Groom to be Diaries: Our RAF Grooms are sorting the details!

Hello Cwtchers!

The RAF boys are back and the realisation that the big day is ever enriching and only four months away, is spurring them on to finalise those finer details….

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Hey everyone – we hope you are all good!

Well we are now within the last four months to the wedding day itself and it is starting to sink in what we have left to do!  We have just come back from a friend’s wedding in Turkey (which was amazing!) and it has highlighted all the small things that we haven’t thought of.

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Some of which were quite big ones such as the bridesmaids’ dresses, but with some help from the bride she pointed us in the direction of some great online sites that she used.

Within one week of the holiday being over, the dresses had arrived – James now needs to get his bridesmaids together to try them on. Fingers crossed he has gotten their sizes right.

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The other bits being the bridesmaid flower posies and table decorations for the evening entertainment etc.

It has definitely crept up quickly and although the major planning has taken place, like the venue, catering, flowers etc, all the small things are definitely getting overlooked and give you a bit of sense of shock when you realise.

I know there is the stigma that a gay wedding is usually flamboyant and possibly overdone, but the things we have forgotten are all the finite feminine touches that a bride would usually bring to the wedding. James is such a bad bride (Lol!)  However we have had  such a busy period over the past six months with my job and James in between jobs since leaving the Air Force, that the time has flown without us realising.

Within the past two weeks we have tried our suits on during the initial fitting which definitely put a massive smile on face seeing James so dressed up. He is such a hot cutie when he dresses up! We have another date in September when the Best Man and the Ushers arrive for their fitting.  My aim is to lose a bit of the podge I’ve gathered whilst being at home with James and eating contently! ☹

We are off to Berkeley Castle next week to see our new wedding event co-ordinator who wants to go through the detail with us.

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We are so fortunate to have an amazing team at Berkeley Castle – such a god send when planning.
The visit will give us the opportunity to finalise some thoughts in our head to the decorations throughout the castle that we just haven’t quite thought of yet. If I had my way I would definitely blow our budget on the decorations.

So the next time we write one of these it would be just before the wedding and we will highlight any of the last minute prep, plus James will have had his ‘hen’ do in September to Ibiza, whilst due to work, my Stag do is the weekend before the wedding. RAF Grooms July 7I am not sure if that’s a good thing but we will see!!!!

Groom to Be Diaries: The RAF Grooms are getting somewhere!

Good morning one and all

We have our handsome boys back to talk about how their planning is going! However, it would appear that Cwtchfest is responsible for some extra spending going on! Sorry boys!

Have a read about what else they’ve been up to…..

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Hey everyone it is us again- the RAF Grooms to be, and I bet that many of the other couples will agree with us in that time is flying by way too quick.

After proposing over a year ago, we only have just over six months to go.  Plus I am 22 this month! #FeelingOld #GettingOld.
James and Mike 3 With us both being so busy over the past few months since our last post, we have barely had much time to plan much together, and when we have it’s been quite rushed. I can’t wait for the day to arrive now to be honest, but I am sure you’re wondering what have those two boys been up to? … so I will tell you…

Well I have ordered my suit (finally). It’s a beautiful blue three piece outfit (but with a twist that I am keeping a secret for Mike to see on the day.) Mike…well he hasn’t even got that far yet. Typical groom leaving it to the last minute.

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Being the ‘Wife’ (as Mike calls me) I finally have my two maid of honours sorted. I am allowed two because I am not a usual bride to be and it is my wedding after all! The Hag (Hen/Stag) do is finally booked for Ibiza … which is just me and 4 girls going on a boozing holiday! I literally can’t wait. But I am having another one in October for everyone else. It is just an excuse to get some last minute tanning in.

We have sent out the day time invites to our guests, which the RSVPs have started to slowly trickle in, all positive in attendance which is great news. We designed the invites ourselves and only cost us around £25 for them all. They are nothing fancy but we are using an online free website to display all the information and details, and all our guests have to do is log in and follow the details.

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The invitations were all sent out with a wax stamp with our initials on it that we bought during our holiday trip to Venice last year. (They are just like the ones in Hogwarts!- yes I am a Harry Potter Fan). We have even created our own hashtag, where we are are encouraging our guests to post as many photos of the day on Instagram.We have started using it to post our own photos on it too of us together.  Feel free to have a look #JandMDY.

We have bought all our wedding favours too. Mike came up with the idea of individual sweet pick’a’mix jars so we have bought everything apart from the sweets. Mike thinks I will eat them all before the day so we are not buying them just yet.
To be fair he is probably right.

