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

07538038703

Award Winning Bridal Couture House – The State of Grace, now open in Cheltenham

London’s ‘The State of Grace’ bridal couture house to open in Cheltenham

Hot on the heels of The Royal Wedding at the weekend, it has been announced that award-winning couture bridal house ‘The State of Grace’, will open by appointment in Cheltenham this week, offering consultations to brides outside of London for the first time.

Known for being “the hottest destination for the individual bride”, the timing could not be more perfect in light of the recent marriage of the modern royals.

Highly acclaimed creative design director Lucia Silver, who has previously dressed and styled shoots for female trail blazers including, Jerry Hall, Kate Moss, Dame Helen Mirren and Paloma Faith, has been praised as ‘the best kept secret for London’s best dressed’ and now aims to shake up and modernise the Gloucestershire bridal scene with her fresh ideas and glamorous designs.

Lucia has been an established spokesperson for bespoke design in the British wedding industry as well as speaking on Radio 4 on modern women and style. She was asked to comment on Kate and William’s wedding by both The Times and The Telegraph.

Originally established in Notting Hill, The State of Grace, specialising in complete head to toe bespoke design and styling for red carpet events and weddings, is the perfect fit for fiercely independent females and is proud of its distinctive style. Lucia and her team, create stunningly beautiful gowns and accessories for brides who want to express their individuality. “Beauty is Authenticity” is Lucia’s mantra and The State of Grace’s strapline unequivocally states: ‘Your Design. Your Style. Your Beauty.’

Much like the new Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle, The State of Grace embodies inclusivity – with a love of multi-culturalism, religious fusions, civil-partnerships and convention-breaking with a sprinkling of good old-fashioned show-stopping glamour.

“The Cotswolds are one of the most beautiful places to get married in England so now that Cheltenham has The State of Grace, there’s no need to travel far afield in search of that unique red-carpet gown,” said Lucia, “I take inspiration from an era where every female star exuded her very own powerful and unapologetic femininity. The way that Meghan walked alone down the aisle on Saturday really symbolises what our bridal house is about – courageous, authentic feminine firepower.”

London’s hip, ES Magazine, hailed Lucia as a ‘modern day alchemist’, Harpers and Queen described Lucia’s designs as ‘crowd-stoppingly stylish’, while Vogue described her couture showroom as ‘an exquisite Parisian atelier full of totally irresistible treasures’.

“The State of Grace team makes every aspect of a client’s dress and ensemble especially for her; we are passionate about creating something truly individual for each person we work with. Our team will be sharing all of the celebrity secrets on how to bring out the inner screen siren on your wedding day,” Lucia continued.

The State of Grace showroom is by appointment only. For more information or to book a consultation please visit www.TheStateOfGrace.com<http://www.TheStateOfGrace.com>.

About Lucia

Lucia Silver is also the owner and designer of the acclaimed Dar Jaguar Riad Hotel in Marrakech (www.darjaguar.com) http://www.darjaguar.com) now a leading destination for romantic and honeymoon escapes, intimate weddings and the most stylish fashion shoots, hen and birthday celebrations.

More press information please contact Victoria Ward;

victoria@rewardpr.co.uk

mailto:victoria@rewardpr.co.uk

07875 155 020.

Supplier Spotlight: Bellapeach Creative

Today’s Supplier Spotlight is for bespoke stationer Annabelle Gallagher. Annabelle specialises in creating contemporary stationary for any occasion but loves to design quirky styles for weddings.
We caught up with Annabelle to find out more about her stationary.
Tell us about you
Hi my name is Annabelle Gallagher and i own bespoke stationary business Bellapeach Creative.

I design and create beautiful stationery and handmade gifts for any event – from weddings and birthdays, to anniversaries and religious celebrations.

How long have you been in business?

1 year

How and why did you start your business?

Since planning my own wedding five years ago I have been creating wedding stationery for  friends and family on the side while working in range of marketing roles. In April 2017 when I went on maternity leave I decided to set up Bellapeach and pursue my dream of running my own wedding stationery business while looking after my little girl.

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

Making peoples dreams turn into reality by creating bespoke designs for their weddings.

