Cwtch of the Week: Christina & Her Dad

On Friday we featured the beautiful wedding of Christina & Jonathan, if you missed it then where were you?! The first time I saw this photo of Christina and her Dad, who was diagnosed with cancer early on in the wedding planning, I am not ashamed to say I welled up. It is a gorgeous cwtch and was photographed by the amazing O&C Photography.

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If you missed the rest of the wedding check it out here. And if you have a photograph you would like to submit for Cwtch of the week please send it to me on :)

Charlie x

Real Wedding: Christina & Jonathan’s Pembrokeshire Wedding by O&C Photography

Happy Friday Cwtchers, I have a gorgeous real wedding for you today brought to us by bride Christina and photographed by O&C Photography. When I first read Christina’s email it brought a tear (well, more than one!) to my eye, here is Christina with her story and how they came to plan it all in just 5 months!

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Jonathan and I got engaged on October 27th, 2012.  About a month later, we decided that we would get married on 23rd of May 2015, giving us plenty of time to save and plan our day.  But at the beginning of this year, my Dad fell poorly with cancer and he wasn’t given a very good prognosis, so on the 6th of February this year, we officially changed the date to July 5th THIS YEAR! That very morning I contacted Sally from White Bride in Narberth and she fitted us in for an appointment that afternoon!  We all lived and breathed the wedding for the 5 months leading up to it and it was a welcome distraction from the hell of the reality we have all had to face. Dad spent the 5 months, between rounds of chemotherapy, occupying himself with finishing the renovation of his lorry, as he was determined that at any cost he would be taking me to church in his pride and joy! It was a great project aside from the wedding, which we all got involved with in the end to get it ready to Dad’s pristine standard.

Everything that happened in the planning, even down to choosing my dress, was all by chance; everything was just meant to be.
It was literally the most perfect day. We put so much thought and effort into every tiny detail of the day, to make sure it reflected our personalities and I think we managed to achieve that!!
To top it all off, Dad has responded really well to his treatment and is doing well.
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We asked Christina some questions about the big day:

What was your budget? (If you feel comfortable sharing this) We started out with a rough budget in mind.  However, once we changed the date of the wedding, as it wasn’t far away we had to just go with what was available, and everything we chose was perfect, but we had to spend a little more in certain areas than we had hoped.  As long as we could afford the things that we wanted, we went ahead with them as we didn’t want to have any regrets.

How would you describe your wedding theme? I think ‘Rustic Country Garden’ is probably the best way to describe it.  We had lots of hessian, bunting, rustic buckets, lanterns, logs and loads of gorgeous flowers!  We also had a backdrop with a fireplace behind the top table which just finished off the room.  We then found a perfect wicker heart which fitted beautifully above the fireplace to complete the backdrop.  We hired chairs for the day too, as the chairs in the venue didn’t really help to create what we had in mind. They made a huge difference to the whole feel of the room.

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What was your favourite part of your wedding? I know everyone probably says the same thing – but every second of it! Obviously the most important part of the day for us was where we got to say our vows and the moment we became Mr & Mrs.

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One of the best bits for me was going to the church with Dad in his lorry and getting to walk down the aisle with him. It was great for us all that he was feeling so well on the day, which meant he could enjoy it as much as we would.  We were blessed that we got to share our day with him.

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The whole day was everything we imagined and so much more, if I could relive the day I would make more of an effort to take everything in, as there are parts of the day that are a bit of a blur as there was so much going on! We were the last to leave our reception, I had tears in my eyes that the day was all over, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way! 

Tell us about your Wedding Dress It was pure chance that I ended up with my dress.  We visited White Bride for a second time and there was a dress hanging on the end of the rail which we hadn’t seen before.  Sally had got it in for somebody else to try.  It had arrived a few hours before we got in the shop and was being sent back 3 days later.  I tried it on and it was just meant to be! We left the shop that day having ordered my dress – Sassi Holford’s Ruby! Everything about it was just beautiful and perfect for me.

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Sally was amazing and was so accommodating, going into White Bride was like a haven where I was the most important thing and nothing else mattered.  She even came to our house to dress me on the morning of the wedding, as mum was struggling to do up the dainty buttons. She was great from start to finish.

