Featured Post: Boutique Wedding Fayre, Carmarthen

Nearly the end of the week, and time to make those weekend plans!

Well look no further, off to Carmarthen you go, for the bi-annual Boutique Wedding Fayre.  The wonderful event is held in Carmarthen every Spring & Autumn.

Organised by established Carmarthen businesses Blodwen Flowers and Emma Phillips Bridal Studio, the Fayre is a beautiful showcase of local wedding suppliers who are all equally dedicated to providing wedding services to the best of their ability to the couples of West Wales.

The fayre is held in the centre of Carmarthen in the Ivy Bush hotel a wonderful venue giving the brides and their families plenty of space and comfort to plan their special day.

Definitely a date for your diaries!

Boutique Wedding Fayre

Our Rustic Bride Kristy

I am a massive believer in fate and Our Rustic Bride Kristy is the perfect example of this. How many of us can say we are marrying our university sweetheart. This beautiful lady is going to have a wedding with lots of handmade items but the thing that is going to play a big part of the day is music…cuddle up on the sofa with a cup of hot chocolate and fall in love with Kristy the way we have…..!!! 

IMAG0976Hi there, my name is Kristy and I have been given the wonderful opportunity to share my experiences over the next 9 months heading towards our wedding!! I am now 30 years old and have been waiting for the day that my perfect man would ask me to marry him since I was a teenager. I was lucky enough  to find my English man Kieron when I was 18. It was the day I left home for Cardiff university. Not originally the university I wanted to get into I must admit, but a last minute effort to apply through clearing secured me a place. Unfortunately due to it being a bit rushed I didn’t get into student residences and had to find my own accommodation. The day I arrived (18.09.04) I knocked on the door and this tall, blonde haired, blue eyed boy answered and introduced himself as Kieron. We both went about the business of moving in. When our families left I found myself nervously standing in the kitchen alone, I decided I didn’t want to be alone so I spent the afternoon in Kierons room chatting away. I knew instantly that I really liked him. It was later that night while watching Shrek we had our first kiss. We have never lived apart since. We are best friends and soul mates and I can’t wait to become his wife a day before our 12th anniversary together. As you can see, I have waited a long time for this!


I was born and have always lived in Wales. I was brought up in a small town outside Carmarthen before moving to Cardiff for university (where Kieron and I met). Since then we have been living in an even smaller town outside of Swansea.IMAG1231

I qualified as a midwife just over two years ago. I think it is definately a calling and I love it. I work both day and night shifts, and going for bridal appointments following night shifts has led to some very entertaining conversations and I think some unusual decisions!more recent 2015

I am an active girl –  I enjoy yoga and pilates. I love to dance, and don my ballet shoes often. I like to get out and about with Kieron and our fur baby Indi. She’s a relatively new addition to the unit, she is the most ridiculous little thing but definitely keeps us on our toes!indi pup

This year, I just cant wait to finally become a Mrs. To have both of our families in one place at the same time. Our families being seperated by the river Severn has not allowed this before. And of course the HONEYMOON!P1020959

Real Wedding: Casey & Aled’s relaxed Carmarthenshire wedding by Sandra Ace Photography

Don’t you just love a relaxed and simplistic wedding? That’s exactly what Casey & Aled planned for their June wedding at the Corran Resort, Carmarthenshire.

I’m so pleased to share this beautiful wedding with you all today. If you are in the midst of planning and finding it all very stressful. Please take 5, enjoy these lush images by the lovely Sandra Ace and think… its all going to be fine, I’m going to have a flipping awesome wedding day!

Lets hand you over to Bride Casey as she shares all the details of her big day.


Maria x 

Casey & Aled CTB-019What was your budget?

We never really got round to setting a budget. We probably spent more than we wanted to, but we had the best day ever, so we didn’t mind!

How would you describe your wedding theme?

