Our Fairytale Wedding

Our Fairytale Wedding

My Fairytale Wedding

Our fairytale wedding began in New York!

The 15th November 2013, the day after my 30th birthday we jetted off to NY. Passport control was a nightmare and John was becoming increasingly irritated. We finally got to the hotel at about 3.30pm and we headed straight to Central Park, he was in such a hurry, I didn’t understand why. When we got to the edge of the park we decided on a Pedicab tour and the driver was lovely, stopping at a few places like where Home Alone was filmed and most importantly at the FRIENDS fountain. We watch FRIENDS at some point everyday so it was huge for both of us!

Fairytale In New York


We both got in the fountain and asked the driver to take our photograph. Then he did it!! John got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was so shocked and excited… It was a fantastic trip! I loved it! What’s more the driver captured it all on camera. So the wedding theme was set; ‘FRIENDS’!

 As soon as we got back to the UK we started planning. We wanted a venue that was not too far for our families to travel but with an option to stay over and spend the weekend and we only went to view one venue and that was the Norton Grange Hotel and Spa I cannot recommend them enough – Joanna their wedding co-ordinator could not have done more for us, the day ran smoothly and we didn’t worry about anything.We booked August 30th 2014.

Their event  ‘A day at the Norton Grange’ was really helpful they suggested companies they worked with, a little research and one in particular stood out; Allison of Balloons and More she gave ideas but wasn’t pushy, she was so helpful, she even offered to put all my centrepieces together even though I had bought them myself! She catered for everything, the dance floor, the photobooth, the flowers, the twinkle backdrop, chocolate fountain. The room looked amazing and I was so glad we’d chose Allison.

Once the venue was sorted we moved onto the Honeymoon, my friend recommended a company called Destinology. I was put in touch with Kimberley they were really helpful and they were even able to set up a fund for guests to make a deposit towards our honeymoon if they wished instead of a gift. So we booked to fly to Secrets Capri in Riviera Maya. The honeymoon was incredible and we are even going back to Mexico in May for a family wedding and staying at Secrets sister resort.

The dress, I went to Sense and Sensibility in Stockport and they were brilliant, i tried just 4 dresses and I knew which one I wanted! I preferred to have straps as I have a habit of pulling up dresses, so I chose the Maggie Sottero ‘Rita’ dress: satin material, a beautiful fit that was perfect for my shape and my mum loved it, that just made it perfect. I went back a few months later to pick my veil and headpiece, they were just fantastic from start to finish

wedding hair & makeup

Bridal Shoes.

My shoes were a tough decision. In total I bought 4 pairs!

Initially, I went for comfort and picked a plain lace pair which had a small heal, I was happy with them until I went for my dress alterations about 6 weeks before the wedding but trying them with my dress they didn’t feel special, so I started looking for different ones. I ordered a pair from eBay about 2 weeks before the wedding and kept looking, then finally after trawling through the internet I finally deciding on my perfect shoes! I picked them up two days before the wedding but I knew they were the ones, I felt like a princess in them. I still wear them now. ‘Carvela Grin Court Shoe’

Cake Toppers

For the cake, I got my friends mum to make it but I wanted a special cake topper. I used Beautiful Cake ToppersThey got every detail perfect. I still have my topper on display at home. It is fantastic.

Bridesmaids Gift


For the presents for my bridesmaids I wanted something unique and they could keep. I saw an article on a designer from America and fell in love with her work, she designed wine glasses based on your outfit. I emailed Sam, She just asked for details and was prepared to ship them to the UK for me aswell. I ordered a wine glass for each bridesmaid and a cup with a lid for the younger bridesmaids. I also ordered glasses for myself and John for the wedding day. I love them and were a great keepsake.

As the day approached I was so excited. I was marrying my best friend and I couldn’t wait, I’d had my make up trial with Clare, she listened to what I wanted and I knew she would look after me.

Makeup Artist Cheshire

wedding hair-makeup

She arrived on the day as calm as a cucumber even though I was getting stressed, doing hair one by one then the makeup. She made everything so easy and relaxed. I can’t thank her enough.

I was ready on time, my dad was there waiting to walk me down the aisle, for which we’d chosen Christina Perry; A Thousand Years, he started crying literally as we stepped into the room. It was perfect, John was standing at the end of the isle waiting but i could not stop shaking – I was so happy!

Wedding hair-makeup

You hear of hiccups on a wedding day. ours happened as the registrar was about to hand over the marriage certificate I looked out and my dad was missing, I looked at my mum “where has he gone?” “he’s gone to get the camera from the room” she replied. Thankfully he came walking back in and everyone applauded him and he took a bow.

Then we were able to relax, we had lots of photographs done and it was time to sit down for the meal. It was great fun. There were the table decorations laid out, ‘He’s her lobster’ instead of MR and Mrs on the top table. The table plan with names of FRIENDS characters for each table name.

The meal was lovely and we got onto the speeches. My dad went first and literally had the room in tears. He’s not a man of many words but he was emotional and it showed.



Evening entertainment kicked off, we had the photobooth which was so much fun and you could see the story of the night unfolding. The music was great and we literally danced and smiled all night long. My only recommendation to other bride and grooms would be to invest in a videographer, I would love to watch the day over again. It went so fast. I would love to do it over again.
Photo Booth



It was the best day of my life.

A Wedding with Sparkle!

A Wedding with Sparkle!

