Bride to Be Diaries: Our Spring Bride is Having Hair Issues

Good morning everyone!

Our Spring Bride, Ali, is having hair issues! But the plus side, there is not long to go to the big day, and we are getting excited!!!
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Our Spring Bride is Having Hair Issues

Hello beautiful ladies and gents …
I cannot believe, reading back over my old posts, how quickly time has gone! And I know, I know you all told me so, but jeeeeez louise?
When we got engaged we had 20 months until the big day… 20… we now have 4. 117 days!
With a house move, Christmas and New Year in the middle of it too! Madness.
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We’re pretty much all on track. As you’ll know if you read some of my previous posts, I have lots all ready sorted. I have though, bought another new pair of shoes… they are my final official pair though. And they do say 3rd time lucky? Haha I’ve just got to work out what my girls wear now, as I have one 5ft 11, one 5ft 2 and one 5ft nothing haha! Nightmare.
I had all my gorgeous girls down this weekend for our hair trials. Getting them all in one place at one time is a bit of a mare. Ones living in London, the other in Worcester, the other 20 minutes away but with my favourite tiny diva (2 year old Layla) … so yeah, not straight forward ha! Also, my amazing friend Charlotte is doing our hair (she’s incredible and self taught through YouTube tutorials!) and she lives in Cheltenham. I love a challange!
Anyway, difficulties aside, I did manage to get them all here Saturday and we had the BEST day. Charlotte tried a different up do on each bridesmaid and a few loose curled styles on me and we just laughed and gossiped and ate snacks all day! We had such a good time I totally forgot to take any pictures! But I have some that I pinned as ideas, and they were very similar, and my friend Michaela took a few.
My hair, is my ultimate pride and joy! Like, if my hair isn’t ok, I’m not ok. You know? So how I wore my hair on the big day was actually a bigger deal to me than my make up, or ever dare I say it… my dress. (I hear echoing gasps all across Wales haha)
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The biggest issue I have (which is entirely my own fault) is that I’d set my heart on a long flowing curls down style, with braids and flowers and sparkles… then I cut all my hair off. Like an idiot.
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Themost annoying thing being, I cut it back in March to give it a year to grow through healthier for the Wedding… its now November (as I’m writting, sure it’ll be December while you read… and that makes me feel a bit ill) and has it grown? Has it heck. Not a stitch. If anything, I think it was in better condition before I cut it. I feel like it’s mocking me… paying me back for the years of peroxide damage!
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So a lot of the styles I’d set my hopes on had to be shelved… I did buy some extensions so we can do a loose, fally down style… and I love what I’ve found, so I guess it isn’t all that bad.
The next big thing is for Mr to get his butt in gear and sort their suits! He’s adamant that he’s getting them in the January sales (he love a bargain) and I just really hopes he finds what he’s looking for. Because lord knows I’ll never hear the end of it if he doesn’t haha!
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It’s all very exciting this wedding business, isn’t it?
Lots of love ’till next time!
Ali, x

Bride to Be Diaries: Introducing our First Bride and Groom Bloggers -The Carnival Couple!

Morning!
If you’re anything like me, I bet you have have been itching to meet the new new Bride and Groom to Be blogger after meeting the gorgeous Jenine, our Tinder Bride!

Well, the wait is over! We are very excited to introduce our first little bride and groom to be team; The Carnival Couple, Lowri and Simon!

Wonder why they’re called this? Want to know more about them? Want to know all about the engagement? Well read on Cwtchers, read on…..

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The Carnival Couple

Hello fellow Cwtch-ers!

We are Lowri and Simon, aka (from here-on-in) the Carnival Couple!

WinterLowri: We are both teachers, in the same school; Simon is head of ICT, Computer science and media, and I teach Law and Sociology. Both of us are pretty active and love spending time together, no matter what we are doing, as such, we will be writing our blogs together so that you get an all-round view of our wedding planning from a his-and-hers perspective, and we can’t wait to share it all with you!

The pair of us are in our 30s and have done all manner of things before we returned to teaching, so our interests are pretty varied. We are hoping that our true personalities will shine through on our big day this August. Our aim is to make our day as fun and memorable as possible, with a carnival theme running throughout, hence our Cwtch name!

