Friday Flashback Real Wedding: Rock & Roll Carnival Wedding – Tanya & Kev

Good morning Cwtchers!!!! We thought as we are celebrating our 4th birthday this week we would do a throwback Real Wedding post today to one of our first ever ones done all the way back in February 2013!!  Grab yourself a cuppa and enjoy this wonderful carnival wedding…

meAll photos in this post were taken by our very own, award winning Maria Farrelly :) (who did not write this bio herself!) Maria is located in Newport, but is always willing to travel. You can see all posts featuring her photography here.

Real Wedding: Carnival Themed Porthcawl Wedding - shot by Maria Farrelly

Tanya (a student teacher) and Kev ‘Paps’ Papworth-Morgan (a guitar tech with the Welsh rock band, Bullet for my Valentine) got married on the 1st of September 2012 at the Bridgend Registry Office, with their reception at Hi-Tide in Porthcawl. They decided on a carnival wedding theme, which featured a drinks reception from the boot of their cars, donkeys, candy floss, fairground rides, penny slots and hawaiian shirts! We asked Tanya a few questions and this is what she said:

What was your favourite part of your wedding? The fairground and amusements. Seeing all our friends get stuck in and laugh all day was just as I imagined.

Real Wedding: Carnival Themed Porthcawl Wedding - shot by Maria Farrelly


Real Wedding: Carnival Themed Porthcawl Wedding - shot by Maria Farrelly

Why did you choose your venue? For the views over the beach and the fantastic food. Plus I didn’t want my guests to have to pay silly bar prices. Had they charged a ridiculous price for a glass of wine, we would NEVER have had the wedding there! I wanted all of our guests to feel comfortable, regardless of money, race, religion etc.


Real Wedding: Carnival Themed Porthcawl Wedding - shot by Maria Farrelly

How did the proposal happen? (we love a good proposal story!) This is the most unromantic thing you would have ever heard. I basically got bored of waiting for Kev to propose so just told him it was time to get engaged. I picked the ring, took his bank card and paid for it. Then I gave him the ring when it arrived and asked him to give it back to me. He said ‘please put this ring on. Urm, I love you.’ That was it. He does tell me now that he regrets not giving me a proper proposal but it’s not a big deal to me!


Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share? Lots of it was DIY! My bouquet I made by using brooches from ebay and a tutorial from youtube, the name stones were pebbles that I wrote on, glittered and then varnished and I made the card box from images from Google! I wrote all the favour cards and used a heart hole punch to make them look prettier. I made the table plan too after seeing the prices people charged for something that was not going to fit my theme. Most of the signs were also made by me!!

Real Wedding: Carnival Themed Porthcawl Wedding - shot by Maria Farrelly



What was your first dance & why? King of The Swingers from Jungle Book. Kev played this on the ukulele in a gig and then a friend remembered and it just fitted the people that we are. We don’t have a romantic song and are really not a soppy couple so something that would make people smile was totally fitting. Kev dancing like an ape was a surprise to me however!!


In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently? I would totally have a change of dress for the evening. I was so tired and the dress was heavy. Had I had some jammies, I would have lasted longer!


What was your budget? Our total spend was £9000. This included £4000 on the wedding bands (I HAD to have those diamonds!), the photographer’s fee and my dress. £5,000 on everything else, Bargain wedding!!


Do you have any advice for future brides? Don’t stress about the small things. If it’s not perfect, you will be the only person that notices. Your friends will just be delighted for you both. Try not to get too ‘weddingy’, having a simple wedding made it more fun and less stressful. 9 times out of 10, you don’t need half of the things you see online!! Enjoy your day, but don’t feel the pressure of having the best day of your life. Mine was incredible but the days afterwards were better than the wedding day, just looking at my new husband made me smile!


Real Wedding: Carnival Themed Porthcawl Wedding - shot by Maria Farrelly


Photography – Maria Farrelly (see all Cwtch the Bride shoots featuring Maria here)
Ceremony – Bridgend Registry Office
Reception – Hi-Tide Porthcawl
Dress – Ronald Joyce Dominique from Wedding Belles in Pyle
Shoes – River Island
Kev’s suit – Moss Bross and shoes from Camden Market
Cake – Friend’s mother in law baked the pies for us!
Flowers – Gutteridge in Bridgend and my bouquet was made from brooches
Hair and make up – Claire Davies
DJ/Band – Daz Cortina
Invites – Pretty Wild Designs

Thanks Tanya! We love how relaxed and fun your wedding feels! :) Now onto the full day’s photos…

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Rhian and Lloyd’s Quirky 1920’s Wedding By Enfys Photography

Cwatch The Bride - Feature Submission - Enfys Photography - Resized - Final (6 of 99)

There are times that the wedding that comes across your desk just makes you stop and take some time to enjoy the submission. Before you know it a hald hour has gone past. You can just feel the love between … Continue reading

Court Colman Manor – Wedding Venue Review

If you are still searching for that perfect Welsh wedding venue, fear not. Our Classic Bride, Charlie may have just found the perfect place for you! All pictures in this post were taken by Charlie unless otherwise stated.

