Real Wedding Lisa & Carl’s Festival Wedding

Calling all festival brides! If you are looking for inspiration then this is the wedding for you. With the beautiful Gower as its backdrop this wedding is full of little homemade and quirky touches. It gave me the feeling that this wedding brought the family closer together. I had a smile on my face the whole time editing it. Thank you Richard Savage Photography for these beautiful images.  From the silent disco to the table decorations, I loved it all. I leave it to Lisa to tell you their Gower wedding story. ~ Kate





What was your budget? 

We were really lucky as we had financial support from both parents which covered paying for the venue and food/drinks. We then paid for everything else, we saved a lot of money by designing and creating our own table plans and decorations.048

How would you describe your wedding theme? 

We decided on a Festival Theme as our relationship pretty much started in Glastonbury Festival 2009 and we have gone to the festival together every year since. Our love for the festival and for music brought us together so it was only right that we would have festival it as our theme. There was one year in 2012 when there was no Glastonbury so we decided to throw a big BBQ at our house with lots of music, wellies and disco balls and called it Glastondenty. (Our surname is Dent.) So our big day was always going to be called Glastondenty.

044What was your favourite part of your wedding?

Its hard to pick one favourite part as we both loved the whole day. There were lots of little things we both loved, for example the best man managed to get a video message to us from the Glastonbury Festival organiser, Emily Eavis, congratulating us on our marriage. The convoy of Vespas from Carl’s Scooter club that followed me down to the venue was amazing and the Silent Disco was a huge success. However seeing Carl for the first time as I came down the aisle was pretty special.

034027Tell us about your Wedding Dress

My dress like so many other people I’ve spoken to was the first one I tried on. I wanted to look a bit further than my home town for a dress so searched online and came across this lovely shop called Hannah Emily Bridal which is in Rhiwbina Cardiff. I saw the dress online and decided to make an appointment to try it on. I fell in love straight away, the back of the dress got me the most with the lace draping in almost a heart shape. I went to one more shop in Swansea and tried on 5 dresses but none of them compared to the first. The whole experience was amazing and Hannah was lovely, her shop is beautiful inside and I always comment on how nice it smells when I go there ha ha. Opposite the shop theres a lovely little deli which we always stopped in for tea, breakfast or lunch so it was a proper outing.


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

My Maid of Honour was always going to be my sister Angela, shes one of my best friends and shes always there for me when I need her. My two other bridesmaids were Lucy and Naomi who I’ve been friends with for years from school. The 3 of them made absolutely stunning bridesmaids and helped me through the wedding preparation and then hen do’s.        


Carls best man was a life long friend that he’s known since nursery school. They’ve grown up together and been through alot together over the years. Plus he knew that he’d pull of an amazing speech at the wedding.


Why did you choose your venue?

Our venue was Oxwich Bay Hotel. The ceremony room is absolutely beautiful, it had been recently renovated and there is a huge oak tree beam running through the ceiling which we fell in love with and a huge fire place. The hotel is situated on the beach so the Marquee where we held the reception overlooks the beach so the views are perfect, we were so lucky to have September sunshine so it really did make the day for us. Its also where we got engaged so its seemed right to get married there. The wedding planner and all the staff were extremely helpful and I cant thank them enough for making our day so special.


Tell us about your photographer

Richard Savage  is one of Carl’s close friends from school. It was actually Richards stag do in Glastonbury when we got together. It was always going to be Richard to be our photographer because the images he captures are simply stunning. We had followed his career in photography for a while before we got engaged so we definitely knew we wanted him to capture our special day. For both of us the action shots from the day are more important that the ones where every one is called to stand together and pose and Richard captures these at the perfect moments.

The photo of the Vespa’s following me in the wedding car coming over the top of North Gower is one of our favourites. Richard actually stopped about a mile in front of us and got out of his car to get the snap. It was Richards suggestion that we do the engagement shoot in Glastonbury and use the photos for our tables. He’s got the imagination and the ideas which have blown us away. He has done quite a few of our friends weddings and the feedback he gets is incredible, he is such a hard worker and with his wife, Gemma, they make a perfect team, so it was an easy choice to make.


How did the proposal happen? 

The proposal took place on Christmas Eve 2013 down Oxwich Bay, which is also where we got married. Its my Dads birthday on Christmas Eve so we always tend to go out as a family in the afternoon for a few drinks. We had 2 dogs at the time so Carl suggested we go down there to take them for a walk to tire them out before we go out. I was a bit apprehensive as its about a 35 minute drive, the weather wasn’t the best and I was worried whether I’d have time to get back home and get ready. Anyway, we went down there and we were walking along the beach when I noticed Carl had run into the sea with the dogs and all I kept thinking was ‘great the dogs are going to be soaking, Im gonna have to clean them up’ when Carl pointed to a bottle. Immediately, I ran to the bottle and actually said ‘Oh my god someones stranded on a desert island’ opened the bottle and the message said ‘Will you marry me?’ I burst into tears, Carl is a really romantic person anyway but this was by far the most amazing experience I was so overwhelmed I don’t think I managed to get a yes out.


