Bride to be Diaries: Introducing Our First Bridesmaid, Maid In Wales

Good morning you lovely bunch!

We finally have the pleasure of introducing our very first bridesmaid! Have you been asked to step up? Are you going to be the Maid of Honor? Are you in need of some inspiration and help for this mahoosive role you’re about to fill?

Well, our gorgeous Maid In Wales, Gwen, is in the same boat, and here to share her journey with you……

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Hello! Lovely to meet you all!

I’m Gwen and in just over a year’s time I am going to helping my twin sister Alys walk down the aisle as her Maid of Honour. We’re both 29 and grew up in the Brecon Beacons in a little village called Bwlch.

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We went our separate ways for University – me to Exeter and Alys to Cardiff – where we both met local boys who have ended up as our future husbands. I now live in Exeter with my husband Mike and work in PR for a local hospital. When I’m not writing press releases or promoting the NHS to the local media, I spend my time crafting, taking photos, going to festivals, and travelling back and forth to Wales visiting family and friends (I spend A LOT of time on the M5…).

Alys and I have always been best friends, so when I married Mike last August, it was only natural that she should be my Maid of Honour.

Maid In Wales Alys and Gwen

I always knew that she would be up to the task and, during one crazy year of wedding planning, Alys turned out to be a ‘Maid of Honour Extraordinaire’! She threw herself in to organising my amazing hen weekend (which remained top secret until the moment my hens surprised me outside Bath train station).

Maid In Wales Me on my hen party

She was a constant support throughout the wedding planning process helping with everything from dress shopping to individually hand painting invitations. And on an emotional rollercoaster of a wedding day (when I was just about managing to hold it all together) she even managed to reduce me to tears by writing a cheesy song and getting my friends to perform it during the reception. All in all – BEST BRIDESMAID EVER.

Maid In Wales (Gwen)

The trouble is, now it’s my turn. When Alys’ boyfriend Phil popped the question last summer I excitedly (and a little apprehensively) assumed that the time had now come for me to return the favour. Her official MOH proposal came in the post with a card and a customised badge for each of her five chosen bridesmaids. As geographical distance is an issue for Alys’ newly formed ‘Bride Tribe’ (we’re spread out across South Wales, the Midlands and the South West), we all took to Whatsapp to share our reactions to the mail with bridesmaid badge selfies. Naturally we all accepted. So now the hard work begins.

Maid In Wales My MOH proposal

Whilst I am honoured and excited at the prospect of helping my twin sister walk down the aisle next year, she has left me with some rather big shoes to fill. I want to be able to give her exactly the same amazing experience she gave me (which will be quite a challenge!). I’ve already got the engagement party under my belt – I supplied the decorations, helped out with the catering and even made a small speech (public speaking is not my thing) – and attended the obligatory family wedding fair visit which has given us lots of ideas and inspiration for her big day.

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As Brides go, she is very on the ball with planning her wedding and already has lots of elements booked in. I, on the other hand, am not quite so sorted with my MOH duties. The prospect of planning a hen party for up to 17 of Alys’ closest friends fills me with dread and I have yet to start any firm preparation. I have a few ideas though, and with the help of my wonderful fellow bridesmaids, I’m confident that we’ll be able to pull it off. Fingers crossed.

We cannot wait to hear more about what you have planned for Alys! x

Bride to be Diaries: Introducing The Sporty Bride

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Hello everybody!

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I waved wildly at my computer screen after writing that which pretty much sums me up…mental!

I was very lucky to be selected as a ‘Bride to Be’ Blogger by the Cwtch team. Having followed this blog for a long time (long before I was engaged…) I’m so excited to share my journey with you all now it’s finally my turn to plan a wedding. This is my introduction post so you can get to know me a little bit better!

I’ve been coined ‘The Sporty Bride’ which is pretty much perfect really seeing as I love my rugby and am a tad obsessed with fitness. I put on a lot of weight whilst I was in university studying to be a physiotherapist, and subsequently lost 5 stone in 2012 after graduating.