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When people say it was ‘love at first sight’, or ‘I knew they were the one’, I used to roll my eyes at the clichéd nonsense of it all. However, turning up, as a supply teacher, the last thing I expected to find in a school was my ‘dream man’. Amazingly, my ‘dream man’ had the same idea when he saw me, but that doesn’t mean things were easy, and it took us a full five months of teenaged-style butterflies and friends playing cupid before we were finally together.

Duncan and Jos

Fast forward to August 31st 2016 and a very oddly behaved dream man had enticed me down to the beach in Southerndown for a walk, with the promise that I could wear my new wellies and that he would treat me to faggots and peas in our favourite pub after. What girl could refuse?! It is here I pass you to Simon, as he had much more of an idea as to what was happening than me!

Simon:  Ok, I’ll set the scene, I knew I wanted to marry Lowri after she made me laugh so hard that I had to stop and kneel down for a minute, the fact that she managed to do this half the way up Pen-Y Fan in a torrential rain storm just sealed the deal.

I decided to pop the question at the Walled Garden in Southerndown, one of our favourite places (If you’ve never been, go there on a sunny afternoon and you won’t regret it). It took three months of planning, 7 meters of bunting, 15 cheesy photos, 236 tea lights, a classy picnic of olives, cured meats, scotch eggs and pork scratchings, three bottles of champagne and four of our closest friends in hi-vis jackets blocking entrances and hiding in bushes, all to help a very disorganised man propose in a pretty romantic way.

Engagement

I’m not going to lie, it was the most nerve wracking thing I have ever done but I loved every second of it, apart from the bit where Lowri, upon seeing the massive pathway of candles, whispered to me that we should leave as we were gate crashing someone’s party! It was only when she saw the pictures of some of our best moments hanging amongst the bunting on the wall did it finally click that this may just be a party for us. Well I’m pleased to report she didn’t hesitate in saying yes and this new adventure started… planning a wedding!

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With just six months to go until our big day, plans are well underway, we have lots to do and think about. We truly want a wedding that reflects our personalities, passions and love for each other, even if it means having to make a lot of the things we need ourselves, although come to think about it, isn’t that half the fun?

However, before we start all that crafting, I’m pretty sure I’m still waiting for those faggots and peas!

Yeeeeeaaaay! Aren’t they wonderful! And a carnival theme!?! We are bursting to find out more! Stay tuned for the next instalment in a few weeks x

Bride to Be Diaries: Introducing Jenine, The Tinder Bride

Good morning Cwtchers!
I cannot tell you how excited I have been to start introducing you properly to our amazing new Brides and Groom to Be!
Their stories were wonderful! All inspiring, endearing, sweet and real.
So, to start us off, without further ado, let me introduce to you to the gorgeous Jenine! We fell in love with Jenine after reading about her and Tom’s meeting story.  I won’t tell you anymore, I will instead hand you over.
Over to you Jenine……
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Hello and welcome to my first bridezilla, I mean Bride filled, blog. My name is Jenine and I am 32 years old and getting married to my best friend Tom in September 2018 at Hensol Castle.

