Tag Archive: Wedding

Feb 04 2015

Haute Couture SS15: 10 Beautiful Wedding Gowns

zuhair-murad-ss15-coutureThe beauty of Haute Couture is the glamour, the knowledge that the garments take hundreds of hours to produce, mostly by hand, nearly all bespoke, and always with no real budget in mind, it is why I love it so much as it is basically pure fantasy, and it’s the wedding gowns that inspire the most.

I think this has been one of the best Paris Haute Couture Week’s for a while, truly inspiring craftsmanship that really showcased the best in forward-thinking designs, and the bridal gowns were just exquisite. Elie Saab always inspires brides with his beaded beauties, but I’ve also included gorgeous, dramatic and sexy gowns by Zuhair Murad, Ralph & Russo, Versace, and a contemporary, quirky gown designed by Jean Paul Gaultier that if I had seen it before my own wedding I think I would have totally fallen in love with that tiered tulle skirt.

So if you are currently on the hunt for your perfect wedding gown, why not take inspiration from these 10 gorgeous bridal gowns:

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Do anyone of these gorgeous wedding gowns come close to the dress you have pictured for your big day?

[Pics: Vogue]

 

Jan 02 2015

My Wedding: My Two Little Cats Bakery New York Cupcake Tower

My-Wedding-Cake-20littlecatsbakeryDeciding on a wedding cake was hard, especially as we had already chosen to go with a dessert station filled with our favourite cakes, think gooey chocolate cake, black forest gateau and a raspberry and white chocolate number that was to-die for, but I just felt without a cake that it wouldn’t feel like a wedding but just a regular party, and basically I like any excuse to eat cake!!!

The last thing I wanted was traditional, nothing else about our wedding had been and I think having a traditional tiered wedding cake would have looked plain wrong, but I knew that I needed something that could act as the centrepiece to the dessert bar. So after a marathon Pinterest session I decided that a cupcake tower would be perfect, and that having a New York theme would really tie-in with our destination wedding.

I had thought that going down the New York route was going to be easy, I was wrong, so many bakeries just want to do traditional and aren’t really interested in thinking of something creative as well as delicious, well that was until I found Two Little Cats Bakery, thanks to the wonders of Twitter, and even more miraculous they were local in Cambridge.

What I loved about Two Little Cats Bakery, other than the fact their cupcakes are heavenly, has to be their creative approach to each project they take on, they really took my ideas and used our wedding invitation to create something so cool, I nearly, I say nearly didn’t want to eat any of my cupcakes. They created little mini hotdogs, statue of liberty’s, big apples, as well as placing the New York skyline from our invite onto the top cutting cake. Stunning isn’t enough of a word, I was so blown away by the craftsmanship of our cakes.

As well as them looking magnificent they tasted amazing as we picked all our favourites from their extensive list of flavours, which I love as they are twists on classics. Like the lemon meringue, it is more than just a lemon cupcake it has lemon curd, crushed meringue pieces as well as the most dreamy lemon buttercream, oh my I am getting hungry just thinking back to this beauties. We wanted to offer our guests some variety so we also went with vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, Neapolitan, and cookies and cream, which everyone loved. To top it all off them we went for a carrot cake as our top cutting cake as it is the groom’s favourite.

With most bakeries I spoke to my order was considered so small that they didn’t really want to put the effort in, which is the last thing you want to hear when you are planning your special day, Two Little Cats Bakery was the complete opposite as they were so excited about being part of our celebration, and I really thinking that shows in their work as all our guests only had positive things to say about our cupcake tower.

If you are bride in the Cambridgeshire or Hertfordshire area you should totally head on over to Two Little Cats Bakery and check out their amazing gallery of work, which I love includes my wonderful tower, and trust me your guests will be pleased you did as their cakes are so incredibly tasty, I kind of wish we had given them our whole dessert bar to cater!!!

I know it is the New Year and I am suppose to be thinking healthy but I think after all that reminiscing I might have to order a cupcake box to keep the memories alive!!!

My-Wedding-Cake-2 My-Wedding-Cake-3[Pics: Fashionista Barbie / Two Little Cats Bakery]

 

Dec 09 2014

My Wedding: My Purely Diamonds Wedding Ring

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I didn’t know how important my wedding ring would mean to me until the love of my life placed it on my finger during out vows, it was at that moment I was so pleased that I didn’t go with a plain band and added some sparkle as it really represents what a beautiful moment we both shared.

