Cwtch Approved Vendor: YUME Hair

Today we reveal yet another amazing wedding company that is taking part in next weeks styled shoot with us. The fabulous Yume

Yume LgAD

We big fans of this lovely Cardiff based Salon. We caught up with the lovely Giovanna (one of the Salon’s owners) and asked her a few questions. All images supplied by Yume.

Hi Giovanna, we’re so excited to have you on Cwtch the Bride today; can you tell our readers a bit about yourself? :)

Hi, I am very excited to be on Cwtch the bride too! I am a very busy mum of two as well as a business woman stylist. I feel lucky to have achieved many of my personal goals within my hairdressing career, these include Salon Management, Fashion shows, Teaching Hairdressing up to NVQ Level 3, and the most enjoyable – Bridal hair and beauty.


I am now in the process of combining all of these skills into the teaching, directing and management side of the constantly growing, Hair Health and Beauty Business – Yume, a vision of a concept that makes people look and feel their best – all under one roof.

I thrive on making a difference to the way people look and feel, and enjoy a lengthy consultation where I can advice the very best to maintain healthy and beautiful looking hair.

I feel proud of my team especially the Wedding hair and make up team, they have a very important job…..and they have excelled year after year and are now doing more weddings than me!!


How and when did you start Yume?

Yume was a dream that was waiting to happen. Jacqui and myself met at the beginning of  our hairdressing career and after 19 years and a multitude of hairdressing ventures together and apart, we created Yume in August 2006.


What’s the best bit about being a part of the wedding industry?

It’s exciting, and even though extremely important it’s very pretty, fluffy, playful and girlie! Its wonderful to be an important part of someone’s very special day!


Have you had any hairy moments?

Well there was this one time that literally the second the bride and her large bridal party walked though the doors of the salon on her wedding day….All the lights went out!…the music stopped! computers went down! Hairdryers went silent!….. the whole salon was in silence and darkness! A moment of not knowing whether to laugh or cry was very quickly taken over with a fantastic Yume team that….did the following…Mel investigated the electricity box, Mary calmed the bride, I phoned a friend! (an electrician) Jac called a friend too (a salon owner to ask if we could lend his salon!!…meanwhile I asked Charlie to call the wedding Venue (The Cardiff Museum) to see if we could use one of their rooms complete with electricity!! However whilst we were all running around calmly of course!….as if by magic one by one the lights, music, hairdryers, computers and of course smiles!….all came  back on!! No time lost just a good story to tell!!


Do you have any quirky wedding related stories to share?

Not too sure on this one…I guess its a matter of opinion on whats people regard as normal, or not!?

I remember one bride that had the most amazing kurt Geiger shoes sat looking beautifully ready to put on near her dress. Then I looked a little further and saw Crocs!!! yes Crocs!!! White ones with letters attached to them saying ‘the bride’ or ‘just married’ can’t quite remember, Im still trying to get over the Crocs!! If you are out there reading this (I hope not) then I know they were for the wedding night to be comfy for all the dancing  – and yes I do agree comfort is important!

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Have you noticed any emerging trends wedding hair and beauty for 2014/15?

Yes I have, there seems to be a lot of casual, soft up do’s. Messy but tidy – if you know what I mean….with maybe a braid thrown in there too! So not too fussy, not too much structure. Also seeing a lot of the Vintage look, and we love this look!!!

Do you have any advice for brides and of course the bridesmaids etc…when choosing hair and beauty styles for the big day?

Yes, look at as many pics as possible, magazines and of course on-line…..bring them in to us, or better still send them to us so we can be one step ahead with our thinking even before you come in. A trial run is an absolute must!! We love to get to know you and your wedding plan/party/style as much as possible to get the look absolutely perfect for you and your wedding needs. And of course the more you know your stylist the more confidence you will have with us and the more relaxed you will be on the day.

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Thanks Giovanna! We can’t wait to work with you next week on our styled shoot! And to all our readers, If you are thinking of hiring a hair stylist for your big day, why not give Yume a call, they are super lovely ladies that come highly recommended by us! 


The Wedding Cake: Heavenly Exquisite Desserts

Warning… this post is all about CAKE. After reading, you may well feel the urge to eat some, I apologize.

If you are trying to avoid this sweet delight, I again apologize. But come on… its wedding cake and everyone loves cake right?

In my career as a wedding photographer I’ve seen (and tasted) many wedding cakes over the years.  When offered wedding cake, it’s considered rude to refuse. Well, that’s what I’ve always been told. Did someone say cake?

The Traditional Wedding Cake

Heres a quick history lesson in Wedding Cakes…

Back in Ancient Rome, there was no cake. Bread was traditionally broken over a brides head instead. This was a tradition that was regarded as bringing good fortune to the newly married couple.

By Medival times, A wedding cake consisted of lots of small cakes all stacked as high as possible. The idea was that the Bride & Groom had to try and kiss over the top without the cake falling over. In all honesty, I LOVE this tradition! sounds great fun!

But as legend has it, in the 1600′s, A french Chef witnessed this tradition while visiting London and was appalled (can’t think why!). He decided to create a more pleasing cake for a wedding. His creation involved piling lots of sweet rolls on top of each other forming a tower.  Many know this as the first Croquembouche.

But this next bit of history is my favourite. Apparently, In 1703 a bakers apprentice called Thomas Rich, fell in love with his boss’s daughter and asked her to marry him. Eager to impress, he wanted to make an extravagant wedding cake. His inspiration came from St. Brides Church on Fleet Street in London. Sadly I can’t find any records/drawings of this cake but I like to think it was HUGE!

Brides PieImage Source

By the 19th Century, The wedding cake was referred to as “bride’s pie” and everyone was expected to try some. Those that didn’t were considered very rude! As time passed and sugar became more widely available, the pie was replaced by plum/fruit cake.  Sugar was still regarded as very expensive therefore only wealthy families could afford to have a wedding cake frosted.

Queen Victoria's wedding cake

It wasn’t until Queen Victoria’s wedding when her cake was covered in icing that the term ‘royal icing’ was created. Like most royal weddings, this then started a trend for iced wedding cakes. After all, If its good enough for the queen, its good enough for a bride!

The tradition behind the tiered wedding cake was more for the show of wealth rather than a loving reason. More cake, more money. The top tier was usually kept to celebrate a couples first wedding anniversary but as most couples usually had their first child within the first year of marriage, the top tie was soon referred to as a keepsake christening cake.

The Modern Day Wedding Cake

Wedding Cakes now come in all shapes, sizes and more importantly, flavours! Gone are the days of having the traditional 3 tiered wedding cake laced with rich fruit, marzipan and icing.

Today’s creations can pretty much consist of any flavour. From lemon, amaretto, Strawberry to the ever popular chocolate.

You don’t even have to have cake. I’ve photographed weddings where couple’s have opted for cupcakes, a three tied Cheese feast. I’ve also seen three tiers of Corned beef pie rather than cake. And there are couples that have chosen not to have anything at all.

I love that couples now are finally waking up to the idea that you really can have what you want for your wedding. Following tradition is great IF that’s what YOU BOTH want to do.

If you are choosing to have a wedding cake, The question really is, Do you opt for your favourite flavour or choose one that you hope all you’re guests will like?

Naked Wedding Cake

My favourite type of wedding cake is A Naked Wedding cake. Here’s an image I took of Sarah & Ben’s wedding cake last year. I LOVED it!


It was made by the lovely Heavenly exquisite deserts, Llandeilo.

Which brings me nicely onto the cake delights of Heavenly Exquisite Deserts. If you LOVE cake & chocolate you will love this company. Tracey and her team are based in llandielo and make quite possible some of the best wedding cakes in Wales (trust me…I’ve photographed (and tasted) hundreds of wedding cakes over the years (gosh, I’ve not eaten the WHOLE cake obviously!! just a slither..honest!) and as the name of the company suggests, Heavenly exquisite desserts really do live up to its name.

I’m thrilled to have heavenly involved in our epic styled shoot next week. I can’t wait to see what delights I’ll be photographing!

In the meantime, If you are yet to order your wedding cake and undecided on what to have, take a look at some more of Heavenly’s Wedding cake’s.

The only downside to this blog post is that there is no way of tasting them. Shame I can’t download at least a ‘scratch n sniff’ plug-in for this site either…Imagine how cool that would be!

However, feast your eyes on these:

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Kayleigh & Tim’s Wedding Film by Aurora.

Today I’m sharing with you a beautiful wedding filmed by Aurora Wedding Films.

Kayleigh Burt & Tim Jenkins from the Rhonnda tied the knot on the 18th May this year at the beautiful Oldwalls, Gower.

Kayleigh and Tim from Aurora Wedding Films on Vimeo.

I think you’ll agree, this wedding looks incredible! And is captured brilliantly by Richard from Aurora.

We’re also pleased to announce that Aurora Wedding Films will be on set with us next week documenting our epic styled shoot, HURRAY!

I’ve worked alongside Richard on many weddings and I personally love his style of work.

This week I’ll be revealing more of the talented wedding professionals that are involved in this upcoming styled shoot. I’m so excited, I’m starting to get butterflies!





Cwtch of the Week: Sue & Martin

If you missed Friday’s Real Wedding Feature, you can see it here. Sue & Martin tied the knot a few months ago at The Grove in Narberth. The wedding was photographed by me, Maria Farrelly and consisted of just 5 guests, their children.

For this weeks Cwtch of the Week I have chosen this lovely sequence of images from that wedding. It was a ‘FIRST LOOK’ moment.

For those that don’t know what a ‘First Look’ moment is, its when a Bride & Groom see each other BEFORE the ceremony. Not many couples choose this option in the UK but in the U.S.A its quite popular.

Grove_pembrokeshire_wedding016Grove_pembrokeshire_wedding023 Grove_pembrokeshire_wedding024Grove_pembrokeshire_wedding025Grove_pembrokeshire_wedding026For Sue & Martin, this ‘First Look’ was not planned.

Martin arrived first in his beloved sports car with his Son. Sue arrived not long after in a people carrier with the other children. When they all got out the car, everyone was greeting each other and I guess in all the excitement, it kind of just ‘happened’.

What made this moment so beautiful for me was seeing how emotional Martin became. Sue was so relaxed and looked sensational as she stepped out the car. Instantly, Matin was overwhelmed and walked straight upto her to cwtch. You just don’t get this kind of moment when walking up the aisle. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE seeing a grooms reaction when his bride walks down the aisle, its one of my favourite parts of a wedding day. However, they don’t have that time together to enjoy that moment, take it all in and cwtch before the ceremony begins. A First Look gives you that.

This wedding taught me lots of things. The two main ones being that:

1. Love can appear in any shape, form or at any moment in your life. In Sue’s case, it was when the carpenter arrived at her home to do some work and has subsequently never left!

2. You CAN have the most perfect wedding without having to invite everyone. The saying ‘good things come in small packages’ was very true for this relaxed and intimate wedding.

Congratulations again Sue & Martin and thank you for choosing me to photograph your beautiful wedding.

Maria x


Real Wedding: Sue & Martin’s Pembrokeshire Wedding by Maria Farrelly

We have a very special wedding to share with you today. It was a very small intimate wedding that took place at The Grove in Narberth, Pembrokeshire. For Sue and Martin Brown, this was second time around for them both. Martin was divorced and Sue was widowed four years ago. They actually met when Martin, who is a Carpenter, came to do some work in Sue’s house! They always joke about Sue’s daughter Polly who said Martin is the carpenter who came and never left!

This was a wedding I was so pleased to have photographed myself and its an absolute pleasure to share this with you today. Not every wedding needs to be big nor does it have to have all the frills. Sometimes simply surrounding yourself with those few special people in your life and spending the afternoon together in a beautiful location can be just right.  Personally, I find small intimate weddings to be so special and quite emotional too! 


On another note, Our bride, Sue is an avid reader of Cwtch the Bride and when i asked her if it was ok for me to feature their wedding she wrote me the most touching and wonderful response, “So glad you asked, when I see all the beautiful weddings you feature I never thought you might think of including ours! it’s a lovely compliment and I feel very proud to be included”. Sue… I LOVED every bit of your wedding and I’m sure our readers will too! Huge congratulations to you and Martin and may you have a VERY happy marriage!  Love Maria 

I’ll hand you over to Sue now with all the details of her big day, Enjoy x 

All Images by Maria Farrelly Photography 

Budget - Our budget was around £5,000. It was a tiny wedding  - just us and our five adult children.
Wedding theme - We didn’t really have a theme and I’m too chaotic to be too matchy! We went for fun, vintage and informal and we got lots of ideas from Pinterest including the boys’ bow ties and mad socks. We opted for an afternoon tea rather than a formal meal which worked well for us and just chose pastel colours without anything specific.
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Wedding dress - Choosing a dress seemed impossible – I’m an older bride and all the dresses I looked at seemed to be for younger (and thinner!) brides. I knew Rachel, owner with her partner David of Swesky, a lovely bridal boutique near Porthcawl which really is a one stop shop for all things wedding. Rachel patiently helped me try on loads of dresses and I was able to choose one which was nearly right – some adjustments to the dress and the addition of a silk bolero and shoes in pale green completed the outfit. Jan Lewis of Pencoed who usually makes fabulous hats, made me a Swarovski crystal headpiece with a sequinned birdcage veil. I tried to achieve a 50′s style which I think does suit a bride a little past her prime!
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Favourite part of wedding - Hard to choose – the sun shone and we laughed all day. The highlights were the beautiful poem that my daughter Polly wrote and read out during the ceremony and the sight of Josie and Laura sprawled across the grass in an attempt to catch my bouquet!
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Best man and bridesmaids - Martin’s son Will was his best man, possibly the most handsome best man ever! Our three girls were honourary bridesmaids although they chose their own outfits; we wanted them to be comfortable and happy.
Proposal - We always knew we wanted to marry each other from the time we met, I must admit I can’t actually remember the proposal but seem to remember there were a few!
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First dance - no dancing but we did put together a playlist of our favourite songs for the ceremony and afterwards, we chose At Last by Etta James to walk in which we did together, it just felt right.
What we would have done diferently - not a thing – well maybe a dress with straps!
Advice for future couples - have the best venue you can afford; it will look beautiful and then you won’t need a lot of extra frippery such as chair covers, table decorations etc. Have the best photographer you can afford; the day will whizz by and your lovely photos will last you a lifetime and provide all your memories.
Favourite thing about planning - I found Pinterest really good for ideas and loved looking at other peoples weddings. Apart from that seeing the outfits the children came up with was great.

Suppliers List

Photographer - Maria Farrelly
Ceremony and Reception venue - The Grove, Narberth
Brides Dress, Shoes, Jewellery and Transport - Swesky
Cake - Lesley Brown, Groom’s sister
Brides headpiece - Jan Lewis

 The Wedding Album

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