Rustic Bride Kristy Finding A Venue

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Finding a venue is one of the biggest decision when you are getting married. I found that I couldn’t really choose anything until I had found that. Today our Rustic Bride Kristy tells us all about how she found hers.  … Continue reading

Glanusk Estate: The Glass House & Old Walled Garden

Today we are going to take you on a little journey through part of the Glanusk Estate, home to Cwtchfest 2016.

The Estate consists of 400 acres of private parkland, 800 acres of forestry, 3,500 acres of lowland and hill farms, the Park and forestry, 16,000 acres of Common Land hills and 5 miles of the River Usk. What a great place to get married hey?! 

There are four areas that can each be booked for very different style weddings and some great historic buildings remaining, including the Tower Bridge, over the River Usk, ancient Celtic standing stones, the private chapel, farm buildings and stables, all either Grade II listed or Grade II starred. what a fantastic backdrop for photographs!

We’d like to show you the Glass House & Old Walled Garden in more detail today. So let’s hand you over to Robyn from Glanusk with more details on how this could be the perfect venue for your wedding.

Glanusk Lodge Ariel View
The Glasshouse

The Glasshouse sits within the original private walled gardens and is our newest licensed venue – and is proving very popular.

2015-05-16 13.46.56It is licensed for the civil ceremony and can take up to 40 guests inside

Glanusk wedding fayre 2015-03-29 -  018and more on the lawn outside (weather permitting).


imageOne of our brides used it has a cocktail bar – was fabulous.

2015-05-16 13.45.25It is also a unique venue for an intimate party or celebration. It is a very pretty day time venue – and is spectacular at night!

Glanusk wedding fayre 2015-03-29 -  041It also links perfectly to the Old Walled garden through this beautiful entrance

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The Old Walled Garden

The Old Walled Garden is a stunning site for your marquee, and you can enjoy two nights staying in Garden Cottage, one of the original gardener’s cottages which has been recently refurbished.

2015-05-16 13.44.57It is a large space and works well for all sized wedding parties.

002As its a walled garden, you’re whole event is all contained, guests don’t need to travel across fields as parking is close by in the original stable yards. Perfect!

marquee site

The Glanusk Estate: The Location For Cwtchfest 2016

I’m thrilled to be collaborating with the amazing Glanusk Estate on this years Cwtchfest. I’m still pinching myself that this crazy idea I had of organising a large wedding festival in Wales is not only happening again, but that it’s growing… on an epic scale!

Today I wanted to share with you the reasons why I chose The Glanusk Estate and why I think it should be on your list of ‘must-see’ venues for your wedding.~ Maria.glanusk

The Glanusk Estate is one of the largest privately owned Estates in Wales and is situated in the beautiful countryside of the Usk Valley, Crickhowell, South Wales in the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Cornwall and shop 127Why did I choose The Glanusk Estate for Cwtchfest?

Thats easy. I only work with companies that I would use myself if planning a wedding. Having photographed hundreds of weddings over the years, I’ve worked alongside MANY venues and suppliers. Some are incredible and some should not be working in this industry (don’t worry, they won’t ever appear on this blog). For me, professionalism and personal recommendations are everything.

click here for tickets

The Glanusk Estate approached me last year when I was in the midst of organising last years festival. I honestly nearly fell of my chair when I read their email.

If you don’t know much about the Estate. Let me share a few things. The Glanusk Estate hosts the world famous Greenman Festival, Spartan Race UK 2015, as well as numerous TV programs and commercials. It is quite simply one of the best locations to host a wedding in Wales and they love Cwtch The Bride.


So why chose The Glanusk Estate for your wedding?

Like me, the team at Glanusk really do love a good wedding! You are not part of a production line either. They really do go that extra mile which means so much when planning a wedding.

They are super friendly, personal and offer a really bespoke service.  The Glanusk Estate team pull out all the stops to make your wedding day memorable and a wonderful experience not just for yourselves but also your guests.

Whether you are having an intimate celebration for 20 or 30 guests, or a larger party, they really do have the perfect backdrop for your special day.Claire_Ian0206


Having photographed in many of the wedding venues across Wales, what struck me as a massive selling point here (besides the epic views) is their pricing. The Glanusk Estate does not charge corkage!  Most venues do which is where the pricing can start to rocket. There is nothing worse than falling in love with a venue and then sitting down with the price list and finding out all the ‘extras’ you HAVE to pay to personalise your day exceeds your budget.

