Wedding

Etsy Shop GlamorousBijoux – Vintage Inspired, Pearl Bridal Jewellery

When planning my wedding Etsy was one of my favourite places to look for inspiration – we even found my engagement ring designer on there!

GlamorousBijoux is the shop that I browsed the most; luxurious, romantic, vintage-inspired jewellery and accessories all handmade to order.

VILANA £50.04. Victorian swarovski pearls bridal hair comb.

VILANA £50.04, victorian swarovski pearls bridal hair comb.

ROSELLE £78.27, vintage-inspired double strange silver art deco pearl bridal statement necklace.

ROSELLE £78.27, vintage-inspired silver art deco pearl bridal statement necklace.

ELVINA £59.02. Freshwater pearl and rhinestone bridal headband

ELVINA £59.02. Freshwater pearl and rhinestone bridal headband

GRACE £43.62, vintage-inspired Swarovski pearl bridal earrings

GRACE £43.62, vintage-inspired Swarovski pearl bridal earrings

ROESIA £82.11, freshwater pearl cluste, art deco flower and leaf bridal headband.

ROESIA £82.11, freshwater pearl art deco flower and leaf bridal headband.

REGGI £91.10, vintage style Swarovski pearl and crystal wedding statement necklace

REGGI £91.10, vintage style Swarovski pearl and crystal wedding statement necklace

VERONICA £60.94, vintage style swarovski pearl bracelet cuff with an old hollywood filigree flower.

VERONICA £60.94, vintage style swarovski pearl bracelet cuff with an old hollywood filigree flower.

HERA £52.60, vintage style swarovski pearl and crystal, silver filigree chandelier bridal earrings

HERA £52.60, vintage style swarovski pearl and crystal, silver filigree chandelier bridal earrings

PHOEBE £41.70, art deco blooming flower vintage-inspired bridal hair comb with swarovski pearls.

PHOEBE £41.70, art deco blooming flower vintage-inspired bridal hair comb with swarovski pearls.

CHELSEA £60.30, 1920's vintage style wedding headband.

CHELSEA £60.30, 1920’s vintage style wedding headband.

CLODIA £67.36, 1920's tyle ivory silver ribbon bridal halo, headband.

CLODIA £67.36, 1920’s style ivory silver ribbon bridal halo headband.

Advertisements

Fun evening wedding reception ideas with a difference from sushi and s’mores bars to vintage style trucks!

The traditional idea of a sandwich buffet in the evening is disappearing and gourmet food trucks and stations are taking over; innovative, fun and different.

A lot of these ideas can be booked with a total package price, or price per head, but ultimately the cost is almost the same as  the traditional buffet. If your venue does not allow outside catering, talk to the chef to see if they are happy to create a bespoke menu.

It is also much easier to do this as it means the food is in one place and the supplier is responsible for the cleaning up!

crepes party wedding evening catering cambridge cambridgeshire crepe van

I will start with crepes as this is what we used for our reception in Cambridge. We hired a crepe van from Verrecchia Catering to serve a combination of sweet and savoury crepes to our guests for a period of 2 hours from the traditional crepe van. The package was a set price for unlimited crepes which went down very well with the younger guests!

Photo credit: themobilepizzeria.com

Photo credit: themobilepizzeria.com

Pizza, who doesn’t love pizza? Mobile, stone-baked pizzeria companies are the ideal evening food solution for weddings. After a formal sit-down meal, your guests want to dance the night away and grab a bite to eat. The whole set-up of stone-baked pizzas being freshly made in front of your guests is an attraction in itself and you can even tailor the menu with your own personalised pizza names! I originally planned to have stone-baked pizza at our reception – it is surprisingly quite affordable for large groups!

Summer weddings would not be complete without ice cream. Ice cream is a great alternative to canapés and vintage style ice cream trucks are perfect for rustic, shabby-chic weddings!

You could even hire the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Tricycle from Events Factor.

Alternatively, if budget is an issue, place ice buckets in traditional wooden buckets and fill them up with mini ice cream pots and ask your bridal party to distribute to your guests!

