Groom To Be Diaries: The Civil Partnership Ceremony Before Their Big Day!

Morning everyone!

Our boys are back! and today they are telling us all about their civil partnership ceremony.  James and Mike are planning their big wedding day for 2017, but in advance of this, they wanted to become official.

Over to the handsome James to tell you all about it….

G2B RAF Grooms


Hey hey,


We had our civil partnership on the 5th August 2016 at Salisbury Registry office.  Even though we didn’t want it to be a huge event and just to make it all official, due to our “grand wedding” next year, I was nervous as hell.

The stress of making sure everyone was going be on time, that we had everything we needed, rings, ourselves, made me really jumpy!

By some stroke of luck, we managed to get ourselves there bang on time!  However one of Mikes witnesses hadn’t arrived….we starting to get panicky….only to find that he was at Salisbury….but just not where he was supposed to be!

So no matter how simple you try and make an occasion, something always ends up going wrong haha.

Including while the registrar was doing her bit! She completely got our names wrong. I was Mike Yilmaz Davies and Mike was James Lewis Young.  Our faces must have looked so confused!


We eventually tied the knot. My emotions were all over the place.  I didn’t know what to do, whether to burst out laughing or burt out crying with joy and happiness.


To celebrate all went for a lovely meal and a few drinks with all our closest friends.

And now, we are well into the big wedding day planning!


We are so excited to hear about your wedding plans boys! 

Cwtchfest Exhibitor Spotlight: Part 5

Hello Cwtchers!
The tickets for this years #Cwtchfest2016 have been flying out over the weekend and today we bring you a spotlight on three more fabulous Welsh supplers that will be exhibiting at this years event.  Today we welcome To Have and to Hire, PartyBales®  and Anne Morgan Jewellery.
This year #Cwtchfest2016 is being held at none other than The Green Man festival site, The Glanusk Estate, Crickhowell on the 17th April.  Along with our amazing collection of the best in the Welsh wedding industry we also have Live music, workshops, demos, food stalls and bars allowing you to fully enjoy the wedding planning experience.
If you still have not purchased your tickets to this truly unique event what are you waiting for…
To Have and to Hire is a bridal studio like no other. Located in an historic Victorian arcade in the heart of Cardiff, we welcome brides from all over the UK and beyond.
TH&TH-logo-master-bridalstudioWe hire outstanding designer wedding dresses and accessories that have been gifted into the scheme by private ‘lenders’  – women who’ve already paid the designer price tag so you don’t have to.

 Because of the unique way we are supported, brides can benefit from a range of unique services:

  • Access up to 85 wedding dresses, and over 25 designers in one location
  • Try up to 15 bridal looks during each 2hr fitting
  • Enjoy wedding dresses already tailored to your size and height
  • Customise your look with matching high end accessories
  • Receive a written summary of your fitting after every visit
  • Take as many photographs of your fitting as you need to
  • Have your wedding dress couriered to your home for 2 weeks around your wedding dates
  • Have your wedding dress sent to your location abroad
  • Liaise with the same person throughout your wedding dress journey
  • Feel free to change your mind should you fall in love with a newer arrival
  • Organise a home fitting should you have mobility issues

To Have & To Hire CM 2013 (3) jpg


To Have & To Hire CM 2013

Anne Morgan Jewellery

Award winning jeweller Anne Morgan offers the best of contemporary jewellery within her unique interior styled gallery.


Anne Morgan Jewellery showcases over 30 selected designers promising quality craftsmanship and shop-16

Having designed and made jewellery for the past 20 years Anne now shows her contemporary designs alongside some of the best makers in the UK. Everything on show is handmade using precious materials such as gold and silver to plastics, leather and wood.. Anne’s own work incorporates semi-precious stones and textured metal. She is able to work to clients brief to create stunning one-off pieces.

wedding rings-39

With a workshop on the premises Anne and her team are able to offer remodelling and bespoke commissions for any occasion.

wedding rings-2ed

Anne offers wedding ring workshop that allow couples to Design and make their own wedding rings in a one day workshop. Anne will guide them through the process of making their own rings with her expert tuition. They will be able to choose the shape and finish of your rings. Choose from 9ct gold, 18ct gold to Platinum.

PartyBales® are specialists in Hay and Straw Bale hire for weddings, events, festivals and parties and deliver throughout Wales and England. Hay and Straw Bales lend themselves perfectly to outdoor, festival, garden, barn and woodland weddings as they are so versatile and can be used in a number of different ways from seating, signage, decoration, lawn games, bars and photo booths – the opportunities are endless!
In addition PartyBales® hire bale covers, blankets and cushions to dress the bales alongside props and marquees. For inspiration take a look at where there are plenty of ideas or contact the PartyBales® team as we are always happy to give advice and always up for a challenge to do more with bales.
Party bales(2)
PartyBales® are extremely excited to be at Cwtchfest for the second year. Last year PartyBales® did awesome things with straw bales and we look forward to seeing what they have in store this year. PartyBales® recently had a new delivery of four pig props. The pigs are going on a PartyBales® tour to wedding festivals throughout the UK and will be coming to #cwtchfest2016, where you can enter the PartyBales® competition to ‘name the pigs’! Make sure you take a seat on a PartyBale® and meet the team.
party bales

Keep watching the blog for more #Cwtchfest2016 suppliers!!!

