Bride to Be Diaries: The Tinder Brides Wedding Party!

Good morning everyone!

Time for your second instalment from the gorgeous Tinder Bride, and its time to be introduced to the girlie contingency of her wedding party!

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Hello Cwtchers!

I hope that you have all been keeping well since I did my last Tinder Bride post!

The Tinder Bride (Jenine)

I think most girls in their lives have been asked or have thought to themselves ‘If I ever get married, I would ask so and so to be my bridesmaid or part of my wedding’.  I can actually remember having hypothetical questions growing up with my girlfriends. Although for me it was simple when the hypothetical became reality it was also a very hard as I didn’t want to leave anyone out.

I do not want to come across bigheaded or arrogant but I genuinely feel that I am a very lucky lady and I thank God every day for blessing me with not only an incredible family but also an amazing group of friends. Coming from a Welsh/Arab background, I have a large and very close family filled with two fab sisters, three gorgeous nieces and two lovely sisters-in-laws who are all involved and so supportive along with my mother and mother in law to be. My friends derive from various walks of life and I genuinely didn’t want to let anyone down. However I had to draw the line somewhere and decided on having 2 maids of honour, 6 bridesmaids and 2 flower girls. I’m sure there has and will be some negative mutters or expressed views away from our ear shots about how our wedding is big and/or too expensive but it is our beautiful big day and Tom and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

From my perspective I couldn’t envisage my wedding day without my two sisters and three nieces by my side; it was not even something I would even contemplate. I am the middle of two sisters (5 siblings in total!) and we have an incredible bond. It was therefore an easy decision to ask each sister to be my maids of honour. Rema is my big sis and the rock of the family. She is the sibling who everyone goes to and I always turn to her as I trust her opinion as being on the same par as that of my Mother’s. Rema is the type of sister who doesn’t like a great fuss or the limelight but I’m making sure she encompasses her main role on my big day and she feels like the special sister she is to me.  Rema says ‘To be asked to be my sister’s maid of honour is a huge privilege. I was so emotional when I was asked as the gift they gave me to ask was so personal and thoughtful. In Tom she has found the perfect person who is loved by the whole family – they are perfect together. I am so looking forward to seeing my beautiful sister marry her prince charming’. Sariyia is little sis and the youngest sibling; she is also the most famous non-famous person I know! She loves being the centre of attention and we love her for being like that.  She truly is unique and I love her and all of her ideas to date! Both sisters have an amazing bond with my fiancée Tom. In fact when they are all together it’s like they are the three sisters! ‘When I was called by JOM to tell me they were engaged, I sobbed uncontrollably; together with the rest of the family we are ecstatic. I cannot wait for the wedding of the decade and I am so honoured to be their MOH. Jenine will look beautiful but I will definitely be better looking still!haha!’. 

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Aleah is the eldest of the grandchildren and I became an aunty when I was 14; we have always had a special relationship as I do with each of my five nieces and nephews especially as I have been such a big part of their lives as they have been in mine. Tom is adored by them and they adore him too.  Aleah is going to be a bridesmaid along with her sister Farah who will be 14 when we wed. To think of these two in their bridesmaid dresses makes me feel very emotional. Aleah says ‘I was so grateful to be asked to be a Bridesmaid on my Aunty’s special day; it is a day we are all waiting and looking forward to. Jenine has always been there for me and she could not have found a better husband and Uncle in Tom’. Farah’s thoughts are: ‘When Jenine asked me to be her Bridesmaid, I wanted to cry with happiness as I always wanted to be a Bridesmaid and I keep counting down to the big day; it is even more of a dream come true as my Aunty is so special to me. I especially loved the bridesmaid gift they gave me which I will treasure forever’. 

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Gabriella is who we refer to in the Abdo Family as Princess Abdo – she is the little apple of everyone’s eye. Although she is 5, she constantly looks online for flower girl dresses and matching shoes which is so very cute. She once told Uncle Tom that she found a dress which ‘only cost 50pence and that she and Holly-Mae would love to wear it’ it was in reality £500! Gabby ironically was the main reason I chose my wedding dress but I’ll talk about that more another time. Holly-Mae is 2 years old and is also our flower girl. Being the eldest and currently only grandchild on the Sulley side it will be lovely for my fiancé’s family as she is understandably adored by them all.

