Good morning everyone! We hope you had a lovely weekend.
I tend not to get the Monday morning blues these days, as I have the pleasure of seeing weddings at work, and thats just so happy, its hard to be grumpy. But just in case you have got them, here is a gorgeous Cwtch of the Week for you. A Sneaky Cwtch in fact.
Shot by the absolutely lovely Leri Lane, this image epitomises every answer our brides and grooms give when they are asked ‘what advice would you give to brides and grooms to be’.
They always answer, to take a moment. Just the two of you, and enjoy the excitement of becoming man and wife. Its a gorgeous moment in of Amy and Andy. Over to Leri to tell us a bit more about it…….
Cwtch of the Week: A Sneaky Cwtch
Here they are, Amy and Andy, who married on the 8th October this year.
I love this photo. As i was editing away through all the images this one melted my heart. We were heading back to the car, back to their family and friends and i just wanted them to have a little moment, take it all in.
I said it would be the last photo before we were heading back and to me this is them having a minutes peace – taking it all in that they are finally married and totally in love.
Its such so romantic – I know it looks like I’m sneaking a peek on them but how beautiful do they look.
Amy looks an elegant totally gorgeous bride kissing her man, her best friend, her husband!
We couldn’t agree more Leri – it really is a wonderful moment in time for them to treasure. Thank you for sharing x
Amy got in touch with us after her wedding to see if we were interested in featuring her engagement shoot – we only had one word for her: YES! We can’t get enough of these beautiful images (shot by Victoria Tyrell) – we showed a sneak peak as our Cwtch of the Week yesterday, now we’ve got the full shoot for you all. Enjoy!
How did you meet?
We met whilst travelling in Thailand 7 years ago. We were on the same tour group and spent 3 weeks traveling through South East Asia. Matt started out as the “boy from Wales” who along with his friend had spent 10 full days in Thailand without seeing a single tourist attraction and only the drinking establishments on Khao San Road. At least we knew where to go for a party!
Somehow, I found this rather funny and his laid back nature meant we got on well and could talk about all things random. Our holiday romance didn’t happen until the second week but blossomed as the trip went on.
All good things had to end and so we parted ways in Singapore as I was heading back to the UK for my final year at university and Matt had only just started his 5 month trip around the world. Little did we know, our holiday romance ended up with us keeping in touch the whole time he was abroad and after our first official date on a cold January day in Cardiff here we are, 6 years on – married :)
How did the proposal happen?
Totally by surprise! I had no clue he was going to pop the question. Our story…
It was the day before his birthday so I decided to work from home that Friday so that we could go out to dinner with his mum before going away for the weekend to a concert. I have to work away from home during the week so it was a nice change to be working from home. As a result, Matt decided to finish work a little earlier and suggested we head out for walk before dinner since it was a warm summer’s day.
I agreed to a short stroll only as I wanted time to get ready and went with his idea of the Methyr Mawr sand dunes since we had been a few times and enjoyed the fab views from the top. This time though, I suggested we wander around the paths along the dunes rather than climb the steep hills to get to the top thinking it would take us ages and we had to get back pretty soon.
Matt, however was insistent that we climbed to the top and made numerous attempts to persuade me. I was having none of it and initially only settled for a short climb – no views here….! His perseverance eventually made me give in and so we ended up making the long and steep climb. Whilst I complained every step along the way, I had to admit that it was certainly worth the effort as the views of Ogmore and the sea are amazing from there.
I still had no clue at this point and just wanted to sit down to admire the views. We found a spot along the path at the top (much to my relief after the climb), where we could chill out for a bit. As usual, we chatted away just catching up on our day in general when his tone started to change and he began to pull out what he could remember from a speech that he had planned about us as a couple. Before I could process what he was saying he had popped the question and proceeded to get down on one knee. I think I was speechless for what seemed like ages to him and amongst all the emotions I managed to find only enough voice to answer Yes :)
We ended up staying at the dunes much longer than planned soaking up the emotion of what had just happened… so what if I only had like 5 minutes to get ready in the end; it was the perfect end to that summer’s day and the start of our two year engagement.
He later told me that he only decided on the day purely based on the weather… his back up plan if the weather was bad was to do it at the concert!!
Why did you choose your engagement shoot location?
I’d wanted to visit a lavender farm for ages ever since I saw some photos a friend had taken at a farm based in Surrey. The idea of walking amongst fields of lavender felt so romantic to me – it seemed the ideal setting for our engagement shoot. There aren’t many lavender farms in the UK so Surrey looked like a good option. Although we are based in Wales, I had convinced Matt that making the trip would be worth it and our photographer was more than happy to join us for a road trip! However, we didn’t make it to Surrey in the end…This was because we found a place in Wales! :)
Although we would be getting married in London, from quite early on in our planning I’d decided that we should make every effort to source as much as we could from Wales seeing as Matt is from here and helped by the fact that I was working in Newport at the time. So in another effort to look for a location in Wales I came across Welsh Lavender which was based in Builth Wells, Powys.
