Wedding Part Two #OurForever2016

Ok so now you’ve read my wedding part one post, it’s onto part two! We all went to bed feeling pretty proud of the marquee setup, it was a vision in white and red. A huge thank you has to go out to Talking Tables for their stunning lanterns which gave the final touch. All photography in this post (unless stated otherwise) is courtesy of my fabulous wedding photographer Camera Hannah. Hannah we couldn’t have done the day without you! It was captured with the theme and vision in mind so I will love you forever for all your fantastic snaps.

The Marquee

My sister and maid of honour Evie designed the table plan for the guests, if you have an occasion and need a designer then let me know!

The Aisle

This wedding vision took a very long time to pull together. Weeks of making flowers and designing the garden arch, plus I had to walk down a grass aisle too. We transformed Paul’s parent’s living room into the rustic backdrop you see here for the big day.

The Cake

Again this was something quite specific and I had just the man in mind for the job- Mr Cake! After reading all about Chris in the paper about how he quit his job and turned his written resignation into a cake I knew he was the guy we needed! I had my very talented step dad (Bulldog Vintage) create the wooden structure out of real wood and let Mr Cake design the rest.

Apples scattered at the base as a signature Twilight symbol.

My Hair and Makeup Team

Again I knew exactly where to go! I had worked with both makeup artist Hana and hair stylist Georgia before on other projects and so these ladies were my first and only choice for the big day.

I chose a dark lip with silver eyes, quite a bit heavier for a bridal look but I think I pulled it off!

Photo by Saharasplash

My hair was dyed grey five days before by the talented Limoz Logli in Chelsea, and Georgia braided it into a crown with berries on the day. My earrings were crystal apples from Corbico Jewellery– I wore these on the Saturday too and have them safely kept as a momento of the wedding weekend.

The Ceremony and Dress

Violinists saw us in as they played a thousand years by Christina Perri.

This is the first time my guests saw the finished wedding dress after seeing my first episode of Say Yes to the Dress UK. I had the Christine Dando dress modified with custom made sleeves and neck detail, so it’s very different to the dress you see in my first episode! My next episode of the actual wedding is coming out tomorrow on TLC- the 26th May at 9pm so please tweet me if you’re watching!

The Bridal Party

My six bridesmaids did me so proud on the day. They wore fabulous multiway dresses from In One Clothing and the colour matched so well with the surrounding theme and decor. The girls wore their dresses to their own unique style and it worked a treat!

My bridal bouquets were made from paper by the talented Beauty is Eloquent. They each contained red and white roses along with book pages from Twilight too! I get to keep it forever, just like the beautiful memories from the day.

We were lucky to have a very mild November day and managed to take some lovely shots just outside the farm house too.

The Speeches

Our best man’s son Harry stepped in to fill the shoes of the best man speech for our wedding day. Sadly he couldn’t be there, but luckily the speech was a great success and Harry did a fantastic job as best man!

By the time the DJ started, I whisked myself away to get changed back into my jumpsuit which was a very good decision. I could dance freely without worrying about ruining my fabulous dress. I let my hair down metaphorically, but I didn’t want my hair touched until the night was over!

We would like to thank each and every person involved in the wedding part two #ourforever2016 and we couldn’t be happier with how the weekend went. Everyone we loved helped make it a perfect and special celebration, and of course none of it would have happened without the Twilight author herself Stephenie Meyer- thank you for bringing us together!

Saharasplash x

If you missed part one of the story, read it here!

Wedding Part One #OurForever2016

This post has been in the pipeline ever since my wedding which happened last November. I have been waiting for the right time to post this as a lot has happened over these first months of 2017. I’ve decided to split the wedding post into two parts- mainly because the wedding occurred over two days so it makes sense. The other reason is I didn’t want a super duper excessive mammoth post by combining the whole weekend into one! So thank you so much for the wait, and we are starting our journey off with a trip to Hatton Garden…

The ring- Hannah Rose Jewellery

I met the team from Hannah Rose at a bridal show earlier on in 2016 and I knew straight away that these were the ones who were going to design my wedding band. My engagement ring is my mother’s ring, and due to its rather odd shape, a wedding band was going to be custom made. We met them on a bright and sunny day in London to discuss colour, shape and all the incredible choices.

