Cwtch of the Week: A big St Fagans Cwtchfest Cwtch

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Today’s Cwtch of the week gives us all kind of happy feelings- perfect for a Monday morning!

This is the love we have for all those that do our fabulous wedding festival with us.

At the end of the last Cwtchfest in St Fagans, in what is becoming a bit of a tradition, we grabbed everyone we could for a big mahussive lovely Cwtch to say thank you!

We had a few takes….

Owen Mathias Photography

Owen Mathias Photography

Owen Mathias Photography

Friday Flashback Real Wedding: Rock & Roll Carnival Wedding – Tanya & Kev

Good morning Cwtchers!!!! We thought as we are celebrating our 4th birthday this week we would do a throwback Real Wedding post today to one of our first ever ones done all the way back in February 2013!!  Grab yourself a cuppa and enjoy this wonderful carnival wedding…

meAll photos in this post were taken by our very own, award winning Maria Farrelly :) (who did not write this bio herself!) Maria is located in Newport, but is always willing to travel. You can see all posts featuring her photography here.

Real Wedding: Carnival Themed Porthcawl Wedding - shot by Maria Farrelly

Tanya (a student teacher) and Kev ‘Paps’ Papworth-Morgan (a guitar tech with the Welsh rock band, Bullet for my Valentine) got married on the 1st of September 2012 at the Bridgend Registry Office, with their reception at Hi-Tide in Porthcawl. They decided on a carnival wedding theme, which featured a drinks reception from the boot of their cars, donkeys, candy floss, fairground rides, penny slots and hawaiian shirts! We asked Tanya a few questions and this is what she said:

What was your favourite part of your wedding? The fairground and amusements. Seeing all our friends get stuck in and laugh all day was just as I imagined.

Real Wedding: Carnival Themed Porthcawl Wedding - shot by Maria Farrelly

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Real Wedding: Carnival Themed Porthcawl Wedding - shot by Maria Farrelly

Why did you choose your venue? For the views over the beach and the fantastic food. Plus I didn’t want my guests to have to pay silly bar prices. Had they charged a ridiculous price for a glass of wine, we would NEVER have had the wedding there! I wanted all of our guests to feel comfortable, regardless of money, race, religion etc.

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Real Wedding: Carnival Themed Porthcawl Wedding - shot by Maria Farrelly

How did the proposal happen? (we love a good proposal story!) This is the most unromantic thing you would have ever heard. I basically got bored of waiting for Kev to propose so just told him it was time to get engaged. I picked the ring, took his bank card and paid for it. Then I gave him the ring when it arrived and asked him to give it back to me. He said ‘please put this ring on. Urm, I love you.’ That was it. He does tell me now that he regrets not giving me a proper proposal but it’s not a big deal to me!

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Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share? Lots of it was DIY! My bouquet I made by using brooches from ebay and a tutorial from youtube, the name stones were pebbles that I wrote on, glittered and then varnished and I made the card box from images from Google! I wrote all the favour cards and used a heart hole punch to make them look prettier. I made the table plan too after seeing the prices people charged for something that was not going to fit my theme. Most of the signs were also made by me!!

Real Wedding: Carnival Themed Porthcawl Wedding - shot by Maria Farrelly

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What was your first dance & why? King of The Swingers from Jungle Book. Kev played this on the ukulele in a gig and then a friend remembered and it just fitted the people that we are. We don’t have a romantic song and are really not a soppy couple so something that would make people smile was totally fitting. Kev dancing like an ape was a surprise to me however!!

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In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently? I would totally have a change of dress for the evening. I was so tired and the dress was heavy. Had I had some jammies, I would have lasted longer!

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What was your budget? Our total spend was £9000. This included £4000 on the wedding bands (I HAD to have those diamonds!), the photographer’s fee and my dress. £5,000 on everything else, Bargain wedding!!

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Do you have any advice for future brides? Don’t stress about the small things. If it’s not perfect, you will be the only person that notices. Your friends will just be delighted for you both. Try not to get too ‘weddingy’, having a simple wedding made it more fun and less stressful. 9 times out of 10, you don’t need half of the things you see online!! Enjoy your day, but don’t feel the pressure of having the best day of your life. Mine was incredible but the days afterwards were better than the wedding day, just looking at my new husband made me smile!

