I cannot tell you how excited I have been to start introducing you properly to our amazing new Brides and Groom to Be!
Their stories were wonderful! All inspiring, endearing, sweet and real.
So, to start us off, without further ado, let me introduce to you to the gorgeous Jenine! We fell in love with Jenine after reading about her and Tom’s meeting story. I won’t tell you anymore, I will instead hand you over.
Over to you Jenine……
Hello and welcome to my first bridezilla, I mean Bride filled, blog. My name is Jenine and I am 32 years old and getting married to my best friend Tom in September 2018 at Hensol Castle.
Just cannot already wait for it to be here as it currently feels like a lifetime away which I’m sure is a feeling echoed by most brides and grooms!
Both Tom and I are from Cardiff and met via Tinder in February 2014…hence the name “Tinder Bride”. Tom has his own residential and commercial painting and decorating company and I’m a Family Law Solicitor.
I was so happy to have been selected to blog for Cwtch the Bride as it’s nice to be involved with happiness, rainbows and hope as sadly my day job involves me divorcing people which can be quite emotionally draining. The most common question I left asked is whether I believe in marriage when people find out what I do for a living; my answer is obviously no! Thankfully it actually makes me want to make sure that Tom is the right person I’m marrying for all the right reasons even more!
February 2014 was really random! At the time I was in Leeds finishing the last few months of my professional training. It hit new year and me and 4 other best friends (a mix of boys and girls) decided to have some fun on Tinder. It was a New Years resolution for me and my intention was to have some fun and be on there for 31 days only!
On 30 January 2014, my Grandma passed away and I returned home to see my family. It was during that time there one of my best friends who was part of our Tinder crew told me to have a look at the men in Cardiff as I would know a few people on there to. So as I was home, I did, and came across the man I am today marrying! Tom had coincidentally just come home himself from Australia as he had just obtained residence to live there; he was only home for his brother’s wedding.
Fast forward 3 years and we are still on an engagement high after popped the question in Paris 2 years to the day we became an “official item”…I had to get the seal of approval of his late beautiful Nan and Mother before of course! An aspect which made me love him even more because family is everything to me. Plus I knew I only had to past a test involving two important people; my family is like being thrown into a pit with lions! Thankfully he survived.
Tom would say the proposal did not go to plan! Paris was a surprise trip as I thought we were heading to Bordeaux as Tom had not long come back from watching the Euros there and he said he loved it; it was our two year anniversary gift and he knew my favourite city was Paris.
A four hour delayed flight to Paris meant getting to The hotel very late and a very grumpy bride to be not want to get out of bed the next morning. Not even the showered, dressed and very anxious man sitting at the end of my bed make me want to get up earlier. An argument and a few hours later, we ended up heading towards “The proposal destination”..the Eiffel Tower. A panicked Tom said he will never forget feeling like the tower was falling down on him when he realised he couldn’t get passed the additional and heavy security due to the Euro final day) without taking a ring out of his pocket. His intention was to ask me under the tower or on the third floor! So down a little lane Tom dropped on one knee and despite his pale, anxious, worried self (bless him!) it was the best proposal ever.
However instead of crying I did laugh due to be so shocked that Tom did such a big display as that usually is not him! That then led onto toasting and calling our loved ones sat in a bar by the Tower and the river. Onto a river cruise and lunch. A Tuk-tuk ride (who beeped through a heavy melting pot of different people to tell them we were engaged) back to the hotel to get changed and our again for the Euro football finals.
It’s our special story and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
From JOM (aka Jenine and Tom) xxx
Aaaaaahhhh Jenine we just adore you two already! And we cannot wait to find out all about your planning!
We are too excited for our lovely new bloggers!
And speaking of happy, this is such a smiley wedding for you to start off your weekend! Todays Real Wedding of Eric and Jemma’s rustic wedding, is superb. The couple really couldn’t stop showing how overjoyed they were to be marrying each other.
Shot by Cross-Jones Photography, this wedding will really bring smile on your face! Over to Jemma and Eric to tell you all about their lovely day.
Eric and Jemma’s Rustic Wedding
How would you describe your wedding theme?
Our wedding theme was rustic
What was your favourite part of your wedding?
Jemma: Every moment was truly magical, from the moment I arrived at Oxwich Bay, to walking down the isle with my father & seeing Eric looking very handsome in his suit.
We had amazing adventures on the beach throughout the day and were able to capture and cherish beautiful memories with close family & friends. There is honestly not one thing I would have wished to have changed.
