Engagement Stories: Tammy and Charlottes Surprise Sunset Proposal

Good morning everyone!

We are very happy to share this beautiful story with you! Not only is it just gorgeous, but we are also welcoming Tammy and Charlotte into the Cwtch The Bride family!

They will be our newest guest bloggers who will be sharing their ups and down whilst on their wedding planning journey! Watch this space for their official ‘Bride to Be Diaries‘ introduction!

But for now, get ready for a beautiful engagement story! If you would love to share your engagement story with us, get in touch!

Engagement Stories

Tammy and Charlottes Surprise Sunset Proposal

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Last year I met the love of my life. She was the most beautiful, kind and caring person I’d ever met. She was full of laughs and random facts, like that Penguins will spend a life time finding the perfect pebble to give to their life long companion.

On June 17th 2016 at Ogmore-by-sea beach, I found the perfect pebble for my perfect woman and asked her to be my girlfriend.

Fast forward a year to the day and I’m blind folded heading West to a secret location. Finally we reach it, Ogmore-by-sea beach where she’d set up a tee pee filled with cheeses, nibbles and Prosecco. We spent a gorgeous few hours relaxing whilst over looking the sea and the spot where we got together. Then as the sun went down she pulled out my pebble-she’d kept it.

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As we reminisced about our magical year together she brought out her own pebble and within it was a ring. “Wnei di priodi fi?” (Will you marry me?) she said. “Gwnaf” (I will) I replied.

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The next day, to top it off, she took me on a surprise hot air balloon ride. It was the one bucket-list entry I had. As we floated over the beautiful Welsh country side I looked over at this amazing woman I’d fallen in love with a year ago. She was still the most beautiful, kind and caring person I’d ever met but now she was my fiancé – my dreams had come true.

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Cwtch Of The Week: Kirsty & Matt’s Vineyard Cwtch

Happy Monday folks and a huge congratulations to Kirsty & Matt who tied the knot a few weeks ago at the stunning Llanerch Vineyard.

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This Beautiful cwtchy image was taken by the talented wedding photographer and founder of Cwtch The Bride Maria Farrelly.

 

If you’d like to feature as our Cwtch Of the Week, simply send us your favourite cwtchy photograph to anna@cwtchthebride.com 

Real Weddings: Happy Anniversary – Tammy and Dan’s 1950’s Americana Wedding

Todays Real Wedding is a throwback as it is Tammy and Dans anniversary! Today I saw a massive vintage american car and it just reminded me of this amazing wedding that we featured last March.  I absolutely adored it.  Seen at it is the New Year, I thought I would take a little look back on a firm favourite of 2016, and here it is.  Tammy and Dan’s 1950’s Americana Wedding.  Its just superb! And not just because it was shot by our very own Maria Farrelly!

So without further ado, you’re about to be overloaded with inspiration! Enjoy!

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I’ve been looking forward to sharing this wedding for AGES!

As well as running Cwtch The Bride, some of you many not realise I’m also a professional photographer. This here blog was initially a little side project for me which has now snowballed into Wales’ best wedding blog EEK! Anyhow, besides having a great team now working with me on this blog, I still photograph weddings. And the one I’m sharing with you today is flipping awesome!

I had the privilege of photographing Tammy & Dan’s 1950’s Americana style wedding last July and hand on heart, it was probably one of my all time favourites! It had everything I love about a great wedding. An awesome Welsh venue, wonderful friends and family, loads of laughter, fabulous music, drinks flowing and bucket loads of love.

So grab yourself a cuppa, get comfy and enjoy!

Oh…and before I forget… this brave couple commissioned me to return the morning after and photograph all their guests hungover (some of which hadn’t slept!). it was great fun and i’ll be sharing those images with you all tomorrow morning! don’t miss that, they are hilarious!

Lets hand you over to the beautiful bride Tammy to tell you all about her awesome wedding!

Maria x

All images by Maria Farrelly Photography

Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon142Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon071What was your budget? 

Our budget was whatever we could save over 3 years including any gift money from Christmas & birthdays, think it amounted to £20,000 which included our dream honeymoon.
It was hard work trying to be strict and save but totally worth it the end and not without a lot of help from family too!Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon086
How would you describe your wedding theme?

