Wedding Fayre This Sunday

This Sunday Weddings by Rachel will be at the Eternity with Love wedding fayre at The Bear, Cowbridge. As a special offer at the wedding fayre, we will be offering a 10% discounts for consultations and bookings made on the day!

We will also be offering great offers for Eternity With Love’s members!

Come and see us and have a chat about how we can work with you to create a bespoke, unique and personal day for you both within your budget, saving you money along the way!

Three Great Wedding Venues in South Wales

It can be so difficult to find the perfect wedding venue, especially when you are looking for something a little bit different. Here are three of Wedding by Rachel’s favourite South Wales wedding venues for couples looking for something a bit out of the norm.

Pencoed House

This is a beautiful venue with the option of a fantastically refurbished barn or space for a marquee. The manicured gardens make for excellent photographs and the buildings themselves are breathtaking. There’s even a little cottage on site for the bride and groom to stay in for the weekend!

Photos from Gary and Sue Photography.

Porthmawr Country House

Another exclusive venue, Porthmawr Country House is in the centre of Crickhowell although you would think it is in a world of its own. The spectacular views allow for wonderful photos and the ceremony area leads onto the perfect area for a marquee for larger weddings.

Fonmon Castle

This breathtaking castle in Rhoose is the perfect place for a fairytale wedding. The building itself is one of my favourites in the area and the interior is just as outstanding. Very traditional, this is ideal for any couple looking for something a little bit different.

What About The Groom?

So much focus is put onto the bride and bridesmaids (and rightly so), but what about the groom and his groomsmen? They’re important enough to be involved (after all, you are marrying him!), so don’t forget him in the fashion stakes!

Grooms, Weddings by Rachel suggest following some of these tips when you and your fiancée select outfits for yourself and your gents.

Complement, don’t match, the bride

This is one day on which you want to look confident and completely at ease, and you can’t do this if you are decked out in some costume that just isn’t ‘you’.

Whilst it is a nice touch to match the colours of the men’s accessories to the wedding colours, you don’t have to have all the groomsmen wearing matching pink cummerbunds and bowties simply because the bridesmaids are wearing pink. Dark shades of blue, green or grey look better on men.

It is important, though, that the groom’s outfit complements that of the bride, so it is advisable to delay your choice until the bride has decided what she is wearing. Of course we all know the groom shouldn’t see the bride in her dress before the day, but she is allowed to give you some clues as to the choice of outfit that would tie in with what she is wearing.

Tradition has always dictated that the groom, best man, ushers and fathers of the bride and groom should dress in similar fashion. These outfits need not be identical, but should reflect the same theme and colour scheme.

It would be inappropriate, for instance, to have the groom wearing a morning suit and his attendants dressed in tuxedos. The fathers of the bride and groom are, sadly, often overlooked and it is important to ensure that they also know exactly what the dress code is and what is expected of them, to ensure that they are appropriately dressed.

Obviously, when trying to dress a large number of men in a similar fashion, it is usually easier to hire all the outfits. If you are planning to follow this route, it is a good idea to obtain them from one hiring company, to ensure that they are all the same shade. Also, to guarantee that your choice will be available, don’t leave it too late to book the outfits you require.

Over the years, companies that hire out men’s apparel have increased their selection and now offer a much bigger choice, ranging from white and charcoal lounge suits to single- or double-breasted tuxedos, mandarin suits, frock-coats, morning suits etc.

However, you do have to bear in mind that you are limited by what is available for hire and if you are wanting a particular colour or style, you might have to resort to having it made up for you.

The general rule regarding what is appropriate to wear is as follows:

  • Tuxedos – suitable for the more formal evening wedding, as are frock-coats
  • Lounge suits – appropriate for a day wedding or a less formal evening event
  • Morning suits – worn for formal morning weddings and not evening affairs
  • Blazers and chinos – suitable for a less formal morning wedding, or a casual wedding on the beach.

One way to differentiate the groom from his entourage is to provide him with a buttonhole of a different colour. His tie could also be a slightly different colour, but still tone in with those of the rest of his party. (It is advisable, though, to buy the ties at the same time, to ensure that the colours match and do remember to include ties for the fathers). All of this should prevent being faced on the day with a plethora of multi-coloured neckwear on display – definitely not what you need on your wedding photographs!

If you are investing in a new pair of shoes for your wedding, it is wise to spend a bit of time ‘breaking them in’ around the house before the day. Remember that if you are having an evening wedding, you are going to be on your feet for at least eight hours and if your shoes are uncomfortable, it will show on your face.

If you are having a church wedding, in which case you will probably have to kneel, remember to check the soles of your shoes to ensure that there are no forgotten price stickers lurking there.

