Natalie and Craig’s Something Slightly Different Cardiff Wedding By Dan Morris

Are you ready for the beautiful wedding of Natalie and Craig photographed by Dan Morris. Oh my days!!! You will fall in love with their little boy who I’m pretty sure stole the show. This is a couple who I have known separately and together and I’m so excited to show you their stunning something slightly different Cardiff wedding. ~Kate


What was your budget? 

We wanted to be realistic as we had just bought a new house and had a 1 year old. We did not want to start married life with debt so we only had what we could pay for upfront. In total we spent £14,000.


How would you describe your wedding theme?

Both my husband and I wanted a very relaxed wedding. We did not want the traditional wedding. However we wanted a bit of quirkyness and something slightly different. For example we bought individual cakes from Patisserie Valerie rather than a wedding cake. We were also one of the first people to have our wedding at the fabulous venue in central Cardiff, Chapel 1877. My husband and I actually sat on our own in one of their beautiful booths. We also hired a vintage London bus that transported our guests to the venue where we had our beautiful photos.


What was your favourite part of your wedding?

My husband and I actually sat on our own in a very romantic booth. I promise we were not being Anti social it was a way for us just to spend time together and talk about the day over our beautiful wedding breakfast. We had the top table in front of us which sat all our family. We were able to mingle with our guests inbetween courses. It was perfect.


Tell us about your Wedding Dress

I am very petite and therefore I felt a large princess style or fishtail dress would not flatter my body shape. I did lots of research and came across the Jenny Packham Collection. I fell in love with the Esme dress from the 2013 collection. I contacted one of the only bridal shops in Wales to stock Jenny Packham, High Society in Cowbridge. They happened to have a Jenny packham event on. Emma was fantastic and made me try on my dream dress last. I only tried on Jenny Packham as I felt so classy and elegant in her gowns. My sister cried as soon as she saw me in Esme.


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

My fabulous bridesmaids were my best friends from school. I had four lovely bridesmaids Nikita, Nadia, Katy & Siobhan. We all live across the UK but have always stayed the best of friends. My bridesmaids captured so many moments I did not see while we were busy which was great. My sister was heavily pregnant therefore we thought it would be best if she rested as much as she could during the day. Our best man Dave is a very close friend of mine and my husband. Our gorgeous little flower girl was our best mans little girl. One of my favourite photos from the wedding is of Dave and Mya together. Our little boy Frankie was our pageboy. He was the person who made my husband cry when he walked down the aisle.


Why did you choose your venue?

It was beautiful and we wanted an original venue. I also wanted my guests to experience award winning food. The Chapel 1877 staff were so accommodating and everything exceeded our expectations. Richard and his team really did make our day perfect for us. Nothing was too much.


Tell us about your photographer

Craig has known Dan Morris since school days. They have played rugby together for numerous years. Dan is such a lovely person and is so approachable. He has a lovely calming manner about him. His photographs are so original, I trusted Dan completely on the day. He really does have a talent with the camera. We are so thrilled with our photographs. We cannot thank him enough.


How did the proposal happen? 

The proposal happened 1850m above sea level in the Mountains of Charmonix. We went skiing in 2013 and we were at the top of the slope and Craig asked me to get the camera out to have a photo together. He then got down on one knee in a beautiful spot on the mountains. What made it even more special is Craig designed the ring with help from the Diamond Centre Wales. It was the first of its kind to be made so there is an extra little diamond hidden in the band. I have so many compliments about it.


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

Be realistic with money and stick to your theme. I used Pintrest a lot to help me out on original ideas. I researched for months. We made our own table decorations, hundreds of ivory, grey and blue candles with ribbon and broaches. We cut costs by reducing the amount of flowers and used other alternatives, like sequined table cloths by Pudding Bridge in order to add colour to the table. We bought the bridesmaid dresses in the sales. I also added detail and broaches to my bridal shoes.


What was your first dance & why?

Our first Dance was sang by Andy Huntley our acoustic singer for the evening. It was Hey there Delilah by the Plain White Ts. We chose this song as when Craig and I first got together I was in University in Oxford and sometimes we would go 3-4 weeks without seeing each other. Craig sent me this song during this time and the lyrics fitted our relationship at the time.


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

No we loved every single second.


Do you have any advice for future couples?

Just try and sit back and take it all in. Have a good look around the room at all your guests and have time with your new husband or wife for 5 mins alone before the evening guests arrive and you dance the night away. The day goes too quick.


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

Never go to bed on an argument and tell each other every day that you love each other.


