With the festive season in full swing, Christmas round the corner and Jack Frost making himself way too comfortable in Wales, we wanted to offer you lovely Brides-to-be an extra special competition this month. Its already proving our most popular one this year! With one day left there is STILL TIME to enter! We have teamed up with some of our favourite wedding suppliers to offer one lucky bride to be a Christmas Hamper of delights!
A special Christmas hamper filled with some exclusive gifts for one lucky Welsh Bride-to-be.
A selection of surprise gifts from the following Welsh Wedding Professionals (Worth over £500!)
We know it’s cold outside but we’re hoping this stunning outdoor August wedding will warm your cockles! Laura & Dave got married in the most beautiful of locations: Llyn Gwynant in Snowdonia National Park. Their ceremony was followed by an outdoor humanist ceremony against this fabulous backdrop. We have spoken to their photographer, the fabulous Clive Nolan, to get his perspective on their magical day.
Take it away Clive!
In Wales we are blessed with fantastic scenery and landscape and as a wedding photographer I love it when the location matches the wedding couple perfectly. This was definitely the case with Dave & Laura’s wedding at Llyn Gwynant in the heart of Snowdonia National Park.
I’d met Laura and Dave some months earlier for their engagement shoot. Pre-wedding engagement shoots are very important to me. It allows me to meet the couple, talk through plans for the day, and try out some photography ideas. Every couple is different and the shoot is how I start to plan my visual approach to documenting a wedding. I like to go to a location of importance to the couple – a favourite childhood stomping ground, the scene of their first meeting or, as in Dave and Laura’s case, the place where marriage was proposed. And what a location that was! Dave had proposed to Laura at one of their favourite places, the famous Uffington White Horse in Oxfordshire. The engagement shoot on top of the hill was a lovely, golden light-tinged evening complete with butterflies and a marvellous sunset and after a few hours talking, walking and photographing I knew how I was going to approach their big day with my camera.
A beautiful shot from the Engagement Shoot
As their wedding day arrived it looked like the weather was going to be perfect. Llyn Gwynant is a campsite nestled on the bank of a wonderful lake surrounded by the fabulous mountain ranges of Snowdonia. Most guests were camping and, not to be left out, I arrived with my tent and stayed the two nights as well. There was an early wedding-morning swim by Dave and friends and I needed to be there for that and it certainly made for a different set of groom-preparation shots!
Meanwhile, Laura was getting ready in a nearby cottage with her bridesmaids and I popped over to photograph her as the morning went on. Her dress was amazing and there were some great spots outside the cottage for some portraits of her and her father before they left for the ceremony.
I’ve photographed a few weddings at Llyn Gwynant now and the ceremony room has always looked just fantastic. A lot of effort and design had gone into making the place look just right. A very emotional ceremony was followed by another humanist ceremony outdoors beneath the huge ribbon-tied oak tree. Outdoor ceremonies are always special and this one was particularly so as the wind rose down from the mountains and through the tree branches and the vows were made. A lovely ceremony indeed.
The rest of the day flew by with tea and cake on the grass followed by some group shots up a hill before I took Dave and Laura off for some portraits around the landscape and beside the lake.
After the wedding breakfast and speeches there was much dancing and celebrating well into the early hours. All in all it was a very special day indeed – one of those weddings when it is a total pleasure to document the day.
As usual we asked the couple a few questions too.
What was your budget? Tight
How would you describe your wedding theme? Relaxed. We really didn’t want a theme, opting for bringing family and friends to an area that is really special to us both.
What was your favourite part of your wedding? The outdoor venue, and festival style accommodation arrangements – everyone really got to know each other. Also swimming in the lake was really magical.
Tell us about your Wedding Dress Dress at first sight… So to speak. Loved it immediately had the whole bridal party in tears.
Why did you choose your venue? We have many happy memories of the area and wanted to invite all those that we love to come and experience a little of the magic of the valley
How did the proposal happen? Upon the eye of the white horse – Oxfordshire. With a surprise bottle of champagne.
What was your first dance & why? Brand new colony – The Postal Service. Has always been our song.
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently? Not a thing!
