Rhiannon and Ryan’s June Wedding

This blog gives an insight into the planning and preparations that took place in the build up to Rhiannon and Ryan’s wedding day here, on Thursday 27th June 2019.  Our thanks goes to Rhiannon for taking the time to provide answers about her wedding day and allowing us to share her wedding story and photos here.  (Karen – Wedding Coordinator)

When did the proposal take place and how did it happen?

Ryan proposed on Christmas Day.  In June 2017, Ryan and I moved into our first home in Rowhedge and shortly after we welcomed our fur baby Penny the Pug into our home.

One of our favourite things to do is to take Penny for long walks around the village so for our first Christmas in our new home, Ryan was keen to make it extra special by proposing to me while we were on our walk with Penny by the gorgeous river in Rowhedge.

After being in a relationship with Ryan for 10 years it certainly took me by surprise, as after so long together I had given up guessing when it might be!  It was a wonderful day and a perfect opportunity for us to celebrate with our families as we had planned to spend Christmas and Boxing day with them.

Did you have an ideal venue in mind before you began your search?  How did you research your venue?

My parents had Layer Marney Tower in mind as a possible wedding venue for me since I was a little girl.  We had many family days out at Layer Marney Tower growing up and it was somewhere we all held fond memories of.  However, Ryan had never been to the venue and we had both attended weddings at some smaller, modern venues and also quite liked the idea of having a venue such as this for our wedding.

So we decided to attend a couple of wedding fayres such as Houchins and Fennes and also booked an appointment to view Layer Marney Tower.  Before attending the appointment, Ryan was convinced that he would prefer one of the other venues on the list and had agreed to go to the viewing to keep me and my parents happy!  However, once we arrived at Layer Marney Tower Ryan was blown away by the venue.  The owner Nick Charrington was able to show us round and he was very enthusiastic and friendly, making us feel welcome.  Although we still made the effort to attend the other wedding fayre we had planned that afternoon, we knew driving away that our heart was set on Layer Marney Tower and we booked it shortly afterwards.

How far in advance did you book your wedding day?

We booked our wedding in January 2018 for the 27th June 2019, so had just over a year to get planning!  We always knew we would like a Summer wedding, but decided to go for a Thursday in June as we had exclusive use of the venue – as Layer Marney Tower is open to the general public in the Summer months.  Funnily enough, it was almost exactly 2 years after our move in date to our new home which was nice that the two milestones fell around the same time and would each hold a special place in our memories.

Did you have a theme?

As a big Disney fan, I always knew I would like it to feature somewhere within our wedding.  Shortly before we got engaged Ryan and I went to the cinema to watch the new Beauty and the Beast remake film and were both blown away by it.  We joked about the similarities we shared with Belle and the Beast and how we could identify with the characters!

Rather than a general Disney theme, we selected a Beauty and the Beast theme.  Ryan wasn’t too sure at the start as he wasn’t keen on being referred to as the beast…but as the planning got underway it became more about a true fairy tale with our Cinderella style horse and carriage, to our Beauty and the Beast themed cake, invites and decorations.

We felt that the venue fitted with our theme as it was nearly as grand as the beautiful castle where the Beast lived.


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How did you choose which suppliers you used?

Nearly all our suppliers were ones our friends and families had used at previous weddings we attended and therefore came highly recommended.  This was great as we knew they would do a great job and create the vision we hoped for.  However, as we didn’t shop around it did mean we went slightly over budget!  I would definitely recommend shopping around for suppliers though if you are on a tight budget, as we were very impressed with other suppliers we met at Open Days and Wedding Fayres.

It was while attending one of the large wedding fayres in London that led a a very memorable experience where I featured on the programme “Say yes to the dress UK” and ended up finding my dream dress, which made me feel like a true princess!

Have you enlisted help from family and friends with the planning, or was it mainly the bride and groom that made arrangements?

Although I had a very clear vision for our wedding day, there is no way I could have done it without the incredible support of our lovely families, bridesmaids and groomsmen.  Everyone played a special role; my chief bridesmaid Alice attended wedding fayres with me, designed our invitations and hand crafted some of our decorations.  My bridesmaid Emma used her creative baking skills for our beautiful wedding favours – of course Beauty and the Beast themed!  However, baking and decorating nearly 90 biscuits was not an easy task and so all the family were all hands-on deck.

My Mum spotted my dream wedding dress and my parents and brother treated me to the beautiful horse and carriage ride, which was amazing!  Ryan’s cousin Sarah was also great as she created our table plan and the beautiful hangers and champagne flutes that my bridesmaids and I used on the wedding morning.

We had the whole team of bridesmaids, groomsmen and parents helping us set up the venue the day before, to make our vision a reality.

Although the wedding mainly followed my vision, I was sure to include Ryan in nearly all of the big decisions and he was always there to help in the lead up to the big day.

What were the highlights of your day or particularly memorable moments?

There were so many! It was really special to have our Pug Penny be a part of the big day; I loved having her with the bridesmaids and I when we were getting ready in the morning and she also played a special role in our ceremony, coming down the aisle.

Some moments were emotional – when I gave the bridesmaids and my parents their cards and presents, and of course when I read the card from Ryan, which brought me to tears.

The wedding ceremony was really special and particularly for Ryan, when he first saw me making my way down the aisle with my Dad.

The horse and carriage ride following the ceremony was the perfect opportunity for Ryan and I to enjoy our first moments as husband and wife together and share all the special details of our morning preparations.

I particularly enjoyed the speeches as it was perhaps the only part of the wedding I had not been involved in organising!  So it was a complete surprise and I was truly impressed by them all, including the readings during the ceremony.  I laughed out loud at the speech by Ryan’s best man, Lewis.

The whole day was perfect but these are probably my favourite moments.

Do you have any advice for Brides and Grooms just starting their wedding planning?

Make sure you enjoy every moment!  Although wedding planning can feel rather stressful at times, it is something that you miss once it is all over, (which at times I never thought I would say!)

I would also recommend capturing all the big moments of your wedding planning journey; we took photos at the wedding fayres, dress shopping, meetings with bridesmaids, hen and stag dos, cake and food tastings and many more!  I’m so glad we did as I now plan to print them for an album/scrap book so I can remember the build up as well as the big day.

Do make sure you shop around as it is a tad soul destroying to find you have gone over budget, (although still worth it!)  During the planning process I found some great Instagram pages such as “cheap wedding stuff” and “mysavvywedding” which were brilliant for how to create your wedding vision at a reasonable price.

I would definitely recommend going with your gut instinct and making decisions which are right for you as a couple.  There are lots of other family and friends heavily invested in your special day and as you try to please everyone, it is easy to get caught up in there ideas, wants and needs.

My final bit of advice would be to enjoy every moment of your wedding day and don’t get hung up on minor details!  The day goes so quick, so make sure you take the time to savour the moment!

All photos credited to Aaron Crowe Photography

Flowers by Hannah Louise Flowers