Cwtch of the Week: A Squeezy Cwtch

Good morning lovelies!

We have a gorgeous squeezy cwtch for you today. Shot by the lovely Sandra Ace, Andrew and Courtney managed a delicious newlywed cwtch for you….


A Squeezy Cwtch

Andrew & Courtney's Wedding-051

And to top it off – we have Andrew and Courtneys entire beautiful big day to show you on Friday – so keep your eyes peeled x


Cwtch Of The Week: Bride Casey, her friend and one awesome cwtch.

We have a beautiful Cwtch Of The Week for you all today! Taken from Casey & Aled’s wedding which we featured last friday. You can see it here if you missed it.

Bride Casey & her friend sure know how to cwtch!

Casey & Aled CTB-034Image by Sandra Ace Photography

Its so lovely! Not only does a cwtch feel great but it really can make you smile especially when it lasts for a while!

Go on… go cwtch someone today. It’ll make you feel good :)

If you happen to have a lush picture of one, send it into us here and if chosen, you might be our next ‘Cwtch Of The Week’.

Maria x


Real Wedding: Casey & Aled’s relaxed Carmarthenshire wedding by Sandra Ace Photography

Don’t you just love a relaxed and simplistic wedding? That’s exactly what Casey & Aled planned for their June wedding at the Corran Resort, Carmarthenshire.

I’m so pleased to share this beautiful wedding with you all today. If you are in the midst of planning and finding it all very stressful. Please take 5, enjoy these lush images by the lovely Sandra Ace and think… its all going to be fine, I’m going to have a flipping awesome wedding day!

Lets hand you over to Bride Casey as she shares all the details of her big day.


Maria x 

Casey & Aled CTB-019What was your budget?

We never really got round to setting a budget. We probably spent more than we wanted to, but we had the best day ever, so we didn’t mind!

How would you describe your wedding theme?

We can’t say that we had a particular theme from the beginning, we just went for things that we liked. We definitely didn’t stress about a theme as we knew it would all come together on the day. If we were to sum up the theme in three words, it would probably be Simple, Rustic and Relaxed.Casey & Aled CTB-013What was your favourite part of your wedding?

We can honestly say we loved everything about the day, there’s too many brilliant moments to choose from, it was perfect! We wouldn’t have changed anything about it. It was overwhelming the fact that all of our favourite people, each and everyone who had played a part in our lives came together under the same roof for us. Casey & Aled CTB-011Tell us about your Wedding Dress

I never really knew what I wanted, so to be honest I was very open when it came to looking and trying on wedding dresses. I was very excited though. I headed to Emma Philips Bridal Studio, where I picked up a lot of different dresses and tried them on (it was very overwhelming, and I made my mother, and mother in law cry!). There was one dress that stood out for me, which weirdly enough was the first dress I actually picked out from Emma’s collection and that was it! It was absolutely gorgeous, I was in love with it and every dress I tried on after that didn’t compare. Emma was awesome, she made the experience very easy and enjoyable for me!Casey & Aled CTB-008Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why?

Best Man – Jason Harries. Al & Jase have been friends since school and went to University together. He did a great job with the speech and had the room in fits of laughter. Along with the Ushers they did a fantastic job – even went to the church the night before to cut the grass!
Casey & Aled CTB-043Choosing my bridesmaids was easy, there was no question who they were going to be. I chose five of my best friends from school and my gorgeous niece. We had so much fun in the weeks leading up to the wedding (hen parties of course haha), during the morning and throughout the day, they really made it special for me!

Why did you choose your venue?