I met Danielle for the first time whilst doing hair & makeup with an events company at The Saddleworth Hotel and many more since: So when Danielle and Scott became engaged, it was only natural for her to ask me to be her make up artist for her own special day and upon learning the day would be all glitz and glamour, I became even more excited for her wedding!

The Saddleworth Hotel

It soon became apparent that the ever popular Saddleworth Hotel was limited on wedding availability, leaving Danielle & Scott with only one option – 31st December 2013. Not one to be discouraged by the biggest party night of the year, the couple embraced the idea of seeing in 2014 surrounded by all their friends and family on their first day as man and wife. I couldn’t agree more, what better way to start a new year?!

pixies in the cellar

It was an early start for bridal hair and makeup, beginning at 7am before the sun had even had chance to rise. It was dark outside but Danielle was glowing; a beaming smile greeted me at the door. As I stepped into the hallway, the surprisingly calm bride whispered to me “do you want a sneak peek at my dress?”. Well, I wasn’t going to say no and WOW what a dress!  The stunning embellished gown designed by Manuel Mota Vetura from Pronovias was absolutely breathtaking. Note to future brides: for those of you that love a ‘Twilight’ backless gown, Danielle’s is one you need to see!

Pixies In The Cellar

The bridal party seemed quite relaxed. The morning flowed peacefully and there was an unusual sense of calm and serenity in the air. As the early sun began to shine in through the windows, I began to curl hair and apply the make up that Danielle had chosen at her trial. We went for a soft crease cut; a modern look with lots of mascara, lashes and liquid liner.

I gave her hair lots of volume in order to last the duration of the day, then added a beautiful encrusted comb Danielle had purchased to the side…and of course for a wedding with sparkle –  more sparkle through to the back! Consistent with the request of ‘something messy but tidy’, I applied smooth looped curls to finish the look.


Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

If I could use one word to summarize Danielle and Scott’s wedding, it most certainly would have to be ‘encrusted’. From head to toe and start to finish, the day was full of sparkle – much to my taste! The little bridesmaids wore encrusted diamonte pumps to match Danielle’s gorgeous Jimmy Choo’s


Pixies in the cellar

Pixies n The Cellar

and even the boys got a little added sparkle on their shoes!

Pixies In The Cellar

The cake was an elegant centrepiece draped in shimmer and shine, whilst the bouquets by Kelly Louise were soft and delicate – a true winter wonderland that undoubtedly will inspire many more brides-to-be, all captured wonderfully by Peter & Sara of Pixies In The Cellar photography.


Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar

Danielle Saddleworth 15

Pixies In The Cella

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar


As the end of the year came to a close and the night rolled in, the DJ got the party started in the final countdown to 2013. Having gracefully walked down the aisle to an operatic singer, the day soon transformed into a vivacious celebration and the champagne flowed freely, ending an old year and starting a new on a high.

Pixies In The Cellar

Pixies In The Cellar


My biggest congratulations go to the new Mr and Mrs and if you’re passing the area, I highly recommend dropping by the Saddleworth Hotel for its amazing food and even more spectacular views.

Even if you’re not getting married its worth the visit!



Finding Your Wedding Style

Finding Your Wedding Style

What kind of bride are you?

Here’s some inspiration to help you find your wedding style!

Finding your wedding style within the bridal world can be tricky for some. We all love imagery and shopping with our eyes, but the rules can change when it come to being head to toe in a full on bridal gown and corsetry. Shopping as you know it doesn’t quite work when you come to try on the ‘perfect gown’ and its can all be a bit of an anti climax! My advice, get to a boutique and try these gowns on. Ive met brides that want a lace gown with possibly a little detail who have left in head to toe sparkle and vice versa – my point is, your everyday style browsing through a wedding mag doesn’t cut it this time because i guess it just doesn’t feel special enough?

As well as a hairstylist and makeup artist i also work along side a 5* bridal boutique Dream Dress Bridal and a stunning jewellery company Stella & Dot, i love the styling side of my work so i’ve put this together to help you piece your perfect wedding style together… Hopefully it helps but get your comments below, give your advice and let us know if love any of the styles!

ronald joyce princess wedding style


The Princess; A Ronald Joyce princess gown (this has a detachable flower) it has an amazing corset and encrusted sweetheart neckline, the waistline plunges to make it even more slimming! I’ve teamed this with a Richard Design Central tiara and Stella & Dot’s Vintage Crystal Necklace Deco Drop Earring & Vintage Crystal Bracelet. The Crystal Necklace works great in multiples too!

Dramatic fishtale wedding style


The Dramatic; A Tulle fishtail gown (that the boutique also has in very similar with straps) this gown is super dramatic and sexy, the corsetry is amazing in this and shows curves off amazingly well! I’ve teamed this with Stella & Dot’s Casablanca Chandelier Earrings and matching Casablanca Bracelet… The Chandelier earrings are so versatile with 3 looks in one – check them out on the Stella & Dot site to see the alternative images! Plus a hair comb from Richard Designs for the hair, heavy but small to work well with the statement jewellery. Need MORE sparkle? This Mori Lee gown also looks great with a blingy belt!


Mark Lesley Boho bride wedding style

The Boho Babe; This has just come in to the boutique and i absolutely love it! Layered lace and super drapey its a perfect boho brides gown. I’ve teamed this one with Stella & Dot’s gorgeous Zinnia Split Ring, Becca Bracelet – both come in an alternative if you are not a green girl and Reverie Chandelier Earrings. Then a headband from Richard Designs with accents of gold to pick out the jewellery and beading on the gown – wear as a headband or across the forehead.. OR add flowers?

