Cwtch of the Week: A Newgale Cwtch

Happy Monday Cwtchers! To get rid of those Monday morning blues, we have this beautiful Cwtch of the Week.  Meet Jonathan and Abigail.  This dreamy cwtch was captured on the gorgeous beach at Newgale, West Wales, by the fabulous Angharad Thomas.  So, over to Angharad to tell us more about this loveliness….

Newgale Cwtch Banner

Cwtch of the Week: A Newgale Cwtch

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I shot Jonathan and Abigail’s engagement shoot at Easter when they were down in Pembrokeshire for the week. We decided to shoot on Newgale beach as its their personal favourite and a beautiful beach. It was an overcast yet dry day so they got their coats and wellies on and we all went for a stroll! After deciding to have a paddle in the sea, the waves came in and carried their wellies off halfway down the beach which made for some amusing photographs.

They live in Southampton but are getting married on the 20th of August 2016 at the Emmanuel Christian Centre in Haverfordwest and having a gorgeous Tipi reception with Pims and cake at Southwood Farm, Wood Hill, Newgale. Abigail is originally from Haverfordwest. I love this image not only because they’re a fantastic couple but you can really feel the emotion and love in the image. I think black and white photos always tells a story.

Thank you so much for sharing Angharad.  And you’re so right. So much emotion showed in this image, Abigails contently in love soft smile, is like something out of a movie!  Just gorgeous! x

Emily and Martin’s Vintage Welsh Inspired Wedding by Sarah Elvin Photography

“Does everyone remember last year we ran our first bride to be competition. Today’s real wedding is of Emily and Martin Vintage Welsh Inspired Wedding . Emily was one of our finalists and you can read her entry here. You can only imagine my eagerness to feature her wedding photographed by Sarah Elvin. Grab a cuppa and a mince pie and enjoy.” ~ Kate



What was your budget? 

We originally planned it to be £10k – we had decided that we wanted to pay for everything upfront and not put anything on a credit card. We wanted to start married life on a positive note and not have any debt if we could help it! As the wedding drew closer the budget increased slightly. We didn’t want to go over £12k – Martin had always liked the idea of going on ‘Don’t Tell The Bride’ and we thought we would like the challenge of sticking to this budget just like the grooms on the show have to! In the end I think we had an amazing day – it just shows that you don’t have to spend lots and lots of money to get the perfect day. It is the personal touches that make the day special not flashing lots of cash.


How would you describe your wedding theme?

Our wedding theme was a bit of a mix up of Vintage and Welshness! We didn’t set out with a theme at the beginning, it just developed naturally. I have always loved the vintage era of 1950’s – we had an afternoon tea party style drinks reception and booked a vintage taxi as our wedding car with a vintage bus to take the guest to/from the church.


Being born and bred in Wales I really wanted to get married back home in my local church in St Fagans but it wasn’t that practical – so I brought Wales to the wedding. I made pew ends with Welsh words on them – with maps of where I grew up, where Martin grew up and where we were getting married. We had a male voice choir (not from Wales) but the next best thing – they were incredible and everyone loved them. We even had ‘Bread of Heaven’ as one of our hymns. My sister arranged for my dad to give us a love spoon during his speech and I was also given a t-shirt which summed up the day perfectly – ‘You can take the girl out of Wales, but you can’t take Wales out of the girl!’ To finish the theme off – there was a hint of travel (which is the industry I work in) and a hint of golf (which is the industry Martin works in).


Image-36What was your favourite part of your wedding?

My favourite part of the wedding (apart from feeling like a princess for the day) was seeing so many friends and family look so happy! It was incredible to share our happy day with so many people that are important in both our lives. Martin also arranged the best surprise ever – one of his ushers came to our room while we were getting ready to deliver a message written on cards (a bit like in Love Actually) which were shown to us with the song Memories are Made of This – by Dean Martin. Luckily my sister caught all of it on video!


Image-81Tell us about your Wedding Dress

I bought my wedding dress in Cardiff Bridal Centre – the staff were amazing in there! My dad unfortunately had a nasty road bike accident so I was back home in Cardiff so I could visit him in hospital. My mum and I headed into Cardiff to do something cheerful before visiting hours at the hospital and we went for a look at wedding dresses. I had an idea of what I wanted to wear, which I explained to the staff at the shop and she said ‘ I have the perfect dress for you’ and came back with my dress! What made it even more perfect was that it had £600.00 off it!

Image-537I absolutely loved the dress and the seamstress in the shop added some finishing touches to make it fit the theme perfectly – I wanted a splash of colour so she added a fuchsia pink net petticoat! The shop did such a great job that my sister has since bought her wedding dress there!


