A Romantic Proposal in Paris

A few weeks ago we featured this proposal shoot in Tintern Abbey and I loved it so much that I followed it up the week after with this post talking about why I love proposal and pre-wedding shoots. We also put a plea up on our Facebook page for brides with proposal photographs to get in touch. Reader Jess answered this plea and this week she is here telling us all about her romantic proposal in Paris with surprise photos by Lindsey of Pictours Paris, take it away Jess.


Phil and I went to secondary school together and were part of the same friendship group all the way through. We were the only two from the group to end up in Swansea University and I think the fact he was a familiar face and the fact all my housemates quite fancied him meant that we began spending more time together and eventually he asked me out on a date. The date was a bit of a disaster, we were both very awkward! Doors, escalators and ticket machines tried to scupper us, but at the end of the night when he nearly missed his bus because he ran back to give me a good night kiss I knew he was pretty special. We have been together for more than five years now, all through uni and graduating, getting our first jobs and finally moved in together last year. 


On our fifth anniversary of being together Phil surprised me with a trip to Paris, he is usually pretty useless at keeping secrets so when I accidentally found out about the trip a few weeks early I thought I had it all figured out. On Wednesday 8th of April, he told me he was taking me out for a special meal near the Pont des Arts and thought we could stop by there to place our padlock on the bridge. So we dressed up nicely and headed out, we picked the perfect place for our padlock to stay forever and I attached it, feeling all romantic and lovely!


Then I turned back to Phil and he was down on one knee saying something about being happy and being in love and spending our lives together (his exact wording has been completely lost on both of us since!) he then produced my gorgeous 1950s vintage diamond ring.

1 5Apparently I didn’t say yes I just grabbed it and cried and squealed and he had to ask if that was meant to be a yes! We were cuddling and I was all in a bit of a blur with the whole thing when out of the corner of my eye I spotted someone taking photos of us. Phil told me to ignore it but she started coming closer and congratulating us, she told me she had been asked by Phil weeks ago to capture the whole thing and wondered if I would be happy to have a few more photos taken, after Phil confirmed this was all really happening we set off to have some beautiful photos taken near the Louvre and catching the golden hour light. 
My lovely Phil who I didn’t think was capable of keeping secrets managed to organise the whole thing, searching for an English speaking photographer in Paris, sending her a photo of us so she knew who to look for, emailing and texting her all day to catch the right time for the photos. Secretly buying the ring I had fallen in love with weeks before and cheekily showed him and meeting my dad in Sainsbury’s cafe to ask his permission. 

We both told our families that night (although my dad couldn’t keep a secret like Phil so most of them already knew!) but kept the news to ourselves for a little while so we could tell as many people in person as possible. We left Paris the next day and Phil received an email from the lovely Lindsey from Pictours Paris with a link to all our photos, so as soon as we got home and had a decent internet connection again, we had a nose through them and relived it all again tears included! 

We have spent a little time enjoying being engaged, showing off our photos and sharing our lovely story since then and finally started planning this month. So far we have booked our venue the lovely Ty Mawr in Lisvane for August 2015, next on the list to find is a photographer that can ensure our wedding day photos live up to the incredible engagement photos! 

3Thank you so much for sharing your story with us Jess, I absolutely love your photos and can’t wait to drag Mark to the Pont des Arts to hang up a love lock now! I am still dying to see more proposal shoots – these are my new favourite thing. If you have one, or if you have a proposal story with a pre-wedding shoot to boot then contact me at charlie@cwtchthebride.com



Cwtch of the Week: Christina & Her Dad

On Friday we featured the beautiful wedding of Christina & Jonathan, if you missed it then where were you?! The first time I saw this photo of Christina and her Dad, who was diagnosed with cancer early on in the wedding planning, I am not ashamed to say I welled up. It is a gorgeous cwtch and was photographed by the amazing O&C Photography.

