Tips for Wedding Shoes

Every girl loves a new pair of shoes, especially if it’s the pair she will be wearing on the day of her wedding! Whilst the dress is usually the most exciting part of your bridal look, we believe your shoes are just as important. We take a look at 8 wedding shoe tips to ensure your shoes are comfortable and perfectly complement your wedding dress and personal style!

1. Quality

It is understandable that many brides opt for cheap wedding shoes especially if they are trying to stick to a budget. They usually feel it’s a waste to spend money on something that won’t really be seen under a long dress and that you will only wear once. However, you are going to be on your feet all day so we highly recommend investing in a good quality, comfortable pair of shoes, which won’t ruin your day with sore feet. It really isn’t worth it! Good quality shoes don’t have to break the bank. Inquire at your local bridal shops about sales or ex samples or check out sites such as eBay, Preloved and Gumtree for a second hand pair.

2. Heel Height

This really depends on what you’re used to. Some brides wouldn’t leave the house without their favourite 4 inch heels, whereas others are happier sticking to a heel height of just a couple of inches. Whatever your preference don’t be tempted to go much higher than what you normally wear and what you’re used to. You want to glide down that aisle with elegance and grace, not hobble awkwardly and trip!

3. Shoe Size

There’s always that dilemma if you are in between sizes. Do you go up or down a size? We’d always recommend going up. Your feet will swell as the day goes on, which means they will begin to pinch if you opted for the smaller shoe. Shoes that are slightly too big can easily be amended with insoles and heel grips and can be removed later in the day when your feet swell to fit.

4. Wear Them In

You’ve probably done it before. Gone on a night out with a fabulous new pair of shoes, but within a matter of hours if not minutes, they are rubbing your feet. Even if your wedding shoes felt comfortable when you tried them on in the shop, we recommend breaking them in before your big day. Wear them around the house, to help soften them up and practice that all important walk!

If your wedding shoes are particularly slippy it may also be worth gently sanding the soles with sand paper to add a bit of grip. Think of all those first dance ‘You’ve Been Framed’ video’s you’ve seen…

5. Shoe Accessories

Make sure you have these must have shoe accessories for your wedding day!

Heel grips – if your feet keep slipping out the back

Gel insoles – to reduce the pain you get on the balls of your feet from standing up or dancing, for a long period of time.

Shoe protector spray – to protect your shoes from water marks and stains.

Clean heels – to stop you sinking in the grass!

6. Try on With Your Dress

There are a couple of reasons to try on your wedding shoes with your dress. Firstly you want to ensure that the colour and style suit the style of your bridal gown. If you have already been wedding dress shopping you will have come to realise that wedding dresses don’t just come in ivory or white. There’s diamond white, pale ivory, alabaster, blush, light gold…the list goes on! If you are matching your shoe colour to your dress you want to check that one of them isn’t significantly paler or darker than the other, as one of them may end up looking dirty. Obviously carrying your dress around with you whilst you shoe shop isn’t exactly convenient, so try and get hold of a swatch of the fabric that matches your dress. Either ask the bridal shop where you purchased your dress, to send you one or see if there is something small from the dress you can take such as a sash or removable strap.

Secondly it is important that you try your shoes on with your dress to check if the hem needs altering. Ideally you want the hem to sit just off the ground to ensure you don’t trip. Bare in mind that when you are walking down the aisle, you are going to have a bouquet in one hand and the person that is giving you away in the other. You won’t have hands free to hold up the front of your dress too.

On the other hand you don’t want your dress swinging around your ankles because your heels are too high. If you are concerned that the length of your dress might be too short with your heels there are a couple of things you can do. If you haven’t purchased your dress yet or you ordered it quite recently, ask your shop if there is the choice to order it in a longer length. If this isn’t possible, did you try the dress on with a hoop petticoat? If so this slightly shortens the length, so try it without. Your final option will have to be to rethink the height of your heels.

7. A Second Pair

If you just can’t resist those sky scraping heels, get you’re self a second pair of lower, more comfortable shoes for the evening. From pretty pumps, to flip flops and customised Converse, there are styles to suit everyone. Bare in mind however, that if you choose to lower your heel for the evening and you are wearing a full length dress, it will drag on the floor, so be careful not to trip!

We also love the idea of filling a box full of flip-flops for your guest to slip into in the evening, so that they are free to dance the night away in comfort!

If there is a chance of rain or snow it is worth having a second pair of shoes to get you from A to B so that you don’t ruin your smart bridal shoes. Cue the wedding wellies!!

8. A Pair to Wear Again

If you are resenting having to purchase a pair of shoes you’ll only wear once, just buy a pair that you will get use out of even after your wedding day. Just because your wedding dress is ivory, doesn’t mean your shoes have to be! Pick a pair in a colour or pattern that you’ll wear again and that matches your wedding theme and colour scheme. This is the opportunity to have some real fun and show off your personality. They also make great photos and talking point between guests!

Alternatively, choose a pair that can be dyed in your favourite colour after your big day so that they can be worn over and over again to make the most of your purchase.

5 intimate weddings

Modest guest lists lend themselves to unusual and exceptional wedding venues. Be inspired by our top 5 venues for small and chic weddings in the UK.

1. Temple of Apollo, Stourhead, Wiltshire

Who for: Romantic couples who want a beautiful, classic and intimate ceremony. The garden temple will seat 30 guests to witness your wedding

What: A tranquil paradise. Situated in one of the finest landscape gardens in the world, the stone built Temple of Apollo, built in 1765, is truly stunning. Looks familiar? You may well have seen it in the proposal seen in remake of Pride and Prejudice. If it’s good enough for Keira Knightley Matthew MacFadyen…

Why: It’s timelessly beautiful and will provide a magnificent backdrop for your wedding photographs.

2. Millbrook Estate, High Bickington, Devon

Who for: Nature lovers who want to be married hidden away, in a breath taking valley. Millbrook specialises in weddings for up to 20 guests, they also do ‘Runaway Weddings’ for less than four guests…

Why: Stunning and very private, Millbrook is set within a valley location of 32 acres of beautiful countryside with lakes, wild flower meadows and mature woodland. Marry in the extremely intimate secret garden conservatory or in the summerhouse, which has enormous folding doors to let the outside in, and a huge fireplace for roaring log fires in the winter months. The venue even offers private dinning for true romantics.

3. Forter Castle, Perthshire, Scotland

Who for: The Bride and Groom who want a venue fit for a King and Queen. The castle can accommodate 16 for a sit down meal or up to 24 for a buffet and sleeps up to 12.

What: This16th century fortified tower is like something from a fairy-tale – it’s been lovingly restored from a ruin to retain its original character and charm, but with opulent modern-day comforts and even boasts its very own chapel. The surrounding highlands are unspoilt and sure to impress.

Why: It’s dramatic and intimate at the same time.

4. Nash Point Lighthouse, Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales

Who for: Quirky couples looking for a unique place to tie the knot. The spectacular Lighthouse can hold 25 guests, over two floors.

What: One of the few operational lighthouses where you can get married, beautiful Nash Point Lighthouse is situated on one of the cleanest, sandy coastlines in South Wales and noted for its variety and birdlife. You’ll be treated to a spectacular view while you say ‘I do’ – a great choice for those with an affinity with the sea.

Why: It’s a deliciously different option and a real statement about who you are as a couple.

5. Tunnels Beaches, Ilfracombe, Devon

Who for: Couples who want to a beautiful, informal ceremony at the beach. Tunnels Beaches encourage weddings for up to 60-70 people, with the option of more even guests.

What: A network of hand carved tunnels lead you to a tidal Victorian bathing pool and stunning sheltered beaches, where this chic, contemporary venue lies. Get married in the Thatched Gazebo overlooking the sea, with a sublime view of the rugged coastline and the sound of the sea.

Why: It’s a stunning yet understated choice and the scenery will look fantastic in your photos.

Engagement ring dislikes

You’re head over heels in love, you just had the most perfect proposal, there’s just one thing…you hate the engagement ring your partner chose for you.

Choosing an engagement ring is tough, and it’s very common for the choice not to be exactly to the bride-to-be’s liking: but if you don’t like your engagement ring, you don’t necessarily have to exchange it for another – or put up with a ring that you’re not in love with.

We asked three of the UK’s top jewellers what to do if you hate your engagement ring;

Brides tend not to like their engagement ring for three main reasons: the width and profile of the band isn’t right, the diamond or other precious stone is low set, or the whole ring is not what they imagined. Thankfully, many things can be done about these problems.

If you don’t like the width and profile of your band, you could set your stone into a new ring mount: budget-wise, this isn’t too much of a hit as the main cost is usually the diamond or stone. Another option is to re-shank the ring, cutting the bottom part of the ring off and adding a new bottom (from flat to court shape, for example) so the ring has a softer edge.

To solve the problem of a low set diamond, you have two options. The first is choosing a new ring mount and re-setting the stone higher, so you can see the stone better. The other – possibly cheaper – option is to replace the collet, which is the basket that holds the stone at the top of the ring. It may be possible to attach the new collet higher on the ring.

For couples dealing with these problems, always go to a jeweller with technical experience in this area. They can run you through all the options and the most cost effective way of changing your engagement ring.

If you want to avoid choosing a ring that doesn’t meet your partner’s expectations, the best thing to do is buy a loose diamond or precious stone and propose with that: your bride-to-be gets to choose or make the engagement ring she always wanted, but you still have something amazing to propose with. Alternatively, do some research and either ask questions sneakily to your other half, or get a close family member to help you choose. They should have a good idea of the style your partner will love and then it’s not so much of a blind choice.”

Many people are presented with an engagement ring that is not to their taste: often this is a ring that isn’t what you had hoped for, or an inherited piece. The temptation is to sell it, but this is usually the worst thing to do: second-hand jewellers base their buying prices on scrap metal values, even when the jewellery is brand new or in perfectly good condition. Often they will not even add value to the price if there are gemstones in the ring. With jewellery remodelling, you will have to pay for the commission – but the finished piece is then worth the same, if not more, than the original piece.

A typical scenario might be for a fiancé to propose with a yellow gold diamond engagement ring that cost £2,000 – and the bride-to-be doesn’t like it. If she sells it to a second-hand hand jeweller she might get £495 and although she buys a new ring that she prefers the style of, a ring for £495 is way smaller and has lower quality diamonds. She has effectively downgraded her jewellery.

If she came to us with the original ring, we could remove the diamonds from the first ring and reset them into a new design. She could also change the ring from yellow gold to white and use the gold setting as part payment. Such a remodelling process would cost £495 and, by using the original diamond, the ring retains its commercial and sentimental value.”

The reasons brides-to-be dislike their engagement ring include incorrect size (they would have liked a bigger or smaller diamond), the centre diamond is the wrong shape or they wanted a clear/coloured diamond. Some brides feel there’s not enough sparkle, or they would have liked a multi-stone diamond ring or shoulder set diamonds. Others would have preferred rose gold/ yellow gold/platinum. Some brides-to-be want a ‘wedfit’ set (an engagement ring shaped so the wedding ring will eventually sit neatly next to it and look like one ring).

In the first instance, take the ring back to the retailer to see if it can be exchanged or made to meet your requirements. Alternatively, speak to a reputable jeweller who is a member of the BJA (British Jewellers Association); they will give you impartial advice on the different options available.

We can try to change the stone size up or down and, if a coloured diamond is required, we can remove the existing diamond and replace it with the customer’s choice. If the centre diamond is the wrong shape, we would either remodel or make a new shank to fit the correct stone. We also offer a shape to fit service on any diamond engagement ring, making a diamond/plain wedding band to sit neatly next to it without gaps.

If you’re looking for a diamond engagement ring, try to identity the four Cs with your partner before you buy, finding out what cut, colour, clarity and carat she prefers. Based on this information, shop around to see who can give you the best deal.

It’s important to buy a diamond ring handcrafted in the UK; if it’s above 0.30ct, make sure it has a diamond certificate and is British Hallmarked. The difference in the quality and the diamond setting will ensure the diamonds never fall out (unless you accidently damage the ring) so it lasts a lifetime. If you have the budget, purchase a platinum diamond engagement ring, rather than 9ct or 18ct white gold, to avoid the unnecessary costs of rhodium plating the white gold periodically.”

Wedding Beauty

Skincare, Health and Fitness

Certain beauty treatments such as facials, are the most obvious thing a bride feels that she needs but to be honest with you, if you aren’t having regular facials already then there is really no need to start now.  The same thing goes for any other treatments or products promising to tone, tighten or take years off you!  

The best thing you can do for your skin is to keep yourself healthy.  Making a conscious effort to drink more water, eat more vegetables and increase your protein intake will give you far better and quicker results than any “wonder” treatment or product.  Green and herbal teas are great for keeping you hydrated and for flushing out toxins and they are a lot more interesting than water.

Nails

As for manicures and pedicures, while it is lovely to visit the salon and be pampered while they do it for you, this can become extremely costly. Fear not however! These are super simple to do at home and in all honesty I actually prefer doing these myself at home. I don’t have to sit impatiently waiting for my nails to dry in a strange place, I can watch TV or read a book in the comfort of my home while any polish sets.  

Hair and Makeup 

Firstly, make sure it is just a basic trim and not a complete restyle that they need you to model for! There should be no need to worry as you’ll usually find a senior stylist present at all times to ensure there aren’t any mistakes.  As for conditioning your hair, again, it’s nice to get wrapped up in all the beautifying but you don’t need to rush out and buy the latest keratin treatment! There are lots of home remedies you can make to nourish your hair or even just applying coconut oil can help bring any ratty locks back to their ultimate shine!

 

When it comes to wedding makeup for the day, if you don’t have the budget for a makeup artist then putting some hours in on YouTube tutorials to teach yourself can really help.  It’s like learning any new skill, it’ll take time so be patient. I would make sure you find a YouTube artist that you find easy to follow and stick with following their videos only instead of confusing yourself hopping from one to another. If you’re in need of some new makeup anyway, then getting yourself down to a makeup counter for a ‘“free” makeover which is redeemable off products purchased after then this could be a great learning tool for you too.

 

If you really don’t have a budget for wedding hair or makeup artist then don’t scrimp on costs or forego a hair or makeup trial unless you are absolutely sure that they will do a great job for you on your wedding day. Tension will be running higher than normal on your wedding morning and time will be precious so you do not want any nasty surprises or added stress of trying to rectify a bad hair or makeup situation! You could be better off just doing it yourself if you’ve practised enough – that way you will know exactly what you are doing and what to expect.

 

Back up plans

As far as big life events go, marriage is often touted as one of the most stressful.  When planning a wedding it take a lot of time and patience. It’s a once in a lifetime thing so it’s only natural to feel some weight on your shoulders during this time.

 

Whether it’s during the arduous planning stages or the task of keeping up appearances on the day, there’s a lot to think about. When it comes to initially booking your wedding entertainment or live band it can seem a little overwhelming with so much choice and information to take in.

 

In a stressful time you need helpful and stress free people – which is exactly what the entertainment experts at Red Masque can recommend. With all the other stresses that go hand in hand when planning a wedding, why worry about your entertainment when someone else can take the pressure off you?

 

Hire a wedding organiser.

Wedding planning is an easy process is. Not only that, you’ll feel safe in the knowledge that you have booked a professional and an experienced act that you can trust. This is huge in controlling your stress levels on your wedding day! An act or band of this calibre are well versed in performing at weddings just like yours and are prepared for any eventuality.

 

Guest Babysitting

Consider the general mood and atmosphere on your day and how you can manipulate this at key times. Bored guests get fidgety and frustrated easily. This happens most often during the drinks reception which is a common lull. Why not get your entertainment to ‘babysit’ your guests whilst you’re away taking photos? Doing this means you don’t have to worry about your guests well-being in your absence. Acts like magicians and caricaturists are perfect for this and are sociable enough to be able to keep everyone happy!

 

African Wedding

There is something special about African weddings with celebrations from jumping the broom to tasting four elements. To make it memorable and happy, here are some traditions that you can include in your wedding to personalize it so that it pleases everyone with unique experiences.

Jumping the Broom

This tradition reaches all the way back to slavery times. Today, this game consists of the bride and the groom jumping over a beautifully decorated handmade broom to publicly signify their commitment to one another. The newlyweds can hang the broom in their home as a reminder of their wedding day and commitment to one another.

Libation Ceremony

As a way to honour the elders in your families and to honour your ancestors, this ceremony has lots of meaning. To perform the Libation ceremony, use holy water or alcohol to pour on the ground in east, west, north and south respectively. Someone should be designated to learn and recite the prayers to say during the ceremony.

Kola Nuts

The Kola nut is given to the couple during an African wedding. With the nut symbolizing the happy couple and extended family, it means the couple is willing to help heal together as one. The Kola nut should be shared between the newlyweds and their parents.

Tying the Knot

With this ceremony, the bride and groom are tied around the wrists with a cloth or grass that has been braided for the ceremony. The braided grass symbolizes the unity of marriage. The ceremony is conducted while the wrists are tied.

Crossing Sticks

Use two tall wood sticks that represent life force among the trees and the couple will cross the sticks to represent the unity of their love and start their marriage on the right foot.

Knocking the Door

In this ceremony, the groom will knock on the door of his future in-laws and bring them gifts and requests permission to marry. This ceremony brings the families closer together.

Purple and Gold

Choosing these colours for your wedding colours not only adds fabulous and modern feeling, but it is also an African American wedding tradition because they represent royalty in many African cultures.

Feeding the Family

After the four elements tasting, it’s time to sit down and share a meal with the family. Joining the families is important in the African wedding ceremonies.

Ditching the Diamond

Because many diamonds have been mined in Africa, some brides choose to use a different stone as a symbol of their marriage instead. Ditching the diamond is becoming more popular today.

Kente Cloth

All brides want to have the Kente cloth as part of their wedding. This bright fabric is gold, green, and red in color and is made in Ghana. The groom’s vest can be made from this material or you may see it in the bridesmaid dresses.

 

Classic Traditions

Trends come and go. But, if you want your wedding to be more timeless than trendy, consider incorporating some of classic traditions that have been in hiding for years.

We think it’s time to bring these sweet rituals back!

  1. Tying The Knot

It turns out there is deep symbolism behind the phrase “tying the knot.” It refers to an old Irish and Scottish ritual called hand-fasting. The officiant ties the couple’s hands together with a brightly coloured ribbon or cord. The rope symbolises that the couple is bound together with an eternal bond. Hand-fasting is popular in European weddings—Prince William and Kate Middleton even incorporated it into their royal wedding ceremony.

  1. Wedding Bells

The church bells ringing at the beginning and/or end of a wedding ceremony was once thought to ward off any evil or negative spirits. As many wedding ceremonies have moved out of the church and fewer churches seem to have bells, this tradition has fallen by the wayside. But, don’t give up on this one yet. The original Celtic tradition involved a smaller bell that was rung at the end of the ceremony. The bell was then brought to the couples’ new home and whenever tensions arose (as often they do with newlyweds) the bell was to be rung to restore the marriage commitment and break off the negativity of the argument.

  1. Sixpence In Your Shoe

Most of us are familiar with the rhyme “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” But, not as many are aware of the last line, “and a sixpence in her shoe.”  The sixpence was given by a father to the bride to symbolise all the blessings he had for her. By giving her the sixpence, he was symbolically wishing her great health, wealth and happiness that could be passed down with the coin from generation to generation. So sweet!

  1. Decorating The Car

The ritual of decorating the bride and groom’s wedding car with flowers on the bonnet and ribbons streaming from the side mirrors or ariel began in Germany. The newly married couple would lead a procession to their reception, and guests would beep their horns all the way there to get the party started!

  1. Money Dances

This is a custom that comes in several different forms depending on the culture of the bride and groom. In Poland, the bride will dance with different guests as they take turns pinning money to her. It is sometimes called the apron dance as brides would wear aprons in order to save their gowns from holes. At an Italian wedding, you may see the bride carrying a silk bag and when guests come to dance with her they put money into the bag. The Phillipines, Mexico and several other countries also have their own version of the money dance.

  1. Love Letters

In traditional Icelandic wedding ceremonies, the future bride and groom would write love letters to each other the night before the wedding. They would use the letters to express their feelings about the upcoming day, as well as their hopes and dreams for their future together, or to recount the story of how they fell in love. Oftentimes, parents of the bride and groom or the officiant of the ceremony would also write a letter to the couple. The letters would then be sealed in a box to be opened on the couple’s first anniversary. What a beautiful and meaningful tradition.

 

Artificial Flower Guide

Even the least green-fingered of brides can discover a penchant for florals as they work with their florist to create their bouquets and centrepieces.

While it’s pretty tough to beat the fragrance of fresh flowers, choosing faux flowers does bring many benefits. From budget to dates to décor, here’s seven reasons why you should to choose artificial flowers for your wedding…

If you’ve been dreaming of a blush bouquet of barely open peonies but set the date for September, your first thought will be disappointment. Do you really have to give up one dream in favour of another?

Choose from high quality suppliers for realistic replicas for all of your favourites – whether that’s ranunculus, delphiniums or prized peonies – and you can carry bouquets, wear buttonholes or choose table centres with any blooms at any time of year, allowing you to have your day as you dreamed it while also taking advantage of off-peak dates if you wish.

When you’ve got a venue to set up and decorate as well as getting ready on your wedding morning, we’d forgive you for feeling just a little over busy. Give yourself the relaxing morning you deserve by planning and setting up in advance.

That’s the beauty of working with artificial flowers – you needn’t worry. Not about them wilting in the warmth of your marquee or the flowers fading and crumpling or even how you’ll find the time to arrange them.

They can all be arranged into vases weeks in advance, making the final few days before the big one much more blissful.

If you choose a fresh flower wedding bouquet and want to keep it after the wedding, you’ll encounter the challenge of preserving the petals and flower heads perfectly. This challenge is only compounded by the fact that you’ll probably be jetting off on honeymoon soon, so there’s very little time to get these kinds of tasks done.

With an artificial wedding flowers bouquet, though, you can simply wrap them in protective paper and stow them in a box, forming a lasting memento of your perfect day without half of the fuss.

You might have heard of couples gifting their floral centrepieces to family, friends or perhaps members of the bridal party as thank you gifts. It’s a lovely touch, but with faux flowers to gift the present will last so much longer.

In general, purchasing artificial flowers usually works out cheaper than buying them fresh from a florist. This means that for some couples, going faux can facilitate far more in the way of flower walls, garlands and canopies, and standout table centres, making all the difference to their overall reception décor.

 

Intimate Wedding Venues

Intimate Venues for Small Weddings

Bingham, Richmond

A chic riverside hotel with a restaurant that glows over the Thames come twilight. The Bingham in Richmond is made of two Grade II listed 18th-century houses and run by a mother and daughter team. While its event space allows for up to 100 seated guests, the hotel has 15 bedrooms allowing for up to 30 people to stay overnight. Hire the whole hotel and choose from a casual barbecue by the water or a formal five-course wedding breakfast.

Lower Barns, St Austell

In the Cornish countryside near St Austell, Lower Barns brings together one-of-a-kind furnishings and a bold maelstrom of textures. The hotel creates an upbeat feel in their rural home and a fun and quirky environment for small and intimate weddings. The quirky bedrooms with freestanding baths or a custom-made breakfast bars are real conversation starters. Spend the evening before your nuptials stargazing from the outdoor hot tub and unwinding in style.

Court House Farm, Portishead

A beautiful medieval manor a stone’s throw from Portishead Point and Woodhill Bay. This venue offers plenty of space and the perfect rustic, romantic backdrop to any wedding. Only a couple hours from London or 30 minutes from Bristol, Court House Farm is very well connected whilst maintaining the perfect feeling of country escape. The venue is open all year round and the owners are more than happy to work with you to help create your dream wedding.

Cley Windmill, Norfolk

For something a little different on the Norfolk coast, Cley Windmill is a B&B with tonnes of character. It’s set in a 19th-century grinding mill surrounded by open fields and perfect for intimate wedding ceremonies.  It has a restaurant and a beautiful round Sitting Room too, which can hold up to 22 people. Given the intimacy of the space, it’s all about bespoke occasions whether you opt for a daytime or evening occasion. However, we’re particularly fond of the candlelight dinner option.

Pentillie Castle, Cornwall

In a timelessly elegant fairytale setting, surrounded by woodland and overlooking the River Tamar lies Pentillie Castle. Built in 1698, it has remained in the same family for more than 300 years. It is surprisingly spacious and classic, with 55 acres of gardens to roam in. It’s a wonderful place to feel like royalty and to welcome guests to a special occasion. Say your vows in the romantic Victorian Bathing Hut on the banks of the Tamar or on the Terrace if you prefer. You can furthermore tailor the rest of your day to suit you and your nearest and dearest as you please.

Romney Bay House, Kent

This beautiful 1920s mansion in a spectacular location amidst wild marshland scattered with ancient churches. Romney Bay House Hotel is a spectacular place for a small and intimate wedding reception. Plus, you can hire the whole hotel for up to 20 guests and take the whole hotel for an entire weekend from May to September.

Hever Castle B&B, Edenbridge

Hever Castle is probably best known as the home of famed and fated wife of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn. Today the magnificent 13th-century property is not only a spectacular attraction, but it’s also open for wedding hire. There are multiple spaces in this historic location so you can have a wedding of any size here. However, in the castle’s inner hall, there is the perfect amount of space for 60 ceremony guests and 40 wedding breakfast attendees. What could be more spectacular?

 

Hair & Beauty for the big day

Something old

Keep your hair healthy by trimming and conditioning regularly during the run up to your wedding, and don’t be surprised if your stylist wants you to wash your hair the night before. Just washed hair is often too soft and silky – hair behaves better for styling when it is a day old and means pins, veils and hair accessories grip better.

Flawless foundations

The prettiest bridal makeup always features flawless skin as a base, so your foundation must be a perfect match for your skin. You can add colour afterwards with bronzer, soft blusher and lipstick. Choose a lipstick and lip liner that will give your smile definition… especially with neutral or barely there shades. Contour and highlight carefully but don’t over do it – you can take a black and white photograph to check whether your contouring is too dark, if need be it can easily be toned down.

Eye it up

Your eyes are the most expressive part of your face and you’ll be amazed at the difference well groomed eyebrows can make since they quite literally frame your eyes. Neutral colours will enhance your natural eye colour, but don’t be afraid to use a little sparkle, which can look stunning on the most natural makeup. Individual eyelashes are great for lifting and accentuating the outer eye area, and don’t forget to add waterproof mascara!

Best of both

If you can’t decide whether to wear your hair up or down, why not have both? Ask your wedding stylist to add some curl or volume first, then create a soft, natural up style that can be easily let down later on in the evening. If you’re struggling to choose a hair accessory and have decided against a veil, a delicate hair comb or small spiral hair pins  can be added in to complement your hairstyle and add a subtle sparkle to your look.

On trial

Book your trial around six to eight weeks before your wedding. If you just can’t wait that long, ask your stylist for a consultation as early as you like so you can meet and discuss the look you’re aiming for. A Pinterest board reserved for bridal hair and makeup is a great way to show your stylist your ideas. Don’t wear black or bright coloured tops to your trial – a colour close to that of your wedding dress will mean you’ll get a much clearer idea of how your makeup colours will work on the day.

Flashy lashes

Eyelash extensions are becoming a really popular option and it’s something I often suggest to my brides. They can really open up the eyes and can look more natural than strip lashes, especially when applied so that they gradually increase in length towards the outer corners. The added bonus of these is that you get to keep them for your honeymoon!

Flowers everywhere

If you love flowers, ask your florist to wire tiny buds and sprigs that complement your bouquet so that your stylist can work these into your hairstyle. This creates a timelessly romantic look and can be a fresh and pretty alternative to more traditional headpieces or wedding hair accessories.