Featured Wedding Venue: Nantwen

If a couple were to build their own wedding venue how might it look?

Nantwen Cottage photographed by Owen Howells

Nantwen Cottage photographed by Owen Howells

Set down an off road track in Pembrokeshire the secretive Nantwen cottage has been a personal project for owners Daniel & Jemma. As they plan their own wedding there in August, they tell us a little about their journey so far…

Nantwen Logo

The thought of getting married before building a house never came to us. Instead we chose a joint mortgage and let a team of builders run wild on our barns whilst we continued with our careers as a Cellist and Goldsmith in London.

The moment the first barn was complete it became a firm favourite with honeymooners from all across the world. Hiraeth eventually set in so we left London and endeavoured to carve out a living in Wales. (Daniel as a teacher at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff and Jemma as a bespoke goldsmith with Slade Fine Jewellery.) [nb Hiraeth is a Welsh word that has no direct English translation. The University of Wales, Lampeter attempts to define it as homesickness tinged with grief or sadness over the lost or departed. It is a mix of longing, yearning, nostalgia, wistfulness, or an earnest desire for the Wales of the past] Our attention also started to turn towards the 3 stone walls which made up the derelict barn next door – affectionately known as The Bull Pen.

Daniel & Jemma at Nantwen

Daniel & Jemma at Nantwen

As a distraction from the question of what to do with these three stone walls we got engaged.  I commissioned a ring from Jemma’s Hatton Garden colleagues, dropped it in the mud by a waterfall in the Gwaun Valley before popping it on her finger.That afternoon we phoned the bank, the council and the builders and the bull pen was set to be restored as a studio in which to get married.

Daniel and Jemma walking along on the coast near Nantwen

Daniel and Jemma walking along on the coast near Nantwen

The builders restored the entire thing in a few months working solely between 11am and 4pm on the change over days of the increasingly popular Nantwen cottage. Meanwhile Jemma and I were busy getting to know and enjoying our beautiful little daughter Elsbeth. Our next project was to think about getting married ourselves so we had the studio licensed for very small and intimate civil ceremonies.

Jemma a week before Elsbeth was born

Jemma a week before Elsbeth was born

This is our first season as a venue for intimate weddings and we are really excited to be planning our own wedding here alongside the other couples.  With a venue on our doorstep and a goldsmith as the bride the only thing to really think about is the wedding feast and whether our guests will be able to find the secret little cottage with blue doors!

Nantwen wedding space photographed by Owen Howells

Nantwen wedding space photographed by Owen Howells

What makes Nantwen so important for us is that it is formed completely out of its surroundings.  Guests to the cottage, don’t get told where it is until a few weeks before their stay, this adds to the charm of it.  It is small, rugged, wild, unusual, peaceful and romantic. The contents has been scavenged from the old farm, it is incredibly eco friendly and the abundance of wildlife inspired the wilderness garden and wildflower meadows that surround it. We also love sharing it. 16134489837_7e4dd0a55d_o-570x350 Nantwen-Photographed-by-Owen-Howells-224-570x350

Photographed by Owen Howells

Photographed by Owen Howells

Nantwen offers various wedding packages including runaway weddings and honeymoons. See www.nantwen.co.uk or call 01239821139

WOW! What a BEAUTIFUL venue! I am very jealous of any couple that get married here! In fact if you are a Nantwen couple please send us your story, or if you are married send us your wedding photos! Email charlie@cwtchthebride.com

Honeymoon Inspiration from The Destination Bride

Earlier this year we introduced Destination Bride Jemma. Jemma loves to travel and working for Kuoni she really is an expert on all things destination. Her beautiful wedding in Italy proves that! Jemma is here today to offer some valuable advice on planning your honeymoon. 

Jemma on her wedding day in Sorrento. Image by Maria Farrelly Photgraphy

Jemma on her wedding day in Sorrento. Image by Maria Farrelly Photography

Honeymoon Inspiration

Planning a honeymoon can be just as important as planning a wedding, traditionally it was a couple’s first holiday together, today there are so many different styles of honeymoon and a whole host of places you can visit.

Traditional Honeymoon

This would be a typical beach break flying just after the wedding; some couples are looking for time to relax and quality time together giving them time to reflect recent events.  Typical elements couples are looking for are, luxury, white sand beaches, spa treatments and an exotic destination.

Places that would offer this experience would be The Maldives, Caribbean Islands, Mauritius and The South Pacific.

The Maldives

Maxi Moon

Some couples take the opportunity of a honeymoon and take an extended trip somewhere; this is usually somewhere completely different to where they have been before and somewhere to really have an adventure

Examples of this would be Driving Route 66, Travelling Australia/New Zealand, walking Machu Picchu

The Inca Trail. Image Source

The Inca Trail. Image Source

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House

Mini Moon

This is sometimes an option for a couple who are only able to take a short amount of time off, due to financial or work commitments.  This is also an option for people who are having another belated honeymoon.  There are lots of wonderful places that you can visit in a short time.  I chose the beautiful city of Monte Carlo, other examples are The Italian Lakes, Paris, Venice, Rome, Morocco, New York the list goes on…

Me in Monte Carlo

Me in Monte Carlo

Monaco

Monaco

FamilyMoon

With lots of couples choosing to have a family before they get married, taking children on a honeymoon is becoming more and more popular.  It’s an opportunity to take a luxury holiday but spend quality time as a family.  Lots of 5 star resorts offer children’s activities whilst Mum & Dad can have some time by themselves.

Which ever option you decide to go for, a honeymoon will be special regardless of budget or destination.  Here are my top tips to consider when booking a honeymoon

1 – Be realistic, as much as travelling first class to the other end of the world sounds amazing, try and set a budget there is nothing worse than setting yourself a large financial commitment when you are in the middle of planning a wedding. Lots of people now have belated honeymoons giving themselves more time to save.

2 – Be mindful of the weather, if you are having a summer wedding and want a honeymoon straight after, lots of places around the world have a rainy season.  Be prepared to be flexible on your destination or even postponing the trip if you want the best weather.

3 – Choose itinerary that encompasses all your interests and passions, and at a pace that suits you.  There is no point in choosing a New York City break if you want something quiet and relaxing, there is a destination for everyone and every interest.

We’d love to know where you are going on honeymoon! Leave a comment in the box below and let us know where you have planned. Also if you have any questions about honeymoons then Jemma is the perfect person to ask…