Ever since then I’ve loved trying new sports and entering events (from 5k runs to full IRONMAN triathlons) to see what wonderful things my body can do.

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My current obsession being Yoga! I’ve been on a very long journey about self-belief, learning to love myself and my body (most of the time).

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I’m 27 and live in Swansea with my partner, Matthew. I work as a physiotherapist in a spinal injury/neurological rehabilitation unit as well as the head physiotherapist for Welsh Premiership rugby union team, the Bridgend Ravens and Ospreys U18 age grade.

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Matthew is the Elite Rugby Coordinator for the Welsh Rugby Union, he’ll often tell you it’s a lot less glamourous than it sounds but I know he works very hard and I’m very proud of him. Our paths cross quite often professionally and it adds another dynamic to our relationship altogether at times but makes for an interesting life!

We are a very social couple and love our rugby and a drink (or seven…). Matthew proposed to me on March 12th 2016. It was a Saturday and I had been working in the early afternoon. I agreed to meet Matt in the pub after work to watch the rugby, Wales vs England. When I arrived, Matthew took my hand and led me to a quiet spot. I remember being stressed because I hadn’t had time to tidy myself up having come straight from work – I was just about ready to tell him to let me go put ‘my face’ on when I saw how nervous he looked and suddenly I had butterflies.
He handed me a wrapped present; a copy of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Price with a ribbon tied around it. When I opened the book, there was a square cut out and a ring was nestled in chapter 15 titled ’The Unbreakable Vow’ (Oh yeah…HUGE Harry Potter Fan).
I went into shock. He went down on one knee and asked the question. I couldn’t believe it, so much so my hands were shaking and I couldn’t speak but managed to say ‘of course’.

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Matt had arranged all our family and friends to be in the pub that day and so we got to go tell them all our good news at the same time! Wales lost the Rugby but, in all fairness, I can’t say I paid much attention to the game for the first time in my life!

Our Wedding is booked for the 4th of August 2018. 2016 was very eventful for us… we got engaged and became first-time buyers as well so we wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to plan and pay for (*groan*) the wedding of our dreams. We both wanted a big wedding full of family, friends and good times. Seeing as we are both fiercely proud welsh people there was no question about having our wedding in lovely little Wales.

As I spend most of my life in tracksuits and polo-shirts either in my rehab unit, working out or on the side of a muddy rugby pitch in pouring welsh rain looking like a reject from the ‘Gremlins’ movie; my wedding is the perfect chance to live out every feminine, girly fantasy I ever had. I’m sure that many people that know me might think they are at the wrong wedding when they rock up on the day. Many people are surprised to know that under my usually athletic, minimal make up, easy going self is a little girl that dreamed of a sparkly, glamourous and elegant wedding.

I’m also hoping to somehow incorporate our love of sport and wales into our plans…could be an interesting combination! I desperately want my wedding to look as good as my pinterest board does haha! (By the way…I wasn’t kidding about the gremlin look…)

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I hope that all you enjoy sharing our journey with us as much as we will enjoy sharing it with you- I’m going to be as honest as I can and hopefully not boring!

Hwyl for now- I’m off out for a run! N x

Bride to Be Diaries: Introducing The Unexpected Bride

Good morning everyone! 
We are very excited to introduce another of our wonderful Bride to Be Bloggers, The Unexpected Bride, Rachel!
 
