Real Weddings

& For Love for a Fun and Funky Wedding at Sefton Park Palm House – Rebecca & Dan

Sarah Symonds

From Down Under to Merseyside, from a scrabble game to the end of the aisle, from secret tattoos to bespoke hometown tailoring. Is this not how all good love stories start? Well, perhaps more should because today we’re fully obsessing over the happily ever after of Rebecca and Dan, and we know you’re going to join us.

This one was always destined to be a hell of a wedding, especially when half the guest list had travelled halfway across the world to join the celebrations! Today’s amazing couple fell immediately (and understandably) in love with their stunning venue, which almost feels like a little bit of Australia in Liverpool with all those gorgeous palms. The ‘easiest, breeziest day’ indeed!

Right from the get-go these two crafted their own vibe, choosing a bank holiday to ramp up the celebratory spirit, hiring their photographer on a promise of ‘no cheesy setups’, and opting for the perfect relaxed white dress that allowed Rebecca to feel like herself on her big day – and we couldn’t love that ethos any more. Not to mention that cake! Strewth!

With photography by Marc Gartland Photography


Dan proposed during lockdown. While playing scrabble in our lounge room, he courageously asked me to make cups of tea. When I returned with the tea, it was his turn and he laid out all seven scrabble letters that said ‘MARRYME’ before proposing with a beautiful emerald and diamond trilogy ring.


We got married at the end of August on the Sunday of the bank holiday weekend, the 27th. We loved this date because it was ideal for people travelling. Also having the long weekend meant people could really let their hair down! 

We got married at the beautiful Sefton Park Palm House in Liverpool. It’s incredible. I saw a picture of it on a wedding blog and it looked perfect. We saw a few less impressive options closer to home, but nothing compared. We went to visit, had a coffee with the lovely Sandra and it was a done deal. The pictures are incredible, but the feel of the Palm House doesn’t translate in print. It’s calm but also exciting, it’s gargantuan but also cosy. It’s just sensational. We love it. We had both the ceremony and reception there. Not moving between venues was important for us, we wanted the easiest, breeziest day, for everyone. 


We didn’t have a theme, mainly because we didn’t want rigid boundaries. We both wanted an uncomplicated day that just felt like fun and looked beautiful. Our colours were dark green and gold, but only touches of both. My bridesmaids wore dark green and gold jewellery and we had huge gold palm leaf table mats, just to add gold to the table.


I wore a dress by & For Love from Ghost Orchid Bride in Hull. I saw the dress on my Instagram and just fell in love with it. I knew I wanted something casual but stylish. I tracked it down and found a stockist not too far away. It is a white linen dress with a deep V neckline, puff sleeves and it was backless. It also had pockets! I felt so much like myself in the dress. It was important that I didn’t feel too polished or staged, just because that’s not really us.


Dan wore a peaked lapel, stone linen suit made by his best friend Daniel Jones who owns a bespoke tailor in Sydney called Zink and Sons. It fit like a glove and he was comfortable, not over styled or stiff.


My bridesmaids wore green linen dresses made by a lovely tailors in Sheffield who have now closed down which is so sad, and very much a reminder to shop local. They made truly incredible clothes. I chose the green linen from the shop next door, as I loved the way it moves and feels. I love that it looks casual but so beautiful.

Our three year old son had a little linen suit made from the same fabric as Dan’s suit (Zinc and Sons kindly sent the excess from the wedding suit for the mini version). They all looked so perfect to me. They weren’t too hot or uncomfortable either because the linen is so breathable. They even made my mum a bespoke jumpsuit, and she looked so cool. Even my brother had a suit made of the same green linen when he was in Thailand a week before! Fantastic! 


I hired Michelle from The Bridal Lab for makeup. She came super early and did four faces in toTal. She treated my daughter to a little pamper too which was lovely. Hair was done by Laura Thompson Mobile Hair. She also did four heads and then curled my daughter’s hair.


We got an Uber to the venue, just because it was so close by, and I can’t say I’m a car enthusiast so we decided not to get a fancy car!


We hired the lovely Marc Gartland for our photography. I saw a link to his page from the florist we’d chosen. As soon as I saw the tagline ‘no cheesy setups’ I was invested! He’s exactly what we never knew existed! I did a bit of research on documentary style photographers and it was all so perfect. I got in touch with Marc and luckily he had that date free! It was meant to be. We are so happy with the photos, they really capture our day and our styles, so organic and natural. All of the guests were super familiar with Marc by the end of the day, he was everywhere! Everyone commented on what a good bloke he is. Really brilliant photographer, highly recommended!


Our flowers, buttonholes and table centres were provided by Mary Mary Florals in Liverpool. We asked for whimsical, juicy, bright and lively. They delivered! The flowers were so vibrant and brilliant, huge bursts of madness and beauty. All the guests were blown away. Mary Mary did all the leg work and dropped off flowers at different destinations and then dressed the Palm House. The flowers were really special to me, my family are big on botanics so I wanted them to all be agog and they were!! So, so wonderful. 


