Real Wedding: Joe and Carrianne’s Full of Love, Big Day

Its nearly the weekend!!!

And we have a gorgeous wedding to share. At one of my favourite venues, Christian Michaels shares his images of Carianne and Joe, having the most wonderful day!  And to top it off, Grandad sings, under a floral arch.  

You’re going enjoy this…..

Real Weddings Banner

Joe and Carrianne’s Full of Love, Big Day

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What was your budget?

Our budget was around £15,000, however it did end up more around £17,000!

We tried to keep the costs down by making our own stationary and decorating the barn ourselves but we were unwilling to compromise on things important to us, such as the videographer – so the budget crept up gradually over the 2 years of planning!

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How would you describe your wedding theme?

I would describe the theme as lace, flowers and love! We had lace table runners, and made lace covered tealight holders, and obviously my dress was lace. We had flowers everywhere! Right from the table plan to flowers hanging from the ceiling! We had a beautiful flower arch which we married under and flowers hanging over the LOVE lights at the back.

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We had flowers on tables, on the welsh dresser and even on the bar! And love ultimately ran through the room and the whole day!

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We married under a driftwood heart and even had LOVE spelt out in lights at the back of the room.

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What was your favourite part of your wedding?

My favourite part of the day was the signing of the register. During this time my Grandad sang a song by the Everly brothers called ‘Let it be me’.

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I adore my Grandad and he had contributed a lot to our day. He even created our table plan! We spent a long time trying to get a backing recording for him, but the song was so old it was impossible to get a version without the Everly brothers singing on it! In the end he was determined he would sing it acapella and it was so beautiful. So special. My sister burst into tears as soon as he started, which got me going! He has a beautiful voice and I will always treasure my wedding video and him singing that beautiful song.

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“I bless the day I found you
I want to stay around you
And so I beg you, let it be me

Don’t take this heaven from one
If you must cling to someone
Now and forever, let it be me

Each time we meet love
I find complete love
Without your sweet love what would life be

So never leave me lonely
Tell me you love me only
And that you’ll always let it be me

Each time we meet love
I find complete love
Without your sweet love what would life be

So never leave me lonely
Tell me you love me only
And that you’ll always let it be me”

Tell us about your Wedding Dress

I found my dress in Wimbledon in London. We are currently living in London despite both being from Wales. I had booked an appointment with Teokath bridal, a small boutique recomended to me by a friend. On our way to Teokath, we passed another bridal shop called Paverly Bridal. As we had an appointment in Teokath we popped into Paverlybridal and also made an appointment for later in the afternoon. When we arrived at Teokath, I was very clear on the type of dress I wanted. I knew it would be a tulle skirt, very floaty with a fit and flare shape. But everything I tried on in was nice but didn’t really blow me away. By the time I got to Paverly all the dresses I had tried on were all merging together in my head and I was finding it difficult to remember the details. Feeling slighty discouraged we decided to chose 5 dresses I would not ever want to try! And then I found the one! Dress number 4 was a fitted lace gown with a fishtail bottom! I would have never picked it!

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As soon as I put it on I could see Joe, and when I pictured our wedding day, for the first time I could picture myself there. I could see myself, in my fitted lace gown marrying my Joe. It was a very special moment and I knew I couldn’t look at another dress.

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

For my bridesmaids I had my two best friends and my sister and Joe’s sister. I met my best friends in secondary school, we went to Cardiff University together, lived together and now live close to each other in London. They were in the room when I told my girlfriends I had met a new boy (Joe) at just 17! They gave their approval of Joe and have been with us throughout our entire relationship so I had to choose them. And it felt right that they should make a speech at the wedding breakfast as they probably know me and Joe as a couple the most out of everyone!

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Similarly, Joe picked his best friend from school and his brothers as his ushers. Joe and his best man Rhys have been inseparable forever, their families and really close and Joe couldn’t have picked anyone else.

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Why did you choose your venue?

I loved Rosedew Farm as soon as I saw it. I loved the DIY aspect of it! We could personalise it as we wanted… which is exactly what we did! We had pictures of me and Joe everywhere, we even had our own cocktail on sale…”Perks Passion Punch!”. The toilets were also covered in photos! We transformed the venue to be all about us for the day, which we loved.

