The Diary Of The Empowered Bride, Part Two

Our Empowered Bride is back today with part two of her Diary of The Empowered Bride. If you missed Part one, you can read it here. For those that wonder why she’s called the ‘Empowered’ Bride. The definition of Empower is: To make (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights. And thats exactly what this bride is doing. She’s on a mission to take control of her life by getting fitter, healthier and to feel the best she can not just for her wedding day but beyond. We hope you enjoy following her journey and feel free to leave any comments :) 

I was very lucky to be asked out for dinner tonight. It was supposed to be a nice relaxing family meal. But as many of you well know, dinner out and diets don’t mix well. It all started really well as I suggested to drive. If I drink water, I will save on calories and no one will be thinking I’m not joining in. I smile smugly at how easy this will be.

The waiter handed me my menu and that’s when it all started to fall apart. He had handed it to me upside down with the desserts at the top. I came face to face with a beautiful sticky, creamy, fudgey sundae. The smug smile faded very quickly as I ponder if this was the universe telling its fine to eat a sundae. I mean I have been good all week and if perhaps I share one it’s only half the calories. And by sharing one I’m allowing someone to have half a sundae that I will pay for so technically I’m doing them a favour.

Though I am trying ever so hard to silence the voice in my head I can still it whisper “wedding dress, wedding dress, wedding dress.” Right Chicken Caesar salad it is! Placing the order is the fun part. It is as if each person is telling the waiter their order in ascending levels of deliciousness and my will power is fading. “Wedding dress, wedding dress, wedding dress.”

“Can I please have the Chicken Caesar salad. Could you please hold the dressing.” Grudgingly I add “Could you also please hold the homemade croutons and please don’t bring me and bread or butter.” The waiter looks confused, “So you just want lettuce and dry chicken and the Parmesan cheese?” “Oh gosh no! No cheese either thanks.”

I’m not really a jealous person. The only exception is in restaurants. Have you ever heard of food envy? It’s that point in the meal where you look round the table and decide if you made the right decision. Who’s meal looks better than yours? Did they get a bigger portion? Does it smell better than mine? The problem was when I looked down I had this horrible sinking feeling I had the worst looking food on the table and I was going to be so envious each and every mouthful that my family were going to eat.

“Everything alright with your meals?” Is followed by a chorus of “mmmmm, delicious, lovely.” This is the point I want to say “Actually no!” Honestly, I’m eating dry chicken and lettuce! I’m keep chewing it and it keeps feeling like I’m eating a piece of worn out flip flop! The only thing to help take it down is swallowing bits whole with water! “Wedding dress, wedding dress, wedding dress,”

“Can I tempt anyone with a dessert?” (Hell yeah! Beautiful, sticky and creamy sundae please. Covered with whipped cream! Don’t scrimp on chocolate sauce and don’t forget the cherry!)

My sister decides to order one of the sundaes I have dreamed about for the last hour. Hurrah, I can do her a favour and share it with her. At this point my short lived bubble of excitement bursts! She asks for three spoons and decides to take this very moment, the moment before this delectable treat, this ice cream that I have forced shoe leather chicken down for, to tell me how proud she is of me to have stuck to the diet tonight and proceeds to hand the two other spoons to my mum and dad! What!

“Wedding dress, wedding dress, WEDDING DRESS!”


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Cwtch of the Week: Carys & Aaron


We love this shot from Carys. In her own words:

“As a huge fan of your lush website I couldn’t resist sending you some pics for Cwtch of the Week taken from my Big Fat Greek-Welsh wedding last September!”

Big thanks to their photographer Vasilis Loukatos for capturing the shot :) Isn’t it beautiful?

As always, you can view the full gallery of Cwtches here. If you’ve got a lovely photo you’d like us to feature you can email it to :)

Victoria Valentine Bridal’s Designer Accessory Extravaganza

This Easter, Bridal dress designer Victoria Griffiths-Price will be showcasing some of the very best in Welsh Designer talent at her, week long, luxury bridal accessory event in her Abergavenny Boutique.  

Victoria Valentine

It’s a Welsh Designer Affair!

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Inside Victoria Valentines Boutique

Victoria Valentine Bridal’s ‘Designer Accessory Extravaganza’ is all about choosing that special veil, headpiece, tiara, bridal bag, jewellery or pair of shoes for the big day!

I have chosen to feature some of the best bridal designers’ accessories at my event, with an emphasis on, where possible, as many being designed and made right here in Wales; something that I am extremely passionate about.

Top designer brands such as Halo & Co. and Joyce Jackson are designed and hand finished in fabulous workrooms in North Wales and the wonderful Sparklefizz, who I have featured since opening my boutique in August last year, designs and ‘hand beads’ all her designer accessories in her studio in Cardiff.  This event really is a Welsh Designer affair!” Victoria Said.

