Victoria and Alastair’s 1920’s Wedding by Hannah Miles

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We have a treat for you. Hannah Miles has done a sterling job capturing this stylish 1920’s wedding. This wedding was destined to be beautiful. When one of your best friends is a wedding dress designer how could it not be. … Continue reading

Sponsored Post- CocoMio Bridal Boutique

Good morning Cwtchers!

Today on the blog we have our fabulous Lush Listers CocoMio Bridal Boutique, Cardiff who firstly let us know what they do that is a bit different and also their top ten tips for you lovely brides-to-be when choosing THE DRESS. Grab a cup of tea, sit down and enjoy!

Three Aspects that Make CocoMio Bridal Boutique Different to Other Stores?

When it comes to getting married, your wedding dress is the most important dress that you will buy in your life and when it is the correct one then you will want to cherish it and have any excuse to put it back on again afterwards. Your bridal gown should be an extended view of you as a person and every girl wants to surprise their teary loved ones while looking absolutely gorgeous when walking up the aisle.

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Photography by Prendergast & Wilson

In our bridal boutique we work closely with brides to help them choose a beautiful wedding dress and to provide that personal service so they get to go away smiling after enjoying their shopping experience.

We offer a large selection of dresses in different fabrics from fishtail to slinky, trumpet to drop-waist, a-line to princess gowns and each dress has a different neckline, beading, detailed design and will also have a modern or vintage feel to each dress.

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Photography by Prendergast & Wilson

So there are a lot of bridal dress shops and what makes us different to other stores?

  1. Appointments to Suit You!

CocoMio Bridal supplies flexible hours which is the core of our success. We work late five evenings a week, open every afternoon and mid week morning appointments are available on request. We are also open Saturdays 9am-6pm but at times we work late until 8pm due to the demand and accommodating each customer is key to success. We are open Sunday 10am-2pm and only close this day when we attend wedding shows to meet & greet with new and existing customers.

Weekends are always our busiest time so we highly recommend booking in advance as we don’t allow bridal parties who have not made a booking to browse while an appointment is taking place. We pride ourselves on giving a personal experience and the same applies to every bride so we won’t permit another bridal party into the store when you are enjoying your time in the private appointment.

For us, the starting point is our customers and the reason we have gained a great reputation is because our excellent service and hours are wanted by the customer.

  1. Privacy & Facilities

The bridal store is broken down into four main areas and two private staff areas.

The main showroom hosts some of the best designer bridal dresses and this is a shared space when you walk into the store. Designers include:

  • Rosa Clara- Aire Barcelona,
  • Rosa Clara- Adriana Alier,
  • Pronovias- San Patrick
  • Phoenix Gowns- Danielle Couture
  • Jasmine Bridal
  • Jasmine Bridesmaids

The private bridal suite is the main, private room which accommodates first time appointments. This room has a beautiful settee, floor to ceiling mirrors, pedestal and the changing room is kitted out with shoes, hoop and veils to make the experience effortless.

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Photo By Prendergast & Wilson

The second bridal suite is an open plan room which accommodates retry appointments, collections and bridesmaid appointments. The beauty of this room is that the bride and/or bridesmaids can use the whole showroom to walk up and down the store in the dresses. This reinforces different light on the dress, seeing the train glide across the floor and also the comfort factor.

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Photo by: Prendergast & Wilson

In February 2016, we will be renovating this room to make it similar to the main suite. This room is completely private to the main room as damask, heavy, curtains blocks off the entry point. Yes you can hear the excitement from the other room which brings a rush of joy to others in the store but visually privacy is the main key here as not every bride wants to show off her gown before the big day.

Toilets are the next aspect which many people complain are not offered in other stores. We provide a tea service for bridal fittings and we believe toilets are a necessity as part of the service.

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Photo by: Prendergast & Wilson

  1. Knowledge

I run the business sole heartedly and my knowledge for the industry, styles, fabrics and what works is down to four years experience in a previous bridal store in Ireland where we won awards for customer service. I am hands on to ensure every customer is happy during their appointment time and I know my collection inside out. Frequently, I get asked if I try on the dresses when nobody is in the store and the answer is no I don’t because I would be creating a biased opinion based on my taste and my shape. I get my friends to visit the shop when new styles arrive into store and they act as guinea pigs. In return, this allows me to  take a bird’s eye, unbiased view to see what works and how can a dress transform with the use of accessories including hoop, belts, jackets, veils etc. Many girls love the sample dresses as they are intended and others may want to make a dress unique to them.

I am quite open and honest to my customers on when I go choose my new collection and when those dresses will be in store so brides can have so many options at their fingertips.

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Photo by: Prendergast & Wilson

The most important thing for us is to help bride’s find their dream wedding dress and in the process offer an excellent service so if they find a dress elsewhere then they will have no problem highly recommending us to their friends and family. To date, we have only received positive feedback and our social media rating is at five stars. Of course if any bride has any feedback to help us improve then we will also take this on board also. Being involved hands on can sometimes allow customers to see something we may miss so please if you have something to add then you can contact us directly.