Finally last month we attended Cwtch The Bride’s #Cwtchfest2017 and caught up with our fabulous photographer, Maria Farrelly. Although we only stayed for a couple of hours the event was amazing.

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The live music being played definitely put you in the mood for a wedding and a party. We met so many stall holders that have given us more food for thought, even getting a few items from LUMI Designs for the big day. Obviously seeing Maria again was great, especially as Mike hadn’t met Maria yet. All three of us got on so well and we definitely felt the enthusiasm, passion and energy she has, so we are super excited to have chosen Maria. It is a great feeling in that we know we have the right person by far to capture our day.  The final part of the day was being attacked with hugs from one of the bubbliest people I’ve ever met – our friend Anna, Features Editor for Cwtch The Bride, and who works with Maria. I swear those two are sisters.

Well fellow bloggers I will leave it at that for the moment……only 6 months now till the BIG DAY!!!

Cwtch of the Week: Georgia + Emily’s Beachy Cwtch by Jacob McCarthy

Happy Monday everyone!

I know, I know! Monday’s are not particularly happy occasions, so here we are again to start your week off on a great note! Cwtch of the Week this week is the stunning beauty cwtch of  Georgia + Emily at Oxwich Bay, shot by the fabulous Jacob McCarthy!
I will hand over to Jake to tell you more about the girls and their beautiful big day….

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Georgia + Emily’s Beachy CwtchGeorgia and Emily by Jake at Ryan Welch Photography

After seven amazing years together, Georgia and Emily decided to tie the knot at the beautiful Oxwich Bay Hotel, situated along the Gower Peninsula South Wales.  With its breathtaking panoramic views of the coast, Georgia and Emily were blessed with beautiful blue skies and golden sands! (which certainly makes our job a little easier).

We first met Georgia and Emily when Georgia was a bridesmaid at Emily and Joe’s wedding at The Angel Hotel in Abergavenny last year.   After spending a great day with Emily’s awesome bridal party we couldn’t wait to photograph this big day.

These two lovelies planned the most special day with smiles and laughter all around from morning til’ night.  A superb setting with added vintage quirkiness thrown in from the pair, such as a Volkswagen camper van and Georgia rocking cowboy boots for the evening festivities!  They booked both our photography and videography service, which helped capture the most intimate and moving moments in a cinematic short film full of love, laughter and romantic goodness.  This was also a good chance to use our drone for those epic wedding shots and aerial views of the beautiful Oxwich Bay Hotel like you have never seen it before!

Grooms to Be Diaries: The RAF Grooms are on Planning Overload!

Happy Thursday everyone!

Our boys are back, and they’re feeling a little over whelmed! With ten months to go, they’re feeling a little up to their eyes with it all. Over to Mike to full you in…..

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The RAF Grooms are on Planning Overload!

When we first started planning the wedding it started really well, we knew what we wanted and what we didn’t want in our wedding.

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Since then as time continues to dwindle we seem to be behind the drag curve in respects to our timeline. Mostly because I’m away with work;image4and James is currently working six days a week. (The sixth day is his training day in preparation for becoming a Special Constable with Wiltshire Police, as he leaves the RAF in May)

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Our biggest controversy has been the guest list which has been critiqued, shall we say, for the lack of family we invited, as it became clear some family members felt put out by being left out, despite not seeing them for years.

We both have large families, a large circle of friends together and also separate so it was always going to be difficult. We think and hope it is resolved now.

In terms of actual wedding plans we managed to get the majority of it sorted immediately, but being typically gay and influenced by fashion (James mostly!) and very picky (Me!) we would change our minds a lot and still do.

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We were good in booking a band, a florist and the venue with ease. Actually James booked the venue before I even saw it! (Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire) However this guy knows me well and he chose perfectly. It was a castle built to keep the Welsh out for Henry VIII, trouble is it hasn’t worked as James’ family are all Welsh!

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The Florist was a lovely lady who runs the flower shop in town and very competitive prices, so with a massive thanks to my mum and her husband Shaun who have agreed to pay for the flowers, we have lovely array of red and white with touches of blue.

So really it’s the finer details that has been left to be organised which are the finalising the catering for the evening food, the decorations, the wines and the table linen. So if any of your readers have any good knowledge on table linen then let us know please! (We are just wary we don’t want to hire the cloths when they cost the same as buying one (this is the picky side in me!)

Oh and the wedding cake – how can I forget that part?! We aren’t sure yet how we are going to tackle this. Whether it is an actual cake made for us costing hundreds of pounds designed to our every needs, or it is a few M&S fruit and sponge cakes decorated to perfection. But with a 100 invited to the day with further 80 in the evening, we know it has got to be good.