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Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why? It was an easy choice for us both as we have both always been so close to our friends.  Jon chose two of his oldest friends to be joint best men, as he couldn’t choose between them.  They did a fantastic job on the day, making sure that everything ran smoothly.  I had my sister, Jon’s sister, my younger cousin and two old friends as bridesmaids, as well as two of my best boy friends, who were my bridesmen.  Having grown up with them being such a big part of my life, I was determined that they were going to be a big part of our day.  They were a great support throughout the whole planning process and on the day. Jon’s niece was our flower girl and my cousin’s little boy was page boy. They did a perfect job of looking cute and were so well behaved all day.

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Why did you choose your venue? The venue we chose, Wolfscastle Country Hotel in Haverfordwest, was due to have a big revamp, adding an extension consisting of a garden room, whilst modernising their current function room.  The food there has always been notoriously good too and they have an excellent reputation.  We went to meet with them to discuss what we wanted for the day and that was it, we booked it there and then.  Their good reputation meant we didn’t have to worry about the running of things once we got to the reception venue.  The completed extension was also an amazing addition to the place, making it light, airy and spacious, perfect! I have to say the food, their service before and on the day was second to none.  We couldn’t fault it.

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How did the proposal happen? When we first started dating, Jon quite often would take me to different beaches around the Gower.  One day we went to Rhossili Bay and this was where we had our first kiss.  Little did I know at this point that this would be the place where he would propose to me 5 and a half years later! We decided to go off to Rhossili for the day one day.  When we got to the car park there was a charge to park, at this point Jon realised that neither of us had enough money on us to pay for it! I suggested that we go to another beach, taking money out on the way.  Jon was determined to scrape the money together – only afterwards I realised why!  So he counted the money out using 5ps and coppers.  Panic averted, we went down to the beach and after walking across we sat on this giant rock.  Jon was acting very strange and all of a sudden got down on one this point I didn’t know whether he was joking or not, but then I saw the ring box! Needless to say I immediately said yes! It was perfect, a truly sentimental place which will always hold a special place in our heart.

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Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share? I really wanted bunting, but I couldn’t find any in the colours that I liked.  I am really lucky to work with some really talented people, so when I expressed my frustration at not being able to find any suitable bunting, one of my friends suggested I make it and said she would help.  So, I found fabrics that were just right (although they cost a fortune!) and we spent four or five full days making 95m of bunting, with the help of two other work friends on two of the days.  We had our own little production line going. I now understand why bunting is so expensive to buy!

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To decorate the church windows we spent five months looking for quirky ornaments/decorations to put together so that each window had its’ own display.  Every time I saw something which I thought would look good, I got it and put it to one side.  Then one day we went down to the church and created a display for each window, even if I do say so myself, I think they all looked great!

I loved being able to get creative!

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What was your first dance & why? This was the most difficult decision of everything in the whole wedding! We had loads of songs which brought back lovely memories of when we first got together and lots of songs which held special memories for us both, but when we were choosing we couldn’t really find one where the words said what we wanted them to say.  We had to make a playlist for the videographers to include in our wedding video.  So we decided that it would be one of those songs. After much deliberation we eventually chose Ed Sheeran – Kiss Me, it says just enough, but is not overbearingly cheesy.

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In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently? One of Jon’s ushers, Liam, was unable to make the day, as we had changed the date with only five months notice, he wasn’t able to get the time off work at the last minute. If we could change anything, it would be that he could have made it.  But he sent a photo of himself at work, with a note for us both, which one of the best men read out to us all.  He made it in so many photographs thanks to the picture he sent!

Other than that, there isn’t a single thing I would change.  The day was absolutely perfect.

Do you have any advice for future couples? Be organised – I never thought we would plan a wedding in five months, but we did! Get a Pinterest board going, it was my go-to place for inspiration or whenever we needed to make a decision about something.

Keep track of what you spend or it could easily spiral out of control.

Pick your photographer wisely. Owen and Charis were great. They helped to make sure that everything ran smoothly, and most of the time you didn’t even notice they were there. To top it off, they are two of the most lovely people. The pictures they took captured every little detail. They are just beautiful. As there are two of them, you get lots more pictures!