What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

Planning it with my husband and letting him have an equal say in our special day. Also the fantastic hen do that my beautiful bridesmaids arranged. We really made lovely memories and laughed the whole weekend.


The Suppliers

Photographer: Dan Morris
Ceremony Venue: City Hall Cardiff, The Chambers
Reception Venue: Chapel 1877
Bride’s Dress: Jenny Packham, Esme, High Society Cowbridge
Bride’s Shoes: Kurt Geiger
Bride’s Headpiece: Ivory & Co
Bride’s Jewellery: Ring Diamond Centre Wales and a Pandora bangle
Groom’s Outfit: Youngs suit hire
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Coast
Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Accessorise
Cake: Patisserie Valerie
Flowers: Kath Stallard
Hair and Make up: Farhana Ali
Band: Andy Huntly
Stationery: Bespoke Wedding Creations
Any Reception Decor/Props: Pudding Bridge, Love lighting
Transport: London bus for hire.

The Wedding Album

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I think you will agree that this wedding was lovely. If your would like to share your wedding with us then fill in the form here. I have 52 real weddings to fill for Friday’s next year so come on! send them my way! ~ Kate

Real Wedding: Amy & Chris’ Vintage Elegance Themed Wedding by Maria Farrelly Photography

We have a beautiful real wedding for you this week with a vintage elegance theme. Welsh couple Amy & Chris tied the knot in the Cotswold hills at the stunning Kingscote Barn on the 3rd of October 2014. Here is Amy to tell us all the details with beautiful  photographs by Cwtch founder Maria Farrelly Photography.


How would you describe your wedding theme? After lots of initial ideas and inspiration hunting, my dream dress Jenny Packham’s Esme finally helped me settle on a vintage elegance theme. The dress has a definite nod to the 1920s with an art deco silhouette and beading so this era helped the day take shape.
471We had fallen in love with and booked The Kingscote Barn in Tetbury on our first and only venue viewing. Renovated so that it retains its old charm but is also clean, bright and with a touch of the contemporary, our soft sorbet colour palette of peach, mint, gold and ivory with a pop of coral really complemented the creamy Cotswold stone of the barn. We decorated the tables and windowsills with a lovingly sourced collection of shaped mercury glass vases and tea lights and added colour by suspending tissue paper pom poms from the ceiling and tying strands of ribbon to the chair backs. The barn was finished off with a large illuminated ‘Love’ light hired from Vowed & Amazed.

068 082394A graphic designer by trade, Chris designed and made all of our typographically led wedding stationery from the invites, to the order of service, to the menus which were all gold litho printed onto mint card.

083After the ceremony, afternoon tea was served on the lawn with savoury and sweet scones washed down with our favourite cocktails, French Martinis and Margaritas. For our wedding cake, we chose to forgo the traditional and had a macaroon tower featuring different flavoured macaroons in our wedding colours. Not forgetting our strong Welsh roots, we gave our guests heart shaped Welsh cake favours packaged in glassine bags. 

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What was your favourite part of your wedding? After an emotional and nerve wracking walk down the aisle, I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of calm, joy and confidence when it came to saying our vows. I really enjoyed saying my vows to Chris and it felt like a very private moment even though we had somewhat of an audience!
192 200 231I honestly didn’t think I could feel any happier, until the moment just after the ceremony when my mum, dad and sister had secretly arranged for our two and a half year old son Noah to present us with a little keepsake sign. Designed by my oldest childhood friend, the sign said ‘Mummy & Daddy’s wedding day 03.10.14’ and he gave us both a big cwtch and a kiss. That was a real test of the waterproof mascara!

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Tell us about your Wedding Dress I had no clue what style dress I wanted or indeed what was going to suit me, so I went in with an open mind, willing to try on lots to find ‘the one’.
013Flicking through a bridal magazine my eye caught on an advert for Jenny Packham’s Esme dress. In my eyes it was the most stunningly elegant dress I had ever seen, but unfortunately also way over my ideal budget. Not able to get the dress out of my mind, by chance I found a boutique selling Esme whilst on a spa weekend with my best friends in St Albans.
178The moment I slipped it on and looked in the mirror, I knew deep down it was the dress for me, but because of the cost, I talked myself out of it and tried on some other styles. But it was too late…Esme ‘had me at hello’. So it was with much excitement and suspended disbelief that I found myself raiding my savings to put a deposit down on my beloved Esme at the Jenny Packham boutique. A sale bargain on a Jenny Packham headpiece and one pair of mint leather Rachel Simpson T Bar shoes later and my outfit was complete.