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

I picked my sister Laura to be my bridesmaid (I am returning the favour this August) and two of my great friends – Jo who I worked with when I lived in Cheltenham and Kirsten who I currently work with. They were all amazing bridesmaids. I had the best hen party back in Cardiff and they really helped support me in the lead up to the wedding. All their partners we also roped in the helping with the final preparations of the venue on the morning of the wedding so we could have plenty of time to get ready. Martin picked his good friend Huw, who he knows through golf, as his best man. He did a superb job! People have asked if they can hire him out for their wedding! Ha Ha!



Why did you choose your venue?

Old Thorns Manor Hotel was recommended to us by a work colleague. I went to visit it with one of my bridesmaids and I knew straight away it was perfect. Many venues along the South Coast are very expensive – we were not prepared to pay £5k for an empty barn! Old Thorns was very affordable and accommodating – we were allowed to bring in home made cakes for our drinks reception, have a BBQ for our wedding breakfast and bring in an external supplier for our dessert!


They had plenty of accommodation for all our guests plus great facilities including a golf course and leisure facilities. Whilst Martin was playing golf the day after our wedding with 20 guests I was in the spa having a hot stone body massage – just what I needed after dancing the night away on the dance floor. Another plus point was the amazing views for the wedding photos – we have some great shots from the 5th hole on the golf course.


How did the proposal happen? 

Martin and I were in Rome to watch Wales v Italy play rugby and we took a visit to some of the sights. Whilst we were at Trevi Fountain Martin proposed – very romantic! To celebrate this proposal at the wedding we had a vintage ice cream bike serving Italian Ice Cream (if anyone is ever in Brighton you need to visit Boho Gelato – their ice cream is yummy!)


Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?

I think it is important not to be afraid of doing things differently – adding some personality into the day will definitely make it more special. We had a cider station and a raffle – which added some extra fun to the day! I love a good DIY project so I made most things, which definitely helps save money. I made everything from invitations, order of service, table decorations, wedding favours, name tags, table plan, backdrop for the dance floor. If you have time to spare, we were luckily in that we had two years to plan our wedding, hunt around for the bargains. My bridesmaid dresses were £27.00 each! Now that is a bargain!


What was your first dance & why?

Our first dance was Amazed by Lonestar. From very early on Martin had picked our first dance song. I really liked it as was a typical wedding dance song and summed up our relationship perfectly.


In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?

I can honestly say that our wedding day was perfect to us! It took a lot of planning and lots of hours making everything, I did wonder at times when my fingers were stuck together with super glue if it was all worth it – but it definitely was!


Do you have any advice for future couples?

Try not to stress over the little things, they’ll seem so trivial on the day. Relax and enjoy your day, take it all in! Lastly, remember it’s you two getting married, don’t worry about what other think or want – it’s your day so enjoy it! I loved watching all our guests enjoying the day chatting and laughing whilst we were all seated having our wedding breakfast.

Image-1175What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received? 

It is very easy to get tied up with work and chores, and it is quite easy to neglect the relationship by accident. I think a great piece of advice is to make sure you make ‘quality’ time for each other – we are going to have a date day/night at least once a week!



What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

My favourite thing was planning all the personal touches. I didn’t want a standard wedding – I wanted things to be a bit different and quirky to reflect our personalities. I also loved how excited my mum and dad were – they helped so much with all the projects and it made everything extra special and brought people together with the added excitement! My mum was an absolute star – she made the wedding cake, some bunting, flower girl dress and even her outfit! My dad helped with painting the wooden name tag hearts and the MDF letters. Martin’s mum and auntie also got involved – everyone’s help was invaluable!


The Suppliers

Photographer: Sarah Elvin 
Videographer: Short Film Company 
Ceremony Venue: St Mary’s Church Bramshott (Hampshire) 
Reception Venue: Old Thorns Manor Hotel
Bride’s Dress: Cardiff Bridal Centre
Bride’s Headpiece: Hats and Stuff
Groom’s Outfit: Bartlett and Butcher 
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: BHS
Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Debenhams and Marks and Spencer
Cake: Brides Mum
Flowers: Holly Hill
Hair and Make up: Annette Bradford 
Harpist: Rebekah Webb 
DJ: Venue own
Any Reception Decor/Props: Light up letters – Doris Loves 
Transport: Porstmouth Wedding Taxi’s 
Vintage Bus – Safeguard Coaches

Male Voice Choir – Hampshire Police Choir 

Vintage Ice Cream Bike – Circa Events 

Ice Cream provider – Boho Gelato 

The Wedding Album