Bride to be Diaries: Introducing Our First Bridesmaid, Maid In Wales

Good morning you lovely bunch!

We finally have the pleasure of introducing our very first bridesmaid! Have you been asked to step up? Are you going to be the Maid of Honor? Are you in need of some inspiration and help for this mahoosive role you’re about to fill?

Well, our gorgeous Maid In Wales, Gwen, is in the same boat, and here to share her journey with you……

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Hello! Lovely to meet you all!

I’m Gwen and in just over a year’s time I am going to helping my twin sister Alys walk down the aisle as her Maid of Honour. We’re both 29 and grew up in the Brecon Beacons in a little village called Bwlch.

Maid In Wales Gwen 1

We went our separate ways for University – me to Exeter and Alys to Cardiff – where we both met local boys who have ended up as our future husbands. I now live in Exeter with my husband Mike and work in PR for a local hospital. When I’m not writing press releases or promoting the NHS to the local media, I spend my time crafting, taking photos, going to festivals, and travelling back and forth to Wales visiting family and friends (I spend A LOT of time on the M5…).

Alys and I have always been best friends, so when I married Mike last August, it was only natural that she should be my Maid of Honour.

Maid In Wales Alys and Gwen

I always knew that she would be up to the task and, during one crazy year of wedding planning, Alys turned out to be a ‘Maid of Honour Extraordinaire’! She threw herself in to organising my amazing hen weekend (which remained top secret until the moment my hens surprised me outside Bath train station).

Maid In Wales Me on my hen party

She was a constant support throughout the wedding planning process helping with everything from dress shopping to individually hand painting invitations. And on an emotional rollercoaster of a wedding day (when I was just about managing to hold it all together) she even managed to reduce me to tears by writing a cheesy song and getting my friends to perform it during the reception. All in all – BEST BRIDESMAID EVER.

Maid In Wales (Gwen)

The trouble is, now it’s my turn. When Alys’ boyfriend Phil popped the question last summer I excitedly (and a little apprehensively) assumed that the time had now come for me to return the favour. Her official MOH proposal came in the post with a card and a customised badge for each of her five chosen bridesmaids. As geographical distance is an issue for Alys’ newly formed ‘Bride Tribe’ (we’re spread out across South Wales, the Midlands and the South West), we all took to Whatsapp to share our reactions to the mail with bridesmaid badge selfies. Naturally we all accepted. So now the hard work begins.

Maid In Wales My MOH proposal

Whilst I am honoured and excited at the prospect of helping my twin sister walk down the aisle next year, she has left me with some rather big shoes to fill. I want to be able to give her exactly the same amazing experience she gave me (which will be quite a challenge!). I’ve already got the engagement party under my belt – I supplied the decorations, helped out with the catering and even made a small speech (public speaking is not my thing) – and attended the obligatory family wedding fair visit which has given us lots of ideas and inspiration for her big day.

Maid In Wales Alys and Gwen 2

As Brides go, she is very on the ball with planning her wedding and already has lots of elements booked in. I, on the other hand, am not quite so sorted with my MOH duties. The prospect of planning a hen party for up to 17 of Alys’ closest friends fills me with dread and I have yet to start any firm preparation. I have a few ideas though, and with the help of my wonderful fellow bridesmaids, I’m confident that we’ll be able to pull it off. Fingers crossed.

We cannot wait to hear more about what you have planned for Alys! x

Bride to be Diaries: Introducing The Sporty Bride

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Hello everybody!

Sporty Bride 7

I waved wildly at my computer screen after writing that which pretty much sums me up…mental!

I was very lucky to be selected as a ‘Bride to Be’ Blogger by the Cwtch team. Having followed this blog for a long time (long before I was engaged…) I’m so excited to share my journey with you all now it’s finally my turn to plan a wedding. This is my introduction post so you can get to know me a little bit better!

I’ve been coined ‘The Sporty Bride’ which is pretty much perfect really seeing as I love my rugby and am a tad obsessed with fitness. I put on a lot of weight whilst I was in university studying to be a physiotherapist, and subsequently lost 5 stone in 2012 after graduating.

Ever since then I’ve loved trying new sports and entering events (from 5k runs to full IRONMAN triathlons) to see what wonderful things my body can do.

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My current obsession being Yoga! I’ve been on a very long journey about self-belief, learning to love myself and my body (most of the time).