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Tell us about your photographer

Christian, Sam and Sean were great, he was very relaxed and we hardly noticed him all day. His style is documentary style and that’s what we wanted. We did the posed group shots for family but we didn’t want to stand around all day taking photos. He had some great ideas and even found the cornfield, although he didn’t find the entrance to the corn field!

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Despite the fact, Joe had to physically push my behind over the steep hill so we could get in the field, we managed to get some great shots!

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How did the proposal happen? 

Joe proposed to me on an amazing holiday in Egypt. Joe had asked a man who worked on the beach selling snad art in bottles to create a heart shaped bottle with will you marry me on it! I obviously had no idea. One evening we were heading to one of the hotel’s bars to watch a comedy show and Joe said he would pop back to the room to get some playing cards so we could play whilst we waiting for the show to start. Unknown to me, Joe had spotted the sand art man from the beach had the will you marry me bottle at the front of his stall, completely on show! Joe had panicked and run over the the man to tell him off and just took the bottle there and then. In a panic he ran back to the room with it and decided he would just have to propose that night as he worried he wouldn’t be able to hide it in the room! He then proceeded to run the men’s toilets (where he had seen rose petals in a bowl) so he could grab some last minute room decorations!

Meanwhile I was fuming, sat in a bar, watching a comedy show on my own instead of with my boyfriend and also panicking that he was okay because we couldn’t get signal on our phones that day! When Joe returned flustered and sweaty, he had some story about how he got locked out of the room but I was already fuming with him for leaving me so long! (great start to the proposal!).

After the show we had some drinks and headed back to the room. When we got in the room, Joe started playing our song ‘When I fall in Love’ by Nat King Cole which made me laugh but I didn’t think much of it because Joe is often romantic like that. He then started to dance with me and then I saw this heart shaped bottle on the bed. I asked what it was as I saw my name on the front. After the song he let me go so I could pick it up and when I turned it around it said ‘Will you marry me?’ on the back, and when I looked up Joe was on his knee with the ring! I would love to say it was a beautiful proposal from that point but the reality was, I stood frozen on the spot balling my eyes out and wailing like a baby for a good 2 minutes (I blame the wine!). Poor Joe did eventually get his yes though, and we took some champagne down the the beach to continue our celebrations and even danced to our song again under the stars! It was perfect! <3

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

We did lots of DIY bits for the day, my favourite was the table plan which I saw on Notonthehighstreet and had my grandad make for me.

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What was your first dance & why?

Our first dance was always going to be ‘When I fall in Love’ by Nat King Cole. It has been our song for our entire 10 year relationship. We I hear the song I think of me and Joe led in bed in our Cardiff university flat singing it to each other!

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After our song I arranged for the band to play another favourite of ours, “I want to grow old with you” from the film the Wedding Singer. Everyone joined us on the dance floor and me and joe belted out all the words to each other! It was amazing!

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

I can’t say I would have done it a lot different. When you day is such a perfect memory, you wouldn’t want it to be any other way.

If I had to something though, I would say make sure you have your own sewing kit in the bride’s room! We had a bridesmaid dress split in the morning and were late because we couldn’t find a needle anywhere!

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Do you have any advice for future couples?

I would say, accept that you will pay more than you want to. It is very likely you will go over budget but don’t stress about it! When we are 50 I don’t think we’ll be upset about that money we spent over budget! We have memories we will treasure forever, you can’t put a price on that.

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

We’ve been together so long, we didn’t get given a lot of advice! I guess we’ve made it work for 10 years so we just need to keep doing what we’re doing!

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What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

I’ll be honest, I loved everything! But the bit I loved the most was the internet searching! I loved my Pinterest board and I loved my Sunday nights just chilling with a galss of wine and searching for colours, flowers and dresses! However, I’m sure Joe doesn’t miss that bit!

