Engagement Rings: The beautiful Clogau Compose Range

We’re thrilled to introduce you to the Clogau Compose range today. These Engagement rings are beautiful and an incredible gift to open this christmas! Lets hand you over to the fabulous Welsh based company, Clogau to tell you all about them.

Clogau-Compose-logo

Compose-rings-group (2)You have laughed together, cried together and you are the best of friends – fabulous times have been shared and memories have been made together with a lifetime of happiness and opportunity ahead of you both. How on earth will you find an engagement ring that captures the very essence and all the milestones in your relationship we hear you cry? Through creating a personal and bespoke Clogau Compose engagement ring together.

Our customers tell us that they love our style, the unique and rare connection to Wales through the gold used by Princes and Princesses and these are some of the reasons why they have been excited by composing their very own unique engagement ring.

The romantic ideals behind compose let you play a role in composing a ring that is the ultimate expression of your love, hopes and dreams and a reflection on your life together – unified in a personal heirloom piece.

The inspirations behind the current range which comprises of six ring designs are from real life brides – they are all quintessentially Clogau in appearance and essence and complement our customers’ personalities – glamourous, bohemian, classic, modern, romantic and trendsetting.

Let us introduce two of our truly sublime engagement ring designs and bride personalities which we feel begins to reflect the romance and aspirational qualities that every bride dreams of.

Bella – The Romantic Bride

Clogau-Compose---BELLA

An eternal romantic who has always dreamt of the perfect fairytale wedding. She wears her heart on her sleeve and her presence is always dignified and graceful. She is passionate yet playful, exuberant yet sensitive and always elegantly composed.

Capella – The Classic Bride

Clogau-Compose---CAPELLA

Preferring timeless elegance and embracing tradition whilst complementing this with her unique personality and style. She is both classic and classy, incorporating family traditions with her love of subtle luxury and aspirational vintage elegance. The brightest star in the sky.

There are currently four more personalities that we’d like to introduce to you over the coming weeks. We hope that their sentiments, styles and aspirations will engage with you and inspire you to create your own dream ring that reflects all you mean to each other.

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We hope you will join us to meet our next two brides in a couple of weeks!

To find out more about Clogau Compose go to https://www.clogau.co.uk/compose/

Promises

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Cwtch the Bride only accepts sponsored posts from companies we think will be useful to you :) 




 

Featured Vendor: Luxury Bride Pippa Meets Emma of Love Lily

Our floral series continues this week; we have had floral fashions from Classic Bride Charlie, floral traditions from Vintage Bride Sophie and this week Luxury Bride Pippa talks to Emma of Love Lily in Abergavenny about floral trends, DIY and even the Queen!

What is a wedding without flowers? This is something I was torn over when planning our big day. The men in my life (Mr P, my daddy and brothers) are extremely sensitive to pollen and the thought of my dad with streaming eyes from my bouquet whilst walking me down the aisle or spluttering and suffering through his speech whilst tackling the running nose and tickling throat was not pleasant for him. I toyed with other ideas – button and broach bouquets, balloon decorations but I just couldn’t come to terms with a wedding without flowers. After chatting to the boys, we decided to keep the floral arrangements, clean, simple and stick to blooms with the least pollen possible – roses and hydrangeas. Thankfully this worked for us and the end result created by the amazing, talented Emma of Love Lily in Abergavenny was superb.

Above images from my wedding taken by Maria Farrelly 

I decided to go back to Emma and pick her brains about wedding flowers – who best to let all us ‘Cwtchettes’ into some inside secrets and helpful hints than the award winning master florist herself – and how lucky are we to have such talent here in Wales! Love Lily are a contemporary and creative master florist based in Abergavenny. They have recently expanded to a second large design studio to help cater for the volume of wedding and event floristry. Emma is well known on the Welsh wedding celebrity scene and although we cannot disclose any specifics, we will share some inside pics with you to help inspire. I won’t waffle on any longer so let’s hear from the lady herself…

