Real Wedding: A relaxed, romantic and rustic celebration at Glenfall House
A summer Cotswold wedding within the stunning setting of Glenfall House, Jennifer and Gavin enjoyed a romantic celebration with their children, and personal touches including Welsh Cake favours.
The happy couple: Jennifer Trollope (nee Morle), 33, a paediatric nurse, and Gavin Trollope, also 33, a quality engineer.
Wedding date: Sunday 27 August 2017
Ceremony and reception venue: Glenfall House
Wedding theme: Relaxed, Romantic, Rustic
Photographer: Philip Warren Photography
Videographer: Gemini Wedding Films
Flowers: Dear Valentina Florist
Dress: Art Couture from Bridal Lane, Usk
Bridesmaid dresses: Jenny Packham from Debenhams
Groom’s outfit: Slaters
Cake: Family friend
Stationery: Vista Print
Entertainment: No One Knows (Band)
Hair and beauty: Beau Bridal Hair and Makeup Specialist
Favours: Welsh Cakes from Cardiff Bakestones
Rings including engagement ring: Engagement ring from Goldsmiths in Cardiff. Both wedding rings were custom made at Diamond Centre for Wales.
When and how did you first meet?
(J) We met on Saturday 26 June 2004. My friend and I were moving from our halls of residence at Swansea University into a house, and her boyfriend visited with a few friends to help us with the move. Gavin was one of those friends, and from the moment we met we were inseparable!
For 2 years we travelled between Swansea and Cwmbran every weekend to see each other, until I graduated in 2006 and moved to Cwmbran, where we bought our first house and have lived ever since.
Who popped the big question and how did they propose?
(G) I had planned to either propose back at the beach in Swansea or at Jen’s home town. We were staying with Jen’s parents for Christmas and it seemed right to do it so she was surrounded by her family.
I managed to arrange for Jen’s parents to have our daughter, Jessica, and suggested we go up the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth. We went up to the top level which overlooked Gosport, Jens’ home town. She should have known something was up because I am not lover of heights but I randomly wanted to go to the very top.
I had to wait a while for it to be just us two, as there were tourists taking lots of photos – awkward, as I had hidden the ring in my pants!
(J) I thought he was acting really shifty! As soon as we were alone, I turned around to find him on one knee… asking me to be his wife. Of course, I said yes! We went back to my parents, popped a few bottles of champagne and celebrated with my family, whilst ringing Gavin’s to share our news with them.
How long did it take you to plan your wedding?
(J) We waited a while after the engagement as we wanted to complete our family with another baby. After our son Dylan was born in 2014, we started looking for venues and once we had chosen and booked our date it took us 12 months to plan everything.
Why did you choose your venue?
(J) I was very laid back about where we were to get married, my only wish was to be married outside. Gavin however, was fixed on getting married in a castle and quickly picked up the nickname ‘Princess Gav’! We eventually started narrowing down venues that not only were licenced for outdoor ceremonies but had character and that special ‘something’.
(G) I visited Glenfall House and I could picture our wedding before it had happened, just like in a dream! It had great views and scenery, and an amazing outside area for the ceremony. It was stunning, with so many photo opportunity spots.
(J) It was so peaceful and relaxed, exactly what I wanted. The house was newly renovated and it could accommodate the majority of our guests. And best of all, it was exclusively ours!
Was there an inspiration or theme for your wedding?
(J) My vision was very relaxed, with summery colours and a romantic, rustic feel. Being married in England we also wanted to bring in a bit of ‘Wales’ to our wedding, which is where our yummy Welsh cake favours and welsh table names came in.
What made you choose your photographer?
(J) We first met Phil in 2015 whilst he was photographing our friend’s wedding. He was the most relaxed, unobtrusive photographer I had ever met and was all about enjoying the day and capturing the natural moments. When it came to planning our wedding, we talked to other photographers but always came back to Phil, he was exactly what we wanted when it came to photographing our day.
(G) Only two words really needed to describe Phil…Top Man! He was so chilled out and extremely helpful at the same time. His eye for a shot was amazing and I think he’s gone on to win awards since. He was so friendly too, guests loved him. He was fantastic.
How did your wedding photographer capture your big day memories?
(J) Phil was great at being in the background, quietly snapping away all of the most important moments. He knew we wanted a few specific shots, and captured all of those, but he also used his know-how to get the unconventional pictures which we cherish. The night picture he captured is one of our favourites!
(G) I felt like I had known him for years, he is so laid back but still extremely professional and detailed.
Did you hire a wedding planner or was it a DIY affair?
(J) We had a wedding planner with the venue who helped co-ordinate between suppliers, but apart from that it was completely DIY. I loved that it was all of us, our ideas, our designs and our creativity. We would have struggled massively without the help of our amazing parents, bridesmaids and best men though!
Did you make, design or create anything yourself?
(J) We designed the stationery and seating plan, both of which I had thought would take a few minutes but in reality, took days to finalise! We made the table names and name places, welcome boards, centre pieces for the flowers, the children’s activity packs, favours, confetti cones and display.
I honestly became absorbed in Pinterest. It is the go to place for any DIY bride, but you honestly lose hours looking at all of the different ideas!
On the morning of the wedding when I came downstairs, I was completely overwhelmed with how it had all come together. My bridesmaids and Glenfall House had perfectly put together all of our creations and ideas, the venue looked amazing, and the sense of pride that it was all us was great.
