Hopefully some handy top tips for a relaxed 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 ever celebration, with your favourite suppliers from the wedding industry hired to help it run smoothly…
So the wedding day is here, sit back, 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 on wedding bits to keep them safe and ready all together 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, is great for unwinding and keeping the nerves at bay…but watch the bubbly! Hungover brides have happened and will always happen, but they always regret it the day after. There will be plenty more where that came from on your wedding day!
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.
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
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. 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!
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 or they will leave 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, 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 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 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
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
So this lovely lady is one of my closest friends!
I was so excited when she asked me to get her ready for her wedding day… and looking back i’m glad i was there to keep her relaxed – hair and makeup for my gorgeous friend and her mum and a quick rescue with hair for all the bridesmaids.
A completely gorgeous day… Take it away Claire
It was love at first sight!
I met James back in 2009, the timing was terrible! My parents had just separated and my whole belief in love, family and marriage was blown to pieces. After cancelling on him once I decided to bite the bullet and just go on the date….
Standing and waiting for him to arrive (for once I was early, ask James now and he will say it is the only time I have ever been early or on time in the whole time he has known me). A really hot guy walks past me, looks at me and smiles then realises he needs to do a 180 because I was the date!
Almost instantly I feel in love with this sweet, shy, generous and super hot figure of a man who can dance…oh yes he can dance! Every girl wants their own Patric Swayze and I now have one!
Within weeks James had managed to rebuild my trust and belief in relationships and love. Within 3 months we were living together and within a year and half he had proposed!
The proposal was lovely and so James! He is sweet and shy but his attention to detail is like nobody else’s I know, he managed to surprise me with a trip to London, a wonderful evening with friends that I had not seen in a long while and then the next day in a restaurant that I had always wanted to go to he presented me with an amazing ring and asked me to be his wife, I was in complete shock! But of course jumped at the chance to marry him!
Here is where is the fun begins…..Do you remember I mentioned James attention to detail! Yeah well at times that came in REALLY handy, he made our seating plan and individually glued all the gems on himself! We made all our own invites… Other times not so handy, trying to sneak on those extra canapes and confetti cones!
James and I rarely argued about what we’d like from our wedding day, we had pretty much the same view. He appreciated that I always wanted to get married in the same church as my sisters and I understood that if we were going to go back to Wales to get married we needed to provide transport his extended family to attend….extended family being the local Rugby club he captained at the time. So we knew it was also going to be a big event.
Keeping it true to us though we wanted suppliers and people that we trusted around us whilst it was a big day we still wanted it to be personal; from the venue that I already knew well The Grosvenor, Pulford , their amazing wedding planning team and hotel manager Maurice could not have been more accommodating. To the florist at Greens N Things who agreed to my strange request to have the flowers in champagne buckets – to my godfather who spoke at our wedding and James stepmum and one of my closest friends who also did a reading for us.
Finally, we come to the amazing Clare Ardern, Clare, you’ll all know owns HarryJon and she is one of my closest friends so I had to have her! She’s wasn’t just a makeup artist but my stylist, this woman is incredible, she can literally transform you from the person you are to the one you have always wanted to be on your wedding day! This for me was a regal feel, fairy tale meets Hollywood glamour. Clare worked with the theme of my day, dress, colour schemes and personality. Somebody who can do all of this is worth their weight in gold!
Her patience on the day was amazing, we had over 6 adults to get ready and a sneaky little flower girl also managed to use her expertise. (My niece Eleanor is a force to be reckoned with!) My wedding morning wasn’t as smooth as I wanted, I think it is important for all brides to put their foot down here, you need people around you that make you happy. Clare was calm and composed whilst I was having a mini breakdown! She handed me a glass of champagne and smiled, put me in my dress, a Maggie Sottero gown from the ladies at Aristocrats in Chester.
That moment was amazing! All set to travel to our family church in a stunning wedding car of Horgans. If it wasn’t for Clare I can whole heartedly guarantee that James would not have been half as impressed as he was when I met him at the alter.
As for the groom… Now my amazing husband I could not have been happier with what we achieved for our day and now we have photos that will last a lifetime to always remind us of our awesome day!
I met Jade whilst helping out at Dream Dress Bridal in Bredbury (an amazing experience if you have yet to find your ‘dream dress’) but i also found out a little later that i had worked with one of Jades bridesmaids too! This lady was super relaxed and super organised, a day filled with peaches & cream the wedding morning was full of atmosphere and enthusiastic bridesmaids – a perfect wedding day to remember… Here’s Jades trip down memory lane.
