We have a gloriously warm and cwtchy Cwtch of the Week for you today! Shot by the fabulous Richard Savage, this is the perfect look for a winter wedding! Over to Richard to tell us about the shot….
Hollie & Ben, got married at the amazing Rosedew Farm on the 23rd January 2017. Not only was this my first time being at Rosedew Farm but it was also my first wedding of 2017, with Hollie & Ben having a 3pm ceremony and after we carried out their group shots we decided to catch the last of the light which was left and we decided to head down to the beach to make the most of the sunset, I love the light and intimacy in this image with it being really cold I love the cardigan/shawl keeping bride Hollie nice and cosy.
A perfect winters wedding <3 x
It really is a perfect winters wedding Richard! Thank you so much for sharing, its beautiful xx
You may remember last year we ran a competition to find our lucky new brides to be. Well… We had over 150 entries! We couldn’t believe how many of you wanted to write for us. THANK YOU all so much, we were seriously humbled and overwhelmed!
After many discussions, copious amounts of G&T’s and a few debates… we managed to whittle it down to a shortlist. BUT we then got stuck. We just couldn’t bring ourselves to lose anymore. So… we’ve decided to keep the shortlist! There are far too many great stories that need to be shared! Some of these have brought us to tears….The first one being our incredible and inspiring Boobless Bride Dawn.
Over the next two weeks we will be introducing the rest of our new Cwtch Brides. Today … we’re introducing our new Winter Bride Emma! This beautiful lady tied the knot last month and has kept a diary in the lead up to the big day. She has some amazing stories to share as well as some great tips and advice for anyone else planning a winter wedding. So without further ado we give you Emma.
Why hello there. It’s me, Emma, 23, sitting on the floor of my living room wondering what you’d like to know about me.
Well, first things first, I’m a Mammy to my Best Friend, Seren who’s 6, funny and beautiful. Secondly, I’m a fiancé to my Best Friend Nathan who’s funny and patient (ok and handsome!). We all live in a little 1930s house in Llanelli, a town where we all grew up, well…where we are all growing up! I say this because I’m still on that journey- like Seren- to see what I become, dreaming and wondering! But, with our little family let’s just see what this life has in store.
For the 9-5 I work for a Community Project; I support children, young people and families in the most deprived areas in Carmarthenshire. For every hour in between I’m the mammy, the best friend, the cook, the not-so-good tidy-upper, the loving a creative life, yogi, foodie, binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy, vintage magpie, bride-to-be, me.
Sitting on my living room floor, I’m surrounded by boxes and bags of wedding decorations, table plans, place cards, menu choices. It’s all packed and ready to go. I have 5 more days (5 sleeps as Seren would sing!) of being that fraction of me, the bride-to-be. Right now, I cannot believe its happening…to me?! I in no way am supposed to have this type of luck. We didn’t see this coming; for a guy to come along and sweep both Seren and I off our feet. This just doesn’t happen. But it has.
On Sunday we are getting our dancing shoes on ready to party! It shall be the end to a whole year that has held that Christmas Eve feeling of excitement and apprehension; the wanting it to come but not wanting it to end.
The best day of our lives will come and go leaving empty cocktail glasses, funny stories and hangovers behind. But the year ahead shall be the best of our lives, I’m absolutely sure. I will be a mammy, a traveler, a foodie (always!), a dreamer, a photographer, a best friend, a wife. What an adventure.
I think you will agree that she is lovely. I can’t wait to see how her planning and big day turned out! I’m so excited to share all of the new brides with you I could burst. Yay! ~Kate
Here at Cwtch the Bride the majority of the weddings we have worked on take place in the spring and summer; but oh boy do we love a winter wedding. There are few looks as sophisticated as pale blues and crisp whites. Take a little look at this round up of ideas to inspire any of you winter brides…
We have a beautiful Valentines Day wedding on the blog today which was submitted by Lloyd Williams Photography. Rachael & Greg got married in the Miskin Manor this year and they tell us all about their fantastic day here.
What was your budget? We didn’t really have a budget, although we were keen to cut costs where we could. Rather than pay for table centrepieces, I decided to make my own. Instead of canapes on arrival, we opted for cute Valentine themed cupcakes which went down a treat! A dear friend of mine made our cake which was just simply beautiful.
The best money saver was the entertainment. I’m a ballet teacher at The Bristol School of Dancing and my very kind boss arranged for some of the girls to come and perform at the wedding! We also kept it a surprise for the guests- the reaction was spectacular!
We saved a lot of money this way, it’s amazing how beautiful things can be/look without spending too much money.
How would you describe your wedding theme? We originally wanted a Winter wedding for 2014, however our chosen venue (Miskin Manor) was fully booked. The only Winter date available was February 14th 2015 which happened to be a Saturday. To us, this date was absolutely perfect- could you get a more romantic day of the year to get married on?!
I instantly knew that I wanted a romantic vintage style wedding. Myself and Greg also wanted to put our individual stamp on the wedding. What with him being a Sergeant in the Grenadier Guards and me being a classical ballet teacher, we felt it was necessary to incorporate this into the wedding.