Emma of Love Lily

Emma of Love Lily

With the growing trend for DIY weddings – why would you advise brides to hire a professional and not just give it a go themselves? Things can very easily go wrong with flowers.  You must have the knowledge of how to care and look after them and believe me when I say catastrophes happen! Knowing what is in season & understanding the quantities required  is not easy and takes years of experience. Many brides underestimate the scale of creating and setting up for the big day. It is a big job and takes a huge amount of time to plan, design and arrange – you need to ensure the flowers are perfect on the day itself – not peaking a day or two before or after! If you are still keen to have ago yourselves we run a flower school and hold different classes throughout the year – we were rated one of the best flower schools in the UK by “Flower Magazine”. The classes will help you gain an insight into how to form bouquets and arrangements, with handy hints and tips and you should gain an understanding of exactly what is involved before making a decision to go down the DIY route or hire a professional.

Love Lily, Abergavenny

Love Lily, Abergavenny

Any advice when booking a florist and planning your arrangements? We ask brides to contact us when they have chosen their dress and bridesmaids dresses as this sets the brief of the wedding and often the colour palette. Every dress has a style and the flowers need to compliment this. Pictures, magazines and Pinterest boards are helpful if the bride has specific ideas but equally this is not important as professionals are here to help with creative ideas.

What is the typical spend per wedding? I would say around £1500 but it could range from £150 – £5000+ depending on the brief. Every wedding can be tailored for budget and style but I would ask brides to be realistic – flowers are not inexpensive.  

What was your most lavish wedding to date? This was a wedding where flowers were very much the brides priority. It consisted of 3 enormous floral arches, elaborate candelabra centrepieces and many large displays including a 1m2 floral heart.

 

What is the most expensive flower? Lily of the Valley. Kate Middleton had a bridal bouquet of these which reportedly cost over £1000. A bouquet would start from £350+ since one small stem has a price-tag of about £4.00 – £5.00 and ideally you would need 150 stems per bouquet!  This is the Queens favourite flower and we have a pic of her holding our bouquet below:

Queen

Her Royal Highness

Have you had any unusual requests? We had a bride who once requested the whole wedding in died blue roses. I generally don’t like working with artificial products but the whole effect was beautiful. Unusual requests are becoming quite normal today as brides have become more creative and daring. We have been asked for flowers to decorate horses, dogs and even a pair of wellies. Wellies What are bridal favourites?

Flowers – Peonies are a firm favourite all year round but you only get them May to beginning of July so bear this in mind when setting your date if this is a priority.

Winter weddings – Roses are always classic, simple & elegant.

Spring weddings – Anemones and bulb flowers like hyacinths, tulips and narcissus.

Summer weddings – Blousy blooms such as sweet peas and peonies.

Autumn weddings – Rustic blackberries and berried foliage.

BOUQUETS – Round hand-tied bouquets are still popular abut there is an increase in popularity of having something slightly softer and slightly trailing. There is a real divide between styles at the moment. The classic, elegant rose look is very popular but also the vintage ‘meadow’  natural look, very organic and not overly styled.

CENTREPIECES – Think about the space in your wedding venue – do you need height to fill the space or would you prefer to keep it low and intimate? Candelabras are always popular although the mish-mash of jam jars and vintage china to give a more rustic look is still holding a strong trend.  You can go anywhere with  these to reflect the theme, style and personality. They can be tailored to budget and prices can start  from as little as £25 each but for a cost effective table centre, I would suggest looking at plants.

VENUE DECORATION – It is really important to empathise with your chosen venue and to work with what you have. Weddings are not just about centrepieces any more  – everything is taken into consideration and they have become more of a “theatrical production”. There is a trend for more staged areas with props such as ladders, dressing tables etc. and it is more exciting than it’s ever been. I love my job as every wedding we work on and have ever produced has been different. A good florist will tailor the day very much for the individual. It is so involved, so in-depth with so many layers to the decoration now that I love to embrace every brief and can be more creative than ever.

