Claire and Christian’s Relaxed City Chic Wedding by Maria Farrelly Photography

We’re so excited to share todays wedding with you all! 

If you followed our blog last year, you will have enjoyed following Claire’s journey to the alter. If you missed her posts, you can take a look hereClaire & Christian commissioned Cwtch The Bride’s creator and leading wedding photographer Maria Farrelly Photography to capture their relaxed and super stylish ceremony at the Council Chamber, City Hall, Cardiff followed by at relaxed reception at the Norwegian Church, Cardiff bay. 

We think you’ll agree by the expressions on their faces that this day was every bit how they imagined and much more!

Wedding333What was your budget? 

In all honesty, we didn’t really have one… Not because we’ve got money to burn but we knew that we wanted a wedding which suited us as a couple… Laid back and down to earth. So, we knew from the start that we wouldn’t be spending huge amounts of money on unnecessary or extravagant things which we didn’t really need. Its so easy to get carried away when you start planning a wedding but I think we were fairly disciplined!Wedding334

How would you describe your wedding theme?

Laid back, relaxed and full of love!Wedding315

What was your favourite part of your wedding?

It’s so hard to pick a favourite part! I loved it all! I think my favourite part though was the moment I walked into the Council Chamber room at City Hall, where our ceremony took place, and seeing Christian waiting for me. In about five seconds, I felt so many emotions… Relief that he was there, a flood of love and a burst of happiness at seeing all my family and friends.Wedding114

Tell us about your Wedding Dress

Ahhhh my wedding dress! Love, love, love it! I wrote a blog post for Cwtch the Bride about my experience, you can read it here! I was determined not to trawl around a million and one shops trying on hundreds of dresses… That’s just not me. I did some research online about shops and narrowed my list down to three shops. Literally, at the first shop, I was convinced that I’d found “THE dress” but I’m so glad that I went to the other two shops as it was at the third shop (All About Eve in Newport) that I found THE dress. I would advise any bride to be to not be swept away with the whole ‘trying on dresses’ experience. It’s so easy to do as the dresses are so gorgeous but focus, focus, focus is key! I ordered my dress in a size 10, paid a deposit then two months later found out I was pregnant!! Luckily, I managed to get into the dress with only a quarter of inch let out needed (to accommodate my slightly bigger post baby boobs!).Wedding064Wedding301

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

My sister was my only bridesmaid. I have three best friends who I would’ve loved to have had as bridesmaids but I wanted a laid back, relaxed wedding and I think that walking in with a troupe of bridesmaids slightly deviates from that theme! I toyed with the idea of having no bridesmaids but my sister and I are so close, I really couldn’t have said “I do” without her being there with me.Wedding020

Why did you choose your venue?

We chose City Hall for our ceremony as it’s such an iconic city centre landmark. The building is beautiful and we picked the Council Chamber room as its steeped in history and all the seating is in a circle around the room. We just loved the idea of getting married in the middle of the room with all our guests around us. The Norwegian Church for our reception venue suited us perfectly. It’s extremely laid back but in a beautiful setting in the Bay.Wedding061Wedding563

Tell us about your photographer

Maria Farrelly! What can I say?! Just amazing! Maria knew exactly what we wanted and had so many ideas for us to incorporate our wishes, she was brilliant.Wedding343

How did the proposal happen? 

I wrote a blog post for Cwtch the Bride about this too! Christian and I had booked a city break to Stockholm for my 34th birthday. My birthday was on a Friday which is the day we flew to Sweden. On the Saturday night, we’d booked a table at Gondolen restaurant to celebrate my birthday and we were happily discussing how we’d started dating and how amazing it was that we were together when Christian popped the question! It was completely unexpected and Christian had hidden the ring in his sock in his luggage!Wedding531Wedding355

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

I’m not much of a DIYer if I’m honest!Wedding384

What was your first dance & why?

We didn’t really have a first dance in the traditional sense of the word. We picked a song which meant a lot to us and held lots of happy memories and invited everyone up with us to dance. The song was Edge of Seventeen by Stevie Nicks and reminds us both of a road trip we took from LA to San Fran on the Pacific Highway. We hired a Ford Mustang (convertible obvs!) for the journey and this song came on our playlist as we were leaving LA via Mulholland Drive. We were both singing along, the sun was blazing and we were free as Bees! Such a happy time made this song a no brainier for our first dance.Wedding582Wedding681

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

Nothing at all. As cheesy as it sounds, the day was exactly as we wanted.Wedding266

Do you have any advice for future couples?