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I’m 27 and live in Swansea with my partner, Matthew. I work as a physiotherapist in a spinal injury/neurological rehabilitation unit as well as the head physiotherapist for Welsh Premiership rugby union team, the Bridgend Ravens and Ospreys U18 age grade.

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Matthew is the Elite Rugby Coordinator for the Welsh Rugby Union, he’ll often tell you it’s a lot less glamourous than it sounds but I know he works very hard and I’m very proud of him. Our paths cross quite often professionally and it adds another dynamic to our relationship altogether at times but makes for an interesting life!

We are a very social couple and love our rugby and a drink (or seven…). Matthew proposed to me on March 12th 2016. It was a Saturday and I had been working in the early afternoon. I agreed to meet Matt in the pub after work to watch the rugby, Wales vs England. When I arrived, Matthew took my hand and led me to a quiet spot. I remember being stressed because I hadn’t had time to tidy myself up having come straight from work – I was just about ready to tell him to let me go put ‘my face’ on when I saw how nervous he looked and suddenly I had butterflies.
He handed me a wrapped present; a copy of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Price with a ribbon tied around it. When I opened the book, there was a square cut out and a ring was nestled in chapter 15 titled ’The Unbreakable Vow’ (Oh yeah…HUGE Harry Potter Fan).
I went into shock. He went down on one knee and asked the question. I couldn’t believe it, so much so my hands were shaking and I couldn’t speak but managed to say ‘of course’.

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Matt had arranged all our family and friends to be in the pub that day and so we got to go tell them all our good news at the same time! Wales lost the Rugby but, in all fairness, I can’t say I paid much attention to the game for the first time in my life!

Our Wedding is booked for the 4th of August 2018. 2016 was very eventful for us… we got engaged and became first-time buyers as well so we wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to plan and pay for (*groan*) the wedding of our dreams. We both wanted a big wedding full of family, friends and good times. Seeing as we are both fiercely proud welsh people there was no question about having our wedding in lovely little Wales.

As I spend most of my life in tracksuits and polo-shirts either in my rehab unit, working out or on the side of a muddy rugby pitch in pouring welsh rain looking like a reject from the ‘Gremlins’ movie; my wedding is the perfect chance to live out every feminine, girly fantasy I ever had. I’m sure that many people that know me might think they are at the wrong wedding when they rock up on the day. Many people are surprised to know that under my usually athletic, minimal make up, easy going self is a little girl that dreamed of a sparkly, glamourous and elegant wedding.

I’m also hoping to somehow incorporate our love of sport and wales into our plans…could be an interesting combination! I desperately want my wedding to look as good as my pinterest board does haha! (By the way…I wasn’t kidding about the gremlin look…)

sporty bride 2Image by Dan Minto

I hope that all you enjoy sharing our journey with us as much as we will enjoy sharing it with you- I’m going to be as honest as I can and hopefully not boring!

Hwyl for now- I’m off out for a run! N x

Cwtchfest- All you need to know

Eek… We are so excited to be bringing you yet another awesome Cwtchfest wedding festival and cannot wait to open the doors to you all tomorrow.  Set up is going really well and we’ve lots more to add to the field, it’s so exciting seeing everything come together.

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(just a few tables to set up!)

Todays post is all about what to expect at Cwtchfest and to help you make the most of your day!
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Tickets:

If you have already bought your tickets, HURRAY! Simply print them off or show the confirmation email on your phone when you arrive at the registration tent. There is a barcode we can scan.

If you haven’t bought your tickets yet we strongly advise you get them ASAP. You can purchase on the day at the gate but there may be a wait. The sun is on our side again and we’re expecting this years event to be VERY busy.

Directions:

By car: The Museum is signposted from junction 33 of the M4 motorway (follow road signs for the Museum of Welsh Life), with direct access from the A4232.

By bus: Buses operate between Cardiff City and St Fagans National History Museum throughout the year (number 32A, 320 and 321). The Easyway 32A bus stops in the main car park of the Museum, and the other two buses stop at St Fagans village. The bus ride between the Museum and Cardiff city centre is approximately 25 minutes.

You can plan your journey using the Traveline Cymru website or by calling their helpline on 0300 200 22 33.

The Museum’s website is full of lots more information regarding disabled access, families, dogs etc… take a look here

Parking:

When you arrive at St.Fagans, you’ll need to park in the main visitor carpark.

