Ahead of our next event on the 9th April 2017 in the stunning St Fagans we have our gorgeous Cwtch Workshops that are entering their third year and forth event by showing you what we got up to in Septembers #Cwtchfest2016 in St Fagans.
Over the weeks we have been trying to explain what makes our events a little different and the Cwtch Workshops are an essential part of this difference.
Set in Stretch event’s beautiful stretch tent, which allows you to feel part of the festival whilst experiencing some fascinating and enjoyable workshops. Like a Gin masterclass that was offered by Cardiff’s very own secret cocktail bar The Dead Canary– What is there not to LOVE!
It also offers you the chance to meet some amazing wedding suppliers and for them to run a half hour workshop in something that we know will help our brides and couples plan their wedding like the fabulous Penny from Pad Deco offering wedding planning inspiration.
One of the many questions brides question themselves when looking at costs is could I do flowers myself and Eva from The Flowerhive offers a workshop that allows you to have a hands on experience. Our Cwtchfest couples have LOVED her floral workshops.
Inspired? Are you yet to get your tickets? You will find them here…
We will be announcing this years line up in the coming weeks keep your eyes peeled!!!
And to start your weekend off in style, we have a truly lovely wedding for you!
Beautifully captured by the ever so talented Oliver J Photography, Jenny and Thomas got married at the breathtaking Edwardian Manor, Llangoed Hall at the beginning of October.
It truly looks like it was just the most wonderful day, and we are totally loving this couple!
Over to Jenny and Thomas to tell us all about it…….
Jenny and Thomas’s Edwardian Manor House Wedding
How would you describe your wedding theme?
No real theme. We tried to keep it in keeping with the décor of our chosen venue, an Edwardian Manor House in the Wye valley, Llangoed Hall.
What was your favourite part of your wedding?
We genuinely loved the whole day. We wanted a relaxed wedding that we would enjoy celebrating with our guests in beautiful surroundings. The tone of the day was set by my friend’s gorgeous toddler who decided to abandon her parents and follow me down the aisle immediately making everyone laugh and it was the best way to calm our nerves.
Our best men were also brilliant and leapt up at completely the wrong moment to give us the rings making everyone laugh again and setting the tone for an incredibly fun day.
This carried through to the speeches during which all the speakers managed to balance genuine emotion with as many funny stories as they could squeeze in. As the bride, I particularly became a target and every personality quirk and childhood mishap suddenly became public knowledge.
My younger brother also decided he would do a speech as part of the father of the bride speech (fairly sure I didn’t actually give permission for that!) but it was incredibly emotional to hear our families talk about us with such love and affection.
During the groom’s speech, Tom decided to share the story of the first proposal attempt which caused a lot of laughs at my expense particularly some of my friends decided it was time to share some of the antics from my hen weekend with the entire room.
The laughter continued when the band started. I can honestly say I never expected to see my 80 year old grandmother who last danced at her own wedding in the ‘60s dancing with all my friends to Teenage Dirtbag and my parents – who also last danced in the ‘80s – jumping around to Mr Brightside. The band were amazing and getting everyone up and dancing and the set kept the energy going all night with a mix of music.
I’m not sure anyone is going to forget the dancing of that night, and fortunately – or unfortunately depending on how you felt about it – the photos and videos are circulating to remind those who would rather forget…
Tell us about your Wedding Dress
As we only had had 8 months until the big day, dress shopping was all a bit of a rush. I visited Laura May Bridal with one of my friends just to figure out what kinds of things I liked.
I still couldn’t really imagine myself in a long white dress so had no idea what kind of thing I wanted.
We described the kinds of dresses I liked and thought would suit me so along with the assistant, we picked shapes, materials, and styles to narrow things down.
I was picking up art deco style pearl numbers, or lacy Kate Middleton style dresses, but the assistant picked up a plain silk waisted dress with beaded detailing on the back to try the shape. I barely looked at it and had passed in on the rack as not interested.