Alan and I met back in 2005 at the tender age of just 15 and 18. Although we were young I knew then he was the one for me. They say opposites attract and our case this is definitely so…
Alan’s quiet, less confident than I am although he is without doubt the most caring , hard working and loyal man I know. During the ten years weve been together I’ve always been the organised one, taking charge whenever necessary, Alan’s much more laid back. So when it came to the planning of the wedding I had very fixed ideas about how I wanted the day to be.
We got engaged on the beach in Egypt back in 2009. The plan was for a 2012 wedding. Although in 2010 a little surprise in the form of our daughter Isabella came along. Wedding plans went on hold.
After buying our house in January 2014 we felt the time was right to set a date for our wedding. We decided on a spring wedding in March 2015.
We set out looking for venues and fell in love with the first venue we went to visit. The Cottons hotel, knutsford. It was the perfect size , modern , quirky and set in the lovely Cheshire countryside. The staff were so helpful from day one and it just felt right for us to get married there.
I knew I wanted plenty of bridesmaids as we both have sisters and I couldn’t choose between my best friends so decided I’d have them all! 8 in total. Each of them were thrilled to be asked. Although with so many bridesmaids to clothe I knew finding a dress to suit everyone would be difficult. I found a local dress maker so that the girls could each choose a dress style they preferred and have it made exactely to their measurements. After much deliberating we finally agreed on the colour dusky pink, we wanted something that said spring wedding and also kept in with out vintage theme.
I set about looking for my dress. I knew straight away I wanted a fishtail style dress with a sweetheart neckline to enhance what little cleavage I had, much to my mother’s and sisters disapproval. They had envisioned I wore a big princess meringue style dress . Needless to say , their were plenty of disagreements before I found my dream dress ironically at dream dress bridal in Bredbury 5 minutes from where I live. I opted for a Diane Harbridge fishtail dress with sweetheart neckline and lace, just how I pictured it. It was there I met Clare. I’d already heard about Clare’s work and knew she was the woman I wanted doing my hair and make up on my big day.
We knew two sisters who had recently started up a venue decorating company called ‘I do‘ so got in touch with them to decorate our venue. Holly and Natalie of I do are so talented at what they do and could not do enough to help me in creating the vison I had of how I wanted the venue to look. We loved the photo booth idea so hired one of those from them too. It went down great with the guests.
After going to many weddings and having spent hours entertaining ourselves whilst the newly weds have their pictures taken we knew we wanted to invest most of our wedding budget into the entertainment for the day to keep all the guests happy and give them a day to remember. We hired a magician named Nick Rushton who was absolutely astonishing. We also had a roulette table to keep the boys happy , a DJ and a Robbie Williams tribute act as myself my sister and Mum are huge fans, a photographer of course, Adrian of Will Hey Photography . A sweet cart as anyone who knows Alan knows what a sweet tooth he has, and a nanny to see to the children for the day.
Everything was falling into place as the date became closer. I wanted very simple flowers and a very simple cake. I decided on ivory roses for my bridesmaids with the flower girls having a vintage pink rose Posey with an added butterfly detail and a mixture of ivory and vintage pink roses in my bouquet with added pearl detail. The cake I chose was again a simple 3 tier ivory design. Both the cake and flowers were made by suppliers who operated from home, keeping my costs down too .
On the eve of the wedding I stayed at the Cottons with two of my bridesmaids. I had a relaxing afternoon in the gym and spa before heading off for a drink with the first love of my life , my dad.
The morning of the wedding I woke around 6 and despite having a belly full of butterfly’s managed to consume some breakfast. Clare arrived around 9 along with my other bridesmaids. We all got ready in the bridal suite at the hotel, wearing pur personalised dressing gowns drinking champagne. Clare did five of the bridesmaids make up as well as my make up and hair. All the girs were so pleased with their looks and when it came to my turn it was as if Clare had read my mind. I wanted a very natural look but with big hair. She did me a big curly up do with extensions to extend the hair even more. It looked sensational , exactly as id imagined it. She was great at keeping me calm as the nerves started to kick in and put me into my dress before I left to make that very important walk down the aisle.
The day went without a hitch exactly as I had planned it . It goes so incredibly quick just as everyone had told me .
My advice to any bride now is to relax and enjoy your day taking in every detail.
We honeymooned in the Dominican Republic along with out daughter and then had a second mini moon a month later in Barcelona.
Everyone asks what married life is like ? My answer is always the same, its the same as it was before only now I know that I’m the luckiest girl in the world to have my husband my by side for the rest of my life , our perfect little family.
