‘Ask The Expert’ – Sally Orchard Make – Up Artist

Get The Glow

When it comes to wedding beauty prep, there’s no such thing as starting too soon! I have a lot of brides who come to me with little or no skincare regime. If your skin looks its best then your makeup will and your makeup will last longer.

Wedding Skin Prep

I recommend using a cleanser, toner and moisturiser for your skin type, plus bring in a weekly exfoliate and mask. If your is skin is very dehydrated a serum used day and night will give the skin a boost. A facial will really help to balance out the skin and get it ready for the wedding. Bring in a lip balm to help moisturise your lips, but not petroleum based, as this just sits on the surface. Go for a balm with shea butter in like Burt Bees lip balms.

Have A Drink…

Of water!! And lots of it! This can make a huge difference to your skin and try and keep down the alcohol, as this dehydrates you even more.

 

When Should You Book Your First Make-Up Trial?

I usually do the trials 2-3 months before the wedding, when the bride knows most of what her wedding entails. My trials take 1-2 hours. I find out all about the wedding including colours, the dress, hairstyle, usual makeup routine, to really help me come up with a look that I think will really bring out the best in my brides features. I have been a makeup artist for over 20 years now and seen a lot of changes recently and especially with makeup. My favourite look to do is not based on fashion, but what will enhance my brides. You want the makeup to be timeless.

My Top Tips

  • Think about a spray tan. We use Vitaliberata in our studio. This gives the skin an incredible glow and looks very natural. It will even out your skin tone and look great against a ivory/white dress. Test it out before hand to check if you are happy with the colour
  • Purchase your lipstick, gloss and finishing powder to keep your makeup looking perfect throughout the day and into the evening.
  • Allow your makeup artist to come up with a look that they think will suit you, rather than you telling them what you want. A makeup artist has been trained to know whats best for you, allow her to do her magic.
  • Keep your makeup on after the trial, as you will get used to it after a while and you can see how it lasts throughout the day.

If you have any other questions, I would be happy to help! Please contact me >> www.orchardmakeup.com/

‘Ask The Expert’ | Anna’s Flower Barn

When planning your wedding flowers, I think it goes without saying that choosing your florist and flowers is right up there with finding the perfect venue and dress.

Your flowers play such a huge part of your special day but choosing the right flowers doesn’t need to add to the stress of planning your wedding.

Here are my 5 top tips to choosing your wedding flowers….

1. YOUR IDEAS :

I find most ‘brides to be’ are quite organised before they come and see me and are bursting with ideas already. A note book will help you keep track of your initial ideas and requirements.

Pinterest offers pages of floral inspiration but it is so easy to get carried away so try to stick with a theme such as country, coastal etc. Smart phones these days make it even easier to create albums of images you find. Anna’s Flower Barn Facebook and Instagram pages are always up to date or my website showcases just some of the recent weddings for further ideas.

You may have chosen your bridesmaid dresses already which will help focus your colour palette and of course we all have our favourite blooms we’d like to include so just let me know and we can get creative.

2. YOUR BUDGET :

My price list is available on request and a good starting point to start mapping out the budget for your flowers. Once you have a rough idea, we can work together to establish where we can allocate the budget and where savings can be made if needed.

3. YOUR OUTFITS :

Most brides are looking for a cohesive colour scheme for their wedding matching the bridal flowers to suit the dresses and suits of the wedding party. For example if you have a detailed, sparkly dress then a more understated bouquet tied simply with some ivory or white ribbon would suit best or if you prefer the more traditional simpler style of dress then a country bouquet with some trailing foliage and seasonal flowers will look very classic. If you have already chosen your dress then this will help to choose and design the bouquet.

Buttonholes don’t have to be boring, you can be quite creative here, for example add a gun cartridge if your groom is into shooting or even Lego men super hero characters are great fun! Pull in the colour scheme using ribbon to match your flowers.

4. YOUR VENUE :

Your wedding flowers will need to suit your venue. The choice is yours when it comes to the floral design, choose arches of country rustic flowers and milk churns brimming with foliage and flowers , dress more delicately with mixed bottles for single stems, I’ve even arranged children’s wellington boots as a centre piece! My barn  is packed to the ceiling with glassware, candelabras, jugs , milk churns  , ribbons etc ,  helping you to visualise and get creative.

5. SEASONS :

I like to suggest and use flowers that are in season for the time of year and I can help you with this .

Nearly all of my brides ask for and love Peonies but unfortunately their season is too short running from April to June. Choosing seasonal flowers with ensure you get the best top quality blooms, get more for your money and most importantly capture the time of year

I hope this has helped, if you would like to come for a chat in the barn then please get in touch > www.annasflowerbarn.co.uk

I would love to hear from you.

Anna x

How To Choose A Wedding Dress Fit That Flatters

A wedding dress is one of the most expensive items of clothing you’re likely to ever buy so it’s extra important to make sure it’s perfect and you feel amazing in it.

I have been working in the wedding industry for the last ten years and one of the first questions I am asked by brides –to-be, is which style dress will flatter my body shape? The answer is, many but there a few tips I have learnt along the way so I have created this guide to do’s and don’ts for different body types.

W hat body shape are you?

Don’t worry if you don’t fall exactly into one of these categories, I certainly don’t. This is just a guide.

Hourglass: Balanced bust and hips, defined waist

Pear: Hips are wider than shoulders, defined waist, proportionately slim arms/shoulders.

