Friday, 27 December 2013

Cute, Bright DIY Wedding Decorations

DIY brides who are looking for an original way to decorate their wedding venue are in for a treat. How about pom-poms? Not your standard wedding tissue poms, but woollen pom-poms like those you normally find on the end of a bobble hat! You could make garlands out of them, or add one to each table setting as  wedding favour with bags of playful personality. You could make them in every size or colour imaginable - all you need is wool, cardboard, a pair of scissors, this tutorial, and a lot of time on your hands! If you're not all that interested in DIY wedding projects, then check out these gorgeous garlands from Milla Love. All the beauty with none of the work.

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Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Snowy Wedding Inspiration with Hot Pink Accents

Two of our friends celebrated their wedding in the show, and although it caused more than a few travel headaches, it made for one of the most romantic weddings ever. So when I stumbled across this gorgeous snowy wedding shoot by fabulous photographer, Amy Carroll, I knew I had to share it with my lovely wedding blog friends. Just check out how dramatic the hot pink looks against the snow, and the glamour and luxury of the furs. I'm also loving the gold details on the buttonhole, and the fabulous spotty bow-tie. Let's start a wedding mini-trend for bow-ties on grooms - they're such a fun detail, and they'd make your boy stand out from the crowd. Throw in a cute dog and a baby coat, and I'm in wedding-heaven!

Friday, 20 December 2013

Cheap & Cheerful Wedding Favours

Sweetie bars and biscuit bars have become a hugely popular at weddings. Guests are usually encouraged to fill a bag with their goodies and take them home as wedding favours. It's a brilliant idea, because it doesn't cost much {you can even bake your own biscuits}, and people always appreciate favours they can eat! Add a splash of colour with these fun striped paper bags. They're a great way to package sweeties, and en masse, they look really effective. Just add twine. Pick up paper bags from eBay super-cheap.

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Thursday, 19 December 2013

My Three Top Honeymoon Destinations

Right now I'm feeling sick with jealousy, as at least three couples I know are sunning themselves in either the Caribbean or Costa Rica. I almost can't look at Instagram, in the fear that another gorgeous shot of palm trees, will make me go green-eyed and grumpy. So I thought I'd get it all out of my system with a feature about the best beach honeymoon destinations. My husband and I were lucky enough to go travelling before we got married, so we've been to a lot of gorgeous places around the world. Here are my top three honeymoon hot-spots....I'll go back to dreaming now!

1. Bali - If you're looking for beauty on a budget, then Bali is your best bet. Balinese architecture is stunning, and nearly all their hotels have lush gardens, courtyards, and perfectly decorated rooms. Outdoor showers are a regular feature, and with the weather hovering at 30 degrees all year round, it's never too chilly to lather up among the greenery. Spend half your honeymoon in trendy beachside Seminyak learning how to surf, and half up in the stunning rice fields of Ubud, where you can start your day with yoga and a soya shake. If you're feeling more adventurous, then pop on a plane to nearby Lombok. Independent travel is easy, so book your flight, and research the perfect hotel on Trip Advisor.

2. Costa Rica - If your idea of the perfect honeymoon includes tropical beaches, lazy sloths and zipping through trees in pursuit of howler monkeys, then you'll L-O-V-E Costa Rica. My favourite resort is Santa Teresa, on the west coast, where you walk through the forest to a wild beach, studded with driftwood and the occasional giant turtle. Yoga and surfing are big draws here, and you'll love the boutique restaurants started by tourists-turned-locals. My husband and I spent a month here, practicing yoga every morning, eating delicious Thai curries and grilled fish, and reading a book a day. Bliss!

3. Maldives - It doesn't get more romantic than the Maldives. White sand beaches, arching palm trees, and crystal-clear, lightly-lapping water. Splash out on a resort holiday, and take a sea-planeto your own private island. I'd chose a room on stilts over the sea, so you can laze on your balcony and watch the tropical fish, without even getting wet!

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Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Before the Big Day's Christmas Personal Training Gift List

{Posting by Alice Cowen, Before the Big Day's Personal Trainer & Nutritionist} Happy Christmas from your Before the Big Day P.T! Here's my favourite health and fitness Christmas gift ideas for an exercise fan, or someone who needs a little bit of encouragement for 2014 to get into shape ready for their wedding! Remember you have to feel great in your training gear to get the most out of your workout, so start the New Year in style, and get some of these great garments and accessories under your Christmas tree.

{I want these!} Clockwise from Top Left

1. Addidas Women's Essentials Studded Tank, £40 - Designed by Stella McCartney, this top, with its bright, playful studs and a cutout design has a timeless casual style.

2. Bamboo Butterfly Cardigan, £67.50 - This great jacket keeps your warm, while allowing your body to breathe. Pretty, but packed full of useful details, like a mini iPod holder, it's a fantastic all-rounder.

3. Nike Air Max 1 SP 'Liquid Gold', £129 - how cool are these trainers! Go for gold!!!

4. Davina Aerobic Exercise Hula Hoop with HSB® Heartrate Watch & Gym/Shoe Bag, £33.50 - great for home training if you haven't got much space!

5. Speed-Tight Luxstream Run Tights, £88 - Cozy run tights with deep pockets and a wide waistband to prevent muffin top.

6. Nike Fuel Band, £129 - the smart, simple and fun way to get more active - this band tracks the intensity of your workouts and enables sleep tracking with Nike+ Sessions.

