Established in 2012 in the Welsh seaside town of Penarth, the Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique is fast becoming a hub for beautiful handmade dresses and accessories by Welsh Designers. Alongside vintage dresses which all tell a story.
Rachel is proud to be championing dress collections from Amy Mair Couture, E&W Couture, Ffrog & Helen Rhiannon Designer Label – all the dresses are made right here in Wales by the designers themselves, something Rachel is passionate about! The Boutique also stocks handmade accessories from Kate Barlow and Claire Hill Designs.
Little Green is a unique eye catching ice cream bike. Our vintage ice cream bike has been built using reclaimed timber upcycled using beautiful potato pallets and utilising re purposed items we aim to provide a totally unique ice cream service, perfect for your beautiful funky green ecofriendly marquee wedding.
Imagine the delight of being served fresh clotted cream ice cream in a waffle cone in the sun. Nothing could be better.
We are proud to sell only the best local Welsh clotted cream ice cream made by our friends Llanfaes diary. With so many flavours to choose from why eat anything else!
Pop along to our stand at Cwtchfest and say hello!
John Mark Films Wedding Videography is run by myself Mark Tancock. We believe in Affordable, Fun & Professional Cinematic Films. Our packages are very simple because really we only have one so it’s easier for you. One Package, One Price, One Amazing Film.
We are fully licensed company who can supply aerial drone footage as part of the film to provide unique views unrivalled of your special day. There is two of us on the day to make sure we cover all the important angles.
Myself, I am married with a great family and dog named Alfie. A lot of our wedding work is centred on our experience going through the process and understanding what each bride & groom expects from a film to last a lifetime.
We look forward to meeting everyone at Cwtchfest 2016 and showing our work and what we can offer on your Wedding day.
Keep watching the blog to meet more of our amazing Cwtchfest exhibitors as we count down to #Cwtchfest2016
Stop the Press…. We have a date for your diary: Penarth Wedding Fayre We have got a fabulous wedding event to tell you all about today! We’re thrilled to announce that the Penarth Wedding Fayre is being held on Sunday 6th … Continue reading →
I have such an amazing treat for you lovely Cwtchers today photographed by Ben Moore. Suzanne and Ryan from iPop are letting us share their stunning, uber cool London wedding. We all have those friend that just do effortless and it looks amazing well this is one of those weddings. I sat green with jealousy as I edited this absolute beauty. I don’t think a cup of tea is quiet cool enough. Pour yourself a martini and enjoy. ~ Kate
What was your budget?
We really did not want to spend too much on our wedding, but we wanted all our guests to have an amazing day. We set ourselves a sensible budget….then went a couple of thousand over. As we work in the wedding industry we were very lucky to have been able to pull in some favours. We also chose to get married on a Wednesday as there are always midweek deals to be had with vendors. There were certain things we were happy to compromise on but we spent money on the really important things (Jimmy Choo’s). All things considered I think we had an expensive feel to our wedding for a bargain price!!
How would you describe your wedding theme?
We did not really have a theme as such but we wanted something cool, relaxed & luxurious.
What was your favourite part of your wedding?
We had our ceremony at Chelsea Registry office. At the time of booking it I thought it was quite fun and a bit Rock & Roll. As the day got closer I began question whether I had made the right decision. I kept looking back at the photos on line and thinking the room looked a bit underwhelming. I felt like I may regret not having the whole walking down the long aisle moment. On the day when I walked into the room and seen all my family, friends and Ryan in there it was magical. The decor was warm and glowy it felt like a dream. After the ceremony we walked out onto the iconic Chelsea Old Town hall steps on The Kings Road, all our guest threw confetti over us with beaming smiles , cars were tooting their horns, the public were waving and cheering…it was such an electrifying moment. I absolutely loved the entire day but this part was so unexpected that it was really special.