Planning Your Perfect Wedding
Your Own Cinderella Moment!
Helen was my super glam bride, for her trial she had a clear idea of what hair and makeup looks she wanted, super prepared with pictures of different looks she’d found all working perfectly with her Mori Lee lace fishtail wedding gown from Dream Dress Bridal in Bredbury and statement necklace… So here are Helen’s top tips for planning your perfect wedding day!
I could write a novel the length of war and peace about my wedding day – it was perfect to me and I loved every minute but then who doesn’t?!
I could bore you with why I picked the flowers I did or the venue but you’ll come to your own reasoning for that – instead I’ll impart a few ‘top tips’ to help you plan your own perfect wedding and create your own fairytale moment!
I love a spreadsheet so maybe I revelled in this a little more than most but if you want to help yourself in the long run, be realistic on what you can afford. My husband and I decided on £8000 – to some that seems masses to lots it’s probably peanuts but it’s the figure we worked out we could comfortably save without having a year living on the bread line.
Think of all the things that a wedding comprises; venue, guests, dress, photographer, party etc and put it in order of importance. There is no right answer here, for us it was number of guests and fantastic photographs that hit the top of our list – this helped massively in deciding venue and working out where we could scrimp & save on the budget and where we weren’t willing to sacrifice.
- Get Creative
We saved loads as I was willing to put some time into making my own things. I made my bouquet from brooches that friends and family gave to me, making it really personal & special. I did my own centre pieces for the tables to avoid the cost of flowers and even designed my own invites saving a fortune on design & printing costs. It might take time & effort but it does really save a pretty penny and make the day very personal & unique
- Be Cheeky!
I always say ‘you don’t ask you don’t get’ and it couldn’t be truer for a wedding. We asked my mum to make our cake which she was delighted to do. I asked the venue if they could do us a deal on the bar prices for guests and we ended up with a special price for bottles of wine & draughts too. I asked for a room upgrade the night before and low and behold got upgraded to the suit we were due to have on the wedding night.
The worst thing to happen for asking is someone says no, which does happen, but it really isn’t that terrible!
- Get Recommendations
Both the wedding dress shop – Dream Dress Bridal and the hair & makeup artist – Harry Jon, came as recommendations from friends who had used them and loved them and I couldn’t be more pleased with both!
Using suppliers / venues others rave about just makes sense! Why have the fear of the unknown?!?
- Try Before You Buy
You want to know what you’re spending your hard earned pennies on is just what you want so, try it out. Eat in the restaurant, view several of the bedrooms, book a hair & make up trial, try loads of dresses, view photographers albums. You want to know what you chose is what you think it is so try it out!!! After all you can’t change it on the day so make sure it’s right before hand. Any decent company will not have an issue with this. Harry Jon went through several hair & makeup options with me, working with me to get the look I was after. Dream dress bridal had me in for several appointments where they spent several hours allowing me to browse & try without the hard push. They were full of helpful advice too!
- Be You
It’s your wedding day and it should reflect your personalities and the things you love. You don’t have to have fruit cake just because it’s traditional. You don’t have to wear white if it doesn’t suit you just because it’s what people expect! We did a cocktail making session for guests whilst we had our couple shots and a brass quartet to play in between. A very eccentric mix but very ‘us’ all the same.
The Internet is a wonderful thing. If you’re prepared to look you can find loads of amazing ideas and view hundreds of venues without even leaving the comfort of your home. It really does pay to do a little research first, look at reviews, find items you may want. You can save time and money by surfing the net to get those finishing touches for less or by whittling down the venue list to your top 3 to avoid dragging your soon to be spouse round hundreds of pointless locations.
- Have Fun!
Planning a wedding doesn’t have to be a chore, it’s not all about the 1 day. Make sure that you have a laugh along the way – after all planning a wedding can take over your life for a while so you really don’t want it to be stressing you out!
Yup it’s that important it’s on here twice! If you want to reduce the stress levels make a budget and stick to it! I knew I’d found the perfect photographers in Red 5 Studios, but given our tight budget I knew I’d have to compromise on something else. For us it was the table decorations, I had intended to have real flowers but at over £50 per table I could see the numbers mounting up in a less than favourable way! I also ended up getting the button holes from a florist on the market – they worked out half the price of the high street shop and just as beautiful. The stall had a folder of images of past work; they just weren’t on line & obviously had cheaper over heads for running meaning the customers got the savings passed on!
