Friday 19 October 2018

Groom's Gift Guide

It is becoming increasingly common for the bride and groom to exchange gifts on the morning of the big day, it is a lovely way to show your love and appreciation for each other ahead of your special day. We have put together some of our favourite Groom's gift ideas for him to indulge in before he meets his bride at the top of the aisle.

If your wedding day isn't an excuse for some male grooming then what is? The Kiehl's Facial Fuel is the perfect boost for your future hubby's skin, with it's energising formulation his skin will look healthy and invigorated (because let's face it - those pre-wedding nerves will not be conducive to sleep!) Your wedding day might be one of the only days where there will be as much attention on your groom's hands as your own, for that reason his hands needs to be in tip-top condition! The Byredo Suede Hand Cream will nourish your groom's hands and also leave them smelling incredible! The Acqua Di Parma Colonia Intensa Cologne will give your husband to be a masculine, woody aroma that will be sure to make you swoon!

Emotions are bound to be running high on the big day and a glass of Johnnie Walker Double Black whisky will help ease those pre-wedding nerves, we love these Waterford Crystal tumblers to savour his drink in style.

As a bride, I'm sure you will have spent many hours deliberating on the perfect wedding shoes and why shouldn't your groom also get that sort of treatment? We love these Oxford Brogues from Church's, they are a timeless shoe that will compliment a formal look. For such a great quality pair of shoes it is important to look after them, Ted Baker have a fabulous shoe shine kit that will be sure to keep the shoes in excellent condition - the carry case is so chic as well!

Your groom will have splashed out an engagement ring so the wedding day can be a great excuse for you to splash out on a gift for him, how about this Breitling Stainless Steel watch to throughly spoil him? A decent pair of cufflinks can complete a look, these Montblanc onyx cufflinks add sophistication and will be a stunning finishing touch to his formal look!

What would you gift your groom on your wedding day?



Saturday 13 October 2018

The Art of Shade - The Perfect Bridesmaid Gift

Where would you be on your big day without your favourite girls around you? If your bridesmaids are anything like mine, they will be on hand all day to make sure your lipstick is topped up, you don't have a hair out of place and most importantly keep you calm as you prepare for the impending nuptials! With all of that in mind, why not show your bridesmaids your appreciation with a very special gift!

Estée Lauder might just have that perfect gift for your bridesmaids and it's one that they can put to great use on the big day! At Selfridges London and Manchester until mid-November you can customise your very own lipstick shade! 
For £81 (the same price as 3 Estée Lauder lipsticks) you can customise 3 lipstick bullets in your perfect shade beautifully presented in a Estée Lauder case! Josie and I were lucky enough to give this excellent service a go at the Estée Lauder counter in Selfridges on Oxford Street. 

To begin we had the choice of finish in either creme or matte before deciding on our base colour from the colour wheel. Josie and I both opted for a creme finish, with Josie choosing Manhattan Mauve as her base and myself selecting Cosmopolitan Pink.

Once the finish and base colour was chosen our Estée Lauder mixologist Martha mixed up the base shade. Martha then measured and added small amounts of yellow, red, black and white lipsticks to adjust the shade. As changes were made to the lipstick shade we were able to test the colour on our lips and if necessary make slight tweaks to the recipe. 

After the final colour selection was made we poured the lipstick mixture into the bullet moulds and personalised our lipstick caps as we waited for them to set. We had the choice of 5 limited edition lipstick caps that we were able to engrave in either silver or gold text and choose from a selection of different fonts.

When the lipsticks had set in their mould we were then able to put them into their cases and Martha wrote down the recipe for our exact lipstick shades. We both created our 'perfect nude' - Josie named hers "Be My Bride" while I named mine "Mrs Litten" in honour of my new name!

This is such a fantastic service for you to create a unique lipstick shade for your bridesmaids and something they will cherish forever. Alternatively you could create a bespoke bridal shade or use this service to match an existing lipstick that has perhaps been discontinued.

You can book your appointment to customise your own lipstick shade here.


Wednesday 10 October 2018

#SmittenWithLitten - Sophie's Wedding

On Saturday 25th August surrounded by our friends and family I became Mrs Litten. The day was perfect, everything we had wanted it to was our fairytale!

