We are now just 2 weeks away from #Cwtchfest2016 and this morning we have three more of our amazing Welsh wedding suppliers joining us on the blog explaining a bit more of what they offer and to give you a flavour of our event at Glanusk Estate on the 17th April.
If you are yet to get your tickets don’t worry there is still time, all you have to do is click on the below link
Emma at Sylvie and Joan works with couples to design and deliver spirited, inspired weddings fuelled by creativity, warmth and personality.
Emma loves to combine two of her great loves – festivals and weddings! With many years experience as director of a festival events company, Emma knows what it takes to pull off a spectacular event!
” We specialise in finding non-traditional wedding venues and organising outdoor ceremonies. Give us a field, a barn, a farm, or a backyard and we’re in our planning element! We offer bespoke design, beautiful handcrafted details and help sourcing truly talented suppliers. Every wedding we plan is so different to the last, which keeps us happy and gives our couples a day which really reflects them.
Based in the glorious Brecon Beacons and covering all areas of Wales, we offer full wedding planning, partial planning services, on-the-day event coordination and creative design and styling.
We also believe that professional wedding planning and styling isn’t just for those with a large budget and we pride ourselves on working creatively within all wedding budgets.. We love a heart-filled homespun wedding and can help bring all those DIY ideas to life.”
I have always been creative and love making things so when I came across Fimo and the idea of making cake toppers, I was in my element.
Working from photographs I create animated figures of people or animals for a cake topper for that special occasion. Whether it is a bride and groom topper for a wedding, a baby in a Moses basket for a christening or just something different for a birthday, each piece is custom made especially for you.
I also make gifts for the bride and groom, such as decorated horseshoes or ‘Mr & Mrs’ bunting, which can be made to match the colour scheme of the wedding.
Samantha & Greig got married last June at the stunning Oldwalls, Gower. They had such an amazing experience making everything themselves that Sam now has her own Homemade shop and is joining Emma from Sylvie & Joan for her DIY workshops at CWTCHFEST in April!
How would you describe your wedding theme? Village Fete’ is probably the best way to describe the theme for our wedding day. We both wanted to make sure our guests were entertained from the very beginning to the very end. Everything on the day was homemade and personal – we wanted the day to be completely unique to us.
What was your favourite part of your wedding? What a tough question – I know it sounds cliché but I loved every part of the planning and of the day itself. Greig and I spent so much time and energy in the months running up to the wedding making all the homemade props so seeing them all in place was an amazing feeling. When we arrived at Oldwalls and we saw that it looked exactly how we had envisaged that was an emotional moment. We were married, we were surrounded by all our loved ones, everyone was having fun, and…the sun was shining – it was just perfect. I had booked a magician as a surprise for Greig – he was incredible! The atmosphere was so fun and full of joy. There was so many highlights – the speeches, the first dance, walking down the aisle and seeing everyone…the list goes on!
Tell us about your Wedding Dress I was really terrified about finding a dress as I didn’t think I would find anything I liked. I couldn’t have been more wrong, finding my wedding dress was an absolute joy. I went to Cardiff for the day with my Mum, Gran and Bridesmaids. It was 3 shops, lunch and cocktails – job done! I loved every dress I tried on. When I tried on ‘the one’ it was that classic moment – I just knew it was ‘the dress’. As soon as I took it off I couldn’t wait to wear it again. It was nothing like the style I’d imagined and I would advise brides to approach dress shopping with an open mind and use the expertise of the lovely ladies in the shops to help you find your perfect dress.
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why? My Bridesmaids were 4 of my very closest friends, all Speech Therapists like me. They were the most incredible bridesmaids and I couldn’t have done it all without them. One of them flew over from New Zealand – I hadn’t seen her for 2 years. We drove to Heathrow in the wee hours of the morning to surprise her which was another incredible moment. Greig had his brother Arran as his best man. They are only a year apart in age and have always been really close. He did a blinder of a speech!
Why did you choose your venue? We knew we wanted a private venue in a rural area. We looked at a few places but when we went to Oldwalls we immediately feel in love with the beautiful setting. Greig’s family are from Yorkshire so it was really important to have lots of accommodation on site. Greig said my eyes literally lit up when they mentioned Glamping. The glamping tents were in place just in time for our wedding and were very apt as we got married on the weekend of Glastonbury festival.
How did the proposal happen? It was quite unexpected. We were sat on the sofa at home on a Saturday Evening. It had been snowing all week. Greig suggested we go for a walk, I wasn’t keen but he was quite persistent. When I went out he was down on one knee in the garden and he had written will you marry me in the snow. I said yes and he run inside and grabbed the champagne. It was romantic at the time but the message stayed on our front garden for days which was quite embarrassing :)
Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share? I could share so many DIY tutorials – we literally made EVERYTHING – it made the day so personal and memorable. My bridesmaids helped us a lot. We made nearly 300 metres of bunting over a series of crafting weekends. Bunting is so simple to make and looks so effective (See the DIY tutorial we featured on Wednesday!). I also enjoyed making all the wooden fete stalls with Greig in his workshop and painting these in the garden on a sunny weekend. I made the Jam wedding favours about 9 months before the wedding which was great – anything you can do in advance is a bonus.
