Gift Ideas for the Women Behind Your Wedding Day

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When the big day arrives, it is all about everything running to plan. And when things go awry, it is your family and friends who come to your rescue. Which is why it so important to show your loved ones how much you appreciated their time and help. This is not about giving wedding gifts to all of your guests, for these guys think about getting smaller wedding favours. These presents are specifically for your close wedding party as a gesture of gratitude for all their hard work making sure you both have the perfect celebration.

Here are a few suggestions of special and sentimental gifts you could give to those special behind the scenes women, who went the extra mile to ensure you had the best big day!

Mother of the Bride

What do you get the most important women in your life? What better way to show appreciation than gifting a sentimental, personalised present! A piece of jewellery is such a lovely, thoughtful gift that’s ageless, and engraved necklaces can be a beautiful addition to their jewellery collection. If your mum has enough jewellery as it is and has been working extra hard to ensure you have the perfect day, could a pamper day be the answer? Make her feel extra special with a relaxing session at a spa or DIY a spa gift set of all the favourite soaps and pampering products your mother likes to use to unwind.

Mother in Law

This could be a tricky one, depending on how good your relationship is with your other half’s mum. It’s one that sets the bar high and creates an impression, so for this, speak to your other half to find out exactly what she likes or enjoys doing. Like every mum, jewellery is always a safe bet. Take note of what she like wearing or seek information from your fiancé about her style. However, if he is anything like my husband – he won’t have a clue! In these cases, jewellery boxes are timeless, adaptable gifts that will help store and protect any delicate pieces she has in her home or on the move.

Hens and Girlfriends

Little keepsakes like keyrings, bracelet charms or a lovely set of earrings are thoughtful ways of showing appreciation to your girlfriends. Or add to their everyday handbag essentials with a compact handbag mirror engraved with their initials. Not only is this gift useful, but it will remind them of a special day every time they get it out. What is also popular at the moment is delicious smelling candles, which you can tailor with the initials of each of your girlfriends.

If you find yourself still super stuck, any edible gift is probably the most appreciated and yummiest of gifts you could give. After a long night of celebrating, what is better than a snack for the ride home or next morning! I recently came across marshmallows that you can print pictures on, I love the idea of plastering choice photos from your hen night on them. They would make a super fun reminder of happy times, and if they are a little risqué your best friends can always eat the evidence!

 

 

Essential Questions Before Booking Your Honeymoon

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So, you have planned the wedding of all weddings and the only thing left to do is organise the perfect escape to a romantic destination. The world is your oyster, so where will you be venturing to? Below are a few questions to ask yourself before booking your dream holiday – I know I did! Arranging a wedding can not only be expensive, but they can take precedence over everything – including the all-important honeymoon. Your special holiday can sometimes end up on the back burner, so getting this done first will help lower your stress levels and ensure an amazing trip. Ask yourself the questions below to start planning the ultimate honeymoon!

  1. What do you both like?

Are you both self-confessed adrenalin junkies or do you both prefer a more relaxing setting? It is important that you both are excited and have input. There are ways that you can come to a final decision, you could each write down a list and see if you have any common denominators or simply discuss your ideal getaway – you may be pleasantly surprised with ideas from your fiancé!

  1. What is your budget?

Yes, let’s talk money.  With the world at your feet, it’s time to get down to the logistics and start budgeting. What is realistic that also fits you and your fiancés honeymoon needs? If you have travelled to lots of places already, you may have built up some airmiles. If not, simply shopping around can help you find the best going rate for your holiday. If you decide where you want to go well in advance, booking it as soon as possible means that you could enjoy some super cheap deals.

  1. Is it a good time of year to go?

Many places during the Summer become super busy and if you are looking for a relaxing quiet holiday – you may be in for a shock.  Check out when your ideal destinations have their busiest times of the year, not just for tourists but students alike. Check popular teaching academies areas that are teaching TEFL courses or other educational courses as it could be hotels and tourists can be really packed at these times!

  1. Have you checked the reviews of your accommodation?

The last thing you want is to turn up to your accommodation, and it is not what it looked like in the pictures! This is where review sites like Yelp and Trip Advisor come in handy. You can see other people’s experiences to help you decide if this place if for you or if you need to be looking elsewhere. Review sites are not just for checking out what the place is really like, some reviews are handy in finding not so obvious but good places for you to explore!

  1. Have you planned your itinerary?

Are there any attractions or key places you want to visit? Are you wanting to go it alone or is the thought of hiring a tour guide more for you? Check out tourist sites for your destinations, as they will have information of places you can’t miss and ideas for accommodation. Travel blogs are also a great place to find out what you can do, for example, simply search ‘5 top things to do in Bali’ for some ideas!

Are you excited? Good! From my experience, nothing beats a relaxing break in a beautiful location after planning a wedding. Spending that all important time with your new husband or wife, is a great way to kick-start a marriage! And the last thing you want is any nasty surprises, so make sure you are happy honeymooners by getting everything planned and sorted in advance.