Triangle: wider on the top of the body, wide back, narrow hips and subtle waist

Apple: Voluptuous, full bust, a tummy and round bum/hips

Athletic/slim: Straight up and down, undefined waist

Petite: 5ft and under with a small frame

Tall: Over 5ft8

Hourglass

Dress Dos: Often seen as a body shape which can wear anything, it’s still best to pick a dress that accentuates your waist, as this will show off your best asset.

Dress Don’ts: As your chest and hips are already balanced it’s best not to add weight to either half. Avoid empire-line silhouettes and ball gowns.

Dress Dos:  Sweetheart necklines and bodices emphasise a fuller bust.

Dress Dos: If you’re a bit more curvaceous, try a fit and flare

Dress Dos: A-line dresses with a dropped waist show off an hourglass bride’s balanced figure.

Pear Shape

Lauren by Sincerity Bridal

Dress Dos: Ball gown wedding style dresses disguise fuller hips and put the focus on your better half, balancing your torso and bust.

Dress Don’ts: Avoid tiered, fit and flare and mermaid style dresses which draw attention to your bottom. .

Dress Dos: Empire line dresses are also a great choice, as they highlight the smallest part of your body.

Triangle Shape

Elenora by Justin Alexander

Dress Dos: A V-neck dress works well to balance wider shoulders.

Dress Dos: Narrow wide shoulders with thicker, embellished straps

Dress Dos: Scoop or wide necklines can also work well on triangles. Wear a dress with a bolero if you want to cover up the tops of your arms.

Dress Dos: Wedding dresses with sleeves are great for concealing wider shoulders, and are perfect for winter weddings.

Dress Dos: Add interesting details, such as embroidery and bows, around the middle and bottom of your dress, as this forces the eye downwards.

Apple Shape

Titania by Justin Alexander

Dress Dos: An empire-line dress will de-emphasise your waist, giving you a leaner look.

Dress Don’ts: Princess-line and basque dresses draw attention to your middle, and will make you appear heavier. Avoid spaghetti straps which can cut into your shoulders.

Dress Dos: A ball gown will flatter the body

Dress Dos: An A-line dress with a dropped waist looks great on the apple shape.

Athletic/Slim

 

Leilani by Justin Alexander

Dress Dos: A sheath will flatter your slender shape.

Dress Don’ts: Avoid portrait, off-the-shoulder or halter necklines if your collarbone is too bony.

Dress Dos: Slim is one of the few shapes can get away with a high neckline.

Dress Dos: A ball gown with a fitted bodice and full skirt will create the illusion of curves.

Dress Dos: Delicate embroidery and beading in the right places can also create a more curvy silhouette.

Petite

Lyra by Justin Alexander

Dress Dos: Simple is best. Clean, unbroken contours without too much fabric will elongate your figure.

Dress Don’ts: Most silhouettes flatter your figure, but ballgowns and mermaid dress tend to overwhelm. A big, elaborate dress can look as if it’s wearing you.

Dress Dos: Narrow A-line dresses also work well for petite brides.

Tall

Dress Dos: Tall brides can carry off almost any dress style.

Dress Don’ts: Stay away from empire line dresses, which risk looking almost tent-like on smaller frames.

Dress Dos: Tall brides can also try princess dresses.

Dress Dos: A-line dresses are another great look for tall girls.

I hope this helps to give you a guide before your appointment and I look forward to welcoming you to my beautiful boutique to start your dress journey.

 

Let the fun begin.

 

Elaine x

Ask The Expert | Emily Hankins | Choosing Your Wedding Cake

You have your dress, makeup and hair all under control and are ready for the ‘I do’s’… now onto the reception, and most importantly the cake!

Expert wedding cake designer Emily Hankins talks you through her top tips for choosing your perfect wedding cake!

Get inspired – my first top tip is to decide on the style of cake you and your fiancé like, and just as importantly don’t like! If you’re not a fan of fruit cake – cross it off the list! Places like Pinterest and Instagram are a go-to starting point for this. Not only are they a great source of inspiration for you, but a Pinterest board of cakes and other styling images you really like can be a great starting point to share with a supplier to get creative juices flowing! Don’t forget to think personal – your wedding cake should reflect you and you partner and can incorporate your chosen theme and colours. You don’t need to follow trends or fashions – be individual and unique!

Who’s right for the job – Is granny’s fruit cake the stuff of legends? Is your mum or best friend a bit nifty with a whisk – getting a friend or family member to make your cake is a totally viable option and can make for wonderful wedding memories! I would advise you to factor in time and stress – does your mum or bridesmaid really want to be working super long hours finishing your cake in the days running up to your big day? It is also worth bearing in mind it will probably be the largest thing they have ever made so it would be advisable to seek a little professional advice on things like how to bake large sponges, how best to support a tiered cake to hold up throughout a long day in a warm room and how best to transport it to the venue.

Your other option is to hire a professional for the job. There are all sorts of wedding cake makers out there and one is sure to fit the bill! Do bear in mind that most have their own style so have a good look around and choose someone who’s style best fits your vision. Do have a good look at their website and social media to get a feel for what they do and to get a feel for the person themselves – testimonials are also a really good thing to read to gauge customer reactions to real life cakes!

