Happy Birthday to Cwtch The Bride! 4 Today!

CTB is 4!

Oh my, aren’t we getting old… its our fourth birthday today! hip hip.. hurray!!

choose_love_maria_farrelly-2

I cannot believe its been four years since my lovely little welsh wedding blog published its first post!

My team and I are so proud to have brought you some incredible things in that time, to name a few:

  • Published over 1,000 awesome wedding posts highlighting some great welsh talent and inspiration.
  • Launched the Lush List which is proving an essential ‘go-to’ resource for many welsh brides
  • Organised three epic CWTCHFEST Wedding Festivals so far, with our fourth taking place on Sunday 9th April at St.Fagans
  • Won BEST REGIONAL WEDDING BLOG! at the 2016 UK Wedding blog Awards!! (a huge BIG DEAL)
  • Run a series of Cwtch Workshops to help & inspire DIY brides
  • Helped many independent welsh wedding businesses grow by showcasing their work and promoting their services
  • Created jobs for some very special Cwtchgirls
  • Shared hundreds of real welsh weddings from across this beautiful country
  • Given some of our readers the opportunity to share their bride/groom to be diaries with us all.

Personally, I am ridiculously proud of how well Cwtch The Bride is doing and I adore working alongside some truly amazing people.
Cwtchmas Party 194406wristband-cwtchfestcwtch the brideCwtchFest 2015-67Owen Mathias PhotographyOwen Mathias Photography

 

I have many more ideas still up my sleeve and cannot wait to see them come to light. All in good time.

A Personal Thank you

I know that to many of you reading this, it can appear that we always have great fun. Laughing, singing and dancing our way through the workday with a hilarious spotify playlist. And for the most part- its true. But occasionally, something happens that can totally throw you. I mean…really knock you for six. The kind of thing that turns your world upside down, makes you want to crawl under a duvet and never come out. A life changing experience that requires an incredible group of people to help get you through it.

Owen Mathias Photography

This photograph was taken a year after my own marriage had ended. I was devastated and had hit a real low point of my life. Being surrounded by all things ‘wedding’ was very painful for me. Everything hurt. I didn’t tell many people. When you work in the wedding industry and your own marriage fails you feel this enormous amount of grief and shame.  And yet, I pushed through quietly. I didn’t want to let anyone down. And its thanks to these girls I got through it. I’ll forever be greatful to them for their help and support.

My CWTCHGIRLS are (without a doubt) the coolest women I’ve met in my entire life! There are a few Cwtchgirls in particular I want to give a special Thank you to.

Anna, Donna, Lindsey, Dawn and my mum … you ladies, I don’t think you’ll ever know how grateful I am to have you in my life. You have helped me get through the hardest time where I honestly thought I couldn’t cope. I felt broken and so low. Any yet you ladies where always right there for me. You picked me up when I hit the floor. when I doubted everything, you ladies encouraged me to keep going. When I wondered why on earth I’m doing all this work… you ladies just smiled and said ‘lets do it’.

Thank you for being so damn amazing. You really are very special women and I love that we get to share this awesome roller coaster ride of work and life with each other.

Owen Mathias Photography13920449_10154393881586796_850941994298309527_o

Donna, the most organised office manager & friend I’ve ever had and the rock I needed to kickstart my working week. I miss you but think my book keeper misses you more! Damn I need you back soon x Owen Mathias Photography14390907_10154517804521796_7193752556001646050_n

Lindsey (aka LINDA), I wouldn’t do Cwtchfest without you! simple as that. You are a dream to work with and I am so excited at what lies ahead!

choose_love_maria_farrelly-414670694_10154625805391796_2319814035362216383_n15027764_10154685085696796_7259566395429289017_n

Anna, hahaha where do i start with you? You make my Mondays & Wednesdays rock. You have taken the reins of features editor and ran with it. I bloody love ya! Plus, anyone that shares the same love of the Carpenters as me is a friend for life!

14063772_10154413702242790_5078158313014553400_n

Dawn, Our Boobless bride. Your story touched me so much I knew as soon as I read your first email and the tears rolled- we were going to be friends for life! You are an inspiration.