Remember planning a wedding doesn’t have to be a chore, have fun with it – enjoy the chance to bond with your partner and make the day truly reflect you! Don’t worry what others might think, family and friends will be happy no matter what you decide and if they’re not – so what?! Those that truly support you would wear a bin bag if that’s what you desired!
Stick to your budget and you’ll avoid any additional heart ache – it really is there to help not hinder you. And finally just be you – you’ll have way more fun getting creative and planning your special day if it reflects who you are & what you like, and if things are seeming all a bit much – just remember it’s only one day!!!
Good luck creating your ‘happy ever after!’
BEFORE & AFTER:
Like you’ve never seen us before!
For most women before & after pictures are terrifying! To be seen without our war paint on is a big no no – so these were particularly brave under the circumstances. Harsh lighting and a very early start meant that these pre-makeup shots were never going to be picture perfect and not particularly what we’d want seen all over the internet… BUT we’re warriors, so here we go!
A 5.30am start to get myself ready revealed the true horrors of the dreaded ‘pillow face’. Many of my clients laugh when I tell them about the ‘lazy side’ of my face and that my skin isn’t particularly great, because I cover it with professional makeup. But as I was asking other ladies to bare all, I decided to join them and show that the proof is in the pudding! I think we can all agree that this bad boy snap, really does show my double sided face at its worst!
At wedding fayres, I always aim to find out which bridal looks are already donning the runway before deciding what style I will produce for myself. Today’s was a scruffy up-do with a quiff fringe. I decided against putting anything additional into it, because it is a versatile hair up complimented best by flowers, a tiara or comb etc depending upon your own personal preference. Instead, I went for some statement Stella & Dot Holly Drop Earrings with the intention of testing these pretty, but edgy, drop earrings for my own big day. I think I’m a little bit on love with them…what do you think?!
For the makeup, i went a darkish smokey eye with winged vampy eyeliner saluted by a dramatic berry lip from Illamasqua suitable for both of the gowns i was wearing today from Victoria Jane by Ronald Joyce and the other, Mori Lee.
Kit in the car, drive to venue…
Thankfully,I was only working on the catwalk today, so I didn’t have the additional stress of setting up an exhibition stand for the wedding fayre. BUT, what I did have was eleven models about to descend on me for all their hair ups and make ups, in preparation for the show!
Holly – Lorna – Charis
Charis & Holly of Dream Dress Bridal and Mandy of Mrs Toppings Tea Parties arrive bright and early at 7am to set up stands providing me with a little extra time to set their prepped hair before the others arrived.
The gorgeous bridesmaid gowns were supplied from Mark Lesley Bridemaids and i was asked to incorporate a flower headband into each look to suit the collection. On wedding days every bridesmaid has a different style so to inspire I created each look to have the same shadow base in a mauve, applied to accentuate the fresh and girly pink tone of the dress but with their own personality twist.
- Charis: traditional smooth curled hair with the addition of a retro liquid liner to her makeup.
- Holly: Cheryl Cole inspired BIG hair and a smoky liner for sultry eyes with lots of bronzer.
- Mandy: a softer look consistent with the vintage style, using brown liner and a small amount of black with English rose blush cheeks (Mandy was also a bride today too, so her look had to be wearable for her vintage princess wedding gown from Mori Lee later on in the show)
Jen and Michelle also volunteered to join us for a before and after makeup picture too, however I do feel that with their natural good looks, they got away a little easier than me and my pillow face! Jen requested an up-do to trial a ‘scruffy chignon’ for her sister’s big day with added flowers, which I absolutely loved in her hair.
I went to town with the backcombing on Jen’s hair before shaping it into place (although poor Jen had to do the practice catwalk with unfinished MASSIVE hair. Luckily she’s a good sport and took it in her stride, smiling all the way!). For Jen’s makeup I applied a soft look but with definition using lots of liner, mascara and lashes and then super rosy on the apples of her cheeks – a look that worked well with both gowns from Diane Harbridge & Heritage.
With the launch of the new movie, ‘Cinderella‘ Michelle was our very own girl with the glass slippers as she wore two gowns from Diane Harbridge collection encrusted in diamontes and sparkle. Michelle’s hair was heavily curled with added extensions and then creatively pinned for a ‘half up-half down’ look. Topped with a beautiful tiara from Richard Designs. The perfect accessory for any princess bride!
Michelle’s makeup was encrusted in a soft pink (a mixture of two from Eye Kandy) with a thin line of black liquid liner, a pink lip and cheek, with lots of highlights and finished off dowsed in glitter spray – she literally shimmered her way down the catwalk in superb Cinders style!