A few weeks ago Mark and I were kindly offered the chance to stay at Court Colman Manor to experience what they have to offer and share my experience with you lovely readers.

Image courtesy of Court Colman Manor

Image courtesy of Court Colman Manor

Court Colman is a Grade two listed Georgian manor house that was built in 1776. The Manor is set in Pen-Y-Fai just outside Bridgend, just a short way down a winding country road. One of the first things you will probably notice on visiting Court Colman Manor is the beautiful grounds in which it is set; it has 6 acres of landscaped gardens with a natural waterfall and ornamental fishpond making a gorgeous, tranquil environment.


As you can see we didn’t have the nicest weather while we were there!



IMG_3490 (2)

As you step inside you will see the magnificent staircase and the sofas in front of the fire. While we were there they had laid out cupcakes on the tables- a nice touch!

Image courtesy of Court Colman Manor

Above image courtesy of Court Colman Manor



We were welcomed very warmly and shown to our room. Court Colman has 30 rooms including 6 specially designed, travel themed rooms. We were staying in the Moroccan room which was VERY colourful! Apart from being colourful it was large and comfortable and had an amazing en-suite with a double whirlpool bath and the best hotel shower I have ever experienced!





As comfortable and attractive as the Manor was, the best part of our stay had to be our dining experience in the hotel’s award winning Indian restaurant Bokhara. Bokhara was the winner of the Best Spice Restaurant in Wales at the British Curry awards four times in five years – and it was easy to see why.




The sheer volume of choice they had was incredible and the value for money was excellent but not only that, they tasted pretty delicious too! The maître d’ was incredibly friendly and helpful and the chefs offer you the chance to make your own naan! If you don’t like curry, fear not: the restaurant has a variety of Welsh options such as ‘Mamgu’s Cawl’, Welsh rarebit and Glamorgan sausage – just what we love to see here at Cwtch!







On the short walk through the hotel to the restaurant you pass through the “hall of fame” which has pictures on the walls of the many celebrities that have stayed there and also a large amount of Thank You cards from past brides and grooms who got married at the Manor. I was surprised to see that not only was David Tennant’s last episode of Doctor Who filmed at Court Colman Manor but that the late Stereophonics drummer Stuart Cable held his own wedding there  – quite impressive!


As well as a beautiful setting, the main thing that Court Colman proudly offers when you are holding your wedding there is exclusivity. You will be the sole wedding on that day and you have the option of reserving all 30 rooms for you and your guests, you will even receive a complimentary honeymoon suite. The hotel has several rooms in which you can get married and you have the choice of a traditional wedding banquet or a lavish Indian spread from their award winning chefs.





If you haven’t yet booked your venue (or even if you are already married!); I would definitely recommend booking a meal in the Bokhara restaurant followed by an overnight stay in the hotel to get a feel for the place as we thoroughly enjoyed it.

Have we any past or present Court Colman brides, or wedding guests, amongst our readers? If so we would really love to hear from you. Perhaps you could even submit your photos to be featured in our Real Weddings section!

Real Wedding: Tram & Eoin’s Japanese-Vietnamese Fusion Wedding by Taran Wilkhu Photography

Tram & Eoin tied the knot in Wales on the 20th September 2013 in a Japanese-Vietnamese styled wedding. This beautiful bride was also expecting a baby! how gorgeous is her dress! We love it! The fabulous Taran Wilkhu photographed the day and captured some wonderful moments. We’ll hand you over to the Bride, Tram, with all the details…

Taran_Wilkhu_Photography149How would you describe your wedding theme?

I didn’t want a traditional ‘Western White’ wedding dress. I wanted something with colours and screamed out stylish and different. The style is very much in the Japanese/Asian fusion. It was inspired from the time I had lived and worked in Japan about 10 years ago. I have always loved the beautiful and colourful fine silk fabrics I saw in Japan. Initially I wanted something with a Vietnamese touch, as my heritage is Vietnamese. I wanted to infuse the traditional Vietnamese dress “Ao dai’, that women wear in Vietnam. Entwined with the Japanese Kimono style, which I love.