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The Suppliers

Photographer: Christian Michael Photography
Videographer: Craig Veasey
Ceremony Venue: Rosedew Farm
Reception Venue: Rosedew Farm
Bride’s Dress: Allure Bridal
Bride’s Shoes: Jenny Packham in Debenhams
Bride’s Headpiece: Do You Believe? Bridal Boutique
Bride’s Jewellery: John Lewis
Groom’s Outfit: Next
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Maya at ASOS
Cake: Cakes By Katy
Flowers: Jayne Foote
Hair: Jenna McDonnell
Make Up: Jenna McDonnell
Band: Coverland
Caterers: Holdens Catering

The Wedding Album

1 bridal prep (7) 2 bridal prep (8) 3 bridal prep (10) 3 button holes 4 bridal prep (13) 5 bridal prep (2) 5 bridal prep (5) 6 bridesmaid hair (2) 7 bridesmaid hair 8 bridal shoes 9 the dress 10 the dress and shoes 11 bridal prep (12) 11 decorations (10) 11 flowers 11 order of service (2) 11 order of service 11 wedding ceremony (11) 12 bridal prep (6) 13 bridal prep14 bridal prep (14) 14 flowers (4) 15 father of bride speech 15 groom gift 15 groom prep (3) 15 groom prep 15 groom with dad 16 bridal prep (4) 18 the dress (2) 19 bride prep 19 father of bride 20 bridal prep (3) 21 wedding ceremony (6) 22 wedding ceremony (7) 23 wedding ceremony (10) 23 wedding ceremony (12) 24 wedding ceremony (8) 25 wedding ceremony (3) 26 wedding ceremony (9) 27 wedding ceremony (4)27 wedding ceremony 28 wedding ceremony (5) 29 signing register 30 signing register 31 wedding ceremony (2) 32 wedding ceremony finished 33 just married 34 table plan 35 table plan (3) 36 decorations (9) 37 decorations (8) 38 decorations (7) 39 decorations (6) 40 decorations (5) 41 confetti 42 confetti (2) 43 canapes (4) 44 canapes (6) 45 canapes 46 canapes (2)47 canapes (3) 47 groom 48 cornfield (3) 49 cornfield 50 cornfield (2) 51 corn field (2) 52 corn field 53 cake 54 cake (3) 55 cake (2) 56 canapes (5) 57 bridal party 57 grooms party 58 decorations (2) 59 decorations (3) 60 decorations (4) 61 flowers (2) 62 decorations 63 flowers (3) 64 wedding invitation65 wedding breakfast 66 speeches 67 best man speech 68 best man speech (3) 69 best man speech (2) 70 bridesmaid speech 71 toast 72 guestbook 73 evening (2) 74 evening (3) 75 cutting the cake (2) 76 cutting the cake 77 first dance 78 evening dancing (4) 79 grandad 80 evening dancing (5) 81 evening dancing (2) 82 evening dancing 83 evening dancing (3) 84 evening

Lisa And Steve’s DIY Welsh Barn Wedding By Maria Farrelly Photography

We love, love, LOVE a DIY Welsh Barn Wedding here at Cwtch HQ!

Today we are sharing a wedding that I photographed last year. Lisa & Steve, along with all their friends and family rolled their sleeves up and completely DIY’d this working barn for their wedding day. Every bit of detail you see in these pictures was put together by them all. If that wasn’t great enough, every single one of their guests were simply fabulous individuals and I’m a huge believer that your guests can make or break your wedding day. The Ceremony was full of laughter and tears by all, the dance floor was never empty and the photo booth at the end… well, you can see for yourself :) 

It was an absolute pleasure to have photographed this wedding and to also work alongside some great wedding suppliers such as Kate Petersen & Holdens Catering.

I’m so thrilled with all the images, especially as I know Lisa & Steve adore them. So… without further a do, lets hand you over to Lisa to tell you all about her wedding. ~ Maria 


All images in this post are by Maria Farrelly Photography 

welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.084How would you describe your wedding theme?

Handmade, everyone pitched in barn wedding.welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.079

What were your favourite parts of your wedding?

The emotional roller coaster that was the service.welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.044 We had a wonderful few days with everyone chipping in to help. welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.074Walking down the aisle with my dad surrounded by everyone we loved, just floored me.welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.040

My step dad officiated, our wonderful Usher, John prepared the most wonderful personal reading and I wouldn’t have made it through the vows with out sobbing, had our badly planned ceremony back drop not provided some light relief & broken the ice. The photos of Steve and I laughing surrounded by streamers are some of my favourite of the day.welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.043

welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.047Tell us about your Wedding Dress

I love a beautiful gown but the idea of spending more on one dress that my entire wardrobe didn’t sit too well with my bargain hunting nature…so it was with a little trepidation that I ventured out dress shopping one spring day with my wonderful bridesmaids in tow.