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Real Wedding: Carnival Themed Porthcawl Wedding - shot by Maria Farrelly

Vendors

Photography – Maria Farrelly (see all Cwtch the Bride shoots featuring Maria here)
Ceremony – Bridgend Registry Office
Reception – Hi-Tide Porthcawl
Dress – Ronald Joyce Dominique from Wedding Belles in Pyle
Shoes – River Island
Kev’s suit – Moss Bross and shoes from Camden Market
Cake – Friend’s mother in law baked the pies for us!
Flowers – Gutteridge in Bridgend and my bouquet was made from brooches
Hair and make up – Claire Davies
DJ/Band – Daz Cortina
Invites – Pretty Wild Designs

Thanks Tanya! We love how relaxed and fun your wedding feels! :) Now onto the full day’s photos…

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CWTCHFEST EXHIBITORS

Today we have a little thank you post to the exhibitors from our events that support our lovely blog.   This week we celebrate our 4th Birthday and we have met some amazing people throughout Wales who have incredible businesses and truly LOVE what they do.Cwtchfest-April-2016-Owen-Mathias-Photography-221-500x332Written in Lights

Our next event is on April 9th in the beautiful St Fagans National History Museum and if you are yet to get your tickets you can find them HERE

click here for ticketsWhen we arrange events like #Cwtchfest2017 our main aim was to organise events we would enjoy when we were planning our weddings.

Owen Mathias Photography

We want you, our lovely brides and grooms to be, to have an amazing experience where the wedding industry in Wales shows you what they can offer.  Live music, workshops, demos, samples and more in a fun, relaxed and inspiring environment.

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In order to offer a different kind of event we like to attract like minded businesses and offer them support through our lovely blog so they get more than just a stand when they attend our events.

We hope (and so far its worked) that because they get so much from our events and because they are MEGA lovely people they plough their efforts into ensuring you get the most from the day.  We work with 100’s of businesses throughout the year and it is impossible to name them all in one post but from the bottom of our hearts WE LOVE YOU GUYS!

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All images are by our very own honorary Cwtch lad – Owen Mathias Photography

If you are an amazing business and would like to get involved in a Cwtch event email Lindsey at cwtchfest@cwtchthebride.com

Owen Mathias Photography

Sweet Peony Floral Design

Owen Mathias PhotographyDyfed Menswear

Owen Mathias Photography

Owen Mathias Photography

And last but not least the lovely Grant from the fabulous Boutique Disco

Introducing the New Brides and Groom To Be Winners!

As, you know, through December and January, we ran a competition to find our new 2017/18 Bride and Grooms to Be bloggers!

We received hundreds and hundreds of entries, but we have managed to find 8 amazing new bloggers who are ready to tell you all their planning stories.

Whether it is exciting news, annoying news, joyous stories or ‘about to pull my hair out if the parents don’t stop going about inviting Auntie Maureen whom I’ve never met’ stories, they’re hear to tell you all.

They are ready to share and inspire and we are so excited to have a new batch of wonderful writers in the Cwtch the Bride family.

Over the next few weeks, we will be giving you an in-depth introduction to them all, but for now, feast your eyes on your new brides and grooms and their new name – each should give you a clue about their story!!

B2B Carnival Banner The Carnival Couple (Lowri and Simon)Simon and Lowri

B2B Tinder BannerThe Tinder Bride (Jenine)Jenine

B2B Unexpected Banner

The Unexpected Bride (Rachel)Rachel

B2B Sporty Banner The Sporty Bride (Natalie)Natalie

B2B Procrastinating Banner The Procrastinating Bride (Natasha)Natasha

B2B Maid In Wales Banner Maid In Wales (Gwen)Gwen (On the left) is out very first Maid Of Honor Blogger!

B2B Glitzy Banner The Glitzy Bride (Sophie)Sophie

I am properly giddy about introducing you all to these fabulous people and I cannot wait of you to find out more about them.  Woooooooo x

Happy Birthday to Cwtch The Bride! 4 Today!

CTB is 4!

Oh my, aren’t we getting old… its our fourth birthday today! hip hip.. hurray!!

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I cannot believe its been four years since my lovely little welsh wedding blog published its first post!