What was your favourite part of your wedding? I loved every minute of the day- the excitement of getting ready, entering the church with the guard of honour, the adrenaline rush as I walked down the aisle and seeing Greg, seeing family and friends so happy on this occasion. One particular part of the day that stood out the most was the speeches. My dad had always said he was no good at speeches and would not be saying more than a few words. To my surprise he reeled out a great big speech full of laughter, emotion, and memories- he had the whole room in tears! It was then I realised how important this day was to him also. Greg of course, was the life and soul of the party as usual cracking out jokes left right and centre.
I also loved the performance from the dancers!
Tell us about your Wedding Dress I always knew that I wanted a princess style wedding dress. It sounds silly but I took inspiration from Kate Middleton & Cinderella!!!
Myself, mum and my maid of honour went to All About Eve in Newport. It was the first place we had chosen to go to so I didn’t get my hopes up about finding “the dress”.
At first I browsed through the dresses wincing at the price tags. I thought to myself “trust me to like the most expensive dresses”
I was walking through the sale section and mum picked up a dress which was reduced significantly. “How about this one?” She asked. I didn’t really think it was me but I decided to try it on anyway- low and behold it was PERFECT. I was in love, however it was damaged. All About Eve were fantastic and repaired the dress at no extra charge. It was as good as new, and you would never have guessed how damaged it had actually been! I definitely felt like a princess wearing it.
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why? There was no doubt in my mind to have my best friend of 21 years, Katie, as my maid of honour. I then had my sister in-law Cheryl as bridesmaid and my two little nieces as flower girls. Katie and Cheryl did a fantastic job of helping to organise the wedding and hen party.
Greg chose one of his oldest and closest friends Mike to be the best man. As well as helping to organise the wedding, he certainly provided great laughs on the actual day!
Why did you choose your venue? Miskin Manor had a lovely cosy feel about it. With its big log fires, cosy furniture and huntsman style, we knew it was perfect for our winter wedding on Valentine’s Day.
They were also very helpful and accommodating with our preferences.
How did the proposal happen? Greg and I had been together for 4 years when he proposed. We had spent the majority of that year purchasing and arranging to move into our house so our minds were completely focused on that……
It was moving day and I had gone to work. It was getting late when I arrived at our new home and all of the lights were off. My instant reaction was “I can’t believe he’s gone to the pub!” I put the key in the door to our new home and stared into the empty shell building. The floor had a pathway of fairy lights leading through the house and into the garden. I walked along the lit walkway my heart pounding and there Greg was. He was in the garden down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I immediately said yes, and fireworks went off! It was a very surreal moment and I was incredibly happy.
Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?
1 circle mirror plate.
2 wine glasses
1 champagne glass
3 roses (artificial or real)
1/2 bag of sparkly gems.
Turn the glasses upside down and place them on the mirror plate. Place a rose under each glass.
Put the candles on top of the glasses.
Scatter the gems around the plate.
Light the candles and you’re complete!
What was your first dance & why? We gathered the guests onto the dance floor at Miskin Manor and hushed them ready for their big surprise- the performance!
First the tap dancers came onstage and performed a fantastic routine- the gasps, awes and whistling from the guests was exactly the reaction we’d hoped for. The tap routine was then followed by a routine to Jai Ho from the more younger performers. This was then followed by a Spanish Ballet by the older performers.
During the Spanish Ballet I had to sneak off backstage ready for the grand opening into mine and Greg’s first dance. The Spanish ballet finished and the dancers formed an arch walkway as Boyce Avenues ‘teenage dream” came on. The final surprise was me walking through the archway to greet Greg for our first dance. The guests were in tears! I hadn’t planned to set everyone off into tears, however looking back on the pictures/videos, it was a particularly beautiful and emotional and also different entrance into a first dance!
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently? I wouldn’t have done anything differently.
Do you have any advice for future couples? Your day will go by in a flash. Amongst all of the excitement, take a moment to stand back, take in and appreciate your beautiful day with your new husband/ wife.
Nia & Kerry got married in Ty Horeb chapel at The Cawdor, Llandeilo on the 29th of December 2014 ~ a date that held a lot of significance to them because it would have been Nia’s grandparents’ 80th wedding aniversary, Nia & Kerry had a photo of them on their wedding day on the top table.
The wedding was photographed beautifully by Cwtch creator Maria Farrelly. We asked Nia & Kerry some questions about their big day.
What was your budget? We thought we could keep the budget under £15000 by doing a lot of things ourselves, but we soon realised we didn’t have the time to do everything, and things wouldn’t look half as good, so we left it to the professionals, therefore the budget did creep up!
How would you describe your wedding theme? We wouldn’t really say we had a theme as such. We both really like traditional classic styles which we tried to incorporate into the day. We have also done some travelling over the past few years so we wanted to include aspects of this in the day. We wanted lots of candles, so we decorated the ceremony venue (which is an old chapel) with hurricane vases, candelabras, fairy lights around the upstairs gallery and classic swags on aisle chairs. Outside we had a red carpet and rope barriers to remind us of our Hollywood trip! All male guests were asked to wear black tie. In the reception we had tall candelabras on tables decorated with deep red and ivory roses, deep red table runners and huge LOVE light letters surrounding our wedding cake! Our table names were our recent holiday destinations! In the lounge area we had floating candles with underwater flowers on the tables, Lindt chocolate trees and a huge wooden heart filled with Ferrero Rocher made to our colour theme. We added a sweet table for the evening filled with red/white/cream and silver sweets!