The Pros and Cons of a Marquee Wedding

Four reasons for wedding marquee hire

1. Starting with a blank canvas for your wedding theme and decorations is one of the best reasons to wedding marquee hire. You aren’t restricted by the decor or style of your wedding venue, and can design your own scheme with lighting and coloured or patterned drapes, producing the venue of your dreams.

2. Wedding marquees come in a variety of sizes, and as long as you can fit it into the space, you can hire whatever size you need. This means that you can hire a marquee based on your ideal guest list rather than having to limit your guest list to fit in with the restrictions of your venue.

3. It’s possible to change the layout of a marquee simply by adding screens or curtains, so you can decide whether you want a separate area for your drinks and food. You can also section off the dance floor and decorate it differently to the rest of the marquee to make a dramatic impact when the band starts to play and the curtains are pulled back. A marquee is a flexible option; for example you can take off the sides if the weather is really good, or lay down flooring if it rains the night before the wedding.

4. Marquee hire can be a relatively low cost compared with venue hire. Assuming you are using your own garden and don’t have to hire a garden or park, the marquee hire should work out cheaper than reception venue hire unless you want every mod con included. As you won’t have to use the caterers and drinks provided by a venue, you should be able to save some money on food and alcohol.

Four reasons to think twice about hiring a wedding marquee

1. A marquee is a seasonal venue and works best in spring or autumn. It is no surprise then that these are the most expensive seasons to hire a marquee. It is possible to hold a marquee wedding in summer or winter, but you will need plenty of extras such as air conditioning, heating, or flooring to make your guests comfortable.

2. Hiring a marquee also means hiring the facilities that go with it. Your list may include tables and chairs, tableware, a dance floor, a stage, a sound system, lighting, a power supply, and guest toilets.

3. Having a home based marquee wedding means added responsibilities for you and your new husband, or your families. If you hire a wedding venue you can leave all the mess for the venue to clear up, but if you have a marquee in the garden, the chances are you will need to do at least some of the tidying and cleaning before your marquee supplier arrives to dismantle it.

4. Wedding receptions do generate a lot of noise especially if you are hiring a live band, or even a DJ. Marquees aren’t sound proof so if you are having the reception in your garden you may risk upsetting your neighbours, especially if you aren’t inviting them! You will certainly have to restrict the reception to finish at a certain time out of respect for your neighbourhood.

Booking your wedding transport

There are a lot of details to consider when you look to book your wedding transport. Use some of these tips to help you make your decisions and book a company that you feel comfortable with.

Contact Weddings by Rachel today for further support with your wedding planning and a completely free, no obligation consultation.


The company you contact will want to know fine details about your journey such as collection addresses and times. Have this handy! Think about how much time you would like your chauffeur and vehicle to be in attendance as this is a vital part of the costing – if you’re unsure just talk to the company who will be happy to guide you.

Book early

Wedding cars get booked up quickly so if you have your heart set on something do book it straight away.

See the car

When you have decided what car you want to book arrange a time with the company to go and see it. If for any reason they refuse or avoid you seeing the car, walk away!

When you go, you can always ask to see a copy of their insurance, public liability and MOT certificate for the vehicle if you feel more comfortable. There is no reason that they shouldn’t be able to show you this.

Before the day

So, you’ve booked your car – and the chauffeur has taken a deposit and you are just a month away from your wedding day.

Give the company a call and confirm the booking. Make sure they have the correct date and time and they plan to send the same vehicle you have booked. If you have a wedding planner, they will do this for you.

Finally, the day before, make another call. Check all the details with the company again and confirm the venue and payment details.

Contacting the driver

Emotions will be flowing and you’ll be excited – but it is very important you take the drivers mobile number so you can find him when you need him if you have a returned journey booked. Try and do this before you arrive at the venue. Again, this will be done by the wedding planner if you have one.

Our Work…

At Weddings by Rachel we have recently updated our portfolio to include some of the summer’s weddings. We have picked a varied selection of weddings to give you an idea of the vast options available to you.

To view our portfolio, click here.

We would love to help your wedding dreams become reality as we did with these weddings. Contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation.

Adding A Touch Of Magic…

Thank you to Jon Holt for his guest blog for Weddings by Rachel.

Congratulations! You’ve decided to get married – yay! Have you got a venue in mind, a dress you love and a husband that you can put up with for 50 years? Excellent. Now, to plan the wedding…

No matter how well you plan everything, there’s always something that niggles inside your head. Just something little, but something…

It may be one of these:

* Are you worried about guests not mingling when the arrive for the wedding?

