Four years later, Neil proposed during a getaway to Southwold Beach in Norfolk. “We were enjoying a trip with our eldest daughter, and I was eight months pregnant with our second,” shares the bride. “I was watching the waves and as I turned around our daughter, Lumi, was holding a box with a beautiful ring, and Neil was down on one knee. We had been talking about getting married for a few years, but I was still incredibly surprised.”
"We decided to get married in the Brecon Beacons as I love the area," shares Leena. "After looking at a few commercialised wedding venues, we drove up to Penpont and met with Davina Hogg, the owner, who still lives in the estate. I was amazed by the beautiful gardens, the cleanliness of the property and the overall atmosphere. We were able to rent the venue for the weekend, so my oversea friends and family could stay. Penpont felt personal and meaningful. I cried after we left and knew it was the place for us.
For their favours, the couple gave their guests Welsh love spoons that went down a treat."Our reception was in the stables," adds the bride. "We opted for flowers on the tables to create a very minimalistic but rustic look. For our seating chart, we mixed our international friends with British guests to help create interesting conversations."The happy couple chose white and green wildflowers mixed with fragranced roses. "Brecon Blooms provided our arrangements," says Leena. "She lives a few miles from the venue and grew everything in her garden. The flowers were very important to me, so we placed them in different spots around the venue. We also had decorative birdcages which we used at the ceremony and moved later in the day."
Leena opted for a Ronald Joyce dress called Jamie from Fleur de Lys Bridal. "I wanted something simple and classy," shares the bride. "I accessorised with Jimmy Choo heels, diamond earrings and a small headpiece."Neil and the groomsmen wore T.M. Lewis black dinner suits with bow ties.
"My bridesmaids came from Norway and Finland, so we couldn't buy the same dress for all four ladies," explains Leena. "They all wore something different, but in a blue colour palette with matching bouquets. One of my maids even made her dress, which was wonderful!"
"During the ceremony we had the Brecon and District Male Choir perform," says Leena. "They sang Elvis Presley's Can't Help Falling in Love when I walked down the aisle. For the children, we had an entertainer called Janina Vigurs Storytelling who set up a beautiful tipi at the front lawn and entertained the children with stories and giant bubbles. In the evening, we had a band called Peaky Blinder who we hired through Wedding Bands Wales. We also had a DJ from the same place perform when the band was on a break."
We felt excited, happy and relieved on the morning of the wedding," recalls the bride. "We wanted a relaxed day where everyone had fun without worrying about anything. I felt so emotional seeing my two little girls in their pretty dresses, and they were so excited that it just added to our excitement. People were falling on the floor from all the dancing and free drinks and had a great time. Neil did a beautiful speech that made everyone laugh and cry, and my cousin and her husband surprised us by performing a Finnish wedding waltz. It was amazing and made the day so special."
"We went to Venice a couple of months after the wedding," explains the bride. "We stayed for a long weekend in the Hilton Molino Stucky, which was beautiful. We planned it together and loved spending time just the two of us. We ate way too much pizza and drunk lots of white wine."