Mid-Week Mini By Chris Morse


Today we have a Mid-Week Mini from the talented photographer Chris Morse Photography. He has a funny little story about forgetting something pretty important.  Kirsty, Jon and about 20 of their closest friends and family stayed at Trevor Hall from … Continue reading

Engagement Rings: The beautiful Clogau Compose Range

We’re thrilled to introduce you to the Clogau Compose range today. These Engagement rings are beautiful and an incredible gift to open this christmas! Lets hand you over to the fabulous Welsh based company, Clogau to tell you all about them.


Compose-rings-group (2)You have laughed together, cried together and you are the best of friends – fabulous times have been shared and memories have been made together with a lifetime of happiness and opportunity ahead of you both. How on earth will you find an engagement ring that captures the very essence and all the milestones in your relationship we hear you cry? Through creating a personal and bespoke Clogau Compose engagement ring together.

Our customers tell us that they love our style, the unique and rare connection to Wales through the gold used by Princes and Princesses and these are some of the reasons why they have been excited by composing their very own unique engagement ring.

The romantic ideals behind compose let you play a role in composing a ring that is the ultimate expression of your love, hopes and dreams and a reflection on your life together – unified in a personal heirloom piece.

The inspirations behind the current range which comprises of six ring designs are from real life brides – they are all quintessentially Clogau in appearance and essence and complement our customers’ personalities – glamourous, bohemian, classic, modern, romantic and trendsetting.

Let us introduce two of our truly sublime engagement ring designs and bride personalities which we feel begins to reflect the romance and aspirational qualities that every bride dreams of.

Bella – The Romantic Bride


An eternal romantic who has always dreamt of the perfect fairytale wedding. She wears her heart on her sleeve and her presence is always dignified and graceful. She is passionate yet playful, exuberant yet sensitive and always elegantly composed.

Capella – The Classic Bride


Preferring timeless elegance and embracing tradition whilst complementing this with her unique personality and style. She is both classic and classy, incorporating family traditions with her love of subtle luxury and aspirational vintage elegance. The brightest star in the sky.

There are currently four more personalities that we’d like to introduce to you over the coming weeks. We hope that their sentiments, styles and aspirations will engage with you and inspire you to create your own dream ring that reflects all you mean to each other.


We hope you will join us to meet our next two brides in a couple of weeks!

To find out more about Clogau Compose go to


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Cwtch the Bride only accepts sponsored posts from companies we think will be useful to you :) 


How to Choose Your Wedding Rings

JZ0C7369It’s time for another post from our lovely modern bride Hannah. She’s back to offer some advice on choosing your wedding rings – one of the only things you get to take away from your wedding day! (Apart from your other half of course ;) )

Hello Cwtch the Bride readers! :) Making decisions on which wedding ring to choose can be tough – after all it’s one of the only pieces of jewellery you’ll wear every day for the rest of your life! To help make the decision that much easier we’ve put together a guide for choosing your perfect wedding band (no, not some singers – the rings ;) )

hannah's rings© Maria Farrelly

How to Choose Your Wedding Rings

Match the metals

Choosing a ring can be daunting, there are so many different styles, it can be hard to narrow down the one that’s right for you. A good place to start is knowing which metal to pick.

Not many people realise that it’s best to match the metal of your future wedding band to your engagement ring. For example platinum is a lot harder wearing than white gold, so it’s not recommended to wear the two together.

If you’re not sure which metal your engagement ring is made from, have a look on the inside of the band where you’ll find it’s hallmark. (Don’t panic if you can’t see a marking, vintage rings and those brought abroad sometimes don’t have one – your local jeweller should be able to help identify the metal.)

If you see the numbers 375 that means that the ring is 9ct gold. 750 means the ring is 18ct gold, 575 is 14ct and 916 is 22ct gold. It doesn’t matter which colour gold your ring is, whether it’s yellow, white or rose they will all have these numbers stamped. If your ring is palladium or platinum they will be stamped 950 or very occasionally 900. An easy way to distinguish the two is that the 950 on a platinum ring would be shown in shape similar to the outline of a house, where palladium’s number appears in three interlocking circles.

