Real Weddings: Our Graceful Bride, Vicky Marries Rob

Happy Friday Cwtchers!

Excited to show you all our gorgeous Real Wedding this week.  Not only is it beautiful, with stunning images by David Wickham, but its of our one and only Graceful Bride.

If you have been following her blog entries, then you know about everything that went into making this day so wonderful! And its not just about the shoes (although they are, of course, pretty spectacular!)

Without further ado, I shall hand over to the beautiful Victoria, to tell you all about her and Robs big day……

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Victoria and Rob

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What was your budget?

We had an initial budget of £20,000 with £18,000 being joint money and then a £2,000 budget of my money for my dress. I figured no one could tell me off for spending too much money on the dress and shoes if it was my own! We still managed to go over budget in the end though!

How would you describe your wedding theme?

I have these great ideas in my head which I’m then useless at explaining to people so I think that Wendy our florist was the only person to get my theme in the planning stages!

I was describing it as relaxed country elegance. I wanted everyone to just be chilled out and enjoy themselves. A church wedding but not too traditional, a country house for the reception but not too formal, everything had it own meaning. My aim was it to look like it was effortless, that the house was ours almost and we’d just used whatever was around to decorate with flowers cut from the garden that morning.

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Trouble is once you start saying to people about centrepieces with books and teapots everyone automatically thinks a vintage theme which wasn’t quite my aim! I hope people got it in the end, or at least a feel for what I was going for. Maybe I should have walked around saying relaxed country elegance a lot more!!

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Colour wise we decided to stay away from the traditional Autumn colours and go slightly different. Rob wanted to wear a navy suit and the hints of blush just seemed a perfect compliment to it.

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What was your favourite part of your wedding?

I’m not sure I can pick just one part! Our wedding turned into a bit of a 4 day extravaganza and I loved it all.

We had a great few days beforehand with various golf, afternoon tea and dinners out and the Friday with my family setting everything up at the venue was just great fun. On the day itself we had such a relaxed morning getting ready and then walked to the church to try and stay calm!

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I don’t remember any finer points of the ceremony, only that we probably laughed too much and that atmosphere carried on for the rest of the day.

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If I was really pushed then one of the best bits for me was walking down the driveway to the church. The sun was shining, the mist had lifted over the mountains and I could hear the choir singing as we got closer. It was beautiful and I had no nerves going in to marry Rob after that!

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Tell us about your Wedding Dress

With me living in Essex, my Mum in Wales, one bridesmaid in Kent doing a PhD and the other working it Hertfordshire it was always going to be a bit of a mission to organise dress shopping.

In the end we managed to get everyone free for a run of 3 days and we crammed 5 dress shops in. I was really worried about how finding a dress would go, I’m tall and have curves and had no real idea of what would work on me. By the end of it all though I was beginning to think I was in the wrong job with all the consultants going nuts over getting to dress someone of my height and shape.

They put so many extra dresses on me that they wanted to see that I was so confused with what one to get! We found my actual dress in our second shop. Anna, the owner, was so brilliant and we’d been there for about 3 hours going through all her stunning dresses. Again it was a dress I hadn’t picked but towards the end of the appointment she said it was my dress and I had to try it on. We realised we were on to winner as all of us spent the first few moments in silence and Mum teared up (given we mostly giggle and mess around this was a huge difference).

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We still did all the other dress shops and came close to falling for another dress which was virtually the complete opposite (another you must try this one for me from the consultant) but after a week of thinking about it, it was the same one that kept coming back into my head. Turned out Anna had been right from the start!

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

I had no choice on my bridesmaids! About a week after my cousins met Rob I was being nagged into marrying him so they could be bridesmaids as they’d not been before! I don’t think I even officially asked them, unless you count letting them know we were engaged by sending them a picture of an awful 80’s style dress and threatening to put them in it! They were great though and put up with me texting random wedding things virtually weekly.

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Robs best man was his boss Paul. He may be his boss but he’s also his best friend, cricket captain and sort of big brother figure I suppose. Robs known him since he was a teenager and I swear they spend more time talking to each other than they do to me and Pauls partner Ann!

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Him and the ushers were also brilliant, especially as I left them all a huge list of things they needed to do on the day and they got on it with no complaint taking away any niggling stresses from us.

Why did you choose your venue?

In my head I had another venue that was perfect so only booked to look at some others for comparison. I’m so glad I did though as I had such a clash with the owner of where I wanted that I came away vowing never to set foot there ever again!

Peterstone Court on the other hand was just brilliant from start to finish. Not only is the house beautiful and the views just stunning, the staff really made it.

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Nothing felt like too much trouble for them, phone calls and emails were answered quickly and they always knew who you were on the phone to have a chat with. Absolutely everyone from the managers to the waiting staff were just lovely. Plus if I could kidnap the chef I would, we’ve never had a bad meal there and we’ve had a few now! Having taken over the place for the whole weekend we really did feel like the place was ours, I would so recommend it for anyone looking for a venue.

