I have had the pleasure of working at this Manchester City Centre hotel on numerous occasions. The staff are fabulous and friendly and the The Midland in Manchester is an iconic landmark in the heart of this cosmopolitan, vibrant city. Whether you are visiting the city on business or pleasure, The Midland has a reputation for outstanding, friendly service and an array of delightful stories stretching back over more than a century of history, not to mention a guest list that is the envy of the rest of the city.
The impressive Grade II listed venue boasts two award-winning restaurants, a spa well worthy of its impressive four-award victory at The Spa Traveller Awards 2015 and 312 richly furnished bedrooms which exude opulent, classical elegance.
For further details please see www.qhotels.co.uk or contact 01612 363 333
Thank you to Sara Porter Photography, a pleasure working with you again.
Harry Jon Hair and Makeup
Stop the press!! NEWSFLASH: Harry Jon has a home!!
2015 has been one hellova year here at HJ! With hundreds of gorgeous Harry Jon brides walking down the aisle over the last twelve months, this autumn, our very own Clare joined them in marrying the love of her life in front of their gorgeous two daughters, loving family and favourite friends, on a day we won’t be forgetting in a hurry! So with a fresh new start for the head of our gang, we can’t think of a better way to see in the new year, than with a brand new base on the high street!
By early spring 2016, we will be opening our doors to the brand new HJ HQ here in Middlewich, East Cheshire. We are bursting with excitement and ready to invite all of our clients with a very special welcome to our new home!
But not only that….there’s more!!
For 7 years, we have been travelling the length and breadth of the UK to our brides-to-be. But of course, trying to reach everyone on one day becomes difficult and we have sadly had to turn many people down, due to time restrictions. So, not only do we now have an HQ as our base…but we are also launching the Glam Bar!
The Glam Bar will be for anyone looking for that extra special make up:
- A night out, big birthday, hunt ball or just an excuse to look fabulous – open exclusively on Fridays and Saturdays for all those who like to party!
- Bridal trials – without having to throw your fiance out for an hour so we can talk all things ‘wedding’ in private, now you can relax and we can work on your ideal look together!
- Training – we now offer workshops and courses for those wanting to learn how to self perfect that smokey eye, balance that unsymmetrical winged eyeliner or simply bring a bit of glam to your day look! We can’t wait to share our top secret hints and tips for quick makeup fixes and hair dilemmas!
Forget chasing after the kids with curlers in your hair, a fake eyelash stuck to your cheek and a half attempt at full evening make up because you ran out of time…no, no! Bringing a chic and swanky new setting to Cheshire for all clients to relax and enjoy with a glass of bubbly, join Harry Jon at the Glam Bar for your unique glam-up experience!
AND it doesn’t end there! We want your feedback to help us make your experience the absolute very best it can be. We appreciate your thoughts and we want to hear from you! Any additional services or courses you’d like to be made available, please let us know so we can work on it.
We’re busy transforming the space already!
So there you have it, 2016 will be the year of Harry Jon! Make sure you join us on social media and pop in for a visit soon. Watch this space for news of the all exclusive Harry Jon launch party!
THE Wedding Morning
You’ve spent months, some of you years…and now the big day has finally arrived!
I have witnessed many morning flusters and many more last minute panics on the morning of a wedding day. So I thought I would write a short hints and tips guide, to help you prepare and retain it stress free.
Nerves do funny things to brides (AND bridesmaids), so you never really know just how you are going to be during the run up to it – never mind the actual day. The big picture is that you’ve got all your favourite people coming together for the best celebration ever, with your favourite suppliers from the wedding industry hired to help it run smoothly…
So the wedding day is here, sit back, play list on, relax, drink bubbly, make sure you eat something and take it all in.
The Week Before Your Wedding
It’s the last run up to the wedding, so be organized!
Anything like stationary, music, gifts etc that can be done in advance – get them done! Keep yourself a storage box to add wedding bits to, keep them safe, dust free and ready to transport for the big day.
