Cwtch of the Week: A Castle Cwtch

Good Monday to you all Cwtchers! This weeks beautiful Cwtch of the Week: A Castle Cwtch, is from the fabulous and very talented Lewis Fackrell.  The lovely couple are Mark and Rhian. The image was taken on the walls of Llansteffan Castle with a beautiful backdrop of the Gower.  Over to Lewis to tell us a bit more about the couple……..x

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Cwtch of the Week: A Castle Cwtch

Lewis Frackrell Rhian and Mark Cwtch

Mark and Rhian first met 10 years before they actually got together.  He remembered but she didn’t.  He mentioned that he remembered the fact that she was a farmer’s daughter from Llanelli and that he’d also pretended to be French when they first met (which on both occasions, was at a Wales v France six nations match in Cardiff). Only the second time, he was not leaving without her number.
The Proposal
Fate had made Mark wait long enough.  Mark planned a proposal in Rome as Rhian had always had a romanic vision of a proposal in front of Fontana di Trevi.  Unfortunately it was covered in scaffolding, so Mark kept her waiting a little longer.  The moment finally came in the middle of gale force winds and hail on the top of Snowdon.
She didn’t get long to answer as it was too cold to hang around at the summit! They finally got together in 2012 and 4 years later they are tying the knot.
 Ahhh amazing! They were just meant to be! Mark and Rhian get married on 18th June in Llansteffan. Looking forward to seeing those images! x

Real Weddings: Kerry & Tom’s Snowdonian Weddings by Amy & Omid

And here it is!! Real Weddings: Kerry & Tom’s Snowdonian Weddings by Amy & Omid!  After showing you our North Wales couple, Kerry and Tom’s love story in the form of a Cwtch of the Week and their Engagement Shoot, we can now reveal their amazing big day, and its breathtaking.  Thank you Kerry and Tom and your fabulous photographers, Amy & Omid  for sharing this with us all. We’re going to kick it off with my absolute favourite of the couple.Over to you……x

Kerry & Tom’s Snowdonian Weddings by Amy & Omid


What was your budget? 

Approx £10,000

How would you describe your wedding theme?

We wanted our wedding to be elegant, traditionally romantic with a touch of vintage colour and flair.

What was your favourite part of your wedding?

Kerry – I really enjoyed walking down the aisle with my Dad. He’s suffered with ill health over many years, and in the months leading up to the wedding Tom’s father passed away, so just to be able to have him there to walk me down the aisle was such a blessing.


Also, I was so overjoyed to see for the first time all our friends and family who were so happy for us to have found one another both at the ripe age of 39! The other favourite part was the disco. The DJ was excellent and I’ve never been to a wedding where so many people were on the dance floor for so long! We had a blast!


Tom – My two favourite parts of the wedding were walking out from the wedding ceremony, to Pharrell Williams’s song “Happy” and seeing all our friends congratulate us and throw confetti over us in celebration. It was a time to be able to relax after being announced as husband and wife. Also, the first dance – after the emotion of giving my speech, it was our time to spend together dancing to a song special to us.


Tell us about your Wedding Dress

I have to say I think I was quite excited and a tiny bit stressed about getting the dress. With only five months from engagement to wedding, I took just one opportunity to go shopping to two different wedding dress shops. With my Mum and Mother in law to be, I tried only about 8 different dresses before finding the perfect one for me that was on sale and I could take away that day!

I had liked pictures of lace and tulle ballgowns in magazines and found a beautiful one made by Sincerity in Perfection Bridal in Cardiff City Centre. My Mum cried for the first time that day when I walked out in it, confirming that it was definitely the one!


Although I got the most gorgeous dress that I loved, I did wish that I’d had time to try on more! I still like to watch “Say yes to the dress” a programme on Sky!

Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why?

Kerry – I chose a long-standing friend and my two lovely nieces as my bridesmaids. I had done my friend’s hair for her wedding and knew she would be a wonderful bridesmaid to me. She was so calming and helped me so much on the day. I needed to take my dress off for a breather a couple of times and she had the unenviable task of undoing and doing up a number of little covered buttons! My nieces did wonderfully and looked really beautiful too.


Tom – I chose a friend of 15 years. He is a former colleague (Teacher) and in fact interviewed me for my second teaching job. We worked together, socialised and played football for a team in the London area for many years. He is a very caring, understanding friend who’s been such a close confidant for many years. On the day he was so calming and reassured. He’s a very charismatic and genuinely funny guy …his speech (Although fairly lengthy) was just right and VERY, VERY funny. Given recent family events he pitched it ‘just right’ along with an amazing, thoughtful stag do 6 weeks before in the city of Bath.