Tell us about your photographer

I got slightly obsessed with David our photographer, in a good way though, not a creepy one!

I don’t remember how I stumbled across his website but I’m so glad I did! Not only are his pictures beautiful, he really understood what we wanted with regards to the photos. I was slightly worried that him and his colleague Catherine wouldn’t come back after we all spent the church rehearsal in fits of laughter but they just went with it and joined in!

On the day itself David was great up with us whilst we were getting ready while Catherine got some lovely shots of all the stuff I was missing out on. For the rest of the afternoon I can honestly say I felt like I didn’t see them, in the nicest way possible of course! The pictures we got back I felt really captured the fun and relaxed vibe of the day, there’s some truly stunning ones of all our guests just enjoying themselves and I just love them all!

How did the proposal happen? 

I knew we’d get married as we’d spoken about it a lot and half my family had bets on when a proposal would happen yet he still managed to surprise us all by proposing on a random Saturday night. In a wonderfully romantic setting (ha!) of him in pyjamas after a bath, me in a blanket freezing cold and our collie in a panic after one of his episodes where he’d bashed his head on a radiator and was bleeding, he said he’d got me a gift. Sitting down I was given a Tiffany bag and did the obvious thing which was to start giggling! In my head I was thinking “oh my god he’s gonna propose, but then he said a gift so maybe it’s a bracelet, but who gets a bracelet from Tiffany after talking marriage” etc etc. I’m not even 100% sure if he got down on one knee or if I actually said the word yes, I just kept laughing!

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Luckily he knows me well enough to not get hurt by that reaction!! I think he’d been planning on being slightly more extravagant in his proposal but he’d text my Dad to sort of ask permission (think the gist of it was I’d like to ask Vicky to marry me, thought I’d see if that’s ok but I’m doing it even if you say no. I think Dad was pleased with that!) and after getting a nice text back from my Dad, who is a man of few words, he just decided to do it there and then!

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

Rob is great at making things, he’s transformed our garage into a full on man cave complete with bar! Me on the other hand, I have zero patience and if it’s not done to a perfect standard within 30 minutes then I’m just done with it, so we didn’t do a vast amount of DIY!

I am quite proud of our scrabble name places though, again, mostly made by Rob. Trying to keep the cost down we just bought some scrabble letter tiles from craft stores online and then made the rest. Rob made the holders from 2 different types of wood and then I did all the gluing.

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Rob also did a fair bit of printing, he made the table plan, order of service booklets and created personalised menu and information cards! My only other contribution to the DIY side of things was asking/forcing my family into making up the confetti cones and favour bags! They looked like they didn’t mind though!!

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What was your first dance & why?

Our first dance was Home by Michael Bublé as the lyrics mean a huge amount to us. Having spent 15 months living in Paris with Rob still in the UK and the constant feeling of wanting to be somewhere I wasn’t, the song kind of became our anthemn.

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I could never play it right through to the end until the day I left France! To lighten everything up we had Shut Up And Dance by Walk The Moon straight afterwards.

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I love that song and figured jumping around surrounded by people was a good antidote to the fear of dancing on our own getting emotional!

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

The only thing that we felt really let us down was our band. I thought I’d been clear enough with the list of songs that we definitely wanted played in the live sets and the sort of music for the DJ sets. However they seemed to think differently and it did ruin our evening slightly. They were so talented and having seen them before we thought would be perfect for our guests so my only advice to couples having a band is really reiterate to them your choices. Given that we’d been talking about Metallica, Foo Fighters etc, to have Mike Posner played instead really got me wound up!

Do you have any advice for future couples?

Probably the same advice that everyone else gives! It’s your day so do things your way, don’t try and please everyone else as it’ll never work, you really can’t do it. The day does just go so try and take a moment to be just the 2 of you to have a breather, whether that’s with a photographer tailing you for some shots or just in another room having a quick sit down for 5 minutes!

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

I don’t think we had any specific marriage advice. Both of our parents have been together a long time, as has most of our families so we’ve had plenty of examples of marriages over the years. Plus we’d been together a while, dealt with a long distance relationship, house buying and loss of a parent before we got to the wedding so we’d weathered a lot of storms! We knew what worked for us and always make sure we communicate, especially as with our jobs we can go days without seeing each other awake to have a proper conversation!

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What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

Now I love planning but planning a wedding over 18 months even took it out of me! Attempting that, work and life in general is hard! I suppose though my favourite bit was getting to see people more. We’d normally only get to Wales once or twice a year yet I was going virtually every month and my parents were having to come to Essex more often, same with getting to see my cousins more frequently. I’m sure they were all bored beyond belief having to listen to me going on and on but I enjoyed it! Also I loved dress shopping, I really wish I could do it again but then we’d probably end up having to renew our vows yearly as I’d keep buying them