We visited various venues in the Carmarthen area, but we both set our hearts on The Corran as soon as we walked in. They showed us around the property and we fell in love with the grounds, the rooms and most importantly the wedding reception and outdoor patio area. From the very first meeting we had they were incredibly accommodating and helpful which kept me pretty much stress free throughout!Casey & Aled CTB-001

Casey & Aled CTB-046Tell us about your photographer

Sandra Ace, she is awesome! We wanted a relaxed and a natural feel to our wedding photos, as soon as we looked through her website and we knew immediately that she was the photographer for us. At our engagement shoot, she made us feel relaxed and I think Al enjoyed it a little bit too much! On the day she just blended in and we honestly didn’t even realise she was there, but at the same time she captured the day magnificently – just as we imagined! We both knew the day would go so quick, and it was more important to us that we spent time with our family and friends so we gave Sandra a limited number of formal (but important) moments to capture. The only real part of the day that me and Al got to spend together was the time we had at Laugharne Castle taking photos with the Castle and the Estuary as a backdrop. We both love the work she’s done and we constantly re-live the day by going through the photos.Casey & Aled CTB-020How did the proposal happen?

Writing this story still gives me the biggest smile!

It was May 2014, after a long rugby season we decided to have an extra special holiday and travel Thailand for a month.

The very first island we went to was Koh Tao, a beautiful small island where he had booked an amazing hotel with an infinity pool overhanging cliffs with the backdrop of the most beautiful sunset (little did i know, that this would be the place that would make me the happiest girl on earth). It was late afternoon, just before sunset and we immediately headed to the pool which we almost had to ourselves. We were just relaxing on the sun loungers minding our own business, reading our books, chatting away reminiscing and realising how lucky we were to be there – loving life. Al seized the moment, he went back to the room (to my knowledge it was to get the camera). I had no idea that he had been working for a couple months previously with a Jewellers custom building a ring for this very moment. As the sun was setting in the distance, Al asked me to stand so we could admire the spectacular views and sunset together. It was perfect. He turned and said to me “you know i always tell you that you’re the one? Well you are” and went down on one knee, I was in total shock, and asked him if he was serious. I couldn’t stop smiling! I was on cloud nine. The champagne was on order and we celebrated through the night!Casey & Aled CTB-015Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?

I had most of my ideas from websites like Pinterest, but i couldn’t put them all into action on my own, so with a little help from my mum & bridesmaids we got everything that I wanted done, and I was very happy with it all on the day. Casey & Aled CTB-028Our table numbers and name places were handmade and our table plan was handwritten by my mum on a mirror, it looked amazing!
It was all quiet hard but enjoyable and all the hard work paid off because on the day it all looked amazing if I do say so myself.

What was your first dance & why?

Ho Hey by the Lummineers. There was no question about this one, it was only going to be the song that we would have. It’s completely ‘us’ and reflects our personalities and our relationship.Casey & Aled CTB-044In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?

I can honestly say I wouldn’t change anything about the day. It was perfect for us. It was the best feeling marrying my best friend and seeing all of our closest family and friends having the best time and enjoying themselves! We want to do it all over again, we had massive post-wedding blues!

Do you have any advice for future couples?

With regards to the day itself the only advice we would give is that the day flies by, so enjoy every second and try to absorb it all together at some point if you manage to get a second to yourself.
We got married as early as we could (11am) just to be able to have the majority of the day to celebrate with friends and family and it was perfect. It didn’t feel rushed or pressurised at any point during the day which was exactly what we didn’t want.Casey & Aled CTB-003
What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received?

The best piece of advice that we received was that you must always love each other. There will be tough times but if you stay strong and love each other – the storm won’t last forever. Also, never go to sleep on an argument.Casey & Aled CTB-026What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

I did enjoy planning the whole wedding because I am Miss Organised but buying my dress, inviting everyone to our special day and the food tasting was fab, but overall seeing all the hard work come together was brilliant because at the beginning it feels like it never will as there is so much to think about and do.Casey & Aled CTB-035

The Suppliers

Photographer: Sandra Ace
Videographer: Nathan Ifans
Ceremony Venue: Christ Church, Carmarthen
Reception Venue: The Corran Resort & Spa, Laugharne
Bride’s Dress: Maggie Soterro from Emma Phillips
Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Bride’s Jewellery: Links of London, Swarovski
Groom’s Outfit: Dyfed Menswear & Herring Shoes
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Anya by Ebony Rose from Emma Phillips
Cake: Julie Olausen (Family Friend)
Flowers: Julie Bates
Hair: Lauren Brinson
Make Up: Jodie Amner
Band: Noughts & Crosses
Stationery: PDA Card & Craft & Handmade
Any Reception Decor/Props: Pom Pom Studios, Light Up Letters