I tried it on first to test out the shape and instantly loved it. It was simple, tailored and I didn’t feel completely overwhelmed by it. I told myself it was just because it was the first time I had seen myself in a wedding dress but every other dress I tried on felt like it was someone else’s dress and that I was completely overwhelmed by lace and beads and skirts.
I had taken one of my bridesmaids with me who was brilliant and telling me honestly when things suited me or not and I completely needed that brutal honesty because all the dresses were lovely.
We narrowed it down to two dresses; the first one and a vintage 1920s beaded dress, and so I brought my mum back a week later to look at them.
All week I had been thinking about the first dress. I tried them both on for my mum and we both fell completely in love with the first accidental dress and ordered it that day with plain ribbon edged veil and just prayed it would arrive in time.
I ended up doing the thing they say you should never do, I brought the first dress, from the first shop, in under a week of looking.
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why?
Picking the bridesmaids was difficult because there were so many candidates who would have done an amazing job.
We eventually decided on two of my uni ex-housemates and one of best friends who had just returned from living in Australia. This worked brilliantly having people representing different friendship groups and bringing alternative ideas and the wedding would not have been so amazing without them.
From the hen weekend to the them completely taking over decorating the venue and organising everything the day before – working a night shift 24 hours before your wedding turned out not to be such a good idea- they just completely sorted everything and did an incredible job.
The two bestmen – in the end we couldn’t pick – were two of Tom’s uni housemates. They did a great job from organising a stag weekend in Dublin which Tom loved, to helping organise the suits, and the speeches. As always they were on great form and helped make the day what it was.
Why did you choose your venue?
Llangoed Hall was the only venue we visited. I had heard about it from friends and researched a few, but just kept coming back to it.
We are wanted somewhere that we could have the ceremony and reception, and that could accommodate our guests overnight. We visited and it was even more beautiful than we had imagined and we loved it instantly.
We liked having all the rooms downstairs available to our guests so everyone could mill around as they pleased, making the day more relaxed.
The team there were also great at helping organise things and were invaluable on the day. They took care of everything from rounding up guests, helping our florist set up and took care of everything we asked. It freed us and the bridal party up to simply enjoy the day.
Tell us about your photographer
Oh Oliver. I had seen some of Oliver’s photos of a colleague’s wedding and I loved what I had seen on his website.
We wanted our photos to be more documentary type, and make the most of the beautiful surroundings.
I met Oliver about five months before the wedding and got on immediately and this carried on through to the big day. We really appreciated his input and ideas – even if it did end up with a last minute rush order on sparklers – and they all worked brilliantly on the day.
He managed to somehow completely blend in with the guests and just become part of the wedding whilst keeping everyone on task and on time.
Neither of us particularly likes being the centre of attention or having our photo taken, but Oliver put us both at ease and made the photos an enjoyable experience.
How did the proposal happen?
So the proposal took two attempts!
Poor Tom with the help of his groomsmen had planned a romantic surprise weekend away in hotel and was going to propose at the evening meal. It was lovely. We had a suite with champagne and strawberries, amazing food with matched wine for each courses.
Unfortunately I’ve always been a bit of a lightweight and enjoyed the wine with our lunch a bit too much and never made it to the evening meal where he planned to propose.
He was so traumatised it took six months for him to plan another weekend away.
He proposed at a hotel in Covent Gardens when we had been discussing our plans for the following day by revealing a fake ring and a plan to go ring shopping for a replacement together the following day.
It was a lovely and low key way to propose and I loved it , and it did explain his panic when I had suggested after dinner drinks on the way back to hotel.
We went shopping the next day and picked the first ring I tried on in the first shop and bought it there and then.
Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?
We made all of the stationary and a lot of the decorations ourselves because we just struggled to find things we liked. The stationary seemed endless, but it made it more personal and was definitely worth it in the end.
What was your first dance & why?
This was really tricky one because we don’t have “a song” most of the dancing we had done together had on nights out.