Contact details for more info
  • websitehttp://www.bellapeach.co.uk/
  • emailannabellegallagher@hotmail.co.uk
  • contact number07900695661
  • facebook@bellapeachcreative
  • instagram@bellapeachcreative
Additional info you’d like to share:

All designs are created with the individual couple in mind. I start each project with a consultation session, this can be either over the phone or via email to find out exactly what you are looking for.  I then take our agreed detailed brief and turn it into reality. Before printing you will be involved in the review process to ensure you are happy with the design.

More pics to swoon over:

Happy planning

Sophiexx

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

Thoroughly Modern Meghan…..

After weeks of hype its all over and now we discuss and debate the details of the wedding of the year, one of which being Meghan’s choice of wedding dress.

Firstly from us here at a Cotswold Wedding we wish the newly titled Duke & Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle a wonderful start to the next chapter in there lives.

With not a scrap of lace, tulle or sparkle in sight Meghan’s choice of dress was the epitome of minimalist style, reminiscent of old Hollywood glamour and that most famous of style icons Audrey Hepburn.

As expected the wedding trend will follow suit, as it did after the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge’s marriage and you can expect to see, simple, classic lines with tailoring as key over the next months/years. But the truth is, British brides are already choosing gowns with a simpler, more classical, elegant approach you only need to see current collections of Suzanne Neville & Sassi Holford for examples.

The chosen designer for the wedding dress, as always has been a closely guarded secret, although London designer Ralph & Russo had been hotly tipped to be the creative team behind it.  The honor was bestowed to Clare Keller, second woman only to head up a major fashion house that is Givenchy.

Given that Givenchy also dressed Audrey Hepburn for her wedding day, i cant help but feel the fashion house was first choice in creating a modern yet stylishly timeless wedding dress that clearly fits within Meghan’s fashion styling ethos – functional, classic, well tailored pieces without additional ‘accessories’ (lace, beads, detailing) in sight.

The piazza to her wedding gown ensemble was Queen Mary’s diamond bandeau. The tiara was specifically made for Queen Mary in 1932 to accommodate, in the centre, the detachable brooch which was given as a present for her own wedding in 1893 by the County of Lincoln

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With many comparisons already being made between Meghan’s dress and that of Kate’s and Diana’s – was it too plain? Should it of been bigger? I can only say this – you wedding dress should be reflective of you as a person. Meghan’s was quite frankly perfect….. for her.

Here’s a shot of these two gorgeous ladies on their respective days- both dresses and simply stunning and both reflect ‘them’ as individuals perfectly. Kate as a future Queen and Meghan as a charitable patron with a clear ethos on style.

Happy planning!

Sophie xx

All images via The Guardian + The BBC and Copyright Reuters, PA

Real Wedding: Wayne & Clare, Win a Wedding in Association with Gloucestershire Media, by Sophie Flowers

Friday the 13th might be unlucky for some, but for one couple from Gloucester the day was a dream come true.

Wayne Cox and Clare Phillips, of Kingsway, were the lucky winners of the Gloucestershire Echo and Gloucester Citizen’s Win a Wedding competition 2017.

Their prize was a magical wedding on Friday, April 13 at The Queens Hotel Cheltenham – Mgallery by Sofitel.

The couple have been together for six years after they met while both working at Tesco in Quedgeley.

Wayne, 38, said: “It was absolutely fantastic.

“The whole day was amazing, it all fell into place on the day.

“Luckily we’re not superstitious and Friday the 13th was lucky for us.

“Friends and family being there was the important bit.”

Clare was given away by her son Ben, 16, while her daughter Paige, 27, was a bridesmaid dressed in the colour theme of the day of Cadbury’s purple.

Clare with her son Ben, who gave her away

The couple are especially thankful to all of their friends, colleagues and customers at Tesco Quedgeley, who helped them collect tokens for the competition.

Clare, 44, works on the customer service desk while Wayne now works as a store manager at the Tesco in Kingsway.

The groom and ushers wore traditional morning suits from Tuxedo Junction, Westgate Street, Gloucester, while the bridesmaids were dressed in gowns from Nina Furness Couture, in Cambray Place, Cheltenham and Clare wore a beautiful gown.