It was a private farm so I had missed it in my initial searches but after exchanging several emails and calls with Nancy the owner, who was so lovely and helpful, it turned out they had an open day coming up for a local garden show, the rare occasion where they would open the farm up to the public. Coupled with the fact that it was my birthday, it was obviously meant to be. We turned up bright and early and almost had the place to ourselves for most of the morning :) The farm is situated atop a valley so in addition to the beautiful lavender the views were stunning all around.
Heledd & Geraint wanted a relaxed, fun day for their wedding and it really looks like they got their wish! :) We love the bold choice of a black and white wedding dress – such commitment to their theme! :) All photographs in the post were provided by their photographer, Keith Morris.
We asked them a few questions about their day…
How would you describe your wedding theme? With a gorgeous black and white facade, the venue made our theme quite obvious. Though everything wasn’t black and white as I think it would have been a little over the top, it was certainly reflected in my dress and the bridesmaids, as well as some of the decorations. It was also quite understated. Also, we had a bit of a Welsh-Irish theme in the food, to reflect our Welsh roots and my time in Ireland.
But – more than anything, we wanted a fun and relaxed atmosphere, surrounded by our friends and family. There’s a famous printing press in Gregynog, and our wedding invitations were made by the man who used to work there. They were simple and elegant, but also meant that every guest had a little part of Gregynog.
What was your favourite part of your wedding? Apart from the actual wedding ceremony, seeing family and friends mingle and enjoy themselves. There were some hilarious photographs from the photobooth, and not from the usual suspects. Also, we had some spontaneous singing by the piano at some stage by many of the guests, which was amazing. Everyone mixed with each other, and everyone threw themselves into having fun. It was great to see al the smiles and laughter.
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why? My friend Wendy lives in Vancouver, but prior to moving there, we spent four wonderful years living together during University in Dublin. She’s the sweetest, bubbliest and kindest person on earth and was an obvious choice to be my Maid of Honour. I was thrilled that she flew all the way to be there with us.
My other two bridesmaids were Gwenno, Geraint’s daughter and Aoife, my friend’s daughter who I’ve known since she was a little girl. They were perfect bridesmaids. Geraint decided against a best man, but chose his son, Gethin, to look after our rings, which he did brilliantly!
Why did you choose your venue? Gregynog Hall was a perfect venue for us. It’s somewhere I’ve visited and loved since I was a little girl, and there’s lots of pictures of me there from a very young age. Luckily, when Geraint saw the place for the first time he loved it as well. Though it looks quite grand, the staff are down to earth and were so flexible in allowing us to make the day our own.
So many places we saw were so stuffy, and forcing menus and so on upon us but they let us plan the day just as we wanted. Bar open until 3am? No problem. Hog Roast Buffet rather than a sit down meal? No problem. Punch bowls rather than wine? No problem. I think you get the picture! Also, there was enough space for over a 100 guest to say which meant that many of us were there from the Friday until the Sunday. It meant more time to see family and friends, especially ones who had travelled from Ireland, Canada and Australia to be present. Plus more time to have fun!
How did the proposal happen? We were over in Dublin at my friend Annie’s wedding, having just returned back from a romantic holiday to Seville. The night before the wedding, we went out. We had food in a lovely Italian restaurant, and I could tell Geraint was a little quiet. Just as the main course was served, I saw a friend of mine from my college days as a nearby table and went over to chat to him. He then came over to say hello to Geraint, and chatted for a while.
After finishing dinner, Geraint and I went on to a pub and there was some fantastic live music. And that’s where he asked me! I thought he’d just had one pint too many, but he’d planned to ask me in the restaurant until my friend showed up. Of course I said yes! Some people may not think a pub is the most romantic place, but the atmosphere and the music were perfect for us. It also meant a lot to me that he’s asked me in Dublin, somewhere that will always be close to my heart.
How did you find the wedding planning? A month after we booked our wedding, I found out I was pregnant! Tomos Geraint arrived on the 12th of May and our wedding was four months later. It meant that we had other priorities, so took quite a relaxed approach to the day. I chose a dress that I wouldn’t have to starve myself to fit into, which really took away the stress. I didn’t suit traditional wedding dresses anyway, so having something a bit different was more my style anyway.