What are your thoughts on the floral trends heading into 2015? The trend for blush or muted pastel tones is still going strong but we are seeing more requests for pops of colour with mixed brights. A shade making a huge impact this year is yellow as a stand-alone wedding colour too.

The’ vintage’ look will still be popular but taking this one step further in 2014 with a  romantic and whimsical element – introducing more of an organic, ‘just-picked’  hedgerow look with organically mixed wild bouquets and foliage. Textured bouquets with a feminine softness will still continue into 2014 complimenting the ever popular bridal lace dresses with scented florals such as Lily of the Valley and Sweet Pea.

The Royal wedding of William and Kate bringing the outdoors inside is still having a huge impact on bridal trends. They had 20ft trees lining the aisle of Westminster Abbey and the English country garden feel is still a firm favourite with 2014 brides.

A big thanks to Emma from Love Lily for her help with this post. I hope this gives you some help and inspiration for your big day…happy planning…Pippa x

Unless stated all images in this post are from Love Lily and Facebook.

 

The Wedding Cake: Heavenly Exquisite Desserts

Warning… this post is all about CAKE. After reading, you may well feel the urge to eat some, I apologize.

If you are trying to avoid this sweet delight, I again apologize. But come on… its wedding cake and everyone loves cake right?

In my career as a wedding photographer I’ve seen (and tasted) many wedding cakes over the years.  When offered wedding cake, it’s considered rude to refuse. Well, that’s what I’ve always been told. Did someone say cake?

The Traditional Wedding Cake

Heres a quick history lesson in Wedding Cakes…

Back in Ancient Rome, there was no cake. Bread was traditionally broken over a brides head instead. This was a tradition that was regarded as bringing good fortune to the newly married couple.

By Medival times, A wedding cake consisted of lots of small cakes all stacked as high as possible. The idea was that the Bride & Groom had to try and kiss over the top without the cake falling over. In all honesty, I LOVE this tradition! sounds great fun!

But as legend has it, in the 1600’s, A french Chef witnessed this tradition while visiting London and was appalled (can’t think why!). He decided to create a more pleasing cake for a wedding. His creation involved piling lots of sweet rolls on top of each other forming a tower.  Many know this as the first Croquembouche.

But this next bit of history is my favourite. Apparently, In 1703 a bakers apprentice called Thomas Rich, fell in love with his boss’s daughter and asked her to marry him. Eager to impress, he wanted to make an extravagant wedding cake. His inspiration came from St. Brides Church on Fleet Street in London. Sadly I can’t find any records/drawings of this cake but I like to think it was HUGE!

Brides PieImage Source

By the 19th Century, The wedding cake was referred to as “bride’s pie” and everyone was expected to try some. Those that didn’t were considered very rude! As time passed and sugar became more widely available, the pie was replaced by plum/fruit cake.  Sugar was still regarded as very expensive therefore only wealthy families could afford to have a wedding cake frosted.

Queen Victoria's wedding cake

It wasn’t until Queen Victoria’s wedding when her cake was covered in icing that the term ‘royal icing’ was created. Like most royal weddings, this then started a trend for iced wedding cakes. After all, If its good enough for the queen, its good enough for a bride!

The tradition behind the tiered wedding cake was more for the show of wealth rather than a loving reason. More cake, more money. The top tier was usually kept to celebrate a couples first wedding anniversary but as most couples usually had their first child within the first year of marriage, the top tie was soon referred to as a keepsake christening cake.

The Modern Day Wedding Cake

Wedding Cakes now come in all shapes, sizes and more importantly, flavours! Gone are the days of having the traditional 3 tiered wedding cake laced with rich fruit, marzipan and icing.

Today’s creations can pretty much consist of any flavour. From lemon, amaretto, Strawberry to the ever popular chocolate.

You don’t even have to have cake. I’ve photographed weddings where couple’s have opted for cupcakes, a three tied Cheese feast. I’ve also seen three tiers of Corned beef pie rather than cake. And there are couples that have chosen not to have anything at all.