Over to this little beauty to tell you all about her and her new fiancé!
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My name is Rachel, newly engaged, aged 32.
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I grew up in Cardiff and studied at Cardiff University. Following Graduation I still didn’t move away from Wales and started my first job also in Cardiff at an engineering consultancy which is where I first met my fiancé.
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I decided I needed to experience working outside of Wales so I ventured to Dubai for a few months and now I am working away during the week in Somerset so I think wedding planning may be limited to weekends which may prove challenging!
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After quite some time of secretly following wedding blogs such as Cwtch the Bride and loving all the stories, photos and  building up my version of a wedding from the fabulous ideas I saw, I honestly never thought it would be my turn to be “The Bride”!
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Instead, I passed on my thoughts, ideas I had spotted and advice to my many lovely friends who were becoming princesses for their big day. I took on duties of Bridesmaid (twice!) and enjoyed getting to put some of the hen party inspiration I picked up from Cwtch the Bride to use.
Despite all the wedding excitement over the years it was never my own and my boyfriend just didn’t seem keen on the idea of even talking about marriage.
Rewind to when we first met all those years ago at work, we become friends and I never imagined one day we would become a couple. One of my colleague’s joked to me afterwards that he knew we would be together before even I did! I was the young and naive twenty something year old with no idea.
He was quite open about not wanting to get married, while I was young and care free so that didn’t seem to concern me back then!
Then came the years of actually waiting. Waiting and waiting! When I did actually care! Now an early thirty year old.
Fast forward to December 2016 on a ski holiday to the snowy French alps.
unexpected bride 5At the top of a glacier with no skiers in sight, I got asked to be his wife! In total shock, it took a few minutes of confusion and questions around is he winding me up and why would he want to marry me to me saying yes.
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It took about 48 hours to sink in and then I realised it’s finally my turn to be the Bride and start my own wedding planning.
I am looking forward to sharing my adventure with you of finding “The One”…the venue, dress, flowers, decorations…and then the lead up, the hen party, the day, the honeymoon and life as a Mrs!
Rachel x
And we cannot wait to share the journey with you Rachel! Yippeeeeeee x

Bride to Be Diaries: Introducing The Glitzy Bride!

Good morning one and all!

I hope you’re all recovered from the weekend, especially all of you Cwtchfest2017 attendees! We are not recovered  Everything aches and I want to fall asleep everywhere, but we are still so over the moon about how fantastic it was, it spurs us on!

So we are back to introduce you to another of our gorgeous new Bride and Grooms to be! Today we have the beautiful Sophie, aka, The Glitzy Bride.  No point in me rambling on, I will hand over to Sophie herself to tell you all about herself and her husband to be.  Over you to Glitzy…..

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Hello you lovely lot of Cwtch readers!!

I’m over the moon to have won the competition to blog all things wedding, from menu tastings to finding THE dress, anyway before I get in to all that let me introduce myself and give you a little background on HTB (hubs to be) & I…

Lets start with the basics, I’m Sophie & I’m a 24 year old admin worker from Swansea (does this make me sound like I’m on a game show?!), I live in a small town just outside the city centre and work as a Receptionist for the same company as HTB!

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Sean (a fitness instructor) & I met a little over 4 years ago and like every great love story it started at 3am in a less than classy night club when he ‘accidentally’ knocked my drink over (subtle!)

Two years later we took our first proper couples holiday to New York. On the final night of our trip we attended a Knicks Game at Madison Square Gardens, and just as the world famous ‘kiss cam’ appeared above us I turned to find Hubs to Be down on one knee with a small opened box in his hand revealing the most beautiful ‘Art Deco’ inspired ring, after a squeaked ‘yes’ from myself & some excited phone calls to family back home…the rest is history! 

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We’re now T- 6 months until ‘I do’!!

Growing up I never really envisioned what my big day would look like, however with a little help from good old Pinterest & some inspo from the one & only Kimmie K we had our theme: Full Blown GLAM. We decided on White, Silver & Tiffany Blue with LOTS of flowers (I mean Kim and Kanye’s 6 ft flower walls didn’t cost that much right?).

I like to imagine it as a Champagne Wedding on a Lemonade Budget, we’re doing pretty much everything ourselves, right down to the last diamante. So expect a few stressed out posts, some honesty and hopefully a few laughs along our wedding journey, with a hint of sparkle for good measure!

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From here on out I’ll be known (quite accurately) as The “Glitzy’ Bride… 

I’m so excited to share our Wedding Planning Adventures with all the Cwtch Bride to Be’s and can’t wait to walk down the aisle in August!

Yippeeeeee! Isn’t she lovely! We cannot wait to find out more about the engagement and shopping and planning! Said tuned for her next instalment! 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