Morning! If you’re anything like me, I bet you have have been itching to meet the new new Bride and Groom to Be blogger after meeting the gorgeous Jenine, our Tinder Bride!
Well, the wait is over! We are very excited to introduce our first little bride and groom to be team; The Carnival Couple, Lowri and Simon!
Wonder why they’re called this? Want to know more about them? Want to know all about the engagement? Well read on Cwtchers, read on…..
The Carnival Couple
Hello fellow Cwtch-ers!
We are Lowri and Simon, aka (from here-on-in) the Carnival Couple!
Lowri: We are both teachers, in the same school; Simon is head of ICT, Computer science and media, and I teach Law and Sociology. Both of us are pretty active and love spending time together, no matter what we are doing, as such, we will be writing our blogs together so that you get an all-round view of our wedding planning from a his-and-hers perspective, and we can’t wait to share it all with you!
The pair of us are in our 30s and have done all manner of things before we returned to teaching, so our interests are pretty varied. We are hoping that our true personalities will shine through on our big day this August. Our aim is to make our day as fun and memorable as possible, with a carnival theme running throughout, hence our Cwtch name!
When people say it was ‘love at first sight’, or ‘I knew they were the one’, I used to roll my eyes at the clichéd nonsense of it all. However, turning up, as a supply teacher, the last thing I expected to find in a school was my ‘dream man’. Amazingly, my ‘dream man’ had the same idea when he saw me, but that doesn’t mean things were easy, and it took us a full five months of teenaged-style butterflies and friends playing cupid before we were finally together.
Fast forward to August 31st 2016 and a very oddly behaved dream man had enticed me down to the beach in Southerndown for a walk, with the promise that I could wear my new wellies and that he would treat me to faggots and peas in our favourite pub after. What girl could refuse?! It is here I pass you to Simon, as he had much more of an idea as to what was happening than me!
Simon: Ok, I’ll set the scene, I knew I wanted to marry Lowri after she made me laugh so hard that I had to stop and kneel down for a minute, the fact that she managed to do this half the way up Pen-Y Fan in a torrential rain storm just sealed the deal.
I decided to pop the question at the Walled Garden in Southerndown, one of our favourite places (If you’ve never been, go there on a sunny afternoon and you won’t regret it). It took three months of planning, 7 meters of bunting, 15 cheesy photos, 236 tea lights, a classy picnic of olives, cured meats, scotch eggs and pork scratchings, three bottles of champagne and four of our closest friends in hi-vis jackets blocking entrances and hiding in bushes, all to help a very disorganised man propose in a pretty romantic way.
I’m not going to lie, it was the most nerve wracking thing I have ever done but I loved every second of it, apart from the bit where Lowri, upon seeing the massive pathway of candles, whispered to me that we should leave as we were gate crashing someone’s party! It was only when she saw the pictures of some of our best moments hanging amongst the bunting on the wall did it finally click that this may just be a party for us. Well I’m pleased to report she didn’t hesitate in saying yes and this new adventure started… planning a wedding!
With just six months to go until our big day, plans are well underway, we have lots to do and think about. We truly want a wedding that reflects our personalities, passions and love for each other, even if it means having to make a lot of the things we need ourselves, although come to think about it, isn’t that half the fun?
However, before we start all that crafting, I’m pretty sure I’m still waiting for those faggots and peas!
Yeeeeeaaaay! Aren’t they wonderful! And a carnival theme!?! We are bursting to find out more! Stay tuned for the next instalment in a few weeks x
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……
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
And speaking of happy, this is such a smiley wedding for you to start off your weekend! Todays Real Wedding of Eric and Jemma’s rustic wedding, is superb. The couple really couldn’t stop showing how overjoyed they were to be marrying each other.
Shot by Cross-Jones Photography, this wedding will really bring smile on your face! Over to Jemma and Eric to tell you all about their lovely day.
Eric and Jemma’s Rustic Wedding
How would you describe your wedding theme?
Our wedding theme was rustic
What was your favourite part of your wedding?
Jemma: Every moment was truly magical, from the moment I arrived at Oxwich Bay, to walking down the isle with my father & seeing Eric looking very handsome in his suit.
We had amazing adventures on the beach throughout the day and were able to capture and cherish beautiful memories with close family & friends. There is honestly not one thing I would have wished to have changed.
Eric: For me I have to say that my most favourite part of our wedding day is when I stood at the alter, a bag of nerves, with my brother by my side. The harpist was playing, I turned around and saw Jem for the first time, my heart skipped a beat and I nearly started to cry. I felt amazing, my wife looked stunning as she does everyday, but on this day she blew me away. I feel like the luckiest man alive.