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Within reason, make sure you do what you want to do for your big day, don’t try and please other people.  It is your day so do what you want.  You will never please everyone!

Enjoy every second because it flies, everyone says that before you get married, but when the day comes, it goes so much quicker than you would ever imagine!

If anything goes wrong on your day, don’t let it spoil the best day of your life! Everything that happens, happens for a reason! We had organised a camper van to take the bridesmaids to the church, and a beetle to take Jon and I from the church to the reception venue.  Ten minutes before we were due to leave, someone mentioned that the camper hadn’t turned up yet.  The morning was so hectic that it hadn’t even crossed my mind.  I got a bad feeling, so rang the company (we had booked, paid for and received confirmation of the transport for the day).  They told me that they didn’t have a booking in our area for that day.  My heart stopped and I could feel my eyes filling up with tears – for all the wrong reasons! They realised they had misplaced our booking when transferring information from one diary to another.  I was furious at this point. My uncle was great at calming me down and helped me realise that there was nothing that we could do about it.  I was determined that these people were not going to ruin my day.  We sorted transport for the bridesmaids and mum to get to the church and off we went, albeit a bit late!  I went to church in my Dad’s renovated lorry, and this then meant that Jon and I would go from church to the reception in it too – it made Dad’s day! We had some lovely pictures with it later in the day and it was a huge talking point.  As much as we would have loved to have the transport we had chosen, it filled me with pride to be able to take our first journey as husband and wife in Dad’s lorry, which he had worked so hard to complete in time for the wedding, despite his ill health.  

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What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received? Never go to sleep on an argument!

What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding? Under the circumstances, when we started to plan and arrange things it was done with a heavy heart, as we were still absorbing the bad news that we hadn’t long received. But as time went on and dad began responding to treatment, it became more exciting and enjoyable.

We loved being able to create something that reflected us. I loved getting the chance to be creative. Making the bunting was great! Putting all of the little ideas we had together to make this one big thing was quite special. I was overwhelmed at how well everything came together on the day. I couldn’t believe that we had created it all!

The best thing of all was getting to plan it all together, with our friends and family involved from start to finish.  It was an honour to chip in and help Dad complete the lorry in time too, even if it was just hanging the curtains and a bit of polishing.

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The Suppliers

Photographer: o&c Photography

Videographer: Eight Wood Studios
Ceremony Venue: St Peter’s Church, Lampeter Velfrey, Pembrokeshire
Reception Venue: Wolfscastle Country Hotel
Bride’s Dress: Ruby by Sassi Holford, from White Bride, Narberth
Bride’s Shoes: Mimosa by Rachel Simpson, from White Bride, Narberth
Bride’s Headpiece: Rachel Willet from White Bride, Narberth
Bride’s Jewellery: White Bride, Narberth.  Wedding rings from Audrey Bull, Narberth
Groom’s Outfit: Dress for the Occassions, Haverfordwest
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: TwoBirds from White Bride, Narberth
Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Jon Richard hair clips
Cake: T’isie Teisen
Flowers: Elements Wedding Floristry
Hair: Chris’s Hairstylists
Make Up: Delwedd Beauty Salon
DJ: Steve Briers
Stationery: Sarah Wants
Any Reception Decor/Props: Make it Pretty
Transport: Dad’s Lorry
Other: We hired the chairs for the reception venue from Dingle Marquee Hire 

The Wedding Gallery

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Thank you so much Christina, I am so glad we got to share this with our readers… I am sure everyone reading is pleased to hear that your dad is doing well. Wishing him the best of luck and we hope you all have many happy years together! 
If you loved this wedding please show it some love in the comments box below :)

Charlie x


Dydd Santes Dwynwen Hapus

Beth am Dathlu dydd Santes Dwynwen….?

Heddiw, ar 25 Ionawr, yw’r diwrnod rydy ni’n dathlu dydd Santes Dwynwen, nawddsant cariadon cymru.

Mae stori garu Dwynwen yn un digon trist.

O ganlyniad I’w profiad gofynnodd I Dduw Wireddu gobeithion gwir gariadon. Fe gafodd ei dymuniad, ac er mwyn diolch I Dduw, treuliodd ei bywyd yn ei wasanaeth.

