Real Weddings

Ronald Joyce for a Romantic Micro Wedding at Thornton Manor – Carys & Will

Sarah Symonds

White blooms, simple style choices, idyllic weather, a stunning classic and traditional venue on the Wirral and a very limited guestlist. Looks like sheer wedding perfection to us…

The very special day that Carys and Will tied the knot really throws out the rule book and redefines the word ‘intimate’ as they opt to just have their parents present, rather than whittle down their original guestlist to a more Covid-friendly 30 guests. We don’t blame them one bit!

Our couple couldn’t look any more in love in their wedding snaps, and we’ve caught up with them to find out how they pulled it off, the benefits of having such an intimate day and how they still managed to keep friends and family involved who couldn’t be present at the ceremony or a classic reception party. If you’re currently in the planning stages and just don’t fancy a huge wedding, this could be the inspo you need.

With photography by UNVEILED Network Member Samantha Kay Photography


Carys says: We got engaged on the 28th December 2018. Will asked if I wanted to go for a walk up Hope Mountain, which is the mountain that we can see from our house. I was very reluctant to go as it was very cold outside but he insisted and, as we stood on top of Hope Mountain looking at the view down to our house, he popped the question. I was very shocked and even told him to “shut up” before I said “of course I will”.


Our wedding was on the 8th August 2020. We chose that date as I am a teacher and we wanted to get married when we could both take time off for the wedding and the honeymoon. We were hoping for good weather too!

We got married in Thornton Manor on the Wirral. We chose this venue as my family have links with the Wirral and when we both looked around different venues we felt very at home in Thornton Manor and the staff were very welcoming. The grounds are stunning and we both fell in love with the house. We both felt that emotional pull to Thornton Manor.


We didn’t really have a theme, we just wanted traditional style, in keeping with Thornton Manor. We tried to keep things simple and classic.

The colour scheme was silvery grey as we both loved this colour and again it is in keeping with the classic style. We didn’t want anything that would look dated in years to come.


My dress was Ronald Joyce from Cheshire Brides in Frodsham. It is an off the shoulder dress with a sparkly belt and buttons all down the train. The assistant at Cheshire Brides was amazing at helping and suggested a cathedral veil to accompany the dress and a sparkly hair vine to tie in with the sparkly belt.


Will wore navy tails from Groom in Chester. The Father of the Bride and Father of the Groom wore matching suits with silver grey waistcoats and ties.


Unfortunately I didn’t have any bridesmaids, I had asked my three best friends and Will’s sister to be bridesmaids but due to Covid we weren’t able to have any. We were limited to 30 guests but we just found it too difficult to choose who to invite so in the end we kept it simple and just had our parents there.

Will’s sister lives in New York and was not able to come over due to Covid and my brother lives in New Zealand and was also unable to come over. My brother’s little girl, Ella, was going to be a flower girl if they were able to come over.


I did my own makeup, I had makeup artists booked but due to Covid MUAs were not allowed to work. My hair was done by Gillian Roslan-Oates from Ellesmere Port.


My parents took me to Thornton Manor and Will’s parents took him. We had a surprise journey back to Will’s parents after the wedding though as our parents had organised a Rolls Royce for me and Will to ride in, hired from Red Carpet Cars.


Our photographer was Samantha Kay. She was incredible! We felt so comfortable with her and that’s why she got some amazing shots of us. She listened to what we wanted from the photographs on the day, which was lots of relaxed photos with some formal photos too. I would definitely recommend her. She also gave us an engagement shoot as part of our package too, which helped us to relax in front of the camera.


I had white roses with a very limited foliage from Leaf in Wirral. They were brilliant and the flowers looked stunning.

We didn’t have a reception, instead we went for afternoon tea with our parents after the wedding. We did however have white rose and hydrangea flowers as a floral display on the registry table, white rose petals down the aisle and white rose petal confetti, all from Leaf.


I gave favours out to our parents and posted them to my bridesmaid that would have been there if it had been possible. I made gingerbread biscuits into bride and groom shapes as I love to bake.


We chose a three tiered cake of pink grapefruit and cardamom made by Boutique Bakery, Chester. UNVEILED Network Member Nicola makes the cakes on her own and she made an amazing looking and tasting cake. We were so happy with it. She even went to the trouble of making a gluten free mini version of the cake for Will’s dad who is coeliac.


We didn’t have any food or wine at the venue. We just had afternoon tea from Marks & Spencer at Will’s Mum and Dad’s house.

Thanks to

All of the suppliers were all amazing, just as amazing as each other! But Thornton Manor were especially amazing! They were very understanding of the difficulty with Covid restrictions and were happy for our wedding to go ahead with limited guests. At every step they were very reassuring and more than happy to help with everything. We felt very at home there and special, not at all like we were just another couple getting married.

We also just want to say thank you to our friends and family that came to wave us off into married life by standing outside Thornton Manor after the ceremony. It meant the world to us!

We also want to thank my brother and Will’s sister as they joined our wedding through Facetime, despite the time difference.

Best bit

I loved every part of it. As it was a very small wedding, the morning was very relaxing, I had a lovely time getting my hair done and getting dressed however the best part of the day was walking down the aisle with my step dad and marrying my husband. A lot of our friends have said that as a couple you don’t get to spend much time together on your wedding day but the lovely thing about our wedding was that despite the fact that we couldn’t have all of our family and friends there, the day was just about us. We could spend a lot of time together and it was just so relaxed.


We went to a self-catered holiday home in Anglesey for our honeymoon.


Our advice for another couple would be to just relax and enjoy the day. It is difficult but don’t worry about pleasing anyone else, just do what you want to do as a couple and take time to spend time together during the day.

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