If your wedding is a chic, stylish affair then Japanese food, in particular a sushi stand, is a fabulous idea! Hire a sushi chef from as little as £40 per hour from Feng Sushi and set up a specialist sushi station for your evening reception. Again, if budget is an issue, you can purchase sushi platters from M&S and create a wonderful sushi display. Be sure to add food labels so your guests know what the items are!

S’mores bars are essentially toasted marshmallow bars, significantly popular in America but less so in England. These are absolutely amazing for Winter weddings or outdoor wedding receptions where you need food to warm your guests up. They are also interactive and fun and would work well with a hot chocolate (whipped cream, sprinkles etc) stand too! A few companies offer this service in the UK like Sweet Dream Events and Simply Smores.

Photo credit: yourpaella.co.uk

Photo credit: yourpaella.co.uk

Vegetarians are often left with last-minute stuffed vegetables or food that, well quite frankly, is far from appetising. Which is where paella dishes are your answer! Of course you can offer meat and fish paella but they are especially fantastic as the vegetarian option for wedding reception catering! Cooked onsite with fresh ingredients, it offers something a little different and is incredible affordable too.

Other ideas:

– Hog roasts. Been there, done that. Include a lamb or chicken spit roast option instead!
– Cheese and charcuterie board with grapes, crackers, olives etc.
– Donuts, candy floss and pop corn.
– Strawberries and cream for a Summer wedding.
– Smoothie bar for health fanatics!
– Mexican feast of mini crudités cups, salsa and nacho crisp pots and taco stations.
– Mini Indian style buffet canapés.
– Fish and chip vintage-style trucks.

Tips for planning a Destination Wedding Part 1

Planning a destination wedding may seem a daunting task but it is much easier than you first imagine. Having planned our wedding in France this year, I have acquired a little experience in this area.

Back to basics

Firstly, look at the type of wedding you wish to have as this will contribute to the location, venue, guest list etc.

Do you want an intimate ceremony or a large celebration?
Is your ideal wedding by the sea, in the countryside or a city?
How important is it for you to hold a religious ceremony?
Will you be providing accommodation for your guests?

A few of our own ideas of where we could have married were:

– A chic wedding in the city of love, Paris
– Rustic romance in Provence, France or Tuscany, Italy
– A weekend of glamour for a large wedding party in the South of France
– An intimate Greek affair in picturesque Santorini
– A laid back barefoot ceremony on a beautiful beach in Thailand or Mexico

Of course there are plenty of other places you can marry and if you are simply holding a blessing rather than the legal ceremony, the destination choice is endless. We went with a rustic wedding in a chateau in southwestern France.

The type of ceremony hugely influences the country. For example, in Greece as a British citizen you can legally marry. The same for Italy and Spain, I believe, although don’t hold me to this. You will need to explore this further before you decide on where you wish to marry.

If you wish to hold a religious ceremony, you will need to look at the primary denomination in that particular country.

A way around strict legal requirements, which a lot of couples are opting for, is to legally marry in their home country and hold the wedding blessing abroad.

Budget 

Work out what you can realistically afford and stick to the budget. A wedding is one day of your life, albeit the most amazing time, but it is essentially one day. Also, you most certainly don’t want to start married life in debt.

Once you have worked out your budget, create a spreadsheet with expected costs and actual costs. Update and check regularly. Always find quotes from at least 3 vendors so you can compare prices and negotiate. I negotiated an extra day and extra use of the facilities (which should have incurred an additional 1k) as part of our overall venue hire package. Negotiation doesn’t necessarily need to be on the price, it could include adding other items to the overall cost and changing the order to your personal requirements.

When planning a wedding abroad, it is likely that you will receive the contract in a different language. Always ask to see the English version. And sign this.

There is a fee for sending international bank transfers, therefore incorporate this into your budget.

Everything about weddings is expensive; expect to pay up to double the price of your initial estimates.

When making enquiries to suppliers if the item is not wedding specific, don’t mention that it is for a wedding. This will increase the price. For example, if you wish to order a cake from the bakery but it is not the traditional wedding cake, order it for a ‘party’.

*A little tip, we had a few family members make decisions about our wedding that made it over budget, when we were paying for it. Stand your ground and stick to your budget!