006 014 160462Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why? I chose my sister Clare, Chris’s sister Ceri and my closest friends Tanith and Caroline to be my beautiful (inside and out) bridesmaids. I knew without a doubt they would be there to support and help me with all the deliberations, planning, preparations and throughout the big day and beyond. Not forgetting throwing a fabulous and memorable hen do!

144 185 352Chris chose his brother Steve and his best mate Ryan to be there by his side as joint best men. They were, of course, the perfect double act and provided lots of love and laughter during the speeches.

043 066 586Why did you choose your venue? The Cotswolds was a happy halfway house for our London based and South Wales guests to easily reach. Set in an area of outstanding natural beauty with breath-taking views over the valley, The Kingscote Barn was the perfect venue for us. Its stunning simplicity required minimal decoration and the beautiful accommodation allowed our wedding party to stay on site.

081 284 314How did the proposal happen? The proposal was beautiful and timely, happening a week before the birth of our son Noah. Chris had designed and framed an illustration saying ‘Amy marry me?’ which he totally surprised me with one evening whilst I was pottering around the house. It took me a while to realise what the illustration said and I remember asking him if I had read it correctly before shouting ‘yes’!

031Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share? We couldn’t always find just the sort of thing we were looking for so we made or adapted a few things ourselves.The style of table numbers we liked only seemed to be available in the US, so Chris designed our own and I found a supplier who could make them for us at a fraction of the cost of buying and shipping from the US. They ended up being one of our favourite elements of our décor. I made a ribbon garland for the drinks table using leftover ribbon from the chair backs and we sprayed wooden picture frames gold for our menus and table plan.

078What was your first dance & why? We are big fans of Ben Howard. His music has been the soundtrack to many wonderfully happy moments in our life together so far, so his uplifting song ‘Only Love’ seemed like the perfect choice. We don’t like to take ourselves too seriously though, so we asked our DJ to cut the song after a few minutes and break into Chuck Berry’s classic ‘You Never Can Tell’ from Pulp Fiction.

639 642In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently? If budget had allowed it may have been nice to have some live music, but otherwise we would change nothing.

268 455 633Do you have any advice for future couples? It’s a cliche but the day really does go by in a flash, so try to relax and be in the moment. Steal some time away for you and your new Mr or Mrs to savour the first few minutes of married life.

439 448 459From a practical perspective it pays to do your research. Hold out for discount events and sales, sign up to newsletters for promotions and scour ebay, etsy and unexpected places to get the look you want without blowing the budget.

What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received? Marriage is like an empty box – you can only take out what you put in. You have to constantly work at it and keep the box filled up with love, companionship, laughter and happiness.

404 421 426What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding? I loved the whole planning process but the bargain hunter in me particularly enjoyed sourcing all the table and venue decorations. The devil is in the detail for both myself and Chris, so I really relished the opportunity to embrace my creative side and work with Chris to consider all the little things which helped make our day feel special and unique.

074 076 085 247 258 450 634 842The Suppliers

Photographer: Maria Farrelly
Ceremony Venue: The Kingscote Barn, Tetbury 

Reception Venue: The Kingscote Barn, Tetbury
Bride’s Dress: Jenny Packham, Esme

Bride’s Shoes: Rachel Simpson, Mimosa Pale Mint T bars 
Bride’s Headpiece: Jenny Packham, Anisette i headband
Bride’s Jewellery: Chez Bec, Iris earrings 

Groom’s Outfit: River Island
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Oasis
Cake: Contemporary Cakes
Hair: Pamplemouse
Make Up: Katy Pheiffer
DJ: Deckstar Deluxe
Stationery: Chris!
Caterers: Berry Blue
Any Reception Decor/Props: Illuminated Love Light- Vowed & Amazed

The Wedding Album

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Bridal Sample Sale

If you haven’t chosen your dream dress yet, then make sure you put SUNDAY 3rd AUGUST in your diary.

Emma Philips Bridal Studio (based in Carmarthen) and White Bride (from Narberth) have joined forces for one day to host what we can only describe as a HUGE bridal sample sale.  

Amazing designer gowns such as Ian Stuart, Justin Alexander, Jenny Packham and many more! with up to 70% off! First come first serve! xx 

Where & When?

This joint BRIDAL SAMPLE SALE will take place on Sunday 3rd August 10am-3pm at the Ivy Bush Royal Hotel ,Carmarthen

Bridal sale

We have a feeling this is going to be VERY busy and suggest you get there early. Happy dress shopping! xxx



A little bit of Luxury: Bridal Bags

 We welcome back our Luxury Bride, Pippa. Hooray! Today she is going to woo us with some beautiful designer bridal bags. 