50’s Rock & Roll with a splash of Americana :) We love America (especially Florida) and the closest available date for the venue we wanted was 4th July – Independence Day… how could we not add some American touches to the theme :)
We had sparklers and chocolate pretzels for the favours and went all out with American style food such as hot dogs, pulled pork, sweet potatoes and waffles with syrup and ice cream for dessert.Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon016Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon127Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon095
What was your favourite part of your wedding?

My favourite part of the wedding was walking out as Mrs Hagerty back down the aisle and halfway down realising it wasn’t a CD playing ‘All You Need Is Love’… it was a surprise full brass band booked by my father in law and to top it off one of our groomsmen Nathan was singing along with Scott on the drums who plays in a band with Dan – ‘Eric Unseen’.
The BTM Brass band sounded amazing and technically our first dance ended up being straight after the ceremony right there in the aisle.
Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon048Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon049Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon051

Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon050Tell us about your Wedding Dress

I saw a dress in a wedding magazine that was a short 1950’s style with lace sleeves, the dress was by Ellis Bridal.
I wanted to get my dress from the same place that my best friend Kate got hers as they were always very friendly, Sentiments in Bridgend.
I heard that Sentiments had a trunk show for Ellis Bridal so booked myself an appointment.
The dress that I wanted to try on wasn’t there so I tried on a beautiful fishtail version of the dress and it just suited my curvy figure so well!
I tried on plenty of other dresses including shorter styles and as fab as they all were I knew the fishtail style was the one and still in keeping with the 50’s style.
Lots of people commented on my look being very Priscilla Presley which I was over the moon about! Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon007Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon078Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon143
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why?

We had 6 Bridesmaids and 6 Groomsmen.Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon087Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon088All of them crazy in their own way and we loved having our best friends, sisters and brother by our side!
Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon091Dan couldn’t choose just one best man so he had two … Carl & Rickwood, I think they are now taking bookings as compares! They really were a double act on the day and kept everyone entertained.Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon105As for the bridesmaids they really helped me keep calm getting ready and then once their duties were done got up to their usual antics including photo bombing our professional pictures haha!

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Why did you choose your venue?

We really wanted a barn venue, and once we saw the Barn at Brynich with its beautiful on site cottages we knew we didn’t need to look any further.
The team at Brynich were brilliant, especially Simon who really looked after us from start to finish of the wedding planning and made sure the day ran smoothly!Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon109
Having the venue for the full weekend was perfect as we really got to make the most of spending time with the family and had plenty of help the day before with making sure everything was set up!
The sunday after the wedding was then time to unwind laugh and reflect! Oh and take morning after shots of the bridal party just for the fun of it! :)Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon069
Tell us about your photographer

Our photographer was Maria Farrelly, I was at a wedding fayre in the Millennium Centre (Cardiff) and after seeing quite a few portfolios I came across her stand and knew that I needed to book her straight away!
The work on her displays and portfolios were the exact style I was after and after speaking with Maria, she was so lovely and genuinely excited about our ideas so far!

Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon152I think after the venue, Maria was the next big tick off the list as it was so important to us that we had a great photographer. We are so happy with how the pictures turned out! Every moment was captured!

Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon008Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon032Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon068Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon157How did the proposal happen? 

Dan took me to Cardiff bay to where he had asked me out 5 years prior, he was so nervous and I was just thinking about what steak I was going to have in Cafe Rouge… then he popped the question! I was over the moon and ended up too overwhelmed to eat my food!Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon043Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon042The following week we jetted off to Venice which was absolutely amazing! No cars from the moment we got off the plane, it was just fascinating.

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

As we both love music we had an idea for a lyric aisle backdrop to hang from the ceiling to the floor and with flowers either side.
It would have been too expensive to have real flowers but thanks to ebay there’s always an option to re-create a similar look cheaper.
The end result looked fab!Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon001Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon002I also made my own american style menu with vintage pictures of celebrities stuffing their faces! The idea just popped into my head and it may have taken me a couple of hours to create it but it looked fun and quirky on the tables.Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon021
We bought lots of sparklers on ebay and then used a template on Pinterest to print out and use as sparkler tags. Its definitely worth seeing what you can find online if you are trying to stick to a budget as all these little things could add up!