Guest List

So you have your budget in place and now you need to think about the guest list. Or maybe you don’t, perhaps you wish to have an intimate wedding.

Work out how many people who can afford from your budget and then write up your guest list from there. As you will be inviting your guests to a destination wedding, invite those who you know will genuinely appreciate this invitation. This is particularly important if you are hosting an intimate wedding as you need to be very selective. I probably didn’t think about this enough.

Have you included guest accommodation in your budget? This may influence your guest list decision as you will want your guests to socialise and enjoy each others company.

Are you inviting children? And partners? We didn’t invite partners of all our guests as we only invited 28 people, therefore it would have been unfair to invite someone we hardly knew in place of a family member. A wedding is your special time and those who deserve to be there, won’t question it.

Ensure you include your bridal party in the final head count too!

Venue

Finding a venue is very exciting. However, if you are not visiting the country beforehand (we didn’t and I strongly advise you do budget permitting), it can also be risky.

The internet is clearly your best friend here. You should by now have an idea on the type of venue you wish to marry in, whether it is a hotel on a beach, a castle in Italy, a chateau in France or even a winery in Santorini.

I searched homeaway.co.uk to hire a holiday home to hold ours. This meant our entire wedding party could stay at the chateau for 5 days and we could hold the ceremony and reception in the same place. Doing this is made it a ‘dry hire’ venue where we organised all logistics ourselves.

If you wish to hold your wedding in a hotel and are not paying for guest accommodation, you could negotiate a discount for wedding guests to stay there. Or if you hold the ceremony at another location, contact one or two hotels in the local area and see if they will offer a ‘large group’ discount.

If you are unable to view the venue beforehand, ask to see videos, testimonials and photos from previous weddings. Request room layout plans and ask to see a list of all costings.

Look at real weddings on blogs like Style Me Pretty under the ‘destination wedding’ section as you’ll be able to see venues used for real weddings. At the end of each wedding blog post, there is usually a section on vendors – look here for details on the venue and suppliers used.

When you book your wedding ceremony depends on where you will marry. For instance, Santorini books up very quickly, some over a year in advance! If you wish to hold a sunset wedding, ensure you are booking the ceremony for the correct time.

Think outside the box. If you are legally marrying in your home country, the possibilities are endless. However, if you do hold a legal ceremony, you will need to contact the local town hall/mayor or discuss with the the wedding coordinator of your venue.

You will also find independent wedding officiants online by doing an internet search.

Vendors

I won’t discuss wedding planners here as I planned our own but if you do go down this route, they will be able to suggest recommended suppliers.

Searching for suppliers in a different country can be quite difficult. If you are hiring a private property, as we did, you will need to search and book suppliers yourself. If you go through a wedding venue, ask for their recommended suppliers list as they may only allow approved vendors.

Request quotes from at least 3 suppliers to compare costs and ask for testimonials. The cheapest may not necessarily be the best option for you. This is your wedding after all and you will need to select specific items to splurge on. For example, your photos will last a lifetime, therefore invest in a good photographer.

Look for a photographer who has a style you can connect with. Ours was more of a ‘reportage’ style photographer who took natural photos rather than a lot of posed photos and this worked well for us. Things to think about when agreeing a photography package: the time that s/he will be there, the style of photography, a photo list of required shots, check to see if they require food, how and when they will provide the photos and travel costs.

When it comes to food if you need to book catering yourself you can be flexible with this. Finding a typical catering company is quite easy but often quite expensive. If you are holding an intimate ceremony for 75 guests or less, you could hire a restaurant – a lot of people do this in beach resorts.

Another alternative if you have a dry hire venue is to hire a chef, which is what we did. I struggled to find a chef to hire who spoke fluent English, so I took another route. I searched for cookery schools in the region and hired the owner of one of these, a typically French chef who cooked exquisite dishes.

Design a menu you are comfortable with and that fits with your theme. Don’t forget to ask your guests for allergies and/or specific dietary requirements and let your chef/caterer know well in advance. If you need to print menus yourself, these can be designed to complement your other wedding stationary. As you are marrying abroad you can be creative with the food you provide and complementing seasonal produce and delicacies is a great idea. You don’t necessarily need to stick to the tradition of a sit down meal or a buffet. A beachside BBQ would be perfect for an informal wedding. A charcuterie and cheese board would be lovely for a pre-wedding lunch in France too.