Fusion of Asian (Japanese for the bride) and Vietnamese/Chinese for the bridesmaids and formal long-tail for the groom/best-man/father’s of bride and groom. A throng of vibrant colours, mainly blues, gold/yellow.


What was your favourite part of your wedding?

Exchange of the vows was a very emotional moment for both of us. It was difficult to hold composure and making sure we said the vows without making any mistakes or being overly emotional.

Taran_Wilkhu_Photography128I also loved the moment my father walked me up the aisle to my husband to be. As all eyes were on me, I had my eyes only on my husband to be. I could see Eoin was so nervous and emotional, but could see that he looked so proud and happy too, which was reassuring!
Taran_Wilkhu_Photography126Our first dance was nerve racking, but once we were up there we both forgot about everyone and just focused on each other! Dancing and laughing the night away with our family and friends

Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why?

Best Man: Ciaran Gibbons (groom’s older brother)

Taran_Wilkhu_Photography165Bridesmaids: 6 in total (4 of my closest friends from when I worked and lived in Japan) and 2 of my nieces from Australia.

Taran_Wilkhu_Photography119Why did you choose your venue?

St Marys Catholic Church (Ceremony) and Bryngawr Country House, Bridgend, South Wales (Reception).

Taran_Wilkhu_Photography123Taran_Wilkhu_Photography124Eoin’s family lives in South Wales, in a little village called Blaengwynfi so it was convenient to hold it in South Wales. We mainly chose Bryngawr House because we both have spent some weekends there when they offer special (bed & breakfast) deal for 40 quid/night. The venue is also a country park with some beautiful surroundings and walks.

Taran_Wilkhu_Photography138How did the proposal happen? 

We met at work in Hammersmith, London, we both work as social workers. The first time we met was at a work team-building day, where we did a cook-off and were placed on the same team.
We’ve been together since April 2012, but were colleagues and friends since October 2011.

Taran_Wilkhu_Photography147Eoin proposed on Christmas morning in his parent’s home through a poem he wrote himself. When he recited the poem, I thought it was part of his Christmas present, as that was what I had asked for. But I realised he started getting nervous and shaky I realised it was just a poem he was reciting but his proposal.

Taran_Wilkhu_Photography116What was your first dance & why?

You’ll Never be the Sun: lyrics by Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt & Emmylou Harris’, we chose it because of the lovely lyrics and it was ‘slow’ and had a really lovely rhythm to it. Eoin and I didn’t know how to waltz, and only had one lesson two days before our wedding. So we had to choose a song that was ‘slow’ but also romantic ☺

Do you have any advice for future couples?

I am so pleased I never became ‘bridezilla’ through out the planning and organising of our wedding. All in all it only took us about 6 months to plan our wedding. We planned and envisaged the wedding ourselves without too much input or interference from family or friends, so it made it much mores stress-free, as we didn’t have to accommodate or please anyone but each other. The most important thing was to focus on the real importance and meaning of the love and commitment we had for each other and our desire to become ‘husband and wife’ and the meaning behind this. We both just wanted all our guests to be the people we loved and cared for to be there at our wedding, and not felt we had to invite anyone else due to obligations. 

Taran_Wilkhu_Photography167How would you describe your wedding day in 2 sentences?

Our wedding was a magical and unforgettable day filled with an abundance of love, joy and celebrations from family and friends coming together from across the different corners of the world! A beautiful fusion and joining of 2 cultures!!

Taran_Wilkhu_Photography152How did you chose your photographer?

We chose Taran because we have seen some of his works (wedding and engagement shoots) and thought it to be very unique in it’s style and creativity. Not the usual run of the mill stuff! Taran’s got a great natural eye for a unique twist and is inspired by the couple’s themselves, based on their own personalities, story, background and ideas.

What was your biggest surprise of the day?
The sun was shining for us in Wales! We had perfect weather!

Taran_Wilkhu_Photography136Best decision made?
Getting married and having a baby together!


 Wedding Suppliers used:

Bride’s Dress: It was a Japanese designer a friend of mine found on line. My friend posted an advert on some Japanese website: ‘looking for a Japanese dress maker’. Then Lisa Ohto responded and I got in touch with her. Lisa Ohto (brand name: Asil London): As featured here. Lisa Ohto designed my dress in collaboration with me. I gave her ideas of what I wanted, colours, style, themes etc. Lisa drew up a few designs, and the process continued to evolve along the way .  