Tell us about your Wedding Dress
I got my dress from Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique and it was designed by Welsh designer, E&W Couture, the dress is called Greta. You can try on a sample then it is hand made from scratch to fit you. I was adamant that I would not spend a fortune on a dress…ADAMANT! Until I tried on my little beauty. I fitted it on before checking the price tag, disastrous move! Of course I fell in love. The event was made even more special as the day I went to the shop my mum & dad were visiting from Watford, my Nan was down from Liverpool and my best friend was visiting from Abu Dhabi. (This never happens!) They all agreed it was the one! I excitedly rang Ryan and told him the price and I think he spat out his tea! I did have a major panic after this as he is normally really chilled. It was way more that I wanted to spend and I worried that I had just got caught up in the moment. In fact I called the shop and postponed the first fitting! I did a bit more searching but it had stolen my heart and nothing compared. I knew I wanted something a little different but I didn’t know what until I tried this dress on, it is exactly what I was after. I asked Sophie, the designer, if she could make me a mini version for my little girl too which was an absolute triumph and a real talking point of the day. When I walked down the aisle the first thing Ryan said to me was “I cant believe you nearly didn’t get this dress, it is the best dress I have ever seen” I felt a million dollars in my beautiful dress.
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why?
I had 5 adult bridesmaids and my beautiful baby girl. I chose my best friends. Mel, Nikki & Sam are old school friends with over 20 years of tales to tell. Becky, her and I met when we were in the West End Production of ‘Grease’ The Musical. I played ‘Sandy’ she was Patty Simcox – I don’t think the characters were friends in the movie but we hit it off straight away :) Finally I chose Tamsin who proudly claims the cupid status as without her Ryan and I would not have met. Ryan chose his lovely brother as his best man.
Why did you choose your venue?
We love working in the wedding industry iPop play at over 100 weddings and events every year and The iGency our entertainment agency supply bands to hundreds more. As we play at so many weddings I did not want ours to feel like work, so we needed to choose something a little different. We met a great guy when we were out in Lebanon performing with iPop one summer…he seen us play at Iris a glamorous roof top terrace in down town Beirut and invited us to his equally glamorous restaurant Salmontini. It was literally the best restaurant I had ever been to with a cool vibe, with food to die for! He recently opened the same restaurant in the heart of Belgravia, London. We went for dinner one night and fell in love…we decided it was the one! We are real foodies so it was important to us that our wedding food was top class. The food on the day was sensational, we absolutely loved it and so did all our guests. Our vendors all said it was the best wedding food they had ever tasted and they work at a lot of weddings. We could not have been happier with the venue it was perfect.
Tell us about your photographer
Our photographer was the amazing Ben Moore. We wanted cool, candid shots with a bit of a rock and roll edge. When we got our photos back we were blown away. He truly captured the essence of the day. He was a dream to work with and his images are spectacular, we are thrilled with the results. We also had fabulous videographers Rich & Rhys from Aurora Video. They are based in South Wales but we were lucky enough to get them to follow us to London. They were so discreet on the day that you forgot they were there so they caught some magical candid footage. We recently got the hi lights video back and were instantly transported back to the moment. It is absolutely priceless! We can not recommend our photographer or videographers enough.
How did the proposal happen?
We got engaged in March 2014 after the birth of our beautiful little girl Seren Elvie. We had been together almost 8 years but having the baby made us want to make our little family official. The proposal was far from romantic. Ryan was away on tour drumming, he arrived back the day after my 30th birthday with no card or prezzie. I didn’t say anything because I am not really one for birthday fuss but he was definitely skating on thin ice. The next day he had to rush off early to a “rehearsal,” little did I know he was stopping off on the way to pick me up a rock! The following morning with a baby on the boob, greasy hair and cereal in my teeth he popped the question, in his own special way he thought it was romantic. On a positive note… If he wanted to marry me looking like that it surely must be love!
Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?
Ryan made a cracking post box for cards out of 2 snare drums. Well done Ryan! I ordered some cool wedding signs from Not On The High Street then went and bought some nice frames. My favourite sign was ” The hangover only lasts a day, the memories last a lifetime.” My hangover lasted a little longer than one day I must admit.
What was your first dance & why?
We chose ‘Best Friend’ by Queen. We didn’t have a ‘song’ as such but really liked the upbeat feel and the lyrics to this one. I also had a father daughter dance ‘Sarah’ by Thin Lizzy. My dad is a huge Thin Lizzy fan and this song has always been special. iGency artist and iPop guitarist Luke performed live for us and changed the Lyrics to Seren (my daughters name) instead of Sarah. It was a surprise for my dad and he absolutely loved it.
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?
I do not think there is really anything I would do differently, I would just like to do it all over again!! The table plan had to change on the morning as a few people couldn’t make it. It was a bit of a pain but couldn’t be helped, what can you do? One other small thing was I forgot to take a mirror in my little handbag. I wanted to have a quick make-up check before the ceremony but I couldn’t see myself. Take a mirror girls for a last minute gloss.
