Well here at Cwtch HQ we have been wiped out by one thing and another in our lives and only now are we getting a chance to posting about our fabulous #Cwtchfest2017 that happened at the stunning St Fagans National History Museum in April.
Cwtch the Bride is run by fabulous ladies who all do this out of love for all things Wedding related and our gorgeous brides.
Cwtch founder Maria and features editor Anna
Cwtchfest organiser Lindsey and her Cwtchfest rocks Lisa and Liv
There will be more Cwtch events from us! WATCH THIS SPACE!!!
Until then kick back, grab a cuppa and imagine you are back in a sunny field with your besties, drinking cocktails, listening to amazing live bands whilst planning one of the best days of your life- because that’s what Cwtchfest is all about…
We have a bloomin gorgeous wedding for you today! Gwen and Trystan had the most gorgeous day! And it was on her Dad’s farm! Its just so full of lovely DIY bespoke items, and judging by the fabulous images by Vince from Whole Wedding Pictures, everyone had an absolute amazing time!
It is inspiriationaltastic! Enjoy….x
Gwen and Trystan’s Farmer Themed Wedding!
How would you describe your wedding theme?
As a Farmer’s daughter and having been brought up on a farm, it meant the world to me to have the wedding on my Parents’ farm and having a farmer themed wedding! This made my Dad laugh, as he explained in his speech that I was the one daughter (out of the three of us) that was least interested in farming as a child! I used to go out farming with my handbag and pearls around my neck!! But having the wedding in a tent on the farm was really special and meant a lot for us as a family. We had a stretch tent in the field with straw bales, two large bride and groom manikins made of hay bales, milk churns and watering cans holding the flowers to name just a few farming items.
What was your favourite part of your wedding?
The favourite part of the wedding for me without a doubt was the wedding ceremony itself. Everything from arriving at the front of the chapel, walking down the isle, seeing Trystan for the first time, was just incredible.
We were surrounded by our friends and family who mean so much to us which made the service extra special. Music plays an important part in our lives, therefore having a local male voice choir singing The Rose for us in the Chapel and Trystan’s brother Gwydion and my Cousin Lisa singing a duet of Come what may for added a really nice touch.
A close friend to us, Dave, played the piano beautifully which made a beautiful vibe to the service and my friend, Sara made a reading of I’ll walk with you which was lovely. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole service and it went way too quick!
Tell us about your Wedding Dress
I found my wedding dress in Huw Rees Brides, Llandeilo. This was only the second bridal shop I visited, but when I tried this dress on I knew it was the one! My Mum came with me to support me and we both made the unanimous decision that this was the one! The dress was called Hanoi from the Blue collection designed by Enzoani.
I really liked the detail in the top part of the dress and the subtle way it blended into simplicity. I enjoyed the experience of trying on the beautiful dresses however I enjoyed watching the Bridesmaids trying on their dresses more, as I could sit back and relax, enjoying the fashion show!
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why?
My two sisters, Trystan’s sister and my two friends were the five Bridesmaids on the day and my baby Niece, Cadi who was 8 months at the time was a little flower girl.
Trystan’s two brothers shared the role of being Best men, and his three ushers were his two friends and his brother in law.
We had a great time with this crazy lot during the planning of the wedding and more so the hen and stag parties!
Tell us about your photographer
Vince from Whole pictures was the clever man who captured our special day through wonderful photos. Our wedding day was a grey and foggy day and the sun didn’t make an appearance at all. Initially Tryst and I were slightly disappointed, thinking our wedding pictures would look slightly miserable. However, Vince was very excited about the blank canvas the fog created, and felt the weather offered a magical vibe.
He created fantastic photos both outside on the commons and inside the Chapel and the stretch tent. He spotted a local quirky shed which he was eager for us to have a photo in front of due to it’s rustic, vintage vibe. We are both very pleased with our photos and keep looking at them, reminiscing about our special day.
How did the proposal happen?
