We previously mentioned that some of our Bride-to-be competition entries brought us to tears. Well, this was one of those brides….But not sad tears….Nope! Tears rolling down our face with laughter. I would like to introduce you all to Kath, our new Traditional Bride!
This beautiful lady is getting married in September and chose our Lush List member Oxwich Bay Hotel for her nuptials. She is planning a multicoloured, sparkly, spangly wedding day and I’m sure like many of you, her husband to be is not into the planning side of things. So far it’s been her, her and oh her again, doing everything!
She is a great story teller with loads of advice and we’re super excited to have her join our team. Lets give her a warm welcome ~ Kate.
Our Traditional Bride
Ok soooo let me tell you a bit about me!! As you’ll see, this is obviously more than 300 words…!! But it’s who I am, where I’m from, how I feel about love, marriage, and my hopes for the future. Also, you’ll see I refer to my fiancé as “The Manfriend” which is a moniker (name) I use when discussing him on Facebook in my ridiculously long statuses… It started off as a bit of a joke, but it stuck, and my friends all know him as that now… but his real name is Rich!!
My name is Kathryn (or “Kat” to The Manfriend, Kath to most other people, but under no circumstances Kathy!!) I’m 31 years old, blonde at heart, a bubbly Scorpio who loves a jäger bomb, loves my cats, and of course, loves my fiancé. But nothing compares to the love I have for the Kings of Leon. That’s probably more of an obsession.
I grew up in a little Carmarthenshire village called Tycroes, until last year, when I moved to the bright lights city of Swansea!! My parents had me a little later in life, meaning I’ve always been a bit spoilt! Not in a bratty way, but I’ve always had “firm” (read: “loud”) opinions about what I’ve wanted in life, and planning our wedding is no different. Fortunately (or unfortunately, as the case may be – I will have to reassess this as the months pass!) The Manfriend is leaving most of the planning to me. He’s got a few ideas which I will obviously consider… but for now, he’s happy to let me plough ahead with the organisation, and that suits me just fine!!
I’m also pretty creative, meaning a lot of the little things like Save The Dates, Invitations, Favours and even table centrepieces are going to be DIY, where I will be channeling my inner Neil Buchannan (sorry if you don’t remember Art Attack – you should really Google it, it was amazing!!) so this will hopefully save some pennies as well as adding a really personal touch to our big day!!
Living at home with my mum and dad taught me a lot about love. My parents were war babies and married on my mum’s 21st birthday. This year, they celebrated their Golden Anniversary (50 years!!), and the love and respect they endlessly and unconditionally share makes my heart burst with pride, and has cemented my own belief in love and marriage.
I had a really happy and traditional childhood, and with 2 big sisters, I was (and still am!) a very girly girl! I’d spend hours playing “Wedding Day” with my Barbie and Ken dolls and was still playing with them until second year comprehensive school (secretly!) But having such a solid family upbringing has left me with some distinctly lopsided values…
For instance, I believe without question that a man should hold every door open for his lady, always pay for dinner, and most importantly, take the bins out without a fight!!
But if The Manfriend was ever to suggest I spend a day cleaning the house, doing the dishes, and slaving over a hot stove preparing dinner in readiness for his arrival home from work, well… I’d laugh in his face!!
My mum is a true housewife, and my dad a true gent, but they just don’t make them like that any more!! And it’s probably just as well… The Manfriend is (literally) the chef in our household – and I’ve been known to eat off a paper towel rather than wash a plate!!
And as old-school as my upbringing was, I was also brought up to believe I could be anything I wanted to be in life. So in 9 months time, I choose to be Wedding Day Barbie!! But with smaller boobs. And shorter legs. And a significantly larger waist. And I’m going to treat my very own Ken to some jolly good old fashioned downright modern loving!!
So that’s pretty much me! (I would say “in a nutshell,” but it’s more like “in a coconut lorry.”) xxx
You can see why choosing a shortlist was so hard! They are all great and we cant wait for you to meet the next bride to be! Have a lovely day! ~Kate
Only one week to go before this fantastic offer ends! Limited availability now for 2016 so do get in touch ASAP!