With regards to table plans, don’t panic if somebody can no longer come. In fact, most weddings have a last minute guest cancellation – which is annoying because you still have to pay for them and their name is all ready perfectly printed on your wedding plan. But let it go over your head, it’s just a name! Yes, you want everything to be perfect but worst case scenario, you now have a spare chair! If you do manage to find a last minute friend you can now invite to the wedding breakfast, then I’m sure they won’t mind being referred to a Aunty Flo for a couple of hours!
Write your list to keep your mind relaxed and organised and get checking it off so the last week is all minimal bits n bobs and enjoying a pamper.
The Night Before Your Wedding
Full swing celebrations are on! It’s the night before and there is nothing more you can do to change things. So, some time spent with the girls, relaxing and getting excited with them, unwinding and keeping the nerves at bay…but watch the bubbly! Hungover brides have happened when nerves have got the better, bubbly (or a nice gin) flow far too well and will always happen, a few tipples, a nice meal and beauty sleep.
Nails, lash extensions & tan should all be done by now – don’t leave it until the wedding day! It goes extremely fast and things like this need time and patience you don’t want to be running around frantic over patchy tan on your wedding morning or messing with stick on nails.
Try and sleep. Keep a pen and paper at the side of your bed, then anything on your mind you can jot down and relax your mind.
The Wedding Morning
Wedding Hair & Makeup
The morning will go fast! Before you know it, you’re putting on your dress, the registrar is arriving and your bridesmaids are running around you like loonies.
A hair and makeup artist can really take the pressure off – this is where i come in and i always get asked how i stay so calm, or thanks for keeping a bride calm. The blessing of having an artist around is all you have to do is get up, get showered and then wait in your cute PJ’s for them to arrive. Remember, no bra straps or socks if you can see these areas when you’re dressed! You don’t want to have an ugly underwear line shown in a beautiful strapless gown! Also remember that your makeup artist will need pictures from your trial and/or inspiration pictures that you have found for you and your bridal party in advance.
If you are going DIY on your wedding morning then make sure you have done a couple of trial runs beforehand and make sure you start earlier than you think you will need to on the actual morning. Most brides want to be ready before they are due to go downstairs, but from experience, once you are ready you’ll relax more. If you’re ready early then you have time for changes if something’s not right.
Don’t forget you need time to get into your dress too so aim to be in your dress with half an hour to spare. It will allow you time to take everything in, get pictures and see the registra… or it will give you a half our reserve if everything goes sideways and you wish you had more time!
DIY brides might want to check out the HJ Youtube Channel for beauty hacks and tutorials. OR the online hair up training sites which has varied lessons for how to do hair up step by step. You can drop me a message if there is a specific style you want to learn and i can work on this for you…
Your photographer quite often takes pictures of your gown, accessories and anything else special you have bought. So it’s good to have everything together and ready before he/she arrives.
Speak to your photographer and check if they like to shoot any staged pictures where you might have to pause preparations midway, or if they need you ready early to take pictures before you leave. All this takes time, so factor this in. Your makeup artist can leave cheeks, lips and fitting your hair accessory until the photographer is ready, so your utilizing the time well.
When the photographer has finished taking pictures of your gown hung up, if you have a corset back it is wise to ask someone to get it un-laced and ready to be put on whilst you finish off doing your make up. Long corsets can take a while to undo and will save you time later. WARNING: whoever does this make sure they have clean hands and nails. Ideally you need someone with acrylic, gel or shellac nails – like makeup and grime, nail varnish will also leaves marks!
Wedding Party Pains
I quite often hear of wedding party members causing havoc. If it’s hairstyles they’re unhappy with, then leave it to the hairdresser – maybe give her a heads up that someone’s quite particular about their look, but we’re used to it.
If it’s arguments over table plans, aka. Someone can’t be in the same room as someone else, in fact anything where they turn into a tantrum toddler – then let them deal with it and keep your self well clear. If they can’t behave like a grown up, then why are you paying £50+ per head to have them there? A wise wedding supplier once told me “you have to be a little bit selfish on your wedding day because this day is for you, not them”.
Do i hear tantrums? Yes our children are gorgeous but we all know they like to play up for mum & dad. Even some of the most adorable might start to play up when they feel something is going on or different. So organise someone to look after them, possibly take them to the park, burn off some steam, take a nap if they need one and be fed and watered before arriving with you ready to be dressed and leave. They easily get bored and tired with your relaxed wedding preparations so enjoy your ‘you’ time.
