Bride to Be Diaries: Our Sporty Bride is living out her Girlie Fantasies!

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sporty oct 17 me and matt

Our Sporty Bride is living out her Girlie Fantasies!

Hi all!

We’ve been very busy with friends’ weddings, engagements and a new addition to our little family…Dave the Sausage dog!

Sporty Oct 17 dave the sausage dog

We’ve also been busy trying to hand deliver as many of our wedding invites by hand as possible. Our invites were from Love-Lee Invitations and Kate created a lovely bespoke design for us- here is a little preview….

sport oct 17 wedding invite

310 days to go until my wedding. Where has that time gone?! It’s crawled right up until we hit the year mark…and now it seems to be speeding by. It’s crunch time, mainly when it comes to ensuring my wedding is paid for and then there is the bridesmaids dresses…or stresses as I like to call them.

Since my engagement I have been so sure about what I wanted for my wedding that planning it has been mostly a joy. Living out all my girly fantasises that I have been secretly dreaming about ever since I knew that I would eventually marry Matthew (About six months into our relationship…The first time he gave me food from his plate and went without himself just because I was eyeing it up).
sporty oct 17 Me and Matt at wedding

I’m one of those brides with many bridesmaids. I know what you are thinking, why give myself the stress of so many, but honestly at the time I had so many beautiful friends in my life I didn’t feel I could exclude any of them. Then there are my lovely sisters and I thought- it’s my wedding why should I have to choose!

My Pinterest board is littered with pictures of brides and their bridesmaids in beautiful dresses in many colours. My original idea was to have gold sequin showstoppers, but exploration into this highlighted how unrealistic it was. For a start, the price tag on the dresses in question was near enough £300 per dress, secondly following trying on one of the dresses I soon realised that sequins did not make for the most comfortable wearing experience- the fabric was heavy, itchy under the arms and did nothing to flatter my body type. I left that idea behind, feeling quite flat. My original color scheme was gold, blush and ivories…but now I’m finding myself choosing more pinks with silvers…so my color scheme is currently looking like this…but is evolving all the time.

sporty oct 17 colour scheme

So I went on a bit of an exploration mission with my youngest sister to a local bridesmaids’ dress shop in Swansea. She must have tried on about 20 different dresses for me and was very patient. Chiffon was definitely starting to stand out as my fabric of choice as it just skims almost every figure perfectly, so would suit all my bridesmaids as long as the cut was right. Once I had decided chiffon was what I was looking for I turned my head to styles. My bridesmaids range from sizes 10 to 18 and so I wanted something that would flatter them all. It transpired that an empire line, flowing chiffon dress was just what I wanted. The assistant at the dress shop was so helpful but the same problem transpired…price tags- all the dresses I had picked out were marked up at £200 or more. £200 per bridesmaid…and that’s even before hair, make-up and accessories are counted in!

I know weddings are big business however it’s very frustrating. It’s certainly achievable if you have one or two bridesmaids but I have 8…I wouldn’t ever want to exclude any of them just for the sake of money. After some research and soul searching I had a discussion with my girls about contributing towards their dresses. I had done so at my sisters wedding and heard that it was quite common but felt so nervous asking seeing as I had asked them in the first place. I shouldn’t have worried at all, as all my girls were kind and thoughtful, and of the opinion that they would have spent money on outfits etc. if they were coming as guests anyway.

One of my bridesmaids has been asked to be a bridesmaid on three separate occasions in 2017. Luckily for me, it’s means she can let me know about dresses and shops she has seen whilst she is out with her other brides. This has been especially helpful on my affordable bridesmaids’ dresses mission. She pointed me in the direction of WED2BE in Cardiff. I went down with my sisters. It’s a bit of an odd set up compared to other wedding shops I have been in, as it’s more of a warehouse with racks and racks of dresses. The staff were lovely and pointed me to a rack of bridesmaids dresses- then let me crack on! To my absolute relief the perfect dresses were contained on the rack. A lovely flowing chiffon number with draped shoulders and I also managed to get a bit of that sparkly glamour I so wanted. I’ve picked two dresses in complimenting colours that I’m so excited about! I won’t show you pictures just yet…got to keep some mystery!

Bride to Be Diaries: The Family Bride Finds Their Perfect Venue

 Hello lovely people
We are very excited to being to you the second instalment from our beautiful Family Bride, Abby. After her initial Engagement Story, we were over the moon when she agreed to become another on of our Brides to Be!
This week, her and Kyle have been on the hunt for their perfect venue, and as they have settled on the same one as Richie and I got married at, I could not approve more!
Over to you Abby……
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The Family Bride Finds Their Perfect Venue