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Photo by: Prendergast & Wilson

We measure our success on feedback, social media reviews and of course the hugs and tears when a bride finds her dress with us. We have just completed year one and it has been a success for us as we got awarded Best New Wedding Business East Wales and Best New Wedding Business in all of Wales 2015. The plan for 2016 is to expand with the second room and have staff working at CocoMio Bridal. Tune into our Facebook page if you would like to see when the recruitment opportunities arise.

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Photo by: Prendergast & Wilson


Aoife’s Top Ten Tips for Brides


 My job is to put every single lady immediately at ease but for those of you that really are wondering how to prep ahead then read my tips below

1.   Book Early: If you want a particular time slot on a particular day then book weeks in. In certain periods of the year the demand for Saturdays, Sundays and evening slots is higher than the rest of the year because everybody is starting to shop or everybody is ready to buy and wants to retry. Do not just walk in on a whim as you may be told there are no appointments available and may feel deflated being turned away.

2.  Inspiration: Many brides search styles and get inspiration from Pinterest and other sources of media before shopping. This may narrow down your search but may not suit your shape. Do not narrow it down to the stage where you will find shopping difficult. Keep an open mind as you may surprise yourself and that one wild card you refused at the start could be your wedding dress waiting to be tried on.

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Photo by: Prendergast & Wilson

3.  Makeup & Tan: Girls of course wear makeup but don’t overdo it. Go natural and don’t wear tan. Most dresses are showcased in champagne, ivory or white and if you put tan on a dress the shop can ask you to pay for it due to the damage. You don’t need tan on you as the dresses will show off your skin colour naturally.

4.  Clothes: Wear comfortable clothes that are easy to get in and out of. Wear your hair in a style similar to what you would like on the day so you can see the look better. Example: up-style, half up, half down or fully down. Bring a bag of essentials with you. Bobbles, deodorant, shoes and if you are borrowing an item like a veil or hoop bring this also. Showing up without these items can leave you frustrated during or after the appointment as you may need it with you to help with the look. Bridal shopping can be a quick and tiring process so keep fresh with basic essentials

5.  Budget: Set your budget. Again many stores won’t ask if you are on a set budget but they will emphasise the price range of their dresses. If you don’t speak out then the store assistants be inspired to know what you are thinking. It doesn’t help if you choose one of the most expensive dresses in the store which leaves you upset as you can’t afford it. The designers set the prices for the dresses so the store usually cannot move on price but may be able to help with add-ons such as veil or hoop. Again be prepared a lace dress or sparkle dress will be more expensive than a simple one and also a lace veil will always be more expensive. Be realistic as you may want the champagne dream but you may be on a lemonade budget and may need decide the dress is important and something else can be cut back to get the dream.

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Photo by: Prendergast & Wilson

6.  Who? Avoid bringing bridesmaids and added people with you on your first trip. Make the focus about you as the bride rather than showing up and everybody getting excited to try on dresses. You can always discuss bridesmaid’s colours, styles and prices with staff in future appointments but doing two appointments at the same time will ruin your experience and put the attention on them. Concentrate on one aspect which is your wedding dress & experience.

7.  How many appointments? Try not to do more than two bridal boutiques in one day. Brides suffer from what I like to call “dress blindness”. This is where they can’t remember their first dress from the last they tried on. Eliminate dresses down to maximum of two favourites per store. Remember these dresses as many stores have a no photograph policy. Revisit the favourites and then make a decision.

8.  Opinions: Give your friends and family a strict warning to not give their opinion before you give yours. Honesty is the best policy but sometimes it may not be the best circumstance if you really love the dress. You will have to decide if you want to take their opinion on board or tell them where to go.

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Photo by: Prendergast & Wilson

9.  Movements & action in your dress: Take a walk in the dress. Standing on the pedestal is fabulous but a walk with a hoop underneath will give you a feel for the dress and will allow you to see the dress in different lights and envisage what it will be like to wear throughout your wedding day. Also take the seat test and dancing test so you can go away smiling that every aspect is perfect.

10,  Love Your Dress!! Remember, the most important opinion is your own. Everybody will always have a different opinion on favourites, styles and different aspects but that is what makes us all unique. You can take advice but you have to be happy. You have to feel amazing, love your dress and be comfortable.

To find out more about CocoMio Bridal  then take a look at our website www.cocomiobridal.com or book your appointment on 02921670482

Introducing Our DIY Bride Jess

I have a real treat for all you brides attempting a little bit of DIY for your wedding! Today’s bride to be is making so many things for her wedding…..but are there any of you attempting to make your own wedding dress….GULP!!!! How could we not ask this beautiful lady not to share her planning adventures with all of you! Introducing our DIY Bride Jess…Enjoy. 
Portugal 2015 (3)SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESRod and I met just over 13 years ago at University in Liverpool, we were 20 years old. It took what felt like months to make our feelings known to one another. In reality it was 2 weeks. The 24th September will be our wedding day and the 14th anniversary of our first date.rod & jess5SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Writing this blog has given me cause to reflect back on the last 13 years, for marriage is a commitment people have been making to one another for centuries. (Although not always for love!)

