Real Weddings

A Colourful Winter Wedding at Sefton Park Palm House – Siobhán & Gavin

Sarah Symonds

Regardless of the season, bright colours and big personality will always be on trend! With that in mind, get ready to fall head over heels in love with the vibrant and bold stylings of Siobhán and Gavin’s big day at the exotic Palm House, Sefton Park.

We’re hearing from the groom today, rather than the bride, for a lovely change! Gavin and his blushing bride, Siobhán, took colourful, unique and fun to new heights when they tied the knot in January. Welcome to their tropical winter wedding, complete with flamingoes galore!

Our lovebirds have included plenty of personal touches, from the decor reflecting their love of animals, to the embroidered, slinky Wed2B gown which fits Siobhán like a glove and, of course, it’s all captured by the wonderful and talented Sarah Glynn. Thanks to the stunning photography, the hundreds of fairy lights a-twinkling overhead, and the evident love between the bride and groom, this already beautiful, botanical venue really comes alive.

An animal theme might not be for everyone but we love how the subtlety allows the personal touches to fit right in and accentuate the venue. Gavin and his groomsmen even managed to rope the cats into a photoshoot before the main event! Let’s hear more from the man himself…

With photography by UNVEILED Network Member Sarah Glynn Photography


Gavin says: We got engaged in Boston, Massachusetts, on the 12th December 2018. Siobhán was over there for a conference and I went over to keep her company. I travelled for 20 hours with the ring in my pocket. I lost my wallet on the bus from the airport to the city, although it could have been worse as I could have lost the ring! We stayed in the city for a few days after the conference for a holiday. Beforehand, I had spent time researching romantic destinations in Boston, and I’d found this lovely park by the harbour, which had the most amazing Christmas lights. After I proposed, we sat on the harbour reminiscing about our relationship and excitedly discussing plans for our wedding while looking out over Massachusetts Bay.


We tied the knot on January 25th 2020. We picked that date for several reasons. First of all, it was a Saturday so it would work well for the many teachers attending. Secondly, January is the month in which both of our birthdays fall, so it’s naturally our favourite. Finally, it’s considered off-season so everything was so much cheaper than normal!

We got married at Sefton Park Palm House. We wanted the venue to be in Liverpool, where we are both from, and the Palm House is a magical venue. It’s a really special place for Siobhán as she used to take her nana there for days out and has spent lovely times there with her mum. The venue staff were very communicative and prepared in the run up to the big day. On the night, the staff were so accommodating and diligent.


We love animals and this was really reflected in our wedding’s theme; all the tables were named after different animals, our centrepieces were animal vases, and we handmade 105 animal themed place-names! I decorated our living room with flamingo wallpaper a couple of years ago, and now everybody buys us flamingo-related gifts. So, it came as no surprise to our guests that the centrepiece for the top table was a 3ft flamingo planter filled with flowers. Our wedding cake was even topped with a little flamingo bride and groom!

We didn’t have a specific colour scheme in mind while we planned the wedding, but we generally wanted colours that would accentuate the beauty of the Palm House. Siobhán’s bridesmaid, Faye, wore burgundy and the flowers were white and yellow; all colours which we thought complemented the leafy, tropical setting.


Siobhán knew that she wanted something fitted with a vintage feel. Her dress was from Wed2B, in the Signature Collection. She chose this particular one because she loved the embroidery on the bodice and the decorated train.


I wore a burgundy tweed suit from Slaters, styled with a yellow tie, pocket square, and custom-made yellow socks! Our groomsmen wore grey suits with burgundy ties, also from Slaters.


Our bridesmaid wore a gorgeous burgundy dress with a silk sash from Chi Chi.


Siobhán, her bridesmaid and the mother of the bride all had their hair done by Emma Lyons and makeup was by Jodie Halliday.


Sarah Glynn was the photographer for one of my friend’s weddings where I was one of the best men, so we spent a fair bit of time with Sarah on the day of his wedding. She was incredibly professional, fun and such a calming presence. When we saw how beautiful and unique their wedding photographs were, we just knew Sarah was the photographer for us.

I had three best men, and we all had a great laugh with Sarah as she photographed us in a number of ridiculous poses. She even humoured us and was enthusiastic about our strange requests (including photographing our two cats!)

Throughout our wedding, Sarah was very well organised and so much fun. We ended up overrunning on a number of things, but Sarah still managed to take all of the staged photos that we wanted. In addition to that, she took loads of candid shots and beautiful photos of the venue. She didn’t stop for breath! When she eventually did sit down for her break, she spent all of it backing up the photos from the day and began her editing. I’ve never seen a photographer work so hard!

We couldn’t wait for our wedding photos to arrive. We were counting down the days! We loved that Sarah uploaded 10 photos the day after our wedding as a little preview. We were completely overwhelmed when we saw the full album for the first time as the photographs were absolutely beautiful. We really couldn’t rate her highly enough. Not only is she an incredibly talented photographer, but she is so fun and friendly. She made our day so special.


Our flowers were from Norwegian Wood in Liverpool. We had so much fun with our florist, Linda, from our first meeting. She came up with fantastic creative ideas for filling our animal vases and flamingo centerpiece. We went for gerbera, lisianthus, spray roses, gypsophila, and freesia for all of our floral decorations.


We were low key and just bought our cake from Marks & Spencers. Siobhán mum buys her a Colin The Caterpillar cake every year for her birthday, so we also had a bridal Connie The Caterpillar sporting a veil!


Our wedding was catered by Dine, who regularly cater events at the Palm House. The Dine team made all the preparations so easy and their food was absolutely delicious.


We chose the Liverpool-based band Soul Federation for our evening reception. They are a 10-piece soul band with a full brass section and backing singers. The band played all of our favourite songs and the dance floor was full all night long.

Thanks to

We absolutely loved our wedding and could not recommend our venue, photographer, and all our suppliers enough.


Our top tip would be to take a moment to yourselves at some point during the day. This was a piece of advice given to us by two of our friends who recently got married. This is one of the only times where you will have everybody you love in one room celebrating, so find somewhere that you can sit and reflect for a couple of minutes at some point in the day. We managed to sit down for two minutes, watch all our guests dancing in the evening and it was glorious!

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