I came across Ben Folds’s, ‘The Luckiest’ when it was featured in the film About Time and loved it and felt it best summed out how we felt about our relationships and each other. We have even learnt to waltz (via youtube) but then at the last minute abandoned the idea of a routine and waltzing and decided to take the pressure out of it and just wing it.
And whilst we will never win awards for our dancing, it was lovely to have a moment just the two of us together.
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?
Absolutely nothing. We went in with the attitude of not stressing out about things being perfect because it would be a great day anyway and it worked for us. This meant we actually enjoyed the preparation and everything was perfect on the day. Not working nights 24 hours prior to the wedding would have been nice though!
Do you have any advice for future couples?
Go with your gut. If you like it and know what you want go for it.
We booked the first venue, bought the first dress, bought the first engagement and wedding rings, and wouldn’t change a thing.
We only had 7 months from engagement to wedding so had to get organised and make quick decisions, but it actually took a lot of the stress out of it because we didn’t overthink or question our choices.
What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received?
Laugh with each other and have fun. That way you will always be best friends as well as husband and wife.
What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?
It was a great excuse to get together with friends and plan something fun together.
Maria here :) Only a few more sleeps to go until Cwtchfest eek! I cannot put into words the amount of hard work and long hours my team and I have put into planning and organising this wedding festival. We are so excited to open the gates next week for what is going to be one EPIC day!
Last year we ran a series of Cwtch Workshops at our very first wedding festival. They were very popular and naturally top of our list when planning this years event! We really hope you will all to join us at CWTCHFEST next Sunday and take part in this fabulous line up of inspiring workshops to help you plan and inspire your amazing wedding.
What is a Cwtch Workshop?
A cwtch workshop is a 30 minute wedding workshop designed to help you with different aspects of your wedding. Each workshop has been hand picked by myself to inspire you, educate you and be great fun all at the same time. There is no additional cost involved to take part in the workshops but you will need to pay an entry fee into Cwtchfest.
For those that still don’t know…CWTCHFEST 2016 takes place on Sunday 17th April at The Glanusk Estate, Crickhowell.
Cwtchfest starts at 11am and we have a huge exhibitor tent full of the best welsh wedding suppliers! You really don’t want to miss this. Some will be running fantastic offers and some… well… they don’t ‘do’ wedding fairs but really wanted to be part of our festival, so you will find suppliers that you just won’t find at any other event (we’re cool like that).
Our Cwtch Workshops kick off at 12 noon. That will give you a good hour in the exhibitor tent beforehand if you want to catch the first one.
If you are planning to do a bit of DIY for your wedding then feast your eyes on this fabulous line up.
12 noon Flower hive – Buttonhole Workshop- max 10 people
1pm Sylvie & Joan Creative weddings – planning your own festival wedding.
Join Emma for a glass of fizz and a workshop on planning your own wedding festival.
Emma is Managing Director of Sylvie and Joan Creative Weddings and Events. She also runs her own festival management company, working on festivals including Greenman at The Glanusk Estate for the last decade.
Emma will run through the main aspects of planning your own wedding festival and share hints and tips for giving your guests a day to remember for a very long time!
Get some bridal hair inspiration with live demos from a local specialist.
Hannah, owner of HANNAH MLATEM hair salon in Gilwern, is well known for her bridal styles and gets booked up several years in advance.
Watch live demonstrations of what’s hot this year and inspiration for your own big day. Hannah will also be on hand to answer any questions you may have from preparing your hair, getting it wedding ready and also advice on what styles suit your hair type, dress and theme. There will also be floral head pieces and accessories to complement your perfect bridal look.
Make-Up By Nicola is an award winning make-up artist based in South Wales. Nicola will be offering live demos and giving must have tips and techniques for make-up for your bridal party on your big day. She will also be available to discuss bridal make up and able to offer advice on when to book, trials etc.
