Bride to Be Diaries: Our Procrastinating Bride is feeling on top of things!

Good morning one and all!

Sweating enough!? Sheesh its a hot one this week, not that we are complaining particularly, just wishing the UK was a little more equipped with air con and ceiling fans!

So its time for our gorgeous Natasha, aka The Procrastinating Bride, to let us know how her planning is going in her second instalment.  And considering her moniker, she appears to feel on top of things…

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Our Procrastinating Bride is feeling on top of things!

Tash1Hey, Cwtchers!

Hope you’ve been enjoying the glorious sunshine we’ve been having. I can’t believe that this time last year, Steve proposed! He came home with a bunch of beautiful lilies last week for our engage-iversary (we didn’t actually celebrate this by the way) and it suddenly dawned on me that there are less than 6 months until our wedding, eeek!

PB lillies

Now, considering I’m the Procrastinating Bride, a lot of things seem to be sorted. I say a lot of things, we’re talking on Tash terms here. By a lot of things, I mean the venue, the dress, and we’ve almost come to a decision on food. (We’re both foodies so narrowing our choices down needed a lot of thought.)

If you’re an organised bride, you’re probably thinking that I’ve only scratched the surface with planning but, in my head, we’re on top of things.

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So, what did we do first?

We booked our venue pretty quickly. My mum and I were browsing at venues online a few weeks after Steve and I got engaged; admittedly, I wasn’t really looking properly because it seemed like early days, but there was one venue that stood out from all the others. It happened to be holding a showcase event the following week so Steve, my parents and I decided go along. We loved it and so it was decided that we’d get married at Oldwalls: the first and only venue we went to see.

As I said earlier, Steve and I are foodies so it only made sense for us to go to a cake tasting session. I was in my element. Not that I ever need an excuse to eat cake but, when it’s part of the planning process, wedding planning instantly becomes more appealing when cake is involved. Particularly when you’re not a planner anyway.

We stuffed our faces with a range of delicious favours, including chocolate and salted caramel Italian buttercream, and around two hours later, we rolled away with full stomachs and happy hearts. To all couples getting married: cake tasting is an experience not to be missed, even if you just come away from it with ideas.

PB cake tasting

I came across Cakes by Katy at Cwtchfest. Go along to the next one if you can; it’s worth it and I’m not just saying that because I’m a Cwtch Girl!

Next: the dress. I won’t share details of my dress on here for obvious reasons but, Laura May Bridal on Cardiff’s Crwys Road and Allison Jayne in Swansea are two shops that I’d recommended to any bride who hasn’t yet found ‘the dress’.

Not only were the dresses beautiful, the overall experience at both stores couldn’t have gone any better. When you’re trying on a dress, the last thing you want is to feel rushed or under pressure to make a decision and I can honestly say that Laura May and Allison Jayne did not even come to close to making me feel this way. I tried on my first ever wedding dress in Laura May, an Enzoani number, and remember feeling how surreal it was to be trying on wedding dresses!

That’s all from me for now. We’ve got our 6-month meeting with Oldwalls next week, so I’m sure I’ll have plenty more to update you on next time!

Happy planning to all brides and all grooms! If all else fails, eat cake.

The Procrastinating Bride xxx

Bride to Be Diaries: The Tinder Brides Wedding Party!

Good morning everyone!

Time for your second instalment from the gorgeous Tinder Bride, and its time to be introduced to the girlie contingency of her wedding party!

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Hello Cwtchers!

I hope that you have all been keeping well since I did my last Tinder Bride post!

The Tinder Bride (Jenine)

I think most girls in their lives have been asked or have thought to themselves ‘If I ever get married, I would ask so and so to be my bridesmaid or part of my wedding’.  I can actually remember having hypothetical questions growing up with my girlfriends. Although for me it was simple when the hypothetical became reality it was also a very hard as I didn’t want to leave anyone out.