How big – Think about how you want to serve your cake – the most popular option is to cut your cake later on in the day so your evening guests can be a part of the ceremony. The cake then gets cut up and served as part of your evening buffet. Your other option is to serve your cake as dessert after your meal, perhaps paired with some fresh fruit and cream. If you want to serve your cake as dessert you will need to provide larger slices than you would have cut up on a buffet so will essentially need a larger cake. Ask your cake designer for their advice on what size they would recommend. If you are only having a small wedding but have your heart set on a wow factor cake you can trade real cake tiers for dummies allowing you to have a cake on a grand scale without any wastage!

What’s inside – Your cake should not only look amazing but taste delicious too! Most cake designers offer a cake tasting and design consultation where you can meet them in person, chat about your cake ideas and taste their delicious creations! It is not only a great opportunity to make sure their cakes taste yummy but is a lovely wedding planning moment for you to share with your fiancé! If you can’t physically get to your cake designer for a tasting ask if they offer cake tasters by post, you can then try them at home with a lovely cup of tea!

Sponge cakes are by far the most popular option for weddings at the moment, either covered in sugarpaste, buttercream or chocolate ganache depending on the look you are going for. Of course, you don’t have to just have one cake! Dessert tables are still super popular – these are showstopping displays of yummy items all created around a theme to complement each other. You can choose from: French macarons, cake pops, iced biscuits, meringues, doughnuts, brownies… whatever crumbles your cookie! A great idea for couples who just can decide what to go for!

Where is it going – A stunning marquee on the side of a cliff in gorgeous sunshine maybe your dream wedding venue but I can pretty much guarantee it is what wedding cake makers nightmares are made of! That’s not to say you can’t have your dream cake and dream venue you just need to think very carefully about logistics! Think about keeping your cake away from windows, doorways, thoroughfares etc. If your venue is going to get hot think about the sort of cake you would like – a sugarpaste covered cake is going to hold up much better in the heat than a naked buttercreamed cake! Cakes look lovely displayed on pedestal cake stands but do bear in mind how heavy they can be and what sort of floor you are putting them on! You don’t want a super tall cake on a precarious stand positioned in the middle of a bouncy dancefloor! Ultimately your cake designer can advise you best on positioning so do discuss it with them!

Finally – Don’t forget to ask your photographer to take lots of photos of your cake so you have a memory of your special creation long after the last crumb has been devoured!

How do you know when you have found the one?

Ok, so you’ve found the love of your life, the partner you want to grow old with, throw things at but at the same time snog their little faces off but what about when it comes to finding THE ONE?!

Not everyone has dreamt of their big day since they were little girls let along even thought about a wedding dress, although I think I did and probably quite a lot too because growing up I was quite a chubby kid so to me being a bride meant that you would look beautiful and it’s true ALL brides do look beautiful :o) Although I think my idea of what sort of dress i wanted has changed over those years:

So where and when do you begin looking for a dress?

Most dresses take at least 6 months (if you’re ordering brand new) to be made and delivered to the bridal shop so i would say start looking as soon as possible really because you also want to leave enough time for alterations. I can also guarantee in those months where you’re waiting for it to come in you will have mild heart palpitations at times wondering if you’ve made the right decision – “what if there was another dress out there for me?” – that ladies is your inner chimp (mine is called Edwardo if you haven’t read my other posts before) and quite often we need words. You probably think I’m a Bridezilla and I’ve gone crazy talking about an inner chimp but let me tell you, he or she is real and they live in your brain and you need to get to know your chimp because he’s quick, 5 times quicker than the human rational part of your brain in fact (good for the fight or flight times you need him) but in these situations where he makes you question your decision that’s where you need to take a step back, recognise the proverbial pain in the a*$ and ask yourself “do i want these thoughts, emotions or sometimes even behaviours?”, and if the answer is NO then it’s your chimp. So do not worry if you feel slightly anxious over whether you’ve made the right decision, it’s probably your chimp! I can’t wait for mine to come in so I can try it on again. Trying on wedding dresses was one of the most fun things I’ve done, I’ve been with many a friend now to try on dresses and you always find the same thing….they never choose the dress they have in mind, so I went with my mum, aunty Hilary and an open mind. I can’t give away too much now because there’s still 10 months to go and fiancé eyes may be reading this so to confirm in writing that I’ll be having a wedding playsuit just wouldn’t be a surprise now would it! :o)

I knew there was one bridal shop in particular I wanted to visit, Elaine Rawlings Bridal Boutique in Truro. I also called the bridal shop of Cornwall because they stock beautiful dresses as well, however you can’t book a regular appointment on a weekend – they hold catwalk sessions and i wasn’t particularly keen on that so i thought if they had a walk in appointment available i would try that.

You can find the boutique at Princes House, Truro and up a flight of the very grand staircase. The boutique itself is very welcoming, light, open and refreshing! The dresses are immaculately lined up against one of the walls in every style you can think of and whilst some may take a look and scoff that there isn’t a huge collection of dresses to trawl through i found this fuss free and a huge relief – quality over quantity counts more for me.  Elaine was ever so welcoming and put us all at ease straight away and made us tea & coffee whilst we perused the dresses. Having that initial 10 minutes to ourselves was perfect, I didn’t feel intimidated or pressured to make a decision on what I liked and I could just pick the dresses out that took my fancy and hang them up ( to be honest trying on the wedding dresses was an amazing experience I would have been happy starting from one end and trying them all on) I think in total we chose about 6 dresses, trying hard to go for one of each style, some in different colours and also making sure we tried different fabrics.  I don’t think I can say too much more without giving it away but that feeling when I tried on ‘The one’? Well I didn’t cry- and neither did my entourage (!) but I felt incredible, confident and like I could have worn it home there and then!