4pm – All Sewn Up – Lavender Heart’s
Helen Rhiannon from All Sewn Up will be showing us how to make Lavender Heart’s which can be made using just plain stuffing or lavender. The heart are ideal favours for female guests at your wedding hung over the back of chairs or maybe as a personalised gift for your bridesmaids to hang over their hanger on the day
5pm – Flower Hive – Flower Power Ring
The Flower Hive is based in Pencoed, close to Bridgend, Cardiff and Swansea.
We grow traditional cottage garden flowers in accordance with organic principles.
Create a beautiful flower ring utilising florist techniques to create you very own powerful design, using fresh flowers and foliage
There will be loads more to keep you busy throughout the day at CWTCHFEST! and we have more spotlight post coming up this week to get you even more excited! Don’t forget, if you haven’t bought your CWTCHFEST tickets yet, make sure you don’t leave it until the last minute. We want to make sure you all have a speedy entry and not having to queue.
If you are still undecided, take a look at some of the images from last years event. It was great fun!
Hello Cwtchers, Today on the blog we have a Cwtchfest exhibitors spotlight showing you a little of what you can expect from #Cwtchfest2016 on April 17th April at Glanusk Estate, Crickhowell. These three fantastic suppliers are just a taste of the amazing … Continue reading →
At Cwtchfest! THIS SUNDAY we will be holding a series of DIY workshops that you,our lovely readers, can get involved in. Emma from Sylvie & Joan has organised these for us, with workshops from our Homemade Bride Kate, Best Man Baz and some other lovely friends of Cwtch the Bride.
Here are all the times and details – many of the workshops have a limited number of participants so if you are keen to get involved make sure you are there early!
11.30 – 12pm – Naturally Crafty: Jam Jar Favours
12.30 – 1pm – Baz Price: Best Man Speech Writing Workshop
1.30 – 2.10 pm – The Flower Hive: Buttonholes
2.30 – 3pm – Kate Petersen: Photobooth Props
3.30 – 4pm – All Sewn Up: Festival bunting
Naturally Crafty – Jam Jar Crafting
Upcycling Jam Jars is a stylish and cost effective way to add that personal touch to your wedding day. At Cwtchfest, Sam from Naturally Crafty will be demonstrating how to make a variety of venue decorations and favours from simple jam jars. You will leave the workshop full of ideas and inspiration to match your wedding theme. You will learn tried and tested techniques and have the chance to have a go there and then.
Sam Littlefair got married in 2014 and her DIY wedding featured on Cwtch the Bride. She now runs a handcrafted gift and wedding hire company, Naturally Crafty.
(Max 12 participants)
The Flower Hive – Seasonal Buttonholes
Would you like to learn how to learn how to design and make your own unique buttonholes for your festival wedding? Come and try your floristry skills using spring flowers and hedgerow foliage.
Eva is owner of The Flower Hive, based in Pencoed, close to Cardiff where she grows a wonderful selection of traditional cottage garden flowers grown in accordance with organic and bio dynamic principles.
(Max 10 participants)
Kate Petersen – Photobooth Props
Kate our very own Homemade bride will be helping you create your own selection of photo booth props for your wedding. This will help create some fun, different and relaxed photos that will help break the ice. From moustaches and lips to tiaras and bow ties, these props are sure to help guests smile and get silly for the camera.
Kate Petersen has worked in the wedding industry for many years as a hair and make up artist and maker of exquisite headpieces and beautiful bouquets.
Making your own bunting for your wedding day is a fantastic way of adding your own personality to the venue. You could even arrange a hen party to get your best friends involved in making it with you?
At Cwtchfest, Helen from All Sewn Up will be demonstrating how to make simple bunting and will give you ideas and allow you to have a go there and then, by hand or by machine. The All Sewn Up Workshops are based in Swansea, on the edge of Gower and run by award winning designer Helen Rhiannon.
(Max 8 participants)
If you still haven’t bought your tickets – hurry! There isn’t much time left!