Cwtch of the Week: A Big Family Cwtch

Happy Monday Everyone!
A beautiful Cwtch of the Week for you all to start off your day- shot by When Charlie Met Hannah, this is a lovely big squashy family cwtch!  Over to Charlie to tell us a bit more about it…..

A Big Family Cwtch

Lauren and David got married on 11th August and had their reception at the St Mellons hotel in Cardiff. This is Lauren, Dave and Dave’s daughter Ella having a big family cwtch after Dave and Ella did a FABULOUS father daughter dance to My Girl by The Temptations
When H Met C Cwtch

Bride To Be Diaries: Our Graceful Bride Might Have Taken On Too Much

When I got married I had these massive plans for a big family meal the day be for and this lovely breakfast with the people from both our sides enjoying every minute together and continuing the celebration.

I got to a point where a friend sat me down and told me that I should only put my energy into the wedding day since she had gotten overwhelmed. I actually, for once, listened to her and left it.

Today our Graceful Bride tells us all how she might have taken on too much with her “wedding weekend.” Take it away Vicky.  b2b-graceful-banner

Our Graceful Bride


Maybe we took on a bit too much….

So the wedding has been and gone and all I’m left with now are hundreds of photos and a list a mile long on who needs to know that I’m changing my name!

As fabulous as it was, a few days beforehand I was beginning to wonder if we’d taken on a bit too much. I mean who plans a wedding 225 miles away from where they live with 2 days of activities beforehand and a honeymoon straight afterwards!

Couple that with the fact Rob also had tonsillitis in the days leading up to the wedding and I’m quite surprised I didn’t just keel over somewhere!

Packing turned into a military operation and on the Tuesday before. I think I only sat down when I was in the car driving what felt like the length and breadth of Essex, all whilst trying to remind Rob when he needed to take his antibiotics!

With the dog off on his holiday, a car packed to the roof and a tired, disgruntled fiancé, we took on the M4 on a Wednesday evening, my many paged itinerary in hand and trying and get to my parents house with enough time to have a half decent nights sleep!file-23-11-2016-14-05-59file-23-11-2016-14-06-12

Thursday was family day, golf and afternoon tea at the Celtic Manor, Rob wrapped up in a good 4 layers with instructions not to overdo it, advice we should have taken in regards to eating as well I think!

As if we’d not had enough to eat and drink then we had a large family meal at our favourite restaurant in Newport, complete with gifts from the staff as we’ve been going there for over 20 years.

It was lovely to share our place with family that haven’t been in a long time and for Robs side of the family to experience it.

After a rather giggly church rehearsal on Friday morning (slightly concerned the photographers wouldn’t come back at one point) we said goodbye to each other and went our separate ways for the day.

Rob headed back to Celtic Manor for more golf and a meal with his friends, I put my parents, cousins and aunt and uncle to work at Peterstone Court.file-23-11-2016-14-06-23file-23-11-2016-14-06-36

With the most glorious weather we spent most of the time sat outside, looking at the view whilst putting together confetti cones and favour bags, it really was one of the best afternoons!

My friends timed their arrival amazingly well, just after everything had been finished setting up, so we took over the local pub for the evening, adults in one room, kids in the other (I say kids, apart from Charlie who’s an actual child the rest of us were aged between 20 and 35!!)

Needless to say by that point I was pretty exhausted and didn’t get much past 10.30pm!

We did something on the Saturday but I’ll leave that for another post….

By the Sunday I’d also come down with a cold so had the fun task of trying to tidy up, check out and get into a highly decorated car to move everything back to Essex, as well and trying to squeeze my mum in the back somewhere as she was coming to dog sit.

By the time we picked up Bailey he had to sit on my lap as there was no ounce of space available, (highly uncomfortable given he’s a rather large labradoodle!)

We arrived back to a welcome from the neighbours and a house decorated with balloons and banners before having a grand total of about 12 hours there before we headed off to Gatwick for the honeymoon.file-23-11-2016-14-06-50file-23-11-2016-14-07-01

A week in the sun (and a few cheeky champagnes and whiskeys on the flight) were just what we needed though and both of us were soon feeling better!

Just about got us refreshed enough to come back home and head off to Wales again a few days later for another wedding, different outfits though this time!!file-23-11-2016-14-07-11file-23-11-2016-14-07-20

Hands up who is ever so slightly jealous of that honeymoon. I can’t wait to share with you Vicky’s wedding. make sure you keep your eyes peeled for it.