What was your first dance & why?

Our first dance song was Elvis Presley ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’… its one of our favourite songs and we didn’t want anything too modern.
Even though its a slow tempo song, everyone loved to join in swaying around the dance floor and singing the song at the top of their voices :)Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon120Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon121
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?

I do wish we had more video footage of the day but our budget couldn’t have stretched any further.
We have had a few video’s sent to us of the brass band surprise, our first dance and lots of our friends at the end of the night singing in the tipi around the campfire so we will be putting it all together and make our own video mixed in with some of the amazing photo’s we have from the day.

Do you have any advice for future couples?

As much as I love Pinterest, try to remember what is unique to you as a couple and how you can incorporate it in to your day.
The little things really do pay off!
Once all the handwork has been done upfront, when it comes to the actual day… what’s done is done and what isn’t, you just need to forget about!
The most important thing is getting married with all your loved one’s surrounding you.Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon040I had bought a lovely personalised cake topper but when we were decorating the tipi the day prior it had gotten lost… still haven’t found it to this day so I am glad I didn’t spend any time stressing out about it on the wedding day.

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

Never go to sleep without resolving an argument :) Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon059What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

Our favourite thing of planning the wedding was shopping for the last bits and pieces like table decor, balloons, bunting and sweets!Brynich_barn_wedding_brecon017

The Suppliers

Photographer: Maria Farrelly
Ceremony Venue:The Barn at Brynich 
Reception Venue:Wedding Tipi (Placed at Barn at Brynich) 
Bride’s Dress:Sentiments Bridal  
Bride’s Shoes: Schuh 
Bride’s Headpiece: Veil by EnVogue and Flower Crown by The Flower Shop
Bride’s Jewellery: wedding ring handmade from Etsy
Groom’s Outfit: Next and Mrs Bowtie 
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: JJ’s House (online)
Cake: By my bridesmaid’s aunty :)
Flowers: The Flower shop Hay On Wye inc my flower crown
Hair: Bella’s Hair Boutique – Styled by Jess Davies (A friend)
Make Up: Amy at Dollybirds Beauty 
Band: Jammy and the dodgers – go see them at The Brewhouse 
DJ: None – We hired a jukebox 
Stationery: Be Our Guest (Etsy)
Caterers: Five Star Chef 
Any Reception Decor/Props: Bunting & Balloons – Not on the high street/hobbycraft , favours – ebay , pretzels – Holland & Barrett
Other:Ceremony Band – BTM Brass Band

Our Wedding Album

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Bride to Be Diaries: The Sporty Bride is having Wedding Dress Isues

Hello you lovely lot

We are very happy to have our gorgeous Sporty Bride back for her second instalment, and this time, she is having wedding dress issues!

Find out why, over to you Natalie….

B2B Sporty Banner

Sporty Couple July

 

The athletic figure vs the wedding dress!

Hello all!

So…with 397 days to go it’s getting closer to the 12 months-to-go mark. Having booked my wedding two years before the date to give myself time to pay for it there have been times it has certainly seemed impossibly far away. I can’t wait to get to that ‘Year to go!’ milestone. It’ll certainly help H2B get more excited as it’s just to far in the future for his attention span! I’ve also booked a lot of my vendors and small details well in advance. Too organised one might say!

Sporty 397 Days

At least I’ve had the rugby, a holiday and a trip to California to keep me occupied…

Sporty Holiday July

Buying the dress was one of the activities I was most excited about. Being sporty and a bit tomboy-ish means that I don’t always feel all that feminine. I was looking forward to sharing the experience with my mam and closest family in the ultimate girly experience (up to this point in my life at least)- buying my wedding dress!

In my head I imagined walking into a dress shop, being treated like a princess and leaving with the perfect dress. As usual though… it wasn’t all plain sailing!

The first dress shop we popped into was more of a exploratory mission- it was off the cuff on a Sunday afternoon in Cardiff…no appointment. It was lovely to try on some beautiful dresses and I found that what I thought I wanted was really nothing like I expected!