I love that couples now are finally waking up to the idea that you really can have what you want for your wedding. Following tradition is great IF that’s what YOU BOTH want to do.

If you are choosing to have a wedding cake, The question really is, Do you opt for your favourite flavour or choose one that you hope all you’re guests will like?

Naked Wedding Cake

My favourite type of wedding cake is A Naked Wedding cake. Here’s an image I took of Sarah & Ben’s wedding cake last year. I LOVED it!

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It was made by the lovely Heavenly exquisite deserts, Llandeilo.

Which brings me nicely onto the cake delights of Heavenly Exquisite Deserts. If you LOVE cake & chocolate you will love this company. Tracey and her team are based in llandielo and make quite possible some of the best wedding cakes in Wales (trust me…I’ve photographed (and tasted) hundreds of wedding cakes over the years (gosh, I’ve not eaten the WHOLE cake obviously!! just a slither..honest!) and as the name of the company suggests, Heavenly exquisite desserts really do live up to its name.

I’m thrilled to have heavenly involved in our epic styled shoot next week. I can’t wait to see what delights I’ll be photographing!

In the meantime, If you are yet to order your wedding cake and undecided on what to have, take a look at some more of Heavenly’s Wedding cake’s.

The only downside to this blog post is that there is no way of tasting them. Shame I can’t download at least a ‘scratch n sniff’ plug-in for this site either…Imagine how cool that would be!

However, feast your eyes on these:

859111_591800974194951_386584168_o 859111_591800980861617_1919429098_o 859111_591800984194950_1644797058_o 859111_591800987528283_65479886_o 965688_562538813787834_1639798688_o 1048447_553357748039274_1098973314_o 1071615_585392421502473_2057210938_o 1385678_723851954323185_7754842858263102311_n 1391493_615918091783239_559538619_n 1912451_723851507656563_6010494195401960421_n 10264495_700795299962184_2339344786687061704_n 10291729_691607690880945_8034797033894881151_n 10330395_697225750319139_7919055996378295613_n 10338758_723851204323260_1118809172416014109_n 10384110_723851624323218_4069715592653889400_n 10392330_718281081546939_6878744732923735074_n 10408561_723852007656513_7533907863931537603_n 10426778_723851570989890_5277018584082130322_n 10436671_723851684323212_2104422971630808503_n 10437389_734164719958575_7246322255997630264_n 10474726_723851757656538_2367764043715025296_n 10481575_733639103344470_403625069816847368_n 10501897_734152343293146_4070550820867216338_n

 

A little bit of Luxury: Bridesmaids Dresses

A few weeks ago, our classic bride, Charlie shared some great Highstreet bridesmaid dresses with you all. Today we have our luxury bride, Pippa here to share her ideas and inspiration for your bridesmaids including some rather gorgeous designer dresses. Over to you Pippa…

So, time to talk all things Bridesmaid. Having only been a bridesmaid once previously at the age of 8, (complete with classic 90s floral puff ball sleeves and satin bows), I really underestimated how much I would rely on my best girls on the big day. All our lovely married brides will understand when I say that weddings really show you who your ‘real’ friends are and my girls did me super proud. They arranged the best hen weekend a girl could have wished for and were such a support on the day itself, fixing makeup, supplying bubbles (as I was always too busy talking or dancing to visit the bar) and just providing lots of fun, giggles and special touches to help make the day everything I hoped it would be…love you always…x

twobirds_maria farrelly two birds maria farrelly 2Photos by the amazing Maria Farrelly Photography

So, for all our Cwtch Bridesmaid’s to be…what are some little extras that can help make your friendships thrive and the big day just that teeny bit more special?