Which are you? If you would like to see more inspiration give us a comment below and we’ll create your mood board…

For headpieces & gowns check out Dream Dress Bridal in Stockport



Choosing The Perfect Wedding Shoes

Choosing The Perfect Wedding Shoes

“There was an old woman who lived in a shoe…” – well, it’s more of a semi detached just outside of Manchester oh and I’m desperately steering away from the term ‘old’ thank you very much, but I wouldn’t be the first woman to claim that my life is certainly ruled by soles that bear your soul! So why should my wedding day be any different?

Bridal Shoes

I, like you am currently planning a wedding and on the hunt for the perfect wedding shoes, i’m definitely a quirky girl and ill be after something i can wear again no doubt picking up on some of the bridesmaids colour to give it a bit of a punch… So on my travels i’ve picked out some of the shoes that give you a feeling of  ‘OH I NEED THOSE’ to bring you Brides-to-be some inspiration!

Things to keep in mind for your big day;


Christian Laboutin


Badgley Mischka



If you’re a fashion conscious bride who plans on strutting her stuff from dawn until well after dusk in her five inch Jimmy Choos, then prepare for your feet to pay the price. Do not expect to be able to walk miles around a park, dragged along by your photographer who obviously wants to give you the perfect location for your album images. But saying this…when will you get this chance again? You wouldn’t wear a £500 pair of Vera Wang ivory covered silkies down to Tesco now would you?

One day; no pain no gain! But remember it comes at a cost.

Vivienne Westwood


Jimmy Choo


Representative of you

Yes, most bridal gowns are floor length and the shoes will barely be seen. BUT, these are the shoes that you will marry in and no doubt will feature in your wedding album. Many photographers like to capture the essence of the day by photographing the details like the back of the dress, the button holes, the flowers and indeed the bridal shoes. So if you were planning on wearing old ballet pumps to nail that comfort factor, bear in mind that a clean and fresh pair will be better than the ones you’ve been knocking around town in for the past couple of months. Of course colour suited to your chosen dress is desired to avoid them stealing the show – and comfort can always sneak its way on to your feet when the lights go down and boogie time begins.

Rachel Simpson

Charlotte Mills

Yes, most bridal gowns are floor length and barely seen. BUT, these are the shoes that you will marry in and no doubt will feature in your wedding album. Many photographers like to capture the essence of the day by photographing the details like the back of the dress,the button holes, the flowers and indeed the bridal shoes. So if you were planning on wearing old ballet pumps to nail that comfort factor, bear in mind that a clean and fresh pair will be better than the ones you’ve been knocking around town in for the past couple of months. Of course colour suited to your chosen dress is desired to avoid them stealing the show – and comfort can always sneak its way on to your feet when the lights go down and boogie time begins.



Location, location, location

Where are you getting hitched? If it’s in a field then please remember that stiletto heels DO sink in grass unavoidably. That satin heel cover is easily ruined by mud and you’ll soon spend your entire day on the ball of your foot if your reception is situated in a picturesque garden, no matter how dry you think it looks. Ivory wellingtons decorated in ribbons and bows are suited especially for brides with outdoor locations. They’re not for everyone, but they really do exist and are very popular with kitsch rock and roll brides!

Kurt Geiger



I have seen so many gorgeous diamante and crystal covered heels on brides feet (which sounds wonderful does it not?)…until a long, slim fitting, fish tail lace dress is taken out of it’s cover bag. It is very rare that a bride will try on her wedding shoes with her wedding dress for longer than a few minutes before the big day, standing mostly stationary in front of a mirror to admire her completed attire. So, when shoes covered with excessive sharp shards and pointy pearls are chosen for a tight fitting lace dresses, it can only lead to a disaster. The material catches, the fabric plucks and tears… I’ve never seen a bride take a tumble before, but no bride wants a shoe grabbing dress disaster. Always keep in mind what you’re wearing from top to toe when you make a selection and try out your outfit before the event. I’ll definitely be breaking mine in having a dance around the house!


Manolo Blahnik

Bows and busy bits

If your dress is pretty fussy, it might be a wise choice to tone down the accessories, including the shoes. Overkill is a car crash when it comes to dressing up, where simple is often the most beautiful. However, if your dress is a little more understated, then perhaps your more adventurous choice of shoe will complete the outfit with attention to detail tying in with decoration at your venue with butterflies as your theme, a small butterfly on your shoe carries the styling through well, a pop of colour to match the bridesmaids or something completely quirky!

Harriet Wilde

Irregular Choice

How tall?!

If your partner is of a similar height to you flat footed, then he or she might not appreciate you waltzing down the aisle to greet them at the end towering well above them. Remember that as nice as it is to carry those few extra inches on the day to slim you down with grace, it’s much nicer to be experiencing the same weather as your guests down below.

Practice makes perfect

If you can’t walk in them then don’t wear them. Ok I understand that these shoes are to die for, believe me, I really do. But tottering around in heels your feet cannot walk in, often looks silly to the onlooker. But fear not, all shoes can be mastered! It just takes a little time and some dedication to practice – perhaps at home making dinner, washing up and doing daily chores in the hope that you won’t ruin them outside in a dirty puddle.