Cael eich ysbrydoli gan Hanes a Diwylliant Cymru, a chael golwg ar gwaith dylunydd priodas Cymraeg Amy Mair Couture, y mae eu dylanwadau yn cynnwys hanes tirwedd Cymru….


Image from Amy Mair Couture’s sketchbook


Image © O&C Photography

For our readers that don’t speak or read welsh, here is the English translation:

Let’s Celebrate St Dwynwen’s day ….

Today, on January 25, we celebrate the day ‘dydd Santes Dwynwen’ St romantic wales.

The love story of Dwynwen is quite sad…

Due to her sad experience Dwynwen asked God to fulfill the hopes of true lovers. Her wish came true, and so she spent her life in his service.

Be inspired by the History and Culture of Wales, and have a browse at the work of Welsh wedding dress designer Amy Mary Couture, whose influences include the history of the Welsh landscape ….


Image from Amy Mair Couture’s sketchbook


Image © O&C Photography

Many thanks to Amy Mair Couture for writing our very first Welsh post :)

For those that would like to find out more about St Dwynwen’s Day you can read the full story here

Featured Vendor: Amy Mair Couture


Vintage bride Sophie recently spent some time with up and coming bridal couture designer Amy Mair in her studio. All photos in this post were taken by Maria Farrelly unless otherwise stated :)


Amy Mair Couture

© O & C Photography

We all know Wales has talent and earlier this year, a Pembrokeshire lass with the most extraordinary gift for designing wedding dresses launched her first collection. Believe me, Amy Mair is a name to remember! Her debut collection, Freda May was launched exclusively at White Bride in Narberth in the spring of this year and, following its success, she is now developing her next collection.

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If you’d like to get to know Amy and her designs, I recommend following her on Facebook. Not only will you get to see her progress and designs but you will also get a unique insight into her creative mind. She welcomes comments and questions and it’s a great way for you to interact with the designer. Amy produces the loveliest sketches – her sketchbooks are just beeeeeautiful! She is a true creative and is so much more than a fashion designer. With Amy, you get a dress created by a fine artist and a sketch of your dress to prove it, to hang proudly on your wall for years to come. With touches like that and beautiful dresses, what is not to love? :)

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Her current collection houses five designs – Aster, Bluebell, Lupin, Mallow and Mallow with Wrap.

Photos courtesy of O&C Photography

When looking at the collection as a whole, the first thing I noticed was the exquisite lace and detailing. The designs just scream couture! They each have their own personality and identity and that is exactly what Amy was hoping for. They are designed for a bride wanting and hoping for something different and unique. Her collection was photographed by the wonderful O&C Photography and the images really are worth a gander. Shot in the beautifully whimsical Bosherston Lilly Ponds, Stackpole Quay and nearby woodland, the collection looks spectacular.


Aster © O & C Photography

With any collection, I have my favourite, and in this case it is Aster. I adore the femininity of it, created beautifully by the scalloped lace on the sleeves, the lace detailing leading up to the neck and the womanly silhouette she creates. Whichever angle you choose to view the dress from, there is detailing you can’t help but stare at. The dress surprised me and I liked that. I could not predict the back when looking at the front and I was equally as astonished by the attention to detail from all angles. I was truly blown away by it. Amy recently created a beautiful veil using delicate lace and silk tulle. Teamed with Aster, you have a match made in heaven.


Mallow © O & C Photography


Mallow with wrap

Mallow with wrap © O & C Photography

To date, brides have found Mallow to be the most desirable of the collection. She can be worn with or without a wrap, creating a completely different look, offering priceless versatility on your big day. Mallow’s ballerina wrap can been seen in her photoshoot. However, if the wrap is not to your taste, Amy recently added a new bolero to the collection, designed especially for Mallow so you also have options! With two styles of wrap to choose from this could be the most versatile dress out there! Even without a wrap, the sweetheart neckline and intricately beaded bodice are more than enough to carry you down the aisle!


Bluebell © O & C Photography


Lupin © O & C Photography

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of spending some time with Amy both in person and over the phone. If you are fortunate and lucky enough to be buying an Amy Mair, I can assure you of this… you are in great hands. Her passion is infectious; each time we talk I leave feeling truly inspired. I can only image how a bride to be will feel having an appointment with her…

How did you get into the bridal industry?