By this point, I was four girls down and seven more to go…the clock was ticking and with only so many hours in the day, I certainly had my hands full and the pressure was on. Thankfully Jen jumped in to lend a hand adding lashes to the girls; a makeup artist turned beautician! Whilst Michelle, a fellow hairdresser, grabbed the curlers and got stuck in to assist getting the job done on time. Thank you so much ladies!
Michelle – Charlotte – Clare – Mandy – Jen – Charis and little man Alfie
As Lorna arrived, I decided a quick plaited up do was most suitable for her bridal look, as she was also being a bridesmaid (pictured above with Holly & Charis) later in the show. This is a super fast but effective look for bridesmaids and easily adapted to your own personal style; individually altering more height, more drama, more loose, etc.
Lorna’s makeup was a traditional and natural wedding look; a wash of taupe brown on her socket, brown liner and mascara, then an apricot cheek to go with her cappuccino bridesmaid dress from Mark Lesley.
Our catwalk community is very much like a little family. We all work hard and pull together every show to create something inspiring and entertaining for prospective brides who come to visit. Year by year the comments get better and better on the choreography and vibe of the team – something that is so encouraging and rewarding for all those who put in the work on the stage and behind the scenes!
Charlotte joined us for this catwalk and having worked with her before, I knew she’d fit right in with the team. She’s a complete professional so standing looking at her moodboard for the show I heard the girls gasp from their makeupless faces. She is absolutely gorgeous…I certainly didn’t want to walk after her down the catwalk! She is an absolute stunner and the kindest person with it, she certainly was a newly added asset to the team.
For the launch of Dream Dress Bridal’s new boutique, I showcased the classic hair down with extensions for volume. But with Charlottes hair this time, I opted for a soft and very loose updo with pieces cascading topped off with a fresh bridal look for her makeup. In all honesty Charlotte would look amazing no matter what she wears, but she looked particularly sensational in this Heritage gown – my own personal princess favourite of the Dream Dress boutique.
Next was Jen, always my edgy bride and today is no different as she graced the catwalk in a complete embellished fishtail gown with a sweetheart neckline from Mori Lee – to say she looked absolutely stunning is an understatement! Today we went for a dramatic eye makeup – shimmering gold from the Urban Decay palette teamed with a MAC brown paint pot underneath to give some added depth, with a bronze cheek and added coral on the apples giving her a dramatic sun kissed look (also from my MAC palette).
Jens hair was whizzed up into a sleek classic updo style; a pleat complemented by pretty flower slides through the back from Richard Designs.
Next was Michelle number two, this time opting for an art deco inspired hair, pinned up in curls around the back to one side, showing off the embellished back on this amazing princess gown from Mori Lee.
Michelles makeup defined her socket line, liquid liner, lashes and a slightly heavier contour than the others and lots of high lighter from Illamasqua
Mandy – Charlotte – Michelle
Maxine arrived with a full face of makeup, like many, she does not leave the house without it, so a before and after picture was not possible this time and no time to remove all the makeup traces – think on your feet, I topped up her make up quickly, as by this point, we only had about 20 minutes left before the start of the show and no time to waste – i’m almost there and feeling good as this is the biggest show i’ve done with no assistant! Thank heavens for a fellow makeup artist and hairdresser on hand who just happen to love parading round in wedding dresses!
Last was my gorgeous gal Georgia – (yet to be signed by a modelling agency but I doubt it will take long) who walked for the newest designer for Dream Dress; Gemy Maalouf looking absolutely gorgeous on the catwalk.
We opted for a curled look again for Georgia’s hair as I wanted to keep it quite sleek but have a slightly rough look around it to keep in style with ‘glam boho bride chic’. For her makeup, I decided upon lots of liner and super smouldering eyes. Georgia has a real Arabian princess look about her, my very own Princess Jasmine, whose beautiful face demanded plenty of bronze tones to make her eyes pop with black liner around her eyes as well as on the water line. She carried the headband tiara off so well, I’m sure you’ll agree!
Special mention for the boys of Whistle & Flute who two little lead men stole the show… Take a look at the video for a peek at the catwalk.
Nicky – Mick – Andy
We love to hear your comments – favourite products – hints & tips for Brides to be. So please leave your comments below!
All wedding gowns are available at Dream Dress Bridal in Bredbury.
Menswear: Whistle & Flute Menswear
Chalotte Clemie is available to book: Alan Sharman Agency
Toast Master: Bob Williams
Videographer: Rich Video
Jen – Clare – Mandy – Bob – Charlotte – Georgia