I do not want to come across bigheaded or arrogant but I genuinely feel that I am a very lucky lady and I thank God every day for blessing me with not only an incredible family but also an amazing group of friends. Coming from a Welsh/Arab background, I have a large and very close family filled with two fab sisters, three gorgeous nieces and two lovely sisters-in-laws who are all involved and so supportive along with my mother and mother in law to be. My friends derive from various walks of life and I genuinely didn’t want to let anyone down. However I had to draw the line somewhere and decided on having 2 maids of honour, 6 bridesmaids and 2 flower girls. I’m sure there has and will be some negative mutters or expressed views away from our ear shots about how our wedding is big and/or too expensive but it is our beautiful big day and Tom and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

From my perspective I couldn’t envisage my wedding day without my two sisters and three nieces by my side; it was not even something I would even contemplate. I am the middle of two sisters (5 siblings in total!) and we have an incredible bond. It was therefore an easy decision to ask each sister to be my maids of honour. Rema is my big sis and the rock of the family. She is the sibling who everyone goes to and I always turn to her as I trust her opinion as being on the same par as that of my Mother’s. Rema is the type of sister who doesn’t like a great fuss or the limelight but I’m making sure she encompasses her main role on my big day and she feels like the special sister she is to me.  Rema says ‘To be asked to be my sister’s maid of honour is a huge privilege. I was so emotional when I was asked as the gift they gave me to ask was so personal and thoughtful. In Tom she has found the perfect person who is loved by the whole family – they are perfect together. I am so looking forward to seeing my beautiful sister marry her prince charming’. Sariyia is little sis and the youngest sibling; she is also the most famous non-famous person I know! She loves being the centre of attention and we love her for being like that.  She truly is unique and I love her and all of her ideas to date! Both sisters have an amazing bond with my fiancée Tom. In fact when they are all together it’s like they are the three sisters! ‘When I was called by JOM to tell me they were engaged, I sobbed uncontrollably; together with the rest of the family we are ecstatic. I cannot wait for the wedding of the decade and I am so honoured to be their MOH. Jenine will look beautiful but I will definitely be better looking still!haha!’. 

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Aleah is the eldest of the grandchildren and I became an aunty when I was 14; we have always had a special relationship as I do with each of my five nieces and nephews especially as I have been such a big part of their lives as they have been in mine. Tom is adored by them and they adore him too.  Aleah is going to be a bridesmaid along with her sister Farah who will be 14 when we wed. To think of these two in their bridesmaid dresses makes me feel very emotional. Aleah says ‘I was so grateful to be asked to be a Bridesmaid on my Aunty’s special day; it is a day we are all waiting and looking forward to. Jenine has always been there for me and she could not have found a better husband and Uncle in Tom’. Farah’s thoughts are: ‘When Jenine asked me to be her Bridesmaid, I wanted to cry with happiness as I always wanted to be a Bridesmaid and I keep counting down to the big day; it is even more of a dream come true as my Aunty is so special to me. I especially loved the bridesmaid gift they gave me which I will treasure forever’. 

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Gabriella is who we refer to in the Abdo Family as Princess Abdo – she is the little apple of everyone’s eye. Although she is 5, she constantly looks online for flower girl dresses and matching shoes which is so very cute. She once told Uncle Tom that she found a dress which ‘only cost 50pence and that she and Holly-Mae would love to wear it’ it was in reality £500! Gabby ironically was the main reason I chose my wedding dress but I’ll talk about that more another time. Holly-Mae is 2 years old and is also our flower girl. Being the eldest and currently only grandchild on the Sulley side it will be lovely for my fiancé’s family as she is understandably adored by them all.

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I know that Tom is so happy to have his niece involved and for me having Gabby and Holly-Mae holding hands together walking down the aisle will not only epitimise ultimate cuteness but also will personify and will symbolise our families coming together. I just pray they don’t get stage fright!

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Although I could have kept my bridal party at just family, I couldn’t not have my best friends by my side either. Kate is a friend who I first met playing netball at the age of 10 years old. We were marking each other on the netball pitch. This game should have been the battle of the best- the battle of rival Primary Schools – instead we bonded sisters from other misters growing up together and even our sisters are the best of friends.  Kate is currently a teacher at an international school and I can’t wait to have her back home this summer!

‘Over the years Jenine has definitely earned the title of my sister from another mister. We have been there for each other through the best and worst times and I am so excited to be a part of what will be one of the most important days in her life. Being Jenine’s bridesmaid is a massive privilege and I can’t wait to see her looking amazingly beautiful walking down the aisle to marry the man she loves and luckily for him we approve. Jenine and Tom deserve to have the best day and I look forward to having a role in making that happen. I promise to be caring, attentive and I will NOT turn up hung over to anymore official bridesmaid duties unlike when I had my bridesmaid dress fitting!