– How about some extra special personal touches on the hen-do…something unique to the bride? Believe me when I say the smallest of things can make such a huge impact and really show thoughtfulness above and beyond the expected naughtiness. What about a photo library of the bride and her hens together over the years? – these create lots of giggles looking back at the fashion faux pas and nights out! Maybe organise a ‘hen book’ full of stories, favourite memories with the bride, poems or drawings from all the hen’s? The classic game of Mr & Mrs is always a winner but why not try a recorded version or even better, use your smart phone for a video version – hearing (and seeing) the groom squirm as he answers the questions is guaranteed to be a huge hit!

– What about giving a thoughtful gesture (that doesn’t have to cost the earth) on the morning of the wedding- maybe a photo book of the hen do or even something as simple as a few words in a card will go a long way…although be sure to give it before the makeup…it’s a really emotional day!

– I know we all take such a long time to get ready girls but leaving the all important hour before you are due at the ceremony to spend with the bride to help get her into her dress, heels, jewellery etc really is a special time…afterall, it’s the last girlie time you will have together before she becomes a ‘Mrs’.

– Just casually asking on the big day if your bride wants anything – a drink? something to eat? She will really appreciate it!

– Not that you’d need a prompt if you’re anything like my girlies, but make sure to start the dancing and socialise. It really means a lot to the bride and groom to see their friends having and creating a good time for themselves and all the other guests.

Now, down to the all important dress…

Bridesmaid dresses have come a long way since the style hangover of the 80s and 90s where giant satin bows, puff ball sleeves and matching headpieces were the height of fashion. There is such a huge selection of beautiful dresses available today that being a bridesmaid doesn’t have to mean forgoing style. If you’re lucky, your bridesmaids may be the type to grin and bear whatever you pop them in (while complaining quietly behind your back) but with all the options available today, and the growing trend for mis-matched bridesmaid dresses, there really is no excuse to inflict psychological torture on your girlfriends! Everyone knows who makes the final dress decision so try to choose something that will earn you rave reviews. Here are a few of my favourite ‘Luxury’ bridesmaid dresses that are bound to avoid any criticism and sunken faces from your maids…

TWO BIRDS

Even though many brides will consider themselves a savvy shopper, it is still exceptionally difficult to pick out one dress in a colour or style to suit all your maids who will have a variety of body frames, skin tones, style and hues that suit – queue the miracle dress! I may be a little biased having chosen this for my bridesmaids, but what’s not to love? One dress with over 15 different ways to wrap and customise – and it really is super easy. Two birds dresses are so heavy and made from such quality material they hang beautifully to suit all shapes and sizes – they are even perfect for a pregnant maid. Mix and match fronts and backs so that all your girls can look different walking down the aisle…and into the evening. two_birds_dress_a two_birds_dresses_2

Check out their website and pinterest page for more fantastic images of real brides mixing colourways and styles…you really can create any look you want!

…and if it couldn’t get any better – there are 4 stockist in Wales…

Mr & Mrs Bridal Boutique, Aberdare.

Laura May, Cardiff.

White Bride, Narberth.

Wedding Belles, Anglesey.

 

Ghost

I think GHOST is another shop perfect for matched or mis-matched maids. Their classic satin floor-length gowns come in a variety colours and necklines. They have a fantastic “dye-to-order” service where you can pick any of the styles in any of the colourways (perfect for mis-matched) and the gorgeous feminine pallet would be ideal for your bevvy of beautiful bridesmaids!

Ghost dresses

Grace, Nicole, Salma, Taylor, Diana, Sylvia

 

Other Ideas

These beauties have caught my eye too (ooo…the choice – can we do it all again Mr P?)