7. Sweaty-Betty Skipping Rope, £10 - Skipping is great for on-the-spot cardio.

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Tuesday, 17 December 2013

A Welsh Countryside Wedding with a Pretty Pink Theme - The Reception

Brides planning a marquee wedding are going to L-O-V-E the inspiration they get from this big day. Instead of a shabby chic or rustic look, Pippa and Martyn chose to go for glamour, and created the most fabulous look for their marquee. They didn't spend money on favours or an expensive wedding cake, saving their pennies instead for the most incredible flower displays, designed by The Bay Tree. I love the luxurious elegance of the pink and white table arrangements, and the gorgeous glass roofed reception-area of the marquee. Other stealworthy ideas include the chalk-board labels on the wine coolers, which doubled as table names, and the pink fizz cocktails, in keeping with the colour theme. A big thank you to Lucy Wallace Photography for her stunning pictures!

We got married in Ewenny in South Wales. The church was right next to my parents' house, so it had a special place in my heart {it was also where my husband proposed to me}. Our reception was in a marquee in a field behind my parents house.

We wanted our wedding to have a strong sense of family, so a marquee close to the church and my parents house was a natural choice. The idea of having a blank canvas was really exciting, I could let my imagination run wild!

A Welsh Countryside Wedding with a Pretty Pink Theme

Is there anything more romantic than a horse-drawn carriage? The wedding transport is just one of the things that makes this big day stand out, along with the pretty-as-a-picture flowers, stunning Pronovias wedding gown, and dramatic marquee reception. Pippa and Martyn chose to make their wedding flowers their biggest wedding detail, and called in the talents of Bryan Bird, the florist at The Bay Tree in Cowbridge in Wales. The end result is a stunning array of blooms, including lily-of-the-valley, sweat peas, and roses. The bouquets are beautiful, but wait until you see the reception flowers in Part 2 of this wedding - they'll blow your mind! Other details-to-steal include the bridesmaids black Dessy dresses - as Pippa says - everyone looks good in black, and she let her girls choose their style of dress -making it much more likely they'll wear them again. I also love Martyn's bespoke three-piece suit, and soft pink tie. Huge thanks to Lucy Wallace Photography for sending through her gorgeous pictures from Pippa and Martyn's big day. Stay tuned for Part 2 - the Reception - coming soon!

We got married in Ewenny in South Wales. The church was right next to my parents' house, so it had a special place in my heart {it was also where my husband proposed to me}. Our reception was in a marquee in a field behind my parents house.

To find a wedding gown, we went to Teokath, a fabulous bridal shop in Wimbledon in London, where I tried on lots of wedding dresses. I knew I wanted it to be lace, but when I tried on the Pronovias dress I loved that the grey belt made it a little different.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Before the Big Day's Sparkling Beauty Christmas Gift List

{Posting by Julia Bowden, Before the Big Day's Beauty Editor} What's one of my favourite things about Christmas? Seeing that stocking packed full to the brim with beauty delights! So I thought I'd share my Beauty Gift List with you, and there's tonnes to get you gooey-eyed. You could even be selfless and use these as present ideas - beauty goodies are always fab stocking fillers! Or simply email your other half this list, in hope of getting everything you always wanted {subtlety gets you nowhere!}. Enjoy those products and have a very happy {and pretty} Christmas! Julia x

{I want this!} Clockwise from Top Left 

1. Melvita Nectar Bright Brightening Cream, £36 – This is a great brightening cream that you use to get a luminous complexion. It has a lovely fresh floral scent, and gives your skin a dewy glow.

2. Laura Mercier Luxe Colour Wardrobe Makeup Set, £65 – Even though I'm a make-up artist, I always struggle to create a sleek handbag set. This solves all the problems, with a compact case containing the perfect products for eyes, cheeks and face.

3. Glossy Box Subscription - I was lucky enough to get given one of these at the Wedding Blog Awards. A great way for beauty enthusiasts to keep up to date with new beauty products. You get a selection of products each month for as little as £10 per month.

4. Monu Micro Exfollient, £15.95 – A great little find I discovered in my Glossy Box at the Wedding Blog Awards - this is a great dual-action microdermabrasion cream. It's not too harsh on the skin and smells dreamy

5. Ren Clearcalm 3 Clarity Restoring Mask, £29.95 - I got to meet with Rui Branco, the Global director of Education and Training for REN last month. He’s the REN Skincare guru and such a lovely man. He gave me lots of advice about my spot prone skin, and this is high on my hit list. It reduces visible blemishes and clears the skin – a great way to kick start a clearer skin regime for the New Year.

6. Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, £28.50 – For hair so dry you don't know what to do with it. Put it on before shampooing for 10 minutes, and it's like having a new head of hair.

7. Neom Organic Treatment Candle in Rose & Neroli, £39.50 – You can't go wrong with this little treat. Great to light in the bath for pure relaxation

8. James Read BB Gradual Face Tan, £22.50 – As it’s winter even more reason to give your face a little sun kissed glow and best of all you can tie it in with your skincare regime. I met with James Last month and not only is he the nicest man on the planet but his products are brilliant. I can’t sing the praises of this tanning range enough. All it’s products smell great, go on easily without streaking and have outstanding results.

9. ProGenius Nude Treatment Oil, £58 - If like me you also have dry patches {as well as spots – lucky me!} don’t despair. To some, it may feel odd putting oil on the skin, but this ProGenius oil nourishes and protects, and sometimes stops the skin from secreting too much sebum thus counteracting the blemishes. With Omega 6, 7 & 9 – it’s a treat for winter-battered skin.

10.  MAC Nocturnals Pigments & Glitter - Black & Gold, £25.50 – Last but not least we all need a bit of Christmas sparkle in our make –up bag. These 5 stackable jars will dazzle everyone for those special occasions and will last you forever.

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