Do you have any advice for future couples? Stay true to yourselves it’s your day
What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received? Don’t listen to anybody else and do what you want to do
Our homemade bride Kate gets married in TWO DAYS! This is her last post before becoming a Mrs, so sit back, put your feet up and have a good read.
When you book your wedding and the countdown starts at fourteen months, twenty seven days, four hours, twenty one minutes and fourth seconds it feels like you will be planning your big day forever! I have loved planning our wedding and all the way through I have been a bridechilla (a bride who is so relaxed that everyone else is more stressed than her.) I will be sad once it ends but I am lucky enough to have a sister who is going to let me make all the bits for her wedding. Since I’m in the wedding business I did feel a certain amount of pressure from others about how amazing it will be but there was one thing we wanted to be true to and that was ourselves. We wanted a day filled with laughter. We are going to spoil our guests and make them feel as special as Sean makes me feel everyday. Without him I would never have been able to achieve all the crazy ideas that I suggested. He just said “Yes Kate I will make,build,paint that.” Even if it did mean we have had to live without a workable lounge for the last 3 months! I wanted to make as many things as I could. Not for money saving as sometimes it wasn’t the cheaper option but it was because I wanted do create exactly what we wanted! I didn’t compromise on anything as anything I couldn’t do he did for me. We were a team!
There is a little bit of advice I have for brides: that is check the people who haven’t sent their RSVP against the invited list. We had a couple of them go missing in the post and I “upgraded” a few people from the night to the day and only then realised the mistake. It’s not something you can just take back. That’s the only bit of stress that has upset me as we all know weddings are all about the budget.
One of the things that have made the last few weeks extra exciting are my wedding elves. They have been giving me a ‘Wedding advent calendar’. Everyday I get to open a little (and sometimes not so little) treat. I can’t thank them enough and it makes the one I made for my other half look pretty pants.
(They may not belong on your head)
Now this planning and creating and making is not just about a wedding. It is about spending the rest of my life with my best friend. I get to marry a man who makes me laugh everyday and spends his time making me feel like the most amazing person in the world. He makes me love myself. Thank you for being you and choosing me to be your wife.
We’re down to 2 days now!
Thank you so much Kate! Cannot wait to see all your hard work pay off this Saturday!
Last week we introduced you to the Clogau Compose range, if you missed it then take a look here! These Engagement rings are beautiful and an incredible gift to open this christmas! Lets hand you back over to the fabulous Welsh based company, Clogau to tell you more about them.
So if we said you can have an engagement ring that not only can you have a part in building, but is also set with exquisite diamonds, is quintessentially Clogau in design and contains rare Welsh gold – the same gold used in wedding rings of British royalty for decades – how would you feel? Pretty special right!
The first major link between Welsh Gold and the Royal family began in 1911 when Prince Edward I was officially invested as the Prince of Wales in a special ceremony at Caernarvon Castle on the fringes of Snowdonia, North Wales.
This very same rare Welsh gold has since been used to create wedding rings for some members of the Royal Family since 1923. This tradition was founded by The Queen Mother, then Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, on her marriage to the Duke of York on 26 April 1923. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s wedding ring, from her marriage to The Duke of Edinburgh on 20 November 1947 is crafted from a nugget of pure Welsh gold from the Clogau St. David’s mine. Other members of the Royal Family to have Welsh gold wedding rings include Princess Anne (1973), the late Princess Diana (1981), Prince Charles (1981 & 2005) and Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall (2005).
The tradition of using Welsh gold in the wedding rings of the British Royal family was carried into its 88th year with the most recent Royal wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on 29th April 2011. Catherine commissioned her wedding ring to be made from pure Welsh gold.
Now, it is your chance to feel like a Princess and without further ado, as promised, let us introduce two more of our truly sublime engagement ring designs and bride personalities.
Cecilia – The Trendsetting Bride
Captivating and feminine, the trendsetting bride is always at the forefront of all that is happening. Romantic yet striking she leads the way in fashion and style. Her confidence and dramatic nature ensure her alluring personality shines through.
