Tag Archive: Vintage

Jan 07 2015

My Wedding: The UK Celebrations & Another Gorgeous Gown

My-wedding-downhall-7It’s been two months since the most amazing week ever, I get to say a week as I was a spoilt bride and I got to do my fabulous day twice, in two different countries, and in two incredible wedding gowns. I have already shared with you New York, it was truly magical, everything I could have wished for and more, I don’t think it could have gone any better, but right from the start we knew that New York was for us, quiet, intimate and romantic, and we’d need a UK celebration to party with our friends and family.

It was the UK side of our wedding that pilled on the stress, from finding the right venue, organising flowers, food, and entertainment, as well as last minute nerves about my dress, well you’ve seen my New York beauty – I was worried that the UK gown just wasn’t special enough, but I think this is so normal for brides to worry about, as on the day I felt absolutely beautiful and I think this Ellis Bridal gown was perfect for dancing the night away at a country manor hotel.

The gown, like for any bride, was very important to me, I wanted something simple, yet stunning, with a little bit of bling, and something that was timeless, which was very important to me as I want to look back at these images and still love my dress, and I think it really does tick all those boxes and more, especially after my amazing seamstress at Fleur de Lys Bridal worked her magic and made it perfect.

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Unlike our New York wedding we weren’t bless with great weather, instead there weren’t any blue skies in sight, so we only had a short window to take our snaps before the torrential rain came down and the light was lost. I think we pulled it off, just, I have to be honest looking at wedding photos really does make you self-conscious, sometimes all I can see are my flaws, and I have shed a tear or two over the UK snaps. But looking again at them with a more positive outlook I really can see the beauty and fun in the day and the gown, it really was such a happy occasion, and I hope that comes across.

What I love most about this gown is the tulle skirt, I just couldn’t stop twirling, and it really did help me dance the night away, as it was super light, very comfortable and even though there was a lot of dress it didn’t get in the way of anything, which was helped as there was no train as I had the seamstress cut it all off and make it more into a ballgown, more Old Hollywood, and a lot easier to walk and dance in.

Accessories were again kept to the minimum, I kept the same Kate Spade clutch from New York, the same Jimmy Choo heels, which I didn’t take off until I was walking up the ten flights of stairs at the end of the night to the bridal suite, the same diamond stud earrings, and even the same bracelet, the only real difference was a switch up on the vintage necklace. For New York I went with pearls, I just think it fitted the vintage dress and city, but for this tulle beauty I thought my Mum’s vintage crystal bead necklace would work better, and I am so glad I did as they sparkled beautifully.

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The day was such a giggle, and I have to really thank my fabulous hair and make-up team, the wonderful Mercedez who did an amazing job making me look beautiful as well as doing the most perfect nail art, and Amy who put together a fabulous hair-do, that was modern and fun with the side braid, while still having that Old Hollywood feel about it. I can’t recommend both ladies enough, they were a calming influence on the day, I think we had a lot of fun getting ready, and I love how my look turned out and it definitely helped me feel more relaxed on the day.

If you are in the midsts of planning your wedding, congrats and good luck, but remember that with all the stress and worry is an amazing day that you will remember for ever, just allow yourself to have fun and enjoy the moment. I sure did, and even though everything didn’t go according to plan, not that anyone noticed, I don’t think we could have plan it any better and I am so pleased that it was the party we wanted to celebrate our marriage and huge thanks to our friends and family who came – you guys made it a day to remember.

So what do you think – do you prefer my UK or New York wedding gown? It is hard for me to choose as they are both so beautiful and different from one another, I’m just so lucky to have found two amazing dresses that were so perfect for me.

My-wedding-downhall-5 My-wedding-downhall-3 My-wedding-downhall-8My-wedding-downhall-14My-wedding-downhall-9[Pics: Spence Frederick/Fashionista Barbie]

 

Dec 08 2014

My Wedding: A Priv Makeover

My-wedding-IHNY-12One of the main stresses about getting married in New York, after figuring out how I was going to pack my amazing wedding dress into a tiny carry-on case, had to be who was going to do my hair and make-up. Unlike my search here in the UK, I didn’t have friends in New York who do hair and make-up, I didn’t have anyone to recommend wedding make-up artists, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to do a trial, so it would have to be do-or-die on my actual wedding day.

I was freaking about it until at least a week before I flew out until I got an invite to the launch of PRIV, an incredible beauty and wellness service at the top of an app, which was launching in London but was already huge in New York. PRIV literally offers everything from haircuts, blow drys, make-up, manicures, massages and even personal trainer sessions. Oh and did I mention it isn’t crazy expensive, we are talking £38 for a blow dry and style or a manicure with nail art, and their stylists will come to you. Super easy and I really don’t know what I would have done without them.