Do you have any advice for future couples?
Don’t Sweat the small stuff it really becomes irrelevant on the day.
Relax and enjoy yourself on the day!
Don’t invite boring people…:)
Have the bar in the same room as the dance floor.
You get what you pay for do not compromise on quality live entertainment, photographer or videographer. Get the best your money can buy these are must haves and they are priceless.
This is not advice…just a fact. Table plans are a pain in the a**e!
Any other advise for future brides?
Because of our line of work lots of people have asked what entertainment we had. I think live music is such an important part of the evening. It can really make or break the night. It is so important that you go for top quality acts, don’t just go for the cheapest option, do not compromise on quality. People will remember the entertainment for years to come, book the best you can afford. As our venue was so intimate there was no room to have a full band so selected a number of our favourite solo artists including Kele Le Roc, and a female DJ, to keep us rocking until the early hours. We are very lucky that we have such a fantastic team of talent to call upon. The iGency can offer bespoke solutions for your event too if your venue is out of the ordinary or if you just fancy something unusual we can come up with some ideas for you.
What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?
If I am completely honest I found the whole thing a bit stressful. We were so busy with work in the run up to the day that wedding planning seemed to be getting in the way and it was the last thing I wanted to do. Although we had been engaged for a while we only set the date in May 2015 so had around 4 months to get everything together. That said, I would not have done anything differently time wise. I must love a bit of stress. Last minute.com! After I had done all my planning I made a list of what needed to be done on the day and handed it to one of my best friends Chris who just so happens to be an event organiser. That was my favourite part of the planning process. A weight was lifted from my shoulders. Having him there on the day taking care of the finer details for me meant I could feel totally relaxed. I strongly recommend delegating these little jobs to someone so you don’t have to think about them on the day, if you don’t have a Chris ask your bridesmaids, best man, ushers etc.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Cwtch the Bride only accepts sponsored posts from companies we think will be useful to you :)
We are delighted to welcome Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique to Cwtch the Bride this week. Rachel launched the Bridal Boutique in October 2012 and she specialises in gorgeous vintage style dresses handmade in Wales by Welsh designers. We asked Rachel a few questions about the boutique which she has answered below. All images were supplied by Rachel and were taken by Simon Gough Photography.
Hi Rachel, we’re so excited to have you on Cwtch the Bride today; can you tell our readers a bit about yourself? :) Hello! Thank you – I’m equally very excited to be on the blog today too! I’m Rachel and I’m the owner of the Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique in the seaside town of Penarth. In our little Boutique we specialise in true vintage dresses (1930’s-1970’s) and handmade dresses by Welsh Designers. We’re proud to be bringing something a little bit different to the Bridal scene and all the handmade dresses are made here in Wales by the designers themselves.
How and when did you start Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique? I have been a bridesmaid several times (7 to be precise…. 8 times next year!) therefore I have been to a lot of Bridal shops with my girlfriends, and even though we always had a lovely time, I just found that there was something missing….for me, anyway. I used to be a Stage Manager who worked on musicals & opera all around the UK and therefore coming from a theatrical background I feel it’s important for people to represent who they are – and I think it is equally important for a Bride to do so on her wedding day and not fall into the category of what people think a Bride ‘should be’.
One day I mentioned my little secret dream of opening my own Boutique to my neighbour, and headed back out on tour with another theatre show. Shortly after that she phoned me to say the perfect shop had come up for rent in Penarth and she had already spoken to the landlady for me and she would meet me when I got back…… I was in shock! I met the landlady on a Saturday in May and I had a look around the shop – it was perfect – I signed on the dotted line there and then! It was one of those moments when my heart just said ‘do it otherwise you’ll always wonder – what if?’. With a lot of help from friends – painting, decorating and their constant support, the Boutique officially launched on 24th October 2012, and I’ve not looked back since!!!
What’s do you love most about the Boutique? That’s a tricky one – I adore so many different aspects of the Boutique! I LOVE that I get to meet such fabulous women, all of which are creating their own unique wedding day, bespoke to them. I also love that we have so many Welsh Designers involved in the Boutique and giving our Brides the opportunity to meet her designer during the creative process is very important to us. That moment when a Bride gets so excited about finding her dress makes me squeal with excitement because she looks incredible! So many of our brides are travelling from all over the UK to have an appointment in the Boutique because they know that they want something that little bit different. I always get emotional when a bride comes to collect her dress – I think because by the end of the process I’m so proud to call so many of these lovely ladies my friends!