Victoria and Alastair’s 1920’s Wedding by Hannah Miles


We have a treat for you. Hannah Miles has done a sterling job capturing this stylish 1920’s wedding. This wedding was destined to be beautiful. When one of your best friends is a wedding dress designer how could it not be. … Continue reading

Real Wedding: Lorna & Tom’s Traditional Family Wedding by James Bailey

Lorna & Tom’s traditional family wedding took place on the 25th August 2013. They tied the knot at St Martins Church (Caerphilly) followed by a wedding reception at Fonmon Castle.  All images by James Bailey Photography.

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We asked the the lovely couple some questions about their big day…

How would you describe your wedding theme? 

Traditional family wedding.

What was your favourite part of your wedding?

There were so many things – we particularly enjoyed our car journey from the church to the wedding. Thankfully the weather was good enough for us to have the roof down and see those ‘passers by’ who waved and tooted their horns.

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It was also lovely to have some time to ourselves in what is otherwise a hectic day. Another highlight was walking into the wedding breakfast and seeing all our family and friends.

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Finally, it was great seeing all ages up in the night dancing to some classic welsh music – particularly Tom Jones’ Delilah…

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

Lorna: I chose four of my schools friends and my two sisters. Whilst I was wary that six is a large number of bridesmaids for a relatively small family wedding – I really enjoyed having all the girls there in the morning to share in my excitement.James Bailey Photography Fonmon Castle Wedding Vale of Glamorgan_086
Tom: No brainer for me, my best mate Bobby was an obvious choice. We have known each other since infants school, been through thick and thin and with his wicked sense of humour, I knew his speech would be great (and he didn’t disappoint!!!)
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Why did you choose your venue?

We chose Fonmon Castle because it is a unique and beautiful venue. The Castle itself is steeped in history and the interior has so much character and quirky details that we fell in love with it on first viewing. The Castle also benefits from beautiful gardens, which are full of flowers and colour – making for great wedding photos.

Practically, it was also the perfect size for a small family wedding. Somehow it felt both grand and intimate.

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How did the proposal happen? 

We were on a three week trip around Italy and had arrived in Rome. After seeing all the major sights, we decided to get away from the crowds and went to Park Borghese for a picnic and some sunbathing. Tom being concious of not wanting to make a public scene seized this opportunity and got down on one knee and of course I said yes…

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

We were keen to incorporate some home made touches to our day and include our family in the process. Therefore, Tom’s mum made some welsh cakes, whilst Lorna’s sister made the families prized chocolate crispy cakes.

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These were then packaged and distributed to our guests for the bus journey from the church to the reception venue. Not only did this add a personal touch but it helped to keep costs down by removing the need for canapés on arrival. In addition, we decided to combine the favours and name place cards with Tom utilising his carpentry skills to create individual wooden hearts with our guests names engraved upon them. This provided a lasting memento for both our guests and ourselves to keep.

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What was your first dance & why?

Our first dance was to ‘For Once in My life’ by Stevie Wonder. Although we met to AC DC ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ – we felt that this would be inappropriate for our first dance so Stevie Wonder was a worthy substitute.

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

Whilst it is a cliché there is nothing we would change – we had the perfect day.

Do you have any advice for future couples?

Just enjoy it and try to include your family and friends in both the day and the preparation in order to make it a truly special occasion for all involved.

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

Be patient and enjoy each others company.

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What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

Delegation… we believe that is the secret to a successful wedding!!!


James Bailey is a Welsh wedding photographer living in Bristol, full time computer programer, father of young twins and karate blackbelt when he finds the time.

Ceremony Venue: St Martins Church (Caerphilly)
Reception Venue: Fonmon Castle
Bride’s Dress: Laura May Bridal, Cardiff
Bride’s Shoes: Next
Bride’s Headpiece: Laura May Bridal, Cardiff
Bride’s Jewellery: Borrowed from Bride’s sister
Groom’s Outfit: Dyfed Menswear
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: M&S
Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Not on the high street
Cake: Baked by the Bride’s Sister
Flowers: Guttridge Florist
Hair: Alex (Bridesmaid)
DJ: Matt AM Discos
Stationery: Made by Groom
Caterers: Really Fresh Food Company.
Transport: Champagne Wedding Cars

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