Bridal Confidence – The elephant in the room

Weddings are a source of excitement and enjoy, admittedly there may be tense moments, families are a rich and diverse collection of people and on occasion may not blend together, but on the whole its against the grain to think that for some their wedding day just doesn’t conjure up quite the same thoughts of eternal elation.

The thought of posing in countless positions for photographs, to speaking in public about their undying love is enough to bring about a cold sweat and thoughts of eloping or in extreme conditions ‘calling it off’! Even the most confident bride can experience a wobble and may need alittle help to channel the beauty from within, because yes brides to be… you are all beautiful.

So whether you need a pep talk to get you going or to talk through how to stand or pose for the best pictures we have the experts on hand to help.

Two such ladies who understand the pressures of wedding planning and more importantly women are Susie Mackie and Dawn Swinley.

Susie Mackie is a wedding photographer who is passionate about photographing people. However Susie’s passionate goes deeper than just capturing your perfect day. Recognizing a need that some Brides needed a little boost she created My Sensuality  – a boudoir experience that she originally created for brides to be which revealed the beauty within, whilst giving brides an experience that they found liberating, confidence building, empowering and fun!  For some it has changed their lives forever, and for others they simply see themselves as others do – beautiful.

Susie says:

My style is timeless, emotional, and genuine; I capture your natural sensuality revealed through your eyes and body language, talking you through your poses and enabling you to feel truly liberated. To me, people are unique “living art” – the texture and tone, character and curve – and I celebrate this through my imagery.

My mission is to give you the confidence to feel good about all of you – from the inside out! If a very brief encounter with Penny and me at a My Sensuality shoot can empower you to feel good about yourself and love your images, then we have achieved what we set out to do!

Dawn Swinly is a nutrition and wellness coach , her business Mode-De-Vie provides a variety of solution’s to today’s modern women’s issues and her aim is to help you enjoy all that life can offer without you being burdened with unattractive and unnecessary body fat or health issues that drain your energy, ruin your looks and diminish your self-confidence.

Dawn says:

‘Many people don’t understand the power of nutrition and its impact on their mind, body and spirit. Or they think to be healthy, you have to live on rabbit food or starve yourself or not enjoy any treats. No Faddy Diets or Finger Pointing Here. What you will get is someone who is a qualified Nutritionist who understands what you need to feel amazing and it’s not starving yourself, being scolded or trying to sell you the next “Magic Bullet” to being slim.

So what have these two fabulous ladies who understand women been up to? and more importantly how can they help you!

They bring you – Complete Bridal Confidence

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The ultimate in boosting your Bridal confidence by dedicated experts in a relaxed, warm environment with of course complementary fizz. Helping you to look and feel fabulous both inside and out and allow the best possible version of you shine.

Susie and Dawn will be introducing their amazing new concept CBC – Complete Bridal Confidence on 8th May 2017 at The Greenway Hotel and Spa, Cheltenham.

There support network includes a private Facebook group called Brides United, you can join it HERE. This is a place of sanctuary where you can ask questions, find out information and discuss your wedding with other contributors.

Be sure to join them and enjoy a glass of fizz, soak up invaluable information, ask our experts for advice, and enjoy our short but enlightening presentation when we will outline the concept of CBC – and share a super special offer for the first 5 brides to book a CBC package!

By the time you leave, we are confident that you will be happy in the knowledge that we are all there to hold your hand during your wedding planning, and will help make your dream wedding a reality, because as the L’Oreal adverts say ‘you’re worth it’.

Get your tickets for the launch event here:   Complete Bridal Confidence Tickets

It promises to be a fun, informative and enlightening experience, why not book tickets for mother of the bride and your maids too?

Happy planning

Sophie xx

Brides of 2018: How to get the Markel Sparkle for your makeup

Okay, so her natural beauty aside – we can all agree that Meghan nailed the peachy, glowing ‘effortless’ makeup look. She looked incredible, but most importantly, she looked like herself. Fresh with freckles, soft and light and oozing timeless elegance.