What was your favourite part of your wedding? It’s difficult to pick out one part as we loved the whole day! Everything went as planned, the weather was a perfect crisp winters day, the harpist and singer were fabulous, watching everyone have such a good time was lovely, it was truly amazing! Maybe if we really had to choose one part, it would be the actual ceremony as it was full of emotion, and more special to us being an actual wedding and not a civil ceremony.
Tell us about your Wedding Dress/Suit
Nia – Wedding dress shopping was not something I was looking forward to! I’m really not a dress person, but there was no doubt in my mind that I would wear a dress on my big day! My first visit to a bridal shop was an unplanned one, and Kerry was with me. Kerry basically dragged me in for a look! I found a dress I liked, Kerry forced me to try it on, and to be honest I would have been happy to buy it there and then so I didn’t have to do any more shopping, but I wanted my mother to see the dress first! I made an appointment to go back, this time taking my mother, sister and aunt with me, but no Kerry! Looking through the gowns again, I saw others that I liked, as well as the one I initially tried on! The original dress, again was lovely, but then I tried on the Justin Alexander, and there was no comparison! I knew it was definitely the one! And what was even better, Kerry hadn’t seen it!
Kerry- Kerry does not do dresses! Kerry wanted a nice fitted ivory suit. Finding this proved almost impossible! We searched the whole of Wales, and found nothing suitable! We decided to try Dyfed Menswear to ask if they could suggest a tailor. Emma was more than helpful, and solved our problem! Kerry was able to choose a style of suit she liked, choose the colour, lining, buttons etc. and they then sent the information to their suppliers in Germany who were able to make the suit for us.
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why? There was no choice to be made for the best man – it was going to be Kerry’s son Ashley. I didn’t want any bridesmaids, however we wanted our 3 little nephews – Daniel, Gruffydd and Owain as page boys. They all looked so handsome and did a great job, even Ashley with his speech!!
Why did you choose your venue? Choosing the venue was one of the easiest decisions we made. We absolutely love The Cawdor, the food is always amazing, and the traditional décor and wooden floors are what we love. When we first met with Mary and Georgina, with us being a same sex couple some people are still not comfortable with it, but they were so relaxed, and made us feel at ease straight away. The Cawdor also have an old chapel as their ceremony venue, which is just beautiful. From start to finish Mary and her staff were amazing. The Cawdor will always have a special place in our heart s.
How did the proposal happen? It was a lovely September evening and Kerry told me she had arranged to take me out for a meal – to a surprise location! We arrived at Dryslwyn castle! I wasn’t best pleased to learn that it was a picnic! Kerry knew I loved the place, and thankfully had packed appropriate shoes in the boot! We got to the top, and Kerry took me to the grand hall to set out the picnic! For some reason, Kerry didn’t eat much! After food I climbed up to look at the view through the old windows, and was aware that Kerry had climbed up behind to do the same. Kerry called my name, and when I turned round she was on one knee!
Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share? Kerry is a specialist wedding cake decorator. It was therefore obvious she would design our cake. It was an 8 tier cake, a tier for every year we have been together. This cake took over our whole kitchen! The only problem was, when we came to transport it, it was an inch too tall to get into the van! As this was the night before the wedding, it was too late to organise other transport! So Kerry took off the top tier, we transported it up, and she put it back together, redecorating it at the venue! My contribution to the cake was arranging a personalised cake topper to be made as a surprise! Kerry also made individual cupcakes for each guest, and we also made a donation to the Breast Unit in Llanelli as part of the favors.
What was your first dance & why? Our first dance was to ‘Cant take my eyes off you’ by Muse. We absolutely love Muse and their version of this song is awesome. We knew we wanted to do a dance that was a little different, which worked very well with their version. The last song of the night was a recording of Kerry singing ‘How long will I love’ you by Ellie Goulding. Anyone who knows Kerry, will confirm that she is always singing, so they organised her hen do at a recording studio! Kerry recorded this song for me as a surprise to end our perfect day!
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently? We wouldn’t change a single thing about the day! However if we had to do it all again we would definitely hire a videographer.
Do you have any advice for future couples? It’s your day, don’t get caught up trying to please everybody else! It’s all about you! Also don’t forget your budget! It’s so easy to get carried away with the added extras, set a limit and stick to it!
What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received? A good friend told us that whenever we feel upset with each other, to touch our wedding rings close our eyes and remember our perfect day! We thought this was sweet, and it’s worked so far!
What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding? In all honesty we loved the whole planning of it! It felt so amazing on the day to see all the hard work come together.
What was your least favourite thing about planning a wedding? The guest list! It was so difficult keeping the numbers down, and there is always someone you upset!