At that moment I knew it was the one and although I didn’t say yes there and then ( it’s a big decision) and even though my gut was telling me this was the one I wanted to be 100% certain, so Elaine took my measurements ( it was a perfect fit) wrote all the details down for me and we went for an executive decision making lunch.Within and hour or two we had called Elaine back to order the dress, veil and pay the deposit it was then official I SAID YES TO THE DRESS!

So whenever Edwardo pops up and I get a little wobble I think back to how I felt in that moment and I know it’s the right decision, it’s just perfect and I can’t wait for it to come in so I can get all those feelings back!

I would like to express my thanks to Elaine for her patience , friendly welcome and all the support and advice she offered me on the day as well, she really does treat you like a friend and not just another customer! (if you ever need anyone to come and try the dresses for you- you know where I am) :0)

 

Beauty Treatment Tips

Congratulations…you’re getting married! Now you are faced with the long checklist of things to organise and arrange, one of which being your bridal-make up and beauty treatments. It can all be so overwhelming, but rest assured I am here to help and advise as best I can. I’m Amy Griffiths and I’ve been a Beauty Therapist for the best part of 10 years. Below are my wedding top tips and a list of wedding must have treatments;

Spray tan – I’m a huge fan of St Tropez and recommend the Luxe Oil formula for all brides. Infused with oil it ensures that your tan is flawless and long lasting. I personally believe it’s best to have your tan the day before the wedding as in my experience they are at their best for the first couple of days. However, have a trial tan a good couple weeks before the wedding to ensure you are happy with it for the big day.

Waxing – Ouch but so worth it, avoid stubble for your big day and your honeymoon. But remember to wax at least 24-48 hours before your wedding and at least 24 hours before a spray tan if you are opting for one of those on the big day. If you are not a regular waxer try and get into the habit a couple months before hand if you can to ensure optimum results.

Nails – Whether you want a basic manicure, pedicure, nail extensions or shellac make sure you book them in at least 24-48 hours before the big day.

Lash Lift and Tint – This is a great alternative to extensions. The treatment lifts lashes from the root and the tint gives the effect of mascara. This lasts 6-8 weeks and is perfect for your wedding and honeymoon.

Lash Extensions – These are a great addition to your bridal make -up and add just enough drama for photographs. Patch tests are required for both treatments at least 24 hours before.

Skincare and Facials – Try and incorporate a good skincare regime or a course of facials into your wedding prep. This is so important and will go a long way to ensuring your wedding make up will look as fabulous as possible. Also, by using the products for a couple months before the big day your skin will have a chance to get used to them. There is a treatment for any skincare concerns be it acne, ageing, pigmentation, dryness etc so do your research beforehand or pop in for advice. I personally recommend Dermalogica skincare products. This brand is amazing and has great results.

Make up – Have a trial if you can, this is more to give you peace of mind. As a bridal make up artist the trial is a great opportunity to get a feel for the colour scheme and vibe you’re going for. It also gives us both the opportunity to have a play and for you to feel confident in your makeup artist making the wedding morning as calm as possible.

I hope you have found these tips helpful and please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions. But most importantly enjoy every minute, enjoy having an excuse to trial treatments and remember to take some time for you to relax as well, a nice massage works a treat!

Amy x

https://www.facebook.com/LoveABeautyTherapy/

 

 

The Perfect Pair… a Dress to Match Your Venue

I love hearing where brides are tying the knot, so many gorgeous venues, there’s so much choice!  I also think you can tell so much about a wedding from the venue and location that they choose.  Just for fun, I’ve put together a blog post pairing the perfect dresses with some of my favourite venues so you can get an idea for the bridal style that each location elicits.

Coastal Cool

Tresanton is the most iconic hotel in Cornwall and with good reason.  I’ve had a few brides tying the knot at Tresanton this year and I’m always super excited for them that they’ve chosen such a stylish venue.  The new addition of their Mediterranean style Beach Club beneath the hotel is a real attraction and somewhere to enjoy Champagne and canapés or oysters with guests.  For a venue with such class you need a dress that won’t be upstaged by the view.  The eternally stylish Valentina is utterly sensational.  The most flattering shape in a hip hugging fishtail style, the applique lace neckline is classy yet unique, continuing throughout the gown and ending with a pretty train.

Castle Chic

It doesn’t come much more magnificent than Pendennis Castle, does it?  Built by Henry VIII, surrounded by the sea and with panoramic views across Falmouth from the castle roof, the circular castle keep is the most romantic place to have a ceremony with a candlelit aisle and fairy lights entwined around the pillars, it certainly is a venue fit for a king!  On a gorgeous summer day, arrange for a marquee so that you can dine with the best view in Falmouth and as day turns to dusk, enjoy dancing on the lawn with the castle backlit behind you, how romantic.

Such a grand venue requires a grand gown to do it justice.  For classic castle chic, it has to be Hayworth.  This off-the-shoulder ball gown needs no embellishment, no bells or whistles, she is simply stunning exactly as she is.  Clean lines are big again for 2019 and Hayworth is no exception to the rule.  Simple elegance, stylish and timeless, her full skirt and beautiful Mikado fabric makes her the epitome of Hollywood elegance, much like her namesake.