But you don’t need to be a Hollywood star with an A List complexion and a royal glam squad to achieve the same look. I’ll show you how it’s done with some top tips and insider secrets.

Skin

Right, I may have fibbed, but just a little. Your complexion is really important, and while makeup is key when it comes to transforming you from Cinderella to Princess, if you want to sparkle like Markel then your wedding day look has to begin way before the big day.

Stick religiously to your cleanse, tone and moisturise routine and down the Evian like a Love Island newbie. Dull it may be, but you’ll thank your lucky stars when you look back on your photos in years to come and your complexion is positively luminous.

However, if you’re like me, and all the scrubbing and H2o in the world won’t do the trick, you can get a little more help with these beauties –

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Cream

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer- Radiance 

Tropic- Elixir Oil

Eyebrows

We all want them – subtle but strong, framing without dominating and with an arch as perfect as St George’s Chapels itself. She would have had a thread or a wax before the wedding day as Meghan’s brows were perfect, and looked even more defined than her usual look without being severe.

The products I love for creating a beautiful brow are Anastasia Beverley Hills, Brow Wizz, and Benefit, Brow Zings.

Blush

According to Elle magazine, the Duchess of Sussex favours Honest Beauty Creme Blush in Truly Exciting. It’s an American brand, and unsurprisingly, it’s currently out of stock on their site. Honestly!

Eyes 

Usually a fan of dark makeup around the eyes, the bride opted for a pared back look with a curled lash. And I often tell my brides, if you’re not usually an eye makeup kinda girl, then keep it natural on your wedding day.  You want to look and feel like you, but on a really, really goodday.

Forget the Maid of Honour, mascara will be your best friend on your wedding day. It has to be long-lasting and really open up your eyes.  And if it’s waterproof, even better. We bet even Meghan had a little tear after a few glasses of Champers! We like these –

Benefit- They’re Real

Bobbi Brown- Smokey Eye Mascara

Maybelline- Great Lash Big Mascara

Lips

It’s thought that Meghan j’adores her Dior Lip Glow in Coral. Dior is one of the brands I use at Makeup by Natasha Louise.

But it’s no good plonking it on you on the morning of the wedding and hoping for the best. Your wedding makeup artist must offer you a makeup trial, so you feel totally confident in your look. Meghan’s look may have looked effortless but believe me – it was no accident. Insist that your makeup artist listens to you and hears what you want to achieve.

As a professional, I always share my advice and opinion, but whether you’re a wannabe Meghan Markle or a closet Marilyn Manson, it’s your wedding day and you’re in charge.

Natasha Louise x

About Natasha

Natasha is a make up artist extraordinaire and the face, lady, behind Natasha Louise.

Natasha has grown her business to include a handpicked team of artists who are just what you need on your wedding day or special event to ensure your are looking your absolute best.

Be sure to follow Natasha on her social media channels:

www.facebook.com/makeupnatashalouise

www.instagram.com/makeupbynatashalouise

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Supplier Spotlight: MakeUp by Natasha Louise

Our Supplier Spotlight today is for Natasha Davies, the businesswoman and make up artist extraordinaire behind Natasha Louise. Natasha and her handpicked team of artists are just want you need on your wedding day or special event to ensure your are looking your absolute best.
We caught up with Natasha to find out more about her, her business and of course the make up!
Tell us about you
Hi my name is Natasha Davies and i am chief make up artist and owner at Makeup by Natasha Louise.
My business ethos is to ensure our brides/ clients look the very best version of themselves whatever the occasion, i have now expanded the business and developed a team of professional make-up artists, and we make it our responsibility to put our clients mind at ease, leaving them free to treasure every moment of their special day.
How long have you been in business?

4 years, including a relocation from Herefordshire to glorious Gloucestershire.

How and why did you start your business?

Since suffering with teenage skin, I had to become the master of cover up and quickly loved how makeup made me look and feel. I started formal training 10 years ago and soon after I got asked to help out with friends and family weddings. I then realised how much I LOVED being part of a someones special day. My hobby quickly turned into a business, and after a move to the Cotswolds the decision was made to pursue Makeup by Natasha Louise full time. With a handful of stylists in my team we’re now able to accommodate bookings across the three counties.

