Bride to Be Diaries: Introducing The Unexpected Bride

Good morning everyone! 
We are very excited to introduce another of our wonderful Bride to Be Bloggers, The Unexpected Bride, Rachel!
Over to this little beauty to tell you all about her and her new fiancé!
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My name is Rachel, newly engaged, aged 32.
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I grew up in Cardiff and studied at Cardiff University. Following Graduation I still didn’t move away from Wales and started my first job also in Cardiff at an engineering consultancy which is where I first met my fiancé.
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I decided I needed to experience working outside of Wales so I ventured to Dubai for a few months and now I am working away during the week in Somerset so I think wedding planning may be limited to weekends which may prove challenging!
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After quite some time of secretly following wedding blogs such as Cwtch the Bride and loving all the stories, photos and  building up my version of a wedding from the fabulous ideas I saw, I honestly never thought it would be my turn to be “The Bride”!
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Instead, I passed on my thoughts, ideas I had spotted and advice to my many lovely friends who were becoming princesses for their big day. I took on duties of Bridesmaid (twice!) and enjoyed getting to put some of the hen party inspiration I picked up from Cwtch the Bride to use.
Despite all the wedding excitement over the years it was never my own and my boyfriend just didn’t seem keen on the idea of even talking about marriage.
Rewind to when we first met all those years ago at work, we become friends and I never imagined one day we would become a couple. One of my colleague’s joked to me afterwards that he knew we would be together before even I did! I was the young and naive twenty something year old with no idea.
He was quite open about not wanting to get married, while I was young and care free so that didn’t seem to concern me back then!
Then came the years of actually waiting. Waiting and waiting! When I did actually care! Now an early thirty year old.
Fast forward to December 2016 on a ski holiday to the snowy French alps.
unexpected bride 5At the top of a glacier with no skiers in sight, I got asked to be his wife! In total shock, it took a few minutes of confusion and questions around is he winding me up and why would he want to marry me to me saying yes.
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It took about 48 hours to sink in and then I realised it’s finally my turn to be the Bride and start my own wedding planning.
I am looking forward to sharing my adventure with you of finding “The One”…the venue, dress, flowers, decorations…and then the lead up, the hen party, the day, the honeymoon and life as a Mrs!
Rachel x
And we cannot wait to share the journey with you Rachel! Yippeeeeeee x

Introducing Our Valleys Bride Vicci

Morning you beautiful lot!

Today I have the pleasure of introducing our Valleys Bride Vicci. This lovely lady met her man at the gym, gazing across the room, sharing sly glances and cheeky smiles, getting all hot and sweaty until finally she pinned him down, quite literally. This is a girl who knows what she wants and how to get it. She is mega organised and loves a spreadsheet and we all know we need that in wedding planning! So put your hands together in welcoming our latest bride to be Vicci! 


Well hello there!  A little like those BTBB’s (brides-to-be-bloggers) who have gone before me, I would like to introduce myself as Vicci (to friends), Toe (to family) and Victoria (when I have done something wrong).  My other half also goes by 3 different names, which I will share with you to ensure that there is no confusion in future blogs; I mix between James, Jamie and J, but can definitely confirm they are all one person!


I am an Office Manager by day, but also manage to be Zumba Instructor and Volunteer Gymnastics Coach once a week (ooo and now a Cwtch the Bride Blogger).  I do manage to squeeze in some ‘me-time’ in the form of Aerotone, Gym and Yoga, and also some ‘us-time’ with J, going for meals, socialising with friends and family and regular visits to the cinema.  Throw in organising a Wedding and bingo, that is us!  As you can tell life is pretty hectic for us, but we wouldn’t have it any other way!  I’m a little on the organised side, ok, I am a little bit of a control freak or OCD when it comes to planning, so we will be fine (spreadsheets and files are working on overload at our house, sooooo exciting) – nothing like a time challenge to get you through the days. FB_IMG_144584239135820151225_132208~2

I’m originally a Valley Girl from Treorchy, but we now live in Beddau (not far from the Spring BTBB) with our part-time little man, a shih-tzu named Harvey.  I say part-time, because he is absolutely spoiled rotten and doesn’t cope well being left alone.  Add to that the aforementioned busy lifestyle and it just makes sense for him to spend time with my Mum, Dad and Gran through the week.FB_IMG_1445842351810FB_IMG_1451690067920

So, that’s a little intro to us, now a little intro to our day.  We had always spoken of saying our vows with our feet in the sand, but where we had in mind was not ideal for some close family and friends who we really want to share our day with.  So a nifty little switch of plan and we will now be having a very intimate wedding, with a big after party and the honeymoon of our dreams.  One thing we are very set on – it’s’ ‘Our Day, Our Way’and we are trying to make it as personal as possible, trying to capture things that are close to us and our hearts.


