Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Real Spanish Flamenco-Style Wedding

Cherries and a flamenco-style wedding dress = me in heaven. This incredible Basque country wedding took place in San Sebastian, home of more Michelin starred restaurants per capita than Paris. So not only is it an incredibly beautiful town, but the food is amazing. The happy couple chose wedding dream-team Lisa Vorce {planner}, Mindy Rice {florist} and photographer {Aaron Delesie} to create their perfect wedding, and didn't they do a fabulous job! I'm loving the beautiful old-fashioned stationery in grey, the French lavender and kumquat tree table decorations, and the traditional dancers outside the church. It's always wonderful when you include local traditions in your wedding. And have you spotted the fantastic welcome bag in the last picture? It looks so tempting - and presents are a great way to welcome your guests, particularly if they've travelled a long way.


Monday, 22 September 2014

Original Vintage-style Wedding Stationery

Yippee! Boutique British graphic designers are finally getting in on the wedding stationery scene. I'm all about using independent wedding suppliers, and Vintage Designs are a humdinger! The lovely Andrew works from his home in Oxfordshire with trusty partner in crime, Alfie the Labrador. I think Alfie probably does most of the work, but Andrew insists that he studied design and photography at university, and that's one of the reasons why his work is so beautiful. I'm obsessed with the old-skool style typography and illustrations in his invitations, with my favourite design of all the one with the peas. Which is yours?





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Friday, 19 September 2014

Wedding Beauty Preparation: Do’s and Don’ts

{Posting by Julia Bowden, Before the Big Day's Hair & Make-up Expert} Any wedding lead up is stressful. How's yours ticking along? So many things to remember, and I bet you have lists coming out of your ears. That's why this week I thought I'd take one task off your hands and create your very own Wedding Beauty Do's and Don'ts Check List. It's sure to keep you on the straight and narrow as you prepare to walk up the aisle.

{Photo Credit} Julia's make-up brushes!

DO
Have lots of make-up trials at beauty counters. Whether you’re doing your own wedding make-up or hiring a professional, this will freshen up your product knowledge, and help you understand what looks and feels right and wrong. Why not get a trial at MAC, Bobbi Brown, Estée Lauder, Lancôme or Laura Mercier? Often you can redeem the cost of your wedding make-over against product purchases.

DON'T
Use products on your wedding morning that you haven't practiced or trialled first. You're risking allergy, colour, and comfort issues on your wedding day.

DO
Get a wedding make-up trial {if you’re going with a professional}, as close to your wedding day as you can. There's no point having a trial a year in advance, as the look won't be fresh in your mind. You want to be able to discuss any last minute changes with your wedding make-up artist with confidence.

DON'T
Try a crazy new make-up look for your wedding day. It's great to experiment, but make sure you feel comfortable with the look you have chosen. On their wedding day, brides should look like a more polished and shiny version of themselves, NOT like someone completely different.

DO
Experiment with professional brow shaping and lash implants two to three months before your big day. This means you'l have time for re-growth or tweaking if anything doesn't go to plan first time.

DON'T
Get a fake tan a few days before for your wedding day. As with brows and lashes – experiment a few months in advance so you know exactly how you look, with fake sun-kissed skin.

{Photo Credit} Wedding Hair & wedding make-up by Julia Bowden Weddings

DO
Leave plenty of time on your wedding morning. Your make-up artist should plan this with you, but if you're doing your own wedding make-up you can never underestimate how quickly time passes on a wedding morning. Allow 2 hours for your hair and make-up, and an hour each for mothers and bridesmaids. This way you are bound to have some contingency time. Always aim to be ready and in your dress 30 minutes before you are meant to leave for the ceremony.

DON'T
Worry if you feel caked in make-up and you're not used to it! No-one is going to be studying your face up close, it's all about the overall look – and you need those extra touches to make you stand out in photos.