Also consider purchasing your own wine – particularly if you marry in France where you’ll find the best wines at affordable prices.

Flowers abroad can be tricky. We didn’t have the budget to hire a florist but if you love flowers, I highly recommend you search for a florist and book beforehand. Some wedding venue packages also include bouquets and table floral arrangements, so check your options here first.

If you do go down the DIY route, take all the items you will need with you and do them a day or two before, leaving them in a cool place.

Think about the flowers of that particular country, your specific type may not be available. They may also not be in season. As I desperately wanted peonies, I was forced to use silk artificial peonies and combine them with fresh gypsophila. It wasn’t ideal but getting married abroad means you need to compromise on certain items. At the same time, marrying abroad is incredibly special and you can tailor the whole event to your own personal taste.

Stay tuned for part 2.

 

BHLDN Vintage-inspired, romantic wedding dresses

BHLDN, Anthropologie’s sister brand, offers understated, elegant, vintage-inspired wedding dresses at relatively affordable prices. Vintage glamour meets modern beauty.

They combine exquisite detailing, beautiful backless designs and feminine textures of silk and lace to create truly stunning gowns.

From timeless classic mermaid silhouettes and graceful whimsical lace to elegant beaded dresses and dramatic full ball-gowns, there is a style for all bridal tastes.

Wedding dresses fit for a romantic wedding, a 1920’s theme or a bride who simply wants something a little bit special. A little bit different.

BHLDN Laverne Gown

BHLDN Laverne Gown

BHLDN Dakota Gown

BHLDN Dakota Gown

BHLDN Lita Gown

BHLDN Lita Gown

BHLDN Mira Gown

BHLDN Mira Gown

BHLDN Avalon Gown

BHLDN Avalon Gown

BHLDN Avalon Gown

BHLDN Avalon Gown

BHLDN Carina Corset and Ahsan Skirt by Watters

BHLDN Carina Corset and Ahsan Skirt by Watters

BHLDN Elsa Tulle Skirt

BHLDN Elsa Tulle Skirt

BHLDN Wing Gown

BHLDN Wing Gown

BHLDN Snowflake Gown by Amanda Garrett

BHLDN Snowflake Gown by Amanda Garrett

OUR DIY FAIRYTALE CHATEAU WEDDING IN SOUTH WEST FRANCE – Wedding Portraits and Photos

The final wedding instalment…

After the religious ceremony, we ate and danced in the stone-brick reception hall and had our first dance to Andrea Bocelli in the courtyard.

The kids jumped in the pool, as did a few of the adults, and we had the most magical day with memories that will last a lifetime.

Wedding Bride Photography Mirror Black and White

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Bride Wedding Getting Ready Photo Black and White

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Bride Groom Groomsmen Bridesmaid Portrait Photo

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Groom Photos

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Bride Groom Photos Outdoor Wedding

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Bride Groom Photo Inspiration Outdoor Wedding

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Bride Groom Chateau Wedding Confetti Photo

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

OUR DIY FAIRYTALE CHATEAU WEDDING IN SOUTH WEST FRANCE – The Ceremony

Following on from my previous post on our wedding…

I wore a custom-made strapless lace and silk tulle wedding gown while the groom and his groomsmen wore classic tuxedos. My bridesmaids wore blush pink, the flower girls were in white and the page boys dressed in typical French attire of braces and bow tie.

We held a religious blessing in the chateau courtyard with beautiful readings, hymns and prayers.

I walked down the aisle to Andrea Bocelli and we used Henry Mancini’s Moon River for the background music during the signing of the register. The ceremony was more than I ever hoped for. Very personal. Very us.