We still have ten months to go, so we are confident we will get the smaller but trickier items squared away in good time. It would be great to see what your other readers and couples have done in terms of wedding cakes and table linen etc.

Don’t worry boys! You will get it sorted! Its can get pretty overwhelming.  Looking forward to hearing more x

Real Wedding: Jess & Ella’s Glittery Brecon Beacon Wedding

We have been soooooo looking forward to sharing this absolutely stunning wedding by the ever so talented Abigail Apollonio. Meet the beautiful Jess and Ella (and their gorgeous bundle of fur, Cooper) their glittery brecon beacon wedding has had all of us at Cwtch HQ giddy with excitement. Their eye for detail and the the creative little touches will hopefully be a massive inspiration to you lovely lot. Without further ado I will hand it over to Jess and Ella! 

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How would you describe your wedding theme?

Our wedding theme was a glittery combination of autumnal pine cones and handmade bunting with a moody Brecon Beacons backdrop.Jess-and-Ella-Wedding-Oct-10th-2015-188

What was your favourite part of your wedding?

Hands down our favourite part of the wedding was our vows and the readings. We had chosen our vows to be simple and meaningful, and it was wonderful having our family and friends there for our ‘I do’s’. My sisters read the lyrics to ‘And I love her’ by ‘The Beatles’….. yep that pretty much had me in tears from the first word. The Beatles have been a big part of both of our childhoods, with both our Dad’s being huge fans. Davy, one of our closest friends, read a beautiful poem with so much heartfelt emotion, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house!Jess-and-Ella-Wedding-Oct-10th-2015-316

Tell us about your Wedding Dresses

Ella’s wedding dress story –
So I went to a Wedding Fair with my Mum, and two sisters, the first one of the season in Cardiff City Hall. We had a mooch around all of the stalls, and we actually went to get ideas for venues, but Laura May had a stall with a very attractive sale rail! My dress was actually the first one that I tried on, and I remember saying to Mum, ‘But surely you’re not suppose to buy the first one you try?’. My sister Elise welled up and all three of them said they loved it. I tried on a couple of others, just to satisfy myself that this was ‘the one’ and after looking like a fluffy jacket potato in one, and a hobbit in another, I decided on mine. As there were a few repairs required, and my Mum is a VERY good seamstress, we had it for a steal. Jess-and-Ella-Wedding-Oct-10th-2015-152Jess’s wedding dress story –
Jess went dress shopping with her Mum and one of her best friends, Charmaine, to Rowberrys‘ in Swansea. She was really open minded, and thoroughly enjoyed trying on lots of different dresses before she picked her stunning dress. I remember picking Jess and her Nannie up after her fitting, her Nannie came out of the shop, flushed with happy tears and said ‘She looks like a film star’. We didn’t let each other see each others dresses before hand, but our Mum’s knew what each others looked like, just to make sure we hadn’t bought the same one! We couldn’t have picked more different styles; Jess went for a very Art Deco, ‘The Great Gatsby’ inspired dress, and I indulged my old Ballerina days and went for something with a strapless corset.Jess-and-Ella-Wedding-Oct-10th-2015-107Jess-and-Ella-Wedding-Oct-10th-2015-638

Why did you choose your venue?

We chose Peterstone Court in Brecon because we loved the beautiful house and stunning surroundings without there being a feeling of awkward pretentiousness. Brecon is also equal distance from Swansea (where Jess is from), Cardiff (where we live) and Cwmbran (where I am from) so it felt like a perfect location. Plus who wouldn’t want to get married in one of the most beautiful places in Wales!? The cherry on the cake was also the fact that our beloved dog, Cooper, was allowed to stay at Peterstone Court. We had so much fun having him in some of our wedding photos, and he always loves being the centre of attention.Jess-and-Ella-Wedding-Oct-10th-2015-458Jess-and-Ella-Wedding-Oct-10th-2015-330

Tell us about your photographer

Our wonderful photographer is our good friend Abigail Apollonio and she was assisted by her equally talented husband, Matthew Williams, who was our videographer. As soon as we got engaged, we asked Abigail and Matthew when they were free as we were so keen to have them capture our big day. We had seen Abigail’s work and were blown away by the way she is able to grab those really intimate, and natural moments rather than the more traditional, structured pictures. Matthew has a wicked sense of humour and they made a fab team. They helped us both feel really comfortable and also managed to shoot the pair of us getting ready. This wasn’t easy when we were both in different buildings!Jess-and-Ella-Wedding-Oct-10th-2015-534

How did the proposal happen? 

Our proposal story goes like this…. It was our second day on our holiday to The Big Apple and we had a typical American brekkie in a really lush diner up on the Upper East Side. Then we went for a walk across to Central Park and I had been thinking about where I would propose… I had a few ideas in mind but in the end thought that I would see which place felt right. There was a heat wave in New York that summer and it was scorching hot so having walked around for a bit, we sat down on a cute little bench opposite the Belvedere castle, near the Turtle pond. We were talking about how romantic the park was and how lovely and quiet it was and it dawned on me, ‘This is it, this is absolutely the right place and time’. So I took a (very) deep breath….. and I’m not quite sure how I worded it but asked her if she would marry me, and she said ‘of course!’

We decided to go engagement ring shopping there and then, so we hopped in a yellow cab and whizzed off to the Diamond District. Neither of us knew what type of ring we wanted, and we both went for completely different styles – like my wedding dress, I spotted mine straight away, I just knew it as soon as I saw it. We actually designed Jess’s while we were there and collected if three days later. The ring shopping was so much fun and for us New York was the perfect city to become engaged. Jess-and-Ella-Wedding-Oct-10th-2015-239

Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?

We had so many people help us with lots of aspects of the wedding; Jess’s Dad is a very talented artist and made our easel board table seating plan, amongst other things. Jess’s Mum made our delicious chocolate wedding cake & bara brith favours, my Mum made our top table bunting. Our friend, Angharad added marmalade to our guests favours and in addition to this, Starbucks in Cardiff Bay had graciously gifted us small bags of coffee beans for our guests, as a remedy for the morning after the wedding. We were so grateful for all of the help and support we had, and we really enjoyed flicking through Pinterest for ideas. Our table settings all had pine cones included in them, and its incredible what a couple of cans of gold spray paint can do! Jess-and-Ella-Wedding-Oct-10th-2015-522

What was your first dance & why?

Our first dance was to ‘Never can tell’ by Chuck Berry as featured in Quentin Tarantino’s film, Pulp Fiction. We both love films, and movie soundtracks, and the scene where John Travolta and Uma Thurman dance is one of our favourites. We didn’t want a classic, slow dance as our first dance, and we knew we’d enjoy this, plus it comes with its own dance moves so it was easy to get everyone else to join in!Jess-and-Ella-Wedding-Oct-10th-2015-791

In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?

Nope.

Do you have any advice for future couples?

Hmm, so our advice would be to stay true to what you want as a couple. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of others do/want, but I’m so glad we didn’t do that. We have wondered whether it was easier for us because gay wedding’s don’t come with the traditions that straight wedding’s do, but either way, we think this is really important when planning.
We also planned our wedding in a really short space of time, and in lots of ways this was great because we didn’t have time to agonise over small details; we made considered decisions quickly and stuck to them.Jess-and-Ella-Wedding-Oct-10th-2015-344

What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received?

Always make each other laugh and keep having date nights.

What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

Probably the fact that we were both really interested in creating and designing a day that reflected us both – Jess is a softball player, and I am a hockey player, so we created some great photos to reflect this, and also had a softball bat/hockey stick arch that we walked under after our vows. We are also both fanatical cyclists, and love riding our Brompton bikes everyday – we had a real hoot cycling along in front of our venue in our wedding dresses, and have some amazing pictures that Abigail caught so brilliantly.Jess-and-Ella-Wedding-Oct-10th-2015-422Jess-and-Ella-Wedding-Oct-10th-2015-443

The Suppliers

Photographer: Abigail Apollonio
Wedding and Ceremony Venue: Peterstone Court
Bride’s Dress: Jess – Enzoani Ella –Lillian West  (customised by Linda Rafferty)
Bride’s Shoes: Jess –Kurt Geiger  Ella – Manolo Blahnik 
Bride’s Headpiece: Jess – Gill Clement
Bride’s Jewellery: Jess – Gill Clement  Ella – John Lewis & Vintage (from my Mum)
Cake: Mandy Westermark
Hair: Ella – Amy’s Hair Boutique, Tongwynlais, Jess – Friend, Annika Brindley
Make Up: Jess – JM Make-UpElla – Amy’s Hair Boutique, Tongwynlais.
Band: Bayside Boogiemen 
Stationery: Made by Ella & Jess
Caterers: Peterstone Court
Any Reception Decor/Props: Chris Westermark & Linda Rafferty

The Wedding Album

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