Wedding bags – to have and to hold? That is the Question…

If you’re anything like me (shoe and bag crazy) then the question of should I? Do I REALLY need one? didn’t really cross my mind, it of course was an ‘essential’ part of my bridal outfit. Looking back now though I don’t think I used it at all thanks to my very handy bridesmaids so I suppose I have to ask – did I really need one? Your wedding is a perfect excuse to add to your wardrobe with all manner of beautiful items but would your money be better spent elsewhere?

There are a whole range of beautiful bags to choose from at the moment and below are a few of my faves…

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Luxury bags

and if you fancy something a bit different…

luxury bags 2

1. Anya Hindmarch, Marano Clutch, £450 – a favourite with our gorgeous Duchess of Cambridge!
2. Jimmy Choo, Tube, £625
3. Anya Hindmarch, Valorie, £350
4. Jimmy Choo, Cosma with crystals, £1650
5. Jimmy Choo, Chandra, £750
6. Marchesa, Lily embellished box clutch, £2115
7. Edie Parker, Jean striped pearl effect box clutch, £975
8. Oscar de la Renta, Crown Goa Swarovski crystal embellished clutch, £1360
9. Jenny Packham, Casa silver/gold/crystal £455
10. Alexander McQueen, De Manta clutch, lace print, £325
11. YSL, Ligne Y Clutch, £655
12. Alexander McQueen, Knuckle Duster Clutch, £1345
13. Gina, Imelda, £695
14. Stark, Put a Ring on it python clutch, £1500
15. YSL Monogramme Tassel clutch, £920
16. Sylvia Toledano, Love Swarovski embellished box clutch, £1050
17. YSL, classic monogramme clutch, £695 (Your something Blue?)
18. Lulu Guiness, Lips clutch, £245

If you’re like me, I couldn’t be without my ‘suitcase’ (as Mr P calls it) on a daily basis filled with all my essential (and not so essential) bits. So for my big day I felt I needed the security of having a few items on hand…just incase! Now, I’m not advocating a shoulder slung bag over your beautiful frock (eeek…fashion faux pas) but a simple clutch could just be a saviour should you have a bridal emergency. Obviously, as beautiful as they are, you wouldn’t want to be carrying it down the aisle so you could leave it in the wedding car during the ceremony or maybe rope in a bridesmaid’s partner to help. I popped mine on the top table for the remainder of the evening but equally you could entrust your lovely ladies to help with bag duty.

You will need to cut down from your usual ‘suitcases’ though girls  (I don’t even know what I carry in my bag half the time) so here are a list of items we think would be handy for any bridal ’emergencies’…

1. Mints (NOT chewing gum) – you will be kissing ALOT of people.

2. Lippie – keep your make-up looking fresh from your “I Do” to your photos and well into the evening. Personally I would avoid sticky lipgloss though and I’m sure your groom (and guests) will thank you for it!

3. Hairgrips

4. Safety Pins

5. Concealer

6. Plasters – just incase you haven’t broken in your bridal heels…tut tut!

7. Tissues – a must for the speeches!


We’d love to know what all our lovely Cwtch brides think – are you having a bridal bag? If so, what will you be carrying inside?


Gemma & Gavin’s Las Vegas Wedding by Ryan Welch

Today we have a stunning destination wedding for you courtesy of Ryan Welch Photography. Gemma and Gavin were married on 15th October 2013 in Las Vegas! Yes… LAS VEGAS! and yes…they flew their local photographer out with them! (A big thumbs up to the B&G  for investing in local Welsh talent instead of hiring a Vegas photographer).

We asked the Bride, Gemma some questions about her gorgeous wedding…


What was your budget? 


How would you describe your wedding theme?

We did not choose a theme as we were travelling to Las Vegas. We knew that the location would be colourful and sparkly. Nevertheless the dress and flower girls were very traditional. The guests added much glamour with their fabulous outfits. The bouquet featured pastel colours, mainly pinks which coordinated with the flower girl dresses.
The reception was at The Four Seasons Las Vegas, Verrandah restaurant. The decor and attention to detail was amazing, therefore were did not need anything extra.


What was your favourite part of your wedding?

Bride Gemma: Getting ready in the morning was very exciting. We enjoyed lots of laughs and bubbles whilst prepping ourselves. The butterflies in my tummy lasted all day. The memories from the morning will last forever!