I made the cake myself. It was a 4-tiered cake, which I decorated with a lace design, bunting and a handmade personalised peg cake topper. The problem was I live in Leicester and was travelling home to Wales for the wedding – transporting the cake was a concern. I decided Greig would drive and I would have the cake on my lap…fully assembled. We got stuck in traffic and all the people in their cars on the M5 were pointing and looking at the cake. Thankfully it made it to Oldwalls in one piece.
I loved making all my own stationery. They were all made from Kraft card with hand sewn fabric details. When you make your own things it so much easier to maintain the theme. I used the same fabric and font on everything we made. My Bridesmaids helped me to make bags of confetti, vintage wall art and cushions.
Greig made a Sweet Cart from solid oak, which was an absolute masterpiece. We tried to make the venue really personal. We collected old family photos and displayed these on vintage stepladders in antique frames that was lovely.
What was your first dance & why? One of fete stalls was a ‘First Dance Lucky Dip’. We kept the song an absolute surprise from everyone. It was ‘Walking On Sunshine’ by Katrina and the Waves. Neither of us wanted a slow swaying song so we decided to choose something up-tempo and just have fun. We had 5 dance lessons in the run up and it was really enjoyable. Unfortunately my shoes and the shiny dance floor were not very compatible and I spend most of the dance trying my very best not to fall over. I spent the whole evening on the dance floor but after the first dance I lost the shoes! As the night went on more and more of the Photo Booth props made it onto the dance floor. I ended up wearing a horse’s head, which matched my wedding dress beautifully.
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently? I wouldn’t change anything about the day but I wish I’d worried less during the preparations. We worked so hard and I spent a lot of time worrying about it all coming together. We hired the incredible Emma Butler from Sylvie and Joan Wedding Planning for ‘on the day styling’. I created a styling plan with Emma that we used to ensure the venue looked exactly how we imagined. Initially I was so worried about relying on so many individuals – from the farmer delivering the hay to the cars collecting me in the morning. I felt like I was the top of a huge jenga tower and if any piece was taken out the whole thing would collapse. Working with Emma made me relax and enjoy myself much more – it was an absolute joy. I realise now that no matter what goes wrong, if you are married by the end of the day, it was a successful day.
Do you have any advice for future couples? Be organised. Planning a wedding is a huge task and I think it would have been quite daunting if I didn’t have a clear plan. I’m not a spreadsheet kind of girl – I had a beautiful scrapbook that I wrote everything in. I knew which projects needed to be completed in which month – this helped us stay in control of everything. I still have the scrapbook as a lovely memory of all our hardwork and planning.
What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received? Greig made us a ‘Guest Bench’ instead of having a guest book. We asked people to write advice on it. One of my favourites says ‘Always remember the feelings that brought you together today….’ I sit on the bench everyday and I often look at that message and it takes me back to the wedding day even on the gloomiest Monday mornings.
What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding? I loved the opportunity to put my creative side to good use. I found making all my handmade props so enjoyable and I developed so many new skills. I’ve recently started a little business making homemade gifts and wedding props to keep me busy in married life.
In case you haven’t been following the blog for the last month or two (where have you been?!) you will know that we are in the middle of planning Wales’ first major wedding festival – CWTCHFEST! One thing that is always popular in a festival themed wedding is bunting and we have a fantastic DIY tutorial for you today from one of our readers, Sam.
We will also be featuring Sam & Greig’s full wedding this Friday, if you can’t wait ’til then to see all her DIY elements here is her wedding video that we featured back in September.
DIY Beautiful Bunting
To make 1 metre of bunting you need:
1m Bias Binding (25mm wide)
Iron & Ironing board
Sewing Pins (optional)
Draw 2 triangle templates for the flags of your bunting (My largest triangle was 15cm wide and 20cm long). Draw the 2nd triangle 1cm smaller (This template will help you to sew the flag accurately with a 1cm seam allowance on both sides). Cut the triangles out.
Draw around the large template onto the back of your fabric. You need to cut two triangles for each flag. (TIP: If you turn the template upside down you can tessellate and save fabric). Use the smaller template to draw your sewing line inside. Cut out along the outside line.
It’s time to get sewing!
Place 2 triangles together with the ‘good sides’ facing each other (you can pin the these together if you like). Sew from the top down to the point – stop with the needle down, lift the foot and pivot the flag around. Sew down the other line to make a ‘V’ shape. Do not sew the top.
Trim the excess fabric off at the sides and at the point to reduce the fullness. Turn inside out and carefully poke the point through with a pencil. Trim any excess off the top so that you have a neat straight line. Iron each triangle flat.
Fold and iron your bias binding.