Tell us about your Wedding Dress
As a child you can only dream of a fairytale wedding with a princess dress, this made my dream complete. I had a very specific creation in mind and I was able to turn it into a reality, with the help & support of Lorraine Stone, Truly Scrumptious, a bridal boutique in North Cornelly.
I wanted a dress that was truly unique & every little detail of my dress was a part of me, from the finer flower lace detail & the colour to the magnificent grand bow at the back at the dress which was inspired from my shoes.
The dress fittings were also an opportunity to spend quality time with my beautiful mum, which helped us throughout our incredible wedding journey. The both of us decided to have daffodils on the table for the wedding day as they remind me of beautiful memories with my grandmother, therefore we spent time flower arranging together too.
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why?
Eric: I choose my brother, Trevor, as I look up to him, not only is he my brother but he is my best friend. Trev is an awesome dad to his 4 girls and a fantastic husband. A great role model. Therefore I couldn’t pick a better person to stand by me on my big day.
Jemma: We both knew that we were going to have 4 beautiful flower girls, they were Eric’s Nieces:Nakisha, Tia, Lexi & Amelia.Then my 2 gorgeous nephew’s as page boys: Mason & Harley. This made it complete and they were all truly stars on the day. Well Done & a BIG thank you. We love you lots & lots.
Why did you choose your venue?
Eric: Oxwich Bay has amazing memories from my childhood, from when my parents took me there as a child playing on the beach, it was simply perfect for us as we spend alot of time down there now as a couple. I love being outdoors and exploring amazing adventures together which I know will continue throughout time.
Jemma: We spend alot of time walking our pooch down the Gower, when we looked at venues the Oxwich Bay captured everything we could have dreamed of. The outdoors is just surrounded by natural beauty, with the sound of the ocean and the feel of the sand between your toes.
Tell us about your photographer
Eric: Cross-Jones Photography, Jon & Chantelle, were truly exceptional & we couldn’t have wished for anyone else to capture our magical moments on our wedding day. We were able to explore the surroundings of the Oxwich Bay Hotel with their support throughout the day to capture beautiful memories that will always be with us.
Jemma: We had photographs in the gardens with beautiful blossom trees enhancing our photos, but we had spectacular adventures down the beach including climbing rocks in my heels!
We cant thank Jon & Chantelle enough for everything they captured on our wedding day.
How did the proposal happen?
PARIS….. At the top of the Eiffel Tower!!!
Remembering it like it was yesterday. It was a very hot sunny day, 37 degree’s to be exact, we had waited a considerable amount of time to reach the top of the Eiffel Tower. When we arrived at the top it was very busy, we had a glass of champagne and was admiring the views over Paris.
The next moment the waves of people seem to vanish & Eric got down on one knee with a stunning engagement ring in the shape of the tower. A lot of thought had obviously gone into the whole proposal, so I’m a very lucky girl.
Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?
Where to start on how we selected everything for our enchanting journey on our magical wedding day, below we have highlighted where we have sourced many items that may have been small however once they all came together created the bigger picture and formed a very incredible day for us both to share with our close family & friends….
The Wedding Favours had a very special meaning to us we supported 2 charities close to our hearts: Cancer Charity, where we purchased scratch cards & TY Hafan Pin Badges & Hessian bags which we used to create for children’s activity packs. Jemma currently works at Ty Hafan, Children’s Hospice as an Outreach Play Practitioner, therefore has a close connection at the hospice and in communities accross Wales with the children & families she works with and supports.
What was your first dance & why?
For our first dance song we choose, Shane Filan / Beautiful In White, the words were perfect, and we both fell in love with the song the first time we heard it, we listened to millions of love songs, but none came close.
It felt like we were in our own bubble, with the sounds of cheers and happiness as we danced through the song. It was followed by the bride dancing with her father which shared the journey.
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?
Honestly, absolutely nothing, the wedding day was enchanting and we both had a magical day, there were lots of smiles & laughter with our close family & friends, some of which travelled far and wide from England & Scotland.
Do you have any advice for future couples?
Enjoy every moment of your magical day, and take time to capture a moment together, we have created forever memories from our day that we will treasure forever.
What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received?
We have known each other for 15 years now, and have been good friends through that time, advice from others has been to keep smiling like we do & to be happy. Instead of a guest book we asked our family and friends to write down their most memorable place that they had been too, so that we can visit those places to create memorable moments also on our journey together, so we have some incredible adventures now to complete.
What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?
Eric: Jem was fantastic, she was so organised & in my opinion she could have a future job in wedding planning, but I know she is doing her dream job at present at TY Hafan. The food tasting was amAzing, to have the opportunity to spend time at Oxwich Bay with my future wife made me feel complete & I had never had that before.