I was lucky, the PR pulled a few strings and got me the full monty nails, make-up and an up-do, basically a wedding makeover, and I was treated to the best that PRIV has to offer, and I was truly looked after – thank god they launched in London and came on my radar.

I had my nails done the night before, the lovely India came to my hotel suite, dealt with the moody Soho Grand lighting like a pro, and worked my vision of having blush, pink nails with a glittery silver tip with ease. I wanted something fun that would compliment my vintage wedding gown and its heavy beading, while still being girlie and romantic. I was so pleased with the result, the colour was perfect and the silver had just enough sparkle.

My-Wedding-PRIV-nailsMy-Wedding-PRIV-hairWhen it came to my hair, I had a vision, I knew I wanted my fringe down, apparently this isn’t a popular wedding option, I wanted a braid, I am a little obsessed – see my Pinterest, and I wanted a chic ponytail, but I have to be honest I was worried that my look wouldn’t be bridal enough for my gown, and if I had anyone other than Michael I am not sure it would have turned out as gorgeous as it did.

I loved the contrast between the drama in the side braid, which worked perfectly with the pearl pins I picked up on eBay, and the modern-chic vibe of the ponytail. I just felt it was perfect for a fun, elopement in New York City. My worry when looking at wedding hair inspiration was that I would look old, stuffy and not myself, and I was so pleased that Michael worked his magic with my very untraditional bridal vision and produced a truly unique look.

What also made this look perfect was the fact it lasted all day, honestly there wasn’t a hair out of place when we got back after a great day, and it lasted through hours of shooting our wedding photos, most of which were outside and it lasted for champagne shenanigans and dinner. I was seriously impressed.

My-Wedding-PRIV-makeup-For my make-up the only thing I had shared with Mariana before she arrived was that I wanted bold eyes, as when you wear glasses you need to go bolder for it to stand-out and be noticed. Mariana did a wonderful job, she didn’t make my foundation too heavy, while still making me feel gorgeous and covered, she didn’t go crazy with the blusher, one of my biggest worries when getting my make-up done, and she made my eyes really pop.

I love that she came prepared with options, not that she needed them that she thought about adding individual lashes to work with my glasses, and that she prepped my skin to perfection so that my wedding look stayed put all-day long.

My transformation didn’t take long, the PRIV glamsquad are masters of their trade and I was super impressed with their skill, their personalities, we really did have a giggle, as well as everyone understanding what a big day it was for me, I felt like they went above and beyond what they needed to do and they certainly made me feel and look fantastic, as well as create looks that matched my vintage wedding gown.

PRIV has just launched in London, in selected areas for now but I am sure it will grow in the coming months, so why not download the app on Apple and Android, it is free, and treat yourself – why not just before a big date for a work event, or just because – trust me you will feel a million dollars afterwards.

I am really pleased with my wedding looks – do you think my vision worked with my New York wedding?

My-wedding-IHNY-23 My-wedding-IHNY-22[Pics: IHNY, Fashionista Barbie, @nycbraun@marianabull74]

Dec 05 2014

My Wedding: A Closer Look At My Vintage Wedding Gown

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I don’t know any bride, who doesn’t want an incredible wedding gown, but it is hard to get something unique, dramatic-yet-still elegant, with an Old Hollywood feel that is within some reasonable budget. Add on top the rest of my very long wishlist, not too white, a wow skirt, beading or embroidery and with romantic floaty sleeves – I thought it was more fantasy than reality.

I wasn’t against a modern, boutique gown, I would have loved the money to treat myself to a designer number like Vera Wang or Elie Saab, but I was realistic with my finances and I just felt that a vintage beauty would be more fitting to our elopement wedding in New York, and would possible give me that couture, red carpet feeling without the price tag.

I know vintage doesn’t mean cheap, but I was willing to hunt around for the one. Thankfully I didn’t search long for my gorgeous gown, to be honest I didn’t search at all. My gown came to me by chance, we had only been engaged less than a month when our friends who were with us in New York came to stay and we took them to Bury St Edmonds, we kind of took a wrong turn exploring the town and we found vintage store, House Of Huxster. I thought it was a long shot, but as soon as I saw it I loved it, I didn’t think it would fit me, but I loved it and thank god for stretch!

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It needed a little work, it originally had spaghetti straps, which I felt didn’t really do the dress justice, and it didn’t have enough drama on the bottom, but I was introduced the incredible Irene, an amazing seamstress and she really did work her magic. She added floaty sleeves to add a touch of romance, more layers of pouf under the skirt, re-shaped the skirt, added a belt, and made more tulle ruffles that were so close to the original that you can’t even tell which ones are new. Irene basically brought my vision to life, held my hand through those wobbles of thinking I was too fat, the worry that it was too formal for what we were doing, and my last-minute panic that Paul wouldn’t like it, I should have known that he would love it.