I love jewellery especially bracelets and necklaces but rings I find hard to choose, I am not sure why, but the wedding band worried me a lot. My worries tripled after visiting numerous high street jewellers and trying on lots of bling rings that I just felt weren’t right for me and didn’t complement my engagement ring. I was so please when Purely Diamonds got in touch about their bespoke design service as it really did make the wedding ring search so easy.

My-wedding-IHNY-26What I loved most about Purely Diamonds was that they really understood that I was looking for a ring that didn’t overpower engagement ring, they took my concerns, my dreams and wishes, and truly designed a gorgeous ring that thankfully didn’t have any round or square diamonds, which was a big thing for me as I wanted emerald cut just like my engagement ring.

During the process I don’t think I was much help, all I knew was the shape of diamond, the colour – it had to be platinum, and it had to be a similar band size to my engagement ring. I think they would have loved for me to say what carat weight and clarity but I have no clue on that sort of thing, but lucky for me the team really know there stuff and were super patient with me and I loved that they even photoshopped the ring design next to my engagement ring so I could really see that it complemented it impeccably.

I love that it adds to the beauty of my engagement ring that Paulie designed with a subtle-yet-beautiful line of diamonds, which really do twinkle perfectly when the light catches them. Separately my rings are beautiful, together though they really are divine and Purely Diamonds really did capture our love perfectly.

Using an online jeweller might worry some people, but once you scroll through their rings, be warned there are a lot, you will see the quality and beauty of their designs, and don’t worry if you don’t see something that isn’t quite right, trust me they will be able to design it for you.

Did you struggle to find your perfect wedding ring?

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Want to see more from my New York wedding? Well check out my becoming a Mrs post, a close up look at my gorgeous vintage wedding gown, and the Priv team behind my stunning hair and make-up.

[Pics: IHNY Photos]

 

 

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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Oct 31 2014

Wedding Inspiration: How To Find Your Perfect Scent

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I am such a lover of fragrances, I really do love how certain smells bring back memories, so when it came to my wedding day I knew that I wanted a new scent, something special and romantic, and ideally a fragrance that would conjure up memories of my wedding day for years to come.

Quite a hard task for a scent, especially as I wanted something new and I seem to have added a lot to my collection over the years. I asked a lot of my friends what they did on their wedding day and quite a few just used their favourite scent rather than a new one, but I do love the idea of a fragrance that represents the joy, happiness and love of a wedding day.

There are lots of gorgeous options out there, from the classic Christian Dior J’adore, the fun Dolce & Gabbana Dolce, as well as the sweet Marc Jacobs Lola, and the romantic Carven Le Parfum, which is my current go-to scent. I also loved Stella McCartney, Victor and Rolf Flowerbomb, Elie Saab Le Parfum, Giorgio Armani Code, and you have to try Oscar de la Renta’s Something Blue, which can be your scent as well as your something blue.

In the end it was a hard choice but I think I have found a winner in Chloé, I just fell in love with its romantic rose scent, as well as the hint of peonies and lychee. It just has an effortless chic about it, simply yet still sexy and luxurious, and as soon as I tried it I knew it was the one. The fact that the bottle is exquisite just made it even easier to commit. I really can’t wait to wear this beautiful scent on my wedding day.

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I kind of stumbled upon my wedding scent, after trying nearly ever fragrance in the store, so to make it a little easier for you I spoke to the experts at The Perfume Shop for the top tips on selecting the ultimate scent:

  • Perfume is individual, each scent is different to different people. As a conductor of our senses, everyone’s skin reacts differently to others! It is therefore important to spray the perfume on your skin rather than on a blotter and leave it to settle.
  • Everyone wants their perfume to be long-lasting and whilst EDP last longer on the skin than EDT, consider layering with body lines such as lotions and shower gels.
  • EDP gives a stronger scent so is perfect for evening occasions whilst an EDT is great for everyday use where it will be sprayed multiple times throughout the day.
  • There are other pulse points than just your wrists and neck. Try spraying behind the knees, the ears or in the hollow of your arms.
  • As winter approaches it is important to remember that scents vary from season to season. Scent does not usually last as long in cooler months as the skin is not as hydrated. Opt for a heavier scent during the winter.

Good luck on finding your wedding scent and leave me a message below with what you went for.

I can’t believe I get married in 4 days!!!

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