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I know that Tom is so happy to have his niece involved and for me having Gabby and Holly-Mae holding hands together walking down the aisle will not only epitimise ultimate cuteness but also will personify and will symbolise our families coming together. I just pray they don’t get stage fright!

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Although I could have kept my bridal party at just family, I couldn’t not have my best friends by my side either. Kate is a friend who I first met playing netball at the age of 10 years old. We were marking each other on the netball pitch. This game should have been the battle of the best- the battle of rival Primary Schools – instead we bonded sisters from other misters growing up together and even our sisters are the best of friends.  Kate is currently a teacher at an international school and I can’t wait to have her back home this summer!

‘Over the years Jenine has definitely earned the title of my sister from another mister. We have been there for each other through the best and worst times and I am so excited to be a part of what will be one of the most important days in her life. Being Jenine’s bridesmaid is a massive privilege and I can’t wait to see her looking amazingly beautiful walking down the aisle to marry the man she loves and luckily for him we approve. Jenine and Tom deserve to have the best day and I look forward to having a role in making that happen. I promise to be caring, attentive and I will NOT turn up hung over to anymore official bridesmaid duties unlike when I had my bridesmaid dress fitting!

Rachael – I first met Rachael when we sat at our High school induction day. We both turned around to each other and acknowledged our checked trousers which were both wearing! Our friendship began in the Howell’s School sports hall and has seen us through to living together in London and back home again. Rachael is such a thoughtful and kind person who shares my love of RnB music, comedy, pizza and nacho Saturday loving winter nights in watching Strictly and the Xfactor like no other!

‘Jenine is probably the most organized bride I have come across and I love hearing all the plans she has got for the wedding! We have been friends for over 20 years so I am excited and honoured to be part of the big day and I cannot wait to see everything come together’. 

Claire – my real life Barbie doll! I not only went to high school with Clairey but also ended up very randomly at the same university. We have shared so much together whilst sharing two sets of different friendship groups due to school and uni which in turn means we are part of a ridiculous amount of WhatsApp groups. My fiancé is basically the male version of Claire – always happy, positive, fun and annoying early morning people. 

I’ll never forget the overwhelming feeling of happiness when reading a poem written to me about our blossoming friendship over the years and asking me to be her bridesmaid. It is safe to say that I welled up. To be part of your friend’s big day is so special and I am so privileged to be by her side when she says I do’. 

Helen – I have known Hel since my high school days too right through to living in Wimbledon together with Rach. Helen is my straight talking, quirky and inspirational friend of mine. Hel is not only an amazing science teacher, cook and baker, but such a fab mother to Harrison and wife to be this August! I am so proud to be in turn Helen’s bridesmaid this year and having shared the experience of being engaged and organising a wedding with her.

‘Every girl has a different idea of how her wedding day should be, but what unites every woman is the desire to be surrounded by their best girlfriends leading up to and on that day. He role of a bridesmaid is truly an honour and I am so excited to have Jenine by my side at my wedding this August and to be able to reverse that next September when I am one of her bridesmaids. Our friendship has always been extremely strong and full of love; to be able to support each other and share the fun and laughter throughout the intimate stages of planning a wedding takes that bond to the next level – bring it on!!’  

Then we have three amazing ladies giving readings. Bonnie is one of my best friends who I met when in high school and I was Bonnie’s bridesmaid in 2014; Bonnie is one of the kindest and funniest people I know, as well as being the most caring and best Dr ever!

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Caitlin is my Twinny – fellow Solicitor who I met before we qualified at work. We soon realized we shared a love for football and also our Birthdays hence the nickname! We also have Tom’s girl best friend Kelly. Kelly has been so warm and welcoming since Tom and I met and it was fab knowing Tom had such a close girl-friend as it resonated with myself having close boy-friends too!

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That’s my female entourage..keep watch for the introduction to the male party in due course..!