The Groom

I met Matthew 10 years ago on holiday with my friend's family and he was her family friend. We hit it off right away but at the time I had a boyfriend and was just about to start university. Throughout uni we stayed in touch and as I was in my final year we started dating. We lived together for almost 3 years and became puppy parents to our beautiful cocker spaniel Bella before he proposed in March 2017. The proposal completely took me by surprise as he had told me we were meeting his colleagues for a work event. After 18 months of planning we married on 25th August, just over 10 years since the day we met!

The Venue

It had always been my dream to get married in a church. I made my first Holy Communion aged 9 with the church that was affiliated to my primary school and when I later found out this same church was where Matt's grandparents married the decision was made. We had to get married at St. Edwards Church in Windsor.  With the church decided it then meant we had to choose a reception venue a reasonable drive away for our guests to easily travel between the two. 

I was quite set on having the reception in a hotel, my thinking being that our elderly relatives would easily be able to go to their rooms if the party got too much and I didn’t want to add a third venue if we chose somewhere that didn’t have overnight accommodation (a lot of our guests were travelling some distance). We set a budget and looked around a lot of hotels in the area, one thing I noticed was that a lot of hotels use the ‘wedding suite’ for conferences during the week and to me they really looked like a conference room. 
The Royal Berkshire Hotel didn’t have that feeling at all, the reception room was so bright with huge windows the whole way round. It was formally owned by both the Churchill and then Horlick family's so is steeped in history and has a real boutique feel about it. The hotel is in Ascot so is only a short drive from the church in Windsor. The day we looked around they were setting up for a wedding where the bride and groom were called Matthew and Sophie and that was the sign I needed to know that it was our venue.

The Dress

I delayed looking for wedding dresses until we had decided on our venue as I wanted to be able to envisage the whole day. Shortly after we hit the one year countdown I booked my first appointment at Windsor & Eton Brides. I can be quite indecisive so I wanted to allow myself plenty of time to look. I had an idea of the sort of thing I wanted, I wanted a lace fishtail dress and had saved lots of images from Pinterest - I believed that being only 5ft1 I would look swamped in a full gown and it could make me look shorter than I actually wrong I was!
Carla, the Windsor & Eton brides shop owner, asked me if I had tried on any dresses before and when I said I hadn’t she told me not to rule anything out and to try on every style. I was struggling to pick anything that wasn’t a lace fishtail so she picked out a few to try as well. The first dress I tried on was chosen by Carla and was a Mikado silk princess gown with an embellished bodice - absolutely nothing like what I thought I wanted but I fell in love! I felt amazing in it and could suddenly picture the whole day! I continued trying on dresses and went to a few other shops because I couldn’t believe I had actually fallen in love with the first wedding dress I ever tried on, but I compared everything back to the first dress so I just knew it was the one! 
I wore it with a cathedral length veil covered in crystals that I wore over my face as my dad walked me down the aisle and had a small hoop under my dress to keep the 6 layers (!) of petticoat off my legs.

The Shoes 

Wedding shoes can often be overlooked as they’re not always visible under your dress but it’s important to feel comfortable. I had been admiring Josie’s Valentino Rockstud heels for some time and couldn’t quite believe it when Matt presented me with a pair on the night he proposed! They are the most comfortable shoes and enhance every outfit. When it came to choosing my wedding shoes I immediately thought of the Valentino Rockstuds in white and was lucky enough to receive them as a wedding gift from my now husband.

The Bridesmaids 

I had 4 bridesmaids in total, my 2 sisters Katya (maid of honour) and Lydia as well as my 2 best friends Hannah and of course Josie. All 4 of the girls have great figures and could have pulled off anything but I wanted them to feel amazing! 
I didn’t want to start looking for their dresses until I had chosen mine as I think it’s important that the bridesmaid dresses compliment the wedding dress. I knew I wanted pale pink dresses and looked at a few dresses online but it was a dress on ASOS that caught my eye, at £50 I was unsure what the quality would be like so I ordered 1 dress to begin with. My maid of honour tried it on and she looked stunning, I loved the colour and the simplicity of the dress. 
The bridesmaids dresses were paired with rose gold details, they had the most divine shoes from Ted Baker that were personalised on the sole with their initials and our wedding date. I also gifted each of the girls a pair of Swarovski crystal earrings and a rose gold back necklace to complete the look.