Please note, there is a charge of £5 per car.  Please bring change as machines cannot accept notes or card payments. FREE for disabled badge holders, motorbikes and coaches. £25 yearly ticket available from Reception.  Remember this money goes towards supporting this wonderful museum.

We recommend if a group of you are coming, car share! (its great for the environment too!)

Once you’ve parked your car, follow the signs through the museum to the main field where Cwtchfest is taking place. Its is based in the field next to the Tannery 

Whats on:

We have a jammed packed day organised with so much going on to keep you all busy.

Once you enter the field and receive your wristbands, you can gain access to the event throughout the day. So if you fancy taking a walk around the museum and want to pop back, you can.

Exhibitor Marquee: We have over 60 of Wales’ top wedding professionals all showcasing their products and services. Many will have great offers and discounts exclusively available on the day, make sure you take advantage!

Goody bags: we have 100 goody bags available to the first 100 B&G’s to arrive. these are filled with ACTUAL goodies and not flyers (we’re good like that).

Workshops: Starting at 12 noon we have a range of workshops running on the hour, each for 30 mins. You will be given a timetable of when each workshop is running so you can plan your day. Make sure you watch the first one…Its me :) and is my very first one…bucks fizz is being served too (nudge nudge).

Live music We are pleased to welcome Music HQ back to cwtchfest. They will be providing all the live music throughout the day and each band is available to be booked for your wedding!

Pop up tea room Head to the giant Tipi for afternoon tea and enjoy some acoustic music while you relax.

Demos situatied in the Marquee you will find hair and make up artists running demos throughout the day.

Food & drink We’re thrilled to have some DELICIOUS food & drink companies showcasing with us. You will find them dotted around the festival. Bring an empty tummy and some £’s and you’ll leave feeling very happy!

BRING CASH!

Make sure you stop off at a cash machine before you arrive!! (plenty at Culverhouse Cross!) There will be a lot of opportunity to purchase many things at the festival. There are no cash machines on site and no facility for paying by card. Please remember to bring £’S

A Big Cwtch

The festival will sadly draw to a close at 5pm. We will end the day with an epic BIG CWTCH that will be photographed for the blog.  Please join us and share the love

Owen Mathias Photography

Owen Mathias Photography

 

 

Bride To Be Diaries: Our Spring Bride Ali Is Planning

spring bride profile

Our Spring Bride Ali is planning in this post. She is telling us all about marking off all of her to do list and making sure that she is organised. Over to you Ali.  Our Spring Bride Planning, planning, planning… … Continue reading

Competition: win a pair of tickets to Brides The Show, London

STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING RIGHT NOW!

We have teamed up with the lovely and very talented Stephanie Allin Couture in celebration of their new “Love Letters” 2016 collection to bring you the chance of winning a pair of twenty ‘Brides the Show‘ London weekend tickets.

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brides the show

Organised by Conde Nast Brides magazine,  Brides The Show is taking place 2-4th October in London and promises to be everything under one roof to help you plan your perfect wedding day.  It is the ultimate planning day or weekend for you and a friend or hubby to be.

The show promises a collection of features that is going to inspire your wedding planning.  Take your seat at the Secret Garden catwalk show and you’ll see a collection of dresses from the very best designers this country has to offer.

Make your way to The Imagination Room and let experts take you step-by-step through inventive DIY sessions.

Join one of the live Q&A talks On The Sofa and hear first-hand advice from the very best designers, photographers, wedding stylists and – of course – the Brides team.

You’ll want to take a breather at the pretty Nyetimber bar for a glass of bubbles before you head to the Cake Pop Wall and try to win yourself one of £16,000 worth of bridal prizes, all while raising money for charity, Teenage Cancer Trust.

To enter in this fabulous competition just let us know what your favourite “Love Letters” dress is.  You can view the stunning collection here

[contact-form to=’lushlist@cwtchthebride.co.uk’ subject=’Competition: win Brides The Show tickets ‘][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Phone number’ type=’text’/][contact-field label=’Address’ type=’text’/][contact-field label=’Favourite %26#039;Love letters%26#039; dress’ type=’text’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

2. Lottie, Catrin Shrug & Skirt front3. Snowflake Shrug & Chiffon Skirt4.Nicola - front5.Francine - back6. Florence -front7Clementine -back