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

Most of our wedding was DIY. We made all of our table decorations, the hessian fabric we purchased and cut into circles as a base, we then used blocks of wood as part of the centerpiece to hold the record and the table cards. We asked one our local pubs in Swansea if they could keep whiskey/rum bottles for us to use to put the flowers in, a majority of the Jack Daniels bottles were from the optics so the labels were upside down but we loved it as it just added to the quirkiness. The tables were names after stages at Glastonbury and our good friend and photographer Richard Savage took our photos as part of an engagement shoot at the festival, we then used the photos from these as part of the table plan and table names.


Keeping to the festival theme, our good friend Craig made lanyards using his epic laminating skills, we also designed festival style wrist bands for all the guests to wear. It wouldn’t be a festival wedding without wellies so we purchased a couple of pairs at a car boot sale and filled them with sunflowers and hydrangeas (my fave) and these were placed down the aisle. All of the jars, scrumpy bottles that we had every where were either ones we already had or that we borrowed. We purchased an old style trunk from a carboot sale which wasn’t in the best condition, so Carl put some extra hinges on it and lined it with some funky wallpaper which we got from our local Vintage shop called Hobos in Swansea. We also purchased some Afghan blankets from a carboot sale for the trunk so people could keep warm outside the Marquee in the evening where the BBQ took place.


We used pallets which we got from a friend for making the signs and they were all put together and painted by Carl, just by buying some tester paints from B&Q and using chalk that we already had. We also borrowed a wheelbarrow from a friend to serve the locally inspired welcome drinks.

We made a huge saving on our table flowers by getting them wholesale rather than a florist, this was so easy to do. Two days prior to the wedding our kitchen was packed with flowers to make the wellies, the rest we gave to the venue to put into the jars and bottles for us on the day.

The bunting we bought from ebay and the crockery we used for our guests to drink from was all borrowed from my sister including the cake stands for the welsh cakes. She has her own company called Bettimay where she has designed the most beautiful china plus she also hires it out for weddings but we had a freebie of course.

My sister also made the suitcase for the Cards which we had from my late grandfather and helped me make the floral peace sign that was displayed near the dance floor.

I purchased the umbrella and parasols for the bridesmaids from LollyBird Vintage. They were all sourced by the lovely Lolly, I told her excalty what I wanted and she managed to source them for me from flea markets.


What was your first dance & why?

Our first dance was Stevie Wonder ‘For once in my life’. We chose this because the lyrics are quite poignant for both of us, because of tough times we had both encountered in the past. Plus we saw Stevie Wonder at Glastonbury on Carl’s birthday and he actually sang his song Happy birthday so we kind of love him.


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

To be honest we cant think of doing anything differently, every aspect of our wedding had a special meaning and a part of our story and I think that’s important. Maybe making it last a bit longer like a proper festival over 4 days, but we definitely did not have the budget for that.


Do you have any advice for future couples?

Every aspect of our wedding had a special meaning and was a part of our story. I think that is important to make your day unique to you as a couple. Try and spend as much time together on the day, we told ourselves to make sure of this and we certainly did, most of it on the dance floor.


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

We were given lots of little nuggets of advice but the one that sticks out the most is to always laugh together and Carl and I certainly do that.

What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

There wasn’t one thing in particular that we liked most about planning the wedding, as it was very personal to us. We made a lot of the decorations ourselves we enjoyed it all.


The Suppliers

Photographer: Richard Savage Photography
Ceremony Venue/ Reception Venue: Oxwich Bay Hotel, Gower, Swansea. 
Bride’s Dress: Hannah Emily Bridal
Bride’s Shoes: Rachel Simpson shoes
Bride’s Headpiece: Kate – Undone Vintage
Bride’s Jewellery:
Groom’s Outfit: ASOS
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: ASOS
Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Lollybird Vintage
Cake: Sian’s Pantry Pleasers (Facebook)
Flowers: A J Gutteridge 
Hair: Lyndsey Jermin at Bohos Swansea
Make Up: Chris Howells MUA Laura Mercier
Band: The Riff Swansea and The Hummingbirs

The Wedding Album

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FEATURED POST- St Fagan’s Hen Afternoons

Hi Cwtchers!

Today on the blog we wanted to draw your attention to our fabulous Lush Listers St Fagan’s National History Museum who do something a bit different when it comes to hen party’s.  

We love the idea of having a hen afternoon with your ladies before the hen night allowing young and old to join in your pre-nuptial celebrations.

St Fagan’s Hen afternoons offer the chance for your Hens to choose from a range of activities from their chosen era, including learning how to do the Charleston dance or getting creative with classic crafts and making pom poms, bunting and garlands, and ceramic workshops.

With food and drinks being an important part of any hen party, the afternoon tea dining experience has been carefully prepared by St Fagans’ award winning catering team, Elior. It includes finger sandwiches and a variety of miniature homemade cakes and scones, served with brewed coffee and Welsh brew tea followed by a celebratory glassof fizz.

Great idea and we love to see our Welsh businesses doing something so well!!

Look below and should you wish to find out more click here

3292 - Crafty Hen Postcard St Fagans 1e-2

st.fagans -1

Wedding Advice

Good morning ladies!

We here at Cwtch have a team of wedding professionals and brides that have gone through the wedding planning process not only in our personal lives but also in our careers.  Between us we have worked with many a bride to be and gathered a wealth of experience.


We wanted to know if there was anything that you would like us here at Cwtch HQ to cover on the blog to ensure that we are helping you our lovely brides to be plan what will be the best day of your life.


Fill out the below form with any questions or areas of wedding advice that you would like us to cover and we will try our best to get the very best advice we can.

All images Maria Farrelly




Amy Mair Couture by Maria Farrelly_004

Oakdale Hall Mariafarrellyphotography

Bride to be Diaries: Our Boobless Bride finds THE dress.

Our Boobless bride to be Dawn is back on the blog today with the second insight into her journey of wedding planning.  Dawn won a place in our recent competition to find our new Bride-to-be writers and wow did we have response from you all on her amazing story.  Here she tells us about her first venture into wedding fairs and how a boobless bride finds THE dress…

Bridesmaids chosen… so it must be time for the obligatory wedding fair.  Although as you know I was married before, we got married in Cuba so none of the traditional planning was required. We simply went into first choice, picked the cheapest long distance venue and bosh…wedding done.  This time it is a completely different experience – which is wonderful!!!
I managed to arrange a weekend where the bridesmaids could get together – all 5 of them – and booked us in to a couple of wedding dress shops on the Saturday and two wedding fairs on the Sunday. (Beth – Sister-in-law and Maid of Honour, Lindsay, Jodie, Emma and Boon –
My besties and my mum Sue)  A pre hen gathering.
But that was weeks away…and I’m a little impatient so decided to start getting ideas. This is when operation ‘secret affair’commenced. Beth lured me into cheating on my bridesmaids, it is all her fault, she took advantage of my fragile newly engaged state. (Thrown under the bus Beth – sorry!)  We only ventured into Cardiff to visit the vintage fair for some inspiration, had no intention of looking at dresses – Eek. But having found the most amazing vintage petticoat it was only right we had a little look to see what vintage dresses may suit the petticoat…I won’t try anything on without my mum and other bridesmaids present….will I?! Well, one won’t hurt… Oops. Before I know it I’m knee deep in dresses and a fabric connoisseur able to differentiate tulle and organza.
It has started…but I’m really doing the bridesmaids a favour – as now I know what style I want now so can concentrate on that on our bridesmaid weekend. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  So I now know the style I want, just finding it is the difficult bit.
Now you may think I’m digressing a little now – as I’m supposed to be talking about a wedding fair, but all will become clear…
I suspect I am not the typical bride. I find the whole finding ‘the dress’ thing tedious and frustrating for two reasons; firstly the women in the bridal shops want to put me in size 20 dresses and I’m sure I am a 12 (damn you steroids) and secondly I have no bloody boobs!!!
How do I drop that into convo when describing the dress I want… “Good afternoon, I’m looking for an ivory dress with a drop waist, lace and a design that cleverly masks the fact I have no breasts”. Beth suggested going to the place she had her dress, but I was a little reluctant as I didn’t want to rain on her parade – but Beth was adamant. So off I trot to ‘Do you Believe?’ in Newport, South Wales and my goodness am I glad I did!!!
I embraced the situation and told Helen I needed a dress that would hide my ‘knitted knockers’ (an amazing alternative to prosthetics – please pass that on if you know anyone who has had a mastectomy) and suck in my fat. In true Welsh Bird style, I tell Helen it all…what happened
to my ex-husband, my struggle after, my diagnosis and meeting my amazing man. Instantly we connected, Helen has always had a passion for designing dresses that have a functional aspect for women with problem areas or disabilities…but more than that…she wanted so badly to not only make me a beautiful dress, but make me happy after such a testing few years!!!  So, Helen is making me a dress…Yes, that’s right, my own dress!!! I choose EVERYTHING!!!! It is so exciting. My luck is changing…and as luck would have it, she isat the wedding fair on the bridesmaid weekends so my bridesmaid can pick dresses with her,and I can show the girls what we are thinking of doing. (See it makes sense now.)
So…back to the weekend!!!
     Do you believe
Friday night, the girls arrive and we do as any bridal group would that are consciously trying to lose weight for the big day… we have a monster take away and start watching ‘Yes to the Dress’ and ‘Don’t tell the bride’ to get us in the mood and start planning the weekend.
So on the Saturday we head to Cardiff, to be honest I knew at this point that I was only really trying on dresses to have that experience with the girls and get ideas for Helen. It was a surreal day really – didn’t feel like a bride at all, in fact just found myself dismissing everything I tried on almost immediately. All I could see was short hair – the aftermath of chemo, fat – the aftermath of steroids and comfort food and no chest – the aftermath of cancer. And of course all the young girls working in the shop are beautiful size 6 and about 19 years old. My poor bridesmaids having to put up with me grumpy and struggling with body image issues and not feeling too great on my medication. Not really the ‘moment’ I was hoping for. But we left the bridal shop and had a lovely day shopping.
Sunday has now arrived and I’m looking forward to a lovely day with my bridesmaids but still not feeling very bridal. The first fair we attended was the ‘Chosen Vintage & Bespoke Wedding Fair’ in the Paintworks, Bristol. It was a lovely event, smaller than I expected but I suppose it was quite a specific bridal genre so makes sense.
Wedding Cake
First thing – a goodie bag – that lifted my mood immediately, it had a jaffa cake in it…my favourite lol. There were some amazing stalls there…genuine 1920-1950’s dresses, a little too authentic for me but beautiful none the less, incredible wedding cake designs and stationary sets, great ideas for centrepieces and lighting solutions…one of my favourite ideas was a traditional ice-cream cart being pulled by an authentic 1930’s push bike.
Icecream Bike
Lots of photos taken and now I’m really feeling the buzz of being a bride. Off we go now to the ‘West of England Wedding Show’at UWE, Bristol….Wow!!! What an event!!! Professional stalls offering everything you can think of and a real life catwalk!!! I’ve never seen a fashion show so was looking forward to that! First find was a Bailey’s fountain!!! I know!!! Love at first sight and my bestie Lindsay decided to treat me to it for my wedding gift…she’s a treasure.
Baileys Fountain
One by one my bridesmaid took ideas and have taken on a little project of their own. (For now a secret) Then we found Helen at Do you Believe’s stand. She showed the girls a bridesmaid dress she thought would suit my dress and one by one the girls tried them on with me holding my breath…they loved it and all looked amazing!!! So…bridesmaid dresses…CHECK!!!
All bridesmaids are now beaming and we are all in full blown wedding mode. So Helen puts me in a dress that is close to what we are thinking to show the girls…a lot of changes to be made but the general idea could be seen.
There it was, that bridal moment. This is THE DRESS (kind of) – without a doubt. My mum is in tears, I’m in tears the girls are in tears and you can’t even get the full effect yet. Helen is truly making the dream dress for a boobless bride. I’m ecstatic… just the fashion show to go.
One by one the bridal shops show off their best selection of dresses, it was amazing. Such a diverse range of dresses…vintage, lace, sexy, daring, sparkly, short, long, full, fitting, you name it, it was there. Then unexpectedly the compere introduces the collection from ‘Do you
Believe, Newport’ with no thought at all, we all start cheering and whooping at the excitement that this was Helen’s collection!!! It never dawned on use for a second that this was not the kind of response given at bridal shows…the compere was stopped dead in his tracks, everyone staring at us in complete disbelief. Oops…we literally brought the show to a halt whilst he composed himself and ridiculed the fact we clearly did not know the etiquette at these events. Well… you can take the girls out of Newport….

Cwtch Of The Week: Lisa & Carl’s Oxwich Bay Cwtch

Coming up this Friday, we have a fabulous festival style wedding by Richard Savage Photgraphy. This is a lovely photo of the beautiful couple Lisa and Carl just after they got married at the stunning Oxwich Bay 029Just wait till you see the back of this brides dress from Hannah Emily Bridal in Cardiff. It is absolutely stunning!  I have fallen in love with all of their little touches and the bright colours. The bouquets were so viberant. Sunflowers are honestly the happiest flower that I know. Make sure you have a look at their real wedding at the end of the week.