Make sure your groomsmen and bridesmaids have all had fittings and tried everything on in advance! Short trousers, jackets that won’t fasten and bridesmaids in poorly fitting gowns are a wedding day nightmare. Be prepared and try them on – you’ll have time to change things and delegate a runner to the nearest outlet if not all has gone to plan. You personally don’t need that extra stress on your wedding morning, especially if your wedding venue is far away!
There is absolutely nothing you can do about Mother Nature – so plan for it. If you’ve a lot going on outside, then it’s good to purchase some cute wellies or boots just in case, also umbrellas and gazebos to keep you dry. Even think about hair and makeup. If your hair doesn’t like to curl and you are going for a hair down look with the risk of rain, it will drop a lot. If your hair doesn’t like humidity, you don’t want to end up looking like Monica Geller from Friends, so plan wisely!
I have had so many brides worry and stress about the rain and really there is nothing you can do about it. Looking back on your wedding day thinking you spent your morning worrying about the rain might be a funny story later on, but don’t stress, just go with it. The majority of the time the clouds part and the sun appears as you step outside, but there is nothing you can do about a storm so don’t sweat it! Photographers are used to it all and will have tricks to get perfect pictures, hair and makeup can be waterproof/water resistant – your suppliers have been dealing with things like this for years, so relax!
You’ve picked all your suppliers because you loved something about them and they are experienced. You’ve given them your vision in the meetings up to the wedding, so now is the time to just trust them.
If you get really worried, then wait until they’ve finished to see what they’ve done and them comment – sometimes the coming together doesn’t look quite right but the finished sight will be your vision again.
This is with the exception of hair – for me if you need extra adding, more height, or hair left out, then it really is best to know before you are glued into place for perfection. But for this reason I dress your hair in front of a mirror and then you can give the instructions as we go.
Relax, don’t over think and go with the flow of the wedding celebrations – hair and makeup, pictures, video, flowers arriving, getting ready, speaking to the registrar etc. It’s a whirlwind of a day so cherish EVERY moment without stress. Everyone will have some sort of anxiety butterflies as you put on your dress ready to walk down the aisle – just remember’ to enjoy every moment. There really is nothing to worry about, it’s just a massive party for YOU!
Give us a comment and share any stresses you might have had or are worried about… x
Advice for choosing the perfect hair for your wedding day!
SO, for some, you may have a pretty good idea of the perfect hair for your wedding day. But for other, you may have none at all!
I work with hundreds of brides-to-be (including some celebrity brides) but for each and every one, i urge them to research for inspiration. I’m known as a bit of a hair queen and i love seeing the look on a brides face when she’s blown away at her hair and makeup trial!
Pintrest is a great way to secretly save ideas and inspiration for your wedding. You can have both public and private board to pin your ideas as a collective mood board. I use it all the time to search and save all kinds of hair and makeup suggestions and i recommend it to all of my brides. Even if you think the styles you find might not be exactly right for your own wedding day, it will give an excellent representation of your style for your artist to work with.
So get pinning that tiny drape of a fringe, that opulent drop of a curl and that luscious oomph of volume – it all helps me to know what you like!
Gathering all these cut outs and mood boards will start to show both you and i the type of styles you like. In fact, even pop some in that you hate so we can make sure we avoid it – every little helps! Then as you find your perfect wedding gown and what theme you want for your wedding you can start to put the pieces together so it works.
You’re a ‘hair down’ kind of bride but you have a gorgeous details lace back on your wedding dress. So you absolutely cannot pay all that money just to cover it up with your locks! But there is a solution… You can compromise and have a cascade to one side or a subtle draped ‘hair uo’, that is soft and delicate around your face.
You’re a ‘hair up’ kind of bride but your favourite gown is strapless so you feel the need to have it down. Okay, so then go for a half up- half down look, with a lot pinned up and lots of height to it, but enough hair to soften around your shoulders and face. If your hair is quite fine then i would advise you to buy some clip in hair extensions to help build up the areas where you need more hair whilst still keeping the height. Alternatively, you could also have your seamstress make you a jacket or strap to compliment you wedding gown.