Disclaimer: Please note I did not bribe the above mentioned people for their overwhelmingly kind comments – thank you xxx

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 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: Introducing The Procrastinating Bride, Natasha

More introductions! This week its our fabulous new Bride to be, Natasha, aka; The Procrastinating Bride!

Over to this little beaut to tell you more about her and her husband to be……..

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Hello, beautiful brides-to-be! My name is Natasha. Most people call me Tash or Natash (which I find quite endearing) and my mum often refers to me as Last Minute Lucy…which is why I am The Procrastinating Bride!

I’m an SEO Copywriter, or Creative Content Executive when I want to sound fancy, but basically, I write for a digital marketing agency. When recently asked to describe my role in seven words for the company’s website, I said: writing, tea-drinking, more writing and eating cake. It’s pretty accurate.

I first met Steve on Bonfire Night back in 2004. My fifteen-year-old self didn’t particularly want to go out that night but, after a little persuasion from my parents, I went along. Someone introduced himself to me as “my paper boy” which I found charmingly strange and, somehow, he wangled my MSN ‘addy’.

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Nearly twelve and a half years on, that paper boy is my best friend and fiancé: Steve.

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Steve and I both grew up in Cardiff. In fact, our family homes are pretty much around the corner from each other. I fled the nest to study Fashion Journalism at university in Surrey’s lovely little Epsom, then returned to my roots after graduating.

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Although practically all the jobs in my field are in the London area, my twenty-one-year-old self couldn’t wait to move back to home sweet home. Distance really does make the heart grow fonder! Cheesy, but true.

Steve and I went on our first date to the cinema when we were 15 and 16 (Steve was in the year above in school; yes, I still think in academic years).

We’ll be 28 and 29 when we get married at Oldwalls in December this year and it’ll mark, almost to the day, 13 years of Team Stash; a nickname we acquired by friends while holidaying in America. We loved the idea of a winter wedding and, of course, December is particularly precious to us!

While many would assume that I was expecting Steve to propose, I couldn’t have been more surprised. In fact, I forgot to answer when he was down on one knee. My heart was saying a million times yes but my head couldn’t quite believe it.

We were on holiday in France last year with my grandparents when Steve asked me to marry him. They’ve been caravanning for years and asked us if we wanted to take the trailer tent; a cheap holiday (we’d recently bought a house) in the sun. We were sold.

Steve hadn’t been to France before and I had holidayed there a few times as a child. I vividly remember going to the beautiful Le Mont-Saint-Michel and told Steve all about it. We decided to stop there on our journey down to the Vendée.

24 hours later, we arrived at the iconic landmark. Steve insisted on taking his rucksack; he wanted to carry our jackets in it in case it was windy at the top. I told him we’d be fine so, he ditched the rucksack, and we made our way up to the castle.

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Little did I know, Steve had a reason for wanting to take his rucksack. That reason being a ring!

Anyway, that didn’t happen. About a week later, after a bit more travelling, the two of us went for a meal at a restaurant in Jard-sur-Mer.

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Steve had been acting a bit strange in the run up to the meal.

En route to the restaurant, Steve suggested a selfie with the harbour in the background. It was windy and I just wanted to get inside the restaurant but, agreed to have a quick photo.

Steve set his phone up on a bollard for a timed selfie. I went over to check the photo and was told not to press anything, that the phone would automatically take another one. I somehow came out of this setting and, as I turned around to explain this, Steve was down on one knee.

The soppy sneak had tried to capture the moment on camera!

Once I’d found my voice and, of course, said yes, we went inside the restaurant. Reality suddenly sank in and I became a blubbering mess! We enjoyed a delicious meal, went back to our campsite bar for more celebratory drinks and later, cracked open a bottle of bubbly back in our tent.

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I’m extremely excited be a Cwtch girl and I’m very much looking forward to sharing my wedding plans with you. Hopefully my laidback ways will instil a sense of calm in those who feel like they’ve left things too late! Trust me, if you haven’t done your seating plan, The Procrastinating Bride hasn’t either.