Trystan and I have been together since secondary school, since the ages of 16 and 17. We had been together for over ten years and had been living together in Cardiff for two years. In April 2015, Tryst had been living in London for a period with his work and my friend Katie was living with me whilst he was away. One average Wednesday, I received a bouquet of 12 red roses in my workplace. I was very confused and instantly thought that they must be from a grateful patient of mine. The card read “Caru ti, Tryst x” which means “Love you, Tryst”. Our anniversary wasn’t for another month so I instantly thought that he had done something wrong!! When I tried phoning him, there was no answer so just thought I’ll speak to him later. That night, I returned from work to Katie my housemate demanding that I needed to get changed and get ready to go out. When I asked more questions about where, what, why etc she said she couldn’t say, just that I need to be ready for 7.30pm. As you can imagine I was very confused and did not have a clue what she was up to! I got ready as ordered by 7.30pm and sat quietly on the sofa waiting for more clues. Shortly after, Trystan’s sister turns up at the house and stated that my carriage awaits! She drove me down to Cardiff Bay without giving anything away and did not answer any of my questions. She told me to walk over to the Italian Restaurant, Signor Valentino. As I walked into the restaurant, I looked around looking for a familiar face or a clue as to what was going on and the waiter told me to have a look on the balcony. As I approached the balcony, there I saw Trystan sitting on a table for two, overlooking Cardiff Bay, under a heater with two glasses of champagne. I became all coy and nervous and asked what he was up to. He made a little speech saying how much I meant to him and then asked me to marry him! I was gobsmacked and had the biggest smile on my face. Tryst had to ask again, “so…will you?!” To which I said, YES! It was very romantic I must say!
Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?
The biggest DIY project of the wedding was the sofas we made from pallets. Trystan’s friend had access to many pallets in his workplace which he kindly put aside for us. Trystan’s Dad is a carpenter so he was able to put them together for us in the style of corner sofas.
His parents own a caravan park therefore had access to lots of old sofa cushions which we shaped to fit the pallet furniture. Both our Mums are very handy with their sawing kits and very cleverly sawed duvet covers over the old sofa cushions. We had a selection of pastel colours on the four pallet corner sofas we made with a selection of scatter cushions to add colour and comfort. We painted the pallets white which made them look very effective. The aim was to have these sofas outside the tent however the weather wasn’t brilliant, therefore we had the sofas inside which worked well to create cosy corners for people to sit and chill when having a break from the dancing!
What was your first dance & why?
Our first dance was to “All I’ve ever needed” by Nikki Reed & Paul McDonald. It has a gorgeous tune and the lyrics were very relevant. We loved having 2 minutes to ourselves, dancing to this beautiful song.
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?
We had a big set back to the wedding preparations due to the weather! The stretch tent was supposed to be erected on the Saturday before the wedding, however due to torrential rain and strong winds it was not possible. The next available slot the tent company had to put the tent up was the Tuesday before the wedding and the floor couldn’t go down until the Thursday before the wedding. This made everything behind schedule which made us all panic a little bit. But all the hard work from all out friends and families made it all right on the night! We probably should of been a little more prepared but it’s easily said in hindsight! The crazy week added to the fun I suppose!
Do you have any advice for future couples?
The day goes soooo fast, as everyone told us! So make sure you take it all in, even the build up to the wedding. Take time to spend with each other, not just mingling with all your guests – after all, the day is about the two of you. Just have fun and don’t let little things stress you out. If things go wrong, just try and laugh about them!
What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received?
Being an opera singer, Trystan has to travel a lot which means being away from home and away from me. We got married in July and in August he was off to Zurich, Switzerland for 10 and a half months to sing in the Opera house there. With this in mind, the best marriage advice we received was “Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him go.”
What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?
I enjoyed planning all the arty and crafty things in the wedding such as the invitations, order of service, name places etc. I count myself as quite an organised person so I enjoyed having my notebook full of ideas and a list of things to do and sort. I also had a board on my pinterest page which I loved looking for inspirations. It became quite an addiction towards the end! It was great having our two families working together to create our fantastic day and spending lots of time with our bridesmaids and groom’s men.
When it comes to a first dance, it can be quite a bone of contention. I mean, these days, who slow dances! It quite possibly could be the first time you ever DO slow dance with your new partner in crime!
But if you’re having a dilemma, then read on – you’re not the first and won’t be the last, and we are hopefully here to help!
You’d ideally want to be dancing to something that you both enjoy listening to! No point in you want a bit of Jucko Timberlake and your other half wanting NWA!
If you have complete polar opposite tastes when it comes to music, your best bet is to perhaps choose a classic. Something Motown, or by a gorgeously smooth crooner like Nat King Cole. Stylish stuff.
Is it essential that you have a song with meaningful words in or is the tune the best bit? Well this is tricky. There are so many beautiful sounding songs out there, but lyrically, they can be little inappropriate. I remember I had a favourite, I wanted to walk down the aisle to it as well as have it for our first dance. I thought I should probably check what it was about before we firmed up the decision.
Turns out, it was about breaking up with someone and leaving a toxic relationship – you know, super cheery stuff!