Groom Gavin: I stopped for a moment to take it all in during the reception. This was the best bit. Family and friends all around whilst we were enjoying spectacular food and drink.


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

We did not have a best man. This was because Gavin had six of his closest friends and his two brothers attending. He wanted them all to take an equal part in the day. They were very flattered and the kind Huw gave a speech during the toasts.

We did not have official bridesmaids either. Our daughters, Evelyn age 3 and Gwenny age 1 were our flower girls. They were a handful but they looked beautiful and we had lots of help thankfully. My three friends, Kirsty, Nadine and Hayley played a huge part in the day. They helped so much in the morning I could not have got ready in time without them.

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Why did you choose your venue?

We looked at venues in the UK but we were disappointed with the prices. We would have been upset spending so much money on one day. We decided to get married in Las Vegas and immediately booked our flights and hotel followed by a honeymoon in Hawaii. We then emailed family and friends giving them 9 months notice. We were very suprised and delighted to have 40 guests accompany us.


How did the proposal happen? 

I was taken on a surprise trip to Paris. Very cliche however I didn’t guess because it was 21st Dec so it was Gavin’s idea to go Christmas shopping. We travelled on the Eurostar to Paris and left the children for 2 nights. This was difficult because our youngest was under 1, although we made the most of our trip. The first day we wanted to sightsee and the second day to do some christmas shopping. We arrived at the Eiffel Tower in the evening (by this time we were exhausted). It was ever so busy and cold at the Tower. Gavin kept asking to stop but I was tired and wanted to get back to the hotel. We arrived back to the hotel and Gavin was very nervous. He explained that he wanted to ask me something. I knew then what was coming so I was anxious to see the ring! I was an extremely happy lady.


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

I was very impressed with the bouquet. This was handmade by my mother in law. The flowers were handpicked to tie in with the flower girl dresses. This was very last minute but I was so very greatful. It saved me the stress of finding a florist in Las Vegas. Additionally the flowers were all personally picked by myself. I was extremely happy as in the photos you cannot tell the difference between this and a real bouquet. I was looking forward to bringing it home but unfortunately I misplaced it on my travels.


What was your first dance & why?

Our meal finished at 8pm and as we were in Las Vegas we didn’t book an evening party. Ourselves and the guests freshened up and headed through the Mandalay Bay Casino. A little gamble and then a lift ride to the 40th floor took us to Mix Bar. Mix Bar has some of the most magnificent views of the strip. They served fabulous cocktails and had a dance floor. We didn’t have an official first dance unfortunately.

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

The day and the holiday was fabulous. We wouldn’t change anything about the day.
The only downfall was rushing between the hotel and the chapel. We guessed the amount of time needed to get there and back. Brides shouldn’t have to rush! Take everything in and try to enjoy every element of the big day.


Do you have any advice for future couples?

It was great knowing and taking our photographer with us. This was definitely a cheaper option. The photographers in Las Vegas were extortionate and we were worried that we would never get all of our pictures before we left. We had heard horror stories about this.
We were able to discuss and plan what we wanted with Ryan, who was professional and reliable throughout. At the end of the holiday he was genuinely a true friend.

ryan welch

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

Never go to bed on a argument.


What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

Dress shopping was definitely the most exciting part of the whole experience. I travelled to most bridal shops in the South Wales area trying different styles and designers. I fell in love with ‘Kelly’ by Stephanie Allin as soon as I saw my reflection in the mirror. The dress was equisite and the style was very flattering.
I purchased the dress from High Society in Cowbridge and my accessories from The Mews, Clifton.

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Photographer: Ryan Welch Photography
Ceremony Venue: The Little White Wedding Chapel, Las Vegas
Reception Venue: The Four Seasons Las Vegas
Bride’s Dress: Stephanie Allin ‘Kelly’ from High Society, Cowbridge
Bride’s Shoes: Jenny Packham
Bride’s Headpiece: Brand unknown- purchased at The Mews Clifton
Bride’s Jewellery: Gifts& borrowed
Groom’s Outfit: Reiss
Bridesmaid’s Dresses:
Flowers: Handmade by mother in law
Hair: Friend
Stationery: Hobbycraft & M&M world las vegas
Transport: Limos & yellow taxis

The Wedding Album

WOW, what a fabulous wedding! Thank you to Gemma & Gavin for sharing their big day with us and to Ryan Welch for creating such stunning images! 

If you would like your wedding to feature on Cwtch the Bride, Simply get your photographer to send us 20 images from your wedding (550px wide 72dpi). If selected, we will be in touch for more information :)