A few weeks later, my ring was ready! Engagement on the left, my brand new wedding band on the right. They fit together in perfect harmony, Hannah Rose outdid themselves!!

The nails- Nail Harmony

I felt incredibly lucky when I was invited to the headquarters of Nail Harmony for a day’s masterclass in how to use Gelish polish. We met the company’s fantastic family team behind the business- Jason, Georgie and their daughter Jazmine.

Georgie lead the class and taught us four keen bloggers all about the nail, how to safely use tools and products and applying/removing the gel.

If the day wasn’t amazing enough, it was about to get better- I stayed behind after class and then had my nails done ready for the big days (as there were two). I decided to go for an almond shape nail with a dark red polish and silver detail to match the wedding theme.

Look how amazing these nails are! Pure perfection, I cannot thank the team at Nail Harmony and the ladies at Cat Pr for making this all possible.

The morning

The morning of went by so fast, I was up, showered and by the time I had done my makeup and hair we were rushing out the door. But not before I got a picture with my best man-dog!

So the journey was a little rushed, it involved us having to travel about 70 miles in under an hour to get to the venue on time! Plus this involved a 3 minute pit stop to a service station for a wee and petrol. The CCTV must have picked up a very strange sight of me in my outfit as well as my mother running across the station to pay without any shoes on as she couldn’t run in heels!

But… we made it just in time! My jumpsuit was bought from Nasty Gal online and needed some minor adjustments to the waist area. I had a lovely local seamstress take this in for me and add a silver rope belt too.

The beautiful flowers were made by a family friend for us on the day.

We were married by one o clock on the 19th November at the Uttlesford District Council.

No sooner had we said our vows, I was off to Tesco (yes in this getup) to get the evening food for the bridal party which is something I won’t forget.

The afternoon

My wedding afternoon was spent with the lovely bridal team prepping the marquee for the second day (part two). We lined the ceiling with gorgeous paper lanterns from Talking Tables in red, white and silver.

The fridges were stocked with the welcoming drinks from Fine Cocktails. These were so well received on the day and a fabulous start to what was going to be quite a long wait for me!

The table decorations were made using real wood (thanks to Wayne!) and artificial ivy woven with string lights down the middle. My sister Evie designed the table plan, menus and the photo booth which you’ll see in part two. The theme was based loosely around Twilight hence the forest feel and red/white theme.

I cannot wait to show you part two! Thanks so much for being so patient for this post.

Want to see what’s coming up in part two? It’s going to involve Say Yes to the Dress for my customised wedding dress and a lot of dancing!

LAHENDO2016 PART ONE

I have been so excited about posting this post, as this will no doubt have everyone jumping up and down. The time is almost upon us (in 9 days to be exact), and I am here to share some great moments with you from my Hen Party weekend extravaganza! LAHENDO2016 Part One will cover the theme, the journey, the place and also some amazing surprises too for the party. I invited along 15 girls (one of which I have to mention was very missed 🙁 ) for the #LAHENDO2016.  So for those who don’t know, my mother owns a motorhome. This was decked out- much to my surprise- with designs on the back and sides to let the whole world know of course that we were having a hen party. My sister Evie was in  charge of the whole thing from start to finish as she’s my maid of honour and the one with the design skills! She expertly took the colour scheme of the wedding (dark red, white and light grey) to decorate the motorhome and used a font very recognisable to those Twilight fans out there. The wedding will be based around Twilight in certain areas (I’m not giving away too much) as Paul and I met at a Twilight event, so very fitting! lahendo2016_ lahendo2016_-2

So we set off from Ipswich and were headed to Manchester. We had booked a luxury stay in a gorgeous house through Celebration Cottages. The house we stayed in sleeps up to 20 people and was ideal for the kind of thing I was looking for in a hen do. I am not a party goer nor a fan of excessive drinking and so I opted for the girly sleepover sort of vibe instead which I wouldn’t change for the world. lahendo2016_-137

This shot was taken on the last day but it shows the artwork from the sides so you can see. Plus some more hens too!