We didn’t have any favours as such, but our name places were made from seed paper, so I’m hopeful at least one of our guests took it with them and planted it! The idea was they’d grow the flowers and be reminded of our day.


Our cake was made by Elizabeth Harris. She came highly recommended on the Liverpool vendor scene. I had a distinct vision of the cake I wanted. Elizabeth specialises in beautiful handcrafted sugar flowers. I knew she would be perfect for the cake, and she really came through and produced exactly what we had envisioned, using rice paper spheres. She communicated the whole way through and sent ideas and sketches. It really was perfect – and most importantly delicious!


We went with Dine, who work directly with The Palm House. They offer an excellent menu which is hugely diverse. We narrowed down our options, had a tasting and changed a few aspects to suit us and our guests. We were guided by the lovely Jen at Dine, who was on hand for all last minute alterations, table plans, and general queries. Fantastic customer service.

We had canapés and a three course meal and then pizzas by the slice handed out on the dance floor! Just perfect. We had an open bar too. It’s quite traditional in Australia (Dan’s home country) to do this at weddings. We wanted to have it to ease the cost of a wedding for our guests, especially the ones who’d travelled across the world to join us.


We had a fantastic duo called Dressed By Isaac who created a playlist for arrival drinks, aisle walk and signing of the register. They play the guitar and drum on their speakers. They sang ‘Latch’ for us as I walked down the aisle and it was just superb. As we signed the register, they played an acoustic version of Teenage Dirtbag we’d requested. Nothing was too much for them. Super friendly guys and exceptional talent.

At night we had Peppered Soul. They were provided by a company called Wedding Jam who provide music. The band was fantastic, you just can’t mimic the sound of a live band and brilliant singer. They kept the energy up and we were dancing all night! 

Special touches

My brother ordered a surprise firework display for our wedding, which we had just before we cut the cake. It was a special moment where we all gathered outside and watched and had a moment to reflect. It was a good break and they were fabulous. I don’t have the details because it was a surprise but I do know they are a professional firework vendor that works with the Palm House.

Our service was a civil ceremony with a celebrant from Liverpool. Funnily enough, Dan is from Australia and played club rugby for Randwick in Sydney. On our wedding day we met our celebrant who was an expat from Randwick! Such a small world!

Thanks to

In terms of vendors, special mentions have to go to Marc for his photography. We felt like he just got us. He understood our goal and we respected his craft and style. He was constantly in touch and we still are! Documentary style photos are like a videographer and photographer in one because as you look through the pics, the day evolves. It’s storytelling at its finest. 

Elizabeth Harris was a consummate professional, mega talented and super calm. Nothing seemed too much. I can see why most suppliers know her and always have great things to say about her. The cake was something I had my heart set on, and she delivered in spades.

We would also absolutely recommend The Palm House. It’s a space like no other. Individual and different but still quite traditional in a funny way! 

We also used a company called Opix Lighting. The Palm House looked fantastic lit up at night. We had pink and blue up lights and festoon lights all round. It looked wicked once it got darker. When Dan and I snuck out and walked across Sefton park, we looked back at The Palm House all lit up and it looked epic. We couldn’t believe that was our wedding!


We went to Mykonos on our honeymoon, and stayed in a beautiful little boutique hotel. The weather was perfect. We rented quad bikes and explored the island for five days. We ate all the seafood and marvelled at the tiny streets lined with bougainvillaea adorned white houses. We did the instagrammable Mykonos beach bars and had a wild time dancing on tables and running into the sea. We went for a meal at a traditional restaurant and after dessert, the waiters came out and set a ring of fire on the floor, followed by a mad night of plate flinging and dancing in huge lines and shouting ‘opa’! 

Best Bit

My favourite part of the day was after the ceremony, sitting with guests and thinking how all our favourite people were together. My second favourite moment was a tiny accident at the bottom of the aisle which had all our guests in tears – of laughter! 

Dan says his favourite part was seeing our daughter come down the aisle, followed by me! 


In terms of advice, I’d say to really, really be in the moment. I found myself putting on a bit of a front but really I should’ve just cried my eyes out, or done the big ugly laugh. 

I’d also set a bit of time aside, just before the cars show up, so you get that final hour or half hour with nearest and dearest. It’s all about the joy and pure love. Be with people who have seen every version of you and celebrated each and every one. Try not to worry about the teeny tiny details, in the end, they’re not what matters, or what anyone will remember! 

I absolutely did scour Loved Up North during the planning process too! I used a lot of the resources, checklists and saw what other brides were wearing. Knowledge is power and when you start to plan a wedding, it’s a bit of a minefield. Most people haven’t ever done it before and it can be overwhelming in the early stages!

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