Cwtch Girls Cwtch Of The Week

Happy bank holiday Monday!!!

I can’t believe that it has already been a fortnight since Cwtchfest! For those of you who couldn’t make it you missed and amazing day. The sun was shining and the brides were out in force in the most beautiful setting in Wales, Glanusk Estate.

The wonderful Owen Mathias captured this Cwtch Girls cwtch at the very end of an epic day. Trust me this is a rare photo. Getting us all in one place at at one time is hard let alone in a photograph. You would be happy to know that these are all the lovely ladies who make up Cwtch The Bride HQ.
Owen Mathias Photography

I cant wait for you to see the rest of the photographs. I am always on the lookout for a good old fashioned cwtch. If you have a photo that you would like us to share send it in to info@cwtchthebride.com. Have a happy week! ~ Kate

High Street Wedding Dresses

We know that not everyone chooses to, or has the budget to buy their wedding dress in a bridal shop, and with so many gorgeous alternatives on the high street that doesn’t mean you can’t still wow on your big day. Classic Bride Charlie is here with some of her favourite High Street wedding dresses to give you some inspiration.

Hi Cwtchers!

Continuing my series of High Street fashions I have decided to go for the big one- wedding dresses! Some of these dresses are gorgeous and for a bride on a budget would be perfect. I have tried to narrow down a selection of different styles and lengths, I hope you see something you like!

Sylvia by Ghost

Sylvia by Ghost

Diana by Ghost

Diana by Ghost

Fiona by Coast

Fiona by Coast

Jacinti from Coast

Jacinti by Coast

Breita by Coast

Breita by Coast

Elodie by Phase Eight

Elodie by Phase Eight

Sally by Phase Eight

Sally by Phase Eight

1920's Style dress from Etsy

1920’s Style dress from Etsy

1950's style tea length dress from Etsy

1950’s style tea length dress from Etsy

Embellished Maxi from Miss Selfridge

Embellished Maxi from Miss Selfridge

Blue Sequin Maxi from Miss Selfridge

Blue Sequin Maxi from Miss Selfridge

Carlotta from Monsoon Bridal

Carlotta from Monsoon Bridal

Iris from Monsoon Bridal

Iris from Monsoon Bridal

What do you think? Would you wear a high street wedding dress? I honestly can’t see why not when they look as gorgeous as this!

Charlie x

 

The Mother of All Dresses

Today, We have our Classic Bride Charlie offering her advice on Mother of the Bride outfits!

Mother of the bride (or groom) shopping can go two ways- lots of fun or lots of stress! I loved going shopping with my mum for her outfit for my wedding although we did worry we would never find anything suitable. A lot of traditional mother of the bride outfits were a bit too… old for my gorgeous young-looking (and acting!) mum. We found her dress in good old Debenhams in the end, she was dead set on gold but settled for this lovely dusty pinky gold (is that a colour?) shift dress. The search for shoes however…. well we eventually found her dream pair about 4 months after the wedding!

My mum in her dress, I hope you agree that she looks beautiful. Image by Maria Farrelly

My mum in her dress, I hope you agree that she looks beautiful. Image by Maria Farrelly

And in the Photobooth, rocking some perfect accessories!

And in the Photobooth, rocking some perfect accessories!

When it comes to Mother of the Bride shopping on the high street the department stores are a great place to start. They have a real selection of outfits ranging from traditional to modern with loads in between, if you are lucky you can buy everything under one roof! My mum’s hairband was also from Debenhams, she really didn’t want to wear a hat, and we bought her accessories from Next.

While looking for some inspiration for you lovely lot I came across these pearls of wisdom from Phase Eight:

1. “Don’t wear the same colour as the bride”
This should go without saying but for some reason not everyone thinks this rule applies for the mother of the bride or groom. Obviously not all brides will mind but the courteous thing to do would be to ask.

2. “Nothing says ‘wedding’ like a fabulous occasion dress”
There is something to be said for a fabulous dress. Once you have the dress in place it should be easier to visualise the trimmings such as jacket or bolero, jewellery, shoes and accessories. (I say SHOULD because us women know that these things are never as easy as they SHOULD be!)

3. “Dress for the location”
Great advice here, as they say in the main article a church wedding outfit is very different to one worn for a beach wedding and it’s a long day so do make sure your mum will be comfortable.

4. “Wedding hat or fascinator?”
Less advice, more food for thought. As I mentioned, my mum wasn’t keen on a hat and although fascinators are a great alternative she didn’t really feel comfortable in one of those either. Sometimes it’s better to just keep it simple, after all your mum should be able to feel comfortable on the big day.