We have had our share ups and downs just like everyone else and it hasn’t always been strawberries and cream. However, no one else has made me laugh so much, made me feel so special or accepted me for who I am than Rod.rod & jess8SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

We are both 34 years old (although I am 6 weeks older!). We moved to Swansea 6 years ago to be closer to the surf. We both love doing sports like surfing, running, cycling, yoga… the list goes on. Rod is a support worker on a mental health ward and I am a business manager for a local engineering company. In addition to the sport we both like to be creative in our spare time. Rod plays guitar and writes his own music. I am always working on some kind of arts and crafts or sewing project.Portugal 2015 (4)

What else can I say about Rod…? I love the fact that he makes me laugh so much, and he is musical, intelligent and handsome too of course! If there is one thing I could change about him it would be his stubbornness, and that he doesn’t listen to me. (Ok, that’s two things!)SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESrod 2

What does he say about me? I’m kind, intelligent, artistic and beautiful. (Isn’t he nice!)

The one thing he would change? I always take on too much (like planning a whole wedding!)

2016 will be all about the wedding for me and for Rod I suspect it will be ignoring the mania as much as possible. He has already told me that I’m a ‘Bridezilla’! Ha – I’m just getting into my stride!SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

I am planning on doing a lot myself for the wedding including the bridal gown, decorations, button holes, favours, flowers…. the list goes on. I may have bitten off more than I can chew this time though! (Don’t tell Rod)

With just over 9 months to go until the big day I shall post regular updates on how it’s all going, including the ups and melt-downs!

Take care

Jess x

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I don’t know if i would be brave enough to attempt the dress but I can’t wait to hear all about it. I made loads of bits for my wedding and all my guests really appreciated the effort. If you are looking for some inspiration why not join us at Cwtchfest. Hurry hurry hurry….buy your much sort after tickets here!!! ~ Kate

Featured Post – Helen Rhiannon, Designer of Bespoke Bridalwear

Ladies today on the blog we have the fabulous Helen Rhiannon Designer Label.  We here at Cwtch absolutely love her designs!  She is also exclusively stocked at our very own lush lister Rachel Burgess bridal boutique based in Penarth, Cardiff.

Helen Rhiannon Logo

The Helen Rhiannon Designer Label is based in Swansea, on the edge of the beautiful Gower Peninsula. The label is run by 34 year old Helen Rhiannon Gill, an award winning designer, who designs and hand makes the dresses so they can proudly display ‘Handmade in Wales’ on the woven label.

Helen Rhiannon Studio 3 Photographer Jon Turtle

The Helen Rhiannon Designer Label has recently just celebrated 10 years in business. The anniversary saw a sophisticated evening of celebration with a selection of the most memorable dresses on display along with the most recent Bridalwear collection.

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In 2013, Helen won the ‘Best Designer’ award in the Welsh Fashion and Beauty Awards and was also a finalist in the Welsh National Wedding Awards under the Best Bridal designer category. In 2014, Helen scooped the ‘Best Independent Bridal Designer’ award at the Welsh National Wedding Awards.

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Over the last 10 years, Helen has worked on a huge range of projects from prom dresses, to National Costumes for pageants, bespoke dresses for Cardiff Singer of the World finalist, Natalya Romaniw, and also the international opera star, Katherine Jenkins.

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With a love of making beautiful, timeless dresses, Helen decided to specialise in Bridalwear and launched Helen Rhiannon Bridal in 2010. With a reputation for quality and perfection, the label has grown extensively and Helen continues to make classic, sophisticated dresses for the bride who wants something truly unique and handmade in Wales.

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If a bride chooses to have their own unique dress designed and handmade from scratch by Helen, then they will embark on a truly wonderful journey. Their wedding dress will be the only one in existence and the bride will play a big part in the design and fabrics, making it a unique and memorable experience.

Helen Rhiannon 7 Photography by Hannah Miles

The Helen Rhiannon Designer Label is also exclusively stocked in the Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique, in Penarth. The boutique stocks a collection of over twelve dresses. Each dress is based on flattering silhouettes and made up in a range of carefully picked satins and lace with delicate trims and finishes to complete the overall timeless look. Brides also have the option to have their dress handmade by Helen from start to finish.

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Top Tips if you choose to have your dress designed and made in Wales.

  1. Even if you know what you want, always go and try on a few wedding dresses as it is such a different dress to anything you have in your wardrobe. Try on a wide range of styles as the style you may think will suit you, may not be the one!
  1. If you have a dress designed to fit you, then there is no need to crash diet. The dress is being made to fit you, not you fitting the dress. The right dress should fit you comfortably and flatter you in all of the right ways.
  1. Invest in comfortable and well fitted underwear as then you will feel fantastic on the inside as well as look amazing on the outside!

Helen Rhiannon shoot HannahMilesPhotography

 

 

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Images by Hannah Miles Photography

 

Helen Rhiannon Bride Photo by Maria Farrelly

Image by Maria Farrelly

Helen Rhiannon Bride Photo by Ryan Welch

Image by Ryan Welch

Helen Rhiannon Bride Photo by Elan Images

Image by Elan Images

Helen Rhiannon Bride Photo by Dave Willis  Photography

Image by Dave Willis Photography