Bride to Be Diaries: Our Unexpected Bride is Making Decisions

Morning everyone!
The gorgeous Rachel aka The Unexpected Bride is back, and this time, she’s making decisions!
B2B Unexpected Banner
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Wedding Planning – The Indecisive Parts

During our wedding planning there were a few things which we have been indecisive on. I knew that if I got married that I really wanted to get married in a church, had an idea of my dress and bridesmaid dresses but I was indecisive and debated with myself and fiancé on a few things. Make Up Artist, Wedding Videographer, Wedding DJ/band, wedding breakfast menu, honeymoon destination… lots of decisions to make!
Make Up Artist
I do enjoy playing with make up both on myself and anyone else who may let me! Having said that, I never end up adventurous and rarely move away from light pinks, brown and smokey eyes.
I thought it would be exciting to treat myself to some new make up and maybe a lesson on creating a wedding look. Both MAC and Charlotte Tilbury offer this but seemed to be booked up for Saturday’s during the Summer. I kept changing my mind on what to do, do I attempt it myself or book a Make Up Artist for the day.
Last year, my sister had Carrie from Beauty at Carrie M as her Make Up Artist for her Bridal make up. I was lucky as Bridesmaid that Carrie also did my make up.
Unexpected July 3
I asked if Carrie could keep to similar colours that I already used and I didn’t expect the result to look so different to my attempt at make up using the same colours. Sophie’s make up looked perfect and I was so happy with mine and realised that I definitely needed to improve my make up skills to attempt to recreate the look for another special occasion (or book Carrie again!).
So I have decided for my wedding day, rather than doing my normal make up, that I will book Carrie for my special day too.
Carrie is such a lovely, friendly and professional Make Up Artist that I know that she will also help me feel relaxed in the morning in addition to looking my best! She is open to talking about my ideas and happy to incorporate my favourite make up (currently my NARS Multi Purpose stick and Charlotte Tilbury lipstick!).
Conveniently, Carrie also does manicures and pedicures so I am booked in for those too which will last for our honeymoon!
To help me decide the colours,  I recently tried out pink for my holiday to Croatia and will try another colour before I decide for the wedding day!
Unexpected July 2017 1
I have been following Carrie on Instagram for some inspiration, along with lots of other wedding related follows.
Make Up Artist – ticked and booked
The Unexpected Bride xxx

Cwtchfest2016: Cwtch Workshops

If you were a lucky one who managed to bag a space on one of our Cwtch Workshops, you will have seen how hard the contributors worked to make them informative, helpful and generally fabulous.  At one point, we literally could not squeeze any one else into the yurt!

So this is a massive thank you specifically to you fabulous suppliers, who worked tirelessly and created some truly wonderful workshops for our brides and grooms. Without you, we would literally have had the Cwtch girls sharing their own special talents, which include a back catalogue of Steps dance routines and a selection of popular 1980s knock knock jokes.  None of which is of any use to future brides and grooms.

Owen Mathias Photography

All images in this post are by Owen Mathias Photography

The Flower Hive – The first of two of Eva’s workshops was showcasing how to make your own buttonhole’s.  The results were just stunning.  When Eva initially showed everyone what they were about to make, every looked a little ‘there is no way I can do that’, but sure enough, they all left with their own version of a wonderful buttonhole, and full of knowledge as to how to create one for their big day.  It was just superb – thank you!

Owen Mathias Photography

Owen Mathias Photography

Sylvie & Joan – The beautiful Emma from Sylvie & Joan began her session in our most favourite way, by treating the attendees to some fizz.   Emma delivered a fantastic workshop session on planning your own festival wedding. Emma supplied so much wonderful information, giving you gorgeous lot, so many ideas, it was amazing – thank you!

Owen Mathias Photography

Owen Mathias Photography

Owen Mathias Photography

Hannah Mlatem – For her Cwtch Workshop, the delightful Hannah treated us to some truly magnificent bridal hair inspiration.  The yurt was absolutely bursting with eager to learn brides and she absolutely delivered. Hannah, everyone left with some awesome ideas and you and your team were fantastic – thank you!

Owen Mathias Photography

Owen Mathias Photography

Owen Mathias Photography

Owen Mathias Photography

Make Up by Nicola – The bloomin gorgeous Nicola delivered a superb session and conducted a live make up demo on the daughter of one of us Cwtch girls. Nicola, you were wonderful and Keya looked just stunning. Thank you!