We can’t say that we had a particular theme from the beginning, we just went for things that we liked. We definitely didn’t stress about a theme as we knew it would all come together on the day. If we were to sum up the theme in three words, it would probably be Simple, Rustic and Relaxed.Casey & Aled CTB-013What was your favourite part of your wedding?

We can honestly say we loved everything about the day, there’s too many brilliant moments to choose from, it was perfect! We wouldn’t have changed anything about it. It was overwhelming the fact that all of our favourite people, each and everyone who had played a part in our lives came together under the same roof for us. Casey & Aled CTB-011Tell us about your Wedding Dress

I never really knew what I wanted, so to be honest I was very open when it came to looking and trying on wedding dresses. I was very excited though. I headed to Emma Philips Bridal Studio, where I picked up a lot of different dresses and tried them on (it was very overwhelming, and I made my mother, and mother in law cry!). There was one dress that stood out for me, which weirdly enough was the first dress I actually picked out from Emma’s collection and that was it! It was absolutely gorgeous, I was in love with it and every dress I tried on after that didn’t compare. Emma was awesome, she made the experience very easy and enjoyable for me!Casey & Aled CTB-008Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why?

Best Man – Jason Harries. Al & Jase have been friends since school and went to University together. He did a great job with the speech and had the room in fits of laughter. Along with the Ushers they did a fantastic job – even went to the church the night before to cut the grass!
Casey & Aled CTB-043Choosing my bridesmaids was easy, there was no question who they were going to be. I chose five of my best friends from school and my gorgeous niece. We had so much fun in the weeks leading up to the wedding (hen parties of course haha), during the morning and throughout the day, they really made it special for me!

Why did you choose your venue?

We visited various venues in the Carmarthen area, but we both set our hearts on The Corran as soon as we walked in. They showed us around the property and we fell in love with the grounds, the rooms and most importantly the wedding reception and outdoor patio area. From the very first meeting we had they were incredibly accommodating and helpful which kept me pretty much stress free throughout!Casey & Aled CTB-001

Casey & Aled CTB-046Tell us about your photographer

Sandra Ace, she is awesome! We wanted a relaxed and a natural feel to our wedding photos, as soon as we looked through her website and we knew immediately that she was the photographer for us. At our engagement shoot, she made us feel relaxed and I think Al enjoyed it a little bit too much! On the day she just blended in and we honestly didn’t even realise she was there, but at the same time she captured the day magnificently – just as we imagined! We both knew the day would go so quick, and it was more important to us that we spent time with our family and friends so we gave Sandra a limited number of formal (but important) moments to capture. The only real part of the day that me and Al got to spend together was the time we had at Laugharne Castle taking photos with the Castle and the Estuary as a backdrop. We both love the work she’s done and we constantly re-live the day by going through the photos.Casey & Aled CTB-020How did the proposal happen?

Writing this story still gives me the biggest smile!

It was May 2014, after a long rugby season we decided to have an extra special holiday and travel Thailand for a month.

The very first island we went to was Koh Tao, a beautiful small island where he had booked an amazing hotel with an infinity pool overhanging cliffs with the backdrop of the most beautiful sunset (little did i know, that this would be the place that would make me the happiest girl on earth). It was late afternoon, just before sunset and we immediately headed to the pool which we almost had to ourselves. We were just relaxing on the sun loungers minding our own business, reading our books, chatting away reminiscing and realising how lucky we were to be there – loving life. Al seized the moment, he went back to the room (to my knowledge it was to get the camera). I had no idea that he had been working for a couple months previously with a Jewellers custom building a ring for this very moment. As the sun was setting in the distance, Al asked me to stand so we could admire the spectacular views and sunset together. It was perfect. He turned and said to me “you know i always tell you that you’re the one? Well you are” and went down on one knee, I was in total shock, and asked him if he was serious. I couldn’t stop smiling! I was on cloud nine. The champagne was on order and we celebrated through the night!Casey & Aled CTB-015Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?

