Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Engagement Photos: Peak District Engagement Shoot

Peak district engagement shoot

Recently we got back our engagement photos from our wedding photographer, and I thought I'd share some of them here. An engagement shoot was included as part of the photography package, and I'd really recommend it for any couples who are booking a photographer for their wedding, in order to get comfortable with your photographer. We were lucky in that the weather was nice and sunny, but it was very windy on top of the cliff edge!

We did the majority of the photography in the Peak District, which is near to where we live. The ledge we are sitting on is Curbar Edge, which was featured in the Kiera Knightly film version of Pride and Prejudice, which you can see by clicking here. We are really happy with the way the photos turned out. It's quite special having outstanding natural beauty pretty much on your doorstep.

Peak district Engagement shoot

All photography by Rachel Tweedale.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Beauty Regime for Brides

In the last six weeks, getting into a regular beauty regime has very much been on my mind as we enter the month in which I'm set to tie the knot.

Many brides go on a wedding diet, and while I didn't, I have been trying to eat more fruit and vegetables and drink more water. I'm a vegetarian, and am pretty happy with the weight that I am but I want to keep my eye on what I eat in order to keep my skin clear for the big day. I've been making sure to keep some bottled water at my desk every day and have been getting through two bottles most days- with the heat in the UK, it's not been hard! (Fingers crossed the weather holds for our wedding day.)

I haven't undertaken a specific exercise programme for my wedding day, but I have been doing regular yoga (at least 10 minutes per day). I can't recommend it more, particularly for the relaxation and stress-relieving benefits. We have a smart TV, and I use the yoga workouts that came with the TV apps, but you can find them by googling or here's a link to a beginner sequence. I've been doing yoga since I was 17 and I really recommend it for everyone, it's great way to beat stress and help straighten your posture.

When my mum came to visit for the weekend (something which I definitely recommend- getting some one-on-one time with your mum) we visited The Body Shop together. We both ended up picking up the same serum, the Nutriganics Drop of Youth (found here). I've been using it in the morning after cleansing and before moisturiser, and I love it (my mum does too). The scent is also very calming in the morning, which is always a plus. I moisturise every morning directly after using the serum. At the moment I've been using a sample of the Ren Evercalm Day Cream (found here). It's quite rich but has been working well with my combination skin (mildly oily t-zone, dryish cheeks). When I finish that I'll be moving onto the Clinique Moisture Surge (here) which I've used before and like a lot. I've also been using a face mask once a week. Things that I need to improve are removing makeup at the end of the day. When I do,  I use the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish (here). There's nothing better!

We don't have the budget for a make up artist on the day, and even if we did, they are likely to be booked up so close to our day. I've done two trials at Bare Minerals, one at the National Wedding Show 2014 in Birmingham, which I really liked, but the makeup artist didn't travel for weddings. I'm hoping I will be able to try another beauty counter so I can book in for the morning of our wedding (we're getting married in the afternoon). The problem is that I'm not getting married in the town I'm living in so doing a trial is difficult. Any other brides had this problem? What did you do- I'd love to hear! The only makeup product I'm sure I want to use, and will be purchasing regardless of who does my makeup, is the Chanel Volume de Chanel mascara. It's great for volumising lashes.

I know some people can be a bit slack about getting regular dental checkups in the UK if their teeth aren't giving them any problems. I tend to schedule dental checkups when I visit home, and as our wedding is in our parents' hometown, this fits in. I'm having a checkup, clean and polish the day before. Day-to-day I use the Colgate max white toothpaste and the accompanying mouthwash, and I'm also planning on using a home teeth whitening kit the week before.

Waxing & eyelash tinting
I plan on getting a leg, underarm and bikini wax a couple of days before my wedding day, to last when we're on honeymoon in California- although I have to admit I'm not looking forward to the waxing. We're driving an RV around for three weeks, including through the desert and camping in Yosemite, so I didn't want to worry about shaving with minimal shower facilities in the RV. I'm also getting my eyelashes dyed before the big day. This is something I'd recommend for low-key brides who don't wear much makeup. It's cheap and lasts a few weeks and you don't need to bother with mascara, particularly if you're on a beach honeymoon.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Table Plans

Today's post is about wedding table plans. The primary purpose of the table plan at a wedding is to give your guests information about where they are sitting for your wedding breakfast. Choosing the table plan for your wedding can be stressful as it can be one of the most political decisions you make. Do you sit guests in their friendship groups or mix it up? Will you seat guests in the traditional way of boy-girl-boy-girl? Will there be a children's table? What about feeding your photographer/other suppliers? Who is seated at your top table? (Not as simple a decision as one might think).

Until these decisions are made it is difficult to organise your table plan. We have arranged most aspects of our wedding day but the table plan is yet to be decided, mainly because we can't seat people until all our RSVPs come in. However we have been looking at table plan designs, and I've been using the following photos as inspiration. Click on the images to be taken to their original source.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Bridal hairstyles - the updo

I love browsing for bridal hairstyles. There are so many amazing hair tutorials on YouTube, and Pinterest is awash with inspiration. To find a specific look for your wedding, choosing the right search terms is key, for example [wedding updos] or [wedding hairstyles for long hair].