The Wedding Album

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Real Wedding: Jonny & Chloe’s Colourful Ocean View Windmill Wedding by Sandra Ace

Today’s fabulous colourful wedding at Ocean View Windmill in The Gower was photographed by the fabulous Sandra Ace Photography. Jonny & Chloe’s wedding was totally unique what with Jonny’s homemade touches, the couple’s DIY efforts, lots of cwtches and their silent disco not to mention how colourful it was! We’re sure you will love it as much as we do!

Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-048

What was your budget? We were most definitely on a budget, we wanted an amazing day but not at the expense of our future together! We were very very lucky to have help from our generous families and lots of talented friends who helped us achieve our dream. We ended up spending around £7000 for everything! Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-022

How would you describe your wedding theme? COLOURFUL! We didn’t want just one colour, we wanted them all! It was a Winter wedding but we were determined to brighten things up. We also wanted the day to be super unique and fun, we definitely feel we succeeded in doing that. Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-016 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-063 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-064 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-068

What was your favourite part of your wedding? I loved the ceremony, sounds a bit soppy but I didn’t notice anyone else in the room apart from Jonny until the very end! It was the first time I got to see his suit too, which completely by accident matched my shoes and earrings! Everything was just so much fun, I can’t help having a massive smile when I think back on the day. The speeches, the Harry Potter themed table, the silent disco groom vs bride playlist, the DIY photobooth, the song written by our friend, entrance music for the whole top table and of course our Shafto sign – I loved it all. Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-040 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-041 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-100 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-027

Tell us about your Wedding Dress Dress shopping was possibly the worst part of planning the wedding for me. I tried on what felt like hundreds of dresses, my poor mum and bridesmaids have the patience of saints! We got married within 6 months of getting engaged, I still remember the look of horror on the faces of the wedding dress shop staff each time I told them the turnaround time. I eventually found the most perfect dress in High Society in Cowbridge, it was on sale and I took it away the same day – I actually couldn’t believe I had it in my hand whilst walking down Cowbridge high street. You definitely know when it’s the right dress and it was worth the previous stresses! Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-001 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-059

Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why? My bridesmaids were Rhiannon and Sian, hands down best bridesmaids ever. Technically I had no choice with Rhiannon, we promised we’d be each others bridesmaids at age 14. She probably knows me better that I know myself, she even made the best wedding cake I have ever seen – Jonny and I only saw that for the first time on the day! Sian is possibly the most organised person on the planet, she planned the best hen do possible – I have the greatest memories from that weekend. The best man was Rhys, Jonny’s best mate from school. Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-038 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-025 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-090

Why did you choose your venue? As soon as we visited Ocean View Windmill we knew it was the place we wanted to get married, the beautiful oak beamed room and stunning views won us over. We also loved that the owners cared about our wedding, it wasn’t a big commercial place where they have a conveyer belt of wedding after wedding. Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-007 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-015 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-046

Tell us about your photographer If you need a photographer look no further than Sandra Ace. I met her at a wedding fayre and knew instantly that she should photograph our wedding. She actually gave birth just 3 weeks after our wedding, but that didn’t stop her at all. She was brilliant and so much fun, I instantly warmed to her and couldn’t recommend her enough! Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-055

How did the proposal happen? We had been together for over 10 years and I wasn’t expecting a proposal at all (at one point I’d told Jonny if he proposed I was going to run away to the circus…). Over time, I’d changed my mind but wasn’t convinced he knew that. It was the day before my birthday, we were staying in a hotel in Bath and he proposed after afternoon tea. I was so shocked I cried like a baby, 10 minutes later I made him propose again because the adrenalin had kicked in and I couldn’t remember him asking the first time. He was too excited to wait until my actual birthday! Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-050

Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share? Where to start. Jonny is a joiner (and a bit of a perfectionist) and that definitely came in handy. He made placemats as favours for each guest, he also made the centre pieces (placemats corresponded to same wood as centre pieces), our solid oak guest bench, the Shafto sign which prompted lots of funny pictures, our table plan and the photobooth. Needless to say, he made our day so unique and I’m so thankful to him for that. Friends & family helped us make quite literally everything else and it was fun to do too – chair decorations, table runners, bunting, wedding cake, Welsh cakes, jewellery, bridesmaid dress sashes and decorated jars dotted around the venue. Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-011 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-071 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-089 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-095

What was your first dance & why? We wanted Fleetwood Mac – Go Your Own Way as that reminds us of our first holiday together, but we decided it wasn’t really that wedding-y… So we choose Florence & The Machine – You’ve Got The Love instead as we both like that song! Before our first dance our friend Steve sang a song that he’d written about us both, it made us both properly laugh out loud and I’m sure we were still chuckling throughout our first dance. Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-093 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-094

In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently? Nope. Not one thing.

Do you have any advice for future couples? Do it all for you. Some people (understandably) weren’t sure about a silent disco in the night, we were adamant and it couldn’t have been a bigger hit. We didn’t want a typical wedding, I am biased but I loved every second of it because it was different and all for us. Also, don’t overthink stuff – with the florist all I asked for was a bright bunch of flowers, I was overwhelmed when I saw them on the day – the florist really did a great job! It would’ve been rubbish in comparison if I had chosen exactly what to have! Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-097 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-098 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-058

What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received? We didn’t really get any, everyone seems to be quite accepting that we’re just ourselves!

What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding? The best part about planning the wedding was the fact that it made our day so perfect. We really couldn’t have wished for more. We want to do it all again! Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-012 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-020 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-024 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-035 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-037 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-047 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-056

The Suppliers

Photographer: Sandra Ace Photography
Ceremony Venue: Ocean View Windmill, Gower
Reception Venue: Ocean View Windmill, Gower
Bride’s Dress: Justin Alexander from High Society Bridal
Bride’s Shoes: Roland Cartier
Bride’s Jewellery: Ella Bailey Design
Groom’s Outfit: A Suit that Fits
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Coast
Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Ella Bailey Design
Cake: Made by my wonderful bridesmaid Rhiannon
Flowers: Black Orchid Floral Design
Hair: Charlotte from Scarlet Knight
Make Up: Hayley Young from The Beauty Room
DJ: Silent Disco
Any Reception Decor/Props: All homemade

The Wedding Album

Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-001 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-002 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-003 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-004 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-005 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-006 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-007 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-008 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-009 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-010 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-011 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-012 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-013 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-014 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-015 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-016 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-017 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-018 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-019 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-020 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-021 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-022 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-023 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-024 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-025 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-026 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-027 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-028 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-029 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-030 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-031 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-032 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-033 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-034 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-035 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-036 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-037 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-038 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-039 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-040 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-041 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-042 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-043 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-044 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-045 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-046 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-047 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-048 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-049 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-050 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-051 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-052 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-053 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-054 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-055 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-056 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-057 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-058 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-059 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-060 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-061 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-062 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-063 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-064 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-065 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-066 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-067 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-068 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-069 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-070 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-071 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-072 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-073 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-074 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-075 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-076 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-077 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-078 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-079 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-080 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-081 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-082 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-083 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-084 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-085 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-086 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-087 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-088 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-089 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-090 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-091 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-092 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-093 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-094 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-095 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-096 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-097 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-098 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-099 Chlo+½ & Jonny - Ocean View, Gower-100

Destination Wedding: Alex & Toby’s Rustic, Italian Wedding

We LOVE a good destination wedding! At the beginning of the week we shared a gorgeous Cwtch image from Alex & Toby’s wedding. Today, this lovely Welsh couple are sharing their Rustic, Italian wedding with us all. Photographed beautifully by Sandra Ace Photography. Lets hand you over to the lovely Bride Alex, with all the details. Enjoy x 

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How would you describe your wedding theme?