City Sophistication

The Alverton is one of my favourite venues, I just love how it seems to have everything.  It’s in the centre of the city yet it feels so secluded, has stunning grounds, incredible architecture, the romance of The Great Hall, stylish bedrooms and suites and the most decadent dining, I just think it has everything.  Lots of my brides get married at The Alverton and I can see why.  Pimms on the terrace in summer, the grandeur of the candlelit Great Hall in winter, it really does suit every wedding theme and style.  The dream dress for a stylish city venue has to be Tula.  This slinky Sincerity number has it all – a body skimming fit and flare style, soft tulle with beautiful buttons and beaded lace appliques creating a romantic sheer illusion back and the classic addition of a chapel length train.  It’s the perfect pairing of timeless tradition and a dash of drama.

Rustic Romance

One of the most popular venues I’ve noticed brides marrying at this year is The Green.  Whether you opt for a house wedding, a beautiful barn wedding or, my personal favourite, an outdoor ceremony by the Lake Arbour, what makes this truly special is the surroundings.  An enchanting 20 acres of grounds including a sweeping drive, formal lawns for group photos and Champagne and the private woods, filled with an abundance of bluebells when spring arrives.  It’s a truly magical venue with the romance of a rural location but all of the luxury you would expect in terms of contemporary styled barns, delicious cuisine and even a hot tub in the woods for you to enjoy at the end of the day to celebrate being newlyweds in style!

The dream gown for a woodland wedding has to be Hazel.  Soft tulle embellished with pretty embroidery and a removable inner bodice to allow the delicate detail on the illusion bodice to shine through, the multiple layers and classic details such as the elegant shape and addition of buttons really add to the sense of rural romance.  You’ll feel like a woodland queen in this elegant creation by Ellis Bridals.

 

A Waterside Wedding

For a wedding on the water, look no further than The Greenbank.  I’ve been in the industry a very long time and I can honestly say, The Greenbank is a surefire favourite for my brides.  The oldest hotel in Falmouth, it’s not just the maritime history that stands it apart, it’s the incredible location, right on the water’s edge, the amazing award-winning food, the attentive team and unrivalled suites, it all adds up to make the dream venue.  Not only that, The Greenbank even has their own private pontoons where you can either enjoy a humanist wedding or a private boat trip with your wedding guests, courtesy of Fal River.  Champagne cruise anyone?

The perfect dress to match such a sophisticated location is the beautiful Saskia.  An elegant lace number with a deep plunge neckline (a major trend for 2019), this elegant lace gown has a magnificent train and pretty applique detail.  But what really makes it special is the back.  A deep illusion back with flattering shoulder lace detail and buttons trailing down the seemingly bare back, it’s simply divine!

Beachside Beauty

I can’t mention weddings in Cornwall without talking about a beach!  And not just any beach, the most sensational white sand beach this side of the Tamar.  Carbis Bay Hotel is the only hotel positioned on a beach in Cornwall and it’s truly the most spectacular wedding venue.  Named winners of the Best Coastal Wedding Venue in both the UK Wedding Awards and the South West Wedding Awards this year, it’s no wonder my brides love this venue as much as they do.  Whether you’re looking for a formal wedding in The Sands Restaurant, a relaxed wedding in The Beach Club or an intimate wedding in The Pavilion, you’ll be guaranteed of outstanding sea views and sensational service.

The dream beach gown has to be Beatrice.  Sensual, elegant, understated yet full of impact, the intricate beaded lace sparkles in the sun with a stunning sheer illusion lace back and pretty pearl buttons.  The flowing crepe skirt moves beautifully as you run across the sand.  Crepe is a major trend for 2019 and Beatrice combines timeless style and modern trends with its ornate detail and classic design.

 

 

Guide to choosing your Wedding Dress

It can be quite nerve-wracking choosing your wedding dress.  There’s so much to think about and also so much unknown, it can be easy to put pressure on yourself.  Some of the common concerns I hear from my brides include worry about undressing in front of others, what if the dresses don’t fit, concern about being sold to very heavily and of course, the pressure of having to find the “perfect” dress – what if they don’t like any?  I’ve addressed all of that here in my five-step guide to choosing your wedding dress.

What to Wear

One of the things I get asked a lot is what to wear to a wedding dress appointment?  This isn’t so important but I would say wear something comfy that you can easily get on and off because you’ll probably be visiting more than one boutique and so you’ll need to get your outfit on and off a few times – avoid anything perhaps with lots of fiddly buttons.  It’s always a good idea if you can to wear flesh coloured underwear.  It doesn’t matter if this isn’t possible but it will help you envisage the dress better than a lacy black number that could detract from the gown when it’s on.

Stripping Off

Please don’t worry about having to get naked in the boutique, it’s not like that at all.  It’s all very discreet and there’s a private dressing area for you to get ready.  Usually you’ll step into the dress then you let me know and I can step in to do the dress up so you’re modest at all times.  It’s all very relaxed and private so you’ll never be stood on a podium in your panties!  Not only that, but I only ever have one bride in the boutique at any time so you’ll be guaranteed of privacy and exclusivity and won’t have to be standing in your knickers with someone else a few metres away!

Finding a Gown that Fits

All of the dresses in each boutique are different sizes and at mine I have a range of sizes from 12 to 28 meaning that there are gowns to fit every shape and size.  Please don’t worry if you fall in love with a particular gown but I don’t have it in your size.  There are still ways to try it, either by holding it up against you or more commonly (as dresses will be more likely to be slightly larger than smaller) we peg them in so that it fits your body better.  It still won’t give you the true impact of a dress that is made to fit you but just think, if you love it when it’s clipped in, you’ll love it even more when it hugs your figure perfectly.