DO
Think about the time of year and the setting. Summer or winter, indoor or outdoor – make-up can be tailormade to suit. For example, a candlelit wedding would suit a more dramatic sparkling look, whereas bright summer sunshine requires softer wedding make-up.

DON’T
Squeeze any spots, or go for facials a few days before the wedding. Your wedding make-up artist will be very experienced in covering blemishes, so leave it to the expert. Facials are great but can drag out the impurities, so you may end up making your skin temporarily worse.

DO
Create your very own bridal beauty scrap book. Once you start it'll become addictive, and you’ll soon learn exactly the kind of wedding make-up and wedding hair you like. This will also helpyour wedding make-up artists at the trial stages. Take a look at Pinterest – it's an online scrapbook with thousands of wedding ideas.



{Photo Credit} Funky Photographers

DO
Get a touch up kit for the day - foundation, cover up, powder, anti-shine, mascara, liner, lips and blush – they're an absolute must…just get your bridesmaid to carry it for you on your wedding day!

DO
Analyse your skin a few months before your wedding day so you have time to address any issues you may have. There are plenty of solutions out there, from a brilliant moisturiser to a quick trip to the doctor – whatever it is, get it sorted and under control in advance!

DO
Get a reputable professional on board to do your make-up if you want a wedding make-up artist on the day. Love Hair is a fantastic agency providing an excellent wedding service for bridal hair and make-up. Make sure you take lots of pictures once you are happy with the end result, and ask your stylist for a list of products they used so you can pick them up for your touch up kit. You may end up with me on the day, as I'm one of their wedding make-up artists. Alternatively, you can book me direct - do get in touch.

Good luck! JB x


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Thursday, 24 July 2014

Enchanting South African Garden Wedding with DIY Details

Celebrating your wedding in your parents' garden has got to be one of the best ways to say I do. Personal, meaningful and a lot less pricey than a hired venue, you can start your preparations months before your big day. And when your parents' garden happens to be a gorgeous jungly South African affair, like Louis and Nadine's, then you'd be crazy to do it anywhere else! I'm loving all their sweet wedding details, including the simple gingham ribbon decorations and napkins, the ceramic hanging altar-area, and the speech bubble table plans. We need more speech bubbles at weddings! Also loving the tulip garden decorations, streamer confetti and cool safari-style tent marquee. Most of all I love how happy Louis and Nadine look to be a Mr and Mrs. Fabulous photographs published with thanks to the hugely talented We Love Pictures - our favourite South African photographers.


Tuesday, 22 July 2014

A Pretty Pastel Wedding with a Vera Wang Gown

A wedding in paradise is a pretty good start to married life! This heavenly Hawaiian wedding has made me wish for warmer climes and a beachside big day. I'm loving the breezy blue-grey bridesmaid dresses {by Jenny Yoo}, bride Tracy's stunning ruffled Vera Wang gown and the fabulous outdoor ceremony. Add the white peony bouquets, and orchids in Tracy's hair, and this wedding ticks every one of my boxes. Fabulous pictures published with thanks to the lovely Jen Huang Photography.


Monday, 21 July 2014

Vintage-Style Wedding Drinks Dispenser

One of my favourite details at our wedding in Provence, was our signature cocktail. We actually had two - a Georgia Peach Bellini {because I love bellinis} and a Moscow Mule, because they're refreshing and my husband's favourite cocktail. We served the peach bellinis during the day reception, and saved the mules {accessorised with striped straws and mint} for the dancing in the evening. We had waiting staff, but I love the idea of making your signature cocktail self-service with these fab vintage-style wedding drinks dispensers from Papermash. Just add some of their geometric paper cups in your wedding colour palette, and some pretty striped straws or DIY flag drinks' stirrers, and you'll have the prettiest cocktails in the world! Do check out Papermash's Sale - it's on now, and its a good 'un!


