Bride to Be Diaries: Maid In Wales Introduces us to The Bride Tribe

Hello Lovlies

Our gorgeous Gwen, AKA Maid In Wales, is back to introduce us to her sister Alys’s Bride Tribe!

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Meet The Bride Tribe

MIW Aug 2017 Alys and me catching up over cocktails

I have never been a bridesmaid. In fact, despite going to several weddings over the last couple of years, I have never even been closely involved in a bridal party until my own wedding last year.

Unlike my sister, I also haven’t really been to many hen parties before which is a little tricky considering I now have to lead the planning of a very (if not THE most) important one I’ll ever attend. So, no pressure then.

Thankfully, I have the support of a very lovely group of bridesmaids – Alys’ Bride Tribe – to help me through this. They have been super so far, providing lots of ideas and advice whenever I’ve needed it and taken on several different jobs to help share out our early planning.

MIW Aug 2017 The gang

So I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to them all, as no doubt you will be hearing a lot more about them over the next couple of months:

Sarah T (Trusted Treasurer) – a childhood friend of ours and one of my own bridesmaids. Sarah T has extensive experience as a bridesmaid, having taken on the role several times in the past, and so I will be relying heavily on her knowledge and expertise in this field. She’ll also be holding the purse strings and helping us keep on budget.

MIW Aug 2017 TRIBE

Sarah B (Accommodation Hunter) – Sarah is a close friend and ex-housemate of Alys’ from her time at Cardiff University. Sarah has been a great help so far hunting down lots of lovely accommodation options for us and brings her unique experience of Alys in her student days to help us with our planning. Alys is also set to be Sarah’s bridemaid when she gets married in a couple of weeks’ time.

Hannah (Entertainment Coordinator) – is one of our oldest friends (we’ve known each other since we were 5!). Hannah took on the role of entertainment planner and has already come up with several exciting activities to keep Alys entertained throughout her Hen. (She’s also pretty good at maths so I’ll be needing her when it comes to number crunching later on!)

Nina (Dinner and Drinks Director) – Nina grew up just round the corner from us at home in Bwlch and we made friends on the school bus. Nina volunteered to use her extensive knowledge of food and drink to help us plan out some of the best places for us Hen’s to frequent during our weekend away.

So the planning begins! (I’ve even bought myself a brand new Hen Party Planning folder to keep myself organised!).

MIW Aug 2017 my hen planning file!

We are very much looking forward to keeping you up-to-date as our plans progress – the only snag is that to keep the Hen a surprise for Alys, the finer details will need to remain top secret.  However I’m sure there will be lots that we’ll be able to share with you as we go along.  It’s going to be an interesting ride.

MIW Aug 2017 Sarah B and Alys on her recent hen in Amsterdam

Cwtch of the Week: A Big Family Cwtch

Happy Monday Everyone!
A beautiful Cwtch of the Week for you all to start off your day- shot by When Charlie Met Hannah, this is a lovely big squashy family cwtch!  Over to Charlie to tell us a bit more about it…..
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A Big Family Cwtch

Lauren and David got married on 11th August and had their reception at the St Mellons hotel in Cardiff. This is Lauren, Dave and Dave’s daughter Ella having a big family cwtch after Dave and Ella did a FABULOUS father daughter dance to My Girl by The Temptations
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Real Wedding: Tara and Robs Beautiful Hallowe’en Inspired Day

Happy Friday Cwtchers!

Well I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but there is suddenly quite a chill in the air – autumn is coming! And you know what that means, autumnal colours, jumpers, warms fires, fireworks and hallowe’en!

And we have a super gorgeous wedding for you to get you all inspired if you’re planning an autumn wedding.  Shot by the very lovely Elaine Williams, Tara and Rob show you how to do a theme right! With gorgeous colours and tones throughout, with just the right amount of nodding to the 31st October, you’re about to completely fall in love with the idea of a hallowe’en inspired wedding…..

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Tara and Robs Beautiful Hallowe’en Inspired Day

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What was your budget?

£7,000…and even that was much than we initially thought it would be!

How would you describe your wedding theme?

Halloween, autumn & harvest festival!

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What was your favourite part of your wedding?

We loved being surrounded by everyone we knew and seeing everyone having a great time and mingling! The speeches were great too…who doesn’t like hearing nice things being said about them!?

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Tell us about your Wedding Dress

I knew from the start I didn’t want a wedding dress, but equally I didn’t really know what I wanted! I went shopping with my bridesmaids looking for them really. I saw a dress in the Phase 8 concession and loved it, the girls persuaded me to try it on and it fit me perfectly and looked awesome on! After thinking about it for a bit i bought it there and then…i didn’t need any alterations and it was well under budget!

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

Bridesmaid:
Best friends from school, Jodie, Fiona and Mary as well as my sister Nadia. I had a flower girl, my niece Millie and ring bearer was my nephew Nathan.

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Bestman:
Best man was Robs mate Jamie.

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Why did you choose your venue?

I loved the barn! I loved that the chairs didn’t match, the fairy lights in the ceiling and the little touches. Having our own bar and outside area ment that the guests wouldn’t be spread all over the venue.

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Tell us about your photographer

We searched for a while as it’s a big investment (our biggest after the venue), and decided on Elaine based on her relaxed style and th fact that she did a documentary style. We didn’t want to have lots of posed photos we just wanted to relax enjoy our day and trust that the photographer would capture the best photographs that way, which Elaine defiantly did!

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How did the proposal happen? 

Outside Cardiff City Hall walking home after a dinner out!

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

I made toffee apples for place names and favours, they were surprisingly straight forward after a practice run I would defiantly recommend the use of a thermometer.