432047_10150735477031796_367678448_nMum. I love you. And thank you for always believing in me, even when I doubt myself. xxx

Thank you to all the inspiring welsh wedding businesses that continue to invest in Cwtch The Bride. I love that you too believe in what we do and what we stand for. I love that you support us at a time when I know all too well how difficult running a small business can be. Together we grow and I adore seeing you all benefit for our hard work. Onwards and up!

And the final thank you goes out to you lovely Cwtchers for reading, thank you for commenting, sharing and getting involved in what was a crazy idea of mine that has now become a valuable resource for many welsh brides & grooms!

So, there you have it, was rather personal but needed to be said..

There is no hot date for me tonight, no plethora of valentines day cards flooding my letter box. But I do have two very special men in my life that I adore. Josh & Joe. My boys. What more could a girl want. Hmm… we’ll see what the future brings. xxx

14424827_10154530964561796_4354910816327926614_o

And if you have just got engaged on this very special day… Welcome to Cwtch The Bride! We are a fabulous bunch of honest, hardworking women that are hear for you. This is a safe place for you to begin planning your welsh wedding and we can’t wait to meet you!

Happy Valentines Day everyone. Lets crack open a bottle of fizz and have an awesome day.

Maria x

 

 

Cwtchfest Spotlight: St Fagans Gardens

Well Cwtchers we are just 10 days away from #Cwtchfest2016 at St Fagans National History Museum and boy are we excited- so excited in fact that we will be launching a final Flash sale this weekend from midnight Friday!  Yipppeee!!!
 Cwtchfest St Fagans with SF ONLY logo A4 FINAL
When we started Cwtchfest we wanted to do something a little different to what is on offer in the Welsh wedding market.  As professionals we have visited hundreds of wedding fayres between us and we wanted to offer you our brides to be the opportunity to do your planning a little differently.
wristband-cwtchfest
We have the element of a wedding fayre with some of the best in the welsh wedding market exhibiting but with a twist we invite you to spend the day with us to relax and be inspired.  Workshops, demos, live music, food, cocktails and lots and lots of fun!
Owen Mathias Photography
When choosing our venues to work with for Cwtchfest we look for those that inspire us and when we were approached by St Fagans we were ecstatic.   St Fagans holds a strong nostalgic spot in many of our hearts after spending many days of our youth here.  It holds a special place in my own heart having got married here two years ago myself.
St_Fagans_wedding522
The great outdoors provides a glorious backdrop for any wedding and St Fagans is no exception.
St_Fagans_wedding481
With an air of tranquillity, abundant space and picture-postcard views, the open-air elegance of St Fagans is one of its most exquisite offerings. The charming formal gardens, woodland walks and spectacular historic buildings paint the perfect canvas for wedding photography and create a real talking point for loved ones who attend the happy day.
Cardiff-wedding-photographer-vintage-wedding-St-Fagans-177-384x256
castle-gardens-leahphotography
Being able to stroll hand in band around the grounds is something that couples find enchanting about St Fagans and the scenery is ideal for wedding photos that will be cherished forever.
Unique Welsh Wedding Venue - St Fagans Castle

Danielle Angell

The Castle’s elegant landscaped gardens include the Italian Garden, the Thyme Garden, fountains, a mulberry grove and an exquisite Rose Garden which all offer ideal photograph opportunities and the stone bridge leading to St Fagans Castle proves a popular spot for pictures, regardless of the weather.
dsc_0513
2006-09-09-18-39-37
The 40 historic buildings around the site provide a nostalgic feel to the venue and the Elizabethan castle provides an exquisite backdrop for guests.  It’s no wonder that St Fagans is Wales’s most popular heritage attraction, with over 600,000 visitors every year.
St_Fagans_wedding389
Epitomising both historic grandeur and a rustic, authentic feel, St Fagans offers couples breath-taking photographic opportunities from every angle.
To arrange a visit and to check availability please contact the venue hire team on 029 2057 3322 or email weddings@museumwales.ac.uk

Cwtch Of The Week: Bethan & Austin’s Monet Cwtch by Maria Farrelly

Todays Cwtch of The Week: Bethan & Austin’s Monet Cwtch, is called exactly that as it is taken from the beautiful wedding that I had the pleasure of photographing in April. Just take a look, it was like we stepped into a Monet painting.