Maria Farrelly is one of Wales’ leading wedding photographers. She is also the creator of this damn fine blog, Cwtch The Bride.
Every year, Maria takes on a limited number of weddings. They vary in size, style, location and budget. One common thread however is that each and every client adores her work.
What draws so many to Maria’s work is her ability to really capture the essence of a person and those special moments found in a smile, touch or kiss. Coupled with her friendly and easy going nature her clients are instantly relaxed in her company which gives her the ability to capture such natural images.
The True Value Of A Photograph
Not everybody understands the true value of a photograph. And thats fine. But for those that do, you’ll understand that the investment is well worth it.
Don’t just take our word for it though. Jade Beer, The editor of Brides Magazine has been commissioning Maria to photograph her own family over the years and wrote this fabulous piece about Maria in this months edition.
“Your wedding day is all about the two of you. Your photographs should to be a reflection of this and NOT a series of posed, uncomfortable memories”.
For Cwtch The Bride readers only, Maria is offering you a fabulous saving on remaining 2016/17 dates when booking her wedding Photography services this month.
When confirming your wedding photography booking with Maria this October you can choose ONE of the following:
A Pre-wedding Photo-shoot (worth £250)
A Photo-booth for your evening reception (worth £250)
£250 off Full day coverage
This offer is only available until 31st October 2015. (T&C’s Apply)
Lets get together!
If you’d like to take advantage of this great offer, receive more information and to check if Maria is available for your big day, simply complete the form below:
[contact-form to=’email@example.com’ subject=’Cwtch The Bride October Offer ‘][contact-field label=’Couple%26#039;s Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Wedding Date ‘ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Ceremony %26amp; Reception location’ type=’text’/][contact-field label=’What do you like most about my Photography?’ type=’text’/][contact-field label=’What sort of wedding are you planning? (Any details such as the style%26#x002c; theme%26#x002c; dress%26#x002c; indoor/outdoor etc…) ‘ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]
Its such an amazing offer, don’t miss out! Fill out the form above and lets hope Maria is available to photograph your wedding. xxx
Today’s fabulous colourful wedding at Ocean View Windmill in The Gower was photographed by the fabulous Sandra Ace Photography. Jonny & Chloe’s wedding was totally unique what with Jonny’s homemade touches, the couple’s DIY efforts, lots of cwtches and their silent disco not to mention how colourful it was! We’re sure you will love it as much as we do!
What was your budget? We were most definitely on a budget, we wanted an amazing day but not at the expense of our future together! We were very very lucky to have help from our generous families and lots of talented friends who helped us achieve our dream. We ended up spending around £7000 for everything!
How would you describe your wedding theme? COLOURFUL! We didn’t want just one colour, we wanted them all! It was a Winter wedding but we were determined to brighten things up. We also wanted the day to be super unique and fun, we definitely feel we succeeded in doing that.
What was your favourite part of your wedding? I loved the ceremony, sounds a bit soppy but I didn’t notice anyone else in the room apart from Jonny until the very end! It was the first time I got to see his suit too, which completely by accident matched my shoes and earrings! Everything was just so much fun, I can’t help having a massive smile when I think back on the day. The speeches, the Harry Potter themed table, the silent disco groom vs bride playlist, the DIY photobooth, the song written by our friend, entrance music for the whole top table and of course our Shafto sign – I loved it all.
Tell us about your Wedding Dress Dress shopping was possibly the worst part of planning the wedding for me. I tried on what felt like hundreds of dresses, my poor mum and bridesmaids have the patience of saints! We got married within 6 months of getting engaged, I still remember the look of horror on the faces of the wedding dress shop staff each time I told them the turnaround time. I eventually found the most perfect dress in High Society in Cowbridge, it was on sale and I took it away the same day – I actually couldn’t believe I had it in my hand whilst walking down Cowbridge high street. You definitely know when it’s the right dress and it was worth the previous stresses!