Rachael – I first met Rachael when we sat at our High school induction day. We both turned around to each other and acknowledged our checked trousers which were both wearing! Our friendship began in the Howell’s School sports hall and has seen us through to living together in London and back home again. Rachael is such a thoughtful and kind person who shares my love of RnB music, comedy, pizza and nacho Saturday loving winter nights in watching Strictly and the Xfactor like no other!

‘Jenine is probably the most organized bride I have come across and I love hearing all the plans she has got for the wedding! We have been friends for over 20 years so I am excited and honoured to be part of the big day and I cannot wait to see everything come together’. 

Claire – my real life Barbie doll! I not only went to high school with Clairey but also ended up very randomly at the same university. We have shared so much together whilst sharing two sets of different friendship groups due to school and uni which in turn means we are part of a ridiculous amount of WhatsApp groups. My fiancé is basically the male version of Claire – always happy, positive, fun and annoying early morning people. 

I’ll never forget the overwhelming feeling of happiness when reading a poem written to me about our blossoming friendship over the years and asking me to be her bridesmaid. It is safe to say that I welled up. To be part of your friend’s big day is so special and I am so privileged to be by her side when she says I do’. 

Helen – I have known Hel since my high school days too right through to living in Wimbledon together with Rach. Helen is my straight talking, quirky and inspirational friend of mine. Hel is not only an amazing science teacher, cook and baker, but such a fab mother to Harrison and wife to be this August! I am so proud to be in turn Helen’s bridesmaid this year and having shared the experience of being engaged and organising a wedding with her.

‘Every girl has a different idea of how her wedding day should be, but what unites every woman is the desire to be surrounded by their best girlfriends leading up to and on that day. He role of a bridesmaid is truly an honour and I am so excited to have Jenine by my side at my wedding this August and to be able to reverse that next September when I am one of her bridesmaids. Our friendship has always been extremely strong and full of love; to be able to support each other and share the fun and laughter throughout the intimate stages of planning a wedding takes that bond to the next level – bring it on!!’  

Then we have three amazing ladies giving readings. Bonnie is one of my best friends who I met when in high school and I was Bonnie’s bridesmaid in 2014; Bonnie is one of the kindest and funniest people I know, as well as being the most caring and best Dr ever!

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Caitlin is my Twinny – fellow Solicitor who I met before we qualified at work. We soon realized we shared a love for football and also our Birthdays hence the nickname! We also have Tom’s girl best friend Kelly. Kelly has been so warm and welcoming since Tom and I met and it was fab knowing Tom had such a close girl-friend as it resonated with myself having close boy-friends too!

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That’s my female entourage..keep watch for the introduction to the male party in due course..!

Disclaimer: Please note I did not bribe the above mentioned people for their overwhelmingly kind comments – thank you xxx

#Cwtchfest2017 Spotlight: Best Buds By Samara

Hello everyone

On the run up to the awesome #Cwtchfest2017 at St Fagans National History Museum, we will be giving you a little glimpse into some of our incredible exhibitors who cannot wait to meet you!

Today, we have the gorgeous Best Buds by Samara…..

Cwtchfest2017 Spotlight

Best Buds By Samara

Best Buds by Samara is a wedding and event florist and was created in 2014. In a small space of time we have been lucky enough to work with some brilliant couples and help ‘Bring their vision to life’.

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We were a finalist at the National Wedding Awards 2016 for Best Florist which was a massive achievement for us and showed that our brides and grooms loved what we do. From day one you will liaise with me, Samara, I will be there to guide you, offer ideas, support your ideas (however crazy they may seem) and turn them in to reality15037128_1302716333083278_2768247434359136213_n

I don’t have a set floral style and have worked with a massive variation of couples, I work with you to make your flowers unique to you.12670692_1137915189563394_7872487041207106944_n I also have a large collection of hire items that you are more than welcome to use too which means you don’t have to use multiple suppliers, making it easier for you! I am not just here as a wedding florist, I know the wedding and event industry well and know lots of brilliant suppliers so am here to answer your questions and help! Don’t be daunted by planning your wedding trust us to ‘Bring your vision to life’!

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Colour Inspiration: Powder Blue

When it comes to weddings there are certain colours that come up time and time again and powder blue is a little bit different. It is not a colour that we come across everyday and we can’t understand why? It is so blinking beautiful! The thing that we love is that it has that little nod to bygone eras. Lets hope that this post changes your mind about this breathtaking blue. 