Monet Cwtch Banner

Cwtch of the Week: Bethan & Austin’s Monet Cwtch

Bethan&Austin_Maria Farrelly Photography-6278Image by Maria Farrelly Photography

Welsh Bride Bethan & her groom Austin tied the knot in a beautiful venue called Priors Tithe Barn in Brockworth (just outside Wales).

AS an added bonus, we asked the beautiful Bethan to tell us all about their proposal story because, well, who dissent love a proposal story!? Over to you Bethan……

I always felt bad for Austin whenever he asked me what kind of engagement ring I wanted (for some point way in the future of course!). I never really had an answer, as I had never seen one that I had really, really loved. Well apart from the huge, can’t lift your hand off the table, so sparkly it blinds you, diamonds in the expensive shops no one can afford!

One day we were walking past an antique shop in Cheltenham when I saw the most beautiful ring in the window and commented on how pretty it was. That was all the encouragement Austin needed and he rang up about it the very next day! Austin planned on proposing on our first family holiday together in Dorset with our little boy Dylan. However, when he went to pay for the ring the card was declined as they suspected fraudulent activity! After much begging and pleading with the shop to hold the ring for another week whilst we were away, Austin had to work on plan B.

Austin decided to propose at a meal he had booked for our anniversary at the Hand & Flowers restaurant in Marlow; a Michelin starred restaurant owned by one of my favourite chefs Tom Kerridge. Due to the huge waiting list Austin had booked this surprise a year in advance and thought this would be somewhere really special to propose. It had always been somewhere I had wanted to visit since seeing it on an old episode of Masterchef – which is very ironic given my lack of cooking skills!

After lots of calls and emails to the restaurant, everything was in place for the proposal. We had the most incredible meal I have ever had and when dessert came out, there was a very small box next to mine. Austin then went into his prepared (and very beautiful!) speech before ending by asking me to marry him. Apparently I made lots of random noises for a very long time, but didn’t actually say yes until prompted for an answer! When I finally did, all the staff offered their congratulations and we had a champagne toast before I made several tearful phone calls to family and friends. Although I do still tease Austin that he didn’t actually go down on one knee in the packed restaurant! It was so thoughtful and very special. We even went back there for a celebratory meal one year later, and plan on visiting again after the wedding when we have some more news to celebrate!

Nothing says ‘yes I will marry you’ like a lot of random noises.  We love this!  And you are in for a treat, as I have ready, their whole special day and cannot wait to share the whole wedding with you all very soon.

Enjoy~ Maria xxx

Lynsey & Jason’s Halloween Themed Wedding at Margam Orangery by Catherine & Angharad

As the spooky night that is Halloween approaches, we have a lovely treat for you (no tricks sorry). Lynsey & Jason had a brilliant Halloween themed wedding at Margam Orangery. We’re so excited to share this with you today. If you too are planning an unusual wedding, we think you’ll love all the effort and detail that went into making this day truly memorable. It looks such great fun, we wish we were invited!  All images by Catherine & Angharad.Bradley-412Bradley-317

What was your budget?

Our budget was £20,000 but we ended up spending an extra £14,000 my poor dad!

Bradley-217

How would you describe your wedding theme?

Halloween… pumpkins, skulls, orange & black funBradley-377Bradley-416Bradley-387What was your favourite part of your wedding?

Travelling to the venue knowing that I was ready &: on my way 2 enjoy the day we had been waiting for for so longBradley-210

Tell us about your Wedding Dress

Loved the experience once I’d found my dress which took 3 shops… 19 dresses until I found mine which was from rowberrys swqnsea it was a princess style which I’d always wantedBradley-122Bradley-178

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

I had my two sisters, two best friends & two older nieces my sisters because they’d never been bridesmaid before & my best friends be coz we are so close, jason picked his two brothers as his best men not to affend one & our oldest son was usher/ring barer & jas had 2 of his best friends as usher plus our youngest son was paige boy
Bradley-157Bradley-427

Why did you choose your venue?

