Review: The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny

Today we have a wonderful review of the beautiful Angel Hotel, Abergavenny.



Awarded AA Hotel of the Year in Wales, The Angel Hotel is something very special. I was invited to come along to view their wedding showcase a while ago and experience an overnight stay. Our boobless Bride Dawn also joined me for the evening. And what a great night we had too!

There is literally something for everyone to enjoy here. Their award winning Afternoon teas for one are legendary (great for treating mum or your bridesmaids!). But today, we’re focusing on weddings and what they can provide for you on your big day!


If you’ve yet to book your wedding venue, then I honestly think you should take a closer look at The Angel. They have a variety of packages to suit all budgets and if you are looking to get married this year… they have a great offer running too!

When I arrived at the hotel, I was greeted by friendly staff, all very warm and welcoming. I was then shown around the different locations they offer for weddings.

The ChapelAngel

The Hotel

Inside the hotel itself, you have the Ballroom or Brecon Suite to choose from for the ceremony. Two very different and unique spaces.8788a62158f657378425a5c0a9d74941


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Bridal SuiteAngel

Private Dining
Angel Angel

I felt they have all the bases covered. Even with being situated on the high street, once inside, you felt like you were miles away. And if you were worried about where you can have your wedding photographs taken…don’t.  The beautiful Abergavenny Castle is a two minute walk away!


So, if you are thinking of taking a closer look, do it… we did and loved our stay!



The Glanusk Estate: The Location For Cwtchfest 2016

I’m thrilled to be collaborating with the amazing Glanusk Estate on this years Cwtchfest. I’m still pinching myself that this crazy idea I had of organising a large wedding festival in Wales is not only happening again, but that it’s growing… on an epic scale!

Today I wanted to share with you the reasons why I chose The Glanusk Estate and why I think it should be on your list of ‘must-see’ venues for your wedding.~ Maria.glanusk

The Glanusk Estate is one of the largest privately owned Estates in Wales and is situated in the beautiful countryside of the Usk Valley, Crickhowell, South Wales in the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Cornwall and shop 127Why did I choose The Glanusk Estate for Cwtchfest?

Thats easy. I only work with companies that I would use myself if planning a wedding. Having photographed hundreds of weddings over the years, I’ve worked alongside MANY venues and suppliers. Some are incredible and some should not be working in this industry (don’t worry, they won’t ever appear on this blog). For me, professionalism and personal recommendations are everything.

click here for tickets

The Glanusk Estate approached me last year when I was in the midst of organising last years festival. I honestly nearly fell of my chair when I read their email.

If you don’t know much about the Estate. Let me share a few things. The Glanusk Estate hosts the world famous Greenman Festival, Spartan Race UK 2015, as well as numerous TV programs and commercials. It is quite simply one of the best locations to host a wedding in Wales and they love Cwtch The Bride.


So why chose The Glanusk Estate for your wedding?

Like me, the team at Glanusk really do love a good wedding! You are not part of a production line either. They really do go that extra mile which means so much when planning a wedding.

They are super friendly, personal and offer a really bespoke service.  The Glanusk Estate team pull out all the stops to make your wedding day memorable and a wonderful experience not just for yourselves but also your guests.

Whether you are having an intimate celebration for 20 or 30 guests, or a larger party, they really do have the perfect backdrop for your special day.Claire_Ian0206


Having photographed in many of the wedding venues across Wales, what struck me as a massive selling point here (besides the epic views) is their pricing. The Glanusk Estate does not charge corkage!  Most venues do which is where the pricing can start to rocket. There is nothing worse than falling in love with a venue and then sitting down with the price list and finding out all the ‘extras’ you HAVE to pay to personalise your day exceeds your budget.

At Glanusk, the bride and groom can not only make their own choice of alcohol but can also select their own choice of caterer and marquee company rather than being restricted to a small selection offered by many venues. That alone is worth calling the team to arrange a site visit!

Do I have to hire the entire Estate for my wedding?

no, no, no :)

The beauty of this location is that you have a choice of four areas on the estate. Each has a totally different feel and charm of its own.

We’ll be going into more detail about each area over the coming weeks but to give you a brief outline. There are four main areas to consider.

 The Glasshouse & Old Walled Garden

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Penmyarth House

Claire_Ian0259chairs on verandah

Glanusk Park Louise_Osmaan_Final-8804

River View

Cornwall and shop 127marquee site

Penmyarth Church is also on the estate. It’s a private chapel for blessings and can seat up to 100 guests.  Its also walking distance from River View and is ridiculously pretty.glanusk - hi-res (34x23cm 300dpi jpegs) - 195

There is so much more about The Glanusk Estate that I want to share with you but I’m going to have to do that over a series of posts.

Also, don’t just take my word for it, come along on Sunday 17th April to Cwtchfest. Our tickets are selling like hot welshcakes and we’d love to see you there. It really is going to be the wedding event of the year!

buy-tickets-here-12I cannot wait to descend on this idyllic venue with my team and fill it with inspiring ideas for your wedding along with the best selection of wedding professionals in Wales.   Only 93 days to go!

Maria x 


Featured Wedding Venue: Nantwen

If a couple were to build their own wedding venue how might it look?

Nantwen Cottage photographed by Owen Howells

Nantwen Cottage photographed by Owen Howells

Set down an off road track in Pembrokeshire the secretive Nantwen cottage has been a personal project for owners Daniel & Jemma. As they plan their own wedding there in August, they tell us a little about their journey so far…

Nantwen Logo

The thought of getting married before building a house never came to us. Instead we chose a joint mortgage and let a team of builders run wild on our barns whilst we continued with our careers as a Cellist and Goldsmith in London.