Wear what you want!

Seriously, you only get this one day; With all of the above being said, if you see THE shoes, then get them. Like your dress, your flowers, your venue and food, you only get one wedding day (supposedly!) and this day is the one you will cherish for the rest of your life. You want to feel the bees knees and by God, if Alexander McQueen can do that for you, then go get them!

Alexander McQueen


So, if you need more inspiration pop along to the Pintrest inspiration board because there are tonnes more to see! Already found your shoes? Then give us your tips and links below to your favs!



SANDALS are spreading the love…….

Take a look at these amazing Valentines Weekend Offers for some fantastic bargain honeymoon destinations with Sandals….  The Property in Barbados has only just opened its doors and is receiving some fantastic reviews!!!…

Contact Angela for more info:  angela@designertravel.co.uk   | Tel: 01457 829797

Vintage Hairstyles and Makeup Inspiration

Vintage Hairstyles and Makeup Inspiration


If you love glitz & glam of the golden age then this is for you !  Key vintage hairstyles & makeup inspiration from way back when…



I was elated when Melanie from ‘Case of The Curious Bride’ recently contacted me to see if I’d be interested in conducting some real life makeovers with real life ladies. It was to be based on her new ‘White Threads’ collection, inspired by the Golden Age of Cinema, to bring you some vintage hair and makeup inspiration from the 1920’s, 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s.

Describing ‘vintage’ often refers to several eras spanning almost ten decades. So to decipher the years and their distinguished styles, can often be a task in itself. The 1940’s victory rolls, the super thin brows of the 1930’s and the finger waves of the 1920/30’s, are perhaps the most obvious approaches. But nowadays, it’s not uncommon for us girls to pinch our favourite parts of all the styles and combine the essentials to create a unclassified ‘vintage’ look.

Melanie’s shoot was set to be a great opportunity to get stuck into some good old fashion hair setting, whilst investing in lots of liquid liner and transforming my five gorgeous girls into vintage dolls to demonstrate the eras apart and combined.

1950s bride birdcage veil poppy red pout vintage wedding hair

1950s bride crease cut eye makeup cherry red pout marcel waves birdcage veil


1950 hair_makeupMy first willing victim was the lovely Sarah, representing the 1950’s bride. Sarah had the traditional setting put into her hair showing a mixture of pin & barrel curls. Her eye makeup was mushroom browns tipped with classic ivory, then strong liner to define the eyes, lashes gently accentuated with a light mascara and then her 1950s wedding makeup was finished off with a fabulous red bow pout, perfect for the era!

As Sarah disappeared behind the scenes to slip into her wedding gown complemented by handmade vintage accessories crafted by Ivory Tuesday, model number two, Laura took a seat.

1940s bride bouncy vintage curls natural bridal makeup

1940s bride bouncy curls natural bridal makeup hair down waves

1940 hair_makeupLaura was my 1940’s Rita Hayworth inspired and stunning bride to be. It was important that I kept all of Laura’s vintage makeup delicate, with a soft smudged brown liner, a smidge of black pushed into the top lash line and some subtle lashes to set it off. I contrasted the gentleness of the overall look with a vibrant coral lippy and gradual waves – of course including the signature 40s quiff in her hair.

Seema was to be my irresistible late 1940’s rockabilly bride. Using warmer shades of brown on the eyes and a gorgeous pout with an Illamasqua matt lipstick, I added lots of black liner and lashes to supplement the late and post war era.  illamasqua poppy pout victory rolls urban 1950s wedding bride

1940s bride victory rolls and pink vibrant matt lipstick

Our models loved the hair whizzing up for this one. Seema had SO MUCH hair, at one point, I never thought I’d see the end of it! I added some loose curls to the back section of her hair and then back combed through to the front as the curls cooled. Two pinned victory rolls at the front followed by the cute curls at the back, made the perfect 1940’s vintage hairstyle. Whilst Seema changed into her outfit, I made a quick dash to make a last minute additional fix to our first bride Sarah with a hair accessory from Ivory Tuesday – handmade headpieces by Melanie herself!

fixing in hair accessories 1950s bride marcel wave birdcage veil

After finalising Seema’s 1940’s kiss pout with a quick powder to finish the matte look, I moved on over to my fourth stunning model, Sally

I love lucy hair up Berry lips arched brows bronze 1930s bride

i love lucy hair up 1930s makeup arched eyebrow bronze

1930 hair_makeup

Sally was to demonstrate my 1930’s bridal look. The signature look of the era is a much thinner and more arched brow from the previous looks, with all warm natural tones to enhance her gorgeous bone structure.

Looking at Sally now you wouldn’t believe that her hair is currently cut in an ultra modern ‘short back and sides’ style, something that I knew was not typical of the vintage era. To overcome this, I decided to go for a change from the marcel waving, instead opting for an ‘I love Lucy’ inspired hair up. I curled her hair with a WAM curling iron to ensure it was super tight, then I fluffed it up and slicked back the sides for a much workable and edgy look that was ideal for Sally’s quirky personality.

1920s hair and makeup marcel wave dark eye makeup

1920s vintage hair and makeup

1920 hair_makeupLast but not least, my 1920’s inspired bride, was the crazy gorgeous Sian who was an absolute hoot to work alongside! The popular Gatsby look is typically defined by incredibly pale skin, so I applied the eye makeup first using a Illamasqua gel liner and black pigment to smoke it up and soften the edges without drop down onto the foundation. I then used airbase foundation with a soft coral cheek to highlight the style whilst leaving her statement dark eye makeup and wild finger wave hair to do the talking.