My biggest treat to myself for the day was a pair of custom, handmade shoes by Hetty Rose. They are stunning, and are ones I will be able to wear again. As they were made to fit my foot, they were so comfortable which meant I was able to wear them all day!
Our photographer, Keith Morris, really captured the spirit of the day and was brilliant company to have around. We love his informal photographs rather than some of the more traditional type.
Both the hair and make up girls – Bev and Leah – were amazing. They were fun, but also so professional. They did a fab job, and I can’t recommend them more highly.
As we are both Welsh speakers, we wanted the ceremony and the speeches to be in Welsh. To include everybody, we asked a friend of ours who’s a translator to translate everything. All the non Welsh speakers had a headset and were able to follow the day without a problem.
What was your first dance & why? Our first dance was Ring of Fire, because it’s a song that both of us love – and it’s short so we wouldn’t have to dance too long!
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently? I would have danced more to the fantastic band!
Do you have any advice for future couples? Stick to what you want, and don’t let other interfere. Plan a day that suits both of you, and choose a venue that allows some flexibility. You don’t have to please everybody else – just yourselves! But also – let people you trust help. My Mum did so much to help, and her friend, Elliw, was invaluable on the day.
She did the flowers for the venue beautifully, she helped me tie my dress and even leant me her earrings! Also another relative, who’s a famous harpist – Elinor Bennett – offered to play the harp at our ceremony. It really added to the atmosphere, and it was a real honour for us to have her play.
What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received? Never let an argument fester, and never to go sleep angry.
What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding? Doing things our way, and not having to conform to what a wedding ‘should’ be like. We walked into the ceremony together hand in hand, we chose readings for the ceremony that meant something to both of us, we had punch bowls on every table with quite a strong vodka punch rather than wine, we didn’t have a wedding cake but rather a chocolate and guinness cake on every table. In other words, we planned a day that reflected both of us. It was amazing to see everything come together.
Aislinn & Marc tied the knot at the Porthmawr Country House in Powys on the 11th May 2013. Their beautiful, multi-coloured wedding was shot by Clive Nolan Photography.
What was your budget? £12,000, this included having the venue for 3 days and nights.
How would you describe your wedding theme? A multi-colour garden tea party! We couldn’t decide on a single colour theme so decided to have them all. We both love having BBQs and being outdoors so thought a relaxed garden tea party theme would be suit us down to the ground.
What was your favourite part of your wedding? Seeing all the preparation paying off! We hadn’t really seen another multi-colour garden tea party theme so didn’t know what the ceremony and wedding breakfast would actually look like. Seeing all the different colours and centre pieces all together looking fantastic was really fantastic.
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why? My bridesmaids were Chloe Johnson and Kimberley Allen. Chloe was the first friend I made when I moved to Wales 19 years ago. We have been through ups and down and many arguments but always stayed close. Kimberley is also a school friend who with her excellent organisational skills was an ideal choice in bridesmaid. Marc’s best man was Matthew Browning who is perhaps the most organised of his friends. He did us proud at the wedding organising a surprise slide show of our pasts and making a short film of him and the ushers recreating our engagement shoot! A complete surprise to us and all the guests.
Why did you choose your venue? Our venue was perfect for us. We wanted somewhere to stay the night before and where our guests could be with us. The venue felt like it was in the middle of nowhere not in a town. The owners were also really relaxed and open to any ideas.
How did the proposal happen? Not the most glamorous story! After a few failed attempts where I put my foot in it, Marc finally proposed on New Year’s Eve 2012. After another couple got their proposal in before Marc could, he lured me down a corridor and proposed.
Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share? We made a lot of the decorations ourselves, if you plan to do the same start early and practice, practice and practice! Takes all the stress out of the run up to the big day.
What was your first dance & why? Our first dance was Paolo Nutini’s Loving You. After tying ourselves up in knots over what to have thinking will people judge our choice, or what does our first dance say about us we just thought it’s our day and as long as the song means something to us we don’t care. One of the first times I picked Marc up after a night out he drunkenly sang it to me badly!! He never sings so it made the moment out of tune but memorable.
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently? I focused so much on decorating the guests the table were sat on I totally forgot about the top table! The main decoration was our bouquets in decoupage tea pots and kilner jars which looked slightly plain compared to the other tables.
Do you have any advice for future couples? Do try and enjoy the day, it goes so fast! You will be nervous and probably won’t eat that much so beware of all the alcohol people will push your way. Otherwise you get slightly tipsy pretty early and end up doing cartwheels in your wedding dress at the end of the night. Fun but not quiet the dignified way I imagined I would behave!
What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received? Stay friends!
What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding? Getting to have things exactly the way Marc and I wanted it!