Jemma: We worked well as a team, ideas were created by talking to each other & if something wasn’t feeling quite right we would make the decision together to change it. We had a lovely day shopping with our nieces and nephews, both were wearing their clothing / shoes from Ted Baker & Next, and looked adorable.
However at times it was difficult as I had to keep things a secret from Eric, not only was my dress a surprise, but Eric had no idea about my Unique bouquet, or his buttonhole, made personally from buttons & brooches, which was exceptionally made with love by Leesa, from I <3 Buttons.
Photography First‘s Edmund Shum spent his Bank Holiday in a rapeseed field to capture this gorgeous cwtch of Colette and Gareth on their enagement shoot. He is now suffering badly from hay fever, but it was absolutely worth it. Over to the bride, Colette to tell us a bit about it…..x
Cwtch of the Week: A Rapeseed Field Cwtch
The Unexpected Christmas Gift:
Christmas Day with the family is always one to remember, but 2015 was a little extra special. After the last roast potato was polished off, the games had been played and the wine had be drunk, our stuffed diners left to their respective houses.
Whilst waving them goodbye Gareth asked if I wanted my last Christmas present. As he rummaged around in the Christmas tree, I was a million miles away thinking about our travels to Wales the following day to see his family for our second Christmas. He then held out a (badly) wrapped Christmas present. I tore at the package, trying to think what it could be, until I finally got to the jewel inside – A beautiful diamond ring.
I was shocked. I looked at Gaz, who had a tear in his eye. I asked if this was a ‘ring ring’ to which he nodded. I pointed to the floor and said ‘let’s do this properly then’ so Gareth got down on one knee and asked me for my hand in marriage. Shocked, stunned and amazed, I asked jokingly if he had asked my mum’s permission. No? After a quick call to one excited mother-of-the-bride-to-be, it was a resounding yes from me! The family turned the car around and were back in no time to celebrate with us. The champagne, hugs and excitement flowed. It truly was a Christmas to remember.
Fabulous story Colette and Gareth! We wish you a very happy wedding day at Oxwich Bay on 28th July. We look forward to seeing the images! xx
YAY! Not only is it the most romantic day of the year today but we are also celebrating our 3rd Birthday!
Happy birthday to us, happy birthday to us….
Cwtch The Bride has come a long way in three years. We’re now averaging over 20,000 views a month, we’ve introduced our super popular LUSH LIST and organised Wales’ first major Wedding Festival, CWTCHFEST. We’ve also been shortlisted for some very prestigious awards and rubbed shoulders with some of the worlds best wedding bloggers.
But shhh… none of us are professional writers. I for one take photographs for a living and find this writing malarky really hard at times. It really is a labour of love.
This whole blog was a crazy idea I had that has somehow snowballed into this beautiful loveable monster which I wouldn’t change for the world.
Three is a good age to be. As a blog, we’ve found our feet, our voice and our curiosity is telling us to try even more new things. We now collaborate with more creatives businesses, explore more ideas and push all those buttons!
Lucky for us, Wales has a great wedding industry that supports our development. Without all these local welsh wedding businesses investing in us, we wouldn’t be able to grow. And all of my crazy ideas would simply remain ideas. So a huge thank you to everyone that has been involved in Cwtch The Bride, I love you all dearly.
THE A TEAM
I guess if we were to be called that, I’d take the role of Hannibal (not Lecter). I’m sure they’d be arguments over who’d be BA Baracas or Murdoch… I’m not saying a word!
My team is simply the best! The Cwtch Team has grown a lot over the years. These ladies above (besides me in the black) have been more than just work colleagues. They were initially my clients who had each booked me to photograph their weddings. They then each became voluntary writers for the blog and now… we’re all firm friends! I love them all to bits.
Some have now had babies and have reluctantly moved on (once you become a cwtch girl, its hard to leave) However, I now have some equally talented and inspiring ladies now working with me which I’m looking forward to introducing very soon.
What has now become very clear to me as the blog continues to grow is that Cwtch The Bride is more than just a resource for couples and the Welsh Wedding Industry. Its a community. A place for brides to not only seek inspiration but to share their own experiences and offer their own unique advice. I cannot wait to see where the next 12 months will take us.
So… today… lets eat cake, sip prosecco, party and make a toast to the best wedding blog in Wales!
Make sure you pop back to the blog this afternoon. We have a fabulous Valentines Day offer you are going to love!
And finally… if you have woken up this morning to a beautiful wedding proposal and find yourself now engaged. A HUGE congratulations from all of us here at Cwtch The Bride! We are ridiculously happy for you!