Start by sewing around 10cm of bias, sewing it closed. (TIP: make this longer if you want to tie the bunting to something). Add your first triangle by opening the bias binding, and slipping in the top of the triangle. Continue sewing along the bias tape, sewing the first triangle inside. Continue this process, adding triangles at equal intervals until you have reached your desired bunting length (you can pin the triangles if you prefer) When you’ve attached all of the triangles, sew another 10cm of bias binding at the end of the bunting -just as you did at the beginning.
And that is it! Your bunting is ready!
When it comes to Bunting the possibilities are endless…here are some pictures of other styles. You can use any mix of fabrics, hessian or even vintage clothing. You can also make it single sided but remember to cut out the fabric with a pinking shears to avoid fraying. If you don’t have a sewing machine you can attach the flags to some twice using tiny pegs for a rustic twist.
I have just started using twitter and I would love a tweet to let me know how you get on making your bunting. If you have any questions, then please just get in touch @sam_crafty
Here at Cwtch the Bride we are super busy preparing for CWTCHFEST – our massive wedding festival that’s being held on the 19th of April (you can buy tickets here!). On the day we will be holding DIY workshops managed by Sylvie & Joan which we’re sure will prove massively valuable to all you DIY brides to be, until then the lovely Emma from Sylvie & Joan will be sharing budget advice, styling inspiration and tips for planning a festival themed wedding on the blog. This week Emma is sharing her top tips for a budget friendly wedding – take note!
Top Tips for Budget-friendly Wedding Planning
Last time we looked at Wedding Planning – Where to Start? This week the lovely team at Cwtch has asked me for my top money-saving tips. When looking at the all-important question of budget, a key way to keep costs down is to prioritise, to chose your wedding team wisely and to modify (or do away with) some long standing wedding conventions.
I’m sure you will have heard it many times but do look at the discounts offered by venues for mid-week or out of season weddings. You can save quite a bit! Or look for a non-traditional venue where you’ll be free from expensive packages and corkage fees.
If budget is tight then consider shopping vintage. Take your bridesmaids for a day out and hit up your favourite vintage shops.Try on as many styles on as you can. Take photos and make notes – what suits you and what doesn’t. If you don’t find the one, check out Oxfam Bridal and online vintage stores and sellers on Etsy and Ebay.
Don’t forget to take a good look at what the high street has to offer. There are some beautiful dresses out there to suit most wedding styles. With a few clever customising stitches, they could fit like couture!
You don’t even have to give up your dreams of wearing a sought after bridal designer on your big day! Check out designer collaborations for Debenhams and you could be a Jenny Packham bride for less than £200! And at sale times you can expect further discounts.
Or consider hiring your gown. The brilliant To Have and to Hire in Cardiff could have the dress of your dreams. They hire out gowns from Claire Pettibone, Suzanne Neville, Stephanie Allin, Jenny Packham, Ian Stuart and House of Mooshki. Kinder to your pocket and to the environment!
Jenny Packham Eden
Great news for the wedding planning pocket – the days of copy and paste dress rules are over! Mix and match bridesmaid dresses look wonderful and embrace your bridesmaids’ individuality. Send them some pretty colour palette inspiration, invite them over for a styling party and create your look for the day together. We all have dresses we’ve bought and worn once (or not at all!) Ask your maids to bring along dresses they already own, crack open the bubbly, dress up, mix, match and swap!
Think carefully about timings. A twilight ceremony followed by cocktails, dinner and dancing could drastically reduce your catering budget, doing away with the need for the traditional wedding breakfast followed by more food in the evening.
If you do decide to feed your guests twice then make your wedding cake work for you. Go for a cheese tower that can be served as an evening ploughman’s supper combined with a sweet and simple dessert table.
Decide which aspects of your day you want to DIY and which you want to source to trusted professionals. Having something created especially for you by someone who has perfected their craft is a great joy.
Take time to look through their portfolio of work and testimonials. Make sure you’re handing over your hard-saved wedding cash to someone who shares your vision and will work hard for you.
I know what you may be thinking but professional services can save you money. For example, a great stationery designer will ensure you get the best quality print for the most reasonable cost. Hiring a professional stylist can save you £££s compared with buying and handcrafting all your decor. Hiring a wedding planner can secure you big savings. They have a wealth of money saving advice, they can secure supplier discounts and a good planner will tell you what you need and what you don’t need!
An experience and talented photographer is invaluable. It may seem like a big expense but you are paying for a wealth of skill. If your budget won’t stretch to the photographer of your dreams talk to them about mid-week or off season discounts. Or set up a ‘photography fund’. Instead of wedding gifts, ask guests for a little something towards ensuring you have lasting memories of the day.
If you do decide that you’d rather have your wedding shot by a friend, don’t leave it to chance. Make a photo checklist and share it with them before the day. Photographers less experienced in weddings may not spot the details you have lovingly sourced and crafted – make sure they know!
Minimoon in Wales! Here are some of my favourite welsh getaways. Save a more lavish honeymoon trip for your anniversary – it will give you something to look forward to when the wedding planning withdrawal sets in! Plus you’ll have a whole year to save!