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The Suppliers

Photographer: David Wickham 
Ceremony Venue: Llanhamlach Church
Reception Venue: Peterstone Court 
Bride’s Dress: Essense of Australia 
Bride’s Shoes: Harriet Wilde  Christian Louboutin
Bride’s Jewellery: Ivory & Co  Tiffany 
Groom’s Outfit: Anthony Formal Wear 
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Monsoon uk 
Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Wanderlust Life 
Cake: Family friend
Flowers: Wendy Scotford  Friend of Faux
Hair: Lisa Bidwell 
Make Up: Alex Gallop 
Band: The Hot Shots 
Stationery: On the day – Rob, invites etc by Pretty Lane Weddings 
Caterers: Petersone Court 
Any Reception Decor/Props: Own various
Personalised cake topper: Feats Of Clay
Wedding favours: Blaenavon Cheddar Co  Wilkin & Sons Tiptree Chutney
Ushers ties: Mrs Bow Tie
Choir: Brecon Male Voice Choir
Confetti: Adamapple
Honeymoon: Destinology 

The Wedding Album

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Bride to Be Diaries: Introducing The Procrastinating Bride, Natasha

More introductions! This week its our fabulous new Bride to be, Natasha, aka; The Procrastinating Bride!

Over to this little beaut to tell you more about her and her husband to be……..

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Hello, beautiful brides-to-be! My name is Natasha. Most people call me Tash or Natash (which I find quite endearing) and my mum often refers to me as Last Minute Lucy…which is why I am The Procrastinating Bride!

I’m an SEO Copywriter, or Creative Content Executive when I want to sound fancy, but basically, I write for a digital marketing agency. When recently asked to describe my role in seven words for the company’s website, I said: writing, tea-drinking, more writing and eating cake. It’s pretty accurate.

I first met Steve on Bonfire Night back in 2004. My fifteen-year-old self didn’t particularly want to go out that night but, after a little persuasion from my parents, I went along. Someone introduced himself to me as “my paper boy” which I found charmingly strange and, somehow, he wangled my MSN ‘addy’.

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Nearly twelve and a half years on, that paper boy is my best friend and fiancé: Steve.

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Steve and I both grew up in Cardiff. In fact, our family homes are pretty much around the corner from each other. I fled the nest to study Fashion Journalism at university in Surrey’s lovely little Epsom, then returned to my roots after graduating.

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Although practically all the jobs in my field are in the London area, my twenty-one-year-old self couldn’t wait to move back to home sweet home. Distance really does make the heart grow fonder! Cheesy, but true.

Steve and I went on our first date to the cinema when we were 15 and 16 (Steve was in the year above in school; yes, I still think in academic years).

We’ll be 28 and 29 when we get married at Oldwalls in December this year and it’ll mark, almost to the day, 13 years of Team Stash; a nickname we acquired by friends while holidaying in America. We loved the idea of a winter wedding and, of course, December is particularly precious to us!

While many would assume that I was expecting Steve to propose, I couldn’t have been more surprised. In fact, I forgot to answer when he was down on one knee. My heart was saying a million times yes but my head couldn’t quite believe it.

We were on holiday in France last year with my grandparents when Steve asked me to marry him. They’ve been caravanning for years and asked us if we wanted to take the trailer tent; a cheap holiday (we’d recently bought a house) in the sun. We were sold.

Steve hadn’t been to France before and I had holidayed there a few times as a child. I vividly remember going to the beautiful Le Mont-Saint-Michel and told Steve all about it. We decided to stop there on our journey down to the Vendée.

24 hours later, we arrived at the iconic landmark. Steve insisted on taking his rucksack; he wanted to carry our jackets in it in case it was windy at the top. I told him we’d be fine so, he ditched the rucksack, and we made our way up to the castle.

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Little did I know, Steve had a reason for wanting to take his rucksack. That reason being a ring!

Anyway, that didn’t happen. About a week later, after a bit more travelling, the two of us went for a meal at a restaurant in Jard-sur-Mer.

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Steve had been acting a bit strange in the run up to the meal.

En route to the restaurant, Steve suggested a selfie with the harbour in the background. It was windy and I just wanted to get inside the restaurant but, agreed to have a quick photo.

Steve set his phone up on a bollard for a timed selfie. I went over to check the photo and was told not to press anything, that the phone would automatically take another one. I somehow came out of this setting and, as I turned around to explain this, Steve was down on one knee.

The soppy sneak had tried to capture the moment on camera!

Once I’d found my voice and, of course, said yes, we went inside the restaurant. Reality suddenly sank in and I became a blubbering mess! We enjoyed a delicious meal, went back to our campsite bar for more celebratory drinks and later, cracked open a bottle of bubbly back in our tent.

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I’m extremely excited be a Cwtch girl and I’m very much looking forward to sharing my wedding plans with you. Hopefully my laidback ways will instil a sense of calm in those who feel like they’ve left things too late! Trust me, if you haven’t done your seating plan, The Procrastinating Bride hasn’t either.

Which reminds me: I still don’t have a colour scheme! Not that I’m remotely worried…

Admittedly, it all feels rather narcissistic writing about me, me, me but, hopefully, my wedding journey will help you on yours! Until next time, Cwtchers. Big, bridal love x

 

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!

Beach

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.

Jenine
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!