My love of couture began at university. I studied Fashion Design at West Wales School of the Arts and graduated in 2011. I was then lucky enough to work for a couture designer where I expanded on my experience and knowledge. With a view to launching a collection in a boutique, I then moved to White Bride in Narberth. I was already working on and had been developing my own brand so this was a great opportunity for me. The Freda May collection launched in spring, 2013.

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Where do you find inspiration?

Visually, I take inspiration from the coast and the outdoors but I really do find inspiration in everything, wherever life takes me. I’m inspired by things such as trends in fashion, art, and theatre and even from music but I truly adore the natural environment, especially the beautiful coast and landscapes of West Wales. I sketch, paint and draw and find an overwhelming beauty in nature. I was recently inspired by a photograph of a deer, something which a friend of mine had taken, so much so that I immediately started sketching up designs for my next collection.

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Is Freda May someone you know?

Freda May is the name of my Nanan, my mother’s mother. Unfortunately she is no longer with us but when I was growing up she would encourage my sister and I to draw. Our Christmas presents always included art materials and I think she would be very proud to know that she inspired me, not only to be artistic but to go on to establish a career in Bridal Couture. It was an honour to name my first collection after her, she had a beautiful name.

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Do you have plans to stock your collections in other boutiques?

At the moment I am working on getting my first studio set up in Cardiff in preparation of the launch of the next collection. My studio will be a haven of sketches, paintings, fabric samples and mood boards. I hope to have mannequins with silks draped over them to inspire new designs and toiles (mock ups) of dresses for the next collection everywhere!
I would love to stock my collections in other boutiques and my next collection will have a larger selection of dresses to do that with so watch this space!

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Tell us about your next collection! When should we expect it?

I am always dreaming up new designs, it actually keeps me awake at night! I keep a note pad by my bed because I worry that I will forget them by morning, so I sketch it quickly. I often walk on the beach as it is so quiet and peaceful; it really helps to clear my head of everyday worries. It is in these moments that I find true inspiration and when a design pops in my head it feels so magical. I have some great ideas for the next collection. They need developing but I am bursting with inspiration for it! I am hoping to launch in May 2014.

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How did it feel when you made your first sale?

Incredible. A bride-to-be and her mother came to the boutique I was working at and selected an array of dresses to try from the likes of Jenny Packham to Sassi Holford. When she tried on Mallow, her Mother started crying and she instantly knew she’d found the one. I didn’t let on that I was the designer but her Mother guessed. I was very proud indeed.

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What is the price range of your dresses?

The current collection ranges from £1295 to £1375

Do you design bespoke gowns if a bride is looking for a one-of-a-kind dress?

I do, and have made bespoke gowns but it is a more expensive process. As a couture designer, I am aware that I will be asked to make bespoke, which I am very happy to do, that is, as long as it is a design that I believe reflects a little of my own style and brand.

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Where is your favourite place to Cwtch?

Barafundle Beach in Pembrokeshire. I prefer to cwtch on the beach when it’s cold and dark because I love to look at the horizon, especially when the sky meets the sea and you can’t see the ending – it makes me believe I can do anything if I put my mind to it.

We were thrilled when Amy agreed to showcase her collection at the Cwtch the Bride launch party last week and her beautiful models were absolute showstoppers! I’ll be reporting back with a look at her next collection in the Spring so I wish her every success in the lead up to the launch and I can’t wait to see what 2014 holds for her!

For enquiries please contact or you can find Amy on Twitter: @AmyMairCouture1 :)


Sophie x

Transparency about our ads & sponsorship is a key part of our ethos, so we’d like to let you know that this post was paid for by a Cwtch the Bride sponsor. We always strive to work with brands we think you’ll love & make sure that all sponsors are relevant to our readers & represent our philosophy.

Cwtch of the Week: Sarah & Grant

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We couldn’t resist showing this double whammy of ‘just married’ cwtches – who could pick between them?! These beautiful shots come courtesy of Charis & Owen aka O&C Photography. You can see their full wedding here :)

Wanna see some more lovely cwtches? You can view the full gallery of Cwtches here. If you’ve got a lovely photo you’d like us to feature you can email it to :)