Tag Archive: Wedding Gown

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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Sep 02 2014

Wedding: Angelina Jolie Marries In Atelier Versace

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I love a celebrity wedding, seeing what they wore, where they held the reception, but I love it even more when they go ahead and surprise us and get married without anyone knowing like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt did last month.

Since the news that they wed at Château Miraval, the couple’s home in France, I think everyone has been dying to see what Angie wore down the aisle. I think most like me were expecting a lacy Elie Saab creation, but when I heard that the actress had turned to Donatella Versace I have to admit I wasn’t surprised as she does favour the Italian label on the red carpet.

As you would expect Angie was a vision in her gown that was a little more traditional than I expected, it did have a twist though, as the custom-made white silk-satin Atelier Versace gown and veil was detailed with embroidered drawings from her six children, to really make it a family affair.

People and Hello have the exclusive to the wedding, which was attended by just 20 friends and family members, and each child played a key role in the wedding from Zahara and Vivienne being flower girls to Maddox and Pax walking their mum down the aisle, and Shiloh and Knox served as ring bearers. It sounds so cute.

What are you thoughts on Angelina Jolie’s Atelier Versace wedding gown?

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[Pics: Versace/People Magazine/Hello]

May 11 2014

Exhibition: V&A – Wedding Dresses 1775-2014

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With the excitement of planning a wedding I was really looking forward to seeing the V&A’s latest fashion exhibition, Wedding Dresses 1775-2014, because who doesn’t love to look at wedding gowns, especially when they include dresses worn by Gwen Stefani, Kate Moss and Dita Von Teese.

Spanning across two floors, much like last year’s Ballgowns exhibit, I much prefer this space in the V&A than the one currently occupied by the Glamour of Italian Fashion, there is more space and the dresses really do make more of an impact. However, unlike the recent John Paul Gaultier display at the Barbican there isn’t anything special about this exhibition, well except the exquisitely crafted wedding gowns of course.

As much as I loved the history of the opening section exhibition, covering gowns from the last two centuries tracing the development of the white wedding dress, I wasn’t wowed by anything. I felt a lot of it had been covered before, the shapes and silhouettes of the dresses look like pieces out of the V&A archive, they just aren’t in white, and I wasn’t a fan of the inclusion of the Royal video, it would have been fine if the Duchess of Cambridge’s dress had been on display, it just felt a little bit of a tourist push to make the exhibition more popular with foreign visitors.

My favourite moment from the opening section was seeing socialite Margaret Whigham’s magnificent Norman Hartnell gown from when she married in 1933. Not only is this gown beautiful, a simple sheath dress with dramatic medieval-style hanging sleeves, but I loved how the 3.6 metre train was more sophisticated than dramatic – really suited the Thirties.

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What I did love though was the mezzanine level featuring wedding garments from the last 50 years with an emphasis on the glamour and spectacle of weddings today, which of course includes celebrity weddings. Maybe it is because these dresses are more familiar, maybe it because they are lot more grande, or maybe it is just because they were laid out nicer, but seeing these gorgeous couture gowns up close was amazing.

The first dress you see when you come up the stairs is the divine purple Vivienne Westwood ballgown-style wedding dress that was custom-made for Burlesque star Dita Von Teese in 2005. Not only am I a huge fan of Dita’s but this gown is so special, not only is the colour exquisite, it really does shimmer, but I loved the drama and the styling with the Stephen Jones hat – it really is a wow factor dress.

The celebrity moments really did make this exhibition for me, seeing Gwen Stefani’s John Galliano for Dior spray-painted pink wedding dresses was more stunning than I it looked in pictures. The colour really worked with the dress’s asymmetric construction and the pairing of such a romantic veil – this is how you marry a traditional gown with a modern twist and I love it. Also I think Gwen had the best choice in shoes!!!

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Another highlight was Ian Stuart’s Flower Bomb dress from 2011, I think this was because of its Southern Belle quality in the volume and drama of the skirt, my only wish was that it wasn’t trapped in a glass cabinet. Isn’t it beautiful, and I love the addition of the hat, for a bride who wants something a little different.

If you are a little wedding obsessed like me you will love this exhibition in parts, the modern dresses from the likes of Jenny Packham and Temperley London will have you gushing, but I think you might be a little disappointed not to see more couture.

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V&A’s Wedding Dress 1775-2014 exhibition is open until March 15, 2015 and costs £12. 

Mar 20 2014

Wedding Inspiration: H&M Conscious Exclusive Collection

HM-Conscious-1This week I have been pre-occupied with my own wedding dress shopping, hitting the boutiques, twirling in David’s Bridal, and talking to designers on a few custom options – but one place I hadn’t considered was the high street. This isn’t because I don’t think there is anything I would like, I am sure for my untraditional wedding there probably is, but I think like most brides-to-be I just dismissed it without even considering – well the lookbook for H&M’s new Conscious Exclusive collection, in collaboration with the sustainable fashion and design think-tank EVER Manifesto, will have a lot of people thinking otherwise.

I am not suggesting that these dresses are worthy of a full-on church wedding, I am thinking more registry offices, destination weddings, as well as city elopements. The gown that had me gushing, as well as a making me a little jealous that I had already sorted my New York gown out, has to be the exquisite tiered Organic cotton floor-length gown with lace detailing – it is simply gorgeous and at 399 Euros this will add drama to anyone’s big day without breaking the bank.

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For a beach wedding, or even a dress to slip into for the reception I love this long-sleeved lace beauty with its high neckline and scallop-edge detailing for 179 Euros, it really makes a statement with the added cape-style necklace made from recycled plastic for 129 Euros.

After non-traditional white, well the collection delivers, how about a striking midnight blue lace-effect gown with a dip-hemline for 199 Euros or the floaty nude ruffle gown that is perfect for a tropical wedding and at 149 Euros it is a bargain price.

It just shows that you might have to look in the most unlikely places to find your perfect wedding dress, if you fancy one of these keep April 10 free as the collection rolls out across 150 selected H&M stores worldwide, think the major flagships, as well as online.

I really love this collection, I think I might have to try on that gorgeous tiered lace wedding gown – those T-shirt style sleeves are cute.

What are you thoughts on wearing a H&M wedding gown?

HM-Conscious-4 HM-Conscious-5[Pics: H&M]

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