Brace yourself! We have a fantastic wedding photography offer for you all this October!
Maria Farrelly is one of Wales’ leading wedding photographers. She is also the creator of this damn fine blog, Cwtch The Bride.
Every year, Maria takes on a limited number of weddings. They vary in size, style, location and budget. One common thread however is that each and every client adores her work.
What draws so many to Maria’s work is her ability to really capture the essence of a person and those special moments found in a smile, touch or kiss. Coupled with her friendly and easy going nature her clients are instantly relaxed in her company which gives her the ability to capture such natural images.
The True Value Of A Photograph
Not everybody understands the true value of a photograph. And thats fine. But for those that do, you’ll understand that the investment is well worth it.
Don’t just take our word for it though. Jade Beer, The editor of Brides Magazine has been commissioning Maria to photograph her own family over the years and wrote this fabulous piece about Maria in this months edition.
“Your wedding day is all about the two of you. Your photographs should to be a reflection of this and NOT a series of posed, uncomfortable memories”.
Today we are sharing Kelsey & Peter’s tiffany inspired Llanelli wedding held at Sylen Lakes. All images by Lloyd Willams Photography
What was your budget?
We set a budget of around £12,000 but it’s so difficult to stick to a budget so we did go slightly over budget, but it was totally worth it!
How would you describe your wedding theme?
Modern Art Deco with a twist of Tiffany & Co. The main inspiration for the venue was Rachel A. Clingen, she does the most stunning decorations, I could only picture her designs when I thought of how I wanted the room to look.
What was your favourite part of your wedding?
The main highlight for me was walking down the aisle and having that moment of complete emotion hit you as you can hear the Bridal march playing and the moment you have been dreaming of all along has arrived and then seeing your future husband standing there is so overwhelming.
I also am obsessed with high heels, so after saving money on alot of DIY, I treated myself to a beautiful pair of second hand Christian Louboutins!
For the evening we had a photobooth and magician which was so much fun!
Tell us about your Wedding Dress
I always knew I wanted a fishtail dress that was fully embellished with rhinestones but no lace. I was obsessed with watching ‘Say yes to the dress’ and would envision my perfect dress.
I went to around 3 bridal shops, who all had beautiful gowns but they were all lace gowns and being a curvier girl, I couldn’t fit into the sample size 10/12, and I felt pressured to try on other dresses that I knew I didn’t want as they were in larger sizes. So I decided to stop looking for a while and re-think my options.
I was flicking through a bridal magazine and seen the dress I had envisioned all along and it was the most beautiful Mori Lee 5215 dress. I rang around and finally found a supplier in Swansea who had the dress.
When I arrived at the Victoria Bridal the dress was hanging up and I instantly fell in love, it was perfect! But, I had a dilemma in that it was a size 10 and it wouldn’t have gone near me! After a long think I decided to just go for it and chance it, in the hope that it would look as stunning on me as it did on the hanger.
I definitely made the right choice, the dress was perfect and If I could wear it everyday, I would!
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why?
I had 3 bridesmaids and 4 flower girls. Jess was my chief bridesmaid, she’s been my longest friend and was the obvious choice! I also couldn’t have imagined walking down the aisle without Lucy and Cath by my side. Peter had 2 best men, Gav and Phil as they have all been friends for years, and it wouldn’t have been right to have one without the other.
Gav and Phil were a brilliant choice and their best man speech was fantastic!
Why did you choose your venue?
We wanted a venue that was different and not the same place everyone goes, but we also didn’t want a venue that was miles away! So when I seen Sylen Lakes, I instantly fell in love.
The setting is just spectacular, and I loved the fact it was a blank canvas so I could decorate it how I wanted. Rachel and Nick were also fantastic and helped so much with everything.
Tell us about your photographer
Peter hates having his photo taken, so I was really worried about who we would have to be our photographer. After looking through hundreds of photographers websites, I came across Lloyd Williams. His photography style was perfect! Completely natural images that told a story without having to pose constantly. Lloyd was brilliant, he let us get on with our day, and took loads of photos that nobody knew about and they turned out perfect!