Page Boy Bridesmaids Chateau Wedding Attire Ideas

Our page boys in braces, shorts and bow ties. The flower girls in floral hair garlands and pretty white dresses. Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Njenje-153

ASOS Blush Pink Satin Bridesmaid Dresses with Hair Garlands. Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Page Boys Here Comes The Bride Sign Chateau Wedding Shabby Chic

Page Boys with the Here Comes The Bride Sign. Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

chateau wedding france photos photography ideas inspiration

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Chateau Wedding in France Wedding Ceremony Ideas Floral Altar

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Signing of wedding certificate vintage lace table cloth

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Outdoor Chateau Wedding Ceremony Ideas Inspiration

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Our DIY FairyTale Chateau Wedding in South West France – Details

Saturday 6th September 2014, I put on my Jimmy Choo’s and married my first love. Our wedding was a Fairytale.

We married at Chateau Riveneuve du Bosc in southwestern France in front of 28 immediate family and friends. Our wedding was intimate, incredibly personal and focused on us. Most importantly it was informal and fun with plenty of laughter and tears of joy.

Set in a quintessentially French chateau, the theme was Rustic Romance with a few shabby chic elements. I wanted it to be elegant and romantic with simple but chic decor made up of flowers, candelabras, perfume bottle vases and lace. We combined hues of soft blush pink and grey with peonies, roses and gypsophila.

I’ll split my wedding into a few blog posts, otherwise they could become very long. So, for now, here are a few images of the details:

DIY Bridal Wedding Flowers Bouquet Peonies Gypsophila

DIY Bridal Bouquet – Peonies and Gypsophila. Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

DIY Bridesmaid Bouquet - White Gypsophila. Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

DIY Bridesmaid Bouquet – White Gypsophila.

Flower Girl Petal Baskets. Shabby Chic Wedding. Pink and Lace.

Flower Girl Petal Baskets. Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Here Comes The Bride Page Boy Sign

Here Comes The Bride Page Boy Sign. Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

My 'something old' and 'something blue' - cut from my Grandad's shirt.

My ‘something old’ and ‘something blue’ – cut from my Grandad’s shirt. Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Yankee Wedding Day Jar Candle

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

 

Bridesmaid gifts

Bridesmaid gifts

Our DIY Floral Altar

Our DIY Floral Altar. Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Our 'Romantic and Rustic' Table Decor.

Our ‘Romantic and Rustic’ Table Decor.

Jo Malone Perfume Bottles as Vases

Jo Malone Perfume Bottles as Vases

Films as Table Names Wedding

Shabby Chic Wedding Table Decor Flowers

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Custom-made Wedding Dress in the style of Inbal Dror and a Mantilla Cathedral Veil

I fell head over heels in love with a very expensive Inbal Dror wedding dress, priced way above my budget. In typical fairytale fashion and as fate would have it, after searching Google for a dressmaker anywhere in England that could make a similar dress, I found one. And she happens to live in the street behind my house!

My fairy godmother dressmaker is Rae from Ashley Sims. When I walked into Rae’s house she had a few dresses for me to try on so I could see her work and decide if I wanted one made.

There, elegantly hanging on a mannequin, was a dress in the exact style of the Inbal Dror dress that I fell in love with. Fate.

I tried the dress on and knew instantly it was the style that I loved. It was a fitted fishtail design with beautiful detailing, amazing workmanship and soft lace – I felt like a princess with the long train.

However, I didn’t want an exact replica of the dress so I worked with Rae to bring all my ideas to life.

Wedding Dress Replica in the style of Inbal Dror Dresses similar to Inbal Dror Galia Lahav

Inbal Dror Wedding Dress

I loved the shape of this Inbal Dror dress but I didn’t like the transparent backless design and I felt the front looked a little too much like lingerie (not ideal when we were having a religious ceremony). I also wanted a fuller and thicker train and the dress to be made from French chantilly lace, silk and tulle.

I took ideas and inspiration from Yaki Ravid, Galia Lahav and Inbal Dror to create my perfect wedding dress and here it is:

Wedding Dress inspired by and in style of Inbal Dror Chantilly Lace Cathedral Train

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Wedding Stress Tulle Chantilly Lace Layers

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

The dress has a very long cathedral train in layers of tulle and lace. The shape is similar to the Inbal Dror dress only the train is fuller with an additional lace layer. While the lace design on the front is the same, it has a more structured bodice.