My only advice would be to stick to what you wanted when you first started planning your wedding. It’s so easy to get carried away with things during the planning process, especially when Pinterest etc are easily accessible, but stick to your guns and you’ll end up with the wedding that you always wanted at the beginning.Wedding309

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

We didn’t really receive any advice that I can remember! I think our vows are good advice though if they count!Wedding149

What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

I think just sitting down with Christian (normally with a glass of wine up until I found out I was pregnant!) and discussing our plans made me realise how suited we really were. We both liked and disliked the same things and, not that I needed any reassurance, but the planning process firmly rooted in that we were meant to be together.Wedding265Wedding326

The Suppliers

Photographer: Maria Farrelly
Ceremony Venue: City Hall, Cardiff
Reception Venue: Norwegian Church, Cardiff Bay
Bride’s Dress: Justin Alexander Signature at All About Eve, Newport
Bride’s Shoes: Monsoon
Bride’s Jewellery: Handmade
Groom’s Outfit: Hugo Boss
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Coast
Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Handmade
Cake: Lindsey Bowles (friend)
Flowers: Centrepieces by Joanne Hodgetts (friend), bouquets by Flower Power in Church Village
Hair: Davina Morgan (friend)
Make Up: Tina Payne at Soul Beauty, Ystrad Mynach 
DJ: Boutique Disco
Stationery: Ann Hewitt (friend)
Transport: Happy Days Cars

The Wedding Album

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I think that you will agree with me that Claire and Christian’s relaxed city chic wedding looked amazing. If you would like more inspiration for your wedding coma and join us at Cwtchfest! Wales’ only Wedding Festival on Sunday 17th April at Glanusk Estate.  It is going to be even bigger than last years event and we have even more amazing Welsh wedding professionals on board. Quick get your tickets here! ~ Kate



Tom and Katie’s Luxury Tipi Wedding by Maria Farrelly Photography

Cardiff couple Tom & Katie tied the knot back in September. They chose Katie’s parents farm to host a relaxed luxury tipi wedding. All images were taken by award winning wedding photographer Maria Farrelly. 

How would you describe your wedding theme?

We didn’t have a theme but it was really important to us that our wedding had a relaxed but elegant feel about it. We decided to use tipis for our reception venue and once that was decided it made it easier to plan the rest.
What was your favourite part of your wedding?

I have so many favourite parts but I was surprised how much I enjoyed the ceremony. In the run up to the wedding I was quite nervous about it, worrying about all the focus being on me. But when it actually came it was the most lovely experience.

Tipi_wedding043Tipi_wedding044Tipi_wedding049I will also never forget when we cut our cake and our guests spontaneously started signing Calon Lan – not something you hear very often in the English countryside.

Tipi_wedding120Tell us about your Wedding Dress

Shopping for your dress has to be one of the best bits about planning a wedding. I decided just to go with my mum as she is brutal but honest so I knew that once I had THE dress on it would be obvious. Tipi_wedding017
I wasn’t sure what type of dress I wanted but I thought it would probably be a lace dress. In the end I chose the plainest dress in the shop but I loved it and, my brutally honest mum told me that I looked like me when I had it on. I think looking like the best version of yourself on your wedding day is so important. It is not the day to try out a completely different look.
Tipi_wedding024I chose a simple a-line, full skirt dress designed by Augusts Jones which I found at Laura May. The whole experience at Laura May was fantastic. It is a lovely boutique that is relaxed and all the staff are knowledgable and help you add the final touches. I was a bit concerned that my dress was a little plain but Tracey at Laura May suggested a beautiful nude pink belt which fitted perfectly with the dress and made it unique to me.Tipi_wedding018Tipi_wedding026
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why?

We chose our best friends!

Tom decided to have his two best mates Craig and Henry as his best men and my two gorgeous friends Anna and Sarah were my Bridesmaids. I also had my two little nieces, Evie and Isobel as my Flower Girls.


Tipi_wedding021Sarah I met on my first day at university. We could’nt have been more different. She couldn’t wait to leave home and go to uni and I on the other hand hated the idea and had already decided I would go home at the end of the first week. I soon changed my mind after a fun filled freshers week with Sarah – a scar from which i still have proudly on my ankle.

Tipi_wedding088Anna I met when i first moved to Cardiff about seven years ago. Again i found myself alone in a new city and she took me under her wing and has been doing so ever since. I think our friendship was permanently sealed after a particularly embarrassing rendition of Beyonce’s ‘Should have put a ring on it’ at a pub karaoke session. I don’t think either of us will be called on to take her place if Destiny’s Child ever reforms.

Why did you choose your venue?

Our venue was my parent’s farm. Although I have lived in Wales for more than eight years now I really wanted to get married at home in Buckinghamshire.

Tipi_wedding010Tipi_wedding093We were so lucky that we could use their home and it had the space to put up the tipis. It also meant that we weren’t restricted to closing times so our party was still going strong at 2.30am!