Halo&co Aamira band

Halo & Co Aamira band

Joyce Jackson Nefyn

Joyce Jackson Nefyn

Sparklefizz charlotte BandSparklefizz Charlotte Band

 One of the local stars of the boutique event will be the exclusive showing of Chepstow designer, Livvie Searle’s, beautiful vintage styled jewellery.

 “Finding such a talented jewellery designer, who produces her luxury products right here in Monmouthshire, has been so exciting”, says Victoria. “Livvie’s vintage incorporated pieces are just to die for and are perfect for all members of the wedding party. Whether you’re a Bride, Bridesmaid, Mother of the Bride or Groom I’m sure you will be able to find a piece that will be just perfect. That’s why I fell in love with Livvie’s stunningly versatile jewellery!”

Livvie Searle necklaceLivvie Searle necklace

 Victoria adds, “Be warned, Livvie Searle jewellery is limited edition and features completely unique one off pieces.  So visit early, for your chance to purchase one of her gorgeous heirloom accessories, that you will be sure to treasure forever!”

The event runs over Easter, from the 18th to the 26th April. For more information visit

Halo&co in boutique

Halo & Co

Hassall devotion shoes

Hassall Devotion Shoes

Hassall shoes in boutique
Hassall Shoes in the Boutique

Sparklefizz comb in boutique

Sparklefizz in the Boutique

Veils in boutique

Available Veils

If you would like to contact Victoria directly or require more information. Please leave your details below.


Real Wedding: Sam & Dan’s Vintage Floral Wedding by Maria Farrelly

Today we have the lovely vintage floral wedding of Sam and Dan who were married on the 27th April 2013. All images in this post were taken by Maria Farrelly Photography. We’ll also thrilled to be featuring the couples wedding film by  the talented Richard from Aurora too. Here’s the bride Sam to give you all the details behind her big day. Enjoy x 

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What was your budget? 

We were very lucky to have saved a lot of money leading up the the wedding and my parents were both wonderful in supporting us too. We had just bought and renovated out first house which made it a little harder but the deal was Daniel paid for all things house related and I got to spend my savings on our wedding. We started out with a budget of £20,000 but we went over …. I was embarrased to admit that at first but now I’m less so because our day was perfect for us & it all worked out perfectly. I still honestly haven’t worked out how much over budget we went because it doesn’t really matter now. We had the prettiest, happiest & special day we could have wished for. I put so much planning in (a lot that my Daniel didn’t even know about) that I was awestruck on the day because everything I had imagined was there in reality.

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My only regret which Daniel laughs about is I wish if hired a vintage ice cream man! Nevermind I keep teasing that in 10 years we can renew our bows and have one then. He’s not falling for it yet mind.

How would you describe your wedding theme?

I love all things vintage and floral … So I guess I would call it vintage floral. I just loved all the research I did before hand & I was so lucky that all the vendors that I did involve totally understood what I wanted. I know vintage is a huge theme for weddings at the moment so I wanted to add my own elements in too – so my bridesmaids and I did a lot of craft work in the lead up to the wedding to make little touches that were perfect. I also roped in my nan & grampa who bless them spent days cutting out fabric triangles for my bunting. All those things made my day more special because people realised the effort we had gone to.

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We added a little bit of our quirkiness with our table names though – poor Rugby playing Dan had to get his stamp in somewhere or else he would have got some hassle from his team mates so we chose our favourite characters from films, books and tv and had them as our table names including a short blurb on their love story. My choices were the as expected … Elizabeth Bennett & Mr Darcy, Othello & Desdemona, Ron Weasley & Hermione Granger (that was the top table – I am a huge Harry Potter fan). Dans were more along the lines of Hans Solo & Princess Leia, Aragorn & Arwen and Buffy & Angel.

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What was your favourite part of your wedding?

I genuine loved every minute of it, but two memories really stick out. My parents are divorced and have been since I was 5 years old so I can barely remember a time when they were both together with me. Both are happily remarried now & I have wonderful step parents but I still had the dream of going to the church with both of them accompanying me. I had not asked either of my parents beforehand and on the morning of the wedding as we walked to the car they both got in with me. It’s making me emotional writing about it but it was the most wonderful 25 minute car journey I’ve ever had. It was so surreal for me to be with two of the most important people in my world sharing wine gums as we made our way to the wedding. I will never forget that journey.

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My second memory happened right at the end of the day, I sat with my new husband on the furthest table from the dance floor and we just watched all of our friends and family and saw them all having a fabulous time and I was so overwhelmed. All Daniel & I wanted was a day which everyone enjoyed, our wedding was not just about us.  For us, it was about everyone who had shared in our memories up til now. It was so lovely to see.

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Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why?