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If you missed the rest of the wedding check it out here. And if you have a photograph you would like to submit for Cwtch of the week please send it to me on charlie@cwtchthebride.com :)

Charlie x

Real Wedding: Christina & Jonathan’s Pembrokeshire Wedding by O&C Photography

Happy Friday Cwtchers, I have a gorgeous real wedding for you today brought to us by bride Christina and photographed by O&C Photography. When I first read Christina’s email it brought a tear (well, more than one!) to my eye, here is Christina with her story and how they came to plan it all in just 5 months!

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Jonathan and I got engaged on October 27th, 2012.  About a month later, we decided that we would get married on 23rd of May 2015, giving us plenty of time to save and plan our day.  But at the beginning of this year, my Dad fell poorly with cancer and he wasn’t given a very good prognosis, so on the 6th of February this year, we officially changed the date to July 5th THIS YEAR! That very morning I contacted Sally from White Bride in Narberth and she fitted us in for an appointment that afternoon!  We all lived and breathed the wedding for the 5 months leading up to it and it was a welcome distraction from the hell of the reality we have all had to face. Dad spent the 5 months, between rounds of chemotherapy, occupying himself with finishing the renovation of his lorry, as he was determined that at any cost he would be taking me to church in his pride and joy! It was a great project aside from the wedding, which we all got involved with in the end to get it ready to Dad’s pristine standard.

Everything that happened in the planning, even down to choosing my dress, was all by chance; everything was just meant to be.
It was literally the most perfect day. We put so much thought and effort into every tiny detail of the day, to make sure it reflected our personalities and I think we managed to achieve that!!
To top it all off, Dad has responded really well to his treatment and is doing well.
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We asked Christina some questions about the big day:

What was your budget? (If you feel comfortable sharing this) We started out with a rough budget in mind.  However, once we changed the date of the wedding, as it wasn’t far away we had to just go with what was available, and everything we chose was perfect, but we had to spend a little more in certain areas than we had hoped.  As long as we could afford the things that we wanted, we went ahead with them as we didn’t want to have any regrets.

How would you describe your wedding theme? I think ‘Rustic Country Garden’ is probably the best way to describe it.  We had lots of hessian, bunting, rustic buckets, lanterns, logs and loads of gorgeous flowers!  We also had a backdrop with a fireplace behind the top table which just finished off the room.  We then found a perfect wicker heart which fitted beautifully above the fireplace to complete the backdrop.  We hired chairs for the day too, as the chairs in the venue didn’t really help to create what we had in mind. They made a huge difference to the whole feel of the room.

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What was your favourite part of your wedding? I know everyone probably says the same thing – but every second of it! Obviously the most important part of the day for us was where we got to say our vows and the moment we became Mr & Mrs.

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One of the best bits for me was going to the church with Dad in his lorry and getting to walk down the aisle with him. It was great for us all that he was feeling so well on the day, which meant he could enjoy it as much as we would.  We were blessed that we got to share our day with him.

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The whole day was everything we imagined and so much more, if I could relive the day I would make more of an effort to take everything in, as there are parts of the day that are a bit of a blur as there was so much going on! We were the last to leave our reception, I had tears in my eyes that the day was all over, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way! 

Tell us about your Wedding Dress It was pure chance that I ended up with my dress.  We visited White Bride for a second time and there was a dress hanging on the end of the rail which we hadn’t seen before.  Sally had got it in for somebody else to try.  It had arrived a few hours before we got in the shop and was being sent back 3 days later.  I tried it on and it was just meant to be! We left the shop that day having ordered my dress – Sassi Holford’s Ruby! Everything about it was just beautiful and perfect for me.

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Sally was amazing and was so accommodating, going into White Bride was like a haven where I was the most important thing and nothing else mattered.  She even came to our house to dress me on the morning of the wedding, as mum was struggling to do up the dainty buttons. She was great from start to finish.

