Bride to Be Diaries: Our Sporty Bride is living out her Girlie Fantasies!

B2B Sporty Banner

sporty oct 17 me and matt

Our Sporty Bride is living out her Girlie Fantasies!

Hi all!

We’ve been very busy with friends’ weddings, engagements and a new addition to our little family…Dave the Sausage dog!

Sporty Oct 17 dave the sausage dog

We’ve also been busy trying to hand deliver as many of our wedding invites by hand as possible. Our invites were from Love-Lee Invitations and Kate created a lovely bespoke design for us- here is a little preview….

sport oct 17 wedding invite

310 days to go until my wedding. Where has that time gone?! It’s crawled right up until we hit the year mark…and now it seems to be speeding by. It’s crunch time, mainly when it comes to ensuring my wedding is paid for and then there is the bridesmaids dresses…or stresses as I like to call them.

Since my engagement I have been so sure about what I wanted for my wedding that planning it has been mostly a joy. Living out all my girly fantasises that I have been secretly dreaming about ever since I knew that I would eventually marry Matthew (About six months into our relationship…The first time he gave me food from his plate and went without himself just because I was eyeing it up).
sporty oct 17 Me and Matt at wedding

I’m one of those brides with many bridesmaids. I know what you are thinking, why give myself the stress of so many, but honestly at the time I had so many beautiful friends in my life I didn’t feel I could exclude any of them. Then there are my lovely sisters and I thought- it’s my wedding why should I have to choose!

My Pinterest board is littered with pictures of brides and their bridesmaids in beautiful dresses in many colours. My original idea was to have gold sequin showstoppers, but exploration into this highlighted how unrealistic it was. For a start, the price tag on the dresses in question was near enough £300 per dress, secondly following trying on one of the dresses I soon realised that sequins did not make for the most comfortable wearing experience- the fabric was heavy, itchy under the arms and did nothing to flatter my body type. I left that idea behind, feeling quite flat. My original color scheme was gold, blush and ivories…but now I’m finding myself choosing more pinks with silvers…so my color scheme is currently looking like this…but is evolving all the time.

sporty oct 17 colour scheme

So I went on a bit of an exploration mission with my youngest sister to a local bridesmaids’ dress shop in Swansea. She must have tried on about 20 different dresses for me and was very patient. Chiffon was definitely starting to stand out as my fabric of choice as it just skims almost every figure perfectly, so would suit all my bridesmaids as long as the cut was right. Once I had decided chiffon was what I was looking for I turned my head to styles. My bridesmaids range from sizes 10 to 18 and so I wanted something that would flatter them all. It transpired that an empire line, flowing chiffon dress was just what I wanted. The assistant at the dress shop was so helpful but the same problem transpired…price tags- all the dresses I had picked out were marked up at £200 or more. £200 per bridesmaid…and that’s even before hair, make-up and accessories are counted in!

I know weddings are big business however it’s very frustrating. It’s certainly achievable if you have one or two bridesmaids but I have 8…I wouldn’t ever want to exclude any of them just for the sake of money. After some research and soul searching I had a discussion with my girls about contributing towards their dresses. I had done so at my sisters wedding and heard that it was quite common but felt so nervous asking seeing as I had asked them in the first place. I shouldn’t have worried at all, as all my girls were kind and thoughtful, and of the opinion that they would have spent money on outfits etc. if they were coming as guests anyway.

One of my bridesmaids has been asked to be a bridesmaid on three separate occasions in 2017. Luckily for me, it’s means she can let me know about dresses and shops she has seen whilst she is out with her other brides. This has been especially helpful on my affordable bridesmaids’ dresses mission. She pointed me in the direction of WED2BE in Cardiff. I went down with my sisters. It’s a bit of an odd set up compared to other wedding shops I have been in, as it’s more of a warehouse with racks and racks of dresses. The staff were lovely and pointed me to a rack of bridesmaids dresses- then let me crack on! To my absolute relief the perfect dresses were contained on the rack. A lovely flowing chiffon number with draped shoulders and I also managed to get a bit of that sparkly glamour I so wanted. I’ve picked two dresses in complimenting colours that I’m so excited about! I won’t show you pictures just yet…got to keep some mystery!

