Natasha and Geraint met in 2003 when a mutual friend – who later became Geraint's best man – introduced them at Crosskeys College. They became close and their friendship lasted throughout university, even though they studied in different places.
It was in 2008 when their relationship really blossomed, and although they had strong feelings they were cautious to pursue anything in case it didn't work. “We were at the Big Cheese Festival in Caerphilly having a brilliant time with a group of friends and Geraint just grabbed me and kissed me – we finally decided it was worth the risk!” remembers Natasha.
On the 30th July, 2011, the Saturday after their three-year anniversary, Geraint planned a fun day of zorbing and picnicking, with a few surprises up his sleeve for the evening. “He told me to pack an overnight bag – I didn't know what on earth was going on. We turned up at the Celtic Manor, where I'd always wanted to stay, and he'd booked a beautiful room with champagne,” recalls Natasha. “After an amazing meal, we returned to our room where there were rose petals on the bed, and while we were out on the balcony he dropped down on one knee and asked me to marry him.”
“I was so shocked and emotional, I thought it was all quite extravagant for our anniversary but didn't twig. It was the most beautiful ring, which he'd designed himself. He'd asked my parents' permission the week before, I'm so shocked my mam managed to keep it a secret.”
Two years later, Natasha and Geraint tied the knot in their dream love-themed wedding, which they planned together. “It was very much a joint effort and I was grateful he took such an interest – he was happy to go with most of the ideas I wanted though,” she says.
Here, Natasha shares all the details of their day…
After visiting a few venues this one stood out. Even though some of the older country style places were beautiful they just weren't us. It was also the best location for our families, it had beautiful grounds and views, and for us, was the best value for money with no extra costs.
We have matching tattoos with each other's name. The design is a heart with wings so we chose to incorporate this special motif into our stationery.
A team from Spirit Hair in Ystrad Mynach did my hair. They'd done it at a wedding fair I'd been to at Bryn Meadows and I really liked the style and the friendly girls. MAC make-up artist Kath from Debenhams created my big-day look – I'm addicted to their products. I always wear a bold eyeliner flick so knew I wanted a statement look. I went for a smoky eye with false lashes, with a touch of blush and a nude lipstick. My look was finished with a tiara and a diamanté decorated floor-length veil.
All my life I'd imagined myself wearing a strapless dress but even though I loved the ones I tried on, none of them were the one. I then saw the Ronald Joyce Patience gown on a model in the shop and my mam and maid-of-honour convinced me to try in on. As soon as I stepped out of the dressing room they both gasped and started crying, and so did I.
My three cousins Kayleigh, Kristy and Cara were my bridesmaids. We were very close growing up, and still are. Kayleigh's only two months younger than me so she's more like a sister, and was my maid-of-honour.
Geraint chose a gorgeous grey three-piece, slim fit suit with black trim, which suited his build amazingly. His best friend of 11 years Gwyn was his best man and his two brothers were ushers. They wore paler grey suits with baby pink ties and handkerchiefs, while Geraint's tie was black. My dad and two brothers also wore the same suits, as did our pageboys.
Roses were my flower of choice for my bouquet, and they were also used for our table decorations, in bubble bowls with pink gel beads and lights.
We had baby photos of the wedding party pegged to the front of the top table, which made for some amusement as I made sure I picked embarrassing ones.
My best girls wore long, baby pink, one-shoulder dresses with pretty beading. I wanted my bridesmaids to have a little bling. Their bouquets were made up of pink and cream roses – my favourite flower.
The best choice we made on the day was letting our photographer Nick take the lead. He knew what group shots we wanted, so we were happy for him to just do what he does best. He told us to just chat while he did his thing.
We saw our photographer's work on Facebook and loved that his style was quite funky, which suited us completely. He was the nicest, most genuine guy and he's extremely talented at what he does. He put us at ease on the day and had a laugh with us, which made the experience really fun.
Our table names were the word “love” in the languages of the countries we have visited together. They were printed on pink polka dot flags from our stationer standing in pink buckets.
My nephew Rylee and Geraint's nephew Nathaniel, who were both two, were our pageboys and my nine-month-old niece Demi-Leigh was our flowergirl – she was a little bit young but I was so happy to finally have a niece I couldn't resist dressing her in a beautiful dress!
After our meal, Nick told us he'd seen a great meadow down the road and that the light was perfect so we hopped in the car with him and disappeared for a while. We are so glad we put our complete trust in him as we have amazing shots.
Lea from Sweet Dreams Cupcakery created our cupcake tower, which had one tier of cake on top. They were lemon, chocolate and vanilla sponge finished with pink and cream swirled buttercream and a love heart on each.
Our favours were heart-shaped shortbread cookies.
We had a magician to entertain our guests for the early part of the evening – he went down a storm and was a great choice to fill the lull after the meal and before the DJ started.
This is one of my favourite shots – it was my idea and Nick completely captured what I imagined.
Endless Dreams Bridal
MAC at Debenhams
Bride's tiara and veil
All About Eve
Sweet Dreams Cupcakery
Groomsmen's and pageboys' suits
Rhian Wynne Eglwysilan Music
Bryan Gunton Magic
Nick Murray Photography
Bryn Meadows Golf, Hotel & Spa
Diamond Centre Wales