The Groomsmen

We had 4 groomsmen matching the 4 bridesmaids, Matt had his brother Daniel as best man and 3 of his best friends; John, Charlie and Jordan as ushers. We also had Matt's cousin's son Bradley as our page boy (he looked super cute in his suit!)
 Matt quite often wears a suit to work so we decided that it would be more special for him to wear a morning suit for the wedding. Since we had chosen to have morning suits it made more sense to hire rather than buy them, we chose a navy tailcoat and navy striped trousers but didn't bother with a top hat as Matt said he felt this would be too much! We hired the suits from Young's suit hire and the service was excellent, each of the groomsmen entered their measurements into an online portal and the suits arrived 10 days before the wedding, if anything didn't fit correctly they sent replacement sizes. To complete the look the boys wore black Oliver Sweeney oxford brogues with navy detailing to match the suits and rose gold monogrammed cufflinks.

The Stationery 

When it came to wedding stationery I was very fortunate, my dad has a printing company so printed anything that I needed. Additionally, shortly after becoming engaged my sister/Maid of Honour took up a new hobby in the form of modern calligraphy! Her new hobby also inspired me and the both of us went on a calligraphy course to improve our skills, that was when Sis-Inked Calligraphy was born. We put our calligraphy skills to good use for the wedding and did all the handwriting for the invites, place names, wedding signage and table plans.

The Flowers 

Choosing our wedding flowers was probably my second favourite part of wedding planning (first being the dress!) Our flowers were from a local supplier called Lily's Flowers and they were excellent at giving me lots of ideas but also very much letting it be my decision! I love the foliage trend that we are seeing a lot of, we had lots of eucalyptus and white thistle mixed in with memory lane roses and white hydrangeas for the centre pieces. I chose to have a shower bouquet since the skirt of my dress was quite plain I thought a trailing bouquet would add some detail. My bouquet was a mixture of pinks, mauves and whites while the bridesmaids bouquets were all white and cream.

The Hair 

I tend to wear my hair down most of the time so when it came to choosing my Bridal hair I decided that if I were to wear my hair in an updo I wouldn't feel like me. I chose to wear my hair down with one side pinned up with a diamanté comb, I went for full curls to create volume and give a vintage Hollywood look. My bridesmaids wore their hair up, I had given them the option of choosing whatever style they wanted however all 4 of the girls decided on the same hairstyle! My wedding hairdresser Philippa was excellent at making slight tweaks to the hairstyle so that it suited each of their face shapes perfectly. 

The Make Up

As someone who likes wearing make-up I can be quite particular about someone else doing my make-up so this was the part of the wedding that I was the most apprehensive about. I was concerned that there would be a lot of pressure on me if I decided to do my own so I needed to find a make-up artist that I could absolutely trust! I swear by the Bare Minerals Bare Pro foundation so having a make up artist from Bare Minerals was a no brainer when I started doing my research. My make up artist SJ completely put me at ease and suggested that certain aspects of my make up I do myself so that I was entirely comfortable with the finished look. I choose a pinky copper for my eyes, using both the Neutral and Copper pallets from the Bare Minerals Gen Nude range, and a warm nude for my lips. I had Russian Lash extensions from the fabulous Daxita London Lash Queen ahead of the day to create a bold eye and remove the need for too much mascara.

The Photographer and Videographer

Choosing our Wedding Photographer and Videographer was one of the most important decisions of wedding planning, we wanted them to capture the best day of our lives in the most special way. Two years before our wedding we were invited to a friends wedding who had used Lauz Photography and Brooks Studios to document her day, I was so impressed by her beautiful photographs and the quality of the video. When it came to planning our wedding we met with several photographers but Laura was so warm and I felt like she really had an eye for detail, she regularly works with Mark Brooks so we decided to go with both. On the day we had a team of 2 photographers and 2 videographers who were able to capture every moment, from the couple shots to candid images of our guests.
You can see our wedding video here.

I hope you enjoyed reading more about our special day!


Blogger Template by pipdig