Bride to Be Diaries: The Family Bride Finds Their Perfect Venue

 Hello lovely people
We are very excited to being to you the second instalment from our beautiful Family Bride, Abby. After her initial Engagement Story, we were over the moon when she agreed to become another on of our Brides to Be!
This week, her and Kyle have been on the hunt for their perfect venue, and as they have settled on the same one as Richie and I got married at, I could not approve more!
Over to you Abby……
B2B Family Banner

The Family Bride Finds Their Perfect Venue

Family Sept Abby and Kyle

Hello cwtchers!
How exciting- my 2nd blog already!
Being a mum of 2, running our home and being self employed life can be a little crazy at times- throwing ‘wedding planning’ into the mix has made it a whole lot crazier but you know what I am absolutely loving every second!!
After the engagement, my best friend (and maid of honour to be) bought me the most gorgeous wedding planning book and its all snow balled from there.
Family Sept Venue Booked!
1st thing on the list was a Venue… and there were so many things to think of! Did we want it close to home or further away, a church wedding or civil ceremony, old, new, modern, classic, hotel, manor house – the list goes on! We made some choices and I started phoning around to make appointments- i didnt want to leave anywhere unseen!
10 appointments made for the next few weekends, babysitters organised – Myself and Kyle were on the hunt!
After the 1st few we felt like we had learnt ALOT- different times of the year meant different prices, different days of the week, info about chair covers/dj’s/top tables – it was wedding overload!
Really pleased we did look around and take the time to see each one as 2 venue’s we almost didnt make (and about to cancel) turned into our favourite 2!
We live in Cardiff but decided a wedding in a Manor house/hotel a little further away meant our guests could enjoy a little night away if they wanted to.
After each appointment (before we picked the kids up) we went to visit a different coffee shop to talk prices/availability/what we liked and what we didnt- so that before we got back to being mum and dad, we could make some decisions.
It was between Miskin Manor and the Coed-y-Mwstwr hotel in Bridgend.
Both very classic looking with beautiful grounds. We loved Miskin manor as it had a very traditional feel to it, and a sort of enchanted look.
And We loved the Coed as it was full of character and tradition but with a real modern twist.
A family holiday at the end of August was our time to make a final decision to setting the date and choosing our perfect venue.
The Coed-y-Mwstwr won our hearts and it was all down to the wedding co-ordinating team that work there.
Family Sept CyM 2
From the moment we walked in to view it, we were made to feel welcome and they couldn’t do enough for us. We knew that this is what we wanted on our big day- someone to make it run as smooth as possible with that special touch. The venue itself like i mentioned is very traditional looking, but inside the Hendre suit is a fresh, modern light room with high wooden beams and by folding doors.
Family Sept CyM
We chose to be married in March 2019 as the grounds will be in full bloom of gorgeous daffodils and hopefully a crisp sunny day to make use of the beautiful surroundings!
Family Sept Save the Date
Super excited as the next part of Wedding planning is already happening 😊
So until next time…. happy wedding planning guys!

Bride to Be Diaries: Maid In Wales Introduces us to The Bride Tribe

Hello Lovlies

Our gorgeous Gwen, AKA Maid In Wales, is back to introduce us to her sister Alys’s Bride Tribe!

B2B Maid In Wales Banner

Meet The Bride Tribe

MIW Aug 2017 Alys and me catching up over cocktails

I have never been a bridesmaid. In fact, despite going to several weddings over the last couple of years, I have never even been closely involved in a bridal party until my own wedding last year.

Unlike my sister, I also haven’t really been to many hen parties before which is a little tricky considering I now have to lead the planning of a very (if not THE most) important one I’ll ever attend. So, no pressure then.

Thankfully, I have the support of a very lovely group of bridesmaids – Alys’ Bride Tribe – to help me through this. They have been super so far, providing lots of ideas and advice whenever I’ve needed it and taken on several different jobs to help share out our early planning.

MIW Aug 2017 The gang

So I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to them all, as no doubt you will be hearing a lot more about them over the next couple of months:

Sarah T (Trusted Treasurer) – a childhood friend of ours and one of my own bridesmaids. Sarah T has extensive experience as a bridesmaid, having taken on the role several times in the past, and so I will be relying heavily on her knowledge and expertise in this field. She’ll also be holding the purse strings and helping us keep on budget.