Neither of us wanted a traditional wedding – we don’t like being the centre of attention (but love a party) and didn’t like the thought of having to conform to the usual wedding expectations. What was important to us was celebrating our relationship and committment to each other in a meaningful way sharing it with our closests friends and family. Starting married life in the way we intended to go on was the most important thing: having our nearest and dearest around us, spending quality time together, being relaxed and laughing a lot. We decided to get married in one of our favourite places … Tuscany. What better way to start married life: we had beautiful scenery, great food, excellent wine and oodles of quality time with our loved ones. Our theme was simply to relax and chill out in the Tuscan hills – so the theme, if we had to put a label on it, I guess would be Rustic.

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Tell us about your wedding dress: 

I knew the exact dress that I wanted…that was until I tried it on. Quite simply it didnt really suit me and was a bit more ‘look at my dress’ than the subtle and relaxed vibe I had been looking for. I thought I would have to visit tons of places too…again I was wrong. I went to White Bride in Narberth as a good place to get started as it is just down the road from me and I had heard great reports from my married friends. Sally was extremely patient as I tried on lots of dresses that were just not quite right on (great on the hanger but just didnt suit me). Sally suggested that I try one which I had initially dismissed: it was quite white and strapless but it was light and airy which we knew we needed for the wedding venue. I put it on (with low expectations despite the dress being beautiful – Jenny Packham knows how to make a beautiful dress)…and wow. It looked great (which I never thought I would say of a dress on me) – I was so happy. Sally knew I didnt want a train because of the rustic wedding venue so she suggested removing it and creating small straps with it instead…perfect. She also helped choose my headpiece and shoes (I had looked all over the place for shoes but none compared to the gorgeous vintage style Rachel Simpson ones she had in store).

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What was your favourite part of your wedding?

The whole thing…and by that I mean the whole week. I loved the fact that we had day after day in glorious Tuscany enjoying special moments with friends and family from around the globe. But if I had to choose a favourite part…can I have two?!
One would be just after I put on my dress…I walked into the lounge and my four bridesmaids (my two sisters: Sam and Harri, and my two best friends: Amy and Claire), my beautiful daughter and flowergirl Teal and my Mum and Dad were all there. We all looked at each other and the tears started flowing (apart from Teal – who starred amazed as she was the happiest little person around and had no idea why everyone was crying!). In that moment I felt so lucky and realised the huge importance and impact (not just to Toby and I) of such a special occasion. I had planned to joke that I had changed my mind at this point but realised it would have ruined the mood.

Alex & Toby-028Alex & Toby-029The other favourite moment has to be the ceremony, I walked down the aisle with my amazing Dad to Bright Eyes ‘First Day of my Life’ played by our awesome friend Harry Keyworth, my sister Sam was the celebrant which made it so personal and unique, Toby’s Mum did a reading of a poen she wrote for the occasion and as a complete surprise Teal, our 4 year old daughter, stood up and recited the whole of The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Leer in the most beautiful voice with amazing intonation. It made mine and Toby’s day. Plus, as the ceremony was outside (this was very important to us – to be close to nature and in open air) we were lucky enough to experience true Tuscan weather throughout…from rays of beaming sunshine to claps of thunder and fork lightening…it was magical and dramatic.

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Who did you pick as your bridesmaids and why?

My two younger sisters Sammy and Harriet – they are just the best sisters anyone could wish for. Supportive, kind, funny – they are great friends and amazing aunties. They are way more generous than I deserve and so considerate – they added a lot of special touches that make all the difference. And my two best friends from University, Claire and Amy…we have been through so much together, dont get to see each other as much as we would like but we’re always there for each other and always pick up where we left off. Two people I can be open and honest with and they were rocks throughout the whole wedding – and we had such a laugh too. And finally my daughter Teal – she was so excited about me becoming a Bradley like her, she had talked about weddings non-stop for months and was the cutest flowergirl I had ever seen.
seeing them all together in their mix of pastel colours against the Tuscan hills reminded me of countryside, nature, flowers, and being carefree…I’m not sure exactly why…I was just so happy.

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Why did you choose your venue?