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Colour Inspiration: Powder Blue

Powder blue is just a beautiful, soft and elegant colour. It’s perfect on its own but even better with a splash of white or a subtle pink, making it a wise choice for your bridesmaids. What’s more, it has a really ethereal and whimsical feel which of course I can’t get enough of. This beautiful blue is taking the wedding industry by storm with its soft and subtle appeal, which exudes romance and elegance and all kinds of prettiness.

It is a perfect colour for different wedding themes. Think how beautiful it would be for a french, rustic or even a 1950’s theme. You can decide how much or how little you want to include in your big day. Would you be brave enough to go for an Ian Stuart Bluebird gown? We are in love with this designer!

blue-dressPhoto courtesy of Ian Stuart

The one thing that I love is the fact that the men can get some colour in their outfits. How handsome would they look wearing this lovely suit? Think of a lovely warm spring day and all the groomsmen lined up having their photos taken. Your photographer would love this look. Alternatively powder blue could look amazing of a winter wonderland wedding theme, the men in tweed suits with blue accents.

Ben Yew PhotographyPhoto courtesy of Pinterest

When I got married I wanted to have that wow factor when the guests walked into the wedding breakfast. The tablescape is so important when it comes to bringing in the atmosphere of the day. Its the first thing guest see when they see when they sit down. Don’t just think about the flowers, think about the crockery and the linens. even just adding a little napkin in the powder blue can make an impact.

blue-tablesettingPhoto Courtesy of Pinterest

Start by setting the tone of the day with the invite. The guests with take note of the colours that are on the invitation and hopefully think about their outfits and which colours to steer clear of. These blue invites have a lovely feel of romance and renaisance and I adore them.

blue-invitePhoto Courtesy of Pinterest

Flowers, flowers, flowers. Now blue is not a colour your would naturally think of when it comes to flowers. Actually blue flowers are the rarest in the world and when you have a little look you can find that there are some amazing ones that will look stunning. (Hydrangeas, iris, forget-me-not and delphiniums.) I love it when they are teamed with peaches and light greens. They will look amazing next to any wedding gown and even better as a buttonhole.

blue-flowersPhoto Courtesy of Pinterset

blue-buttonholesPhoto Courtesy of Pinterest

Lastly but perhaps I should have spoken about it first! Accessories! This is the perfect way to add a splash of this delicious powder blue to your bridal look for the day. You could have your shoes, garter or your jewellery as your accent colour and they will bring a beautiful pop of colour to your big day!

Photo Courtesy of Badgley Mischka

I hope that we were able to inspire to think about a powder blue wedding. Its just so blinking pretty! Go out and buy your bridesmaids dresses and include this lovely colour in your wedding!

Colour Inspiration: Peach

Today I decided to give quite a controversial colour a whirl. Colour Inspiration: Peach.
Is just so pretty, I refuse to believe that it has been packed up into a chest along side St Elmos Fire, 16 Candals and The Breakfast Club.  It will not disappear with Martika and Dave Lee Roth’s solo career. I refuse to believe it will be left in a draw alongside my leg warmers and fish net finger less gloves.
Peach is light and happy and deserves to be brought back.  I agree that many things from the 1980s should stay right there, but peach?  Peach is not one of them.  Read on and find out why.
Anna x

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Colour Inspiration: Peach

We know, we know. Peach! It immediately conjures up hideous poofy 1980’s bridesmaid dresses with matching over sized hats, squashing down a fresh perm. Either that, or one of those toilet roll doll cover things, that everyone’s Nana had. You know, to make the toilet roll fancy.

But seriously – Peach! Its beautiful.

Its so soft and gentle and gives a natural feel and look. Its slightly dreamy and conjures up images of ethereal, daisy chained bridesmaids, dancing through a wheat field with pollen floating around, on a warm summers day.

It definitely wouldn’t rain if you wore peach!
(*disclaimer* Cwtch The Bride can only dream like the rest of us that the sun will shine on all you lovely Brides and Grooms.  We have no actual power over the weather)

Pair with some lovely hessian and lace, and you’re all set for that gorgeous vintage country feel.

Asos Dress PEACH

Sweet Peony PEACH

Dear Florence PEACH 2

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Forbesfield PEACH Peony

Bridesmaid Dress – Coast at Asos

Bride held Bouquet – Sweet Peony

Room Decor – Dear Florence

Shoes – Rachel Simpson at Elegant Steps

Bottom Bouquet – Forbesfield Flowers

I mean come on! Look how beautiful it is! So, I hereby announce that peach is once more, on trend.  Go forth and peach it up, and please, share your photos with us! xx