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why? My bridesmaids were Rhiannon and Sian, hands down best bridesmaids ever. Technically I had no choice with Rhiannon, we promised we’d be each others bridesmaids at age 14. She probably knows me better that I know myself, she even made the best wedding cake I have ever seen – Jonny and I only saw that for the first time on the day! Sian is possibly the most organised person on the planet, she planned the best hen do possible – I have the greatest memories from that weekend. The best man was Rhys, Jonny’s best mate from school.
Why did you choose your venue? As soon as we visited Ocean View Windmill we knew it was the place we wanted to get married, the beautiful oak beamed room and stunning views won us over. We also loved that the owners cared about our wedding, it wasn’t a big commercial place where they have a conveyer belt of wedding after wedding.
Tell us about your photographer If you need a photographer look no further than Sandra Ace. I met her at a wedding fayre and knew instantly that she should photograph our wedding. She actually gave birth just 3 weeks after our wedding, but that didn’t stop her at all. She was brilliant and so much fun, I instantly warmed to her and couldn’t recommend her enough!
How did the proposal happen? We had been together for over 10 years and I wasn’t expecting a proposal at all (at one point I’d told Jonny if he proposed I was going to run away to the circus…). Over time, I’d changed my mind but wasn’t convinced he knew that. It was the day before my birthday, we were staying in a hotel in Bath and he proposed after afternoon tea. I was so shocked I cried like a baby, 10 minutes later I made him propose again because the adrenalin had kicked in and I couldn’t remember him asking the first time. He was too excited to wait until my actual birthday!
Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share? Where to start. Jonny is a joiner (and a bit of a perfectionist) and that definitely came in handy. He made placemats as favours for each guest, he also made the centre pieces (placemats corresponded to same wood as centre pieces), our solid oak guest bench, the Shafto sign which prompted lots of funny pictures, our table plan and the photobooth. Needless to say, he made our day so unique and I’m so thankful to him for that. Friends & family helped us make quite literally everything else and it was fun to do too – chair decorations, table runners, bunting, wedding cake, Welsh cakes, jewellery, bridesmaid dress sashes and decorated jars dotted around the venue.
What was your first dance & why? We wanted Fleetwood Mac – Go Your Own Way as that reminds us of our first holiday together, but we decided it wasn’t really that wedding-y… So we choose Florence & The Machine – You’ve Got The Love instead as we both like that song! Before our first dance our friend Steve sang a song that he’d written about us both, it made us both properly laugh out loud and I’m sure we were still chuckling throughout our first dance.
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently? Nope. Not one thing.
Do you have any advice for future couples? Do it all for you. Some people (understandably) weren’t sure about a silent disco in the night, we were adamant and it couldn’t have been a bigger hit. We didn’t want a typical wedding, I am biased but I loved every second of it because it was different and all for us. Also, don’t overthink stuff – with the florist all I asked for was a bright bunch of flowers, I was overwhelmed when I saw them on the day – the florist really did a great job! It would’ve been rubbish in comparison if I had chosen exactly what to have!
What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received? We didn’t really get any, everyone seems to be quite accepting that we’re just ourselves!
What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding? The best part about planning the wedding was the fact that it made our day so perfect. We really couldn’t have wished for more. We want to do it all again!
Katy & Christian got married on the 6th of September 2014 in The Gower, Swansea. Their day was photographed beautifully by Sacha Miller and you may have seen Katy in our cwtch of the week on Monday. We are pleased to be able to share the full wedding with you today. Thank you Katy for getting in touch :)
What was your budget? We were extremely lucky and our parents helped us out with the cost of the big day :) we didn’t go over board on the spending and kept things realistic.
How would you describe your wedding theme? We wanted a theme that was ‘us’ so we went with vintage. We made the most of the rooms oak beams and had fairy lights everywhere – which was beautiful in the night. Picking the decorations for the venue was one of my favourite parts of the wedding,there was so much to choose from I ended up with a different centrepiece on each table! Beth from Enchanted Decor did a fab job, the room was exactly how I imagined it.