My team and I are so proud to have brought you some incredible things in that time, to name a few:

  • Published over 1,000 awesome wedding posts highlighting some great welsh talent and inspiration.
  • Launched the Lush List which is proving an essential ‘go-to’ resource for many welsh brides
  • Organised three epic CWTCHFEST Wedding Festivals so far, with our fourth taking place on Sunday 9th April at St.Fagans
  • Won BEST REGIONAL WEDDING BLOG! at the 2016 UK Wedding blog Awards!! (a huge BIG DEAL)
  • Run a series of Cwtch Workshops to help & inspire DIY brides
  • Helped many independent welsh wedding businesses grow by showcasing their work and promoting their services
  • Created jobs for some very special Cwtchgirls
  • Shared hundreds of real welsh weddings from across this beautiful country
  • Given some of our readers the opportunity to share their bride/groom to be diaries with us all.

Personally, I am ridiculously proud of how well Cwtch The Bride is doing and I adore working alongside some truly amazing people.
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I have many more ideas still up my sleeve and cannot wait to see them come to light. All in good time.

A Personal Thank you

I know that to many of you reading this, it can appear that we always have great fun. Laughing, singing and dancing our way through the workday with a hilarious spotify playlist. And for the most part- its true. But occasionally, something happens that can totally throw you. I mean…really knock you for six. The kind of thing that turns your world upside down, makes you want to crawl under a duvet and never come out. A life changing experience that requires an incredible group of people to help get you through it.

Owen Mathias Photography

This photograph was taken a year after my own marriage had ended. I was devastated and had hit a real low point of my life. Being surrounded by all things ‘wedding’ was very painful for me. Everything hurt. I didn’t tell many people. When you work in the wedding industry and your own marriage fails you feel this enormous amount of grief and shame.  And yet, I pushed through quietly. I didn’t want to let anyone down. And its thanks to these girls I got through it. I’ll forever be greatful to them for their help and support.

My CWTCHGIRLS are (without a doubt) the coolest women I’ve met in my entire life! There are a few Cwtchgirls in particular I want to give a special Thank you to.

Anna, Donna, Lindsey, Dawn and my mum … you ladies, I don’t think you’ll ever know how grateful I am to have you in my life. You have helped me get through the hardest time where I honestly thought I couldn’t cope. I felt broken and so low. Any yet you ladies where always right there for me. You picked me up when I hit the floor. when I doubted everything, you ladies encouraged me to keep going. When I wondered why on earth I’m doing all this work… you ladies just smiled and said ‘lets do it’.

Thank you for being so damn amazing. You really are very special women and I love that we get to share this awesome roller coaster ride of work and life with each other.

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Donna, the most organised office manager & friend I’ve ever had and the rock I needed to kickstart my working week. I miss you but think my book keeper misses you more! Damn I need you back soon x Owen Mathias Photography14390907_10154517804521796_7193752556001646050_n

Lindsey (aka LINDA), I wouldn’t do Cwtchfest without you! simple as that. You are a dream to work with and I am so excited at what lies ahead!

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Anna, hahaha where do i start with you? You make my Mondays & Wednesdays rock. You have taken the reins of features editor and ran with it. I bloody love ya! Plus, anyone that shares the same love of the Carpenters as me is a friend for life!

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Dawn, Our Boobless bride. Your story touched me so much I knew as soon as I read your first email and the tears rolled- we were going to be friends for life! You are an inspiration.

432047_10150735477031796_367678448_nMum. I love you. And thank you for always believing in me, even when I doubt myself. xxx

Thank you to all the inspiring welsh wedding businesses that continue to invest in Cwtch The Bride. I love that you too believe in what we do and what we stand for. I love that you support us at a time when I know all too well how difficult running a small business can be. Together we grow and I adore seeing you all benefit for our hard work. Onwards and up!

And the final thank you goes out to you lovely Cwtchers for reading, thank you for commenting, sharing and getting involved in what was a crazy idea of mine that has now become a valuable resource for many welsh brides & grooms!

So, there you have it, was rather personal but needed to be said..

There is no hot date for me tonight, no plethora of valentines day cards flooding my letter box. But I do have two very special men in my life that I adore. Josh & Joe. My boys. What more could a girl want. Hmm… we’ll see what the future brings. xxx

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And if you have just got engaged on this very special day… Welcome to Cwtch The Bride! We are a fabulous bunch of honest, hardworking women that are hear for you. This is a safe place for you to begin planning your welsh wedding and we can’t wait to meet you!

Happy Valentines Day everyone. Lets crack open a bottle of fizz and have an awesome day.

Maria x