5. “If you see something you love, buy it!”
This is what we did, after all most mother of the bride outfits are seasonal or limited edition and you never know how long they might be in stock. Don’t run the risk of the perfect dress getting away.

I have sought out a little bit of High Street Mother of the Bride inspiration for you, but don’t forget- if traditional mother of the bride doesn’t float yours or your mum’s (or mum in law’s) boat then you really don’t need to follow tradition. A few years ago my auntie Tina found her dress for my cousin Jade’s wedding in New Look and she looked amazing, real boho chic.

The proud Mum with the bride and groom

The proud Mum with the bride and groom

I absolutely LOVE these Jenny Packham dresses from Debenhams, I’m pretty sure my mum would have been trying these on if they’d been out a year ago- wouldn’t you mum?!

Phase Eight have a really good selection, I have picked out a few favourites here:

And lastly here are a few more High Street gems:

Tell me about your Mother of the Bride/Groom shopping experience, have you been? Was it fun or more like hell on earth?! Or are you planning to go, are you looking forward to it? Drop a comment underneath, would love to hear your stories!

Charlie x

One Year On (a bit of a ramble)

On our wedding day. Image by the amazing Maria Farrelly

On our wedding day. Image by the amazing Maria Farrelly

This week we booked a cottage in St David’s to celebrate our first wedding anniversary when it hit me – that is only 6 weeks away! I don’t quite know where that time has gone.

This time last year I was suffering from laryngitis and hoping my voice would come back in time to say my vows, it eventually came back during my amazing hen weekend (read about it here, and see our wedding here) where I discovered that laughter really is the best medicine, well, laughter and prosecco. Now I’m sitting here in our new house reflecting over the past year.

My amazing hen. Image by I Am VIP

My amazing hen. Image by iamvip.me 

When you get married there are three words you will hear A LOT and I don’t mean “I love you”, I’m talking about the question you will inevitably hear often: “how’s married life?” In reality on a day to day basis our married life isn’t much different to our pre-married life. We still live together, we went from saving for a wedding to saving for a house and now we are saving to do up that house, we still go to work every day and we still spend far too much time on facebook groups (ok maybe that’s just me). But there is something about being married that does feel different and it’s hard to put my finger on exactly what it is; it’s a sense of security and contentment that comes from being an official unit, we are family now, we have the same last name (although that bit did take a lot of getting used to!) and it’s a nice feeling.

If you google (other search engines are available) the first year of marriage you will see pages of articles on how hard the first year of marriage is, I won’t deny that over the last 11 months there have been times that I’ve wanted to kill him but then he does something like putting on our wedding video or pulling out colour charts for me to pour over and all is forgiven.

We have had a busy year, following our amazing honeymoon in Sorrento we started house hunting and we finally bought our first house together in June this year. It’s a real DIY project and we have a busy few years ahead of us making it beautiful, Mark has been slogging away to give me a gorgeous fireplace and magnificent restored parquet floor and I am so proud of him. I have been doing a photography course through Ffotogallery in Cardiff and am absolutely loving it, I’ve made some great new friends and find it very therapeutic.

Visiting Positano on Honeymoon

Visiting Positano on Honeymoon

The Great Big House Project

The Great Big House Project

Progress so far thanks to my amazing husband (I did help!)

Progress so far thanks to my amazing husband (I did help!)

I am lucky to have a great circle of family and friends, many of whom came to my incredible surprise birthday party that Mark arranged on Easter Sunday, I am still a bit in shock about that- biggest surprise ever! I also count myself lucky that I met three amazing ladies Sarah, Karen and Philippa who also got married last year and because we are all going through very similar things they have been an amazing support system. Thank you wives.

My amazing birthday cake made by my friend Bonnie and based on our E Shoot photos by Maria

My amazing birthday cake made by my friend Bonnie and based on our E Shoot photos by Maria

Most of you are still planning your weddings and I am mildly envious of that but am really enjoying my old married status. I’m not sure if this post is intended to give advice or if it’s more of a ramble but if I was going to give advice I would say: get yourself a support system, don’t take your new husband for granted, enjoy each other’s company and arrange treats or weekends away together when you can, get yourself a post wedding project to stave off the post wedding blues but keep reading Cwtch the Bride for that little wedding fix :)

If like me you are at or past the one year point and have any advice, comments or just general wisdom please get in touch through the comments below, and any brides to be if you have any questions then likewise please use the comments box and all of us here at Cwtch will do our best to help.

Lots of love

Charlie x

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.

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

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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

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!