Saturday, 14 April 2012

Congratulations! Winner of Pocket Wedding Planner Book

We have a winner! Huge congratulations to ☆Emm04☆, who's won the newly released 'Pocket Wedding Planner' by Elizabeth Catherine Myers. Emma's got three weddings, so she'll need all the planning help she can get!

Packed with helpful wedding hints the book promises to save you hundreds, if not thousands of pounds on your wedding day. With chapters on choosing and booking your wedding venue, planning and organising the drinks and catering, wedding photographs and flowers, plus advice on choosing the bride's and bridesmaids' dresses, it'll become your wedding planning bible.

Click for more Before the Big Day Offers & Competitions - we've got more giveaways coming soon!

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Whimsical Hand-Drawn Wedding Invitations

As soon as I posted a picture of this gorgeous hand-drawn wedding stationery on my Facebook page, I had a huge response from brides, so I wanted to share it with all of you who haven't quite found us on Facebook yet. They have to be some of my favourite wedding invitations of all time! They even have a kite invitation...I reckon kites are going to be a huge wedding trend this time next year. Completely bespoke, and handmade by Etsy seller Ello There, I'm in love. For more kite-themed loveliness, check out my Pinterest boards.

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Friday, 13 April 2012

Wedding Beauty Advice - The Best Bridal Brows

{Posting by Julia Bowden, Before the Big Day's Hair & Make-up Expert} It's surprising how the smallest things can make the biggest difference to your wedding day beauty...that's why this post is devoted to getting the best bridal brows. How are yours looking? Mine were a serious bugbear as a teenager, thick and bushy - so I proceeded to pluck the living hell out the poor things! Thankfully mine grew back, but in my work as a professional make-up artist I see all sorts, including some seriously patchy brows. Either way don’t worry - help is at hand to make the very best of what you’ve got for your wedding day. This is a 2-step process. First, call in the experts, and second, make some simple purchases – I promise you won’t look back. It's really worth concentrating on your brows - the right look will give definition to your face, and shave years off your age – a MUST for your wedding day!

{Photo Credit} Chloé Browne of Caught the Light's pictures of Before the Big Day editor Georgia doing her own blusher for her wedding day. {Georgia - As you can see, I should have gone to a brow bar & asked Julia to do my wedding hair and make-up!}.

For fine, patchy or very blonde brows:
* Dying – visit an expert beautician because they'll create the perfect shape for you {you may need to have a patch test 24hrs before}. If you have little or no brows, a beautician can dye the micro-hairs on the skin, with very natural and believable results. The treatment will last a few weeks and you can always top up with a pencil or palette in between. Blink at Selfridges in London offer an excellent service.
* Pencils and eye brow palettes – if you’re a little more confident with DIY-shaping, you can use palettes and pencils to fill in patches and define your arches. For example,  No7 Eyebrow pencils {No. 1} or Smashbox Brow Tech To Go {No. 2} are very good.
**Top tip – drop a little toner into a brown eye shadow and use this wet to colour in the brows. Don’t use a solid line technique, instead paint on the hairs in an upward brushing motion for a more natural look.**

For thick, bushy or shapeless brows which need definition:
* Threading – this ancient Indian art uses twisted cotton to pluck and shape the brow. I can’t recommend this enough! Glow is a brilliant eyebrow bar - fast and professional.
**Top tip: Once you've had it done and you're happy with the result, take a picture and you can show the beautician in future so you get the exact shape that you want. Better still, take the beautician's name. I find getting your brows done is a little bit like having a hair cut!**
* Waxing – this is much quicker, and better if you have sensitive brows that feel the pinch of plucking! It's been around forever and is the more traditional way of shaping eyebrows. Visit any local beautician and enquire within.

My Must-Have Pre-Wedding Purchases
* Clear mascara gel to groom your brows. You don’t have to spend a fortune - Boots Natural Collection {No. 3} do a very good one that comes in a non see-through tube {I prefer this as once you’ve used clear mascara a few times it tends to discolour in the tube and look dirty!}. Start by brushing the brow upwards and then skimming across the top and down to neaten them up – this really makes a difference and makes you look perfectly groomed!
* A decent pair of tweezers – I recommend Tweezerman Slant Tweezers {No.4} to get those strays in between waxing or threading.

Enjoy !
JB x
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Bright Vintage Watercolour-Themed Wedding Shoot

As soon as I spotted this incredible wedding shoot over on wedding photographer, Jen Huang's blog, I knew I had to share the pictures with you. It's not just that the 'bride' is wearing one of my favourite wedding dresses from Saja Weddings, it's the sheer number of cakes! Imagine hosting a Marie Antoinette themed wedding, where all you serve is cake. It would be pretty off-the-wall, but everyone would remember your wedding for years to come. Other gorgeous details include the brides bright lipstick {very this season}, and pretty blush, the incredible turquoise earrings, and the flower crown she wears in some of the pictures. I'm also loving the antique sweet scales - such a fun vintage wedding detail to add to your wedding. These pictures were first featured on wedding blog Green Wedding Shoes. Don't miss all the wedding supplier links below.