“She looked beautiful,” said Wayne, of Clare.

(Image: Diamond Shots Photography)

The ‘fantastic’ flowers in the purple colour scheme were designed by the Flower Bowl, in London Road, Gloucester.

The whole day was captured by Diamond Shots Photography.

And the finishing touches, such as the purple chair covers and sashes from Sweet Beginnings, St Oswolds Road, Gloucester, and the photo booth from Party Foto Pods, in Staunton, really added a sense of occasion.

“The guests loved the photo booth,” Wayne added.

The wedding also featured a traditional ice sculpture of two swans by Ice Creations, and Chocolate Fountain from Maggie’s Chocolate Fountains, Pershore, which the couple would highly recommend.

Guests were kept entertained by a magician from Ethereal Productions. Clare and her friends loved the hen party at De Vere Cotswold Water Park Spa while the newlyweds still have the couples’ pampering to enjoy at the spa.

The pair were whisked away to a five-night honeymoon in romantic Paris with flights from bmi regional and hotel from HotelsCombined, where for the first two nights they stayed in a hotel overlooking the Eiffel Tower before arranging their own accommodation for the remainder of the trip.

Thanks to the Win a Wedding suppliers:

Venue

The Queens Hotel Cheltenham- Mgallery by Sofitel

The Promenade, Cheltenham. GL50 1NN

Contact:

Ellie Murray

Conference & Events Coordinator

H6632-sb@accor.com

01242 514754

www.queenshotelcheltenham.co.uk

Suits

Tuxedo Junction

Westgate Retail Park, The Island, Westgate Street, Gloucester GL1 2RU

Contact:

01452 380 066

info@tuxedo-junction.co.uk

Bridesmaids dresses

Flowers

Cake

The Cheltenham Cakery

Linwell Close, Cheltenham, GL50 4SD

Contact: Sophie

07766346788

info@thecheltenhamcakery.co.uk

www.thecheltenhamcakery.co.uk

www.facebook.com/thecheltenhamcakery

Photography

Diamond Shots Photography

Contact: Becky

07835 042 319

contact@diamondshots.co.uk

www.diamondshots.co.uk

www.facebook.com/DiamondShots2012/

Rings

Wedding Car

Azure Luxury Cars

30 Greenway Lane, Cheltenham GL52 6LB

Contact: David

(01242) 51 00 00 & (07714) 20 90 78

david@azureluxurycars.co.uk

www.azureweddingcars.co.uk

Chair covers and Sashes

Photobooth

Chocolate Fountain or Fruit Tower

Maggie’s Chocolate Fountains

Hill Furze, Pershore, Worcestershire. WR10 2NB

Contact: Maggie

07725 339209

maggie@maggieschocolatefountains.co.uk

www.maggieschocolatefountains.co.uk

Ice Sculpture

Ice Creations

Contact: Alan

0800 999 6555

info@icecreations.co.uk

www.icecreations.co.uk

Entertainment

Ethereal Productions

Contact: Joshua-James

07947369422

Productions.ethereal@gmail.com

www.facebook.com/EtherealPerformance

Hen Party and Couples Pampering

Stag Do

West Country Games

Gatcombe Farm, Weston Road, Long Aston, Bristol, BS48 3QT

Contact:

0117 370 0640

bookings@westcountrygames.co.uk

www.westcountrygames.co.uk

www.welshgames.co.uk

Honeymoon flights

bmi regional

Pegasus Business Park | Herald Way | East Midlands Airport | DE74 2TU

Contact:

0330 333 7998

customercare@bmiregional.com

www.flybmi.com

Honeymoon accommodation

About the Writer:

Sophie Flowers is agenda editor for Gloucestershire Live, leading the team that covers  the county’s big issue

Email: sophie.flowers@localworld.co.uk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Flowers_S

Phone: 01242 278076

Snow Wedding or No Wedding?

The last few days here in the UK has seen a Siberian polar front collide headlong into Storm Emma – the result minus temperatures, heavy snow and ice. Just in time for those getting wed over the weekend.