For you what is the best part of running your business?

I love the flexibility that self employment brings. I can do a job I love and spend quality time with my children without the ‘mum guilt’

Contact details to find out more:
Additional info you’d like to share:

Your wedding day is one of the most wonderful days of your life, which is why you should look the very best version of you.

You can expect your trial to last between 2-4 hours. This gives you plenty of scope to try as many looks as you need to until you are 100% happy with your bridal makeup. The trial can take place at your home, or if you’d prefer your makeup artists home. 

Some more pics to swoon over:

Happy planning
Sophie
xx

Pantone Colour of the Year 2018 – ULTRAVIOLET

Like all those eagerly awaiting a birth announcement; artists, stylists and creatives everywhere have been waiting for Pantone Colour Institute to release the Colour of the Year 2018.

And it’s…….

Since the announcement was made the Wedding industry seems to be evenly split over whether they love or hate this shade…. and I’m definitely on the love side of this fence.

As a self confessed purple fiend I actually jumped for joy at this announcement! Now I’m not saying go all out and violet your day – did any of you see the house on Rightmove that went viral on social media that was beautiful on the outside but everything inside was this shade (and I mean everything!) if you didn’t you can find it here

According to Pantone:

Inventive and imaginative, Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come.

Well, I like the sound of that, don’t you?

Personally I find it’s a colour with soul – a great hue to mix up any palette and pretty versatile too blending equally well with pastels or brights in shades of pinks and lilacs as it does with the cooler palettes of blues and green – even adding in a secondary pop of colour such as yellow or orange this tone can still hold its own.

Wondering how to incorporate this colour into your styling, whether your after a bold colour scheme or looking for a deep accent colour, here’s some inspiration for you:

Happy planning

Sophie

Xx

Insta #bestnine2017 – the best is yet to come

**** Soppy post alert ****

Thank you to all you wonderful readers of the blog, supporters of the online directory and all those who have enabled me to continue blogging and sharing my passion for weddings with the wider world.

Our first year has been incredible and I am looking forward to what 2018 is going to bring.

We have visited some beautiful venues, met some fabulous suppliers and got to gorge regularly on all things pretty which i have loved sharing with you over on the blog.

Here’s a snapshot courtesy of #instagrams #bestnine2017 of what happened!

So lastly I want to wish you all a very Happy New Year, congratulations to all those engaged or newlywed the next act in the play of life has begun

Happy New Year

Sophie

We’re Planning a Wedding

If you recently got engaged…. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

It’s inevitable when your bestie finally (it’s been a long engagement) sets a date and your asked to be Maid of Honor that planning fever sets in! I actually think I’m more excited than her – but that’s because I get to help plan a wedding all over again, it certainly wasn’t all smiles when I planned my own and you can read about that on Engaged? Why your planning needs a plan

Now the big days September 2018 – not long at all (9 Months! Ekk) and the couple have already chosen and booked their venue but that it! what about the other weddinphernalia? There’s still so much to do!

So join us and follow our exciting journey as we delve into the depths of wedding planning through the highs and lows for those hidden gems, hilarious outtakes and of course some of the best DIY’ing tricks we’ve come across

We can’t wait to share our planning journey with you

Sophie & Sarah

Xx

A Year In……. Where we go from here

Can you quite believe it! Its a whole year since I started blogging my ramblings on weddings. Its been quite a change from creating and designing wedding cakes (which I still do!) but the process of trying to find ‘quiet’ time to put pose into my writing and find engaging content for you my avid readers has not always been so easy.

Firstly a huge thank you to you….. loyal readers and visitors to the blog. Secondly to those awesome suppliers over on the directory whose support has allowed me to continue my writings. Do check out the directory here.

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The first year has taught me an awful lot…. I love writing and I can now identify ‘my style’, i still adore beautiful weddings (working on hubby for a vow renewal!) and discovered a new respect for photography, who knew i would become such an advocate for gorgeous lighting and a perfectly taken pic could give so much joy #hygge.