We both love love love Tuscany and we wanted it to be a big holiday. So we found a venue that could sleep around 40 people in private apartments, with amazing views and known for its exceptional food and wine. We had exclusive use for 4 days (we stayed longer as did some other guests) and the owners were extremely helpful, and very relaxed. It was a family-run business and they did everything they could to help us. They don’t usually do weddings, which suited us down to the ground, as we could really make it our own and there were no expectations of how it should be. The rest of our guests stayed nearby in lovely towns and villages…all with great views. I think there was about 80 of us in the end – wow :-)

Alex & Toby-003 Alex & Toby-005 Alex & Toby-087How did the proposal happen? 

Our proposal story featured on Cwtch the Bride back in January. You can read it here :-)

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

Everything about this wedding was DIY: we are incredibly lucky to have a super talented bunch of friends and family:
My mum made all of the bouquets, she watched turorials on YouTube and researched which flowers flopped and which didnt. I wanted something not too structured. We found some flowers we liked in a supermarket in Florence just by chance and added to these a few peonies from a local florist and some herbs and succulents picked from the local area. Mum did an amazing job – they were just right. My sister made the button holes, which were perfect – very natural looking.

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Toby’s Dad’s girlfriend Sue made all of the bunting from small balls of wool that she had been given (she crocheted a lot of it!) and from left over material and old clothes that we as a family compiled. Then the day before the wedding my aunties and counsins threaded them on to the ribbon ready to be hung in place the next day. A real team effort.

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As I mentioned Harry Keyworth played the guitar and sang throughout the ceremony – so talented, it was really special.
My sister was the celebrant and did a wonderful job of making the service special, memorable and far removed from the traditional service which I mentioned we really didnt want.
My friend Sandra Ace who I have known since school did the official photography, which was great as she made us feel totally comfortable and relaxed, and she even helped boss people about too :-). She knows I hate having my photo taken and really dont like seeing myself in photos, but of course knew I wanted some images to savour the memories of the special day…she was very considerate and captured some magical moments.

Alex & Toby-050 We also had a few other talented photographers there who helped to add to our collection of great shots from throughout the week-long holiday and my sister’s boyfriend, Craig did an excellent job of capturing the day on video.
My aunty did my hair and my sister’s did the bridesmaids…everyone chipped in and put in loads of practice beforehand (apart from me who hadnt practiced at all!)

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What was your first dance & why?

We didn’t do a first dance – this sort of thing is just not for us. We talked about it but it was one of things that we would only be doing because we were pressured to as a ‘wedding norm’ so being in the context that we were we managed to take this out of the equation.

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

Possibly, but only very minor things, I’d rather not give them the mindspace, this would only make them something they’re not. We were delighted with everything and I couldn’t have wished for a better week…one of the best in my entire life.

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Do you have any advice for future couples?

At the beginning decide on what is important to you as a couple and then try to bring it back to that when you make a decision. If you feel uncomfortable about anything acknowledge it early on. And don’t give in to pressure to do things other people’s way.
One thing we did that I would recommend was – we bought a polaroid camera and got all guests to take a photo of themselves to stick in alongside their note in the guest book…this was great to look at the next day.

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

Toby’s Mum’s poem was just perfect.

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What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

Getting to go to Tuscany to stay in the venue for 4 days last October … Toby, Teal, Mum, Dad and me visited to do a recce and meet the family…it was amazing. We drank, ate and visited beautiful hamlets and got really excited about the fun times ahead. Perfect excuse for a holiday.

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Wedding Suppliers

Photographer: Sandra Ace Photography
Ceremony Venue: Antico Borgo Poggiarello
Reception Venue: Antico Borgo Poggiarello
Bride’s Dress: Jenny Packham Cascade
Bride’s Shoes: Rachel Simpson
Bride’s Jewellery: Alex Monroe, Audrey Bull, and borrowed
Groom’s Outfit: Hugo Boss tailored
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Handmade
Cake: Traditional tuscan wedding tart made at the venue
Hair: Family member
Make Up: DIY
Band: i Dinosauri 
DJ: Spotify playlist and Sophie Humber on the decks!
Stationery: Handmade by bride and Mum

The Wedding Album

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