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Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why? It was an easy choice for us both as we have both always been so close to our friends.  Jon chose two of his oldest friends to be joint best men, as he couldn’t choose between them.  They did a fantastic job on the day, making sure that everything ran smoothly.  I had my sister, Jon’s sister, my younger cousin and two old friends as bridesmaids, as well as two of my best boy friends, who were my bridesmen.  Having grown up with them being such a big part of my life, I was determined that they were going to be a big part of our day.  They were a great support throughout the whole planning process and on the day. Jon’s niece was our flower girl and my cousin’s little boy was page boy. They did a perfect job of looking cute and were so well behaved all day.

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Why did you choose your venue? The venue we chose, Wolfscastle Country Hotel in Haverfordwest, was due to have a big revamp, adding an extension consisting of a garden room, whilst modernising their current function room.  The food there has always been notoriously good too and they have an excellent reputation.  We went to meet with them to discuss what we wanted for the day and that was it, we booked it there and then.  Their good reputation meant we didn’t have to worry about the running of things once we got to the reception venue.  The completed extension was also an amazing addition to the place, making it light, airy and spacious, perfect! I have to say the food, their service before and on the day was second to none.  We couldn’t fault it.

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How did the proposal happen? When we first started dating, Jon quite often would take me to different beaches around the Gower.  One day we went to Rhossili Bay and this was where we had our first kiss.  Little did I know at this point that this would be the place where he would propose to me 5 and a half years later! We decided to go off to Rhossili for the day one day.  When we got to the car park there was a charge to park, at this point Jon realised that neither of us had enough money on us to pay for it! I suggested that we go to another beach, taking money out on the way.  Jon was determined to scrape the money together – only afterwards I realised why!  So he counted the money out using 5ps and coppers.  Panic averted, we went down to the beach and after walking across we sat on this giant rock.  Jon was acting very strange and all of a sudden got down on one knee..at this point I didn’t know whether he was joking or not, but then I saw the ring box! Needless to say I immediately said yes! It was perfect, a truly sentimental place which will always hold a special place in our heart.

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Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share? I really wanted bunting, but I couldn’t find any in the colours that I liked.  I am really lucky to work with some really talented people, so when I expressed my frustration at not being able to find any suitable bunting, one of my friends suggested I make it and said she would help.  So, I found fabrics that were just right (although they cost a fortune!) and we spent four or five full days making 95m of bunting, with the help of two other work friends on two of the days.  We had our own little production line going. I now understand why bunting is so expensive to buy!

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To decorate the church windows we spent five months looking for quirky ornaments/decorations to put together so that each window had its’ own display.  Every time I saw something which I thought would look good, I got it and put it to one side.  Then one day we went down to the church and created a display for each window, even if I do say so myself, I think they all looked great!

I loved being able to get creative!

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What was your first dance & why? This was the most difficult decision of everything in the whole wedding! We had loads of songs which brought back lovely memories of when we first got together and lots of songs which held special memories for us both, but when we were choosing we couldn’t really find one where the words said what we wanted them to say.  We had to make a playlist for the videographers to include in our wedding video.  So we decided that it would be one of those songs. After much deliberation we eventually chose Ed Sheeran – Kiss Me, it says just enough, but is not overbearingly cheesy.

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In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently? One of Jon’s ushers, Liam, was unable to make the day, as we had changed the date with only five months notice, he wasn’t able to get the time off work at the last minute. If we could change anything, it would be that he could have made it.  But he sent a photo of himself at work, with a note for us both, which one of the best men read out to us all.  He made it in so many photographs thanks to the picture he sent!

Other than that, there isn’t a single thing I would change.  The day was absolutely perfect.

Do you have any advice for future couples? Be organised – I never thought we would plan a wedding in five months, but we did! Get a Pinterest board going, it was my go-to place for inspiration or whenever we needed to make a decision about something.

Keep track of what you spend or it could easily spiral out of control.

Pick your photographer wisely. Owen and Charis were great. They helped to make sure that everything ran smoothly, and most of the time you didn’t even notice they were there. To top it off, they are two of the most lovely people. The pictures they took captured every little detail. They are just beautiful. As there are two of them, you get lots more pictures!