You could always opt for a routine. If you’re up for it, getting something absolutely sorted before you step on that dance floor and just start swaying round in a circle (my personal favourite), can be golden! It gets everybody cheering, its brilliant to watch and the rest of your party cannot wait to join you on the dance floor!
Ideally, you’re looking for a piece of music that means something to you. If you don’t mind a little bit of attention, have a moment, have THE moment, when its just you two and the rest of the room is a blur. You’re singing each other and could be the only two in the room.
The point is, there is no right or wrong way to do it. As with the rest of your day, this is about what you both want. Heck, you don’t even have to have a first dance. But if you do, rock out, the way you both want to. Its the start of the party after all!
Sweating enough!? Sheesh its a hot one this week, not that we are complaining particularly, just wishing the UK was a little more equipped with air con and ceiling fans!
So its time for our gorgeous Natasha, aka The Procrastinating Bride, to let us know how her planning is going in her second instalment. And considering her moniker, she appears to feel on top of things…
Our Procrastinating Bride is feeling on top of things!
Hope you’ve been enjoying the glorious sunshine we’ve been having. I can’t believe that this time last year, Steve proposed! He came home with a bunch of beautiful lilies last week for our engage-iversary (we didn’t actually celebrate this by the way) and it suddenly dawned on me that there are less than 6 months until our wedding, eeek!
Now, considering I’m the Procrastinating Bride, a lot of things seem to be sorted. I say a lot of things, we’re talking on Tash terms here. By a lot of things, I mean the venue, the dress, and we’ve almost come to a decision on food. (We’re both foodies so narrowing our choices down needed a lot of thought.)
If you’re an organised bride, you’re probably thinking that I’ve only scratched the surface with planning but, in my head, we’re on top of things.
So, what did we do first?
We booked our venue pretty quickly. My mum and I were browsing at venues online a few weeks after Steve and I got engaged; admittedly, I wasn’t really looking properly because it seemed like early days, but there was one venue that stood out from all the others. It happened to be holding a showcase event the following week so Steve, my parents and I decided go along. We loved it and so it was decided that we’d get married at Oldwalls: the first and only venue we went to see.
As I said earlier, Steve and I are foodies so it only made sense for us to go to a cake tasting session. I was in my element. Not that I ever need an excuse to eat cake but, when it’s part of the planning process, wedding planning instantly becomes more appealing when cake is involved. Particularly when you’re not a planner anyway.
We stuffed our faces with a range of delicious favours, including chocolate and salted caramel Italian buttercream, and around two hours later, we rolled away with full stomachs and happy hearts. To all couples getting married: cake tasting is an experience not to be missed, even if you just come away from it with ideas.
I came across Cakes by Katy at Cwtchfest. Go along to the next one if you can; it’s worth it and I’m not just saying that because I’m a Cwtch Girl!
Next: the dress. I won’t share details of my dress on here for obvious reasons but, Laura May Bridal on Cardiff’s Crwys Road and Allison Jayne in Swansea are two shops that I’d recommended to any bride who hasn’t yet found ‘the dress’.
Not only were the dresses beautiful, the overall experience at both stores couldn’t have gone any better. When you’re trying on a dress, the last thing you want is to feel rushed or under pressure to make a decision and I can honestly say that Laura May and Allison Jayne did not even come to close to making me feel this way. I tried on my first ever wedding dress in Laura May, an Enzoani number, and remember feeling how surreal it was to be trying on wedding dresses!
That’s all from me for now. We’ve got our 6-month meeting with Oldwalls next week, so I’m sure I’ll have plenty more to update you on next time!
Happy planning to all brides and all grooms! If all else fails, eat cake.
We have a completely delicious Cwtch of the Week for you this week. Shot by our very own Maria Farrelly, this is a stunning shot of our Boobless Bride, Dawn and her gorgeous family.
After receiving the devastating news that her cancer had returned last month, they arranged this shoot with Maria to create more wonderful memories, and I think you will agree, this is a wonderful one. We love you Dawn….
When the wedding dress has been worn, the cake cut, the wine all drank and the songs all played, married life begins. And for some it can be a breeze, for some they face obstacles, and for others its a roller coaster. But no matter what life throws at you, if you love each other, you will find a way to get through. Find ways to smile, laugh and hold each other that bit tighter.
Our boobless bride Dawn & her husband Steve celebrate their first wedding anniversary and are holding their family tighter more than ever as Dawn faces the return of cancer. If you missed her special post, you can read it here.