The dress was by Lusan Mandongus/Anna Sully & was the second one I tried on. I loved it. But in all honesty the trip solidified that spending that much on a dress wasn’t a priority for me…So a few more trips later & a lot of wonderful options explored, I was about to hire a gorgeous alternative when this one appeared on Preloved.welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.003

Picking it up coincided with a work trip up North, a random rondevous in a car park & breaking down in the middle of no where with my sister! There were a few tears when after trying it on I realised I’d been a tad optimistic in the sizing & it wasn’t in perfect condition, but with the help of my mum and a big dollop of patience we cleaned, adjusted and tweaked it back to life!welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.004welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.009

In the end I felt brilliant wearing it & the saving paid for a band..and LOTS of bubbles, totally worth the effort. welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.114

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

Our wedding party was made up of live long friends and people we both love to bits. They were all wonderful, chipping in, making the build up and the whole day so wonderful.welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.077

Surround yourselves with people you love & make you laugh & you cant really go wrong can you!

Why did you choose your venue?

We wanted somewhere we could decorate how we wanted, bring in our own caterers and allowed us to provide our own alcohol…That ruled out a lot. When we meet Mirander & her husband at the farm we knew it was a good match. Over looking the fact it was a working barn in the middle of winter they were so accommodating and nice. We knew it was a winner! welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.033welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.026welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.093

Tell us about your photographer

The AMAZING & super creative genius that is Maria Farrelly. We had met the year before at a Cwtch The Bride event and after spending the day with her at a friends wedding and seeing her wonderful work, no one else could come close!

Maria simply becomes one of the family for the day…The beautiful and natural images she creates is testament to how at ease she makes everyone! I will cherish her pictures for ever!


How did the proposal happen? 

We were at a BBQ and incredibly drunk sat chatting on a friends sofa! Not a modern day fairy tale exactly, but very heartfelt & looking back very us. Ring shopping the next day was interesting way of warding off a hangover!welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.053

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

A lot was do it yourself with a big helping hand from family and friends. From the cake to the decor, lighting & stationary. I enjoy making things and work in a design industry so this was pretty enjoyable!

The biggest thing we pulled off was probably the flowers, with the exception of my bouquet, my green fingered mum grew & arranged all the flowers! Seeing her garden transform in the months building up to the wedding was exciting! She put so much love & hard work into planning & growing them all…welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.025You need to be the sort of person who can go with the flow a little, as you can’t really be sure what you’ll have to work with till the week of the wedding, but it was a personal touch that really transformed our venue.Its worth mentioning that the peonies came from Aldi…Who are great and if you call in a few days before hand will order in extras for you!


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

Picked a closer hotel. We had visions of staying up all night at a hotel bar chatting over late night drinks..In reality we were exhausted! A comfy bed, minus the hour long coach drive would have been a better idea.welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.129Also don’t stress the small stuff..Not everything will go to plan, but in all honesty you will be in to much of a happy bubble to care…and going off plan might even lead to some wonderful memories (Like our poor wind battered back drop photos!)welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.050

Do you have any advice for future couples?

Prioritise your budget right from the start…and stick to it. Some things really mattered to us & made the decision process a lot easier when we came across a few budget dilemmas…Like falling in love with a venue that was realistically more than we had planned. Some traditional things simply dropped off our list, like cars for example..Meaning we could splash out on a safari honeymoon in Africa!welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.036

What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

Seeing the months of work and planning all come together on the day. Take a moment and soak it all in when everyone’s eating or dancing or just chatting…it goes by so fast, but seeing everyone happy and there to celebrate with you is great!welsh_barn_cwtch_wedding.056

The Suppliers

Photographer: Maria Farrelly
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Red Barn, Hedrehedog Farm (Brides Friends)
Bride’s Dress: Lusan Mandongus/Anna Sully
Bride’s Shoes: Accessories/Converse
Bride’s Headpiece: Fresh Flowers
Bride’s Jewellery: Something borrowed
Groom’s Outfit: Dyfed Mens Wear
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: BHS
Cake: Home Made
Flowers: Rachel at Sweet Peony
Hair and Make Up: Kate Petersen
Band: Oktoberfest
Stationery: Alice Eades via Etsy
Caterers: Holdens Catering
Any Reception Decor/Props: Furniture came from Blue Sky Marquees. Candles holders/Lanterns Belle Journee
Transport: A Friends Husband

The Wedding Album

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Featured Post – Holden’s Catering

Good morning ladies!