The moment the first barn was complete it became a firm favourite with honeymooners from all across the world. Hiraeth eventually set in so we left London and endeavoured to carve out a living in Wales. (Daniel as a teacher at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff and Jemma as a bespoke goldsmith with Slade Fine Jewellery.) [nb Hiraeth is a Welsh word that has no direct English translation. The University of Wales, Lampeter attempts to define it as homesickness tinged with grief or sadness over the lost or departed. It is a mix of longing, yearning, nostalgia, wistfulness, or an earnest desire for the Wales of the past] Our attention also started to turn towards the 3 stone walls which made up the derelict barn next door – affectionately known as The Bull Pen.

Daniel & Jemma at Nantwen

Daniel & Jemma at Nantwen

As a distraction from the question of what to do with these three stone walls we got engaged.  I commissioned a ring from Jemma’s Hatton Garden colleagues, dropped it in the mud by a waterfall in the Gwaun Valley before popping it on her finger.That afternoon we phoned the bank, the council and the builders and the bull pen was set to be restored as a studio in which to get married.

Daniel and Jemma walking along on the coast near Nantwen

Daniel and Jemma walking along on the coast near Nantwen

The builders restored the entire thing in a few months working solely between 11am and 4pm on the change over days of the increasingly popular Nantwen cottage. Meanwhile Jemma and I were busy getting to know and enjoying our beautiful little daughter Elsbeth. Our next project was to think about getting married ourselves so we had the studio licensed for very small and intimate civil ceremonies.

Jemma a week before Elsbeth was born

Jemma a week before Elsbeth was born

This is our first season as a venue for intimate weddings and we are really excited to be planning our own wedding here alongside the other couples.  With a venue on our doorstep and a goldsmith as the bride the only thing to really think about is the wedding feast and whether our guests will be able to find the secret little cottage with blue doors!

Nantwen wedding space photographed by Owen Howells

Nantwen wedding space photographed by Owen Howells

What makes Nantwen so important for us is that it is formed completely out of its surroundings.  Guests to the cottage, don’t get told where it is until a few weeks before their stay, this adds to the charm of it.  It is small, rugged, wild, unusual, peaceful and romantic. The contents has been scavenged from the old farm, it is incredibly eco friendly and the abundance of wildlife inspired the wilderness garden and wildflower meadows that surround it. We also love sharing it. 16134489837_7e4dd0a55d_o-570x350 Nantwen-Photographed-by-Owen-Howells-224-570x350

Photographed by Owen Howells

Photographed by Owen Howells

Nantwen offers various wedding packages including runaway weddings and honeymoons. See or call 01239821139

WOW! What a BEAUTIFUL venue! I am very jealous of any couple that get married here! In fact if you are a Nantwen couple please send us your story, or if you are married send us your wedding photos! Email

Sarah & Jamie’s Welsh Green Wedding by Aurora Wedding Films

We are so excited to welcome our newest LUSH LIST member: Welsh Green Weddings to our blog! Located on a small organic Carmarthenshire farm, Welsh Green Weddings are a licensed wedding venue with accommodation for over 40 people on site.

Welsh Green Weddings are set in a GORGEOUS location: the lush green Teifi Valley. An undiscovered gem of a location nestling on the borders of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion & Pembrokeshire.

But don’t just take our word for it, so you can see this fabulous venue in all it’s glory here is a beautiful film from Aurora Wedding Films. Sarah & Jamie got married  at Welsh Green Weddings and have kindly allowed us to share this film with you today.

Nb. Watch the video in full screen to get the full benefit!

Sarah and Jamie from Aurora Wedding Films on Vimeo.

We are so pleased to have Welsh Green Weddings on Cwtch the Bride. If you are looking for a unique, beautiful and GREEN (in all senses of the word) wedding venue then look no further!

Date for your Diary: Wedding Showcase at Sosban Restaurant

Wales’ newest wedding venue Sosban in Llanelli is hosting a Wedding Showcase on the 12th of April. Featuring leading suppliers including our very own Maria Farrelly and an incredible on-the-day competition, it’s an event you won’t want to miss.

Here are all the details.

wedding flyer

Sosban has decided to open it’s door’s to Weddings, with a reputation built as one of Wales’ finest eateries, within beautiful surroundings, it’s sure to be a foodies haven for Weddings.


Situated in a grade II listed building and located on Llanelli’s North Dock, the redeveloped Pump House once provided hydraulic power for the operation of the docks after completion in 1900.
The building has been beautifully restored, with large oak beams running from wall to wall and beautiful handmade chandeliers made from copper pipes, setting off the interior with bright oranges and autumn colours.
Wedding Photography by Owen Howells

Wedding Photography by Owen Howells

Upon entry you notice the bar which has been made from what once was the water tanker, from the original shell of the building.
Wedding Photography by Owen Howells

Wedding Photography by Owen Howells

In order to let everyone know that we’re open for Weddings, we have decided to hold a Wedding Showcase.
The Showcase will be displaying some of Wales’ best suppliers of Wedding must have’s, and will be open to the public with no entry charge. On arrival you will have a glass of complimentary fizz courtesy of Fine Wines Direct Cardiff, and there will be some great Wedding giveaways on the day.
So come along to Sosban, on Llanelli’s North Dock between 12-4pm, on April 12th to meet Wales’ newest Wedding team.
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Sunday 12th April

12 noon -4pm



North Dock


SA15 2LF


  • Complimentary fizz courtesy of Fine Wines Direct Cardiff
  • FREE admission
  • Tours of this fabulous wedding venue
  • Leading Welsh exhibitors including Cwtch creator Maria Farrelly Photography
  • On the day COMPETITION to win approx £5000 worth of wedding goodies!

We’ll be there, we hope you will too :)




Wedding Photography by Owen Howells

Wedding Photography by Owen Howells

Wedding Photography by Owen Howells

Wedding Photography by Owen Howells