So if an unexpected Siberian weather front suddenly threatens your big day what do you do? Do you cancel or do you embrace the change and spend your last remaining hours wedding planning pintrest’ing the perfect snow wedding pics?

Honestly….. it’s your call and you need to do what’s right for you. But I truly believe that only you can let bad (unplanned) weather ruin your day.

Here’s a few tips for when the weather doesn’t play ball and snow threatens play:

  • wellies – don’t leave home with out them
  • blankets and wraps – nothing makes you feel warmer than snuggling in a selection of cosy cover ups – think thick, textured fabrics to ooze luxe
  • Add a touch of colour to pop against the snowy backdrop – think faux fur coats, tweeds etc why not colour coordinate with your wellies!
  • warm drinks – it may be preferable to switch the welcome fizz for hot chocolate (with cream and marshmallows of course!) and luxury coffees
  • Transportation – the beautiful Rolls Royce may not be able to make your day, consider hiring or borrowing a 4×4
  • How will your guests get around?
  • Can you hire rooms closer or at the venue for your guests?
  • As unsexy as it sounds can you get away with wearing thermals under your dress – it’ll make the outside snow shots that little bit warmer to bare 😉

For more inspiration here’s a few snowy shots:

Happy Planning

Sophie

Xx

Wedding Planning Series – 2 The Bridal Dress

This gets number 2 because quite simply once the venue has been sorted every bride will be thinking about their dress and with some bridal shops requiring orders to be placed 9 months before needed depending on your planned length of engagement you may need to get a shift on.

Now our bride had already visited a dress shop (no naming and shaming here) and the one tip I can give you is the dress buying experience is as important as the dress.

Now the experience she had quite simply wasn’t for her – it was a large and busy shop and appointment times strictly adhered to – this meant she felt rushed and restricted, as this particular boutique limited the number of dresses that she could try on during this hour. She just didn’t ‘feel’ the experience and therefore she wasn’t going to find a dress in this establishment. Nothing wrong with the shop persau but the experience she felt wasn’t going to precipitate a sale here.

Having known the lovely ladies Kaci and Janette at Enchanted Brides I recommended she book an appointment – having recently opened there gorgeous besouite boutique in Cheltenham’s Berkeley Mews.

With a stunning array of dresses there was plenty of variety in styles. There gentle, no rush approach meant I watched my bestie relax before me and actually start looking at dresses rather than a startled rabbit grabbing her quota to ensure they were tried on in the allotted time.

So here are our 12 top tips for Bridal dress shopping:

1. Wear comfy clothes – if your hitting several shops in one day you’ll be taking them off – ALOT!

2. Comfy shoes for pounding the streets

3. If you have an idea of heels that you may wear take them – heels add a different perspective to the dress

4. Sorry girls but good old comfy neural undies are required. Some styles may be strapless, backless or thinner material – don’t ruin the look with bright straps and – this can skew your feeling on the dress

5. No your body shape – but don’t feel obliged to stick to it!

6. Experiment – try a veil, headdress, hair vine it may alter how your feel/see yourself in the dress

7. Try on different colours – yup, with bridal gowns coming in lots of different shades from bright white to ivory, champagne even pale pinks and pale greys! be bold and try on different ones to see if the shading looks better on you

8. Photograph, photograph, photograph and from every angle!

9. Move in it! Remember you are going to be wearing this dress for a whole day – walk around in it, sit down in it, is it comfortable?

10. Ask about alterations – you may need to factor this in to the dress budget

11. Check lead times for dress ordering – if you’ve left it late be sure to ask what dresses the shop will be able to get in on time

12. Ask about deposits – most reasonable dress shops will require a deposit but should have a cooling off period

For obvious reasons THE ONE is not shown below but here’s a few snaps from the wonderful experience we had Enchanted Brides

 

 

Book your relaxed appointment at Enchanted Brides now:

Enchanted Brides – http://www.enchanted-brides.co.uk/

Tel: 01452 714131

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EnchantBride

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/enchanted.brides/

 

 

Happy Dress Shopping!
Sophie & Sarah 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