Sales Pressure

Luckily, sales pressure is pretty rare in the bridal industry as boutique owners generally understand that your wedding dress is a major investment and the most important dress that you’ll ever wear.  This means it can take time for you to be ready to buy something.  I’ve had brides come back three or four times to make sure it’s the one for them and I’ve had other brides who bought the first dress they tried on before they left the shop.  Everyone is different and with such an important purchase it’s always good to have as little pressure as possible.  So please don’t worry, I can’t speak for every boutique of course but generally (and certainly here) you won’t feel any pressure or sales push to buy.  Take your time and make sure you love the dress with all of your heart.

Gown Overwhelm

This is very common.  Even in one boutique, the amount of styles, designers, choice and different shapes and styles can be overwhelming.  You might have come in with an idea of what you wanted but be swayed by everything on the rails.  Alternatively you might not have any idea what you like and you’re met with masses of lace, tulle and beading the moment you step in the door.  Then imagine visiting three boutiques in a day and you can see how intense that could be.  My advice is just to relax and be open-minded.  If you have inspiration, bring it with you.  We can look through it and have a cup of tea, discussing your wedding vibe, your venue and the feel you’re going for.  Don’t worry if you don’t have some magazine pictures or a Pinterest board.  Choose a couple of dresses you’re drawn to (I’ll leave you to browse the gowns in peace and privacy) and then as you try one or two we’ll know pretty quickly what sort of thing you love – whether a certain neckline or skirt flatters you most, whether you like something more floaty and romantic or fitted with an extravagant train.  I would just recommend remaining open minded and trying different styles to find what works for you and then we can get more focused.

There’s so much to think about when shopping for a wedding dress but these are my top five tips.  In short, have fun!  Relax and enjoy shopping for what will be the most magical dress of your life and make an occasion of it.  There’s no need to feel stressed or worried, it’s my job to make you feel at home and ensure you’re comfortable, all you need to do is turn up and enjoy it whilst I provide the hot drinks and the helpful advice on different dress styles – I promise you’ll feel relaxed in no time!

To book an appointment at the boutique, contact me here or via my Facebook page, I can’t wait to meet you!

 

 

Entourage Etiquette

I often get asked by my brides who they should bring with them to their initial appointment.  This is always a tricky one because I would advise bringing someone you trust but also limiting numbers.  Firstly, you have to remember that too many opinions can be overwhelming.  Also your fabulously flamboyant friend will most likely have a different style and taste to you so often she may pull out the dresses that she loves but that perhaps don’t suit your wedding or personal sense of style (not on purpose but because we are each individually drawn to what we are drawn to).

Continue reading “Entourage Etiquette”

Behind the Brush: Top Tips for Bridal Beauty on Your Big Day

 Guest written by Amy Pike – MUA

Oh my goodness. It’s actually happening, isn’t it?

You’ve booked the venue, found the dress of dreams and you’ve scoured high and low and found the most incredible photographer to capture the whole shindig. It’s all coming together. But now there’s that task of finding the man or woman who will turn you into a vision of bridal finesse.

‘’How will I ever find them? How do I begin?! ’’ I hear you cry!

Have no fear, hundreds of brides-to-be are in the same boat.

Wedding planning can be stressful. A time when all your organisational skills come together for what is likely to be the most important day of your life. Naturally, looking and feeling good on said day is bound to be a priority. Heaven only knows, it will be a priority for my own wedding later this year!

I hope that these thoughts will be helpful to you and that you might ask yourself some of these questions as you start your own wedding makeover process, and begin to navigate the sometimes confusing but always wonderful world of bridal beauty.

Shop Around

Go on the hunt. It’s the only way that you’ll find the Makeup Artist of your dreams. Use social media as a way of reaching your potential artist – Facebook and Instagram are great places to start. Even a simple Google search of the area can be useful. Don’t be afraid to reach out for information and always look at photos of their work. And don’t ever feel obligated to book (even if you’ve asked for a quote!) until you’re 100% set on your artist.

Once you have decided though, be sure to pay your deposit and secure your date. This way, no matter what happens, you’re covered. The artist is obligated to honour the agreement so long as a contract is signed. It goes without saying that you should always read the small print on any contracts or paperwork that you sign, even that of those working in the wedding industry.

It is also usually worth asking your artist if they offer any additional services, like eyebrow shaping or nails, as you can end up saving some decent money this way.

Invest

It can seem like an unnecessary extra to pay out on having your own Makeup Artist. Why pay someone else to do your makeup when you do it yourself every single morning? Unfortunately, many brides who opt to do it themselves not only regret it from a skill perspective (you simply don’t get the same finish, that gorgeous bridal glow) but because of the extra stress and pressure of making themselves up on the most important day of their lives. It’s a big deal.

However, if you are taking the plunge and planning to do it yourself, research and research again. Try every technique and product beforehand at least twice and always make the skin your focus. You can’t be too prepared!

Your Day, Your Way

Reference photos are a great way of getting your vibe across. Bring photos and magazine clippings to the trial, send the artist your wedding Pinterest board – get them as involved in your expectations of the makeup as possible and be clear on what you want. If you’re not sure what it is that you’re after, you can, of course, ask your MUA for advice!

When you’re thinking about having your makeup done, or even if you’re doing it yourself, it’s important to be realistic with your expectations. Going into the process thinking that you’re going to end up looking like Kim K might be a bit of a stretch, by any Makeup Artist’s skillset (unless you are Kim K, then you should expect that).