Taran_Wilkhu_Photography145Taran_Wilkhu_Photography103Bride’s Shoes: Blog Peep (Peep-Toes Court) shoes by Stuart Weitzman from Russell & Bromley. These perfect mid-heel peep-toe are the ultimate in understated elegance


Bride’s Headpiece: Very minimal accessories apart from diamante ring clips I got from Accessorize and white rose buds.
Bride’s Jewellery: White gold butterfly designed necklace studded with little diamonds, designed by Bonomi Diamanti
Groom’s OutfitMoss Bros, hired suits

Bridesmaid’s Dresses: 4 of my bridesmaids wore blue chong-sam dresses were bought from Chinatown in Soho, London (only 40 quid, bargain!!) The yellow/gold silk dresses worn by 2 of my bridesmaid, who are my nieces wore the traditional Vietnamese “áo dài”, which was made by a Vietnamese dressmaker from Sydney, Australia.

Taran_Wilkhu_Photography121Cake: Our 2 tiered wedding cake was designed and home baked by my friend and colleague (Lynette) who recently got into baking. It was a red velvet cake, covered in white cream icing. It was so tasty, simply divine. All our guests finished it off on the wedding day, even after they already had their dessert.
Taran_Wilkhu_Photography174Flowers: Flowers for the all the bouquets, table arrangements were designed and put together by Eoin’s (groom) mother’s Catherine. She was amazing really as she had never really done anything like this before for a wedding or any major events. But Catherine suggested that she would like to help out, as it would save us money. Catherine had just started a flower arrangement course as a hobby and wanted an opportunity to build on her new skills. I had very little input in choice of flowers. I only suggested I wanted flowers that were in season and told her some of the colour themes I wanted and allowed her the freedom to do as she wished.

Taran_Wilkhu_Photography150Taran_Wilkhu_Photography111Hair and Make upSuki Miles
Band: Traditional Irish band, Mac’s Fancy: Organised by Eoin’s mum, Molly (lead singer) lives just outside Swansea. Molly and her band were a great! Got all the guests up dancing all night!
Stationery: Wedding invites were designed and made by our very creative and wonderful friend and artist; Minako Oka, she resides in London. Her works can be bought at Southbank Printmakers Gallery in Gabriel’s Wharf.
Caterers: Catering organised by Bryngawr House.

Any Reception Decor/PropsChopsticks (with Japanese prints of a geisha (for the female guests) and samurai (for the male guests). The cotton print chopstick holders were designed and made my dressmaker Lisa Ohto.

Taran_Wilkhu_Photography179TransportKennedy Classics, Bridgend.


The Wedding Album


Bridgend Engagement Shoot: Charlotte & Joe by Geraint Radford

Joe & Charlotte got in touch to share their beautiful engagement shoot with us – complete with a few furry friends as extras! :) Shot on the cycle path in Ogmore Vale by Geraint Radford. Lovely! :)

charlotte & joe

How did you meet?

We met through friends . I previously dated Joe’s friend and it didn’t work out but Joe and I became good friends and he asked me out. Our first date was in a local coffee house, but then we both decided it was too expensive and bought paninis instead! We still celebrate our first date which is Feb 19th, 6 years on.

 How did the proposal happen?

Joe took me to London for our 3rd year anniversary. He told me he got me something special to have for our anniversary and convinced me that all he got me was a special book. I was so impatient with him, I just wanted to know what was so important about a book. Eventually I got so impatient that he proposed to me at midnight, whilst we were both sitting cross legged on the Travelodge bed! It was the best moment ever.

Why did you choose your engagement shoot location?

We love to walk our dogs, and this location forms part of the cycle track near where we live. It’s such a beautiful location that it was almost a no-brainer. Plus, the dogs love the area too!

Geraint Radford Engagement Shoot Ogmore Vale_001 Geraint Radford Engagement Shoot Ogmore Vale_002 Geraint Radford Engagement Shoot Ogmore Vale_003 Geraint Radford Engagement Shoot Ogmore Vale_004 Geraint Radford Engagement Shoot Ogmore Vale_005 Geraint Radford Engagement Shoot Ogmore Vale_006 Geraint Radford Engagement Shoot Ogmore Vale_007 Geraint Radford Engagement Shoot Ogmore Vale_008 Geraint Radford Engagement Shoot Ogmore Vale_010DSC6858-2-1024x681DSC70421-1024x681