Does a Bride have to book an appointment to visit the Boutique? I would always recommend booking an appointment yes, the Boutique is small and cosy so for appointments the bride has it exclusively for her and her nearest and dearest for two and a half hours. I lock the door, close the curtains, put the kettle on and we have a lovely time trying on as many, or as few dresses as she wants in a safe and non pressured environment. Therefore, I would always recommend booking an appointment as I wouldn’t want a Bride travelling to the Boutique only to find we are busy and there are no available appointments for that day.
Which Designers do you stock in the Boutique? I’m very lucky that I get to work with a very talented bunch of Designers, they are all such fabulous women and we have a great time working together! Helen Rhiannon (who won best Designer Award in Wales 2013 at the Welsh Fashion & Beauty Awards) has a stunning collection of handmade dresses which are exclusive to the Boutique, her dresses are timeless and show off the female figure perfectly. Another Welsh dress designer who is also exclusive to the boutique is Angharad Mullooly, Angharad’s designs ooze a non-structured Boho vibe and are created using vintage fabrics which are beautiful so each creation is completely unique. The accessory designers I work with are Claire Hill & Kate Barlow. Claire specalises in unique birdcage veils and elegant back necklaces, while Kate creates beautiful fabric bouquets and fabric based hair accessories. It’s an absolute joy to work with each of these ladies and I love the variety of styles we have all created together.
Have you noticed any emerging trends in bridal wear for 2014/15? We don’t really stick to trends in the Boutique – we love to promote beautiful dresses which show off a figure beautifully without exposing too much (if you know what I mean?!). We love to pay attention to back detail on our dresses as it’s important for us that the dress has the ‘wow’ factor from every angle. Our designers pride themselves on using gorgeous luxurious fabrics which are soft to touch and extremely comfortable to wear. We want our Brides to be comfortable and to be able to dance the night away in style!
Do you have any advice for brides choosing a dress for their big day? Yes, absolutely – HAVE FUN! This is such an exciting time and don’t ever feel any pressure to make a rushed decision. Trust your instinct and take people along to help make that decision who know you well. This is your time to try on as many dresses as you like – but stay true to who you are and find a dress that represents that perfectly, so that when you look back at your photos you think ‘yes, I totally did that my way’. If a dress makes you emotional and you fall in love with it – trust those tears!
WOW! I think you will all agree that these dresses are absolutely STUNNING! I want to get married again just so that I can go and try on some of these beauties!
Thank you Rachel for sharing these with us and for telling us all about your Bridal Boutique. If any of our brides to be are still looking for the one, give Rachel a call on 02920 709701.
Sarah & Matthew got married on the 8th March 2014 at the Miskin Manor and their wedding was captured beautifully by Cwtch creator Maria Farrelly. We asked Sarah some questions about hers & Matthew’s big day.
What was your budget? We were very lucky that both of our parents offered to contribute to our wedding day. Myself and Matthew also wanted to contribute so we saved for a whole year to pay for all the extras that we wanted to make our day special. We made a lot of things ourselves by having very talented friends and family on hand to help us.
How would you describe your wedding theme? Our theme was vintage romance. We had lots of pale pastel colours throughout the wedding and incorporated a love theme throughout our wedding from start to finish. Our invites were made by Something Kinda Cute which was a love poem that was written by a family friend all about how we met. We had chalk boards made along with two lovely pictures boards that our mothers had prepared for us as a surprise of both of us growing up and finding each other.