Shoot Credits
* Floral Design & Concepts: Poppies and Posies Events
* Props & Styling: The Source and Eye
* Gowns: Saja Weddings
* Makeup & Hair: Nicole Deanne
* Cocktail Hour: MSCNYC
* Delectable treats: Enjoy Cupcakes
* Baubles: Mayu Bijoux
* Calligraphy: Paperfinger
* Brian Greenberg of Richard PhotoLab
* View the exclusive preview of this shoot at Green Wedding Shoes.

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Thursday, 12 April 2012

Rainbow Honeymoon Underwear

We don't often feature wedding or honeymoon underwear on Before the Big Day, but I couldn't help myself when I spotted this lovely rainbow selection from Fox & Rose. It would definitely be worth picking up a couple of these pretty sets for your romantic honeymoon. Which one would you pick? I'm loving the yellow Eberjey set {second from the left}. I'd also want to buy this kaftan, for my beachside lounging {from}.

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Wedding Personal Training - Top Wedding Mini-Workouts

{Posting by Alice Cowen, Before the Big Day's Personal Trainer & Nutritionist} In the run up to the summer wedding season, I'm always hearing excuses from brides-to-be that they have no time to exercise. With favours and flowers to organise, and table plans to design, I'm not surprised you're feeling busy, but there's always time for those all-important mini wedding workouts. All you need to do is work out how to squeeze them into your daily routine, and you'll love how they help you drop those extra pounds. Below the pic are my Lucky 13 Top Wedding Mini-Workouts.

{Photo Credit} Ben Field Photography via Heart Love Weddings

1. Use the stairs instead of the escalators or lifts
2. Walk or cycle to work {get off the tube one stop earlier}
3. Ditch your cleaner and get scrubbing your house
4. In front of the TV in the evenings, do 20 press ups, and 40 crunches every evening
5. Go out for your lunch break for a half hour walk
6. Use your weekends well - go to the gym, or take up a sport with your husband-to-be
7. When you go out to a club, don't sit and drink, get up and get down on the dance floor
8. Get gardening, grow your own fresh veg
9. Don't fight for a parking spot as close to your destination as possible, park a little further away and WALK
10. When going on a date with your fiance or with girlfriends, don't book a lunch or coffee, instead suggest doing something active {yoga, swim, bike ride, horse ride}
11. Need the toilet and you work in a big building? Choose one on a different floor and walk up the stairs.
12. While dinner is cooking, pick up your dumbbells and do 10 minutes of strength training
13. Go to bed earlier, get up earlier and go for a 15 minute jog

P.S. If you really want to drop the pounds, and you've only got a few months to go, try a long weekend at my amazing Bootique personal training house in Majorca. Stay in 5 star luxury whilst enjoying a tailor made fitness and wellbeing regime. Come for a week, and you could loos 8lbs!


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Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Real French Vintage Wedding: Melanie & Matt - Part 2

Time for part two of this fabulous Before the Big Day inspired French wedding. It's detail time people! Lovely bride, Melanie found tonnes of wedding ideas on Before the Big Day, and you can see them {and more much}, in the fabulous wedding style. I'm loving the linen table cloths teamed with antique crocheted mats, the vintage spoon table names and the pots of herbs. If you look closely, you can see that every person received a miniature lantern as a wedding favour, labelled with a vintage luggage tag, plus two strands of lavender, as a nod to the French Provencal venue. Other stealworthy ideas include the amazing antique mirror table plan, the DIY lace-wrapped jam-jars, and the gorgeous fabric pom pom decorations, designed {and now sold} by Melanie on her fantastic website Belle Pom-Pom. Fabulous pictures published with thanks to the hugely talented W Scott Chester. The venue was Ferme St Martin, booked via Owners Direct.

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Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Before the Big Day on the BBC World Service

Easter Monday was a very exciting day for Before the Big Day, because we made our first appearance on the radio! The producers on the Newshour programme on the BBC World Service invited me to take part in a discussion about flashmob proposals. I'm not too keen on the idea of all-singing, all-dancing wedding proposals, and I disagreed with the lovely Staci from FlashMob America, who helps organise flashmob proposals. It was a sparky, fun discussion, and you can click to listen again just below the picture! Watch a few of the most amusing, and embarrassing Flashmob Proposals here.

{Picture Credit} Lovely pastel radio picture by Simply Hue Designs

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Real French Vintage Wedding: Melanie & Matt

It's always pretty special when a bride gets in touch with a Before the Big Day inspired wedding! Lovely Melanie regularly read Before the Big Day for wedding ideas ahead of her incredible Provence wedding last June. Inspired by my wedding mood board of natural linen, lavender and olive sprigs, Before the Big Day also inspired her to DIY her wedding details, and create a special, individual atmosphere without spending a fortune. One thing they did splash out on was their incredible wedding photographer - W Scott Chester, who flew all the way out to France to take some truly fabulous pictures. I've divided this wedding in two, because there are just so many pictures to show you - take a look at the ceremony and portrait pictures here, and I'll publish the wedding details {so many} tomorrow. My favourite details? Melanie's gorgeous lace wedding dress, the lavender confetti, Matt's colour-pop wedding tie, and the super cool vintage Ferrari. It's the best wedding photo prop I've ever seen! Don't miss Melanie's fantastic website Belle Pom-Pom. She started making fabric poms for her own wedding decorations, and now she sells and hires them to other brides and grooms. We love a wedding inspired business!

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