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Written by Rachel Smith, owner of Rachel Smith Blogs and Pawfect Tales.


Andy and I first met Nicki at a wedding fayre, before we had even booked a date or had a venue in mind. We chatted with her for a while and she even gave us a few suggestions for wedding venues in the area that may have suited our requirements. We really loved Nicki's relaxed approach to wedding photography and knew that we had to book her (once we had a date!).

Nicki was joined on the day by her second photographer, Aiofe.

It took us a while to find the ideal wedding venue for us. We wanted somewhere where we could host the whole day, which had rooms for us and other people to stay, and most importantly had lots of character. As soon as we first stepped foot in The Hundred House Hotel, we knew it was perfect for us. An extra bonus was that they were happy to have dogs as wedding guests.

We live in Oswestry, so the Hundred House Hotel is an hour's drive away for us, but it was worth the travelling to be able to have a venue so perfect for us.

Our groomsman, Nik, hand-painted this pallet for us to display the order of the day to our guests. We actually managed to stick to the timings on the day too! I think having a timeline on show for your guests to check is a great idea, it lets them know exactly what is happening throughout the day.

Finding Andy's suit was not easy. He had never worn a suit before in his life, and he knew that he wanted a full tweed suit. These are hard to find at the best of times, let alone when you're 6ft5. We took a trip to Birmingham, to visit House of Cavani's warehouse, and luckily they did this grey tweed suit in an 'extra tall' size. We even managed to find our Page Boy, Archer, the matching suit which he looked adorable in.

Andy also had an unconventional 'best woman' to stand beside him throughout the day. As brother and sister, they have always had a very close bond, and she was the obvious best choice.

I found my wedding dress at Champagne and Roses, in Telford. It was the very first one that I tried one, and after trying a further 20, I went back to it. I wanted to be comfy on my wedding day, so I already knew that I was going to wear flat shoes. I then spotted these beautiful lace Converse shoes - I knew they were for me straight away!

My father passed away several years ago, so, unfortunately, he was not here to give me away. I chose my Uncle Rob to give me away and he really helped to calm my nerves before the ceremony.

I chose not to wear a veil, as I wanted to the focus to be on the flowers in my hair. I never usually wear makeup at all, so I wanted it to be very natural and subtle, which I was pleased with.

For a Spring wedding, the weather wasn't too bad. It was quite a warm day, and although we did have a few showers throughout the day, we managed to make the most of the beautiful gardens that The Hundred House Hotel has to offer. The venue supplied an outdoor bar, marquee and lots of garden games.

Stewie is our rescue Staffordshire Bull Terrier. We always knew we would like to have him there as part of our wedding (just like you would if you had a child), and the venue was so accommodating with his needs. They even allowed him to stay over in the hotel. He did a fantastic job as ring bearer, and even managed to pose in all of our group photographs.

My bridesmaids, flower girl and myself found the dresses at Cameo Brides, near Wrexham. We decided on having the two different dress styles and colours, and I'm so pleased with how they looked together.

I have never been a particularly big fan of flowers, so I thought long and hard about what to do with our wedding flowers. I came across Ginger Lily Florist, and just loved her botanical style of floristry. We had succulents instead of flowers, mixed with a wide range of foliage including white veronica in my bouquet.

My bouquet, the buttonholes and our table decorations all featured pheasant feathers which were particularly special for us, as they came from pheasants at the estate that Andy works at.

For the decor, we wanted to stick to a woodland and rustic theme. We supplied and made the majority of the decorations ourselves including the table plan, favours and signs. The wedding venue did a great job of using our decorations and laying them out in a beautiful way.

Our wedding cake was made by Lisa at Bake It Special. We had lots of compliments from guests about how amazing our cake looked and tasted. The flavours inside were fruit cake, carrot, red velvet and lemon drizzle.

My best piece of advice to couples planning their wedding currently is to not be afraid of going against the traditions. We had a best woman, a dog as a ring bearer, a top table of bridesmaids and a music playlist that we compiled ourselves. Your wedding day is for you, don't try and please everyone else.


Supplier Shout Out

Second Photographer: Aoife, AoifeLillian Photography

Wedding Venue: Hundred House Hotel

Wedding Dress: Champagne and Roses

Bridesmaid Dresses: Cameo Brides, Wrexham

Wedding Hair & Bride's Make Up: Meraki Mobile Beautifying By Sarah

Bridesmaid's Make Up: Rachael Davies

Wedding Flowers: Ginger Lily Florist

Groom's Suit: House of Cavani

Venue Decorations: Bride & Groom/Hundred House Hotel


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