is a lovely Welsh lullaby.
As a photographer myself, I thought choosing a wedding photographer would be the most difficult part! A friend introduced me to Eleanor’s work and after spending hours on her website and Instagram page, we arranged to meet with her.
I was really drawn to Eleanor’s photography style and her lovely personality- as soon as the wedding venue was confirmed we booked her.
The cake was actually one of the last things that we sorted for the wedding. We went with The Pembrokeshire Wedding Cake Company, as Deborah lived opposite the hotel and again had worked with the hotel for previous weddings. There were so many delicious flavour combinations to try so we were really excited!
We went for a two tier rose gold and blush cake with Lemon and Elderflower on the bottom tier and Cherry Bakewell on the top tier. Deborah also made the most beautiful cold porcelain flowers to match my bouquet.
Flowers were one of the easiest decisions in the wedding planning. We went for a florist Deborah Willcocks who was local to the hotel and she actually supplies the hotel with fresh flowers regularly. We thought that was great as she knew the style of the hotel.
Deborah was great we went to her with plenty of inspiration from Instagram and Pinterest and she had plenty of her own thoughts to add. I didn’t want to fuss too much with flowers, so went for the basics. I went for a hand tied bouquet with burgundy Dahlias, blush Sweet pea roses and plenty of foliage my bridesmaids had a similar smaller bouquet.
The only one thing I really wanted was a long garland of foliage for the centre of the table for the wedding breakfast- which Deborah managed to source for us.
As we got married in autumn we wanted some sun and a lot of rest and relaxation. We booked to go to Mauritius for two weeks, it was perfect!
We wanted to go back to Saundersfoot beach where we got engaged for some wedding photos and as we were walking along the beach and everyone was congratulating us, it was so nice!
In the evening my three year old twin niece’s gave us a beautiful rendition of Frozen ‘Let it go’ and were getting people to dance, it was so lovely to see them enjoy themselves.
Advice for Other Couples
It’s your big day, so you have it the way you want it! Everyone will try to help you and try to influence your decisions but stick to what you want.
Hiccups will happen during the planning process- it’s normal for it not to go smoothly, but it will all work out in the end.
I would also say don’t stress about the little things, you won’t even notice them on the day. We had a supplier not deliver part of an order, we didn’t even notice!
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Eleanor Jane Photography
What a beautiful and intimate wedding. Thank you so much for sharing your special day with us Sophie and Tom. Rachel x