Each of the looks seemed to work exceptionally well for the models and seemed to bizarrely suit their personalities so well!

John Boy Wilson was our photographer for the day who used both an indoor and outdoor set up for this photo-shoot. I was pleased with how the day had panned out, covering several eras over five models. Even some of the Sale community were congratulating our brides outside in their vintage attire!

Thanks to John, Mel and my five best girls for lending me their beautiful faces through the eras.






Amazing Honeymoon Offer!

Book your Mauritius honeymoon to either Paradis, Trou aux Biches or Dinarobin and the bride stays FREE*. Bookings must be made between 09 and 16 February 2015 and travel must be between 01 May and 15 July or between 01 September and 11 October 2015.

Plus, honeymoon guests at these five star resorts will receive champagne and fruits in their room on arrival, a spa treatment for the couple and a gift voucher to use in the hotel’s boutique.

Hurry, this offer is for one week only!

Contact angela@designertravel.co.uk  Tel: 01457 829797 Mob: 07790 783511

Honeymoon of a Lifetime!

When it comes to Honeymoons everyone is different – your Honeymoon should be the most magical and memorable holiday you have ever taken and should reflect your personality rather than tradition. This is your chance to fulfil a dream together and celebrate in style whether you are looking for pure relaxation and luxury in the most seductive of surroundings or an exotic adventure or a mix of the two – every honeymoon is unique and should be tailor made to your exact requirements with expert knowledge and expertise to guide you along the way… YOUR honeymoon of a lifetime. I am delighted to appear as a guest blogger on the gorgeous Clare’s website – my name is Angela Mayall and I am a dedicated award winning Honeymoon Expert – I would be delighted to provide you with some fantastic ideas/prices and quotes for your forthcoming honeymoon – I am totally independent and am fully ABTA and ATOL bonded and protected and work as part of the Designer Travel Team – please contact me and I would be delighted to assist you and ensure you have a Honeymoon of a Lifetime.

CONTACT | angela@designertravel.co.uk | Tel: 01457 829797 or Mob: 07790 783511 | www.designertravel.co.uk/angelamayall

Cheshire Hair and Makeup at The Midland Hotel

Cheshire Hair and Makeup at The Midland Hotel

Cheshire Hair & Makeup Artist

The Midland Wedding Fayre

I’m a Cheshire hair and makeup artist so i have worked at The Midland on many occasion but this was my first time at their wedding fair and what a venue! I have got brides ready here and done two photo-shoots here with photographer Sara Porter but this was my first peek inside the elegant and ornate rooms. AND just to confirm – Sara didn’t take these pics, you may or may not be able to tell this was my first day with my very own little camera!

A 6am rise this morning to get ready for my two gorgeous models Jen & Amber.

I have a pretty good portfolio, so fayre days, i like inspire you Bride-to-be with hair and makeup. So morning of, i decided to go a bit vampy retro with myself..

My hair up look is whizzed in to an almost victory roll at the front and sides and all the back just pinned up at the nape scruffy curls. 10 mins its up and in a quirky vintage undo. A makeup base of a little Illamasqua concealer and Sheer Cover mineral makeup buffed over the top. Mascara, MAC brow pencil, Illamasqua shadow ‘Stealth’ & ‘Herione’ – (my 2 must haves)  , bit of black MAC eye pencil, some mascara and lashes from eye candy… Done.

Strong eye makeup

Stong Eye makeup

strong eye makeup

I’m almost the middle girl in the looks for us all – with Jen first to arrive at 8am

  • Foundation: Airbase (who now stock an at home kit!)
  • Conceal: Illamasqua and Laura Mercier
  • Eyes: Illamasqua gel liner all over the socket and sinished with Urban Decay ‘Naked 2’ palette and lashes to give it a bit of sparkle to slightly soften but still lots of impact. 
  • Brows: Illamsqua Brow Cake
  • Highlighter: Illamasqua ‘Gleam Cream’ – my favourite highlighter on the market!
  • Lip: MAC Limited Addition shimmer gloss

Hair, well Jens chopped off all her locks, and she looks amazing with it, so i didnt want to change that too much. So a directional set, bit of a quiff at the front… Shes ready to grace the stand with a vintage hair down look.

dream dress bridal


Amber arrived at 9am – Amber we’re going for a soft country look and with her gown ive decided to go up so it dont take away from the neckline. But i still want a little bit of a soft country boho bride look so its all super soft and natural hair and makeup… Amber wasn’t a fan of the camera but with her own wedding in the not too distant future we got her practicing!


Soft smokey eye

soft up do


  • Foundation: Airbrush
  • Cheek: Benefit, ‘coralista’ – peachy cheek this time
  • Eyes:  Urban Decay ‘Naked’  palette for a really delicate smokey eye 
  • Liner: MAC in ‘Duck’ for soft definition & ‘Engraved’ just on the top to help blend in her half lash
  • Lip: Clinique Chubby Stick ‘Mega Melon’

Both Jen and Amber had gowns from the amazing boutique Dream Dress Bridal in Bredbury. Jen wears a comfortable figure hugging tulle gown & Amber a soft lace understated princess gown both from Mori Lee


Midland Hotel Wedding Fayre


Illamasqua, MAC, Urban Decay, Benefit, Laura Mercier, Airbase, Clinique


My Happiest Memories…

My Happiest Memories…

Steph & Chris

My Happiest Memories

I met Steph last year with her mum and makeup obsessed sister  🙂  what a success! Even the trial was amazing, we had tears and excitement, this really was an amazing family to work with… So here is Steph’s trip down memory lane and some amazing photography to remember their happiest memories from Claire Penn!