Being tall and slim; I had an image in my mind of a slim fit dress. Most of friends and family would say that’s what they saw me in. However, when trying on these dresses I found they didn’t suit my ‘pear’ shape created by my small waist and broad hips (If I hear the term ‘child-baring hips’ one more time….). I was convinced by my mother to try on a ‘princess style dress’ and funnily enough the way the dress style sat on my hips really emphasized my waist and made me feel less self-conscious about my wide hips. It was a revelation! Still nothing I tried on there really made me feel like it was the dress. The dress assistant was really friendly and even though we had made it clear we didn’t want to buy anything that day she was really helpful and patient.

A few weeks later, I saw an advert on facebook for a dress shop near to where I live in Swansea. I booked an evening appointment and went with my Mam and Auntie. Cue the beginning of a painful experience. The shop assistant asked me to go around and pick out the dresses I liked. I didn’t really know what I was looking for and found this really difficult. I asked for some help and was told that she wouldn’t know what I liked so ‘how could she possibly pick anything for me?’. Luckily my mam is quite good at diffusing awkward silences and jumped in to help me choose some pretty dresses. Everything I tried on was a disaster. Whilst everything looked beautiful on the hanger it really didn’t suit me at all. The shop assistant tutted (yes she did!) at everything I wore and even commented on my ‘boxy’ figure and how not many dresses would suit me. In fact, the only dress she went into raptures over was one of her own design- funnily enough- until I asked if I could have a different lace…she wasn’t impressed.

I left feeling pretty unconfident about ever finding a dress that gave me that feeling and made me feel less ‘boxy’. I had no idea what would suit me. It put me off looking and I took a break for a couple of months.

Cue Sharon and Tracey at Wedding Belles in Pyle, Bridgend. My auntie recommended I go because that was where she had got her wedding dress.

Sporty Wedding Belles

My mam, auntie and mother in law to be came along for moral support. The ladies there instantly put me at ease by suggesting dress styles they thought would suit my figure and pulling out some dresses for me to look at. Nothing was too much trouble. The best piece of advice they gave me was to throw away all my pre-conceptions and just try things on. So I did! Though I had begun nervously, by fifteen minutes in I was starting to feel excited and special- like a bride! My mam carefully combed the rails and picked out her favourites and I was happy to let her do so. Mother’s know best they say…

Sporty July And she certainly did. It was about the 18th dress I had tried on that day but as soon as I put it on I loved everything about it. The neckline, the skirt, the back. It made me feel beautiful and all the things I thought I wouldn’t feel. It was the one! I’ve recently been back to see it when my order came in and I’m so pleased with it still.

The biggest things I have learned so far;

  1. Picking out my groom’s suit was easy because he was so sure of what he wanted (For once).
  2. I have absolutely no clue what 90% of fashion terms mean. I always thought ‘boning’ meant something completely different…
  3. Having an athletic figure does not mean you won’t look absolutely beautiful in the right dress. Sporty girls can be girly too!
  4. Customer service isn’t always the priority in some wedding shops but is key to the experience.

In summary, to those of you about to buy your big day dresses. I do recommend going to multiple shops but thoroughly researching what others have said to avoid bad experiences. Don’t go too late just in case you don’t find your dream dress right away. Most of all, leave all your preconceptions at the door and be open minded!

To those about to shop, I salute you!

Speak Soon,

Natalie x

Cwtch of the Week: A Steaming Hot Cwtch!

Good morning Cwtchers!

So this is a toe curler! Two sexy as hell people in a steaming hot cwtch! Happy Monday to you!!! Shot by the very lovely Les from Clixx Photography, this is a super romantic Cwtch of the Week! And we will have the pleasure of featuring the engagement shoot in its entirety very soon – so keep your eyes peeled!

Over to Les! Enjoy everyone!

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A Steaming Hot Cwtch!

COTW Les Cixx Small

After a model call on my Facebook page, I was inundated with lots of couples wanting to take advantage of a super cool day out at Aberavon beach and getting romantic with a loved one and of course getting some kick ass images to remember forever. The brief to the couple was simple. “We are heading to the beach and I will need you to sit in the sea and just be your selves” . Emily and Luke did not let me down.

The reason I wanted a real couple is because I wanted to see how the couple interacted with each other and not for me to help pose or direct.

Thank you so much for sharing Les!