Wedding Trends To Watch in 2017

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One of the things I love about the holiday season is that it’s so popular for engagements. In amongst the festivities, happy announcements pop up here and there, especially on New Year’s Eve! It’s so romantic and gives everyone something to look forward to after the decorations come down. As the New Year begins, sneak peeks to this year’s wedding trends are already coming out and here are some of my favourites.

Industrial chic

I’ve always been a huge fan of shabby-chic style weddings and I absolutely adore this new twist. Industrial chic takes the unfinished yet luxurious style of its predecessor and adds a sultry edge. Think moody low-lit warehouses made magnificent with over-the-top candelabras, oodles of flowers and lots of metallic (metallics are very ‘in’ this year too).

All in one

There has been a recent trend towards hosting a wedding and after party in the same venue. I love this idea because everyone is so happy at weddings and the general mood is buzzing. By moving to another venue for the after party you risk losing some of this excitement. Keeping everything in one place maintains the wedding atmosphere, allowing everyone to relax and enjoy the drinks and dancing. There is also the bonus of extra time to party and less stress getting everyone to the new location.

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Engaging activities

I find the new trend for interactive food stations really appealing. They provide the opportunity for the happy couple to mingle and meanwhile their guests have a fun talking point and lots of yummy snacks to keep them entertained. The best part is that most luxury wedding caterers will be able to tailor these to suit any wedding style. Going all out? Try a mini oyster bar with ceviche and champagne. Feeling a French theme? How about a Marie Antoinette spread with mini sandwiches and lots of cake!

Detachable skirts

Bridal dresses with removable skirts took the wedding market by storm last year and look set to be a hit in 2017 as well. I was so excited to see this new style because it is a way for brides to have their dream princess dress for the ceremony complete with a gorgeous train. Later, when there’s dancing to be done they can simply remove the skirt and still enjoy their special dress a little longer!

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This is only the start of the year and there are plenty more trends out there to come. I hope you enjoyed these and have a fabulous time planning your wedding.

Let me know if any other great 2017 wedding trends have caught your eye and if you need any other help check out the wedding planning section of my blog or leave me a comment!

How To Match Your Wardrobe With Your Beauty Regime

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In all the excitement in the run up to Christmas, I almost forgot about the winter solstice. I like to pay attention to this day every year as that means that from now on the days are (finally) getting longer!  And as much as I love the festive season, sometimes I feel like the sun has barely risen before we are plunged back in to darkness at 4.30pm in the winter. So in the winter months, I like to do whatever I can to reinvigorate to my beauty regime and wardrobe to keep away those winter blues!

The Natural Look

I like to keep my day to day look reasonably natural. Who doesn’t want a fresh, flawless finish? To perfect the natural feel, it all begins at the exfoliating and cleansing stage. The cold weather can be particularly harsh on your skin, so bringing it back to life takes a little TLC. There is an abundance of naturally sourced and produced gentle exfoliators perfect for all skin types; it’s simply a case of finding one that works and suits you best. The same goes for moisturiser – it’s important to think about your skin type and find a product that suits you, and then moisturise regularly. Nowadays everyone is clued up about the damage that sun can do to your skin, but it’s worth using a moisturiser with SPF protection all year round as UV rays can still damage our skin in winter. If using a tinted moisturiser, you may wish to finish off with a little powder, and providing you conceal any blemishes this combination is sure to leave your skin glowing. The real attention should be focused on your eyes and lips with defined lashes which are essential for this look. You can forfeit eye shadow and eyeliner but never the mascara. Blondes should try using a brown mascara, whereas darker hair should stick to black. Finally, to add a pop of colour pick a lipstick that almost matches your natural lip tone. This will naturally enhance what you already have whilst still creating a rejuvenated feel. Apply with your finger for a less concentrated final look.

What to wear?

Our calendars are often filled with Christmas drinks and parties over the festive season, which for me means coming up with different ways to wear my favourite black dress. But if you’re going for a natural beauty look then your clothes should be both comfortable and stylish.  A personal favourite of mine is a stylish polo neck with plain black jeans and a pair of sophisticated black boots. It’s a look that is both understated and chic, and can be easily adapted if you’re going straight from the office to Christmas drinks with friends.

Glamourous

Whether glamour is your everyday look or you simply want to feel that extra bit special, the glammed up look requires more shimmer and shine. In the winter it feels like it has been so long since we saw the sun, so we do whatever we can to bring a little sunshine back in to our beauty regimes. However this means that there are a lot of disastrous fake tan attempts: you can have the best fake tan and still manage to get it wrong. To pull off the glamourous look from head to toe, you really need to master the art of applying foundation, and bronzer as well as fake tan. You can spend hours watching video tutorials on how to contour or achieve the perfect smoky eye, but fail to get the fake tan bit right and you have an issue on your hands, literally. Always exfoliate beforehand to remove all dead skin, and follow with a good moisturiser. Make sure you don’t forget the elbows and ankles. Beginning at the arms and shoulders, gradually make your way down using circular motions. For best results apply fake tan at night leaving plenty of time for it to develop. Showering should be avoided until the tan has had time to fully develop.