Claire Penn Photographycountry weddingChris and I met through mutual friends after university. Ironically, we had the same friends and lived on the same street for 2 years during university and never met!

We were friends to begin with but the relationship blossomed and although Chris had already booked a 5 month trip around the world before we’d met, we got together and decided to give it go. We’ve never looked back and also survived a year of long distance and 3 moves around the country!

We have now settled in Manchester and are very happy… We had been together 3 ½ years when Chris whisked me away to Edinburgh for the weekend. A few friends had said ‘oooo maybe he’ll propose’ but I tried not to think about it as I wanted to enjoy the weekend.Claire Penn Photography

On the Friday night we had a lovely meal out, then I persuaded Chris to go up Calton Hill – it’s a small hill just on the edge of the city centre with amazing views of the city. We went up it on our last visit but never got to see the city at night (little did I know this was Chris’ plan all along). So I changed from my heels to flats and up we went. We were the only people up there and we had these wonderful views of the city and right then he got down on one knee and popped the question! It was a perfect start to the weekend; we told the owner of the restaurant we visited the next night we’d just got engaged and got free dessert and a round of applause!!

Claire Penn Photogrpahy

We picked The Ashes as our wedding venue; we loved it as soon as we saw it. We wanted somewhere that wasn’t too far from Manchester and somewhere which was quite central, as we have friends and family all over the country. It was the first venue we saw, we looked at a few others but none seemed to compare. We wanted a September wedding, so we decided on early in the month, hopeful that the weather would be better. 15 months to plan and save!


Claire Penn Photography

Planning the wedding was stressful but luckily Chris’ mum is really creative and helped with a lot of the decorations including the invitations and all the wedding stationary, vintage lace bunting, table plan and tea lights…

Claire Penn Photography

Claire Penn Photography

The dress I found at Puure bride in Lymm. It was difficult finding a dress because I originally thought I wanted something quite understated and floaty, but then I realised I wanted something that looked like a “wedding dress” because you only get to wear it once right? But I still wanted something quite delicate but that suited my shape and wasn’t too princess (not my style!).

Claire Penn Photography


So with the help of Ange and Jo I found a fitted but vintage style lace dress by Justin Alexander. I’d lost quite a bit of weight when I came to try on the dress once it came into store 6 months later so I was freaking out when it was far too big but the team did an amazing job and even the registrar commented on how well it fitted! I loved the little straps that added some detail at the back but were also removable so I could take them off in the evening when I wanted to swing my arms around and party!


Claire Penn  photography

Claire Penn Photography

Claire Penn Photography

Shoes I went for Jenny Packham open toe high heels I loved them!

The night before the wedding my mum, sister and myself stayed at a cottage a couple of miles from The Ashes. The rest of the bridesmaids joined us in the morning and we started getting ready here. Clare did all the bridesmaids and my mum’s make up, and the bridesmaid’s hair.

Claire Penn Photography

We were amazed at her speed and thoroughness! Later in the morning we moved to the old milk dairy at The Ashes (a small barn on site where the bride and bridesmaids can get ready). Clare finished my hair and make up here, along with my mum’s and we toasted with prosecco.

I was so nervous and time seemed to fly by but Clare kept us all calm and more importantly kept calm herself!

Claire Penn Photography

I’d decided last minute not to have a veil, instead opting for a vintage style hair piece – a double string of pearls with jewels either side which clipped either side of my hair. It was the perfect finish to the look I wanted which Clare mastered so perfectly with my hair and make up.

country weddingThe day was perfect and the staff at The Ashes were superb, especially Steph our co-ordinator.



Claire Penn Photography



Claire Penn Photography


The flowers were from a local florist at the Topiary Tree – the manager Rose totally understood my image of how I wanted the flowers to look, she picked the colours and the flowers brilliantly! We didn’t really have a colour theme but the bridesmaid dresses were a sort of light mauve/dusty lilac so Rose made sure this ran country weddingthrough the flowers as well.

Our photographer Claire Penn just captured every moment so perfectly, we couldn’t be happier with the photos. A friend a friend Laura Jane Dale did our wedding video – this was a last minute decision but probably the best we ever made. She captured the whole ceremony, speeches and recorded video messages from friends and family. Watching this back was the best thing; our guests were a bit merry on the video’s so we got to see some rapping, singing and twerking on our messages which had us in tears of laughter. Along with the photos we were so pleased we are able to look at this and remember the special moments as the day goes by like a bit of a whirlwind.


Claire Penn Photography

Claire Penn Photography

Our band was The Fanatics, a local band who played an acoustic set outside whilst everyone enjoyed prosecco, peroni and canapés and then played 2 sets in the evening which kept people on the dance floor all night!

Claire Penn Photography

Claire Penn Photography

Claire Penn Photography


All in all our favourite part was having all our friends and family who we love in the same room at the same time celebrating our special day with us. We have so many happy memories, for me it was perfect! I have to say Clare did a fantastic job with everyone’s hair and make up, it stayed put all day and I totally trusted her. You will not be disappointed if you book her for your big day!

Claire Penn Photography

The Most Magical Day of My Life

The Most Magical Day of My Life

My Most Magical Day!

I met Jo quite a while back when she kindly stepped in to model gowns with the ‘Dream Team’ so i have created hair and makeup looks for her before. This time it was Jo’s wedding day and she has to be one of the most smiley brides i’ve ever come across… Her hair and makeup trial was pre hen do, mini girls party getting glammed up for the night ahead and the wedding day… She was magical, gliding through the morning… I’ll let Jo fill you in on THE most magical day of her life! x


Ours isn’t a traditional story of ‘Boy gets on bended knee, girl cries’ (OK  i admit there were tears), venues were scoured, then booked and plans began but we did things a little different…

It was 2010 and i’d been waiting 11 years for the big question and dropping the usual hints, so one day i just happened to stumble (accidentally on purpose) across the website of the venue id always dreamt about getting married at; Rookery Hall in Nantwich. Ishowed Paul the website, mention that they have a wedding fayre on in the May of that year.

Elbowroom Photography
He suggested that we go to have a look round, so i left it up to him to book the appointment with the wedding co-ordinator.

On the way to the fayre he asked me “so if we book it today, will we have to pay a deposit?” I guess that was ‘it’, a proposal of sorts. We did book our wedding that day. October 6th 2012, a whole 28 months to wait…and plan.


We decided not to tell anyone about the wedding, you know, its a bit odd booking a wedding without the real proposal, OR a ring! So, it was back to waiting and guessing when the question would be popped. I’ve got to admit, for the next few months, any special occasion and date we went on was ruined by me, i was not so good at hiding my disappointment when he failed to speak those four important words.

Christmas Day 2010; we had just finished opening our presents from each other and I gave Paul a hug and a kiss to say thank you. He wouldn’t let me go for a few seconds and when he did, he was holding out the most perfect ring i’d ever seen in my life. He asked – I cried… We celebrated with lots of champagne that day! A fantastic job was done with my ring, he’d listened all those years about my dream to have one from Tiffany & Co, the simple but elegant Tiffany setting was now sparkling on my ring finger!

Now for the planning; there was only one place I was ever going to get my dress from, Dream Dress Bridal! I’d known Holly for years and i was in love with her shop, i’d helped out with some of the bridal shows the Dream Dress team had put on, so I knew the style I wanted, and what did and didn’t suit me. Holly and Lynne couldn’t have made the experience to choose my dress any more perfect. I decided on the Ronald Joyce – Dorianna and i’ve honestly never felt so beautiful in anything, until i put on that gown.jo6

Bridesmaid dresses are always a difficult thing to get right, especially if you have bridesmaids who are all different sizes and body shapes. I wanted soemthing that would suit everyone but most of all, i wanted all the bridesmaids to be comfortable. After some searching, i came across the Dessy Twist Dress, a versatile design which comes in lots of colours and can be work in 15 different ways. All my bridesmaids, sister, best fiends and sister -in-law chose a different style to suit them.

Elbowroom photography

Clare from Harry Jon was the only person i was going to trust to do my wedding hair and makeup. I had worked with Clare at the bridal shows and absolutely loved her vision and style. I didn’t want the au-naturel look on our wedding day, that is just not me – I wear makeup. Clare did exactly as i asked, a dramatic makeup with dark smokey eyes, false lashes and plenty of eyeliner with a nude gloss for the lip. For my hair up, i channelled and Eva Longoria red carpet undo which complimented my dress perfectly, curled and pinned up at the back.

My wedding jewellery was from Glitzy Secrets, a side tiara, bract and earrings encrusted with shimmering smokey and glittering clear Austrian crystal. The shoes… OH THE SHOES, for those that know me, shoes are MY thing, so they had to be all kinds of special! After much deliberating and searching, i decided on Benjamin Adams, Electra – The encrusted beauties, stocked at Dream Dress Bridal.

Elbowroom Photography

Elbowroom Photography








I’m not a very crafty person when it comes to making decorations, so i enlisted the help of fabulous Charlotte and Maggie from Couture Venue Dressing. You can even see our wedding on their website under ‘magical purple’ on the gallery pages. We came weddingup with having tall centre pieces to compliment the size of the room, along with some smaller pieces for the top table. The table numbers were quotes form ‘Romeo & Juliet’, a theme that started on the invitations and continued through to the music played as i walked in – ‘Kissing You’ Baz Luhrmann Version.

The photographer we used had to be just right so we did do plenty of research. Neither of us are particularly keen on these posed shots, but understood that it is important for the family members to have those type of images. We decided on having 2 photographers so we could do the posed and candid shots we wanted. Jo and John from Elbowroom Photography fit the bill perfectly, we had a meeting with them before booking and we just knew there were for us. On the day, they felt like part of the party, getting involved with all the guests and they got some absolutely amazing shots.

Elbowroom Photography

Buying our wedding rings had to be another one of our many experiences. We went to New York for a short break the Christmas before the wedding, so there was no better place to buy our rings than Tiffany & Co on 5th Avenue! Champagne is served as you are trying on rings and they make you feel like a milion dollars. The lady serving us even wrote us a letter a few weeks after we’d arrived back in the UK to wish us well.