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We stayed in a house called The White House, and as soon as we pulled up after our 6 hour journey I knew that we were going to love it. The front of the house was made of glass (similar to the Cullen’s house in Twilight) so that made me very happy! The house itself was beautiful. It had a stunning design, more of which you will see later, and it had everything we could possibly need from the marble kitchen to the cinema room. Now I had been working very hard on something for all the hens involoved. As a blogger I wanted to make the most of this beautiful location and this special occasion, and so I had a little help from some of my favourite brands.

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Each hen was presented with a bag full of a variety of things for the weekend and they loved it!lahendo2016_-13 lahendo2016_-14

So in their gift pack they found:

Premier Estates Wine

I love the Prosecco from Premier Estates. It is crisp and so light and delightful. We all enjoyed this Prosecco throughout the weekend and you can see more of them in Part Two! The bottles fit right in with the designer kitchen and our glasses were at the ready!lahendo2016_-61

Mr Stanley’s

Mr Stanley’s went above and beyond for the hen. Each hen had a glorious selection on confectionary from chocolate moustaches to fudge and lemon fizzies. This was so perfect for the hen party as we had vegetarians, coeliacs and lactose free requirements so there were treats for everyone. lahendo2016_-63

Amie Skincare

I took advantage of using the master bathroom for this shot! Equipped with television et al, we really enjoyed a selection of treats from Amie Skincare who I am a big fan of. We had the best micellar water for our makeup removing needs, moisturiser and a selection of their new face masks which I will be reviewing separately on the blog.

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Sass and Belle

Sass and Belle are one of my go-to brands for gifts and homeware. They provided us with the cutest notebooks for our games and quizes which I shall be talking more about in Part Two! Their designs were loved by the hen party as each couldn’t wait to open these up and take a peek inside! lahendo2016_-66

KIND Snacks

KIND Snacks are the perfect snack for a big sleepover weekend, especially when you have a lot of guests with different diets. KIND snacks kindly sent us a range of flavours for the weekend which are all gluten and dairy free. My favourite was the dark chocolate and cherry bar- so delicious!

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So the first day/evening of the hen was fairly chilled. We explored every inch of our quarters, chose our bedrooms and took a lot of silly photos as we waited for the whole party to arrive. I have to give 3 hens a massive applause who came from Wales, and the journey took them 9 hours in a small car! Every hour or so we would receive an update from them in the form of a dubsmash song 🙂 lahendo2016_-20

Here we are having fun with our chocolate moustaches!

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Stay Tuned for LAHENDO Part Two, there’s so much more to see including games, knickers and jacuzzi fun!

Saharasplash x Bride to be

 

The truth about wedding planning

So I made sure that I cleared my blogging schedule this week as tomorrow is the official start of fashion week. I wanted to do something that I never have any time to do, so this is all very new and exciting. I wanted to post something a bit different to the usual reviews and events that I normally do. This post is based on the truth about wedding planning- my truth on the whole thing! I hope that my five truths offer some important insight for those brides and grooms to be and I want to say that I support all of you out there planning right this very second, I know what you’re going through…
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1- There will never be enough time

I have a very good friend who has just tied the knot who will help back me up on this one! This is such a key truth about wedding planning I think. My blogger friend Merrell-Ann was engaged well before I was, and she had been planning her wedding (which happened last weekend!) for well over a year. I got engaged this May and have had just under 7 months, yet we both agree that the time just seemed to disappear on us. The truth about wedding planning is that you can plan as much as you like in advance, yet when it comes down to those final few weeks before you will be saying to yourself, ‘why didn’t I do this sooner?!’. But that’s ok, we are only human, we all have lives and filled up schedules to juggle every single day and adding a wedding to this just creates a paradox of delightful chaos. My advice here is to just accept that you probably won’t have everything ready months in advance, there will be something to panic over two days before and that’s acceptable!
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2- Learn to listen to your family (to a certain extent)