I had most of my ideas from websites like Pinterest, but i couldn’t put them all into action on my own, so with a little help from my mum & bridesmaids we got everything that I wanted done, and I was very happy with it all on the day. Casey & Aled CTB-028Our table numbers and name places were handmade and our table plan was handwritten by my mum on a mirror, it looked amazing!
It was all quiet hard but enjoyable and all the hard work paid off because on the day it all looked amazing if I do say so myself.

What was your first dance & why?

Ho Hey by the Lummineers. There was no question about this one, it was only going to be the song that we would have. It’s completely ‘us’ and reflects our personalities and our relationship.Casey & Aled CTB-044In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?

I can honestly say I wouldn’t change anything about the day. It was perfect for us. It was the best feeling marrying my best friend and seeing all of our closest family and friends having the best time and enjoying themselves! We want to do it all over again, we had massive post-wedding blues!

Do you have any advice for future couples?

With regards to the day itself the only advice we would give is that the day flies by, so enjoy every second and try to absorb it all together at some point if you manage to get a second to yourself.
We got married as early as we could (11am) just to be able to have the majority of the day to celebrate with friends and family and it was perfect. It didn’t feel rushed or pressurised at any point during the day which was exactly what we didn’t want.Casey & Aled CTB-003
What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received?

The best piece of advice that we received was that you must always love each other. There will be tough times but if you stay strong and love each other – the storm won’t last forever. Also, never go to sleep on an argument.Casey & Aled CTB-026What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

I did enjoy planning the whole wedding because I am Miss Organised but buying my dress, inviting everyone to our special day and the food tasting was fab, but overall seeing all the hard work come together was brilliant because at the beginning it feels like it never will as there is so much to think about and do.Casey & Aled CTB-035

The Suppliers

Photographer: Sandra Ace
Videographer: Nathan Ifans
Ceremony Venue: Christ Church, Carmarthen
Reception Venue: The Corran Resort & Spa, Laugharne
Bride’s Dress: Maggie Soterro from Emma Phillips
Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Bride’s Jewellery: Links of London, Swarovski
Groom’s Outfit: Dyfed Menswear & Herring Shoes
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Anya by Ebony Rose from Emma Phillips
Cake: Julie Olausen (Family Friend)
Flowers: Julie Bates
Hair: Lauren Brinson
Make Up: Jodie Amner
Band: Noughts & Crosses
Stationery: PDA Card & Craft & Handmade
Any Reception Decor/Props: Pom Pom Studios, Light Up Letters

The Wedding Album

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Bridal Sample Sale

If you haven’t chosen your dream dress yet, then make sure you put SUNDAY 3rd AUGUST in your diary.

Emma Philips Bridal Studio (based in Carmarthen) and White Bride (from Narberth) have joined forces for one day to host what we can only describe as a HUGE bridal sample sale.  

Amazing designer gowns such as Ian Stuart, Justin Alexander, Jenny Packham and many more! with up to 70% off! First come first serve! xx 

Where & When?

This joint BRIDAL SAMPLE SALE will take place on Sunday 3rd August 10am-3pm at the Ivy Bush Royal Hotel ,Carmarthen

Bridal sale

We have a feeling this is going to be VERY busy and suggest you get there early. Happy dress shopping! xxx



Pre-Wedding Engagement Shoot: Carmarthen – Rosy & Nick

This beautiful Carmarthen engagement shoot features a treasured family farm, a fashion conscious groom, a beautiful bride-to-be and a flock of sheep! We asked Rosy for their story…

Carmarthen Engagement Shoot - Maria Farrelly Photography

How We Met

It’s true what they say: these days you can get most things on one the internet. Yes, you guessed it – Nick and I found love ‘online’. Perhaps not the most romantic story but we dated (something that I think every couple should do regardless of how they meet) and I was wooed like every girl should be.