How did the proposal happen?
It was our 5 Year anniversary together, and we had gone to Castellamare for dinner to celebrate, it had been raining all evening but as we left the restaurant it suddenly stopped, so Peter suggested going for a walk on the Mumbles pier and to get an ice cream.
Walking along the pier, Peter said to stop and admire the view overlooking mumbles and he gave me the biggest cwtch and told me how much he loved me. Peter then told me to hold out my hands, I held out my hands and he held the box infront of me and opened it to which my heart instantly stopped – the most beautiful ring I had ever seen. Peter never had the chance to go down on one knee or even ask the question, I just screamed in excitement!
Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?
I did Art and Design in college and knew I wanted to do all the stationary myself. I seen so many Art Deco inspired invitations but they were all so similar that I designed and created my own. This saved so much money and I knew they were exactly how I wanted.
I also went ahead and made my own cake, as I love baking and knew exactly what I wanted to make and also knew it would cost around £400 if I was to have it made by someone.
I also purchased my flowers on ebay! They were so beautiful and as they were foam we could keep them and they saved me almost £500!
For favours I made Tiffany inspired boxes for everyone.
What was your first dance & why?
We didn’t decide our first dance until the week of the wedding as we just couldn’t agree on a song, but one day Peter walked in from work and asked if I liked ‘Adele – Make you feel my love’ and I instantly knew that song would be perfect for us!
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?
I rushed into alot of things, from excitement like suppliers and wished I had taken more time in looking around and deciding. But the day was perfect and not one thing went wrong, and I wish I could do it all again!
Do you have any advice for future couples?
Remember it is your day! Don’t feel pressured into listening to other people or inviting people that you don’t want there! Also, you will get told hundreds of times to enjoy the day, because it will just fly by! Make sure you and your future husband take half hour out just to yourselves and take it all in!
What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received?
Definitely not to go to sleep on an argument! Even if your super angry at eachother, always tell them good night and that you love them!
What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?
The wedding planning was over a year and a half, and I had taken the decision that I wanted to create and purchase everything I possibly could, as I couldn’t find anyone who could create my vision.
I loved creating our wedding invites, they were so different from anything I’d seen. I also decided I wanted bare minimum flowers in the venue, so I purchased an array of beautiful crystal centre pieces that I had seen on Rachel A. Clingen website!
Seeing everything come together in the last few days, all my ideas and the venue all set up was just magical!
Today on the blog we have the absolutely beautiful Lush Lister Rachel Burgess telling us all about her amazing boutique in Penarth, South Wales. I personally experienced Rachel’s customer service and stunning dresses myself when wedding dress shopping and it really is so unique- exactly what I hoped and dreamed wedding dress shopping would be like. We have much love for this lady!
Hello! I’m Rachel and I own a little Bridal Boutique in the seaside town of Penarth, South Wales. In this little corner of paradise surrounded by other independent businesses the Boutique is the only one of its’ kind doing what we do, not just in Wales, but in the entire UK.
We are proud beyond words to have six Welsh designers creating exclusive Bridalwear and accessory collections for the Boutique, alongside a collection of original vintage dresses (1930’s – 1970’s). We don’t stick to many rules, only to show off a female figure beautifully (without flaunting too much, if you know what I mean!) and giving women an opportunity to do Bridal their way.
The service the Boutique offers to a Bride & her nearest and dearest is very special – they have the Boutique exclusively for 2 hours with my undivided attention. We close the curtains, lock the door and put the kettle on. One of the most flattering experiences is that brides want to know where their dress is coming from and this enables me to support and promote the incredible design talent we have right here in Wales.
We have Brides who travel from all over the UK to meet their designer and be part of the exclusive process we offer to our clients. After their wedding day it’s so lovely to see how many Brides pop back in or write letters to tell me all about their day and relive it all over again!
One of our lovely Boutique Brides recently said “The experience I had shopping at the Boutique was like no other. So relaxed, no pressure and I loved the fact that I could put my own touches to my wedding dress”.