Because I loved margam castle it went well with our halloween theme the grounds are amazingBradley-302

How did the proposal happen?

Jas after 10 long years lol! Bought my ring & put it in a Xmas crackerBradley-557Bradley-288

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

Lol we were going to attempt carving pumpkins! But we soon changes our mind when we spoke to our lovely florist who had won a pumpkin carving competition the year beforeBradley-220Bradley-420Bradley-389Bradley-363

What was your first dance & why?

My first dance was a father & daughter dance his last chance to give me to jason I chose the song celine dion my angel.. there’s wasn’t a dry eye in the house & then he gave me to jason we danced to ellie goulding how long will I love youBradley-525

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

Only wish we booked the venue all Weekend so we could of enjoyed it all a little longerBradley-311

Do you have any advice for future couples?

Go with a wedding which is unique to you as a couple not just because it’s traditionBradley-568Bradley-577

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

Enjoy every second of the day & make sure you make time to go with your knew husband just for 5 min to spend time with himBradley-295

What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?

The whole theme every time I’d find a knew halloween idea I’d get excitedBradley-392Bradley-371

The Suppliers

Photographer: Catherine & Angharad
Videographer: Steve Radcliffe
Reception Venue: Margam Orangery
Bride’s Dress: Rowberry Bridal 
Bride’s Shoes: Rowberry Bridal
Bride’s Jewellery: Diamond Centre Wales
Groom’s Outfit: white orchid
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: silk designs skewen
Cake: cakes by gemma
Flowers: eve Wetherby
Hair: halo Hair
Band: julie julz
DJ: daley bee
Stationery: clare bebb
Any Reception Decor/Props: 1st class wedding
Transport: eternity cars

The Wedding Album

Bradley-109 Bradley-110 Bradley-111 Bradley-113 Bradley-115 Bradley-116 Bradley-117 Bradley-118 Bradley-119 Bradley-120 Bradley-122 Bradley-126 Bradley-131 Bradley-135 Bradley-139 Bradley-140 Bradley-141 Bradley-143 Bradley-148 Bradley-150 Bradley-154 Bradley-157 Bradley-165 Bradley-166 Bradley-172 Bradley-173 Bradley-175 Bradley-176 Bradley-178 Bradley-185 Bradley-188 Bradley-200 Bradley-210 Bradley-211 Bradley-212 Bradley-213 Bradley-217 Bradley-219 Bradley-220 Bradley-221 Bradley-222 Bradley-223 Bradley-224 Bradley-227 Bradley-228 Bradley-229 Bradley-231 Bradley-235 Bradley-238 Bradley-242 Bradley-244 Bradley-246 Bradley-249 Bradley-255 Bradley-257 Bradley-258 Bradley-264 Bradley-266 Bradley-268 Bradley-269 Bradley-271 Bradley-276 Bradley-283 Bradley-288 Bradley-295 Bradley-296 Bradley-302 Bradley-308 Bradley-311 Bradley-312 Bradley-314 Bradley-317 Bradley-318 Bradley-319 Bradley-326 Bradley-333 Bradley-334 Bradley-343 Bradley-345 Bradley-346 Bradley-349 Bradley-363 Bradley-364 Bradley-371 Bradley-372 Bradley-373 Bradley-374 Bradley-375 Bradley-377 Bradley-378 Bradley-380 Bradley-383 Bradley-387 Bradley-389 Bradley-392 Bradley-393 Bradley-395 Bradley-402 Bradley-404 Bradley-409 Bradley-412 Bradley-416 Bradley-420 Bradley-422 Bradley-423 Bradley-427 Bradley-432 Bradley-434 Bradley-446 Bradley-451 Bradley-465 Bradley-469 Bradley-471 Bradley-484 Bradley-493 Bradley-503 Bradley-511 Bradley-523 Bradley-525 Bradley-557 Bradley-558 Bradley-568 Bradley-577 Bradley-580 Bradley-581