Family Sept Abby and Kyle

Hello cwtchers!
How exciting- my 2nd blog already!
Being a mum of 2, running our home and being self employed life can be a little crazy at times- throwing ‘wedding planning’ into the mix has made it a whole lot crazier but you know what I am absolutely loving every second!!
After the engagement, my best friend (and maid of honour to be) bought me the most gorgeous wedding planning book and its all snow balled from there.
Family Sept Venue Booked!
1st thing on the list was a Venue… and there were so many things to think of! Did we want it close to home or further away, a church wedding or civil ceremony, old, new, modern, classic, hotel, manor house – the list goes on! We made some choices and I started phoning around to make appointments- i didnt want to leave anywhere unseen!
10 appointments made for the next few weekends, babysitters organised – Myself and Kyle were on the hunt!
After the 1st few we felt like we had learnt ALOT- different times of the year meant different prices, different days of the week, info about chair covers/dj’s/top tables – it was wedding overload!
Really pleased we did look around and take the time to see each one as 2 venue’s we almost didnt make (and about to cancel) turned into our favourite 2!
We live in Cardiff but decided a wedding in a Manor house/hotel a little further away meant our guests could enjoy a little night away if they wanted to.
After each appointment (before we picked the kids up) we went to visit a different coffee shop to talk prices/availability/what we liked and what we didnt- so that before we got back to being mum and dad, we could make some decisions.
It was between Miskin Manor and the Coed-y-Mwstwr hotel in Bridgend.
Both very classic looking with beautiful grounds. We loved Miskin manor as it had a very traditional feel to it, and a sort of enchanted look.
And We loved the Coed as it was full of character and tradition but with a real modern twist.
A family holiday at the end of August was our time to make a final decision to setting the date and choosing our perfect venue.
The Coed-y-Mwstwr won our hearts and it was all down to the wedding co-ordinating team that work there.
Family Sept CyM 2
From the moment we walked in to view it, we were made to feel welcome and they couldn’t do enough for us. We knew that this is what we wanted on our big day- someone to make it run as smooth as possible with that special touch. The venue itself like i mentioned is very traditional looking, but inside the Hendre suit is a fresh, modern light room with high wooden beams and by folding doors.
Family Sept CyM
We chose to be married in March 2019 as the grounds will be in full bloom of gorgeous daffodils and hopefully a crisp sunny day to make use of the beautiful surroundings!
Family Sept Save the Date
Super excited as the next part of Wedding planning is already happening 😊
So until next time…. happy wedding planning guys!

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

Our Boobless Bride Fundraiser: Sunday 1st October

Happy Friday lovely Cwtchers.

I hope your wedding plans are coming along nicely! We are going to break from the norm of posting a real wedding today because a very special Cwtch Girl is in need of our help. 

Boobless Bride Fundraiser from maria farrelly on Vimeo.

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Please join us, we’d love to see you all there.

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Dawn bravely shared her wedding story with us last year. And while some of us stress about the seating plan, our bridesmaids arguing or a typo on the invites… Dawn not only fought cancer once but was sadly having to also cope with her father suddenly passing away only weeks before her big day. Her story really does put life into perspective. She is nothing short of an inspiration to us all. A year on from her wedding, she was then dealt a devastating blow. Life really can be cruel at times.Dawn_Steve_Wedding (116 of 964)
Dawn_Steve_Wedding (471 of 964)

And yet, through all of this, she has still managed to help and inspire all our readers, with posts such as this:  checking your boobs! o-BREAST-CANCER-CARE-900

Eventbrite - Our Boobless Bride Fundraiser
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So please, bring your bridesmaids, your mother, your father, your grandparents… bring whoever you wish… Cancer affects us all. Lets celebrate friendship in all its forms and raise some much needed money for this special woman to enjoy with her girls. Lets help her create some wonderful memory days.
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Eventbrite - Our Boobless Bride Fundraiser

Midweek Mini: Charlie’s Wedding Memories

Hello Cwtchers!

Today we get to share Charlie’s, our former lovely Cwtch Girl, favourite memory of her and Marks big day.

Happy Anniversary guys!

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Marc and Charlie

When we decided our new midweek feature was going to be all about wedding memories I got a bit panicked because I knew it would soon be my turn to share mine. The problem with that is that my memories from my wedding day are all a bit hazy, and for once not through drink!

You know those cheesy TV programmes that use the wavy clouds around the edges just before going in to a dream sequence? That’s kind of how my wedding looks when I try and remember it, I know everyone says it but the day really does go by so quickly. The part of the day that I remember best was getting ready with my girls in the morning, I was very relaxed and had a brilliant morning (unlike poor Mark who got stuck in the barbers and ended up having to rush around!). c&m0122 c&m0275 c&m0355

But when I think of my favourite part of the day it’s not so much one specific moment it’s more a series of moments all linked by a warm fuzzy feeling. The best parts of the day were all the cwtches, all the love, all the smiles on people’s faces and most of all taking a few moments alone with my new husband and saying “we did it”. It’s hard to put this into words without being ridiculously mushy so I will share with you some of my favourite photos by our amazing photographer Maria Farrelly, honestly I look at our photos all the time even nearly two years later. I can’t recommend her highly enough.  c&m0166 c&m0170c&m0713 c&m0757 c&m0899 c&m1030 c&m1038 c&m1043 photobooth084 photobooth118 photobooth170 photobooth185 photobooth190

If you would like to see mine & Mark’s Cardiff Castle wedding in full you can click here :)

Charlie can now be found behind the camera – and she’s blummin good too! xx