Our little Boutique is giving Brides the opportunity to create and nurture their dream wedding dress, in a safe and relaxed environment, without any pressure. The Boutique helps Brides to represent who they are on their wedding day, and by going through this amazing design process they are supporting our British manufacturing industry.
The experience Brides get here at the Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique is completely unique, “Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique in Penarth is truly fantastic and made my whole wedding dress shopping experience fun, exciting and a real joy!”
Our top three tips for Brides:
– There are no rules in weddings – go for it the way you both want to do it!
– Trust your instinct when trying on wedding dresses, it’s important that the dress has to feel like ‘you’!
– Enjoy dress shopping and trust those tears!
Who we stock :
Amy Mair Couture, Angharad Mullooly, Claire Hill Designs, E&W Couture, Kate Barlow & Helen Rhiannon Designer Label.
Back in April, the week before CWTCHFEST, I was invited to attend the very first Snap Photography Festival. I’m sure everyone in my team thought I was crazy. Why would you disappear a week before your own major event was taking place? haha… It’ll all make sense shortly.
I had planning meetings coming out of my ears, exhibitors emailing, readers messaging, tickets being bought, deliveries coming in… ARGHHH and there I was, packing a case, handing over the reins to my awesome team and driving off to FForest. There was no phone signal or internet for me. It was an opportunity to ‘reconnect’ with my photography. You see, thats what I am. First and foremost, a photographer. This here wedding blog was a little idea I had two years ago which has now kind of exploded lol
I’m glad I went. It opened my eyes.
If like me, you are a creative photographer and find yourself needing to ‘reconnect’ I strongly suggest you book a place on Snap.
THE UK’S PIONEERING PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL IS BACK FOR 2016 & BADDER THAN EVER
We’re delighted to announce the return of SNAP Photography Festival. The unique festival and creative retreat for photographers will run 18th - 22nd April 2016 at Fforest Farm, Cardigan, Wales.
Guest speaker line up includes Oli Sansom, Petar Jurica, Gabe McClintock and Whitesmoke Studio…
SNAP Photography Festival was a U.K. first when it debuted in Spring 2015 with a World class line up of industry professionals that kick-started a new community of likeminded photographers. The response was hugely positive and we’re thrilled to announce that SNAP Photography Festival will be back and bigger than ever in 2016.
A fresh line up of speakers will lead unique interactive workshops to stimulate and stretch the imagination. Covering everything from photography techniques to branding, the latest technology to business development. 2016’s schedule will also include lots of alternative activities and entertainment set amongst the beautiful countryside to encourage SNAPsters to take time out to recharge their batteries. Foraging, acoustic performances around the camp fire, yoga sessions, wild swimming and of course the epic SNAP party that will see industry favourite The Wedding Smashers take to the decks.
Flying the flag for women in business, SNAP festival founder Laura Babb is a force to be reckoned with. Having successfully established Babb Photo, captured over 120 Weddings, featured in all the most prominent wedding publications and founded the London Wedding Club with nearly 2000 London based wedding suppliers as members. Laura is determined to combine her experience and passion for pushing boundaries with building a strong community of creative professionals through SNAP. Laura explains “I believe community is everything. Sharing knowledge, empowering each other and supporting each other leads to a stronger photography community and that can only be of benefit for our clients. One of the most amazing things that came out of SNAP 2015 is the flourishing community, which is one of the nicest online places I’ve ever had the pleasure of hanging out in”
SNAP has been designed to inspire existing professional photographers as well as those interested in turning a hobby into a business. A cross between a festival and a conference with glamping, immersive learning, networking and numerous inspirational activities all chosen to nurture the immense photography talent across the U.K. and Europe. Over 100 photographers will glamp on site and much like a music festival, be invited to set their own agenda in order to suit their personal needs.
SNAP Photography Festival takes place between the 18th April 2015 and the 22nd April 2015 at Fforest Farm, Cwmplysgog, Cilgerran, Cardigan, Wales SA43 2TB and a variety of accommodation ticket packages are available.
We have a limited number of Early Bird tickets. The code EARLYSNAP will give 10% off or you can use the code DEPOSIT to pay 50% now and 50% in November.