Bear in mind; if your hair doesn’t like to curl or looks like something Monica in Friends might look like with ‘the humidity’ then its unlikely to change for a day. Unruly hair can be tames but it can’t be cured. Keep in mind the weather conditions and how you hair reacts. Your artist will do their best to make it work (i know I’m pretty confident in my abilities!) but some miracles cant be performed … as much as we’d like to.
If you’re a bride suffering from a condition such as alopecia and struggling to find a suitable style, your artist should be able to help. In these cases you have to choose your inspiration without regard for your circumstances – you only need an idea of the style that you like, then leave the rest to your stylist. In the past, i’ve used eyebrow cake or shadow similar to the hair colour to camouflage patches and then draped hair into a style to compliment thinning hair areas for the client. Don’t worry, we’ll sort it!
I get a lot of brides that disregard images because it features a fringe and they don’t have one, or the image is for thick hair and theirs is super fine. Well, my best advice it to save the image anyway because you love something about the look and you’d be surprised what we can muster up with a few styling tools! Fringe or no fringe it can be adapted. Fine hair – grab some extensions… no problem!
Just remember the extensions need to be as close (not necessarily perfect) match to your colour and 100% human hair. Heat resistant or synthetic extensions aren’t ideal for hair down looks as the light hits this type of hair differently and can show on your wedding pictures but (particulalry the wavy variety) it can blend well in to hair up and braided styles
Basically, if you love it but you think you can’t achieve it… Let your stylist be the judge!
An Organised Bride!
I met Meryl a while back now but i remember her pamper like it was last week. She was such an organised bride, armed with inspiration images and ideas – even her bridesmaids were decisive! Their trial and the wedding day was a breeze; absolute pleasure to work with…
Lewis and I lived 5 doors away from each other at our parents homes for about 9 years. We went to different High Schools but we did have some friends in common & so our paths crossed many times over the years but we only really knew of each other.
Years later when we’d left school, got jobs etc… we were both single at the same time and one nosey neighbour (who was friends with both our parents) decided to set us up. Surprising myself (although I had always thought he was good looking & he says he always used to eye me up at functions hosted by our joint friends), I agreed for her to pass Lewis my number. He then contacted me and asked if I wanted to go for a drink – I said ‘yes’ and the rest is history.
We’d gone to London for the Weekend, the main reason was to go to the Harry Potter WB Studio Tour (I’m not embarrassed to admit – huge fan). We’d been living together for 5 years and he still hadn’t asked me to marry him – long story short – I’d pretty much given up on him asking. We had a lovely day round the Studio & headed back to the city – from there we went over to the London Eye. I know now that Lewis wanted to propose on the Eye but in true Lewis fashion he hadn’t executed his plan very well. My feet were killing from a long day of walking, we hadn’t booked the Eye and I was ready to go back to the Hotel. On our way back, we stopped for tea at a restaurant near the hotel then grabbed a bottle of wine to take back to our room. He eventually proposed on one knee in our room and the planning commenced… I’d waited long enough don’t you think?!
I didn’t want a long engagement but as we were paying for the Wedding ourselves we had to consider what we could afford without compromising too much on what I – I mean ‘we’ wanted – after all, you get 1 shot at it and don’t want regrets. First thing I did was write a rough guest list so we had numbers, as you will need this when picking your venue & budgeting.
I’m a very organised person and so did have ideas of what I would love our day to be already. A similarly organised colleague of mine had got married a few years before and they picked Crewe Hall – I remembered from conversations that she had been really pleased with the venue & they went back each year for their Anniversary. The staff are fantastic and really do help make your day run as smoothly as you have planned it. On the day, you can sit back and they will make sure it is executed how you planned. We booked an appointment with the Wedding Coordinator at Crewe Hall and as we drove up the drive and pulled up up front – we were sold on it.
Myself, 2 x bridesmaids, Mum & Dad all stayed at Crewe Hall the night before as we had a 12 o’clock wedding and it was less stressful being there already. As you can imagine, sleep eluded me most of the night and I was wide awake by 5am. My Bridesmaids made me order some toast at least to tide me over although the butterflies were kicking in and I didn’t feel like eating.