Tell us about the wedding dress…
(J) I loved wedding dress shopping! I went out with a completely open mind and tried on every style from the big princess dresses to floaty Grecian styles. But I knew that I would wear a fitted dress made of lace with an illusion back when I got married, and was always drawn to designers like Pronovias and Maggie Sottero.
Unfortunately, none of the dresses I tried had all three of the features that I was after, until I stepped into Bridal Lane in Usk. My mum and I picked out a few dresses to try, amongst which was a lace mermaid style dress with a beautiful illusion back and neckline.
As soon as I tried it on both my mum and dad, who came to all of my dress appointments, agreed it was the one. When I added a cathedral length veil, it was perfect… and yes, there were tears!
What did the groom wear?
(G) I knew I wanted charcoal suits, but beyond that I had no idea what I needed or should have. After ending up in a Cardiff pub with my best man, completely fed up and irritated of trying on ill-fitting suits, I gave it one last shot before heading home and went to Slaters. Best decision ever!
They advised amazingly well, and even disagreed with some of my thoughts, but only to make sure I looked better for it. I even wore patent shoes. I would never have chosen that! The advice given and knowledge of Craig, the store manager in Cardiff, won me over instantly.
To any groom going through this, I strongly advise popping in to see him. I came out of the store so happy and relieved after just one visit. Also, the customer care was five stars leading up to the day, as we had suits sent all over the country for fitting.
Did you incorporate any special family details or heirlooms, for example?
(J) It was really important to me to have pictures of our grandparents that were not able to celebrate our wedding with us. We chose their wedding pictures and displayed them on the mantlepiece in the hall. Seeing their pictures was comforting and made us feel like they were still a part of our day.
Did you have something old, new, borrowed and blue?
(J) My dress was my something new, my garter was my something blue, and some days Gav an I most definitely felt like our something old!
For my something borrowed, my bridesmaid, Sarah, lent me her headpiece that she had worn on her wedding day. Her and her husband married six years ago after 13 years together, and are also the couple that introduced Gavin and I, so it felt like a good luck charm!
What song did you walk down the aisle to?
We walked down the aisle to an orchestral version of ‘Perfect’ by Ed Sheeran. The lyrics mean so much to us as a couple, having fallen in love young and growing as a couple through everything that life has to challenge you.
What did you have for your wedding breakfast?
The food options we had were great, but we found it extremely easy to pick Goats Cheese Tartlet to start, my favourite main of Beef Wellington and Gavin’s favourite desert of Cheesecake. The food was absolutely amazing and cooked to perfection! All of our guests commented on how nice their meal was.
Having been to lots of weddings where the evening meal was a buffet or hog roast, we wanted something a little different so opted for a barbecue. There was so much food, and again we had nothing but great comments on it!
What kind of cake did you go for?
When we first got engaged I went to a cake tasting and discovered passionfruit sponge. From that moment I knew that would be one of the tiers!
The cake was made by a very talented friend of mine and consisted of a raspberry and white chocolate sponge tier; passionfruit sponge tier; and chocolate sponge to top. It was decorated with handmade sugar flowers, hessian and lace completely matching the rest of the wedding theme.
What was your first dance song?
We danced to ‘Perfect’ by Ed Sheeran, the radio version. The lyrics really sum up our life together.
What was your favourite part of your wedding day?
(J) When I woke up that morning there were no nerves, no stress or worries. I felt completely at ease. After 13 years together, I finally got to marry my best friend and I could not have been happier. I couldn’t stop smiling!
My absolute favourite part of the day was walking down the aisle and exchanging our vows. Our children set off down the aisle first, followed by my bridesmaids. As I was just about to round the corner to the ceremony area, I heard a loud noise and an explosion of laughter from our guests.
Our son, Dylan, had walked down the aisle, stopped in the middle and true to form let out a huge lion style roar at everyone! Having him and Jessica, our daughter, with us as we exchanged our vows made it all the more special.
When it came to exchanging our vows, the emotion started to get to both of us. Having a family had always been our priority. But once we had achieved that, being married became important too. And there we were, promising in front of all of our family and friends that we were forever. It was the best feeling ever!
(G) Waking up and seeing the sun shining without a cloud in the sky. The only thing that could have knocked the day would have been rain. On the contrary, it was almost too hot. Wearing three-piece suits was hard in that sun.
But my favourite was seeing the look on Jens face when she was coming down the aisle and took her place next to me. The smile and look on her face will stay with me forever. I knew she was happy.
Did everything go to plan?
There were a few little hiccups on the day but nothing that had any great impact on how amazing our day was. Overall it went so smoothly and was the best day.
What advice would you give anyone planning their big day?
(J) Give yourself enough time to do everything, especially if like us you are doing a lot of DIY. Accept help and don’t try to do it all yourself, rope in those bridesmaids! And Pinterest…it is honestly the best thing ever if you are planning a wedding!
Relax, have fun planning and creating, and on the day of your wedding step back for a minute and take it all in.
(G) Yes, accept help and advice. I found myself struggling because I had no experience, something you can’t get until you have been through it. It’s all over really quickly too. Make the most of it.
And finally, where did you spend your honeymoon together?
(J) We flew to Mexico for a two-week honeymoon. My parents offered to have our children, so we were able to just relax, enjoy each other’s company and explore everything Mexico had to offer.
Sun, sea and all-inclusive tequila!
For more information about Philip Warren Photography, visit philip-warren.com directly.
Wednesday 23 May 2018
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