Which reminds me: I still don’t have a colour scheme! Not that I’m remotely worried…

Admittedly, it all feels rather narcissistic writing about me, me, me but, hopefully, my wedding journey will help you on yours! Until next time, Cwtchers. Big, bridal love x

 

Bride to Be Diaries: Introducing Jenine, The Tinder Bride

Good morning Cwtchers!
I cannot tell you how excited I have been to start introducing you properly to our amazing new Brides and Groom to Be!
Their stories were wonderful! All inspiring, endearing, sweet and real.
So, to start us off, without further ado, let me introduce to you to the gorgeous Jenine! We fell in love with Jenine after reading about her and Tom’s meeting story.  I won’t tell you anymore, I will instead hand you over.
Over to you Jenine……
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Hello and welcome to my first bridezilla, I mean Bride filled, blog. My name is Jenine and I am 32 years old and getting married to my best friend Tom in September 2018 at Hensol Castle.

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Just cannot already wait for it to be here as it currently feels like a lifetime away which I’m sure is a feeling echoed by most brides and grooms!
Both Tom and I are from Cardiff and met via Tinder in February 2014…hence the name “Tinder Bride”. Tom has his own residential and commercial painting and decorating company and I’m a Family Law Solicitor.
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I was so happy to have been selected to blog for Cwtch the Bride as it’s nice to be involved with happiness, rainbows and hope as sadly my day job involves me divorcing people which can be quite emotionally draining. The most common question I left asked is whether I believe in marriage when people find out what I do for a living; my answer is obviously no! Thankfully it actually makes me want to make sure that Tom is the right person I’m marrying for all the right reasons even more!
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February 2014 was really random! At the time I was in Leeds finishing the last few months of my professional training. It hit new year and me and 4 other best friends (a mix of boys and girls) decided to have some fun on Tinder. It was a New Years resolution for me and my intention was to have some fun and be on there for 31 days only!
On 30 January 2014, my Grandma passed away and I returned home to see my family. It was during that time there one of my best friends who was part of our Tinder crew told me to have a look at the men in Cardiff as I would know a few people on there to. So as I was home, I did, and came across the man I am today marrying! Tom had coincidentally just come home himself from Australia as he had just obtained residence to live there; he was only home for his brother’s wedding.
Fast forward 3 years and we are still on an engagement high after popped the question in Paris 2 years to the day we became an “official item”…I had to get the seal of approval of his late beautiful Nan and Mother  before of course! An aspect which made me love him even more because family is everything to me. Plus I knew I only had to past a test involving two important people; my family is like being thrown into a pit with lions! Thankfully he survived.
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Tom would say the proposal did not go to plan! Paris was a surprise trip as I thought we were heading to Bordeaux as Tom had not long come back from watching the Euros there and he said he loved it; it was our two year anniversary gift and he knew my favourite city was Paris.
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A four hour delayed flight to Paris meant getting to The hotel very late and a very grumpy bride to be not want to get out of bed the next morning. Not even the showered, dressed and very anxious man sitting at the end of my bed make me want to get up earlier. An argument and a few hours later, we ended up heading towards “The proposal destination”..the Eiffel Tower. A panicked Tom said he will never forget feeling like the tower was falling down on him when he realised he couldn’t get passed the additional and heavy security due to the Euro final day) without taking a ring out of his pocket. His intention was to ask me under the tower or on the third floor! So down a little lane Tom dropped on one knee and despite his pale, anxious, worried self (bless him!) it was the best proposal ever.
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However instead of crying I did laugh due to be so shocked that Tom did such a big display as that usually is not him! That then led onto toasting and calling our loved ones sat in a bar by the Tower and the river. Onto a river cruise and lunch. A Tuk-tuk ride (who beeped through a heavy melting pot of different people to tell them we were engaged) back to the hotel to get changed and our again for the Euro football finals.
It’s our special story and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
From JOM (aka Jenine and Tom) xxx
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Aaaaaahhhh Jenine we just adore you two already! And we cannot wait to find out all about your planning!
We are too excited for our lovely  new bloggers!