MIW Aug 2017 TRIBE

Sarah B (Accommodation Hunter) – Sarah is a close friend and ex-housemate of Alys’ from her time at Cardiff University. Sarah has been a great help so far hunting down lots of lovely accommodation options for us and brings her unique experience of Alys in her student days to help us with our planning. Alys is also set to be Sarah’s bridemaid when she gets married in a couple of weeks’ time.

Hannah (Entertainment Coordinator) – is one of our oldest friends (we’ve known each other since we were 5!). Hannah took on the role of entertainment planner and has already come up with several exciting activities to keep Alys entertained throughout her Hen. (She’s also pretty good at maths so I’ll be needing her when it comes to number crunching later on!)

Nina (Dinner and Drinks Director) – Nina grew up just round the corner from us at home in Bwlch and we made friends on the school bus. Nina volunteered to use her extensive knowledge of food and drink to help us plan out some of the best places for us Hen’s to frequent during our weekend away.

So the planning begins! (I’ve even bought myself a brand new Hen Party Planning folder to keep myself organised!).

MIW Aug 2017 my hen planning file!

We are very much looking forward to keeping you up-to-date as our plans progress – the only snag is that to keep the Hen a surprise for Alys, the finer details will need to remain top secret.  However I’m sure there will be lots that we’ll be able to share with you as we go along.  It’s going to be an interesting ride.

MIW Aug 2017 Sarah B and Alys on her recent hen in Amsterdam

Bride to Be Diaries: Our Tinder Bride is at someone else’s Hen Party

Hello you lovely lot!

Our superbly gorgeous Tinder Bride is back for her next instalment. So not only is she crazy busy as a lawyer, and organising her own wedding, she is also going to be a bridesmaid for her best friend.

Here she is telling us all about being a hen at a hen party that isn’t her own! Over to you Jenine…

B2B Tinder Banner

The Tinder Bride (Jenine)

Hello again you lovely cwtchers! I hope that you have been keeping well since my last article which introduced you to my lovely bridal team!

Since the last article, Tom and I are now on our 13month to wedding countdown with our excitement building up more and more each day. However in between all of our wedding planning, crazy work schedules, house buying and actually trying to have some sort of social life, I have had the honourable task of helping sort out one of my best friend’s hen party!

Helen, (see previous bridal entourage article) is a friend I have known since I was 11 years old; we met in high school and have been friends ever since. I cannot describe or express in words how happy I am for Helen and her hubby to be, Phil! They met whilst travelling approx. 10 years ago and have a gorgeous little son Harrison who if I don’t get daily pics of I think something is wrong! Their wedding is set at a beautiful location in Somerset and I can’t wait to be their bridesmaid on what I hope will be a sunny day in August.

So on June 17th, together with fellow bridesmaids Rachael and Elena, the plan was for Helen’s Hens to assemble in the big smoke where Hel actually lives. Planning initially was difficult as the blooming Bride couldn’t make up her mind where she wanted ideally to go! It went from a weekend raving in Europe to a UK trip away to just a day event which I can say was a perfect day which Helen loved! The only mess up was poor Helen’s sash which was printed wrong. It should have said ‘Goodbye Miss Assinder‘ on the back and a ‘Hello Mrs Walsh’ on the front however they both said Miss despite being ordered correctly. I was so disappointed and I still haven’t had a response from the company I ordered from with my complaint. However as Helen is a teacher, her students will still call her “Missssss” when married it did seem rather fitting… thankfully!

Tinder Aug 3

Now planning a hen or( a stag even  I would think)is never easy; I think it’s even harder when there are a group of people who all have different relationships with the bride and there is therefore all different ideas floating around especially with so much choice with all wanting to ultimately ensure that the Bride has an amazing day.

Thankfully sorting Helen’s hen plans turned out perfectly on the 17th June 2017. The day kicked off with brekkie at fellow Bridesmaid, Elena’s house. El became a Mother only 10 days before and therefore understandably didn’t want to miss out on being part of the Hen celebrations. It also gave us all the opportunity to meet in one place and present Helen with a photo and message book which she couldn’t read due to blubbering more than the new-born baby in party tow!

