Hazel Conway & Craig McDowell
5th June 2021
“After travelling through Thailand and Vietnam for a month, and with six years as a couple under our belt, we got engaged in December 2018 at the Sydney Opera House. In the initial stages of planning, we wanted our wedding to be as relaxed as possible, with nothing too formal. We also hoped to host much of it outdoors, which thankfully the weather allowed us to do on the day!
Eden Leisure Village was the first place we looked at and we were sold straight away. It was only five minutes down the road from us but it felt like being in the middle of nowhere. It was also the ideal space for our autumnal, rustic colour palette of burnt orange and teal. The venue’s barn was already decorated and fitted into our vision.
Covid represented the biggest challenge we faced along the way. We postponed our wedding twice and cut our numbers back from 200 to 20, before bringing them back up to 50. The chopping and changing was a bit of a headache, but in the end we enjoyed spending the day with our 50 guests.
Most of our ideas came from Instagram and Pinterest. Additionally, the chilled-out vibe of the venue made the wedding feel personal to us, as we are pretty relaxed people in everyday life. I made a lot of the decorations myself, which saved us money. We also had a memory board for people no longer with us, which was a poignant touch.
Neither of us are religious, so we opted for a humanist service. Our celebrant was Maureen Kettle of Humanist Society Scotland, who I actually know very well as she’s friends with my aunt. I walked up the aisle to Meet Me There by Nick Mulvey. AudioCP also set up a livestream of our wedding for guests who couldn’t make it because of the pandemic.
We adored our table runners, which a friend’s mother made for us in Sri Lanka and shipped over. We have one on our dining table now, which is my favourite keepsake from the day.
For our photographer, we wanted someone local and easy-going. Victoria Charlotte Rose was fantastic and we were over the moon with how our photos turned out, with plenty of candid shots to choose from. We also adored our gorgeous cake by Christie Howieson at Cake Days a Week.
The whole day was out of this world. We had waited so long for it to happen, and it didn’t disappoint. All the speeches went down a storm and got a lot of laughs throughout the room. I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be, and our guests really appreciated the opportunity to get out the house! Looking back, we wouldn’t change anything about the day.
If I could give brides and grooms any advice, it would be don’t get hung up on the little details. I got a Polaroid camera for our loved ones to use and put in the guestbook, but it broke after the first picture was taken! In the grand scheme of things, however, that stuff really doesn’t matter. The important thing is the people you spend the day with.”
Top tip: “Get all the main stuff done quickly so you don’t need to worry about it as the wedding gets closer. Tick off the venue, photographer, food and cake as soon as you can.”
Celebrant Maureen Kettle, Humanist Society Scotland
Bride’s dress WED2B
Bride’s headpiece Etsy
Bride’s earrings Olivia Burton
Bridesmaids’ dresses ASOS
Groomswear Slater Menswear
Cake Cake Days a Week
Catering Regis Banqueting
Flowers Narcissus Wedding Flowers by Susan
Stationery Maria Harran
Wedding rings Chisholm Hunter
Bridal party robes All Things Quirky
Ceremony livestream AudioCP
Hair and makeup Take Two Salon (within Eden Leisure Village)