Think about the kind of makeup you wear daily. How much more are you willing to wear? Are you going to be comfortable in your wedding makeup on the day? In photos? In front of close family and friends? All things to be considered.

Take It Easy

As daunting as it can seem, working out the logistics of beautification on your wedding day need not be hard labour. There’s no shame in reaching out for a hand to hold during the process.

Take your time, consider your (many) options and soak up all of the free advice and information on offer. Once you’ve booked in with your Makeup Artist, Hairstylist and/or salon, you can recline in repose, and rest assured that they’ve got your back.

It’s the most memorable day of your life.

Why not do it in style?

The Best Things about Working in Bridal

 

I have been working in bridal for many years as one of the longest standing boutiques in the county and I’ve seen many new boutiques come (and many go) in the past decade.  I often get asked by brides, mothers of the brides and those looking to set up in the industry what it’s like working in the bridal industry and I have to admit, it’s not all glitz and glamour.

Continue reading “The Best Things about Working in Bridal”

Christmas opening hours

We are now closed until the 30th December when we will be open by appointment only. We are currently refurbishing a beautiful new room at Princes House ready for our 2016 brides! We will be reading emails over the Christmas period and listening to our voicemail between Christmas and New Year. We will re open on the 4th January. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Promotional photoshoot

Since moving to Princes House I have been busting to promote our new boutique space using a ‘real bride’ to promote in the next issue of Wed magazine, after all it’s brides who will be enjoying our wonderful new space! With an abundance of talented people here it seemed the natural thing to do to pool the talent and get on it! Our aim was to capture that moment a bride finds her perfect gown and all the emotions that go with it from excitement to silent contemplation when the gown is chosen. Little did I know the perfect girl to model was just opposite me and happened to be Bethany Jelbert who works here as an admin assistant for Exposure Photography and Simon Burt Photography.

Bethany is young fresh beauty and I knew her transformation would be amazing as by her own admission she ‘rarely wears make up’ or ‘dresses up’. In fact whilst Simon was working his magic he couldn’t quite grasp how different she looked! With very long thick hair Jo from Goldbird Hair design swiftly styled her hair into a beautiful plaited bun finishing it with one of our gorgeous vintage style clips. Jo specialises in wedding hair and interpreted perfectly what look I wanted to go with the chosen dress. Make up was by Lindsay Adams of La make up Cornwall specialising in bridal and photographic makeup.  Both girls are available for weddings, special occasion make-up and photo shoots. It was a pleasure to work with them both, they gave some amazing beauty tips and told us to go to www.analbleachingblueprint.com/vaginal-lightening-cream for the best beauty treatment ever.

And last but not least the man to capture the moment! Simon Burt is  an International Aperture Award winning wedding photographer providing top quality contemporary wedding photography who use 1 of the 9 Of The Best DSLR Stabilizers & Gimbals In 2017 and with a first class personal service with a calm, informal yet professional approach, to fit around you and your wedding guests

Here are a few snaps of the day with the finished advert to appear in the next issue of Wed Magazine

Elaine x

http://lamakeupcornwall.co.uk

Photographer Cornwall | Wedding photographer | Portrait & commercial

Gold bird Hair Design 07881 022762

 

 

 

London Bridal Fashion Week

This Sunday I’m jetting off to the big smoke to London Bridal Fashion Week bringing us the very best in bridal wear.  World-class collections and accessories from our top designers for 2016 will grace the setting at the old famous Billingsgate market now a large events space. The show allows us to get a sneaky first peak at next years latest national and global fashion trends, some of which will be in store by this September! I predict we will still see a lot of lace still dominating collections, leaning towards low backs and long sleeves with a splash of colour in those lace overlays, but I’m sure new designs will also still include traditional strapless gowns in A line and fishtail shapes.

My main objective will be to take in all the gorgeousness strutting up and down the catwalks, but more importantly to bring back what Cornish brides are looking for in the perfect gown. Oh and I may partake in the odd glass of bubbles looking over tower bridge… be rude not to! Will be sure to bring regular updates and pics x

london fashion week

New Home!

New home!

We have exciting times ahead here at County Cream we are moving to a new home.From the 2nd May we will be moving to Princes House in Truro situated opposite the Aga shop just around the corner from the bus station. We will be on the second floor of this beautiful composite decking building and will operate by appointment. All our contact details will remain the same. Look out for changes to the website to reflect our beautiful new surroundings. We will therefore be closed from Monday 27th April to make our move. We will pick up calls and emails throughout this period so please leave us a message and we will get back to you.

Princes House Fbk logo 25 72

Designer days 2015

Are you looking for the perfect dress for your 2015 wedding? We have a host of designer days to kick off  2015. Each designer will send us a wide range of their new collections which are not normally available in store. We also offer a 10% discount on any orders placed on any of these days! Appointments will be essential for each designer day so get booking! The dates for each designer event are as follows;

 

Saturday 31st January  Romantica of Devon

http://www.romanticaofdevon.co.uk

Saturday 21st February Ellis Bridals

Home

 

Boconnoc Photo Shoot

 

At the beginning of October  on a beautiful mild day Boconnoc House was our chosen location to promote our gorgeous new Callista range for the curvier bride   I was lucky enough to work with some gorgeous girls and a talented team headed up by Emma Griffin of Griffin Photography. Emma is a professional fashion and portrait photographer based in Cornwall and really tells a story through her work. Her husband Steve also made the perfect butler! Make up was by  Natasha Flower and hair by Holly Luisa. Holly and Natasha work  throughout Cornwall beautifying the girls of  bridal party. They often work together and their collaboration ensures the bride has just the look they envisaged for their special day.