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I would also recommend the creating of table settings until as last minute as possible in case of cancellations or last minute changes to who sits where!
I enjoyed searching for vinyl records of the songs we used during the ceremony for a ‘guestbook.
We also had signs and bunting made by a talented friend which helped a lot!

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What was your first dance & why?

Foo Fighters – Everlong
We saw Foo Fighters live at a festival and have loved them ever since. The acoustic version of this song is the right mix of not being too mushy and a nod to the rock/indie/metal music we like!

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

Nope!

Do you have any advice for future couples?

Do what you want! Making a budget early on helps too!

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

Know when to say sorry and mean it!

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What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

Hanging out with friends and getting to be a bit creative!

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The Suppliers

Photographer: Elaine Williams Photography
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Ty Mawr 
Bride’s Dress: Phase Eight
Bride’s Shoes: Vivienne Westwood Melissa Metallics 
Bride’s Headpiece: My Lavaliere
Groom’s Outfit: Master Debonair 
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: BHS
Cake: Alison Celebrations 
Flowers: Jan Lima
DJ: Cardiff Wedding Disco 
Stationery: Vista Print
Any Reception Decor/Props: Signage by Artisan WD 
Transport: Bijou Wedding Cars 
Other:

The Wedding Album

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Bride to Be Diaries: Our Tinder Bride is at someone else’s Hen Party

Hello you lovely lot!

Our superbly gorgeous Tinder Bride is back for her next instalment. So not only is she crazy busy as a lawyer, and organising her own wedding, she is also going to be a bridesmaid for her best friend.

Here she is telling us all about being a hen at a hen party that isn’t her own! Over to you Jenine…

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The Tinder Bride (Jenine)

Hello again you lovely cwtchers! I hope that you have been keeping well since my last article which introduced you to my lovely bridal team!

Since the last article, Tom and I are now on our 13month to wedding countdown with our excitement building up more and more each day. However in between all of our wedding planning, crazy work schedules, house buying and actually trying to have some sort of social life, I have had the honourable task of helping sort out one of my best friend’s hen party!

Helen, (see previous bridal entourage article) is a friend I have known since I was 11 years old; we met in high school and have been friends ever since. I cannot describe or express in words how happy I am for Helen and her hubby to be, Phil! They met whilst travelling approx. 10 years ago and have a gorgeous little son Harrison who if I don’t get daily pics of I think something is wrong! Their wedding is set at a beautiful location in Somerset and I can’t wait to be their bridesmaid on what I hope will be a sunny day in August.

So on June 17th, together with fellow bridesmaids Rachael and Elena, the plan was for Helen’s Hens to assemble in the big smoke where Hel actually lives. Planning initially was difficult as the blooming Bride couldn’t make up her mind where she wanted ideally to go! It went from a weekend raving in Europe to a UK trip away to just a day event which I can say was a perfect day which Helen loved! The only mess up was poor Helen’s sash which was printed wrong. It should have said ‘Goodbye Miss Assinder‘ on the back and a ‘Hello Mrs Walsh’ on the front however they both said Miss despite being ordered correctly. I was so disappointed and I still haven’t had a response from the company I ordered from with my complaint. However as Helen is a teacher, her students will still call her “Missssss” when married it did seem rather fitting… thankfully!

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Now planning a hen or( a stag even  I would think)is never easy; I think it’s even harder when there are a group of people who all have different relationships with the bride and there is therefore all different ideas floating around especially with so much choice with all wanting to ultimately ensure that the Bride has an amazing day.

Thankfully sorting Helen’s hen plans turned out perfectly on the 17th June 2017. The day kicked off with brekkie at fellow Bridesmaid, Elena’s house. El became a Mother only 10 days before and therefore understandably didn’t want to miss out on being part of the Hen celebrations. It also gave us all the opportunity to meet in one place and present Helen with a photo and message book which she couldn’t read due to blubbering more than the new-born baby in party tow!

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Next stop was onto the first surprise venue which was cupcake and cocktail making at the 5* Britannia Hempstead Hotel in Primrose Hill. . Helen loves a good drink (or 10) as well as cooking/baking so it was fitting that this class was part of her day! As a person who loves eating but hates making, along with all hens, loved it! The teacher was great, and patient, and it was actually really interesting. Look at the result!!

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Then it was onto the next event of the day…crazy golf and street food which took place at Swiggers in the City! After a round of food and drinks, it was onto the course! This was so much fun and was loved by all and in particularly the mother’s with mother of the groom coming up trumps with some great golfing moves (I am sure she had some tips from her son beforehand!) Any London based hens or stags, this venue and activity is definitely for you!

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After some drinks at a local bar it was then onto the final event of the day which was at Piano Works which is a bar/club! The process at this venue was you can request a song (together with tip!) and then the musicians play the requests. It was great to hear so many different songs and some golden oldies played by the pianist and then later a band which took us into the club might! A hired booth meant we had a base and a place to lie back and rest the feet from all the dancing and dare cards played!

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So that was a successful Helen’s Hen party complete!  London has so much to offer and actually having a hen party there was not as pricey as people would think. Definitely a city to think about for all future hen organisers! Over and out until next time when Helen will actually be a Mrs! Something I never thought would happen by I’m so glad for her that it is!

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Cwtch of the Week: A Kissy Cwtch

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A Kissy Cwtch

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The couple in the image above are Roxanne and Marc. They got married last year on the 10th September in Lower Machen at Saint Michael and All Angels Church. They both live in Machen where I was living at the time. When I was asked to shoot their wedding, I jumped at the chance as it was the first time for me to shoot there since i got married in 2006 on 2nd September. I loved everything about their wedding. Roxanne looked amazing in her very unique dress that i thought wow, she looks stunning when I first saw her. Marc also looked extremely smart mind!!