Tipi_wedding116Tipi_wedding158How did the proposal happen? 

Tom proposed in Vegas!

We went on holiday with our friends Sarah and Pet for five days to Vegas in April 2013. After an 11 hour flight, on which I had declared to Sarah (who knew Tom was going to propose) that I wasn’t fussed on getting married, we checked into our hotel and agreed to meet up in a couple of hours to hit the town. Little did I know that this was the time Tom was planning on proposing so I decided to fall asleep, the jet lag finally catching up with me. Feeling groggy and not my best I eventually started to get ready.

Tipi_wedding063Taking ages as usual Tom was pacing our room. I keep telling him to just go for a drink with Sarah’s husband Pet, something they would normally do in these situations. He kept saying no i’ll wait for you. I should have twigged at this point.

Tipi_wedding100Anyway, just as we were ready to go out he got down on one knee with the panoramic views of the Vegas strip behind us and proposed. I was so shocked (and jet lagged) that I asked twice if he was serious. Not quite how he had planned it i’m sure. After finally saying yes we went out to celebrate. Vegas has to be the best place to do that if you have just gotten engaged!

Tipi_wedding159Do you have any advice for future couples?

Don’t ever feel you have to do anything. There were certain traditions that we didn’t want to do so we didn’t. We didn’t have a first dance because both of us would have hated it so instead our band played a series of songs and invited our guests to get on the dance floor to get the party started.

Tipi_wedding138 Tipi_wedding140What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received?

Tom and I have been together for 10 years so we knew what we were getting ourselves into. Two pieces of advice however have stuck with me.

Firstly, make sure you both give each other the space to have your own separate lives. While it is important to be a unit, allowing each other their own space will allow you to still keep hold of who you are individually.
Secondly, a colleague at work advised us not to plan a jam packed honeymoon with no time to relax. She said you will be so tired after the wedding that if you don’t allow some time to relax you won’t enjoy your honeymoon. She was so right. The day after our wedding I probably slept for 12 hours straight!

What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

I enjoyed having an excuse to meet up friends and family under the disguise of wedding planning but actually it ended up drinking prosecco in the sunshine.

Tipi_wedding127I also loved choosing things that hopefully our friends and family would have immediately identified as ‘us’.

Supplier List

Photographer: Maria Farrelly Photography

Ceremony Venue: St Nicolas Church, Cuddington
Reception Venue: Kate’s parent’s farm in Haddenham, Buckinghamshire
Bride’s Dress: Augusta Jones,  Laura May Bridal
Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Bride’s Jewellery: My mum’s sapphire ring
Groom’s Outfit: Aquascutum
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Jim Hjelm
Bridesmaid’s Accessories: 
Cake: Tracey’s Cakes, Longwick
Flowers: Fullers Flowers
Hair: Amy Pomeroy
Band: The Vodka Martini’s
Stationery: Designed by my talented bridesmaid, Anna Bowler
Caterers: The Gatsby
Any Reception Decor/Props: Tipi tents provided by Papkata
Transport:Vintage Rolls Royce

Wedding Album

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Featured Venue: Lab 22

When you’re a professional working in the wedding industry its very rare you get the opportunity to meet up with other industry peeps unless its in passing at an actual wedding itself. With this in mind, I thought it high time I took a break and convinced some of my favourite wedding professionals to do the same. A mid week social, some cocktails, chat and lots of laughter.

I, along with the talented Cardiff based florist Beth Forbes-Simpson arranged the evening. Beth spoke to the lovely people at Lab 22 and they agreed to host the event for us. So, if you ever wondered what all us wedding professionals get up to on a night out over cocktails…take a look.

In all honesty, I never imagined so many would turn up. But then I thought the same thing when we organised the Cwtchmas Party!

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Huge thanks to Aga Tomaszek for taking all these images! and to Lab 22 for looking after us all so well. We’re looking forward to coming back and working our way through your cocktail menu…again!

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As the evening progressed, The cocktails did take over and it all got a little posey. heres a few more images taken by Ryan Welch photography






For all those that are featured in the pictures, show us some love! pop your link below and let our readers check out your work!

If you’re a super cool venue that would like to host our next get together, contact us here. We’d love to hear from you.

Maria x

Cwtch of the Week: Cerys & Steven

Our ‘Cwtch of the Week’ this week belongs to Cerys & Steven Potter. This lovely couple got married at the Vale Resort on Saturday 30th May 2014. maria farrelly

Anyone can cuddle, but only the welsh can cwtch!

maria farrellyImages by: Maria Farrelly Photography

If you are a photographer or Bride & Groom and would like to feature as our ‘Cwtch Of The Week’. Send us your images to