Nearly four years to the day, after a few exchanges of emails Nick and I met for the first time for a drink in a pub down a cobbled street in Clifton, Bristol. One date on a Monday, turned into three by the following Sunday. A whole aviary of butterflies fluttered in my stomach although I couldn’t quite put my finger on what made us click – Nick was city slick and I was welsh country bumpkin, we were and still are like chalk and cheese.

On date number five Nick was 25 minutes late. To my horror, he rolled into the bar we were meeting completely plastered to tell me his office had been shut and he was being relocated back to Birmingham. Well that was it, I thought, game over…

Over a period of 12 months we alternated weekends; I began to hate Sunday evenings as Nick had to leave and I’d even get up at 5am on Mondays so I could string the weekend out just that little bit more (I had it bad). I qualified as a Chartered Surveyor in December 2009 and Nick persistently nagged me to move nearer now that my training was over. As there isn’t much call for rural surveyors in Birmingham City Centre, we met in the middle with a move to Warwick so Nick could commute to Birmingham and I could commute to my new job in Oxfordshire.

After the initial few months of wanting to kill each other (girls you know what I mean, ‘the adjustment period’) we were very happy indeed in our little rented cottage in Warwick.

Carmarthen Engagement Shoot - Maria Farrelly Photography

Rosy & Nick’s Proposal Story

The proposal came as a bit of a surprise. We had talked about marriage but we both agreed it wouldn’t be for some time yet – we’d not long moved in together and it was relatively early days.

However, Nick does like planning surprises and I must admit he does them extremely well with a lot of thought. Christmas 2010 will always be the best and most memorable Christmas. West Wales had had a lot of snow so Nick ended up coming down for Christmas Day due to concerns he would never make it on Boxing Day. So, we had everyone together; Nick and I, my parents, my granddad, my sister, my brother in law and his parents from Scotland, all at the family home back in Carmarthen. I’m not quite sure if the proposal itself was quite how Nick had intended it to happen as he absolutely hates PDAs, but for me he could not have done it any better……

A very good friend of ours always used to tease Nick and say “haven’t you bought Rosy a handbag yet?” to which he always used to respond with “she would be lucky to get a keyring!”. It was quite a long standing joke between the two of us. So when I opened my first present (a small box), inside was a mulberry keyring. I was then instructed to open the very big cardboard box in the corner (Nick does this with all my presents so I can never guess what they are). To my delight inside the big box was a MULBERRY HANDBAG. After a lot of hugging, thank yous and saying “you really shouldn’t have spent so much”, Nick was still staring at me and the handbag whilst I was inspecting it and opening every zip and clasp in excitement. Then in the corner of the handbag was another little box, “very funny another key ring”, I said. Before I could get the box fully open he was down on one knee, in front of a full room of equally gobsmacked relatives who at this point had all stopped unwrapping. I couldn’t speak (the handbag was enough of a shock!). I made some awful howling sound before being able to squeak the word “Yes!”

The rest of Christmas day was a Champagne haze and I felt like I might burst with happiness. It was just perfect and Nick had got it spot on. Having family around us to share such a special moment was a wonderful way and place to do it and incredibly brave of him. To top it off, he had the ring made for me based on a description the same friend had surreptitiously got out of me when talking about her engagement ring. A bit risky but it was perfect and I loved it. The boy did good.

Carmarthen Engagement Shoot - Maria Farrelly Photography

E-shoot Location

We quickly decided on a church wedding at Llangunnor Church followed by a marquee reception at home on the farm. Unfortunately it was not possible due the farm being put up for sale and I knew that it had to be the location for our E-shoot. It was extra special as it was where Nick proposed to me and we had spent a lot of time there together on the weekends. I also wanted some photos that both we and my parents could cherish once the farm had been sold. The day was really fun and much to mine and Maria’s amusement, Nick took it extremely seriously with several outfit changes and a very good pout – Zoolander eat your heart out! Maria only had one request for the day – that we HAD TO get some sheep in a photo. After running around in some fields we managed to get the million dollar shot, which not only included a whole bunch of sheep but also Pip our border collie!


All 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.

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