* Is there someone that you think will be shy and need someone to help them break the ice?

* Do you want to relax while you are having your photo’s taken, without having to rush back to keep your guests happy?

* Do you want to get your guests laughing between courses of the wedding breakfast?

* Do you have any ‘gaps’ in your day that you worry about?

* Do you worry that you may need something to cover for any delays

* Are you worried that some entertainment needs a large space, stage or lighting set up?

* Are you unsure if you’re wedding is going to be indoors or out?

* Are you looking for some entertainment between the meal and the evening disco, something to keep the energy and excitement levels up?

* Do you want something totally flexible, totally unique and versatile that it will be able to work around your day and still entertain your guests, even with those last minute changes?

It’s little things like these that you can’t possibly account for that often worry us most. Let me show you how a magician at your wedding can help:

Are you worried about guests not mingling or being shy as they arrive for the wedding?

A close up magician can bring people together with a trick, without it being a daunting formal introduction. After a few moments of magic, the group is more relaxed and a rapport has built among members. They have a shared experience and have had a good time together – a strong rapport building technique.

Do you want to relax while you are having your photo’s taken, without having to rush back to keep your guests from getting bored?

Rather than worrying about your guests being bored or having nothing to do, while you’re waiting for that perfect pose with Aunty Edna, I can be mingling with your guests, keeping them entertained with magic. It won’t seem like a long wait for them as they laugh and have a great time, so you spend as long as you like waiting for that perfect picture.

Do you want a great atmosphere at your wedding breakfast?

Wedding breakfasts can be quite daunting. You may worry about people getting on with strangers at tables, but magic can help create a great atmosphere by getting people laughing between courses of the meal. It can also be a great way to cover for any delays that there may be between courses, so you’ve no need to worry.

Do you have any ‘gaps’ in your day that you worry about?

A gap between the meal and the evening disco is one that could be filled with magic to keep the energy and excitement levels up. Having a close up magician walk round, entertaining small groups can stop you worrying about your guests having nothing to do. This is just one example of a gap in the day that you may worry about. Having a truly versatile performer, such as a magician, means that they can suit their performance to YOUR needs, allowing you to relax and enjoy your day.

Close up magic is a unique form of entertainment. A good magician knows to develop an act that is portable and truly versatile. Myself, I work entirely from my pockets, so I do not need any special table space or lighting. I can work indoors or outdoors, so I can adapt to those last minute changes without any trouble. My material is also family friendly, with the emphasis on humour, though no-one is made to look foolish (aside from me!).

You can see what great peace of mind magic has to offer. As a versatile form of entertainment, able to adapt to all demographics, I don’t think it can be beat. When performed well, it can adapt to anything you have to throw at it, and still come out leaving your guests laughing after having such a memorable time at YOURwedding day.

If you’re looking to create a fantastic atmosphere and take the worry out of YOUR wedding, give me a call!

Downton Abbey Style Wedding

With the new season of Downton Abbey kicking off recently with a big wedding, you may be inspired to create your own Edwardian themed wedding.

In order to do this it is important to follow some essential style tips and follow in the footsteps of Downton Abbey.

First, the dress! An empire waist with lace and beading is almost essential for the Downton bride. Personally, I love this dress from Catherine Deane which is simply gorgeous made with silk satin and edged with antique silver beads and pearls.


When accessorising you may wish to look at some little lace cuffs as these are a very vintage touch. Don’t worry if you’re not fussed on wearing a veil, think about a different headpiece instead. Headwear was all the rage then so it is important to incorporate something here, but it may be a small piece if you are going for an elaborate hairstyle.

Dress your gorgeous groom in a three piece suit with tails and opt for a cravat. And opt for your little bridesmaids to match your colour.

Church weddings were the only option in Edwardian times, but if you want to opt for a civil ceremony, try to pick a venue in keeping with your theme. For your reception why not consider hiring out an old Edwardian house

Even though you’re going vintage, don’t be afraid to add colour. Keep it simple, but a splash of colour can make all of the difference. Try to work lace or feathers into the theme, but simplicity really is key here, work with the motto that ‘less is more’.

When looking at transport opt for an old Beauford. You can hire these from most local wedding transport companies and they are quite reasonable. Personally I love this one from Kennedy Classics in Cardiff.


For more ideas and to discuss how you can make your Downton Abbey wedding become reality, contact Weddings by Rachel today.

Let’s pick a date!

A big thank you to Sophie from Couture Candy for her guest blog for Weddings by Rachel!

So, you’re getting married. Congratulations!