Hallmark Chart

Setting a budget

Quite a few brides and grooms overlook setting a budget for their wedding rings and can be guilty of opting for the cheapest rings in order to save money for something else on the wedding wishlist. I strongly advise setting aside money for buying rings as (apart from photography) they’re the only things you get to physically take away from your wedding day. In years to come you’ll be thankful you did.

As a guide on how much to spend I would set aside up to £300 for 9ct rings, up to £1000 for 18ct, up to £800 for palladium and up to £2000 for platinum. These are all approximate prices taken from the main high street jewellers. The costs vary according to width, weights and if the rings are set with diamonds: for example a 3mm ladies platinum band may cost £595, but add in some diamonds the price could increase to £1995.

Finances may dictate whether you choose a plain traditional style ring or a fancy diamond encrusted version, but don’t be afraid to ask your jeweller if there are any special offers on. Also most stores offer interest free credit or an in store deposit system where you could spread the payment of your rings over a set amount of time.

Wedding BandRing by Patrick Irla jewellery

Think of the wear and tear

An important factor in picking wedding bands is considering how they will hold up to wear and tear a few years down the line. Whilst it would be lovely to think that spending a lot of money on a ring means that you will never have to have them repaired at any point, in reality it isn’t the case. Claws wear on all rings and eventually need re-tipping or replacing, whilst a 22ct wedding band may need reshaping. Here’s some tips on the metals to help you pick the right style from the start…

Platinum – Is the crème de la crème of wedding ring metals. Extremely hard wearing it’s a very rare metal that is nice and heavy. Naturally white it requires little maintenance. Platinum is the most recommended metal for diamond set rings.

Palladium – A relatively new metal, palladium is part of the platinum family and like platinum is very hard wearing and naturally white. However it tends to be a lot cheaper than platinum as it’s not as rare. It’s also less dense so is a very light metal to wear on the finger. Perfect for those not used to wearing rings!

22ct gold – This lovely gold is not normally sold in high street jewellers any more due to the high gold content. It’s identifiable by it’s lovely bright yellow hue and is normally reserved for plain wedding bands.

9 & 18ct gold- 18ct is the most popular metal used for wedding bands today. Coming in a range of colours such as yellow, white and gold. 18ct is stronger than 9ct, which is more brittle in comparison. 18ct gold is also a tougher metal against everyday chemicals, such as chlorine and dyes and is a good choice for wedding bands.

Think about the finish

White gold rings are very popular but not many people realise that they require regular maintenance as they are rhodium plated. Naturally white gold is a yellowy grey coloured metal which is dipped in rhodium (a precious metal which is part of the platinum family) to give it that real bright white finish. Unfortunately the rhodium over time does wear to reveal the original colour of white gold underneath. How quickly white gold wears depends on the individual, a hairdresser may need to recoat the rings every few months compared with someone else who may only do it every few years. Luckily recoating isn’t particularly expensive costing approximately £40.

Similarly it’s important to consider the maintenance when it comes to brushed, matte and pattern finished rings. Ask your jewellery how easy it is to mark off the pattern on a brushed ring and if the ring is able to be resized in years to come.

Wedding RingsRings by Karen Johnson Designs

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend

Personally I love the diamonds in my wedding band and have accepted that it may eventually require some tlc to guarantee the security of the stones. If you’re considering a diamond set band, certain styles are more suited to everyday wear than others, for example maybe avoid a full hoop style wedding ring, (where the diamonds spread all the way around the band) if you’re a bit heavy handed or do a lot of typing.

Knocks (even unknowingly) can easily dislodge a diamond. When choosing a diamond wedding band ask your jeweller to point out any wear and tear issues so you can make an informed decision on your purchase.

Ring by Shmooozin

Can’t find the style or shape you like?

Go bespoke! Almost all jewellers offer a bespoke or shaping wedding band service, even if it’s not clearly advertised, just ask! Most companies will have a portfolio of previous work they have done with other clients for you to view and could even have a wax or computer generated image made for you to see what your future wedding ring could look like.

If you decided to go bespoke, be prepared to part with your engagement ring for a few weeks, they’ll need to keep it to measure it against the wedding band at every stage of the casting process. It’s worth it when you have a ring which is a perfect fit!

How much time to leave before buying?

Jewellers don’t keep every size in stock and most rings are ordered in, this can take up to 12 weeks. Allow yourself plenty of time in case any adjustments are needed to the ring when it arrives in store. This is particularly important to brides (or grooms!) who are losing weight for their big day.

Our top tip! – Let the sales assistant bring you out a few different rings. Quite often something you wouldn’t have considered whilst looking in the window, is just what you were looking for once on your finger!

I hope this guide was helpful. Ring shopping is such an exciting experience and hopefully this post has given you a good place to start from. If you have any ring buying questions feel free to leave us a message in the comments and I’ll be happy to help. If you’ve already found your rings please Tweet/Facebook us a picture – We love being nosy!

Happy wedding planning,

Hannah x