{I want this!} 1. Wedding Drinks Dispenser, £50 | 2. Paper Cups, £3.95 for 8, both from Papermash

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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Reasonable Wedding Dress Series

My nanny's getting married, and she's looking for a wedding dress for under £1000. Probably well under £1k, but you'd be astonished how difficult it is to get under that magic number. I'm ashamed to admit that at first, I was no help at all. As a wedding blogger, I find that most of my posts are about dream wedding gowns, rather than the nitty, gritty practicals of actually paying for one. I did write a couple of posts about how to buy a designer wedding gown for less, but in the three years since I've been writing this blog, I've only featured a few reasonable designers - Minna and some great Etsy sellers like Truvelle & Rowan Joy. But now that's all set to change, as I've been doing my research, and coming up with a great selection of wedding dress designers in the UK who don't try and rip you off at every turn. Stay tuned for the amazing Before the Big Day Reasonable Wedding Dress Series!


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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Introducing Linus Moran Wedding Photography

There are so many brides and grooms who hate having their photograph taken! It must make the job of a wedding photographer seriously difficult - after all, the more relaxed a subject, the better they look. If you're awkward in front of the camera, then I recommend a reportage-style photographer like Linus Moran Photography. Linus is based in Dorset, and he's known for his natural, candid style. You'll hardly notice he's there, and that's how he gets the best shots of his subjects - when they least expect it! Equally, if you want the formal group photographs and detail pictures, he's just as skilled. Linus uses mostly natural light, to avoid those 'caught in the flashlight' moments, and his albums document the whole of your big day in all its beauty. I'm a massive fan, and I'm sure you will be too - just take a look at these gorgeous shots, and of course his blog. Linus' packages start from £995, and he's happy to travel across the UK and abroad.

 

 






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Saturday, 12 July 2014

An Outdoor DIY Wedding with a Cream Tea Reception

Any bride looking to keep her wedding within a sensible budget is going to L-O-V-E this inspirational big day. Kelly and Gavin flashed their cash where it mattered - i.e. venue and wedding photographer, but kept everything else wallet friendly, by searching for bargains and DIY-ing many of their wedding details. You'll love their handmade stationery, bunting, decorations and hand-picked wedding flowers. And I'm slightly obsessed with their chocolate wedding cake, with its personalised bunting. More fabulous details on how Kelly and Gavin saved money on their wedding outfits in Part 1 - in the meantime, enjoy these stunning shots by Linus Moran Photography.


My husband got down on one knee in Venice to pop the question. Two years to the day, we tied the knot at Kingston Maurward stately home, in Dorset, on March the 16th 2014.



After seeing several different venues Kingston Maurward ticked all the boxes, with the chance of an outdoor wedding I've always dreamed of having. Both being artistic, we enjoyed making as many things as possible. 




Friday, 11 July 2014

An Outdoor DIY Wedding with a Cream Tea Reception

Back in my teenage years, we used to go to these amazing parties at Kingston Maurward in Dorset. I have fond memories of the incredible stately rooms, and stunning grounds, including a tranquil lake and arboretum. So it was a wonderful blast from the past to receive Linus Moran's stunning photographs of Kelly and Gavin's wedding. The happy couple chose Kingston Maurward as their wedding venue, and despite getting married in March, managed to have an amazing outdoor ceremony, in the bright spring sunshine. Just goes to show you should always think positive about the weather! Kelly and Gavin love a bargain, and were keen to DIY as many of their wedding details as possible. You'll love their wedding flowers, sweet trees, table stationery, and all their pretty decoration details, including pompoms and bunting. What's more, Kelly's Benjamin Roberts wedding gown only cost £250. Find out more in her answers to the Before the Big Day Bride's Questionnaire, and enjoy Linus Moran's fantastic wedding photographs....more to come from their reception later today.


My husband got down on one knee in Venice to pop the question. Two years to the day, we tied the knot at Kingston Maurward stately home, in Dorset, on March the 16th 2014.


My wedding dress was from Preloved, a Benjamin Roberts wedding dress that should have been £1700, selling for £250. I fell in love with it, and it fitted like a glove. I love a bargain!




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