I am so excited to be sharing my journey with all you lovelies, and promise to share the ups, downs, tears and laughter.

Until next time, Mwah x

Ahhhhhh…..isn’t she just lush. If you are looking for some inspiration you have to come to Cwtchfest get your tickets here! Hurry as they are selling like hot cakes. ~ Kate

Pre- Wedding Shoot: Ruth & Brad on Rhosili Beach by Howell Jones Photography

We have an epic engagement shoot for you today from the talented Howell Jones Photography. Brad & Ruth got engaged on the 5th of August 2013 and this shoot with Warren from Howell Jones Photography was photographed last September on the stunning Rhosili Beach. Groom Bradley tells us all about his proposal and how it nearly all went wrong!

The Proposal

B&R16To say the ‘engagement’ process was intense for me is an understatement!

B&R12I am really lucky to have not only a legend of a now wife but also to have inherited an amazing family! So, when we booked a family holiday in Cornwall that year I knew that was when I wanted to do it. We rented a beautiful little cottage on the small port of Boscastle and even upto the day we arrived I had no idea how I was going to propose. However, knowing that my insurance company informed me it wasn’t insured until it was either on her finger or in our home, I was eager to get it on her finger. Paranoid that it was going to get stolen in our cottage, I carried the ring in my camera bag EVERYWHERE for two days. I then had a genius idea that I was going to do it when we went stand up paddle boarding later that day and was quickly dissuaded when her mum highlighted Ruth’s lack balance and my butter fingers!
So I then decided that I’d encourage her to come with me to take photos on top of Boscastle’s cliff top at sunset and pop the question there. Factors to include her parents horrendous acting, when she asked them to come with us and me acting weird, led her to be suspicious instantly. We didn’t speak the whole way up and I knew she had busted onto me. We got to the top of the cliff, I took a whopping two photos and we sat in silence whilst her parents peered from our cottage 500metres away waiting for me to drop to one knee. To add to my dilemma I not only spotted her looking at my pockets for a boxy bulge but then a couple decided to join us whilst their dog persisted to sniff around us for 5 minutes! I instantly decided to BAIL and to her clear disappointment we walk back down the path to the bottom of the cliff.
It then suddenly dawned on me, that her parents might greet us with a CONGRATULATIONS and bubbly and ruin it completely! So down the narrow paths I let her go in front and dropped to one knee. I had recited what I was going to say a thousand times and called her name to get her to turn around. After saying ‘Are you kidding me?’ a thousand times, she finally said YES and we could hear the squeal of her family in the distance as they watched with locals. As if we couldn’t have planned it better, we drank bubbly on the port until it was dark and carried on the celebrations in a local pub dancing until the early hours with a local fiddle band. The band announced our engagement and I don’t think we paid for a single drink all night. B&R10

The Shoot

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All images in this post are by Howell Jones Photography


Pre Wedding Shoot: Beth & Paul at Mumbles Pier by Maria Farrelly

On Monday we briefly introduced you to Beth & Paul, today we have their Pre-Wedding Shoot by our own favourite Maria Farrelly. We also hear all about the proposal, and how they got to it, from the lovely couple. Mumbles_Maria_Farrelly008


Our proposal story is really less about the proposal and more about how we got there. It was really improbable that we would ever meet, or maybe it was fate and we always would have.

In 2007 I had come out of a long relationship and needed a fresh start. I found a houseshare online and bravely moved in with a couple of strangers. Paul was a good friend of one of my new housemates. We moved in the same friendship group for a few months, sharing our love of photography. Mumbles_Maria_Farrelly084

On Paul’s birthday that year we went for a carvery with our group of friends. Paul suggested going to Mumbles for dessert. I didn’t know him that well at the time and laughed at the prospect of driving for an hour each way to get pudding. When I found out he was serious and we did indeed go to Mumbles for pudding I knew this was a man who was going to be important in my life.