The gown to me just felt like it was made for New York. I love everything about the gown and how it combined everything I wanted – the beading, the tulle, the sleeves and the unusual skirt, which is my favourite thing about the dress – it looks great in photos, but more than that it made me feel like I was floating when I walked. It was the most perfect gown and I am so pleased the professional pictures from I Heart New York have come out so well, the dress really shines.

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As the dress makes such a statement I didn’t want to go too crazy with my jewellery so I went for pieces that I felt complimented it. The highlight being my great grandmother’s pearls, they are so gorgeous, I love the off-white colour and the fact that they are 80 years old I just felt that they belong with my vintage number, and when else can you get away with wearing the most exquisite pearl necklace.

I then went for Tiffany infinity bow bracelet that was a present from Paul a couple of years ago, which looked great with my silver heart bracelet from my friend Sarah, I just loved that she made Paul give it to me on the plane over to New York as she received one before her wedding, and the final piece of arm candy was my pearl and silver cuff from the Jenny Packham for Debenhams collection that I found in my jewellery box just before we flew out, I love how it has similar beads to my dress. The final touch were my Kenneth Jay Lane sparkly earrings, something simple that catches the light.

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The last thing to mention about my New York wedding look are my shoes. My plan was to have navy blue, to match Paul’s tux jacket, the only problem was that my vintage gown didn’t have the height to take anything higher than 2 inch heels, which I am so pleased about now, and I just couldn’t find anything I liked. I wanted designer shoes without the price tag so I went on the sample sale hunt and that’s when I spotted these white Jimmy Choo with a tiny heel, they are super comfortable and I love the pointy toe on them.

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The surprise addition, which looks like it was made just for me, was my Mr And Mrs clutch from Kate Spade. Paul actually ordered this beauty and picked up on our wedding day, it was such a lovely surprise and it seems I am not the only one loving it as it has been a bit of a hit on Instagram. Well if you can’t find statement heels you have to do a clutch!

It feels like an end of chapter finally showing off my amazing wedding gown, especially as I kept it a secret not just from Paul but nearly everyone as I wanted it to make a statement, which I hope it did. I know everyone has an opinion on wedding gowns and I would love to hear what you think of my choice, as I really couldn’t be happier with it.

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[Pics: IHNY Photos]

Nov 26 2014

I’m Married: Returning As A MRS!!!

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For years I didn’t think marriage really meant that much, well not to us, we love each other, we have a house, we have a car, we have the pets, and I didn’t need a ring to signify how committed we were to each other, we’ve been together for 11 years, that is pretty committed. It has been strange over the past year, while planning our wedding, how important this ultimate commitment has become to me and I have to be honest I didn’t realise how much becoming a Mrs would change me, how I feel towards my now husband and just how happy it would make me, which if you haven’t guessed – very!!!

I was such a cynic, I loved going to weddings and see my friends say their vows, but a year ago I would have said I would be happy without, how wrong I was. When we said our vows to one another, in front of our lovely friends who made the trip to New York with us, I had never felt such joy before, here was the love of my life telling me I was the one, and it really did make me glow with love and happiness, truly one of the best days ever.

For some, a ceremony not performed in front of god doesn’t mean as much, and I have to totally disagree – no matter how or where you say your vows the commitment is between just the two of you. I am not saying a religious service isn’t a good idea or needed, I am just saying that it wasn’t for us. I only really bring it up as someone commented that it wasn’t as deep a connection. To those who feel that way I have to tell them no matter what the words are, I felt the love of my husband and even though it was only a couple of minutes, I took it seriously and enjoyed every second of it, and I even shed a few happy tears.

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Enough of the heavy stuff, back to the fun and romance of getting married in New York, which I have to tell you, is the best. I have never been to a city where they wholeheartedly embrace a bride and groom and it made us both feel so special and blessed. Everywhere we went people congratulated us, told me how pretty I looked, how much they loved my dress, including tennis champ Serena Williams, and even took our picture. It was so lovely, it has made me wonder whether we would have got the same response in London’s Hyde Park or Trafalgar Square.

The professional pictures aren’t quite ready but I didn’t want to wait to share some snapshots from our special day, you might have already seen some of these before as I have shared on Instagram, but I promise the real deal very soon.

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We basically took snaps in all of our favourite places in New York to have the most amazing wedding pictures, in front of the Brooklyn Bridge and New York skyline, in Grand Central Station and Central Park, and we even made a stop at the Sprinkles ATM for a slice, or should I say wedding cupcake, as you have to eat cake on your wedding day. Afterwards we headed to the Plaza for champagne to celebrate, before dining the night away at Tavern on the Green, which I promise to share all about in a separate post, as if you are planning to go to New York you need to eat here.