Why did you choose your venue?

Our venue was quite easy to choose. With nothing suitable in Tom’s beautiful home village of Beddgelert, The Seiont Manor is set in such a beautiful area out in the countryside near Mt Snowden and had plenty of rooms for our guests to stay with us for the weekend.

We were able to hire the whole venue which suited us well – most of our guests had to travel quite far and many had babies and children with them. We were able to have our legal and Baha’i ceremonies, reception, Wedding Breakfast and evening party all in one lovely venue. We didn’t worry too much about the weather (which was typically Welsh on the day!) as we didn’t have to travel anywhere! We still managed to take formal photographs in the hotel’s grounds.

Tell us about your photographer

Our photographers Amy and Omid were absolutely wonderful. They’ve been friends of mine since before they offered professional photography and we were just so pleased with their professionalism and with their comfortable and capable attitude.

We’d suffered the sudden loss of Tom’s father and had some inevitable sense of trepidation and emotion about the wedding, but after the engagement shoot, even before seeing the unbelievably amazing pictures they took, I felt a sense of such relief, I knew that they would keep us feeling relaxed and happy on the day itself. Such a priceless gift to us at that time.

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

I really enjoyed making up my own flower filled bird-cages for the top table, just picked up material flowers in our vintage dusky pink and lilac and ivory, some fairy-light roses and rustic birdcages from The Range. We also made up our own party bags which gave the table name, filled with goodies for each table, with pics of us and our dating story and wedding breakfast menus.

We also borrowed a large vintage suitcase from my brother for guests to drop any cards and gifts and simply strung bunting letters across it.


We had wanted to do a lot of things ourselves, but with so little time in preparation we did as much as we could and enjoyed seeing people enjoy what we had created or put-together.

What was your first dance & why?

We chose the song “Better Together” by Jack Johnson and had those two words inscribed on the inside of our wedding rings as they very much sum up how we feel about our relationship.


About twice before the day we tried to plan a dance to the song – but we gave up pretty quick and it was very much a natural style – nothing stylised or much-practiced! Luckily Tom’s a great dancer and he is able to turn me around and dip me down which I love!

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

We don’t really feel that there is much we could have changed or done differently. A little more time might have been helpful but we were very happy with the day and weekend.

Do you have any advice for future couples?

Every couple is different, but choosing things together was very important to us. The feeling that I had had a vision for the wedding and had put things together made me proud, but I would say that keeping things simple is also important! Being able to relax and enjoy the day rather than worry over every little detail was really important to us and has left us with our wonderful joyous memories of the day.


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

We have a lot of great guidance on marriage in The Baha’i Faith, some of which we read in the spiritual ceremony. Also we asked my lovely friend who is 91 years old to read a wise and beautiful piece ‘The Prophet on Marriage’ by Kahlil Gibran – I like the advice thats held within the poetic piece which starts;
“You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you”

What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

I enjoyed many things during the planning of the wedding. There wasn’t much time, but I enjoyed choosing our guests, the ideas stage, the buying stage. I found little ideas of things in magazines and online by chance like stickers to personalise coat hangers for the wedding party and crystal stickers for the bottom of our shoes saying ‘I do’ and ‘Me Too’. The little things made me happy and excited in the build up to the day!

Kerry_and_Tom-6 Kerry_and_Tom-16

The Suppliers

Photographer: Amy & Omid Photography
Wedding Planner: Kerry McGrath
Ceremony Venue: The Seinot Manor 
Reception Venue: The Seinot Manor 
Bride’s Dress: Sincerity Venice beaded lace over tulle ballgown
Bride’s Shoes: Debut by Debenhams
Bride’s Headpiece: Perfection Bridal, Cardiff
Bride’s Jewellery: Brides Own
Groom’s Outfit: Ted Baker Suit in Mid Blue
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Coast
Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Perfection Bridal, Cardiff
Cake: Brides Friend
Flowers: Ty Blodau
Hair: Local Hairdresser – Sioned
Make Up: Bride
DJ: Gav’s Disco
Stationery: Colorworks, Bath
Any Reception Decor/Props: ‘I Do’ Wedding Hire 

The Wedding Album

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Congratulations Kerry and Tom! This is just beautiful to see and to read – how amazing to have a ceremony in your Bahá’í Faith, so personal and important to you both.  Thank you so much to you both and Amy and Omid for sharing your love story with us. It has been a joy to watch it unfold. xx