Tell us about your wedding dress My wedding dress experience was my favourite part of the wedding. I originally visited Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique one snowy day with my bridesmaid Carly in our wellies as we decided to walk to the shop for a little look. We met Rachel and instantly fell in love with what the shop had to offer. We made an appointment with Rachel and took along with us my mother, mother in law and my nan. Rachel sat us down and offered us cake and tea and asked all about our wedding plans. This was wonderful as in all the other shops we went to no one really cared as much as Rachel. I tried on one dress and we all instantly said yes this was the one. Rachel suggested that we met with the designer Helen Rhiannon and alter parts of the dress that I wanted to change to create my own unique dress called Sarah Jayne. I went to a high end shop after Rachel’s and can honestly say was let down by the service we received, we all immediately knew we found ‘The One’
What was your favourite part of your wedding? Our favourite part of the day was our singing waiters. We hired them about 9 months before the wedding as we saw an advert for them in a magazine. We wanted something to surprise our guests with and make our day unforgettable. They were absolutely amazing on the day. They wore the Miskin Manor uniform and blended in well serving the meals and desserts to our guests. They suddenly broke into song with Rat Pack songs and even made our guests do a big conga around the breakfast room. This is our favourite memory of the day as everyone looked so happy. It was the best extra that myself and Matthew paid for as normally after a big meal everyone gets a little tired but after the amazing singing waiters everyone couldn’t wait to dance the night away. It was a very hard secret to keep for a long time.
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why? For our bridal party we had my sister Claire as Maid of honour, my best friends Carly and Hayley as my bridesmaids. I have known them for years and we are very close friends. They organised the best hen party for me in Devon with our own barn cottage, chef and naked butlers. Charlie was our lovely flower girl who is our best mans daughter. Matthew had Jamie as his best man as he has known Jamie for many years and got close when Jamie moved in with Matthew a few years before I met him.
Why did you choose your venue? As our wedding was in March we were not sure about what the weather was going to be like. Therefore we wanted a beautiful location that if it was to rain we could still have beautiful pictures inside. The Miskin Manor had everything; beautiful grounds, impressive themed rooms for our wedding breakfast and ceremony and rooms for our family and friends to stay along with a gorgeous honeymoon suite. We went for a taster evening before the wedding and tried all the starters,desserts and wines it was a great start running up to the big day.
How did the proposal happen? Myself and Matthew love our holidays and booked to go to Turkey in the September for a week of relaxation away from the office. Little did I know was that Matthew had been shopping with my best friend Carly to pick the most gorgeous ring. On the morning of the proposal I normally make Matthew get up early to look for the best sun loungers with shade for our day of sunbathing. That morning he asked me to go with him. It was only myself and Matthew awake that morning and after choosing our beds he said shall we go and have a walk down that pier. It was a beautiful morning so I couldn’t say no. We sat down on the ledge and out came a ring box where Matthew asked me to marry him of course I said yes. We had the best holiday and all our family and friends were over the moon with our news.
Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share? Don’t be scared to try something new. I did a lot of research for our wedding and saw wedding items on the internet or in magazines that I thought would be lovely for our special day. I then thought how can I create this for our day. I spent many hours looking at EBay to find what I needed. We made our own table centre jugs, favours and decorated many jars to create the look we wanted. I was very lucky to be surrounded by very talented family and friends.
What was your first dance & why? Our first dance was Perfect day by Holley Maher we loved this song as it was our perfect day and (was a easy song for Matthew to dance to) we used the song to feature in our wedding video and love looking back on the special moments of our day. We highly recommend anyone getting a video as we got to see parts of the day that we didn’t get to see. We cannot wait to show our children when they are old enough our wedding video.
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently? I don’t think there is anything we would do differently. We had the most perfect day for our wedding. It was the first sunny day in March and people were even wearing sunglasses. We were surrounded by all the people we love and had the best day ever. We want to do it all again. Someone was definitely looking down on us that day.
Do you have any advice for future couples? Do lots of research we looked at the wedding awards to find out who was worth looking to book for our day. You spend a lot of money on your wedding and you want it to be perfect in every way. We choose Maria from meeting her at the Millenium Centre Cardiff wedding Fayre we immediately knew we wanted to book Maria as she was a true professional and always made us feel at ease without being a pushy photographer. After booking our wedding Maria created Cwtch the Bride blog, we loved looking at this for ideas but also for inspiration for choosing our suppliers.We made great choices as many of the suppliers we used are now featuring on Cwtch the Bride.
What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received? On the day we had coasters made where our guests could give us one piece of marriage advice. After our wedding we had great fun reading all the comments on the coasters and grateful of all the wonderful marriage advice.
What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding? I loved every minute of it. I was always looking on the internet, magazines and attending wedding fayres. I loved getting together with my best friends and family and having lovely girly days wedding planning. I was never into crafts before the wedding but my mother in law Louise really helped me create anything I wanted to make. I miss the whole wedding planning so my advice to anyone is make the most of it go to everything that you can because the day will come and go and you will want to do it all again.