I spoke with Nic Marsh from Llyn Gwynant Barns (one of my favourite wedding venues) to see what ideas and advice she had for couples who would like to make their wedding unique to them.
I started off by asking what she thinks makes Llyn Gwynant so special? The first thing Nic mentioned was the “outstanding natural beauty!”
“The ancient stone barns, private terraces and large camping fields are situated in the most beautiful valley in Wales, right on the shores of Llyn Gwynant.”
The second thing was full weekend hire and their flexibility when it comes to couples personalising their celebration.
“We allow 2 days and up to 150 people as standard for a wedding so they can really spend time with their guests. Plus, additional days for the preparations or for relaxing afterwards can be booked.
The barns are very beautiful as they are, but can be decorated and organised in a way that suits the couple.”
I was curious to know how much flexibility couples have when choosing suppliers for their wedding.
“We offer couples the choice of how much or how little they want us to do, though we always have staff on hand to run the bar and to organise the table/toast drinks. These staff can also help with room changes, etc.
Some couples choose to cater the event themselves, using the barns well equipped kitchen, many choose to use one of our approved caterers with or without serving staff for the wedding breakfast.
Usually most of the guests camp in our private fields by the lake but there are plenty of accommodation options locally for those who would rather be indoors. The large camping fields can accommodate our lovely pagoda marquees for post ceremony drinks, along with your own tents or bell tents hired and erected by one of our recommended tent companies for a wedding festival experience.
The venue suits a variety of approaches and we are flexible and open to ideas, so individual couples can decide on the wedding that they want and we support them with whatever is needed on the big day.”
Nic also went on to say…
“We often have Humanist ceremonies, handfastings, or personal ceremonies conducted by friends outside in the fields, following an ‘official’ or legal wedding ceremony in the building.
There are beautiful and private natural spots here for such celebrations: under the tree in the field or on the lake shore are popular, and arrivals by boat or photos out on the lake are easy to arrange.”
When it comes to decorating the barns, Nic said
“Bunting, leaves, garlands and flowers are often enough but we have had more elaborate decorations too: hundreds of paper birds suspended from the ceiling, pillars wrapped in Indian silks, a woodland of young trees covered in fairy lights – couples can be as creative as they like.”
But the ways in which you can make Llyn Gwynant your own don’t stop there!
“Couples with musical guests often have them play the barns piano, sing, or play guitar during the ceremony but we have also had bagpipers, harpists, string quartets, steel drums, and even a Welsh male voice choir here!”
Nic explained that many of their couples work in or have a love for the outdoors, and that Llyn Gwynant’s natural surroundings have inspired a variety of wedding weekend activities.
“We have had group hikes up Snowdon, botanists climbing trees, mini wedding triathlons and hill runs, morning after swims, and a vintage bus ride around the local area to name a few.”
And finally, I asked “What advice would you give to a couple when choosing a wedding venue?”
“Choose a venue where you can express your own individuality and values and where you can spend quality time with friends and family.
Llyn Gwynant Barns is an exceptionally beautiful place to get married. We recommend coming to see the barns in person to grasp the scale of the surroundings and the beauty of the location. We love showing people around and having a chat about your ideas, so get in touch to arrange a visit.”
THIS IS JUST ONE CHAPTER...
In the rest of this guide, I explain the different ceremonies including, humanist, celebrant & non-legal wedding ceremonies. I also cover how to choose your wedding venue, wedding photographer, entertainment and plan your timeline. Plus there's wedding advice from real couples and top tips from industry experts.
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