Review: The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny

Today we have a wonderful review of the beautiful Angel Hotel, Abergavenny.

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Awarded AA Hotel of the Year in Wales, The Angel Hotel is something very special. I was invited to come along to view their wedding showcase a while ago and experience an overnight stay. Our boobless Bride Dawn also joined me for the evening. And what a great night we had too!

There is literally something for everyone to enjoy here. Their award winning Afternoon teas for one are legendary (great for treating mum or your bridesmaids!). But today, we’re focusing on weddings and what they can provide for you on your big day!

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If you’ve yet to book your wedding venue, then I honestly think you should take a closer look at The Angel. They have a variety of packages to suit all budgets and if you are looking to get married this year… they have a great offer running too!

When I arrived at the hotel, I was greeted by friendly staff, all very warm and welcoming. I was then shown around the different locations they offer for weddings.

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The Hotel

Inside the hotel itself, you have the Ballroom or Brecon Suite to choose from for the ceremony. Two very different and unique spaces.8788a62158f657378425a5c0a9d74941

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Private Dining
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I felt they have all the bases covered. Even with being situated on the high street, once inside, you felt like you were miles away. And if you were worried about where you can have your wedding photographs taken…don’t.  The beautiful Abergavenny Castle is a two minute walk away!

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So, if you are thinking of taking a closer look, do it… we did and loved our stay!

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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

Competition: Win the use of Spa facilities and treatment for 2 at the new Parc Spa, Stradey Park Hotel

With the festive season behind us and most us feeling the January blues, we wanted to offer you lovely Brides-to-be a special competition this month to take some time out for you.  

We have teamed with our newest Lush List member The Stradey Park Hotel  to offer you and  a loved one a day at  their new Parc Spa.

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  The Prize


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Nestled into the beautiful Welsh hillside, overlooking the world famous Gower and Carmarthenshire coastline, the Stradey Park Hotel in Llanelli is the perfect place to spend a relaxing day.

The lovely team at the Parc Spa are offering a chance for you to win a 25 minute treatment session for 2 people.

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Experience a relaxing treatment within their calming spa rooms to help relieve any built up stress of planning your special day.

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The day also includes use of the new thermal suites with Vichy shower, sauna and hot tub rooms with the relaxation and sleep rooms.

Robes and slipper hire will be included.

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HOW TO ENTER


Simply complete the following

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Phone number’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Date of wedding’ type=’text’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Have you used the facilities in Stradey Park Hotel before’ type=’text’/][/contact-form]

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Terms and Conditions:

Closing date for entries is midnight Sunday 31st January 2016.

The winner will be drawn on Tuesday 2nd February 2016.

Prize must be taken by July 2016 and booked in advance

The prize is not transferable

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

Featured Wedding Venue: Nantwen

If a couple were to build their own wedding venue how might it look?

Nantwen Cottage photographed by Owen Howells

Nantwen Cottage photographed by Owen Howells

Set down an off road track in Pembrokeshire the secretive Nantwen cottage has been a personal project for owners Daniel & Jemma. As they plan their own wedding there in August, they tell us a little about their journey so far…

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The thought of getting married before building a house never came to us. Instead we chose a joint mortgage and let a team of builders run wild on our barns whilst we continued with our careers as a Cellist and Goldsmith in London.

The moment the first barn was complete it became a firm favourite with honeymooners from all across the world. Hiraeth eventually set in so we left London and endeavoured to carve out a living in Wales. (Daniel as a teacher at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff and Jemma as a bespoke goldsmith with Slade Fine Jewellery.) [nb Hiraeth is a Welsh word that has no direct English translation. The University of Wales, Lampeter attempts to define it as homesickness tinged with grief or sadness over the lost or departed. It is a mix of longing, yearning, nostalgia, wistfulness, or an earnest desire for the Wales of the past] Our attention also started to turn towards the 3 stone walls which made up the derelict barn next door – affectionately known as The Bull Pen.

Daniel & Jemma at Nantwen

Daniel & Jemma at Nantwen

As a distraction from the question of what to do with these three stone walls we got engaged.  I commissioned a ring from Jemma’s Hatton Garden colleagues, dropped it in the mud by a waterfall in the Gwaun Valley before popping it on her finger.That afternoon we phoned the bank, the council and the builders and the bull pen was set to be restored as a studio in which to get married.

Daniel and Jemma walking along on the coast near Nantwen

Daniel and Jemma walking along on the coast near Nantwen

The builders restored the entire thing in a few months working solely between 11am and 4pm on the change over days of the increasingly popular Nantwen cottage. Meanwhile Jemma and I were busy getting to know and enjoying our beautiful little daughter Elsbeth. Our next project was to think about getting married ourselves so we had the studio licensed for very small and intimate civil ceremonies.

Jemma a week before Elsbeth was born

Jemma a week before Elsbeth was born

This is our first season as a venue for intimate weddings and we are really excited to be planning our own wedding here alongside the other couples.  With a venue on our doorstep and a goldsmith as the bride the only thing to really think about is the wedding feast and whether our guests will be able to find the secret little cottage with blue doors!

Nantwen wedding space photographed by Owen Howells

Nantwen wedding space photographed by Owen Howells

What makes Nantwen so important for us is that it is formed completely out of its surroundings.  Guests to the cottage, don’t get told where it is until a few weeks before their stay, this adds to the charm of it.  It is small, rugged, wild, unusual, peaceful and romantic. The contents has been scavenged from the old farm, it is incredibly eco friendly and the abundance of wildlife inspired the wilderness garden and wildflower meadows that surround it. We also love sharing it. 16134489837_7e4dd0a55d_o-570x350 Nantwen-Photographed-by-Owen-Howells-224-570x350

Photographed by Owen Howells

Photographed by Owen Howells

Nantwen offers various wedding packages including runaway weddings and honeymoons. See www.nantwen.co.uk or call 01239821139

WOW! What a BEAUTIFUL venue! I am very jealous of any couple that get married here! In fact if you are a Nantwen couple please send us your story, or if you are married send us your wedding photos! Email charlie@cwtchthebride.com