I will talk more about my amazing wedding dress and accessories in its own special blog, as let’s be honest this vintage beauty needs to be shared, and how cool is my Mr And Mrs clutch from Kate Spade, it was the perfect wedding day present from my wonderful husband. They will also be dedicated posts about my hair and make-up, huge thanks to Priv, my custom wedding band from Purely Diamonds, which I adore, and all those little things that just made it such a special day, plus if you are thinking of eloping in New York I will bring you all the top tips!!!

I really can’t express how amazing these past few weeks have been, and I hope that I don’t bore you to death with wedding pictures, because as well as our New York celebration we then had a party in the UK, so I have a totally different look to share with you guys as well.

So would you consider eloping in New York City or did you? I would love to hear all your lovely wedding day stories and plans, leave me a comment below.

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Jul 08 2013

My Style: Summer Walk By The River


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This weekend I embraced the sunny weather, because let’s be honest we don’t know how long it is going to last for. On Saturday, I generally sat around the garden, lounged around reading magazines, occasionally helped with the gardening, and munched on BBQ food, which kind of spur me to get up early on Sunday for a walk down the River Cam.

Living in South Cambridgeshire I get the best of both world’s I am not too far from London, no matter what some people think, and I get to explore the gorgeous countryside, quaint towns and adorable villages. One of my favourite villages, and on my wishlist of dream locations to live has to be Grantchester, which is just outside Cambridge.

This is a village that isn’t that big but has three great pubs and an amazing outdoor tea room, which is where we started our Sunday stroll, well I needed to fill up before the walk and I do love lounging about in a deck chair!!!

From there we headed down the river until we came to the edge of Cambridge and headed into town, it took about an hour, we weren’t rushing and it was hot, but it was such a lovely walk. It was fun watching the tourists try their hand at punting, the new canoeists going round in circles, the cute dogs swimming in the river, and the adorable swans.

I always find it hard to decide what to wear on hot days, it is that worry of getting my legs out, wearing something that will reveal my less than stellar body, so I decided to go for a fun floral skirt, tee and bright trainers – easy, casual and comfortable. Although, as it was so hot I am not sure why I opted to wear a black top, such a mistake, I love the loose fit of my boyfriend tee from Primark I just wish I had worn my white one instead.

I also wore my Lulu Guinness watch, which I am obsessed with, and as it has a larger face that my other watches I now have a large tan mark on my left arm!!!

What did you do this weekend to enjoy the sun?

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My Style: Floral skirt, Animal (old) // Black boyfriend tee, Primark // Pink trainers, Keds (c/o) (similar pair) // Barbie necklace, eBay // Glasses, Retro54 // Vintage white gold bangle // Love bracelet, Monica Vinader  // Black bracelet, Thomas Sabo // Quilted Lips Watch, Lulu Guinness (c/o) //

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Nov 06 2012

WGSN Global Fashion Awards: Cat Deeley In VWDC by Charlie Brear

Who: Cat Deeley

Where: At the WGSN Global Fashion Awards held at The Savoy, London

Wearing: An ivory silk gown from The Vintage Wedding Dress Company by her friend Charlie Brear, featuring an ostrich feathered tiered skirt, which she teamed with a vintage blazer and Jimmy Choo heels

Verdict: Fresh from getting married in Rome to Patrick Kielty, Cat Deeley was glowing in a bridal look for her hosting duties for last night’s WGSN’s fashion awards.

Normally a gown like this on the red carpet would raise red flags for me, more so on a newlywed, but somehow Cat makes it demure and cool, and I think it has a lot to do with that vintage blazer it steers it away from being bridal.

Cat stole the red carpet last night, she literally glided down, and up-close the skirt of this dress was incredible, and I love that the only jewels she wore was her wedding ring – a very classy look, which was finished off perfectly with her gorgeous smile.

Do you rate Cat’s look?

[Pics: Facebook.com/WGSN and taken by Fashionista Barbie]

Feb 27 2012

Vanity Fair Party: Kate Hudson In Vintage Versace

Who: Kate Hudson

Where: At the Vanity Fair Oscar Party at the Sunset Tower in West Hollywood

Wearing: A red vintage fringed Versace floor-length gown with sheer panel detailing to the neckline, teamed with a chunky silver and diamond cuff

Verdict: Yeah the return of Kate Hudson on the red carpet, seriously it has been too long, I do love how her effortless her style and beauty is and how sexy this dress looks on her. I don’t think many people could pull off full-length fringed detail but Kate doesn’t have a problem, I also love the very Madonna conical bust area – HOT!!!

[Pic: via Versace Facebook]
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