Wedding dress in the style of Inbal Dror Chantilly Mantilla Cathedral Veil Bridal

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Wedding Dress Chateau South of France in the style of Inbal Dror Lace Parasol Prop Wedding Photos Tuxedo Groom

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

Rae listened patiently, answered all of my questions and made my dreams a reality. If you are looking for an affordable but exceptionally well-made dress in the style of Inbal Dror, Berta Bridal or Galia Lahav, do contact Rae. She is based in Royston and her details can be found at www.ashleysims.co.uk. Rae also made my stunning backless reception wedding dress which was in the style of Berta Bridal (I’ll blog about this later).

Inbal Dror inspired wedding dress replica

Inbal Dror inspired wedding dress UK mantilla cathedral length wedding veil chantilly lace trim edging

Rae also made me a mantilla cathedral length wedding veil with the same chantilly lace trim as my wedding dress. My husband was speechless and absolutely loved the veil. To ensure the veil stayed in place all day, I had a corn row sewn in and the veil clip slotted into that.

Jimmy Choo Wedding Shoes Champagne Gold Glitter Lace

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

I always had a dream to walk down the aisle in Jimmy Choo’s. I coveted these shoes for a very long time so it was absolutely wonderful to actually wear them on my wedding day. They are the Champagne Glitter Fabric Peep Toe Jimmy Choo sandals that come in a beautiful lace design; sparkling, pretty and actually quite practical. They are comfortable to wear with the ankle strap but I am not sure I will be able to wear them again as the fabric took a few knocks throughout the day!

For accessories I wore my staple pearl earrings with a matching pearl bracelet.

My ‘something old and blue’ was a blue heart from my Grandad’s shirt sewn in on the inside of my wedding dress. This is a lovely way to remember someone you love who has passed away. It made my dress even more special.

My DIY Bridal Makeup Look – Simple, soft and romantic

Our wedding was very much a DIY affair and my make up was no exception, I did it myself. I spent hours searching for bridal makeup inspiration on Pinterest and found three or four images that I loved but the below was my favourite.

Soft Fresh Simple Romantic Bridal Wedding Day Makeup Look Inspiration

Bridal makeup inspiration: Soft, romantic and pretty

I wanted my bridal look to be soft, romantic and pretty with a subtle, sun-kissed glow. Ultimately, I wanted to look like me rather than a face of makeup that I had never worn before. Our wedding wasn’t about being extravagant or OTT; it was an intimate celebration. As cliche as it sounds, it was about us, our love and life together.

Wedding Day DIY Bridal Makeup

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

In the six months leading up to the wedding I started to buy all of the products I would need. I also booked a makeup lesson at a Chanel counter where the MUA demonstrated the correct way to blend eyeshadows seamlessly. MAC was also quite useful, and a MUA there suggested I fill in my lips with a lip liner before applying lipstick to make it last longer.

My DIY wedding day bridal makeup look soft simple romantic highlighter peonies gypsophila flowers bouquet lace chantilly mantilla cathedral veil

My wedding day makeup look. Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

My wedding day makeup routine:

1. After cleansing I applied MAC’s Prep and Prime as a base to improve the application and appearance of my foundation.

2. I used MAC’s Studio Finish Concealer in NW25 to hide my blemishes and the creamy, opaque finish gave the perfect coverage. This is also a great concealer for acne scars!

3. The foundation I went for is the PERFECTION LUMIÈRE VELVET by Chanel in 30 Beige. I am in love with this foundation. Firstly, this is an incredibly lightweight consistency that applies as a liquid but blends with a smooth, natural matte texture. I used a MAC foundation brush for application and I was left with a flawless finish.

It is the perfect foundation for oily to combination skin and for destination weddings where it is hot and humid.

4. Next up I filled in my brows with my MAC’s Espresso, a basic dark brown that matches my eyebrows perfectly. I use this shade as part of my daily makeup routine and have done for years.

5. The eyes. I highlighted under my brow with Venus from the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette to make them pop. I used Naked 2 from the same palette in the crease and ever so slightly in the outer corner. I then swept MAC’s Yogurt, a pretty subtle matte pink, across the lid. I also added a tiny amount of MACS’ Pink Freeze to the middle of the lid for a little shimmer. I blended. And blended. And blended a little more. In the inner corner I applied the Urban Decay Venus shadow.