What to wear?

From my experience black works best as well as olive tones. Of course it’s important you show off your new and improved looking skin. Off the shoulder ruffled tops are fast appearing in all major high street shops; the shoulders offer a subtle hint of sexiness without going full out. Paid one of these with a stylish pashmina scarf and a long trench coat to complete your glamourous look. The important thing here is to remember that you want to show off a little skin to embrace your new-found summer glow, but you also need to dress appropriately for the weather outside.

Halloween Style Guide

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Image source: https://pixabay.com/en/halloween-pumpkin-carving-face-1001677/

It’s official – Halloween fever has gripped me. I LOVE dressing up for Halloween (and I’m not talking about those ‘sexy’ Halloween outfits that involve hot pants and cat ears). I still feel a sense of childish glee when I put on a wig or fake blood and walk out the door. I’m sure this year will be no different, even though I haven’t quite figured out my costume yet. After all, 2016 has been one of the scariest on record – the numerous high profile celebrity deaths, Brexit and the US election will no doubt be the inspiration behind the more topical choices this year. As tempting as it is to follow suit, I like to lean towards costumes that are stylishly scary, rather than just plain terrifying. So I decided to put together my very own Halloween Style Guide for anyone still looking for inspiration!

  1. Wednesday Addams   

A classic Halloween look, but this one will never go out of style. All you need is a black dress with a collar, 2 plaits and you’re done. I’m personally a huge fan of Wednesday as a character. She’s doesn’t try to fit in, and she’s nobody’s fool. If you want to go the extra mile then try and convince your partner or friend to go as her brother Pugsley.

  1. Eleven from Stranger Things

This costume has the benefit of being topical and trendy. If, like me and millions of others, you are also obsessed with the 2016 American sci-fi horror web TV series Stranger Things, then this could be the costume for you. If you haven’t seen it yet, then you must watch it immediately! As someone who can just about remember the tail end of the 80s, it’s a great throwback show, and Eleven’s retro style will be instantly recognisable for those in the know. Essentially, all you will need is a pale pink dress, a blue jacket, trainers, sports socks and a blonde wig. You can also add a bit of blood to make it spookier!

  1. Resurrected 1920s Flapper Girl

Let’s face it, the roaring 20s didn’t get that name for being dull. They had a lot of fun back then, and Halloween is a great way to pay homage to the era with a spooky twist. To become a ghost from the 1920s all it takes is feathers, fringe and a flapper dress. You can afford to spend some time on the face paint on this one to make sure you capture that ghostly look.

  1. Cruella De Ville              

Any outfit that requires faux fur is a winner in my eyes. And if like me, you’ve always wanted to pretend to smoke a cigarette through one of those cigarette holders then look no further. Cruella is super glam, so red lipstick and heels are a must. And of course, let’s not forget her trademark two tone black and white hair!

  1. Spider’s Web

This might sound like a slightly odd choice, but spider webs make successful Halloween outfits. A black dress and some shredded thin black tights form the basis of this costume. Then all you need to do is fix some spider props in to your hair, and draw a web pattern over one eye (I’ve used liquid eyeliner to do this in the past). And there you have it – a Halloween spider’s web. To go that extra mile then you could even spray some cobwebs in a can for extra decoration.

Happy Halloween!

Top Style Ideas for A Perfect Winter Wedding

Winter may not be the most popular season to get married, but a Winter wedding can be a fantastic occasion. Planning the big day in accordance with the season gives you thematic options for the decor, the attire and the venue itself.

Obviously the colder weather and potential for snowfall can make planning weddings at this time of year a challenging task but as the trend towards Winter weddings grows the options open to couples improve with every passing month.

Fireplaces

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A warm and enclosed space is generally recommended for weddings in the Winter months so when you’re picking the perfect winter wedding venue you may wish to consider a big, historic building with open fireplaces. Offering a rustic charm and genuine warmth, the roar of an open fire is hard to beat and will give your guests some fantastic memories along with some excellent photo opportunities.

Weather Proof Venues

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At any time of year arrangements need to be made to ensure you’re prepared for extreme weather but in Winter particularly you’ll want to triple check your contingency plans just in case you’re hit by a blizzard on the big day!

You’ll no doubt want some outside space even if it’s exceptionally chilly, for the smokers and anyone who just fancies a little fresh air if the occasion all gets a bit much! With this in mind be sure to prep your deck space in case of freezing and look at patio heaters if appropriate. Many venues will already have the gear you want but if you don’t check first you won’t know!

Snowfall

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As much as you want to be prepared for the worst, you also don’t want to be depending on the weather and whilst your magical wedding dream may have featured crisp snowfall, you certainly can’t guarantee it, unless you arrange it yourself!

The good news is you can arrange it yourself so don’t leave it to chance, get yourself some artificial snowfall to complete the picture perfect wedding you’ve always wanted.

Six Unorthodox Wedding Themes Your Guests Will Never Forget

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