Learning to accept comments and advice from friends and family members has been by far the hardest part of getting engaged for me. I am a naturally headstrong person and so as soon as I hear the words ‘have you thought about…’ I automatically tend to put on my game face and get ready to argue the hell out of my POV. Even though it is technically ‘you and your fiancées’ wedding, it also doesn’t hurt to listen to advice and suggestions from others. Your loved ones aren’t trying to take over, even though it may seem that way. I guess what I have learnt from starting to listen to my family is that they may come up with ideas that don’t totally suck! I may have even taken a few of them on board, though I’ll never admit what they were!
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3- There are always going to be some things that just aren’t possible

This is another big truth about wedding planning. We are all guilty of dreaming about our weddings years (some even decades) before that vital question is popped. And of course we all like to dream big. Whether it’s a hundred white doves on a paradise beach island or a wedding in your local church, I’m sure that you have dreamed about very specific details from the big day. And when it comes to the realisation that you can actually start to purchase bridal magazines without feeling guilty about it, you might want to start discussing your ideas with your partner. Budget obviously plays a huge part in decision making, and I have certainly had to learn the hard way that I just can’t get Muse to play at our wedding like I’d always dreamed! Even though your big day may not involve rock stars, this most certinly does not mean that you have to forgo all the dreams. You can find your way around it, like finding a tribute band instead. I attended a wedding this summer where the Foo Fighters tribute band was so amazing, I really felt like I was rocking out to Dave Grohl as I closed my eyes and jumped up and down singing!
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4- Compromising with your fiance is easier than you think

I know this one sounds like an odd truth, but I’ve definitely found that since getting engaged Paul and I are master compromisers! If we have different opinions on colour schemes or vows we always seem to find a way to keep each other happy. We have naturally been more loving towards one another and I think a lot of newly engaged couples have this to look forward to. You know that you are about to make a big commitment, so all those petty things that got you angry before don’t seem to matter as much. It’s an exciting time, and the truth is that you both know it! You want to make each other happy, and so this just naturally happens- hooray!
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5- Someone will know that one person you need

It doesn’t hurt to do a little investigating with your friends and family on who they may have in their contact book. I know that several of my friends have come in really handy. Things like finding a local coach service and giving me names and numbers for caterers and chair hire. Whether your venue is all inclusive of these things or not, you may find yourself in need of a violinist and your cousin just happens to know of one! So don’t be afraid to ask around and talk a few wedding details among friends and family, chances are that someone will know that one person you need!
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I hope that this has helped/ inspired you some way, and that you now know the truth about wedding planning! Leave a comment below if you have any more truths to add!

 

Saharasplash X

 

Photos taken from The Wedding Fair at London Excel centre

 

Want to read more wedding-related posts? I’ve got one all about a couples spa day here!

That Perfect Dress from In One Clothing

One of my favourite things to do on a sunny day in London is take a gorgeous dress out and take a million photos. So recently, that’s just what happened after I got in touch with Nicole, a London based photographer. This dress is a very special dress that I have been holding onto for quite a while now as I wanted to wait for the exact moment to show this stunner off to you all. The dress is a multi-way piece from In One Clothing, and I really do think that it is the perfect dress. Not only can you wear it multiple ways according to your mood and the occasion, it comes in the most vibrant colours too. Nicole and I had such a fabulous time shooting this sassy number in Holland park and so without further ado, here are the shots and three ways to wear that perfect dress from In One Clothing.

Look One- The Sexy Halter

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Nicole managed to capture the flowing material of the dress in this first look we went for. It has a plentiful supply to wrap around your waist and criss-cross over your back. I decided to tie it up twice at the front and leave the material to hang instead of opting for the bow tie effect.

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Look Two- The Belle of the Ball

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For this look, I simply untwisted the halter neck and let it fall around my shoulders. This look would be perfect to go dancing in as you sashay across the dance floor. I was amazed at how this one simple change completely altered the look of the dress.

