Gavin & Alison’s Tyn Dwr Hall Wedding
As I look back through Gavin and Alison’s wedding photographs from Tyn Dwr Hall, I am reminded of what an amazing day and such an incredible experience it was to be a part of. Now, all weddings are unique in their own way but Gavin and Alison’s Tyn Dwr Hall wedding had so many firsts for me. This was my first wedding I have photographed with Chinese traditions. I had no idea what to expect, but soon found myself amongst the fun!
Gavin & Alison have been kind enough to provide me with their story from when they first met, to when they became husband and wife. But before that, here are a few of my favourite photographs from Gavin and Alison’s Tyn Dwr Hall Wedding.
As always, Tyn Dwr Hall was looking incredible, and the wedding ceremony room was tastefully decorated with real flowers throughout.
As group photos go, this has to be one of the largest I have photographed. So many happy faces here to celebrate with Gavin and Alison!
Alison wore her traditonal Chinese red dress for the morning of the wedding, before changing into her elegant white gown. But Gavin also had a change of outfit. He changed from his traditonal Scotish kilt after the wedding breakfast, into his Army uniform.
Gavin & Alison’s Story…
Gavin and I first met when we were both still at university. We were introduced by a family friend and as much as Gavin says it was love at first sight, it took him nearly 3 years before he made the move! To be fair, Gavin’s in the military and was away in Afghanistan for a while. This did not stop us from keeping in touch until he came back home, to which we officially got together!
I’m a specialist nurse and so there are many who laugh and joke how clearly professionals in uniforms attract!
We were together for 4 years before Gavin popped the question in Palma, Spain. It was a trip to celebrate Gavin’s birthday! So who would have thought he was planning his way of ensuring the ring clears airport security, not to lose the ring and ensure I didn’t find the ring for the duration of the trip! Now I know I was actually carrying the ring for most of the trip and left it unoccupied for a quick swim in the sea! We were out having a meal for Gavin’s birthday, by the sea side when Gavin waited for the sunset before popping the question! Our special holiday ended up being a double celebration with a lot of emotions!
Choosing our venue took about 4.5months from the time we got engaged. Gavin’s from Glasgow and I’m from Aberystwyth, Wales but we both live in Manchester so as expected, choosing a location was not easy! We have family all over the UK and abroad! In keeping with Chinese traditions, our families had wanted us to have a Chinese banquet in addition to a traditional wedding. It was our dream to have a countryside wedding and having it in Wales nearer to home was perfect! Being so specific, we did our research online before taking a few weekend trips to North Wales to view a few wedding venues. We had viewed 5 venues but when we saw Tyn Dwr Hall we absolutely fell head over heels for it and knew we didn’t need to look any further! We loved every bit of the venue from the unique yurts to the cottage and how personal our wedding planner Shannon and the staff were.
It’s safe to say our wedding was not like any other! We both have big families and knew some were unable to attend the traditional Chinese banquet in Glasgow so we made a decision to incorporate some Chinese traditions on our wedding day. This was not easy to arrange and initially hard to picture; a Chinese Scotsman, with his groomsmen facing a variety of challenges to win his bride!
These challenges we set out by the bridesmaids as they haggle with the groom and the groomsmen on arrival and give a lucky red packets money (lai sei) for the bridesmaids to then surrender the bride! The groom then finds the brides red shoe inside the house and then presents this to the bride, the concept being the bride is not complete until the husband recovers her shoe.
As a bride, it is also tradition to wear a red Chinese dress known as ‘qipo’ which represents fortune and happiness.
The red dress is also worn for the tea ceremony, which is another major Chinese tradition. The ceremony is predominantly for the bride and grooms’ parents and other family members from the same generation. This takes place following the main wedding ceremony so Gavin and I as newlyweds paid respect to our elders. The family are served in order, starting with the groom’s parents before progressing from oldest to youngest. It was important we kneeled on red cushions whilst serving the tea from a red tea set for luck. After each family member takes a sip of their tea, they offer the couple a red packet with lucky money or jewellery inside. On the wedding day some even offered us some wise marriage advice! This luckily went smoothly on the day but actually took a lot of pre-planning to ensure we had a quick process with switching tea cups and finding family members!!! The bridesmaids and groomsmen played such a vital role and the final Chinese tradition is us as newlyweds giving them a red Lai sei packet with lucky money inside as a thank you.