Owen Mathias Photography

Owen Mathias Photography

Owen Mathias Photography

All Sewn Up – The lovely Helen from All Sewn up demonstrated in their Cwtch Workshop how to make your own gorgeous little fabric lavender love heart and use as a favour or decor on your big day.  It was such a lovely session, with some gorgeous materials and equipment.  Thank you!

Owen Mathias Photography

Owen Mathias Photography

The Flower Hive – The wonderful Eva returned at the end of the day to a yurt full, all eager to make some gorgeously cute flower power rings in the final Cwtch Workshop.  Once again Eva, for your knowledge, time and skill, Thank you!

Owen Mathias Photography

Owen Mathias Photography

Owen Mathias Photography

Owen Mathias Photography

To sum up, we are so grateful to be working with some magnificent people in this industry. Your creativeness and wisdom is second to none and we are over the moon to know you.

Thank you, you marvellous lot x

Sponsored Post – Make Up By Nicola

Hi to all our lovely brides to be!

Today we have our fabulous lush lister Make up by Nicola with her top tips for you.

Based in Carmarthenshire, Make-up By Nicola is a skilled London trained make-up artist that combines a unique style with first-class services to find and create the most perfect look for the brides that she works with.


Boasting over a decade of experience, Make-up By Nicola has worked all across the UK collaborating with the media industry:


Mammoth Productions

Northern Ballet Theatre

Powder room Make-up

Loaded Magazine


You will be offered a professional yet close service coupled with large experience and knowledge in the wedding business. From just make-up to beauty treatments, you and your bridal party will benefit from impeccable services to look gorgeous on your big day.


Make-up by Nicola will also be the ideal choice for other sorts of services, such as:



Photographic shots

Make-up lessons and group master classes

Proms and special events


Nicola’s Top tips for brides:

1     Use waterproof products

2     Take with you on the day lipstick abs pressed powder to touch up

3     Always use primer

4.   Have a make  up trail at least 5-8 weeks before.







Taa Dah!….

Our LUSH LIST is finally  launched!

A fabulous collection of our favourite Welsh Wedding suppliers. All hand picked by us and highly recommended by our readers.


To access this awesome directory, press the LUSH LIST icon sitting on the right hand side (if viewing on a computer or tablet)- Scroll down if you are using a phone.

It looks like this:

side bar button

Simply click on it and it will take you to a page that looks like this:

lush list iconsSelect the category you need and then choose from our list of highly recommended suppliers.

All the companies listed have links to take you to their own websites, Facebook page & Twitter feed. This is a great way to follow them if you’d like to get to know them a bit more before booking.

Vendor logo

Most of these companies will already be featuring our approved vendor badge on their websites too. This is to give you peace of mind that we’ve either worked with them, Used their services or some of our readers have highly recommend them.

So, there you have it. We do hope you love it and find it a valuable resource to your wedding planning. Have a good look around the directory, click on a few links and let us know what you think. You can send us your feedback here.

We will be adding LOTS more suppliers to our LUSH LIST throughout the year so do keep popping back. We’ll also be inspiring you more by sharing their work over on our Facebook page.

If you run a lovely welsh wedding business (especially in North Wales!) and would like us to consider you for our Lush List. You can get in touch with us here.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday evening xxx


Featured Vendor: Professional Wedding Make-Up Lesson from Angharad Gibbs

Wedding make up can be a stressful item on the to do list. Do you do it yourself, ask a friend or pay a professional? Bride-to-be Charlie had an opportunity to meet up with freelance make up artist Angharad Gibbs prior to her big day (which is coming up in September, eee!) for a make up lesson. All photos in the post were taken by Maria Farrelly :)

Angharad Gibbs Make Up Cardiff - Maria Farrelly_002

Meeting Angharad – What to expect from a make-up lesson

From pretty much day one I thought that I’d probably be doing my own make-up on our wedding day. There were two reasons for this. First of all budget – we are splashing out quite a bit on the things that really matter to us (venue, food, photography and honeymoon!) so are finding ways to save everywhere else as much as possible. Secondly I had never had my make-up done by a pro and been comfortable with the results (although that did change at last week’s styled tepee shoot!). I did decide that I would get a make-up lesson at a department store make up counter – I wanted to improve on my technique and learn how to make my make-up last all day (plus you can put the money you spend on the lesson towards products) but on the day I went in to book I was greeted by a sea of orange faces and was completely put off! So when Maria offered me the chance to meet with Angharad Gibbs for a one to one make up lesson in the privacy of the studio I snapped it up straight away!