The day before the wedding, my mum, bridesmaids and i made our way to Rookery Hall (its where David and Victoria Beckham got engaged you know!) for some champagne and food to celebrate my last night as a single woman!

The morning started with some pampering from Clare; whist she did our hair and makeup we all drank champagne (can you see a theme here?!). The Flowers arrived from Wendy’s Florist in Nantwich Village, corsages for the bridesmaids made with white and purple Lisianthus and my amazing purple Calla Lilly bouquet. My dad came to see me as i was getting tied into my dress (another service provided by Clare) and had a final spritz of my wedding day present – perfume from the Husband-To-Be… Marry Me by Lancome. Could it be anymore perfect? I started to get really excited now, a little too excited in fact as i forgot my amazing bouquet!

Elbowroom Photography

Dad raced me down the aisle, i think he was a bit nervous and there i stood with Paul ready to say the most important words i’d ever say.

The ceremony didnt go to plan. I said the wrong name!

Not as in the Ross & Rachel moment but i used my married name a little too early!  We had some spectators through the window who didn’t think it was inappropriate to stand and stare, and yes, the missing flowers. Groomsman to the rescue, he went to collect them for the signing of the register…Elbowroom Photography
The rest of the afternoon was a whirlwind of photographs and chatting with guests whilst being entertained by our wonderful singer Ruby Mae.

Elbowroom Photography

The meal was served andspeeches took place. Paul isnt normally a public speaker but he really made the most fantastic speech having all the guests crying and laughing. Our only regret of the day was not having it videoed  so we can watch it back.

It really is true what they say though, the day goes so quickly and before we knew it, our evening guests had arrived and the drinks were flowing. We were all making good use of the Photo Booth which we hired from Shooting Stars. The album is proof of that!

People told me how stressful wedding planning was and the day of the wedding is the most stressful of all. But hand on heart, i loved every second. From Clare arriving at the crack of dawn for hair and makeup, right until i lay my head on the pillow at the end of the day – it was the most magical day of my life and well worth the 11 year wait to be asked!

Elbowroom photography


elbowroom photography






About Harry Jon; Hair & Makeup Artist (MUA)

About Harry Jon; Hair & Makeup Artist (MUA)

Harry Jon MUA

Hair & Makeup Artist

So, ALOMST every wedding trial I get asked about Harry Jon: Where i’ve work, when did i start as a hair and makeup artist (MUA)… Hence writing this post to give you a bit of background and what makes me tick.

hair queenI come from a family of hairdressers, so naturally my life began in hair travelling around with my Grandma, a mobile hairdresser, at the super young age of 4 to ‘pass up’ for her; travelling round in her robin reliant car… I guess it was her that unleashed the creative gene in me.

When i came to leave school i had no idea what i wanted to do but a close friend of mine was doing a Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy course and after some advice off mum: ‘Hair styling is a trade and even if you decide not to do it, you can always fall back in to it’ and thats exactly what i did.

Beauty Therapy wasn’t for me but i loved hair styling! I left college and worked in salon where i started to get a feel for all the party & wedding hair and i think that was it for me…

From there i had a change of path and went to work for Elizabeth Arden to explore the makeup work – 100% on the training course in London – YAY, I felt quite proud of myself back then because i felt useless at school.

1950s wedding

Since, i’ve set up Harry Jon, (now 7 years ago) done a more in depth course with in makeup & skincare and then went on to the fab School of Makeup. If you are on the hunt for a school to train this place is great. All the tutors are out working still in the industry and are a mindful of info. I’ve returned since doing the media makeup to do a training course on wigs with Jo Anthony – the oracle of period hair and then back again for some prosthetics with the king of gore Darren Longthorne.

Sara Porter Photography

As well as that i went to London to work with the immense talent at Illamasqua. I did 2 courses back to back here over 3 days for more creative work – loved it and hoping to venture back for some more creative colour work.

I’ve a huge passion for what i do; my mind is always ticking thinking what i can do next. I don’t just work with brides in Wedding World either, i love photo-shoots be that for beauty work, fashion or avant grade. Ive worked on some music videos and promotional shoots with classical duo ‘Eden‘. I have my own little avant grade quirky corner i like to go back to when an idea pops in to my head.

But you ladies are here for your wedding day – Congratulations! My brides have asked for everything, lots of eras like 1920, 30,40,50’s – 70s chicks, boho brides, gothic brides, complete natural brides that don’t like the feel of makeup, i’ve even had a bride ask to look ‘plastic’ – each to their own.

bridal blog


There is no set looks for brides these days, you have what ever makes you feel comfortable! Natural makeup to some brides is to look like they are wearing nothing – to others this is a full face and lots of eyeliner. The most important thing is that you feel ‘You’ and your relax and have THE best day ever.

I’ve tonnes of inspiration and creativity and i’ve put this blog together to recommend the companies i work with on a regular basis and i know are fab plus i’m notorious for coming up with songs, table centre ideas, anything that helps really when you get wedding block. My hair and makeup work takes me everywhere; all over Cheshire, Shropshire, The Lakes, Lancashire and sometimes further. I use airbrush makeup and I regularly work with hair extensions, in fact i highly recommend them – they can turn a hair do in to a Wow do. Its often difficult to find an MUA that does hair well so I don’t mind saying Im a hair queen! I lurve hair!

Eden classical singers

So, get in touch and check your dates free, qet a quote and get booked in! Please don’t wait because unfortunately, there is only one of my and i’m always having to turn people down…