At Glanusk, the bride and groom can not only make their own choice of alcohol but can also select their own choice of caterer and marquee company rather than being restricted to a small selection offered by many venues. That alone is worth calling the team to arrange a site visit!

Do I have to hire the entire Estate for my wedding?

no, no, no :)

The beauty of this location is that you have a choice of four areas on the estate. Each has a totally different feel and charm of its own.

We’ll be going into more detail about each area over the coming weeks but to give you a brief outline. There are four main areas to consider.

 The Glasshouse & Old Walled Garden

0072015-05-16 13.45.132015-05-16 13.44.57

Penmyarth House

Claire_Ian0259chairs on verandah

Glanusk Park Louise_Osmaan_Final-8804

River View

Cornwall and shop 127marquee site

Penmyarth Church is also on the estate. It’s a private chapel for blessings and can seat up to 100 guests.  Its also walking distance from River View and is ridiculously pretty.glanusk - hi-res (34x23cm 300dpi jpegs) - 195

There is so much more about The Glanusk Estate that I want to share with you but I’m going to have to do that over a series of posts.

Also, don’t just take my word for it, come along on Sunday 17th April to Cwtchfest. Our tickets are selling like hot welshcakes and we’d love to see you there. It really is going to be the wedding event of the year!

buy-tickets-here-12I cannot wait to descend on this idyllic venue with my team and fill it with inspiring ideas for your wedding along with the best selection of wedding professionals in Wales.   Only 93 days to go!

Maria x 


Venue hunting… tips from our readers!

Good morning Cwtchers!!

There are so many beautiful venues in Wales we wondered back in the summer on our facebook page what was the most important element to you when choosing which venue had the honour of hosting your big day and boy were we suprised at the range of reasons!!

LOVE Letters exclusively available to hire from Cwtch the Bride!

St Fagan’s Museum– Maria Farrelly

‘Exclusivity!!!’   Becca Davies

‘I think it’s important to feel a connection to the venue, after all, your going to remember it for the rest of your life. It’s important to have somewhere on or close by to your venue to get photos taken, light airy spaces are good and value for money is often the dictator in the decision. But most importantly, if I was to have my time over would be to find somewhere with really helpful and organised staff to take the pressure off the day. I did a diy wedding and I really appreciate now, the value of helpful staff who you can trust to take things off your hands.’   Joy Wood

Tim Bishop Rachel Dean Wedding Neath Morgans Hotel Swansea-173050

Morgans Hotel Tim Bishop Photography

‘ Flexibility, our ideal venue wouldn’t let us in before the evening before the wedding and that for me was a no go. The venue we have gone with will let us have 3 days to decorate before hand, it’s exclusive, holds our 130 guests and in on budget. We can choose our own everything, exactly as we’d like. I really didn’t like these hotels offering your ‘unique and personal day’ that just asked you to pick a choice of menu out of these 3 and a ribbon colour for your chairs!’   Rachael Beattie


Margam Castle Catherine & Angharad

‘ On top of the more obvious suggestions, you should also consider how much of a personal input you want to put into your day in terms of decor that perhaps isn’t limited to a florist putting out flowers or the caterers setting the table decorations out.  Will you or your family have time to put up all the decor you might want if a certain venue only allows you entry to the venue a couple of hours before your wedding?  For this reason we rented a country house for the weekend and spent the Friday decorating it & putting everything out that we couldn’t have relied on hired staff to do.’   Laura Shackleford

Mr & Mrs Dykes-317

Miskin Manor– Cross Jones Photography

 ‘May it seem important but for me its all about the staff. Whenever friends or couples of mine ask for venue suggestions I’m drawn to the ones where I had the best experience that was down to the amazing staff. When we were looking we cancelled with our first venue because of a bad vibe with the manager. We then fell for another venue and the amazing food was an added bonus. I think some people can be so focused on budget or fitting the guests in and settle for something they don’t love, don’t rush and take your time to make sure he decision is right. The perfect venue will be somewhere you’ll want to return to again and again xx’    Charlene McNabb


Gregynog Hall Rocksalt photography

‘Grounds and decor can make a HUGE difference to your photos – which of course, is what you’re left with after the big day. Although, budget often dictates the final choice. There are some lovely venues that offer good value, particularly mid-week, which also have stunning grounds and lovely decor. Decor being more important if it rains, and you’re stuck indoors for your photos (highly likely in Wales).’   Amplified Wales


Gregynog Hall– Rocksalt photography

 ‘Venue hunting is boggling me too! I’m with Rachael ^ the ‘unique and personal’ but you can only choose your menu and Chair ribbon colour option is just not for us. Trying to find a blank canvas that’s not crazy price, with accommodation on site/ walking distance for night before and on day, licensed for ceremony and either great good or can bring in caterer is giving me sleepless nights!  I know once we’ve found the right venue everything else will fall into place!’    Catherine Fitchi

Casey & Aled-099

Corran Resort– Sandra Ace Photography

 ‘You should walk in to where you’ll get married and go ‘squeee’ then figure out the rest from there. 2 venues for us and just over 2 weeks to go’   Laura Norris

‘For me, it was a 24/7 bar and enough rooms for guests to crash- so they don’t have to think about taxis etc!’   Rebecca Jones

‘Good food , good wine and a good pint without those u can be in the most perfect surroundings and have a disaster’   Cariad Bridal

Marc Smith Fairytale Swansea Gower Wedding _120

Oldwalls Gower Marc Smith Photography

‘Flexibity and a relaxed approach to have the wedding you want and not charging for things you don’t need or want.’   Heledd Fychan

‘Well Castell Coch for us, only 27 people allowed and then Pettigrew tea rooms in Bute Park for afternoon tea. The manager there has been more than helpful, gave us complimentary breakfast, lots of discussion about menus. I grew up in Cardiff, always loved both castles so it’s gonna be vintage and magical x’   Libbie James


National Museum Cardiff- David Hurst Photography

‘The service is THE most important, you shouldn’t book an appointment (it’s easy to put on a show if an audience is expected). See what their service is like, everyone that walks in the door should receive a great service & be treated as a prospective client with a big fat wallet!!!!! Doesn’t matter what is on the menu or on the walls, if they are willing to do what you want, who cares?’   Louise Farnan

‘We fell in love with treowen house in dingestow the best D.I.Y venue in Wales!!!’   Rebecca J Eversley

‘And exclusivity, we went with Broadway country house hotel in Laugharne’    Zoe Learoyd

Emma & Varun New Years Eve Wedding Marc Smith Photography_156

Swansea Waterfront Museum– Marc Smith Photograhy

‘For me and h2b we went for location as our 1st decider, grounds and what won us over was how helpful and friendly the staff was x’   Zoe Learoyd

‘Somewhere that feels right for you. Make sure it’s around the right size for the number of guests you’ll have – both for the seated meal and the evening.  Check how much support or free reign you get on your day – some places want your instructions and thoughts then they set everything up, others let you in beforehand to set up yourself. Wherever you pick, make sure you know who to get in touch with when you’re planning and have questions!’   Sarah Coxhead

Silver Birch Photography

Pencoed House– Sliver Birch Photography

‘I think you need to make a connection with the staff and the venue, there is no point feeling uncomfortable on what I supposed to be the happiest day of your life! Then I’d say get as much as you can for your budget (and everyone’s budget is different) so look at your budget and the venues you fancy going around and get an initial feel for them and then book an appointment with the wedding planner for the ones you felt in your gut the most comfortable etc. X’   Carrie N Stephen Hill

Maria Farelly Cardiff Castle Wedding Charlie&Mark_103

Cardiff Castle– Maria Farrelly

‘Find somewhere that suits you – we looked at sketty hall in swansea but the big chandeliers and posh rooms were just not me – I want a far more relaxed day. I can’t recommend Gower Golf Club enough – we’ve not gotten hitched yet, but we’ve signed on the dotted line and still they are bending over backwards to accommodate us. The setting is beautiful, afternoon tea is £10 a head, hog roast is £12.50 a head, and they are so easy going about the individual parts! They even put on tasters of the afternoon tea for me and my fiancé on my bday – the whole restaurant to ourselves and a mountain of gorgeous freshly made food, and refused to take a penny!!! (We took flowers as a thanks!!!) I’m so excited to get married there, I can’t bloody wait!!! X’    Sally JG