Recommendations are great, especially from someone who is as like minded as yourself. Your spending probably a lot of money and in most cases, you have never planned anything like this before so ‘tried & tested’ suppliers are useful.
Again, I was recommended ‘Precious Things Event Styling’, we have used them at my work place and a couple of my colleagues also used them for their weddings. They are a great team, really friendly and knowledgeable and best of all, they will help you achieve the impact you want with the budget you have – this sometimes means changing the type of flowers but with their expert advice the finished product is amazing. I was blown away with the centrepieces at our Wedding – it was exactly what I imagined. They also take all the stress of bringing the flowers to the venue, liaising with the venue and setting up to your plan made with Crewe Hall.
In the same vein, for our Photographer we chose David & Beverley Foster who are a recommended supplier at Crewe Hall and I liked their style of photography and editing. I felt more at ease selecting from the venues recommended photographers as Crewe Hall is quite a dark venue and as we can’t rely on the weather in England I knew they would know Crewe Hall like the back of their hands and know where the best shots were in or around the venue. They are a Husband and Wife Team and have a great rapport with each other – they are very professional and make sure they get you the best shots.
Its worth spending the money on a good photographer and having them create an album for you as it is the only thing you have to physically look back on and we all know, we have the intention to put an album together but never get round to it or you don’t do the photo’s justice.
You have to know yourself, what you’re comfy wearing and what best suits your shape. I always thought I would wear an ‘A-Line’ dress but in the end I went more figure hugging over the hips but not quite ‘Fishtail’. I wore a Maggie Sottero and purchased my dress from Maria Modes in Macclesfield. Every time I looked online at dresses, I always seemed to pick out Maggie Sottero designs and fortunately Maria Modes in Macclesfield, stock Maggie Sottero. The staff at the shop are great, it’s a really exciting experience and they help make it all the more special for you. They also have Suit Hire and so we used them for the Groom and Groomsmen suits – fortunately this was something I could ‘mainly’ relinquish control to Lewis to arrange (I have already mentioned he is not good at executing his plans).
Even though you are convinced you think you know what dress you want, still try other styles. Also, the dress shop will recommend a style for you – try it – they know what they’re doing. It’s all part of the experience.
Hair & Makeup
You’ve got the gorgeous dress so it would be rude not to have beautiful hair and makeup aswell. I searched the internet for local Hair & Makeup suppliers. No-one really had any recommendations but what I did know was that the further away the supplier is from your chosen venue, the more it will cost due to travel. If you are working to a budget – this is something to bear in mind. I decided to search the North West area and that’s where I came across (Clare) HarryJon – the Website just jumped out at me and the testimonials spoke for themselves. I booked in with Clare for a trial on myself, 2 x bridesmaids and my mum – my mantra was that I only plan to get married once so I am going to enjoy the planning. On the day Clare arrived – all smiles and calm and she set to making us all beautiful. I had brought photo’s with me of our trial so Clare knew what she was recreating.
I had many comments after the Wedding in fact even at the end of the night I still looked great – my hair & Makeup held and I didn’t have to touch up.
TOP TIP Trial recommended, it removes the chance of mis-communication of what you want on the day and you can discuss options/changes in advance.
After the Wedding we had 2 weeks off. Due to budget, we didn’t know what we could afford so had decided to see what we could get last minute while we were off. We’d discussed Venice and Rome and in the end we managed to get 3 nights in Venice and 3 nights in Rome. As it was a special occasion we went 5* and it was a fantastic – so romantic, and being the type of places they were, 6 days was just enough for us to soak it up and relax.
Even if you have no budget, try and get away just the two of you and relax. The run up to the Wedding is stressful and as amazing as your day is, it is tiring so a break before normal life starts again is well deserved.
TOP TOP TIP
Try not to get too drunk and make sure you take a few moments out – just the two of you to take it in and store it all to memory. The day goes so quickly and you are in high demand so can get distracted.
Whats YOUR top tip? Get in touch and share your DIY ideas, Stress saving or anything else… x