Today on the blog we have our Lush List caterers Holden’s Catering who are based in Caredigion, West Wales.

We here at Cwtch have personally experienced Tom’s catering in a wedding and it was amazing!  It was so unique and completely personalised to the couple here they give us their top tips for customising your catering for your big day.

Team Holden's Catering

Three Reasons To Customise Your Wedding Catering

Planning your wedding day is like planning the party of your dreams – and a big part of throwing a truly unforgettable party is having an impressive spread of food and drinks that will delight your guests and keep them satisfied. Once the celebration is said and done the food and drink is likely to be one of the most talked about elements of your big day.

Holden's Catering - Champagne

As a bespoke wedding caterer we love to work closely with couples to design wedding menus that fit their wedding theme or a special location that they have chosen for their wedding.

Holden's Catering New Quay wedding

Here are a few ideas from us about why you should consider choosing a caterer that can offer you a bespoke service to provide exactly what you want for your special day.

  1. Make Your Wedding Day Dreams Come True!

The very first thing we ask a bride and groom when we start planning their menu is for them to tell us what their dreams are for the food on their wedding day.

For us, that is ALWAYS the starting point – listening to their wildest imagination for their wedding food, and working with them to tailor a unique and very special menu that will be perfect for achieving the wedding day of their dreams.

Holden's Catering - oysters

  1. Keep on Trend

You know as well as us that couples are increasingly taking a more relaxed approach to the traditional wedding breakfast and it’s fascinating to see how the idea of wedding fare is evolving.

Many couples still love the idea of a delicious three course sit down wedding breakfast to start their married life, and we work with them to make this meal exactly what they want it to be.

But we also love adventure, novelty and doing things a bit differently.

picnic hamper

So far this season we have provided festival themed food stations, rustic style sharing platters, great big barbecues, picnic hampers, enormous paellas, seaside weddings with fish and chip suppers. We can offer a bespoke option for any type of wedding – whether it’s on trend or something off the wall and completely unique!


Holden's Catering - Sharing boards 1

  1. Keep Everyone Happy

The great thing about a bespoke menu is that it offers you the opportunity to accommodate different tastes, preferences and also special dietary requirements without leaving some guests feeling alienated with a completely different food experience to everyone else. Sharing Platters are a fantastic way to accommodate different tastes, and always provide a great talking point among guests.

Holden's Catering BBQ Sharing Board

The most important thing for us is making sure that every couple’s day runs exactly how they want it to, and our job is to craft and serve every plate, dish, platter, slate board, or picnic hamper of food just how YOU want it.

Holden's Catering trio of desserts

And at the end of the day we measure our success by empty plates and smiling faces. And of course hearing that the guests are still talking about the food long after the day is over….

Holden's Catering picnic hampers

Tom Holden’s Top Three Tips for Brides

Tom Holden is Head Chef and owner of Holden’s Catering. He has catered for weddings from 25 to 475 guests.

Here are Tom’s top three tips for brides:

Tom on the BBQ

  1. Book Early: Last year we had to turn down over 30 brides because were already booked on the dates that they wanted. Make sure you get in early so that you can book the caterer of your choice for your chosen wedding date.

Holden's Catering Rustic Wedding place setting

  1. Find a caterer than can interpret your ideas: You may be surprised to learn how much of a good working relationship we form with all of our brides, especially in the weeks leading up the big day. Finding someone that understands what you need and that you can communicate with easily is very important.

Holden's Catering wedding cocktails

  1. The devil is in the detail: If you want to make sure that the food, drinks and service are EXACTLY how you want them then make sure you give your caterer as much information as possible.

Holden's Catering - meringues

To find out more about Holden’s Catering and see what people have said about our Wedding Catering then take a look at our website

Holden's Catering - BBQ veggie kebabs

Holden's Catering - Marquee wedding

Holden's Catering - Vanilla Cheesecake

Holden's Catering canapes board

Holden's Catering Tom and bride