Tinder Aug 6

Next stop was onto the first surprise venue which was cupcake and cocktail making at the 5* Britannia Hempstead Hotel in Primrose Hill. . Helen loves a good drink (or 10) as well as cooking/baking so it was fitting that this class was part of her day! As a person who loves eating but hates making, along with all hens, loved it! The teacher was great, and patient, and it was actually really interesting. Look at the result!!

Tinder Aug 5

Then it was onto the next event of the day…crazy golf and street food which took place at Swiggers in the City! After a round of food and drinks, it was onto the course! This was so much fun and was loved by all and in particularly the mother’s with mother of the groom coming up trumps with some great golfing moves (I am sure she had some tips from her son beforehand!) Any London based hens or stags, this venue and activity is definitely for you!

Tinder Aug 4

After some drinks at a local bar it was then onto the final event of the day which was at Piano Works which is a bar/club! The process at this venue was you can request a song (together with tip!) and then the musicians play the requests. It was great to hear so many different songs and some golden oldies played by the pianist and then later a band which took us into the club might! A hired booth meant we had a base and a place to lie back and rest the feet from all the dancing and dare cards played!

Tinder Aug 2

So that was a successful Helen’s Hen party complete!  London has so much to offer and actually having a hen party there was not as pricey as people would think. Definitely a city to think about for all future hen organisers! Over and out until next time when Helen will actually be a Mrs! Something I never thought would happen by I’m so glad for her that it is!

Tinder Aug 1

Bride to Be Diaries: The Procrastinating Bride is being forced NOT to Procrastinate!

B2B Procrastinating Banner

Procrastinating Aug 2017 Tash and Steve

The Procrastinating Bride is being forced NOT to Procrastinate!

Hey, Cwtchers! Time seems to have flown by since my last blog post, and I don’t really have many things to update you on. It’s the evening before the blog deadline, in typical Procrastinating Bride fashion, and I’m sat here wondering what to write…

Procrastinating Aug 2017 Cwtch Girl.jpg

I did, however, receive this lovely welcome card and badge in the post on the weekend, so I am now officially a Cwtch Girl. Yay! Although I’ll have to make sure that I don’t leave writing these blog posts to the night before going forward…

Anyway, while there isn’t much to report on, Steve and I have given some thought on centrepieces. We haven’t even considered our honeymoon yet but, for some reason, centrepieces have been the topic of conversation recently.

I’m leaning more towards a tall centrepiece, whereas Steve is drawn to something small, “so people can still talk across the table to one another”. He has a point.

The picture below is exactly why Steve doesn’t want a tall centrepiece, as he kindly pointed out when we went for drinks the other night:

Procrastinating Aug 2017 Centrepiece Steve

And, of course, I’m planning on sticking tree trunks in the middle of the tables…

Anyway, our planning seems to be on track considering it feels like we haven’t done that much. The venue wants us to have things finalised 2 months before the wedding, so I can’t be my typical self and leave everything to last minute. We’ve finally decided on our menu choices, now we just need to make sure that we get our guests choices in on time; we really should get cracking with those invites!

I’ve been looking on Etsy, which is great for invitation templates. There is a huge range of wedding invitation templates to suit all tastes, colour schemes and budgets. However, it has been tricky to find a template that enables you to list the choice of starters, mains and desserts for your guests to choose from.

I’ve spent many evenings trying to find a template that would enable us to include this information, but we came to the decision that it wasn’t possible for us to use a template. The invites are currently a work in progress!

On a slightly more productive note, we did manage to send these save the dates out a while back:

Procrastinating Aug 2017 Save the Date

By we, I mean my mum, my sister and I. Steve may have his view on centrepieces, but he’s not quite into the minor details. My sister found these cute little fridge magnets online and I love them.

I’d never thought about doing save the dates, but what with our wedding being just a few weeks before Christmas, we thought it would be a good idea to give our guests plenty of notice.

That’s all for now. I’m sure by my next blog post, I’ll have much more to tell you about.

Until next time, Cwtchers!

The Procrastinating Bride xxx