Alice_olivia_Fila_lace_dress1. Alice & Olivia, Fila Lace Dress

Enzoani_f08-a2. Love by ENZOANI, F08 (variety of colourways available)

Enzoani_F12-A3. Love by ENZOANI, F12

Enzoani_D294. Love by ENZOANI, D29 (variety of colourways available) JML_Couture_JIM_Hjelm_occasions 5. JLM Couture, JH5413Day_Birger_et_Mikkelsen6.DAY Birger et Mikkelsen, Sumner wrap-effect silk-satin gownKelsey_rose_151297. Kelsey Rose, 15129 (variety of colourways available)

Kelsey_rose_500188.Kelsey Rose

Kelsey_rose_125329.Kelsey Rose

Kathy_Hilton_sequined-gown10. Kathy Hilton for Mon Cheri, H34054

Dessy_Lela_rose_Bridesmaid_LR18211. Lela Rose, LR182 (variety of colourways available)

Do any of our past Cwtch brides have stories of bridesmaids going that little bit extra? Any ideas you can share? We would love to hear from you…x

A little bit of Luxury: Bridal Bags

 We welcome back our Luxury Bride, Pippa. Hooray! Today she is going to woo us with some beautiful designer bridal bags. 

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Wedding bags – to have and to hold? That is the Question…

If you’re anything like me (shoe and bag crazy) then the question of should I? Do I REALLY need one? didn’t really cross my mind, it of course was an ‘essential’ part of my bridal outfit. Looking back now though I don’t think I used it at all thanks to my very handy bridesmaids so I suppose I have to ask – did I really need one? Your wedding is a perfect excuse to add to your wardrobe with all manner of beautiful items but would your money be better spent elsewhere?

There are a whole range of beautiful bags to choose from at the moment and below are a few of my faves…

Luxury bags luxury bags 2Luxury bags


Luxury bags

and if you fancy something a bit different…

luxury bags 2

1. Anya Hindmarch, Marano Clutch, £450 – a favourite with our gorgeous Duchess of Cambridge!
2. Jimmy Choo, Tube, £625
3. Anya Hindmarch, Valorie, £350
4. Jimmy Choo, Cosma with crystals, £1650
5. Jimmy Choo, Chandra, £750
6. Marchesa, Lily embellished box clutch, £2115
7. Edie Parker, Jean striped pearl effect box clutch, £975
8. Oscar de la Renta, Crown Goa Swarovski crystal embellished clutch, £1360
9. Jenny Packham, Casa silver/gold/crystal £455
10. Alexander McQueen, De Manta clutch, lace print, £325
11. YSL, Ligne Y Clutch, £655
12. Alexander McQueen, Knuckle Duster Clutch, £1345
13. Gina, Imelda, £695
14. Stark, Put a Ring on it python clutch, £1500
15. YSL Monogramme Tassel clutch, £920
16. Sylvia Toledano, Love Swarovski embellished box clutch, £1050
17. YSL, classic monogramme clutch, £695 (Your something Blue?)
18. Lulu Guiness, Lips clutch, £245

If you’re like me, I couldn’t be without my ‘suitcase’ (as Mr P calls it) on a daily basis filled with all my essential (and not so essential) bits. So for my big day I felt I needed the security of having a few items on hand…just incase! Now, I’m not advocating a shoulder slung bag over your beautiful frock (eeek…fashion faux pas) but a simple clutch could just be a saviour should you have a bridal emergency. Obviously, as beautiful as they are, you wouldn’t want to be carrying it down the aisle so you could leave it in the wedding car during the ceremony or maybe rope in a bridesmaid’s partner to help. I popped mine on the top table for the remainder of the evening but equally you could entrust your lovely ladies to help with bag duty.

You will need to cut down from your usual ‘suitcases’ though girls  (I don’t even know what I carry in my bag half the time) so here are a list of items we think would be handy for any bridal ’emergencies’…

1. Mints (NOT chewing gum) – you will be kissing ALOT of people.

2. Lippie – keep your make-up looking fresh from your “I Do” to your photos and well into the evening. Personally I would avoid sticky lipgloss though and I’m sure your groom (and guests) will thank you for it!

3. Hairgrips

4. Safety Pins

5. Concealer

6. Plasters – just incase you haven’t broken in your bridal heels…tut tut!

7. Tissues – a must for the speeches!

 

We’d love to know what all our lovely Cwtch brides think – are you having a bridal bag? If so, what will you be carrying inside?