Bride to Be Competition: Introducing Natasha

This week has been all about our Bride to Be competition. We have narrowed down the shortlist to 5 Brides to be and so far we have heard from Emily, Danielle and Claire. This morning we introduce Natasha, if Natasha is your favourite then make sure you vote for her by commenting on this post, you can then share the post for others to vote for her too! Here is the lovely Natasha with her introduction story. bride-to-be

Hi!

My name’s Natasha O’Hara (31), and my fiancé’s name is David Harris (33). I work in a small community college called YMCA Wales Community College on the Community Learning team and Dave works for Co-operative Bank in the Cwmbran branch. We met in March 2012 via *drum roll*… internet dating!! That oh-so-stigmatised site – Plenty of Fish. We got chatting and realised we had friends in common, and perhaps had more than likely met many years ago, so before we even met there was a good connection/vibe! Within 3 months we moved in together and the rest, as the saying goes, is history! Dave & IWe got engaged in Sicily, 30th May 2013 – and yes, it was COMPLETELY out of the blue for me, I was not expecting it all! It had been a bit of a cloudy day, we spent the afternoon driving up Mount Etna then in the evening decided to have a night out in Taormina (google it, it’s stunning).Taormina beach

Before our meal, we caught the funicular down to the beach to dip our toes in the sea which we hadn’t done since arriving a few days previously. I can clearly remember that feeling of ‘ahhhh’ as my feet sank into the warm shingle in the shallows – it finally felt like holiday now I had been in the sea! Albeit just a paddle. We wandered back up the beach, which was empty bar the two of us, and I spied a lone plastic chair which I sat on to wipe the sand away from my feet. Dave got down and started helping me clean off my feet, and I was babbling away telling him how this was always my dad’s job when we were kids and how he used to get right between the toes to tickle us. I was completely oblivious to the fact that Dave had stopped and was fumbling about with something until there it was… Almost as if in slow motion, he pulls something from his pocket and still on bended knee at my feet produces a ring and says those words every girl dreams of hearing! Naturally, I burst into obligatory tears and at that second the clouds parted and the sun shone. I know that sounds unlikely but magically, it is the truth! It was a beautiful moment that is etched in my mind forever. Engaged! Obligatory ring shot!

We’re getting married 30th May 2015 (2 years to the day of the engagement!) at Pencoed House Estate. Our photographer is going to be a guy called Dave Smith. My best friend is a wedding photographer (Fran Croker) but seeing as she’s my maid of honour I thought for once she may like to attend a wedding without photographing! Though I know she will now have a camera far away, she just can’t resist it ha – she was born to be a photographer and she can’t turn down a photo opportunity!

The sun came out for us!

The sun came out for us!

The first thing we saw after getting engaged was a wedding!

The first thing we saw after getting engaged was a wedding!

Thank you so much Natasha, don’t forget to comment on this post if you would like Natasha to be our next bride to be contributor, you can also share the post so more people can vote!

Bride to Be Competition: Introducing Claire

Yesterday I announced that our shorlisted brides-to-be from our Bride to Be Competition would be featuring on the blog starting with Emily yesterday afternoon. This morning Danielle introduced herself to you, and this afternoon it’s the turn of the lovely Claire! If you like Claire’s introduction post then do vote for her by commenting on this post and you can even share it on your social media for others to vote!  bride-to-be

Hello! In true ‘write an essay at school’ style, my name is Claire Wilde and, on the 15th August 2015, I will become Mrs Christian Llewellyn – cue massive smiles, butterflies and a pounding heart!

So, a little bit about who we are… I’m a thirty four year old lawyer and Mr double L is a thirty six year old IT Manager (he’s going to kill me for putting his age in black and white – his friends think he’s been twenty seven since he was twenty seven!). We are both originally from the Rhymney Valley and, despite having spent the majority of our adult lives living in Cardiff, our ‘how we became a couple’ story confirms that we are true folk of the Valleys… In short, the brother of one of my best friends is one of his best friends, we’ve all known each other since we were geeky teens (note to said best friend who will most certainly be reading this at some point, we’ve been friends since nursery, I know!) but, following a few random meetings, from which he was most firmly stuck in my mind, we became a couple in June 2013. That was the start of C&C and the rest, as they say, is history. C&C

Christian proposed a day after my 34th birthday, which we were celebrating with a weekend away in Stockholm, Sweden – We both love to travel and Stockholm was on our list of ‘must do City breaks.’ We’d booked a table at Gondolen restaurant, which is perched 108 feet above the beautiful Slussen district of the City and has THE most amazing views of Stockholm. After our main course, we started talking about how we had randomly bumped into one another months before we got together and how this was, even though we didn’t realise it at the time, probably the beginning of the most special thing that had happened to either of us. I was sat, smiling away, happily recalling with Christian every little memory we both had of C&C and with that, Christian reached into his pocket and asked me to marry him… I think I’d said yes before he’d finished the sentence!  The proposal was completely unexpected and Christian had picked my beautiful engagement ring himself – he had also kept the ring hidden in one of his socks and checked it in to the hold for the flight to Sweden! As cheesy as this might sound, Christian could honestly have proposed to me with a Haribo ring (or no ring at all!) and I would have been equally as happy as I was at that moment when he popped the question… and have been since. We spent the rest of the weekend in Stockholm walking around in a fuzzy, happy, C&C love bubble… You know the emoticon with the little face with hearts for eyes and a Cheshire cat style grin? I swear that’s how I looked! IMG_1452

Fast forward six months, we still have the grins and hearts in place but we also have our wedding plans steadily coming together. We will become Mr and Mrs Llewellyn in the Council Chamber Room at City Hall, Cardiff and then spend a late afternoon and evening at the Norwegian Church in Cardiff Bay massively celebrating with family and close friends. We want our wedding to reflect us as a couple and our day to be filled with love and laughter with the people in the world we care most about – those who have always been there for us in the past and who will always be there for us in our future.

I would love to share my bride – to – be experience with all the Cwtch the Bride lovelies and I hope that this little taster has been enough to make you all want to hear more about our wedding planning!

Love,

Claire

Thank you so much Claire! If you would like to read more about Claire’s planing, and of course see her wedding photographs from these two gorgeous venues then please comment on this post, and do share this post for your friends!

Bride to Be Competition: Introducing Danielle

Yesterday I announced that our shorlisted brides-to-be from our Bride to Be Competition would be featuring on the blog starting with Emily yesterday afternoon. This morning the lovely Danielle introduces herself to you, if you would like Danielle to win and become our next Bride to be contributor all you need to do is comment on this post and share it for others to do the same! Here is Danielle with her introduction. bride-to-be

My name is Danielle and I am due to marry my gorgeous fiancé Huw next year.

I have known Huw for many years, we grew up together from the age of ten, our parents still live a few houses apart. image

Whilst going to secondary school we were very good friends, Huw would ask me out but I would reply we are too good friends for that, but deep down I wanted to say yes. Huw would call for me in the mornings and we would walk to school together, Huw would then wait for me to walk home and carry my bag- he was lush. image1

After finishing school we seemed to go our separate ways. We both got into relationships and I myself had two children and Huw has one. We eventually got together about five and a half years ago, both of our parents always thought we would and should have been together. image3

Huw popped the question last October when we were on hols and I was so shocked and surprised of course I said yes, we are due to marry on 31st August 2015 at Llechwen Hall, we are both excited and can’t wait. image2

Thank you Danielle! How sweet is it that they have known each other almost all of their lives! If you would like to hear more about Danielle’s planning then make sure you comment on this post and share it to your friends!

Bride to Be Competition: Introducing Emily

This morning I announced that our shorlisted brides-to-be from our Bride to Be Competition would be featuring on the blog from this afternoon. First up is the lovely Emily, if you like her intro post and would like to see more of Emily’s planning all you need to do is comment on this blog post (rule: it has to be specifically on Emily’s post to vote for Emily), if you REALLY want Emily to win then share this post on your social media and ask your friends to do the same! Here is Emily’s post introducing herself to you. 

bride-to-be

At last, after many years of looking, we finally find ‘Mr Right’ and they pop they question (better late than never!). After all the excitement and celebrations die down we are faced with the task of organising the biggest day of your life! No pressure then – just a few hundred decisions to make!! 052

Shwmae!  I am Emily (or ‘Welshie’ to my English friends) aged 34, and I currently live in West Sussex with my fiancé Martin and our dog Louis. Born and bred in Wales I spent the first 26 years of my life living in Cardiff before moving away for a new job. I have what many would say a dream job – I work for a sports travel company. I am very lucky in that I get to travel around the world as part of my job often attending sports or other major events. Next year I have the task of organising our ‘Big Day’ along side organising the travel of 4,000 scouts representing the UK when they travel to Japan for the 23rd World Scout Jamboree – a good job I like a challenge! Louis the dog

After living in Cheltenham for a few years I moved down to West Sussex in 2009. I had spent a numerous months trying to find ‘Mr Right’ via internet dating when I had my first date with Martin, and it seemed my luck had finally changed! On our first date we watched the film Serendipity (which is a must if you have never seen it). He decided to put up with my film choice and me and we had our second date a night later.

Martin could be called my ‘toy boy’ being 4 years younger, he has grown up on the South Coast and is also lucky that he works in the field of his main interest, which is golf. I always know that if he isn’t at home he will be on a golf course somewhere!

Six months after meeting we moved in together and in February 2013 whilst in Rome to watch Six Nations rugby Italy v Wales Martin proposed to me at Trevi Fountain. Very romantic! What more can you want – rugby, ice cream and a beautiful engagement ring. photo-3DSC04878

We (or should I say I) have spent many an evening planning our wedding – I love organising and paying attention to all the smaller details. We want our wedding to be personal to us, representing our personalities and interests to all our guests. For example we have booked a male voice choir for the church and a harpist for the wedding reception to add some Welsh touches. For desert we are having a vintage bicycle serving Italian ice cream – when in Rome you get engaged and eat ice cream! The bunting and table decorations will involve vintage maps (to represent my love of travel) and the tables will be names after golf courses (to represent Martin’s love of Golf). Pew Ends - just need to add ribbon

In school and even now I love to be creative – I studied Art and Design and Technology A Level and even studied Architecture at university before realising that the laws of engineering get in the way of being too creative. Since changing my university degree to Sports Development I have kept the creative projects to being a hobby and our wedding is a perfect opportunity to create one giant art project – I have decided to make practically everything myself (I may live to regret this when I am up until the early hours covered in superglue!). I would love to share with you my creative DIY ideas along the way, if anything it will save Martin being bombarded and he can enjoy some peace and quiet! IMG_2343

I can’t wait for our big day and I want to share with you all some of the decisions we have made in organising our big day – Us future brides can be decision makers together! Here are a few to get you started –

Decision 1 – The Venue

A pretty big decision in the wedding planning process is deciding on the wedding venue. With us, we have the added complication that we have not grown up in the same area (or even the same country!)……

As a girl growing up in Wales, I always thought that I would marry a Welsh man (probably with the surname Jones, as we are inundated with them) in my local church, St Fagan’s, on the outskirts of Cardiff. But grown up stuff got in the way, like working my way up the career ladder and I choose to move away from the ‘land of song’ for a dream job!

Martin and I discussed wedding locations, and we came to the conclusion that a wedding in Wales was not practical so we began to look into venues near where we live. I have realised that life and relationships are all about compromise but if the wedding can’t come to Wales, then Wales will come to the wedding!

I love living on the South Coast (although I do miss my parents and Cardiff, especially on Welsh rugby days) and since meeting Martin it has felt like home even more! There are some beautiful venues near where we live that unfortunately are accompanied with a hefty price tag!

A colleague at work mentioned Old Thorns Manor Hotel (Liphook) situated about an hour from where we live. As a Golf fanatic Martin knew it well, as it has an amazing golf course (so I am told). So I went to take a look with my bridesmaid Kirsten (Martin already had plans that day, you can guess where he was…… Yes playing golf!). As soon as we arrived I fell in love with it! Of course Martin was happy with my preferred choice as it means that he gets to play golf on his wedding weekend, and I can relax in the spa! Everyone is happy……. :-)

Our big day is planned for Saturday 4th April 2015 (Easter Saturday), which is the perfect weekend for friends and family to make it a whole weekend of celebrations. We have booked our reception at Old Thorns Manor Hotel and are getting married in a local church just a few minutes down the road from the hotel. The venue suits all our needs and budget – we are trying to organise a wedding for 120 people on a budget of £10,000!

So there you have it – one decision made only another few hundred to go!!!!!!

DSC04082

Thank you so much Emily! If you want to see more of Emily’s planning, hear more of her decisions (like how her Dad’s push-bike accident led to her finding her perfect dress!) and see her crafty side all you need to do is comment on this post and share it for other’s to do the same :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bride to Be Competition: The Shortlist

You may remember that we recently ran a competition to find our next bride- or groom-to-be contributor, the entries are in and have been read and enjoyed at Cwtch HQ! We have narrowed it down to five shortlisted brides-to-be and we need your help in choosing the winner. bride-to-be

Choosing The Winner

Our winning bride to be will feature on the blog once a month and will share with us the details of her planning. We really want our winner to be someone that you, our readers, really relate to and want to see up on the blog. Over the next couple of days, starting this afternoon, we will be posting up our potential new bride-to-be’s introduction stories onto the blog and if you like the entry all you need to do is leave a comment on the blog post, that is the most important bit. You may comment as many times as you like on as many posts as you like – even all of them! Once the final post has gone up on Thursday afternoon you can go back and comment again telling us who was your favourite.

If you really like a particular entry: share her post! Keep an eye on our Facebook page for all the links also.

Your winner will be the bride-to-be that has had the most comments, views and shares.

The Shortlist

Here are the names of our brides-to-be and when they will be featuring on the blog:

Emily is first up – Today at 2pm!

Danielle – Tomorrow, Wednesday 22nd at 8am

Claire – Tomorrow, Wednesday 22nd at 2pm

Natasha – Thursday 23rd at 8am

Victoria – Thursday 23rd at 2pm

Please support all of our lovely entries and drop them a message of encouragement if you’ve enjoyed reading their post.

We will announce the winner as soon as we have gone through all the entries.