What was your favourite part of your wedding? The last few months leading up to the wedding were amazing from the hens/stags final dress fittings, to cake testing!
I loved the whole day, from getting ready in the morning with everyone to walking down the aisle to Somewhere Over the Rainbow. We had the most amazing day with our family and friends we couldn’t have asked for a better day.
Tell us about your Wedding Dress I hated looking for a dress!!! The first shop I went in I thought I knew what I wanted a short 50’s style dress …when I tried it on it really didn’t suit me. From there things went downhill I didn’t really bother looking for a dress as I had my heart set on a short one, I just concentrated on other aspects of the wedding!
I tried on so many dresses with my mum and my friends, I’m sure I must have tried on at least 30 if not more! Every dress I tried on my mum liked which was no help! The only persons opinion I really wanted was Christians – I knew he would tell me the truth!
With under a year left I still hadn’t found a dress, a friend sent me a picture of a beautiful lace dress which I fell in love with. I found a shop which stocked the dress, as soon as I put the dress on I knew it was on the one.
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why? I had my oldest and closest friends as my bridesmaids. They were all fantastic from being dragged from bridal shop to bridal shop to planning my hen do’s to sorting out the finishing touches leading up to the wedding. I couldn’t have asked for more from them.
My bridesmaid Hayley’s little girl Mia was our flower girl- she kept us supplied with sweets from the sweet table all day!
Christian had one of his closest friends Stew as best man – I think we were all waiting to see what he would come out with in the speech. Thankfully it didn’t involve anything too rude!
Why did you choose your venue? I’ve always liked the King Arthur, I spent many a summer down there when I was younger. It’s set in beautiful grounds and you always have a warm welcome there, if it’s going for food or to an event there. The reception room is beautiful with its high oak beams and rustic feel.
How did the proposal happen? Christian suggested we go to Paris for a city break when we were off for a few days in November. I’d be lying if I said I was excited …. Im much more of a sun person, but I eventually gave in after some persuasion!
On our first day we went up to the Eiffel Tower and I moaned all the way up… It was way to high for my liking! I walked around quickly and was ready to go down, at that point Christian got down on one knee!
It was a total shock we’d been together for 7 years at that point and I never thought we would get married!
Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share? Christian made the favours (of course with my supervision!!) we had small jam jars which were filled with different sweets, I had labels printed with the date of the wedding on. When they were finished they looked really good! Although we did over do it when buying sweets – we were still eating them 2 months on!
We also made glitter milk bottles for the church windows which I found off one of the many wedding sites I used to look at! I loved the idea, it was just enough sparkle for the church!
What was your first dance & why? Sterophonics Indian Summer. We’re both big fans of the sterophonics and wanted something a bit different and upbeat which we didn’t have to slow dance to!
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently? Nothing at all!! I’d love to do the day again just as it was!
Do you have any advice for future couples? Everyone says but enjoy the day it goes so quick! Have everything you want don’t have something just because everyone else had it, make your day be unique to you :)
What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received? ‘Always be as happy as you are on this day’
What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding? I enjoyed every aspect except finding the dress! It was great planning the day with our family and friends. One of the highlights was the excuse to eat lots of cake (not that I need an excuse!) The other highlight for both of us was our hen/ stag parties we both had an amazing few days with our friends.
Photographer: Sacha Miller Wedding Planner: Sarah Ceremony Venue: Felinfoel Church Reception Venue: The King Arthur Bride’s Dress: Paola, Ronald Joyce Bride’s Shoes: Ronald Cartier Bride’s Jewellery: Tiffany pearl bracelet
Katy & Christian got married on the 6th of September 2014 at the King Arthur Hotel in Gower, Swansea. Their wedding was photographed by the talented photographer Sacha Miller and we will be featuring the full day in a few weeks. For now here is a gorgeous cwtch from that magical part of the day – Getting Ready!
Getting ready was probably my favourite part of the day, spending time with my best girls, drinking prosecco and feeling excited and chilled. Have you any getting ready photos you would like to share with us? Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org