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Just cannot already wait for it to be here as it currently feels like a lifetime away which I’m sure is a feeling echoed by most brides and grooms!
Both Tom and I are from Cardiff and met via Tinder in February 2014…hence the name “Tinder Bride”. Tom has his own residential and commercial painting and decorating company and I’m a Family Law Solicitor.
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I was so happy to have been selected to blog for Cwtch the Bride as it’s nice to be involved with happiness, rainbows and hope as sadly my day job involves me divorcing people which can be quite emotionally draining. The most common question I left asked is whether I believe in marriage when people find out what I do for a living; my answer is obviously no! Thankfully it actually makes me want to make sure that Tom is the right person I’m marrying for all the right reasons even more!
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February 2014 was really random! At the time I was in Leeds finishing the last few months of my professional training. It hit new year and me and 4 other best friends (a mix of boys and girls) decided to have some fun on Tinder. It was a New Years resolution for me and my intention was to have some fun and be on there for 31 days only!
On 30 January 2014, my Grandma passed away and I returned home to see my family. It was during that time there one of my best friends who was part of our Tinder crew told me to have a look at the men in Cardiff as I would know a few people on there to. So as I was home, I did, and came across the man I am today marrying! Tom had coincidentally just come home himself from Australia as he had just obtained residence to live there; he was only home for his brother’s wedding.
Fast forward 3 years and we are still on an engagement high after popped the question in Paris 2 years to the day we became an “official item”…I had to get the seal of approval of his late beautiful Nan and Mother  before of course! An aspect which made me love him even more because family is everything to me. Plus I knew I only had to past a test involving two important people; my family is like being thrown into a pit with lions! Thankfully he survived.
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Tom would say the proposal did not go to plan! Paris was a surprise trip as I thought we were heading to Bordeaux as Tom had not long come back from watching the Euros there and he said he loved it; it was our two year anniversary gift and he knew my favourite city was Paris.
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A four hour delayed flight to Paris meant getting to The hotel very late and a very grumpy bride to be not want to get out of bed the next morning. Not even the showered, dressed and very anxious man sitting at the end of my bed make me want to get up earlier. An argument and a few hours later, we ended up heading towards “The proposal destination”..the Eiffel Tower. A panicked Tom said he will never forget feeling like the tower was falling down on him when he realised he couldn’t get passed the additional and heavy security due to the Euro final day) without taking a ring out of his pocket. His intention was to ask me under the tower or on the third floor! So down a little lane Tom dropped on one knee and despite his pale, anxious, worried self (bless him!) it was the best proposal ever.
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However instead of crying I did laugh due to be so shocked that Tom did such a big display as that usually is not him! That then led onto toasting and calling our loved ones sat in a bar by the Tower and the river. Onto a river cruise and lunch. A Tuk-tuk ride (who beeped through a heavy melting pot of different people to tell them we were engaged) back to the hotel to get changed and our again for the Euro football finals.
It’s our special story and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
From JOM (aka Jenine and Tom) xxx
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Aaaaaahhhh Jenine we just adore you two already! And we cannot wait to find out all about your planning!
We are too excited for our lovely  new bloggers!

Introducing the New Brides and Groom To Be Winners!

As, you know, through December and January, we ran a competition to find our new 2017/18 Bride and Grooms to Be bloggers!

We received hundreds and hundreds of entries, but we have managed to find 8 amazing new bloggers who are ready to tell you all their planning stories.

Whether it is exciting news, annoying news, joyous stories or ‘about to pull my hair out if the parents don’t stop going about inviting Auntie Maureen whom I’ve never met’ stories, they’re hear to tell you all.

They are ready to share and inspire and we are so excited to have a new batch of wonderful writers in the Cwtch the Bride family.

Over the next few weeks, we will be giving you an in-depth introduction to them all, but for now, feast your eyes on your new brides and grooms and their new name – each should give you a clue about their story!!

B2B Carnival Banner The Carnival Couple (Lowri and Simon)Simon and Lowri

B2B Tinder BannerThe Tinder Bride (Jenine)Jenine

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The Unexpected Bride (Rachel)Rachel

B2B Sporty Banner The Sporty Bride (Natalie)Natalie

B2B Procrastinating Banner The Procrastinating Bride (Natasha)Natasha

B2B Maid In Wales Banner Maid In Wales (Gwen)Gwen (On the left) is out very first Maid Of Honor Blogger!

B2B Glitzy Banner The Glitzy Bride (Sophie)Sophie

I am properly giddy about introducing you all to these fabulous people and I cannot wait of you to find out more about them.  Woooooooo x

Happy Birthday to Cwtch The Bride! 4 Today!

CTB is 4!

Oh my, aren’t we getting old… its our fourth birthday today! hip hip.. hurray!!

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I cannot believe its been four years since my lovely little welsh wedding blog published its first post!