As I didn’t want to put eyeliner on my lower lashes but I still wanted to emphasise them, I very gently smudged a little of MAC’S Espresso in the lower lash line.

6. I mistakingly used the Rimmel gel eyeliner across my lash line and wish I used my Chanel pencil instead. It looked absolutely fine but not perfect as I’m not particularly precise with gel liner.

7. Before applying my Eylure false eyelashes, I brushed a few strokes of Dior’s Diorshow waterproof mascara through the top lashes.

8. Next I applied Clinique’s Line Smoothing Concealer in 02 Light under my eyes. This is by far my favourite concealer and I much prefer this to YSL’s Touche Eclat as it gives my quite dark under eye circles full coverage.

9. I then brushed over NARS Pressed Powder in Beach to set my foundation. Another firm favourite in my makeup bag.

10. Bronzer. I love a good bronzer. For contouring I always use Bobbi Brown’s Bronzing Powder in Natural as it is the perfect shade for my colouring, offering a beautiful matte glow. A quality bronzer that I highly recommend. I also used this to contour my nose!

11. For my blusher I applied Mocha by MAC to the apple of my cheeks. It is a highly-pigmented matte, mauve/plum pink that looks lovely with a tan.

12. Highlighting is a process I LOVE. I dab a small amount of MAC’S Prep and Prim Highlighter in Light Boost under my eye, along the bridge of my nose and just above my eyebrows in the middle of my forehead. We have all seen how Kim Kardashian highlights and contours and this is pretty much the pattern I follow.

I highlight my cheekbones firstly with Benefit’s High Beam, followed by my Bobbi Brown Rose Shimmer Brick  to create a soft, rosy glow.

13. I used the Burberry Dusty Rose Lip Definer to outline my lips and fill them in and layered over MAC’S Please Me (a rosy pink) and a little bit of MAC’S Creme Cup (a light blue pink). This combination resulted in a rose pink lip which I did love but looking back I would have gone for a slightly more nude pink. My partner doesn’t like nude lips so I guess this was a good compromise.

14. Lastly, I spritzed Urban Decay’s All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray and I was ready to go.

My makeup lasted, despite a very emotional day with tears rolling down my cheeks the moment I walked down the aisle, during the ceremony, all through the speeches… oh and jumping in the pool after dinner!

For makeup brushes I used a mix from MAC, Bobbi Brown and Real Techniques.

DIY wedding makeup bridal soft romantic look NARS MAC

Image by Alexis Frespuech http://www.alexis-photos.fr

The main lesson I have begrudgingly learnt is to practice my makeup three or four times before a big event. Unfortunately I only had the time to try out my eye makeup once and I am not positively happy with the final result but it is all irrelevant – I married my first love, my best friend, my everything. And he thought I looked beautiful so that is all that matters.

Luckily, my friend a trained MAC MUA painted my face for me for the reception in Cambridge so that makeup was AMAZING.

If you do go down the DIY route, I highly recommend you practice your bridal makeup look several times, time permitting. It is also useful to take photos of your wedding day makeup in different light settings to ensure the texture of products are right for your complexion. A few foundations leave a washed out look (not ideal when wearing a white dress) and if you are having a destination wedding somewhere hot, matte products are ideal.

For my nail polish I went for Essie’s Better Together. It is a beautiful subtle pink, a little sheer but definitely not nude. The name Better Together is so fitting for a bride.

My perfume choice had to be Chanel Chance. This is my all time favourite scent.

Chateau Riveneuve du Bosc – Our Fairytale wedding venue in South West France

Chateau Riveneuve du Bosc is located just 35 minutes south of Toulouse in Southwestern France; 3km from the typically French town of Pamiers. The Castle of Riveneuve du Bosc is a 17th-century manor, surrounded by a 2.5 hectare park with old trees and a private swimming pool, accommodating 30 people in 14 bedrooms. Chateau Riveneuve du Bosc, Pamiers France Wedding Venue Hire We hired the chateau for five days early September to host our wedding for immediate family and friends. I didn’t want an extravagant wedding venue but somewhere we could relax in an informal setting, have fun and hold a ceremony.