Eric: For me I have to say that my most favourite part of our wedding day is when I stood at the alter, a bag of nerves, with my brother by my side. The harpist was playing, I turned around and saw Jem for the first time, my heart skipped a beat and I nearly started to cry. I felt amazing, my wife looked stunning as she does everyday, but on this day she blew me away. I feel like the luckiest man alive.
Tell us about your Wedding Dress
As a child you can only dream of a fairytale wedding with a princess dress, this made my dream complete. I had a very specific creation in mind and I was able to turn it into a reality, with the help & support of Lorraine Stone, Truly Scrumptious, a bridal boutique in North Cornelly.
I wanted a dress that was truly unique & every little detail of my dress was a part of me, from the finer flower lace detail & the colour to the magnificent grand bow at the back at the dress which was inspired from my shoes.
The dress fittings were also an opportunity to spend quality time with my beautiful mum, which helped us throughout our incredible wedding journey. The both of us decided to have daffodils on the table for the wedding day as they remind me of beautiful memories with my grandmother, therefore we spent time flower arranging together too.
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why?
Eric: I choose my brother, Trevor, as I look up to him, not only is he my brother but he is my best friend. Trev is an awesome dad to his 4 girls and a fantastic husband. A great role model. Therefore I couldn’t pick a better person to stand by me on my big day.
Jemma: We both knew that we were going to have 4 beautiful flower girls, they were Eric’s Nieces:Nakisha, Tia, Lexi & Amelia.Then my 2 gorgeous nephew’s as page boys: Mason & Harley. This made it complete and they were all truly stars on the day. Well Done & a BIG thank you. We love you lots & lots.
Why did you choose your venue?
Eric: Oxwich Bay has amazing memories from my childhood, from when my parents took me there as a child playing on the beach, it was simply perfect for us as we spend alot of time down there now as a couple. I love being outdoors and exploring amazing adventures together which I know will continue throughout time.
Jemma: We spend alot of time walking our pooch down the Gower, when we looked at venues the Oxwich Bay captured everything we could have dreamed of. The outdoors is just surrounded by natural beauty, with the sound of the ocean and the feel of the sand between your toes.
Tell us about your photographer
Eric: Cross-Jones Photography, Jon & Chantelle, were truly exceptional & we couldn’t have wished for anyone else to capture our magical moments on our wedding day. We were able to explore the surroundings of the Oxwich Bay Hotel with their support throughout the day to capture beautiful memories that will always be with us.
Jemma: We had photographs in the gardens with beautiful blossom trees enhancing our photos, but we had spectacular adventures down the beach including climbing rocks in my heels!
We cant thank Jon & Chantelle enough for everything they captured on our wedding day.
How did the proposal happen?
PARIS….. At the top of the Eiffel Tower!!!
Remembering it like it was yesterday. It was a very hot sunny day, 37 degree’s to be exact, we had waited a considerable amount of time to reach the top of the Eiffel Tower. When we arrived at the top it was very busy, we had a glass of champagne and was admiring the views over Paris.
The next moment the waves of people seem to vanish & Eric got down on one knee with a stunning engagement ring in the shape of the tower. A lot of thought had obviously gone into the whole proposal, so I’m a very lucky girl.
Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?
Where to start on how we selected everything for our enchanting journey on our magical wedding day, below we have highlighted where we have sourced many items that may have been small however once they all came together created the bigger picture and formed a very incredible day for us both to share with our close family & friends….
The Wedding Favours had a very special meaning to us we supported 2 charities close to our hearts: Cancer Charity, where we purchased scratch cards & TY Hafan Pin Badges & Hessian bags which we used to create for children’s activity packs. Jemma currently works at Ty Hafan, Children’s Hospice as an Outreach Play Practitioner, therefore has a close connection at the hospice and in communities accross Wales with the children & families she works with and supports.
What was your first dance & why?
For our first dance song we choose, Shane Filan / Beautiful In White, the words were perfect, and we both fell in love with the song the first time we heard it, we listened to millions of love songs, but none came close.
It felt like we were in our own bubble, with the sounds of cheers and happiness as we danced through the song. It was followed by the bride dancing with her father which shared the journey.
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?
Honestly, absolutely nothing, the wedding day was enchanting and we both had a magical day, there were lots of smiles & laughter with our close family & friends, some of which travelled far and wide from England & Scotland.
Do you have any advice for future couples?
Enjoy every moment of your magical day, and take time to capture a moment together, we have created forever memories from our day that we will treasure forever.