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Within reason, make sure you do what you want to do for your big day, don’t try and please other people.  It is your day so do what you want.  You will never please everyone!

Enjoy every second because it flies, everyone says that before you get married, but when the day comes, it goes so much quicker than you would ever imagine!

If anything goes wrong on your day, don’t let it spoil the best day of your life! Everything that happens, happens for a reason! We had organised a camper van to take the bridesmaids to the church, and a beetle to take Jon and I from the church to the reception venue.  Ten minutes before we were due to leave, someone mentioned that the camper hadn’t turned up yet.  The morning was so hectic that it hadn’t even crossed my mind.  I got a bad feeling, so rang the company (we had booked, paid for and received confirmation of the transport for the day).  They told me that they didn’t have a booking in our area for that day.  My heart stopped and I could feel my eyes filling up with tears – for all the wrong reasons! They realised they had misplaced our booking when transferring information from one diary to another.  I was furious at this point. My uncle was great at calming me down and helped me realise that there was nothing that we could do about it.  I was determined that these people were not going to ruin my day.  We sorted transport for the bridesmaids and mum to get to the church and off we went, albeit a bit late!  I went to church in my Dad’s renovated lorry, and this then meant that Jon and I would go from church to the reception in it too – it made Dad’s day! We had some lovely pictures with it later in the day and it was a huge talking point.  As much as we would have loved to have the transport we had chosen, it filled me with pride to be able to take our first journey as husband and wife in Dad’s lorry, which he had worked so hard to complete in time for the wedding, despite his ill health.  

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What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received? Never go to sleep on an argument!

What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding? Under the circumstances, when we started to plan and arrange things it was done with a heavy heart, as we were still absorbing the bad news that we hadn’t long received. But as time went on and dad began responding to treatment, it became more exciting and enjoyable.

We loved being able to create something that reflected us. I loved getting the chance to be creative. Making the bunting was great! Putting all of the little ideas we had together to make this one big thing was quite special. I was overwhelmed at how well everything came together on the day. I couldn’t believe that we had created it all!

The best thing of all was getting to plan it all together, with our friends and family involved from start to finish.  It was an honour to chip in and help Dad complete the lorry in time too, even if it was just hanging the curtains and a bit of polishing.

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The Suppliers

Photographer: o&c Photography

Videographer: Eight Wood Studios
Ceremony Venue: St Peter’s Church, Lampeter Velfrey, Pembrokeshire
Reception Venue: Wolfscastle Country Hotel
Bride’s Dress: Ruby by Sassi Holford, from White Bride, Narberth
Bride’s Shoes: Mimosa by Rachel Simpson, from White Bride, Narberth
Bride’s Headpiece: Rachel Willet from White Bride, Narberth
Bride’s Jewellery: White Bride, Narberth.  Wedding rings from Audrey Bull, Narberth
Groom’s Outfit: Dress for the Occassions, Haverfordwest
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: TwoBirds from White Bride, Narberth
Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Jon Richard hair clips
Cake: T’isie Teisen
Flowers: Elements Wedding Floristry
Hair: Chris’s Hairstylists
Make Up: Delwedd Beauty Salon
DJ: Steve Briers
Stationery: Sarah Wants
Any Reception Decor/Props: Make it Pretty
Transport: Dad’s Lorry
Other: We hired the chairs for the reception venue from Dingle Marquee Hire 

The Wedding Gallery

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Thank you so much Christina, I am so glad we got to share this with our readers… I am sure everyone reading is pleased to hear that your dad is doing well. Wishing him the best of luck and we hope you all have many happy years together! 
If you loved this wedding please show it some love in the comments box below :)

Charlie x


Winter Weddings: How to Keep Warm

Homemade Bride Kate is back again today with inspiration for keeping you and your bridesmaids warm during a winter wedding. The way this summer has deteriorated we may need these sooner than we thought!