My team and I are so proud to have brought you some incredible things in that time, to name a few:

  • Published over 1,000 awesome wedding posts highlighting some great welsh talent and inspiration.
  • Launched the Lush List which is proving an essential ‘go-to’ resource for many welsh brides
  • Organised three epic CWTCHFEST Wedding Festivals so far, with our fourth taking place on Sunday 9th April at St.Fagans
  • Won BEST REGIONAL WEDDING BLOG! at the 2016 UK Wedding blog Awards!! (a huge BIG DEAL)
  • Run a series of Cwtch Workshops to help & inspire DIY brides
  • Helped many independent welsh wedding businesses grow by showcasing their work and promoting their services
  • Created jobs for some very special Cwtchgirls
  • Shared hundreds of real welsh weddings from across this beautiful country
  • Given some of our readers the opportunity to share their bride/groom to be diaries with us all.

Personally, I am ridiculously proud of how well Cwtch The Bride is doing and I adore working alongside some truly amazing people.
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I have many more ideas still up my sleeve and cannot wait to see them come to light. All in good time.

A Personal Thank you

I know that to many of you reading this, it can appear that we always have great fun. Laughing, singing and dancing our way through the workday with a hilarious spotify playlist. And for the most part- its true. But occasionally, something happens that can totally throw you. I mean…really knock you for six. The kind of thing that turns your world upside down, makes you want to crawl under a duvet and never come out. A life changing experience that requires an incredible group of people to help get you through it.

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This photograph was taken a year after my own marriage had ended. I was devastated and had hit a real low point of my life. Being surrounded by all things ‘wedding’ was very painful for me. Everything hurt. I didn’t tell many people. When you work in the wedding industry and your own marriage fails you feel this enormous amount of grief and shame.  And yet, I pushed through quietly. I didn’t want to let anyone down. And its thanks to these girls I got through it. I’ll forever be greatful to them for their help and support.

My CWTCHGIRLS are (without a doubt) the coolest women I’ve met in my entire life! There are a few Cwtchgirls in particular I want to give a special Thank you to.

Anna, Donna, Lindsey, Dawn and my mum … you ladies, I don’t think you’ll ever know how grateful I am to have you in my life. You have helped me get through the hardest time where I honestly thought I couldn’t cope. I felt broken and so low. Any yet you ladies where always right there for me. You picked me up when I hit the floor. when I doubted everything, you ladies encouraged me to keep going. When I wondered why on earth I’m doing all this work… you ladies just smiled and said ‘lets do it’.

Thank you for being so damn amazing. You really are very special women and I love that we get to share this awesome roller coaster ride of work and life with each other.

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Donna, the most organised office manager & friend I’ve ever had and the rock I needed to kickstart my working week. I miss you but think my book keeper misses you more! Damn I need you back soon x Owen Mathias Photography14390907_10154517804521796_7193752556001646050_n

Lindsey (aka LINDA), I wouldn’t do Cwtchfest without you! simple as that. You are a dream to work with and I am so excited at what lies ahead!

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Anna, hahaha where do i start with you? You make my Mondays & Wednesdays rock. You have taken the reins of features editor and ran with it. I bloody love ya! Plus, anyone that shares the same love of the Carpenters as me is a friend for life!

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Dawn, Our Boobless bride. Your story touched me so much I knew as soon as I read your first email and the tears rolled- we were going to be friends for life! You are an inspiration.

432047_10150735477031796_367678448_nMum. I love you. And thank you for always believing in me, even when I doubt myself. xxx

Thank you to all the inspiring welsh wedding businesses that continue to invest in Cwtch The Bride. I love that you too believe in what we do and what we stand for. I love that you support us at a time when I know all too well how difficult running a small business can be. Together we grow and I adore seeing you all benefit for our hard work. Onwards and up!

And the final thank you goes out to you lovely Cwtchers for reading, thank you for commenting, sharing and getting involved in what was a crazy idea of mine that has now become a valuable resource for many welsh brides & grooms!

So, there you have it, was rather personal but needed to be said..

There is no hot date for me tonight, no plethora of valentines day cards flooding my letter box. But I do have two very special men in my life that I adore. Josh & Joe. My boys. What more could a girl want. Hmm… we’ll see what the future brings. xxx

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And if you have just got engaged on this very special day… Welcome to Cwtch The Bride! We are a fabulous bunch of honest, hardworking women that are hear for you. This is a safe place for you to begin planning your welsh wedding and we can’t wait to meet you!

Happy Valentines Day everyone. Lets crack open a bottle of fizz and have an awesome day.

Maria x