Your boyfriend has finally proposed (or maybe you did – you go girl!), friends and family have been told, happy tears have been shed and there’s a sparkling ring on your finger that you can’t help but show off at every opportunity.


So what now?


First things first, you need to choose a date. That’s got to be simple, right? With 365 dates to choose from it can be anything but simple.  So where do you start?


Maybe you’ve already got a date is mind; the date you met, the first time you said ‘I love you’ or maybe the anniversary of your engagement. Or maybe you have absolutely no idea!


First, pick a season; Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter.  Do you want to have a winter wedding with snow, Christmas trees and shades of red, green and gold or a spring wedding with pastel colours and flowers newly in bloom? Seasons can affect the price of your wedding, with the summer months usually requiring a bigger budget, so if you’re looking for a budget wedding stay clear of the traditional wedding dates. Christmas, Bank holidays and Valentine’s day also attract premium prices and are usually booked up years in advance – be prepared for a lengthy engagement!


With your season chosen you can start to narrow down your choice of date but there are still factors to be taken into consideration. Does anyone in your immediate family have a birthday / wedding / anniversary on your chosen date? If so, it may be better to stay clear of that date to avoid clashing with anything they have planned. It’s impossible however to try and take into account the schedule of every guest you would like to attend and sadly there may be someone who cannot attend because of you chosen date.


If your friends are teachers, avoid weekday dates during school term time. Got a lot of friends who work within the financial sector? Avoid the end of the tax year to ensure their attendance.


At the end of the day however, your wedding date needs to be important to the two most important people; you and your fiancé.  It will be a date that is forever etched into your memory (well hopefully anyway – don’t want any forgotten anniversary arguments!) and it needs to be a date that you are both happy with. Whatever date you pick there may have to be some compromise if the venue you want is fully booked; which are you prepared to compromise on?


I picked Thursday 5th April 2012 as my wedding date. It was the Thursday before the long Easter bank holiday weekend which meant we got almost 18 months to plan everything, received discounts on most of the services we booked and guests got to enjoy a long weekend with us after our special day.


So for those of you who are newly engaged and trying to decide upon your date be prepared to be asked ‘Have you picked your date yet?” about 100 times every day for the first couple of months. But don’t be rushed. Everything else will depend upon the date you decide and as long as you give your guests plenty of notice of your date (send those ‘Save the Date’ cards ASAP) you’ll have everyone who is important to you sharing in your most happy of days.

Wedding planning is not for the faint hearted

Thank you to Clare from My Wedding Website for being a guest blogger for Weddings by Rachel!

Most Brides love to plan their wedding day to military precision. Myself included Christmas 2010. A number of our Guests were coming from Ireland, which left me with all the usual things a Bride has to organise, plus trying to sort out places for everyone to stay, lifts to and from the airport/ church, venue etc! Our beautiful invites started to get very full and more and more expensive as extra inserts were required for flights, directions, information on the venue, even different Wedding lists, as in Ireland almost all Wedding gifts are monetary, and they don’t tend to use Wedding Guest lists with retailers, as we do here. Postage was creeping up and up!!! Then the stressful job of waiting for RSVP’s to come back before final numbers were confirmed. I’m guilty myself of not sending RSVP’s back on-time, but never not sending them at all. However many Guests didn’t see the need to bother or forgot or left it too late! With the odd text, phone-call saying “we’ll be there” it was difficult to keep track. Then the numerous phone calls came in the run up to our big day with questions, all of which were in black and white (in our case) on our invites! The frustration!!

So all this got me thinking, and since then I came up with an idea to makes a Brides job a little easier and less stressful.

Hence, by Clare, was born.

With my 10+ years’ experience in Advertising, I decided to put my passion for Weddings and Design to good use by creating & designing stunning, completely bespoke wedding websites which shares all and any wedding information in one place, and allows guests to RSVP online. And if you have to include a map why spoil your lovely invites, I use google maps. Also, let’s face it when else will you get to have your own custom built bespoke website with unique web address personal to you and your new husband to be! You deserve the best on your wedding day!

I can work to any design and colour scheme a nearly-wed couple has, and why not include some fantastic quirky animations to entertain your Guests? Maybe your own love tree, or if Butterfly’s are your thing, they can happily flutter on your wedding website too (check out my own site where you’ll also get to meet your wedding fairy, see  for even more animations!)

You could even surprise your guests by adding some music to your wedding website, perhaps the Wedding March. Annoying if your Guests decide to make a sly visit in work, but fun nevertheless 😉

This is the opportunity to bring your wedding ideas/themes to life, and a great way to interact with your Guests. The possibilities are endless. Plus if there are any last minute changes to your day, just update your wedding website. A real must for saving time and money!