Angharad Gibbs Make Up Cardiff - Maria Farrelly_001

My first thought when I met Angharad was “I really like her make-up!” It looked natural, fresh and flattering so that was my first preconception dispelled. Angharad is completely lovely and obviously very good at her job, she has an amazing make-up collection too! (Perhaps unsurprising as she works for MAC head office as well as being freelance). She did a consultation for me, the same as I would have had if I’d gone to her for a trial.

She began by asking me lots of questions about the wedding: colours, themes, dress and hair style. She also asked me questions about my usual make up style and skin care. We discussed what look I wanted to go for and then Angharad brought out her eyeshadow palettes and we decided which colours to use. During the makeover Angharad talked me through all the products she was using (mainly MAC) and gave me lots of hints and tips along the way, the main one being “drink more water!” because my skin is so dehydrated. One of my biggest gripes when I have had make-up done for me in the past was that they never managed to cover my dark under eyecircles as well as I liked, so I made sure to mention this to Angharad and she completely understood. The finished look was amazing! Second preconception dispelled. She completely hid my dark circles (and blemishes) and created a look that I loved! :)

Angharad Gibbs Make Up Cardiff - Maria Farrelly_011

The biggest thing I got out of meeting Angharad though was the confidence that my make-up would be all right on the day, I had been nervous beforehand but Angharad’s make up lesson was so helpful and I have really taken on board the advice she has given me and I plan to go out and invest in some good brushes as soon as possible! Angharad definitely got rid of all of the qualms I had about booking a make-up artist and I would thoroughly recommend her, she offers make-up lessons which I think are a great idea if you are planning to do your own make-up but aren’t completely confident, especially if like me you were put off having it done in a department store. The confidence a make-up lesson gives you is invaluable and I am so glad I got this chance so thank you Maria and Angharad!


The Finished LookAngharad Gibbs Make Up Cardiff - Maria Farrelly_023 Angharad Gibbs Make Up Cardiff - Maria Farrelly_024 Angharad Gibbs Make Up Cardiff - Maria Farrelly_025


Angharad gave Charlie some wedding make up advice, so take note brides-to-be! :)

  1. DRINK MORE WATER! – Even if your skin isn’t as dehydrated as mine it is still good advice for everyone! For your make up look its best, get your skin in great condition by drinking lots of water and using skin care products specifically for your skin eg rich and hydrating if your skin is dry, or oil free if you want to control excess shine.
  2. Use a good under eye product. Angharad recommended Clinique’s Even Better Eyes dark circle corrector.
  3. Invest in a good foundation and concealer, you can scrimp on blush!
  4. Apply foundation with a good foundation brush, the fatter the brush the lighter the coverage. Use an old, shampooed eyeshadow brush for applying concealer to save money.
  5. Always put liquid or cream products onto the skin first, powder then goes on top.
  6. Apply foundation first and then concealer on top, unless you are using a powder foundation and a liquid concealer, in that case rule 5 applies.
  7. Use a cream eyeshadow as they don’t gather in the creases of your eyelids.
  8. Use a good transparent finishing powder such as MAC Prep & Prime Transparent finishing powder.
  9. On the wedding day take with you: Lipstick for after kissing and eating, concealer for after crying, blusher to lift your complexion after a few hours and Kohl to take your look from day into night!

Products Used

Angharad Gibbs Make Up Cardiff - Maria Farrelly_004

Angharad used the following products in this order:

MAC oil free moisturiser and primer

Angharad Gibbs Make Up Cardiff - Maria Farrelly_009

MAC Mineralize foundation in shade NC20

MAC Studio Finish concealer in shade NC20 – on blemishes

Clinique Airbrush concealer in shade 01 fair – under the eyes

MAC Cream Colour Base on my cheekbones

Angharad Gibbs Make Up Cardiff - Maria Farrelly_008

MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder

MAC Limited Edition blush

MAC Paint Pot eyeshadow in Frozen Violet

Angharad Gibbs Make Up Cardiff - Maria Farrelly_006

Kohl eyeliner in charcoal grey

Angharad Gibbs Make Up Cardiff - Maria Farrelly_010

Lancôme Hypnôse mascara

MAC Lipstick in Fanfare

MAC Lip Pencil in Subculture

If you’re interested in booking a wedding make up lesson or would like to book a professional to do your make up on the day then you can contact Angharad directly via the links below :)

Angharad is a professional freelance make-up artist, based in Cardiff. She’s available to provide make-up lessons or as a make-up artist on your wedding day.