This post is going to focus on bridal updos. The updo continues to be extremely popular choice for brides as it is often the easiest way to keep the hair in place throughout the long day. Updos are also a very popular choice for bridesmaid hair. There's so many ways to accessorise bridal updos from flowers to tiaras, alice bands, combs, and, of course, veils. Here's a few images of inspiration to help you pick a bridal updo for your wedding day.

For more wedding hairstyles (not just updos) you can check out my bridal hairstyles board on Pinterest here.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Save the Dates

Choosing the stationery for our wedding was one of my favourite parts of wedding planning. As a graphic designer I was really excited to get the opportunity to be creative- I think the last time I sent out a physical invitation was when I was about 9 years old! We actually ended up not sending out save the dates for our wedding, opting for the invitation only, as I agonised over both the invitation designs and the guest list for several months.

Save the dates are very common in the USA, but are increasing in popularity here in the UK. They are usually a postcard consisting of a photo and the date of the wedding on, with further details about the wedding to follow at a later date. It's useful to send them out as soon as you book your wedding venue, i.e. as soon as your date is secure.

There are loads of cute and creative save the date ideas on Pinterest, and here's a few as inspiration to get you started.

If you'd like more save the date inspiration, you can see my graphic design board on Pinterest here.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Table Centrepieces

Choosing the centrepieces for our wedding was one of my favourite parts of wedding planning. You can really get creative and take it as an opportunity to personalise your day. Centrepieces can range from simple and rustic, to extravagant and elaborate. Some of the most popular centrepieces incorporate flowers and candelabras, but other common and contemporary options include birdcages, mirrors, fish bowls with floating candles, wishing trees, rose petals, books and balloons.

I have to admit my personal favourites always include flowers, but I'm one of those women who loves plants / flowers in the house all year round. For our centrepieces we shopped around for inspiration for quite a while until we knew what we wanted and where we could get that on a budget. Our flowers are being grown by family and we are placing them in oasis in £2 pink jugs from Wilkos (similar here), with the top table jug being a white version from IKEA (similar here). On our cake and table for cards we are using these very popular IKEA plant pots, which I already own. You can see what they look like with a plant in here.

If you'd like to see more centrepiece inspiration, you can check out my Pinterest board here!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

The National Wedding Show 2014 at the NEC Birmingham

A few weeks ago I visited The National Wedding Show at the NEC Birmingham. I won a pair of VIP tickets from Bride de Force. Fleur & Hannah's blog and YouTube channel are really useful wedding planning resources, so don't forget to check them out. The National Wedding Show is the largest wedding fair in the UK, and is held once a year in London, Manchester and Birmingham. We're coming to the end of our wedding planning now but we still had a few suppliers to find, so I was keen to go. After all, you only get to be a bride once (with luck) so I was looking forward to enjoying the experience.

The National Wedding show I attended was held at the NEC Birmingham. The venue is a large exhibition centre, and we spent time walking around the show looking at different stalls and taking down information. Walking in I was immediately struck by the beauty of the wedding dresses. I already have my dress, but if you are a bride-to-be I couldn't recommend the National Wedding Show more. There were quite a few stalls, including one of the largest wedding dress suppliers in the UK, Berketex Bride. Many dresses were on sale and there were lots available to take away on the day. There were also changing facilities and we walked past many brides trying on dresses with their mums and bridesmaids in tow. This was really nice to see and you really felt the excitement of the brides looking forward to their wedding day.

Click on the images to enlarge

There were also many stalls selling veils, tiaras and bridal accessories, so it was very easy to get completely kitted out for your wedding day at the show. Other stalls available were for destination weddings, suit hire, musicians, magicians, wedding decorations, wedding magazines, Debenhams and John Lewis gift lists, photographers and lingerie. VIP visitors to the show got access to the VIP lounge, including a glass of wine, a beauty box of samples, Bare Minerals makeover and VIP seats for the catwalk.

The catwalk was one of my favourite parts of the day. They were held regularly every hour or so, and we watched the show at around 4.30pm before we left for the day. The show was really well produced; it was split into four parts, each with a different theme. The music was well mixed and brought a lot of energy, and the lighting was used to set the mood. There were many dresses and accessories on display, and suits for the groom. The one thing that could have been added to the show was dresses for the bridesmaids and mother-of-the-bride. I found that choosing these outfits with my maids can be more stressful than choosing my own dress so it would have been nice to have had some inspiration, particularly with hats/fascinators, which I didn't see on display at the show.

If you're a bride-to-be at the beginning of your wedding planning journey I would really recommend the National Wedding Show for a nice day out with your mum and bridesmaids. It's particularly useful if you are looking for local suppliers in the areas of London, Manchester and Birmingham. Have you been to the National Wedding Show? Did you find it a useful experience?

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