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Look Three- The Fairy Nymph

Lauren-28We moved to a wonderful spot for these shots. Holland Park was so quiet on a Monday morning, we had no trouble finding many hidden corners and places to take these photos which turned out great! For this look I wrapped the lengths of purple around my torso from front to back and created a beautiful sweetheart effect. The material is so versatile there are countless ways to wear the dress, and it conveniently comes with a matching bandeau too so you can wear this underneath the dress or use it to help add another dimension to your outfit. Nicole came prepared and brought this stunning flower crown with her which made me feel like taking my shoes off and so I did these shots barefoot.

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Details

I took with me a contrasting blue satchel to match my blue nails, and I wore some white heels from Primark.

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How amazing is this dress? I am so happy with it that my bridesmaids will all be wearing In One Clothing for my wedding in a lovely burgundy. I cannot wait to see how they each choose to style their dress up! I cannot recommend this brand enough, the quality is simply out of this world and the idea is a must for anyone wanting to please their bridal party! I’m so glad I found That Perfect Dress from In One Clothing and I have a feeling I’m going to need a few more of these to add to my wardrobe too!

Saharasplash x

Up for some more? Then check out this post on a fabulous foodie box here

 

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how to do a ‘girl’s night in’

Last week was my final week at my job. I have now left the office for the life of a full-time blogger, and I simply cannot wait to get started! I am hugely excited about this, and so I wanted to throw a little get together with the ladies to celebrate my new beginning. This blog post is all about how to do a ‘girl’s night in’ with style and I have some amazing companies that are a definite must for anyone planning on throwing the perfect party.

First up, you need to think about a theme. A theme is a great way to get everyone excited and will also help your guests to decide on a dress code too. My theme was carnival, so lots of bright colours, frozen cocktails and pineapples! I found an amazing company who helped me with the event, and they are Talking Tables. Talking Tables are an online retailer who specialize in party accessories and decorations. They have so many ranges for any occasion- birthdays, weddings, tea parties and of course an array of excellent goodies for a girl’s night in. I decorated the flat with fiesta fan garlands around the doors and sofa in wonderful bright colours, and we had a few parrots adorning the tables and chairs!

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For the main table, we had the most amazing pineapple accessories, from pineapple picks for the giant cocktail glasses to pineapple sunglasses! We also had some flamingo ones too for some epic selfies. You can’t go wrong with some silly props to get everyone having some fun!

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Talking Tables really do have such great quality items, even the patterned plates and wooden spoons helped to tie the whole carnival theme together.

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For food, I went for something really easy and simple that you can’t go wrong with- chilli. I made a meat as well as a veggie chilli for everyone in less than 30 mins. You don’t want to keep your guests waiting ages for food, and getting a takeaway for large groups is pretty expensive. The ingredients for the chilli (mince, tomatoes, kidney and baked beans) plus rice will have you and your guests covered for under £15 which is a great budget, especially if drinks are happening!

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Onto the drinks, I went for frozen cocktails. You can get these at all the major superstores and they are the perfect thing for a carnival theme! Fruity drinks are always going to be popular in the summer months, and it’s a great way to keep everyone happy without spending a fortune on spirits and taking up your time by making cocktails on the night. I want to thank Talking Tables for providing such a fantastic array of party accessories which made the night, the giant cocktail glasses were just perfect for our cocktails to share!

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When planning how to do a ‘girl’s night in’ the right way, I wanted to organise something fun for us to enjoy as well as the selfies, drinks and food. This is where my second guest comes in- My Showcase.

Founded by 2 great women, My Showcase is an online store for luxury beauty products, but they also host parties so you can have a My Showcase expert come in with their products to talk you through them. This was such a nice surprise for my guests who didn’t know what to expect, and we had a wonderful time trying on makeup and spraying ourselves with wonderful scents! A few stand out brands of the night were Connock London, New CID and Aurelia.

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To get more info and to host your own My Showcase party, click here. A massive thanks to our Stylist Katie for bringing her My Showcase selection for us! Plus a huge thanks to all my ladies who helped to make the party so great!

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So there you have it, my how to do a ‘girl’s night in’. I would say to sum up, a mixture of the right theme, good home-cooked food plus a surprise for your girls will make your perfect night in!

Saharasplash x

For more lifestyle, check out what’s on my wach list right now!

 

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