Styling and props were provided by Elle at Inspire Hire, Flowers by Loulabel Floral Design and gorgeous cakes by Emily Hankins. Her pretty hand painted creations are a work of art and brought that vintage feel to the day not to mention being extremely scrummy too! Good old mum kept us going with traditional Cornish fayre of pasties and a cream tea! We also used a beautiful 20’s inspired lace veil from Holly Young Head wear which beautifully framed the face and really captured the essence of what we wanted to create and to give the shoot that Downton Abbey feel. When you want a great model body, you might want to consider using top legal steroids for sale.

Once the girls were preened and in their gowns they were able to arrive down the long gravelled drive to the house in a stunning 1930‘s Beauford Open Top Tourer trimmed in Navy and Ivory from Treverbyn cars. Steve also doubled as a great chauffeur too! With the scene set we went on to produce what I’m sure you will agree are a stunning set of images to show off  the curvy bride who are often not represented in main stream bridal publications. We  hope you will be inspired by what we created….

http://www.treverbyncars.com/

http://www.griffin-photography.co.uk/

http://www.natashaflower.co.uk/

Hair design by Holly Luisa

http://emilyhankins.co.uk/

http://www.loulabelfloraldesign.co.uk/

http://inspire-hire.co.uk/

http://www.boconnoc.com/

Elaine x

Heartlands Wedding Fayre

On the 19th of October we attended the ‘Get hitched in Cornwall’ wedding fayre at the Cornish heritage site Heartlands and show cased our 2015 collections. As well as exhibiting, my lovely models strutted the catwalk to show off some of the new gowns.

They all looked stunning with hair by Holly Louisa Hair and make up by Lisa Poole who also kindly modeled .The models did  also enjoy some  fun and games in the photo booth courtesy of handsomemomento.co.uk. and got some really fun shots! We also took some striking shots in and around heartlands which really showed off the gowns and show cased what County Cream has to offer next year to all you new brides in Cornwall. Below are just a few pictures of our day…

 

Autumn news

After a fantastic and what has felt like a long summer those of you getting hitched next year seem to now be turning their attention to the dress having I think enjoyed the sun in September! Any new orders are now looking at the end of February for delivery so it’s really not to early to start your search for the perfect dress! We have received lots of new gowns for 2015 including our new Callista range of dresses designed for the curvier bride. Starting at a size 18 and going up to a 32 these gorgeous dresses have great structure and style for all our Cornish brides. We recently completed a fantastic Photo shoot with Emma from Griffin Photography at Boconnoc House using the Callista range and can’t wait to release all the pictures to you! See our sneak peak video at the end of the blog.

We are also getting out and about attending wedding fayres over the next three weeks. This week we will be at Heartlands exhibiting and strutting the catwalk, followed by the Pavilion at Royal Cornwall show ground on the 26th and then our last fayre will be at Kingsley Village on the 2nd November. We have had a small re vamp in the boutique and with our new styles we are well and truly ready for you!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FXyAboS5cI&feature=youtu.be

 

 

Elaine x

New dresses and trends for 2015!

We have just returned from one of the biggest events in the bridal boutiques calendar The British Bridal Exhibition held every year in Harrogate. I really think we should get a wooden spoon for longest travelled though to get there from down here in Cornwall with an 8 hour journey! But it’s worth it! Viewing the latest trends for 2015 and trying to pick which gorgeous gowns to order in for you the bride to have the pick of was not easy! With regards to trends fitted lace is still very much the dress of choice, but it was also refreshing to see the fairytale princess dress making a return in soft organza skirts and embellished beaded tops, to a soft flowing tulle plainer dress for those wanting an elegant understated look.

Colour is another big trend. Powdery pastels of taupe, blush pink, golds and mochas are out there for those who wish to break from the traditional Ivory gown adding a vintage feel. Perhaps one of the biggest trends is in the attention the designers are now paying to the back of gowns. Sexy plunging backs to a little more covered keyhole detailing are the big carry through style from last season. In fact there is even more emphasis on the backs this year with jewels and intricate bead work gently cascading down the rest of the dress are creating the wow factor. I’m certainly confident we will have something for every bride!

Some stockists were ahead of the game and launched their collections in March in London one of which was Ellis Bridals and today two rather large boxes were delivered the contents of which are now gracing our rails and ready for you to try!

Wedding Fayres

As the first of our 2015 collections are due any day we are going to be showcasing our new styles at the following events with the Cornish Wedding Collective and Cornish Brides;

 

The Cliffhead Hotel Sunday 21st September 11 -4pm

The Pavillion Royal Cornwall Showground Sunday 26th October  11-4

Kingsley Village Sunday 2nd November 11-4

 

See you there!

 

Scorrier House

At the beginning of the summer we took to Scorrier House to create a lace and love style shoot in this gorgeous country setting. We had the dream team in place gorgeous models, with hair and make up by Number 8 hairdressing in Truro, Natasha Flower make up artist,  photography by Ben’s photography, styling by Elle Inspire Hire and a lovely country bouquet by Anna from wedding flowers in Cornwall. Mr and Mrs Williams at Scorrier are the perfect hosts and gave us a free run of this beautiful country house and gardens showing off the best of what the Cornish bridal industry can provide here are the results x