Hello Cwtches!

As you all know I’m having a winter wedding. The thing is there are a few challenges that are unique to us cold weather brides. Keeping yourself and your bridesmaids warm. Red noses or blue hands are not a good look so picking your accessories is essential. 

I have really been struggling to find a stylish yet equally cosy solution. The other thing you have to think about is whether your bridesmaids will be willing to wear it. I hope I have come up with some ideas that might fit the brief for something a little different! 


I love the idea that all the girls wear the same coat. They definitely won’t be cold with these.

Image Source


They will be thankful that they brought them if there has been a lot of rain or perhaps even snow. 

Pashminas and scarves

These are reasonably cheap and lightweight. Perfect for an autumn wedding.


With my wedding dress being the exception I never buy anything that I can only use once. How good would it make you feel seeing your bridesmaids using them again. On the other hand just steal the men’s jackets! 


These are my favourite! This is where I’m against my other half and my bridesmaids. I love the idea and they don’t. 



For you vintage inspired brides. 

Feather Bolero

Anyone for a little bit of drama. It can be so soft and also striking. Think Great Gatsby. 

Socks and tights

This is another quirky favourite for me.


Weather you decide to go for a faux fur cape or a vintage stole they have that feel of old school Hollywood glamour. 

Mittens and Muffs

These are perfect for stopping your bridesmaids’ fingers from turning blue. The only thing is: how do they hold their flowers when they have their hands in the muff?!

Thank you Kate! Where are all the winter brides? Come and say hi! How have you managed the pitfalls of marrying in wintertime? Drop us a comment below.

DIY Tutorial: Naked Wedding Cake!

We absolutely love cake here at Cwtch the Bride, well who doesn’t?! This week our home-made bride Kate is sharing with us her super money saving DIY naked cake! All images are by Maria Farrelly.


This has been my most exciting money saving tip to share with all of you. This cake cost me less than £15! Not only does it help with your wedding but it will definitely impress your friends at a party! The thing I like the most is it so super easy! You don’t even have to bake your own cakes. Obviously it will be better if you do but if time is not on your side or you are the worst baker in the world no one would ever know. 

You will need:

  • Victoria Sponge Cake. I bought two different sizes but you can definitely buy or make three if you want to.
  • Fruit to decorate
  • Icing sugar
  • Gypsophila (used for decorative purposes only and not to be eaten)
  • Cake stand
  • Scissors
  • Wooden kebab skewers (not to be eaten!)
  • Sieve

Step 1 Open the packets or bake your own delicious cake and no matter how tempted you are DO NOT eat the cake straight away! 
DIY_Naked_wedding_cake002 DIY_Naked_wedding_cake003 DIY_Naked_wedding_cake004Step 2 Place them on your cake stand with the biggest on the bottom and the smaller one on the top. 
DIY_Naked_wedding_cake005Step 3 Measure the skewers and cut them just shorter than the top of the cake. I used four but you can use more. Also the bigger the cake, the more I would use. 
DIY_Naked_wedding_cake006Step 4 Push them into the bigger cake and push the smaller cake on top
DIY_Naked_wedding_cake007 DIY_Naked_wedding_cake008Step 5 Using the fruit start decorating the cake. Be careful not to move it as like me you might need to start again. 

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DIY_Naked_wedding_cake018 DIY_Naked_wedding_cake019 DIY_Naked_wedding_cake020DIY_Naked_wedding_cake022 DIY_Naked_wedding_cake023Step 7 Put a little bit of icing sugar in the sieve and dust it over the whole cake. 

DIY_Naked_wedding_cake024 DIY_Naked_wedding_cake025See there you have it. I am pretty proud of how easy it was. Definitely a show stopper and a cheaper alternative if you are on a really tight budget!

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Thanks Kate! Do any of you budget savvy brides have any amazing money saving tips for our readers? Please drop us a line in the comments box below :)