I am so lucky that I have a lot of really close friends, I had 6 bridesmaids, a maid of honour and I got to have a man of honour!. I could never have chosen between the bridesmaids, they are all so wonderful and so different. I chose my oldest friend Kirsty who was always going to be my bridesmaid since the days of playing “house” in primary school ( I was always the daughter and she was the mother, she still as wonderfully bossy and maternal now). Then I picked Jenna my friend from secondary school because she is always there for me when I need her & she gives the best advice. I met Kim & Cooki at University in Chester, where we studied nursing together they are the funniest girls and both so different, Kim is probably the most similar to me personality wise and Cooki and I have the same sense of humour. I then chose Kara who is the nicest, sweetest friend she is married to the bestman so are our closest couple friends so it was inevitable i’d pick her. We also had our beautiful neice Carys which was special for us both as she has grown up infront of us into a spectacular young woman.

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Then for the maid of honour .. Kerry is amazing, she is the most organised, helpful
And wonderful friend. She knows me perfectly and can tell you my reaction to things before I know what it will be myself, she is fiercely loyal and just all round lush!

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Drew; my man of honour, is my oldest and dearest friend – we grew up together with our mothers as best friends showing us off in our prams. Drew and I have a wonderful relationship, we turn to each other when we need to and I love the sarcastic banter we have. We always said that if we reach 40 and were still single we’d marry each other – luckily we both have our own wonderful partners now.

Why did you choose your venue?

We wanted to find a venue that was different, we wanted to it to be beautiful but a relaxed atmosphere. My maid of honour; Kerry, recommended Oxwich Bay so I went to visit with my mother and step dad one Saturday while Daniel was playing rugby and I fell In love. The marquee was beautiful and the views second to none. The food in the hotel was yummy and who could turn down a beach as perfect as Oxwich Bay!

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When I returned home, I was gushing about it and Daniel immediately agreed as he lost his Mother when he was a child and has memories of spending time with her there as a child. So from that moment we knew it was meant to be.

How did the proposal happen? 

Dan took me on holiday to Icmelar in Turkey during my Easter holidays from Uni. Those who know Daniel know he is a man of very few words – it’s all about quality not quantity when you get a conversation out of him. Anyway he took me to a restaurant on the harbour and I had a suspicion what was coming … The restaurant owners set up a table on a makeshift balcony which I was very concerned would break – neither of us are know for our athletic builds (hah). After the main course Daniel put a jewellery box on the table (unopened) and said “so, err Sam will you marry me then?”.
I just laughed and said “let’s see the ring first then”. I would have said yes anyway mind. The funniest bit was he made me promise to tell everyone else that he got down on one knee hah – oh well the secret is out now. Bless him!

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What was your first dance & why?

We chose our actual song .. It’s not your typical first dance but it is a song we both love and it reminds us of each other. It was “I miss you” by Blink 182. We did try to find a more suitable song but we really couldn’t agree on a final choice so we thought – if it isn’t broke –why fix it?

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Funnily enough – we are big dance of the tv series Bones, and the main characters (who were also table names) just got married and their first dance was the same as ours – it makes it more perfect for us now.

In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?

Erm …. I would have been on time at the church. I am now famous amongst our friends and family as I was over an hour late for our wedding ceremony, I still can’t tell you now why I was so late – everything seemed to be going to plan – laughable really. My bridesmaids know me inside out and did not mention the time because I would have had a meltdown if I had realised. I’m so glad they didn’t, everything was lovely and relaxed. Well for me but poor Daniel was pacing at the church. Apparently the guests were asking if he was worried and he just kept saying ” I knew she would be late & I know she’ll be here I’m just wondering what time.” Sadly I am known amongst my friends at being the late one – they always tell me the wrong time if we have any plans because I just can’t seem to adhere to times. It was quite apt that I walked down the aisle to “Etta James “At last” – that always brings a smile to my face.

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I was so lucky though because it could have been disastrous for the organisation of the day, Maria, our photographer was fab she managed to get all the pictures I wanted even in the reduced time, Samantha my wedding coordinator just rearranged things and Oxwich Bay just carried on to my new timeframe. Thank goodness we didn’t get married in our local church though the pastor there is very strict on timekeeping so she probably would not have married us. So I owe Howard our pastor at Mumbles Methodist Church a huge thank you!

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What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received?

I can’t remember who told me but somebody said that I should walk very slowly down the aisle, look up and take it all in. That was the best advice.

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What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

Everything, I loved having total control and letting my imagination run wild. I would do it again in a heartbeat – I just adored searching magazines and the internet, snapping ideas and then sharing them with my mother & bridesmaids to have their input. I loved that my bridesmaids and I met up every Wednesday for weeks before the wedding and just looked at ideas and had a construction line making bunting, centrepieces and favours. It was just nice to spend so much time together.



The Wedding Film by Aurora

Samantha and Daniel from Aurora Wedding Films on Vimeo.

 The Wedding Album by Maria Farrelly Photography