What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received?
We have known each other for 15 years now, and have been good friends through that time, advice from others has been to keep smiling like we do & to be happy. Instead of a guest book we asked our family and friends to write down their most memorable place that they had been too, so that we can visit those places to create memorable moments also on our journey together, so we have some incredible adventures now to complete.
What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?
Eric: Jem was fantastic, she was so organised & in my opinion she could have a future job in wedding planning, but I know she is doing her dream job at present at TY Hafan. The food tasting was amAzing, to have the opportunity to spend time at Oxwich Bay with my future wife made me feel complete & I had never had that before.
Jemma: We worked well as a team, ideas were created by talking to each other & if something wasn’t feeling quite right we would make the decision together to change it. We had a lovely day shopping with our nieces and nephews, both were wearing their clothing / shoes from Ted Baker & Next, and looked adorable.
However at times it was difficult as I had to keep things a secret from Eric, not only was my dress a surprise, but Eric had no idea about my Unique bouquet, or his buttonhole, made personally from buttons & brooches, which was exceptionally made with love by Leesa, from I <3 Buttons.
A few weeks ago we featured this proposal shoot in Tintern Abbey and I loved it so much that I followed it up the week after with this post talking about why I love proposal and pre-wedding shoots. We also put a plea up on our Facebook page for brides with proposal photographs to get in touch. Reader Jess answered this plea and this week she is here telling us all about her romantic proposal in Paris with surprise photos by Lindsey of Pictours Paris, take it away Jess.
Phil and I went to secondary school together and were part of the same friendship group all the way through. We were the only two from the group to end up in Swansea University and I think the fact he was a familiar face and the fact all my housemates quite fancied him meant that we began spending more time together and eventually he asked me out on a date. The date was a bit of a disaster, we were both very awkward! Doors, escalators and ticket machines tried to scupper us, but at the end of the night when he nearly missed his bus because he ran back to give me a good night kiss I knew he was pretty special. We have been together for more than five years now, all through uni and graduating, getting our first jobs and finally moved in together last year.
On our fifth anniversary of being together Phil surprised me with a trip to Paris, he is usually pretty useless at keeping secrets so when I accidentally found out about the trip a few weeks early I thought I had it all figured out. On Wednesday 8th of April, he told me he was taking me out for a special meal near the Pont des Arts and thought we could stop by there to place our padlock on the bridge. So we dressed up nicely and headed out, we picked the perfect place for our padlock to stay forever and I attached it, feeling all romantic and lovely!
Then I turned back to Phil and he was down on one knee saying something about being happy and being in love and spending our lives together (his exact wording has been completely lost on both of us since!) he then produced my gorgeous 1950s vintage diamond ring.
Apparently I didn’t say yes I just grabbed it and cried and squealed and he had to ask if that was meant to be a yes! We were cuddling and I was all in a bit of a blur with the whole thing when out of the corner of my eye I spotted someone taking photos of us. Phil told me to ignore it but she started coming closer and congratulating us, she told me she had been asked by Phil weeks ago to capture the whole thing and wondered if I would be happy to have a few more photos taken, after Phil confirmed this was all really happening we set off to have some beautiful photos taken near the Louvre and catching the golden hour light. My lovely Phil who I didn’t think was capable of keeping secrets managed to organise the whole thing, searching for an English speaking photographer in Paris, sending her a photo of us so she knew who to look for, emailing and texting her all day to catch the right time for the photos. Secretly buying the ring I had fallen in love with weeks before and cheekily showed him and meeting my dad in Sainsbury’s cafe to ask his permission.
We both told our families that night (although my dad couldn’t keep a secret like Phil so most of them already knew!) but kept the news to ourselves for a little while so we could tell as many people in person as possible. We left Paris the next day and Phil received an email from the lovely Lindsey from Pictours Paris with a link to all our photos, so as soon as we got home and had a decent internet connection again, we had a nose through them and relived it all again tears included!
We have spent a little time enjoying being engaged, showing off our photos and sharing our lovely story since then and finally started planning this month. So far we have booked our venue the lovely Ty Mawr in Lisvane for August 2015, next on the list to find is a photographer that can ensure our wedding day photos live up to the incredible engagement photos!
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us Jess, I absolutely love your photos and can’t wait to drag Mark to the Pont des Arts to hang up a love lock now! I am still dying to see more proposal shoots – these are my new favourite thing. If you have one, or if you have a proposal story with a pre-wedding shoot to boot then contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org