Helena & James: Llandudno E-Shoot by Christopher Ian Photography

As we reveal more of the wedding professionals involved in our epic styled shoot tomorrow, we’re pleased to announce that the lovely Christopher Ian Photography will be joining us! We’re most excited. 

To celebrate, We’re sharing a lovely Engagement shoot by Christopher along with a few of his words. Enjoy x  

Llandudno Engagement Shoot

Helena and James wanted some natural engagement images in a natural environment so when I suggested the beach at Llandudno they excitedly jumped at the opportunity.

These two were the most amazing fun, after running and dodging waves we all ended up getting our legs total wet through running into the cold sea water! I loved their adventurous spirit!

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Cwtch of the Week: Alex, Toby & Teal

This weeks Cwtch of the Week belongs to Alex, Toby and their beautiful daughter Teal.

If you’re an avid Cwtch the Bride reader, you may remember we featured Alex & Toby’s proposal story back in January.

There’s nothing quite like a family cwtch! The expression on daughter Teal’s face is perfect and the incredible sunlight just makes this image even more beautiful!

Alex & Toby tied the knot in Italy a few months ago and we can’t wait to feature their full wedding this Friday!

Alex & Toby-080Many thanks to Sandra Ace Photography for submitting this fabulous Cwtch!

Real Wedding: Aimee & Mike’s Vintage Welsh Wedding

Today we’re excited to share a gorgeous vintage welsh wedding photographed by the lovely Angharad Gwenter from Gwenter Photography. The beautiful Aimee & the rather dapper Mike both tied the knot on the 22nd March 2014 at their local church followed by a reception at the Stadey Park Hotel.

We’re also featuring their fabulous Wedding film by Aurora Wedding Films too.

So lets get started! We asked Aimee a few questions about her big day. Lets find out what she says…

How would you describe your wedding theme?

We had a Vintage theme for our wedding day. It was of the utmost importance that our family and friends were relaxed and comfortable from start to finish and I believe this fitted extremely well with the vintage theme. Lots of fresh flowers and vintage crockery were a must.

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Tell us about your wedding dress.

I made an appointment to visit Stephanie Allin in Mumbles. The first dress I tried on I fell in love with, it was beautiful. The cut, fabric and the detailing was amazing. They were so welcoming and helpful regarding every detail. They had everything a bride would want veils, accessories everything.

On each fitting they took care every detail, it fitted like a glove. I couldn’t have been any happier.


What was your favourite part of your wedding?

The favourite part of the day was the transport for the wedding. Everyone had a surprise when they saw it. We hired a vintage London bus it was amazing. Everybody shared every moment with us, which was important.

The photographs and video of the wedding with everyone being together is priceless. This is why I loved the bus.


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

The decision of bridesmaids was extremely easy, my sister Emily, Mikes sister Kirsty and my two best friends Rachel and Emmie. We are so close I couldn’t of imagined any one else share the special day with me.

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Mike decided to have two best men, Christopher and Matthew both were childhood friends


Why did you choose your venue?

We chose the venue because it is local they have amazing food. The views from the roof top are fabulous. They are so welcoming, you really do feel relaxed and looked after. 


How did the proposal happen? 

Mike proposed to me on Christmas day. In my grandparents house in front of all the people I love. I couldn’t of asked for anything more. we are a close family so by them being there and for them to share this incredible moment was perfect. 


Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?

My sister and I have a design background so we made our invitations, place settings, order of services and table plan. We made our wedding favours, cake bunting it was something that we loved to do. we did get some of our inspiration from pinterest, the site is amazing. 

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Do you have any advice for future couples?

The day was a bit of a blur, it went so fast. You must stop and take it all in. 


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

Always talk and listen to one another. 


What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

That I planned it with my parents, Sister and Mike. Bouncing ideas between my sister and I, visiting places for ideas being excited about the whole day. I will never forget that. 


Suppliers List:

The Wedding Film:

Aimee and Michael from Aurora Wedding Films on Vimeo.

The Wedding Album:

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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

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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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