Viola – The Bohemian Bride
A natural free-spirit whose lifestyle and love of the world is infectious and resonates to her very core. She is joyful and enchanting and her company never fails to delight those who are lucky enough to share her passionate and charming joy for life.
There are currently two more personalities to introduce to you. We hope that their sentiments, styles and majestic connections will engage with you and inspire you to create your own dream ring that reflects all you mean to each other.
We hope you will join us to meet our next two brides in the New Year!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Cwtch the Bride only accepts sponsored posts from companies we think will be useful to you :)
If you are in Cardiff in the run up to Christmas make sure you visit the Clogau Cardiff store and take a photo under the Clogau Mistletoe Archway- it’s the most romantic place to be this Christmas! Share your photos with the hashtag #ClogauKisses
Our Homemade Bride Kate gets married THIS SATURDAY! In one of her final posts as a Bride to Be she dishes the dirt on her fabulous hen do. WARNING: It gets a bit “cheeky” in parts!
If anyone knows me they know I love surprises. So when my sister who hates surprises started planning my hen she found it difficult not asking me what I thought. I was really easy going there were only two rules…..no fancy dress and no nakedness.
The hardest part was when all of my hens started to message me with how many sleeps there were and how excited they were getting. The problem was that yes I was excited but I just didn’t know what to be excited about. It was a strange feeling and I started to regret not knowing anything.
On the day of the hen I got a message with a postcode of where to go and a time to get there for. Still none the wiser of the shenanigans that have been planned. This was when I finally got butterflies.
I arrived at a beautiful apartment in Bath. My sister and my mum had got the bunting up and the wine was ready to go. The Friday was a quiet evening and it consisted mostly of Thai food and reminiscing with old friends.
Saturday was the big day as we met all of my other hens who were clucking and chatting and I was ready. We arrived at a place called The Makery and were ushered upstairs to a room with a chair in the middle. There I was sat and handed a bag of gifts and a much needed glass of champagne. I opened a beautiful Bride to Be sash, and veil, that my mum made. (You can see who I take after.) There was also the obligatory L plate garter. So there it was some fancy dress! I knew it!
I was still unsure about what we were doing. I had seen the sketch paper and the pens but something began to niggle! Who were they drawing? Were they going to draw me? My questions were easily answered as a lovely,curly haired, young man walked in with his dressing gown on! Why is it when you need a glass of bubbles you somehow have an empty glass! “Please let him be wearing boxers! Please let him be wearing boxers! Please let him be wearing boxers!” No! He was not wearing boxers and he had nothing on him other than a tattoo on his leg! They had broken both the rules and I needed wine. I physically couldn’t stop laughing as I peered around the board and saw all of my friends and family diligently drawing this naked man who was sitting right in front of me and all of them looking slightly shocked and amused at the sight. (Most of them didn’t know the plan either.)
As you can tell I was inspired by Picasso!
I will assure you that it did get easier and the lady running the life drawing class made it very light hearted. It wasn’t about how well you could draw. It was about bringing in a way to break the ice and make it about the hen. She got my nearest and dearest to tell lovely stories about myself that brought back wonderful memories.
The bottom right picture was done with blindfolds on!
This is one of the funniest pictures ever with not a soul looking in his direction!
Then it was a brisk walk to the next activity. This would never normally be a problem but there was a big rugby match on that day and there I was with all the hen do paraphernalia on. This was where I was glad I had made them all wear tiaras. I was not alone. We did turn a few heads to say the least.
And on to… chocolate making!!! Well this was just up my street. This was a slightly sticky one but tell me a girl who doesn’t like chocolatey fingers. It was great fun and we had bags of truffles to take home.
After an evening of lovely food and a Mr and Mrs quiz that I did remarkably badly on I can honestly say it was one of the most amazing weekends ever. I had all of my closest friends and family who made me feel so happy. When Charlie our Classic Bride told me it is something you have never experienced and it really is just the best thing, I didn’t quite understand until now. I just want to thank my sister for all of her hard work. I just hope that I can make you as proud as you made me. It was the simply best!
Thank you for revealing all Kate! All of us here at Cwtch the Bride are wishing you all the best of love and luck for your big day on Saturday, we hope it will be everything you dreamed of xxx