Laura and Ben’s relaxed restaurant wedding
A stylish Swansea restaurant wedding was ideal for this informal family celebration. Our WED2B Real Weddings feature reveals more…
Laura met Ben when she was visiting a friend who was studying at Swansea University. “I never in a million years expected to be someone who experienced ‘love at first sight’,” she says. “So, it caught me off-guard! I’ve got family in Swansea, so I had plenty of excuses to return regularly and spend more time with Ben. It was probably my second or third visit when he cottoned on. He asked me out to get a Joe’s Ice Cream (a bit of a local treasure in Swansea).”
A scenic proposal
“Ben proposed to me at a very special location called Three Cliffs Bay in Swansea,” says Laura. “We’d been there together a few times throughout the three years we’d been dating, and had even camped out on the cliffs on a couple of occasions. It’s absolutely our favourite place, every time you go there you feel like you’ve discovered it for the first time. It’s a short trek to reach but well worth it. There are beautiful views and an absolutely stunning sunset when you get the right weather for it.”
Shopping for the dress
“I found WED2B while searching on Google,” says Laura. “I loved browsing the WED2B website, reading other real bride stories and dreaming about how our wedding could look. The process in store was so easy, the Exeter staff were really lovely and helpful. They made me feel comfortable that I’d made the right choice with the dress. I genuinely felt as though having the right dress for me was their number one priority. It was a super pleasant experience in the bright, spacious and airy bridal shop.”
"I really wanted a classic contemporary feel for our wedding,” says Laura. “My Bekkie dress was shaped beautifully and had a timeless quality, so I was delighted when I tried it on. I could immediately see myself walking down the aisle to meet my husband to-be in it. I loved how understated it was too and how confident I felt wearing it.” For similar styles take a look at Reid, Adelaide or Amalfi.
A relaxed restaurant wedding venue
The couple married late afternoon on Saturday 5th November 2022. “It was a mild November day and thankfully a mostly dry one, which is never a sure thing in Swansea.” says Laura. “Our wedding venue was Juniper Place, a lovely modern restaurant and bar venue near the coast. Crucially, it’s also walking distance from the infamous Wind Street for the all-important afterparty!"
"When we were searching for a venue near the sea, the staff at Juniper Place had a huge impact on our decision. It’s a lovely, local business, with friendly and enthusiastic staff. They were really excited at the possibility of hosting their first wedding. The venue itself has a real sense of warmth and a modest charm.”
The big day
“Ben and I got ready separately at the Premier Inn near our venue,” says Laura. “Once ready, the girls and I ran over to the venue before guests arrived, as we had some special things to set up.”
“Sadly, both and Ben and I lost grandparents recently and it was really important to us to honour them on our wedding day. We set up a candle-lit table with pictures of Ben's Nan and my Grampy. We also laid out ‘reserved’ signs in the front rows for the ceremony, with a special verse for both Nan and Grampy.”
A pretty floral focal point
“Ben and I created our own brass archway, adorned with foliage and dried flowers. This became the centrepiece for our ceremony and the backdrop for family portraits too. The venue also had warm, rustic, hanging exposed light bulbs and beautiful fairy lights, tastefully draped around the room and hanging down the large windows where the ceremony would take place.”
“My dad walked me down the aisle, into the cute ceremony area set up in Juniper Place,” says Laura. “Surrounded by our closest friends and family, it was one of the most memorable moments of my life. I’m so grateful that we were able to have friends from far and wide join us that day. A close friend of Ben’s married us and gave his own speech as part of that. Two of my best friends also gave short speeches, before inviting the guests to shower confetti as we walked back up the aisle as husband and wife! We then gathered guests around for the ceremonious cutting of the cake.”
“After we were married, we had family portraits taken in front of the homemade arch,” says Laura. “Then, as we mingled with our guests, we noticed others taking their own photos in the same spot. As it was a late wedding, the evening set in quite quickly, and the venue provided a delicious, modern and eclectic buffet service. My friend Anna made our cake, included a gluten-free tier, which we had cut up for the buffet.”
“We danced our first dance to ‘That Girl Is You’ by the Dave Matthews Band, an alternative rock band from America that Ben introduced me to,” says Laura. “Then we had something really special planned, as a surprise for some of our already-married guests. The DJ had teed up their first dance songs from their wedding days! We brought each couple on as the music played through a medley of three other first dance songs. We thought it was a really cute way to get the dance floor going! The night went on really late and on into Wind Street for more dancing, with many of our friends also staying over for the night.”
Later that week...
“We also arranged something really special with our photographer to personalise and round-off our wedding journey,” says Laura. “After the wedding, we went back on a separate day in our wedding attire. We made the short trek up to our special place, the top of Three Cliffs Bay overlooking the sea and the Gower. It’s unbelievably beautiful there, with rolling sand dunes and natural archways under the cliffs. There are even some wonderful castle ruins overlooking the estuary."
"We couldn’t be happier with our wedding portraits from this session. Our photographer, Chris, captured the ‘classic contemporary’ vibe we were going for. This spot has also been made even more special. I learned later that Ben had actually visited the clifftop secretly without me, gathered sand and sent it to America to be infused into our wedding bands!”
The best bits…
“It’s probably a bit of a cliché but my most memorable moment was standing with my Dad and waiting to be walked down the aisle to my husband-to-be,” says Laura. “I think our most memorable moment together was the first dances we arranged for our friends.”
My top tips…
“If you’re lucky enough to have someone who can help, then someone with natural ‘gravitas’ is invaluable when it comes to helping run the day. Sometimes this would be the best man’s job or the venue staff. But we had a long-standing family friend, a chef in his previous career, who 'took the reins’, as it were. He took the pressure of running the day, and ensuring a timely and smooth transition through the events, off our shoulders. We couldn’t be more grateful for that.”
Laura and Ben’s Dream Team
Photographer: Christopher J Photography
Wedding dresses Exeter: WED2B
Restaurant wedding venue and catering: Juniper Place Swansea
Cake: Laura’s friend, Anna
Details and Flowers: Rose Ida Flowers
Suits: Hanson the Clothes People
Hair: Pen's Hair
If you would like us to feature your big day, like this restaurant wedding, then please click here to share your story and photos with us and we’ll be in touch. Your nearest WED2B is closer than you think. Click here for your nearest store and here for what to expect when you visit.
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