Two weeks after we started officially dating, I was offered a job in London. This could have been the end of the early seeds of our relationship. Instead, it was the start of 18 months of driving up and down the M4 every weekend before Paul quit his job and moved to London. London is a difficult and expensive place to live and after living together there and then apart again for a bit we realised that our future only made sense together and in Wales. Mumbles_Maria_Farrelly064


One of my first encounters with Beth was at a party where she complimented me on my shoes.  I later discovered that shoes are a big thing in Beth’s life.

I knew that I had to pick a place that was special to us when I proposed so it was a choice of two places: the location of our first date out to Raglan Castle, or Mumbles which has always been special to us.  I engineered a weekend that involved both locations on consecutive days and bravely bottled it at the top of Raglan Castle, so on to the Mumbles it was. Mumbles_Maria_Farrelly071

Back to the shoes obsession… as I was plucking up the courage to pop the question by the lighthouse in Mumbles, Beth was being all romantic; listing how many shoes of different colours she owned.  When she added that we had to head back to top up the car parking ticket, the romance was palpable so down on one knee I got.  Presenting the ring, I was mugged by Beth’s inner magpie which swooped in and took the ring before then apologising and saying “yes”.

As Maria quickly discovered on our photoshoot, our relationship is built on laughter. I guess it runs in the family given Beth’s Dad’s reaction to us announcing our engagement. “Mumbles? Oooh nice…. Did you have pudding?” Mumbles_Maria_Farrelly029

The Shoot

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Engagement Shoot: Annie & James by Gareth Scanlon Photography

On Monday we gave you a little taster of Annie & James’ wedding day with our Cwtch of the Week. Today we have their gorgeous Engagement Shoot to share with you ahead of featuring their wedding tomorrow- make sure you come back because it’s really gorgeous! Annie tells us how her and James met and how she got her perfect mountain top proposal, all images are by Gareth Scanlon Photography.Gower E Shoot Image

How we met

James and I met through our mutual friend Rachel, who I lived with whilst studying at Swansea University and James knows from growing up in Pembrokeshire.  Rachel and I had a somewhat wine-fuelled evening after graduation which resulted in me leaving a rather interesting answerphone message on James phone. Several phone calls and texts later we arranged to meet for the first time in Portsmouth, where James was living at the time. We clicked from the offset, both having a love of the sea and similar interests and outlook on life. Within 6 months we’d decided to move to Cornwall together, and have since travelled Australia before settling back in Swansea, where the fated phone call first brought us together.Gower E Shoot Image2

The Proposal

James and I had been together for over 9 years before we got engaged. We had discussed marriage and regularly browsed rings in shop windows, so I knew a proposal was on the cards at some point! We went on holiday to the Llŷn Peninsula in North Wales and speaking with James afterwards he had been trying to propose all week. However potential sunsets over the sea had clouded over, and a hike up Snowdon had been met by a mountain top full of tourists, so up another mountain he sent me!DSC_1409

We’re both keen walkers and James has done the Welsh 3 Peaks challenge a couple of times, which takes you up Cadair Idris as part of it. He was keen to take me up there as the views are meant to be spectacular. We camped at the bottom of the mountain through a rather large storm and set off the next morning.  Instead of taking the usual path James encouraged us to walk up the Gulley. It was a gruelling hike (rock climb!) to the top. Stood on a very foggy precipice James (as best he could) got down on one knee and asked me to marry him – the perfect mountain top proposal. As we descended the mountain the fog started to clear and the views were breath taking. All those years of window shopping paid off too, he picked me out a beautiful antique diamond ring. DSC_1907DSC_1970

The shoot

With the Gower on our doorsteps and James and I both loving the outdoors and sea, it made sense when Gareth suggested a shoot at Three Cliffs Bay. The scenery there is stunning and we already have lots of good memories there, including many walks, BBQ’s, rock climbing, surfing and our friends “first swim” (as opposed to first dance!) for their wedding there. Not being “natural posers” having an engagement shoot to get used to the way Gareth works was great for us.  It meant when it got to our wedding we felt comfortable in front of the camera and was one less thing to worry about on the day.

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Charlie x