But it has also lead me to where I want this blog to go…. so many of you have contacted me to ask about DIY ideas, unusual or wow factor finishing touches or where to source items and suppliers. With this in mind going forward I will be blogging more on these areas as well as promoting creative wedding inspired workshops for those of you looking to ‘do it yourself’ or have a activity based hen/stag party.

So of course to be ‘in the know’ subscribe here, if you’ve not done so already, and be among the first to hear about venues, whats hot, whats not and ways to create a unique and personalized day for your beautiful Cotswolds Wedding.

For wedding suppliers why not contact me to find out how I can help you.

Sophie

xx

Wedding or Event Coming Up?….. Get Pedi at Margaret Dabbs, Cheltenham

As i’ve gotten older I am more aware than ever of my hands in photographs, their pose and importantly their condition. Our hands, and feet, are the most used parts of our body yet are often neglected.

So if you are recently engaged or have your wedding approaching its essential for those ring shots that you hands are in tip top condition. When the opportunity arose to pop along to Margaret Dabbs for a party hosted by CheltenhamMaman how could A Cotswold Wedding say no, I mean the promise of a mani or pedi taster on its own was always going to be a winner but a taster of the new Margaret Dabbs Medical Pedicure – i was not going to pass that by! After all Brides and their entourages need to know where the hottest place for hands and feet in town are, right?

 

On arriving at the salon i was surprised to find a small beautifully light room filled with colourful bottles of polishes and potions. After a very warm welcome, and champagne in hand  I was shown upstairs where Kate from CheltenhamMaman had the party in full swing. Upstairs is a bright and airy space with several consultation rooms that covers not just the world renowned podiatry services but also kitted out to cater for a wide range of additional beauty therapies.

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A little nervous of getting the old tootsies out, they weren’t looking their best after being rammed multiple times a day by children’s toys and stepped on by little people. I was treated to a taster of the Medical Pedicure by Simone, professional and friendly throughout she guided me through the basics of foot care, made observations on my feet’s condition and suggested a few tweaks to my current regime.  Did you know that buffering your nails isn’t just to make them shine? It closes the pores that are in the nail and helps to protect the nail from foreign particles!

Now i’d heard the pedicure was good but wasn’t expecting miracles, dry skin, slightly scagged toe nail, dry cuticles, it was alot to ask from a taster. Within 15 minutes I had silky soft feet and toes I didn’t recognize, they looked like they’d spent a life being pampered and my feet have never felt so light…. so much so i wanted to embrace the freezing temperatures outside and pop on the flip flops!

So Brides and bridesmaids (even Grooms!) Give those hands and feet the treatment they deserve and pop on down to Margaret Dabbs, Cheltenham, based in beautiful Montpellier, overlooking the Queens Hotel and Imperial Gardens it is the perfect serene spot to while away a few hours, being pampered and getting yourselves in tip top condition for your wedding or special event. There really is nothing more relaxing than a manicure or pedicure using the most luxurious products, by highly trained podiatrists and then lashings, if you choose, of gorgeous polishes that are again enriched with nail loving ingredients.

Why not contact the team at Margaret Dabbs today and book in – they cater for hen parties and large groups so what better way than to have quality ‘bride and bridesmaid’ time? OR why not spoil that mother of the bride or bridesmaid and treat them with a gift voucher for a mani or pedi? I mean its a guaranteed ‘will you be my bridesmaid’ yes.

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I wish that Margaret Dabbs had been in Cheltenham when I got married – I would have definitely had a medical pedicure – the full treatment is a luxurious 45 minutes long and i can guarantee that you will be leaving with not only the most gloriously pampered toes but walking on air! I shall definitely be booking in for the full treatment in the future.

 

Signing off with the fabulous feet!

Sophie xx

 

About Margaret Dabbs

Margaret Dabbs is herself a podiatrist and foot expert,  and her passion for not only foot care but the importance of creating and using products that offer  a treatment but didn’t compromise on beautifying, anti-ageing and luxurious lead her to create the Margaret Dabbs London brand. More recently Margaret and her team have pioneered the now world renowned Medical Pedicure .

More photos from the event: