Cwtch of the Week: Sara & John by Rocksalt Photography

If you missed Friday’s real wedding by Rocksalt Photography then make sure you click here to see it in all it’s glory. Welsh couple Sara & John got married in Shropshire and I love this cwtchy moment between the pair of them.


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Real Wedding: Sara & John’s Lion Quays Wedding by Rocksalt Photography

We have a gorgeous relaxed wedding for you today thanks to the lovely Hannah from Rocksalt Photography. Welsh couple John & Sara got married in Shropshire on the 29th of May and it looks like the sun shone for them all day long. Here is Sara to tell us more, with gorgeous photographs from Rocksalt Photography.


What was your budget? Roughly £10,000. Supported greatly by father of the bride.


How would you describe your wedding theme? We wanted a laid back, stress free wedding and our theme reflected this with pastel greens and pinks.


What was your favourite part of your wedding? The favourite part of our wedding was when John and I finally saw each other as I walked down the aisle. All the anticipation and build up of the wedding had finally got to this point. Once by each other’s side we both felt it was just the two of us, and all the nerves of being the centre of attention had gone. This was the best, and most important part of our wedding. John_Sara-83 John_Sara-93 John_Sara-97

Tell us about your Wedding Dress My wedding dress came from Wedding Belles at Laura’s in Llanidloes. In my mind I had the intention of buying a slim fitting full lace gown. The girls at Llanidloes helped me understand what styles suit me best, and I soon found myself trying on dresses I would never have considered. I was unable to commit to ‘the one’ and tried on more dresses in other shops, but my mind always came back to the dress in Llanidloes. John_Sara-24
I finally returned to Wedding Belles at Laura’s and purchased my dress, along with a full length veil. With the support of my Mum, Bridesmaids and help from the girls in Llanidloes I truly found the perfect dress.


Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why? The best man was Gideon Berends, a childhood friend of John’s. John_Sara-40
Bridesmaids were my sister Emma Jerman, my brothers girlfriend Beverley Morris and best friend Nikki Gethin. John_Sara-206 John_Sara-210

Why did you choose your venue? We chose the Lion Quays as we were looking for a venue a bit further away from home that matched our laid back and relaxed personalities. During a break away at the hotel, we met with Ruth Malone – wedding co-ordinator for a general chat and went from there. John_Sara-1 John_Sara-138 John_Sara-146

How did the proposal happen? The proposal happened at home the night before our last holiday before our baby arrived. John had intended to ask me during the holiday but feared he would loose the ring, or be caught with the ring on him before he had a chance to propose.
He went down on one knee, and I was truly gobsmacked. I found out afterwards that he had asked my Dad for my hand in marriage a few days earlier, which made it perfect. John_Sara-180

Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share? My Mum made homemade raspberry vodka for the favours. We bottled them in mini demijohns along with handmade labels and name tags. This was a really simple but effective idea. John_Sara-242 John_Sara-243

What was your first dance & why? Our first dance was to ‘The Calling – Wherever you will go’. This song is special to our relationship and takes us back to when we first started going out with each other 10 years ago. John_Sara-183

In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently? There is not anything I would have done differently about our wedding. John_Sara-156

Do you have any advice for future couples? Remember it is your wedding, and make decisions that please both of you rather than other people. John_Sara-188

What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received? Never stop holding hands with each other. John_Sara-262

What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding? Spending hours on Pinterest finding amazing ideas then making the ideas a reality in my meetings with wedding suppliers and organisers.

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The Suppliers

Photographer: Rocksalt Photography
Wedding Planner: Ruth Malone
Ceremony Venue: Lion Quays, Oswestry
Reception Venue: Lion Quays, Oswestry
Bride’s Dress: Maggie Sottero – Benita from Wedding Belles at Laura’s
Bride’s Headpiece: Debenhams
Bride’s Jewellery: Debenhams
Groom’s Outfit: Peter Posh suit hire
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Ebony rose
Bridesmaid’s Accessories: Debenhams
Cake: Made by the Groom’s Mum
Flowers: Bloomers
Hair: The Hair Boutique
Make Up: Claire Williams- Glo
Band: Dai Robs
DJ: Dai Robs & Rob
Any Reception Decor/Props: Elegant finishing touches

The Wedding Album

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Real Wedding: Amy & Chris’ Vintage Elegance Themed Wedding by Maria Farrelly Photography

We have a beautiful real wedding for you this week with a vintage elegance theme. Welsh couple Amy & Chris tied the knot in the Cotswold hills at the stunning Kingscote Barn on the 3rd of October 2014. Here is Amy to tell us all the details with beautiful  photographs by Cwtch founder Maria Farrelly Photography.


How would you describe your wedding theme? After lots of initial ideas and inspiration hunting, my dream dress Jenny Packham’s Esme finally helped me settle on a vintage elegance theme. The dress has a definite nod to the 1920s with an art deco silhouette and beading so this era helped the day take shape.
471We had fallen in love with and booked The Kingscote Barn in Tetbury on our first and only venue viewing. Renovated so that it retains its old charm but is also clean, bright and with a touch of the contemporary, our soft sorbet colour palette of peach, mint, gold and ivory with a pop of coral really complemented the creamy Cotswold stone of the barn. We decorated the tables and windowsills with a lovingly sourced collection of shaped mercury glass vases and tea lights and added colour by suspending tissue paper pom poms from the ceiling and tying strands of ribbon to the chair backs. The barn was finished off with a large illuminated ‘Love’ light hired from Vowed & Amazed.

068 082394A graphic designer by trade, Chris designed and made all of our typographically led wedding stationery from the invites, to the order of service, to the menus which were all gold litho printed onto mint card.

083After the ceremony, afternoon tea was served on the lawn with savoury and sweet scones washed down with our favourite cocktails, French Martinis and Margaritas. For our wedding cake, we chose to forgo the traditional and had a macaroon tower featuring different flavoured macaroons in our wedding colours. Not forgetting our strong Welsh roots, we gave our guests heart shaped Welsh cake favours packaged in glassine bags. 

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What was your favourite part of your wedding? After an emotional and nerve wracking walk down the aisle, I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of calm, joy and confidence when it came to saying our vows. I really enjoyed saying my vows to Chris and it felt like a very private moment even though we had somewhat of an audience!
192 200 231I honestly didn’t think I could feel any happier, until the moment just after the ceremony when my mum, dad and sister had secretly arranged for our two and a half year old son Noah to present us with a little keepsake sign. Designed by my oldest childhood friend, the sign said ‘Mummy & Daddy’s wedding day 03.10.14’ and he gave us both a big cwtch and a kiss. That was a real test of the waterproof mascara!

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Tell us about your Wedding Dress I had no clue what style dress I wanted or indeed what was going to suit me, so I went in with an open mind, willing to try on lots to find ‘the one’.
013Flicking through a bridal magazine my eye caught on an advert for Jenny Packham’s Esme dress. In my eyes it was the most stunningly elegant dress I had ever seen, but unfortunately also way over my ideal budget. Not able to get the dress out of my mind, by chance I found a boutique selling Esme whilst on a spa weekend with my best friends in St Albans.
178The moment I slipped it on and looked in the mirror, I knew deep down it was the dress for me, but because of the cost, I talked myself out of it and tried on some other styles. But it was too late…Esme ‘had me at hello’. So it was with much excitement and suspended disbelief that I found myself raiding my savings to put a deposit down on my beloved Esme at the Jenny Packham boutique. A sale bargain on a Jenny Packham headpiece and one pair of mint leather Rachel Simpson T Bar shoes later and my outfit was complete.

006 014 160462Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why? I chose my sister Clare, Chris’s sister Ceri and my closest friends Tanith and Caroline to be my beautiful (inside and out) bridesmaids. I knew without a doubt they would be there to support and help me with all the deliberations, planning, preparations and throughout the big day and beyond. Not forgetting throwing a fabulous and memorable hen do!

144 185 352Chris chose his brother Steve and his best mate Ryan to be there by his side as joint best men. They were, of course, the perfect double act and provided lots of love and laughter during the speeches.

043 066 586Why did you choose your venue? The Cotswolds was a happy halfway house for our London based and South Wales guests to easily reach. Set in an area of outstanding natural beauty with breath-taking views over the valley, The Kingscote Barn was the perfect venue for us. Its stunning simplicity required minimal decoration and the beautiful accommodation allowed our wedding party to stay on site.

081 284 314How did the proposal happen? The proposal was beautiful and timely, happening a week before the birth of our son Noah. Chris had designed and framed an illustration saying ‘Amy marry me?’ which he totally surprised me with one evening whilst I was pottering around the house. It took me a while to realise what the illustration said and I remember asking him if I had read it correctly before shouting ‘yes’!

031Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share? We couldn’t always find just the sort of thing we were looking for so we made or adapted a few things ourselves.The style of table numbers we liked only seemed to be available in the US, so Chris designed our own and I found a supplier who could make them for us at a fraction of the cost of buying and shipping from the US. They ended up being one of our favourite elements of our décor. I made a ribbon garland for the drinks table using leftover ribbon from the chair backs and we sprayed wooden picture frames gold for our menus and table plan.

078What was your first dance & why? We are big fans of Ben Howard. His music has been the soundtrack to many wonderfully happy moments in our life together so far, so his uplifting song ‘Only Love’ seemed like the perfect choice. We don’t like to take ourselves too seriously though, so we asked our DJ to cut the song after a few minutes and break into Chuck Berry’s classic ‘You Never Can Tell’ from Pulp Fiction.

639 642In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently? If budget had allowed it may have been nice to have some live music, but otherwise we would change nothing.

268 455 633Do you have any advice for future couples? It’s a cliche but the day really does go by in a flash, so try to relax and be in the moment. Steal some time away for you and your new Mr or Mrs to savour the first few minutes of married life.

439 448 459From a practical perspective it pays to do your research. Hold out for discount events and sales, sign up to newsletters for promotions and scour ebay, etsy and unexpected places to get the look you want without blowing the budget.

What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received? Marriage is like an empty box – you can only take out what you put in. You have to constantly work at it and keep the box filled up with love, companionship, laughter and happiness.

404 421 426What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding? I loved the whole planning process but the bargain hunter in me particularly enjoyed sourcing all the table and venue decorations. The devil is in the detail for both myself and Chris, so I really relished the opportunity to embrace my creative side and work with Chris to consider all the little things which helped make our day feel special and unique.

074 076 085 247 258 450 634 842The Suppliers

Photographer: Maria Farrelly
Ceremony Venue: The Kingscote Barn, Tetbury 

Reception Venue: The Kingscote Barn, Tetbury
Bride’s Dress: Jenny Packham, Esme

Bride’s Shoes: Rachel Simpson, Mimosa Pale Mint T bars 
Bride’s Headpiece: Jenny Packham, Anisette i headband
Bride’s Jewellery: Chez Bec, Iris earrings 

Groom’s Outfit: River Island
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Oasis
Cake: Contemporary Cakes
Hair: Pamplemouse
Make Up: Katy Pheiffer
DJ: Deckstar Deluxe
Stationery: Chris!
Caterers: Berry Blue
Any Reception Decor/Props: Illuminated Love Light- Vowed & Amazed

The Wedding Album

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