Chateau Riveneuve du Bosc far exceeded our expectations; an elegant and charming castle where we created truly magical memories. We filmed our guests as they arrived to gasps of amazement and squeals of excitement.

From the sweeping driveway to the large front gates, quintessentially French wooden shutters and the picturesque courtyard, Chateau Riveneuve du Bosc is visually stunning and really quite an impressive wedding venue.

Standing at the front door you can see right through to the swimming pool in the back garden – an entrance way that reminds me of Game of Thrones. The chateau feels lived in and it is this that made it so comfortable for the kids to run around, explore the magnificent grounds and do as they wish. French Shabby Chic Dining Hall Room Interiors Inspiration Chateau Riveneuve du Bosc Pamiers France Wedding Venue Castle Hire Downstairs there is a small kitchen adjacent to a traditional dining hall filled with candelabras and complete dining sets. To the left of the entrance hall sits the formal sitting room, reminiscent of Downton Abbey. A piano in the corner, books piled high on the walls, ornate detailing, luxurious fabrics and grandeur furnishings made this room fit for a princess. We also used this room for wedding portraits!

The house has three floors with 14 spacious bedrooms, all tastefully decorated and named with the charm of the romantic era. Chateau Riveneuve du Bosc Pamiers Shabby Chic French Interiors Bedroom Inspiration The floral wallpaper, white mannequin dressed in a pretty lace and the adorable vintage style desk made this my favourite bedroom; the epitome of French shabby chic.Chateau Riveneuve du Bosc South France Wedding Venue Hire We stayed in the stylishly furnished master bedroom, located on the third floor with a view of the front courtyard. It was particularly spacious with a delightful seating area, a wonderful large fireplace, a canopy over the bed and more storage than I needed. Chateau Riveneuve du Bosc South France Pamiers Wedding Venue Hire Chateau Riveneuve du Bosc Pamiers France Wedding Venue Bath tub bathroom interiors french chic style   Chateau Riveneuve du Bosc Pamiers France Wedding Venue 150 people Attached to the house is this beautiful cool and airy stone-brick reception hall that we used for our wedding dinner and dancing. It can sit up to 150 people, ideal for a party or wedding celebration, and the doors open out to the front courtyard. Just above the hall is a mezzanine level with a chill out area and extra beds. This was the perfect place for the guys to relax and enjoy a few drinks the evening before our wedding. Chateau Riveneuve du Bosc Pergola - wedding ceremony option Chateau Riveneuve du Bosc Pamiers France Wedding Venue A canopy provides a welcome shaded area in the courtyard and this is where we held our ceremony. The chateau is full of hidden rooms where you will find tables, chairs, candle holders, vases, linen and everything that you could possibly need to host a party. Chateau Riveneuve du Bosc Pamiers France Castle Wedding Venue The chateau includes an outdoor swimming pool, BBQ, ping-pong, table football, board games, children’s games, ‘pétanque’ and a library. We made great use of the swimming pool with the children jumping in and out all day.

As we rented the chateau we had to organise and coordinate the whole wedding, from booking a Pastor to the Chef and Photographer and even setting up on the day. We didn’t mind this as I had full control on what vendors to book but for some it could definitely be far too much work, especially with setting up the ceremony and tidying up the following day!

We left Chateau Riveneuve du Bosc with happy hearts – it felt like our ‘wedding’ home with big family feasts at the table, splashing about in the pool and BBQ’s on the lawn. The perfect place to host our wedding.

A little history…

The property was formerly the owner of the Baron d’Ornolac and was extended and decorated by Jules de Lahondès painter, student of Joseph Latour, and historien and archaeologist. Jules de Lahondès painted the murals that decorate the main lounge on his return from a visit to Rome and Venice.

He ordered the sculpture of his coat of arms on the chimney-breast for the mairiage of his son Joseph with the Marquise d’Exea. He also painted his dog Linda in front of the chateau and the hollyhocks from his garden.