What’s In My Bag – Wedding Guest Edition

What's in my Bag - Wedding Guest Edition. Chanel handbag with Coco Chanel, shoes, red lipstick, iPhone, jewellery, and purse

Print by Emma Kissatina

So, let’s face it, when you’re putting together your outfit for a wedding, style nearly always comes before practicality. Many a time, I have worn a pair of shoes that murder my feet, and wear an outfit that starts to feel slightly snug after the wedding breakfast. When it comes to handbags, things don’t get much more sensible either, but at the same time, you don’t need the huge tote that you probably carry around day-to-day either, here is a little ‘What’s in My Bag’ round up of what I think are the wedding day essentials if you’re going as a guest.

1. The bag itself

You don’t want to go with something teeny-tiny, unless you’re staying in the same venue, and can pop upstairs if you need something. You need something that is easy to hold, preferably hands free, so that you can hold a glass of champagne and a canapé at the same time! I love an over-sized clutch, that looks stylish, but you can tuck it underneath your arm, or a cute little bag with a long strap that you can wear over your shoulder.

2. Your phone

Which is great as it doubles up as a camera too. Most phones these days are pretty slim so should slot easily into your bag. If you usually use a phone case, take it off, to make more room, and just be extra careful after you’ve had a few cocktails! If, like me, you struggle to keep your battery going throughout the day, switch it to airplane mode, you can still use the camera, and you shouldn’t really need it for much else throughout the day, and then just switch it back later on when you need to call a cab to take you home.

3. The makeup BASICS

And I mean basics. I am definitely guilty of taking too many things, and then using one or two of them throughout the day. I think the fear is that it is such a long day that you will need constant touch-ups later on. All I really think you need, is your lipstick, a little sample size of the perfume that you are using and maybe one more item – for me it would be a brow pencil as this is the thing that generally doesn’t stay on me all day, but it will be different for everyone. If you have a good skin care routine and use a decent primer most thing should stay put. I have also recently been using the Urban Decay ‘All Nighter’ makeup setting spray, and swear by it, it really sticks everything in place for hours. When it comes to it, you’ll probably be having far too much fun to worry about your makeup anyway.

4. A bank card and a couple of notes

You don’t need to take your whole purse (and let’s face it, they are usually full of receipts and other rubbish and ridiculously heavy!) Take out the card that you need, and maybe draw out some cash beforehand, especially if you think you are going to need to take a cab anywhere, or if you need money for the collection plate at a church ceremony. Most handbags have a little zip pocket somewhere that you can stash this stuff in so that it is secure.

5. Sunglasses (optional)

If you’re going to a summer wedding, you’ll all be praying for sun in the weeks leading up. Check the weather forecast and if you think it is going to be nice, pop a pair of sunnies in your bag, you don’t want to be squinting all day, especially if you’re going to be caught on camera!

And finally…6: Tissues!

Maybe you’re not as emotional as me, but I always get a lump in  my throat and a tear in my eye whenever the music starts and the bride begins to walk down the aisle, but I definitely need my tissues at a wedding. Again, you only need a couple, so take them out of the packaging and stuff them into the empty space in your bag.

And on one final note, I don’t know about you, but wherever we go (wedding or otherwise) my husband always asks me to put his wallet and keys into my bag. On a normal day, I am more than happy to carry his various bits and pieces (despite all of my suggestions, he is not that keen on purchasing a ‘man bag’), but on a wedding day, we have a strict, carry your own possessions rule.What do you think? What do you carry in  your wedding handbags? I’d love to know in the comments below.

A xx

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Bridal Beauty by Alexandria Events

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Recently I have been loving Kylie McMichael’s Beauty Classes and it has got me thinking about bridal beauty. Everyone wants to look their best on their wedding day and the bridal beauty world can seem quite intimidating to begin with, so here are my top tips (and top products) to help you out.

1. Choose your makeup artist and hair stylist and have a trial early

I learned the hard way that sometimes, people can’t live up to what they claim, and I actually had to sack my first MUA as she let me down more than once and it became increasingly apparent that, while her skills were excellent, she wasn’t going to be able to cope with the number of people that needed makeup and hair on the day. Even when I pointed out that she was going to need an assistant, she flat out refused, so I just lost all confidence in her, she then failed to turn up to an appointment we had made, and for me that was the final straw. Luckily I found the AMAZING Dena from Makeup by Miki and Stacey Austin and just fell in love with them both. They are both just really calm and cool, fun, and talented, exactly the kind of people you want around on your wedding day!

They also both listened to me, found out exactly what I wanted for the day, asked sensible questions about what my dress was like and the overall style of the wedding day. You need people to care about more than just their portion of the wedding day, and understand how everything needs to gel together.

Alexandria Events own wedding day, Dena Naji is doing Alexandria's makeup

Image by Mark Seymour 

You also need to listen to them too though, good MUAs and hairdressers seriously know their stuff, and even if you think you know what you want, be open to suggestions. The most important things on your wedding day, in my opinion, are:

– That you feel gorgeous
– That you feel like ‘you’
– Comfort
– That everything stays put ALL Day

2. Choose a special fragrance for the day

I decided to buy a brand new perfume for our wedding day and I am so glad that I did. Smells really evoke memories for me and now, every time I wear that scent it transports me back to that day. I went to Jo Malone to have a consultation before our wedding and actually decided upon a scent pairing of Grapefruit and Oud and Bergamot. I love both fragrances separately, as well as together and it has kind of become my signature scent now and it is easy for my husband to buy me presents now as he can build up my collection, with the accompanying body washes, dry oils, lotions, candles – the list is endless!

Jo Malone perfumes for wedding day memories

Image from Bloomingdales

3. Get prepared!
This can mean different things to different people but for me, this meant:

Teeth Whitening
Obviously this isn’t a priority for everyone but it was something I had wanted to do for a while and thought, what better time to get sparkly white teeth! I started my whitening treatment about 6 months before our wedding date. I did the Zoom At Home programme, where your dentist creates bespoke molds for your teeth and then you wear them with the whitening bleach for 2-3 hours each evening for about two weeks. I then did a ‘top up’ a couple of weeks before the wedding and just did 2 or 3 days. I would say that this can make your teeth (and gums actually) really sensitive so make sure you don’t do it too close to the date. Even if you’re not into teeth whitening, but want to add a bit of sparkle, you can have an appointment with your Hygienist a week or so before the wedding so that they can give your teeth a good scrub!

Regular Hair Appointments
I am the kind of girl that usually gets their hair cut once or twice a year but I thought, if my hair is going to look its best on our wedding day, I need to give it a bit more love! I made sure I had a trim every six weeks and I did really notice the difference. It definitely had more bounce and shine, and overall just looked so much healthier.

Facials
Again, this is definitely not an essential, but I decided to have a few facials in the months leading up to our wedding. I have such dry skin and it is an absolute nightmare to look after sometimes so I thought I would give myself a fighting chance by letting the experts work their magic on it. It was also just a lovely little luxury in the lead up to the wedding when I could just relax and stop thinking about table plans and orders of service for an hour! I find that facials are really expensive and I can’t really justify them to myself now that the wedding is over, so I like to have little pamper sessions at home with lovely relaxing bubble baths with my favourite oils and bath bombs, whack on a face pack and grab a good book.

Skincare in general
Facials can only do so much, and what is more important, is that you look after your skin on a regular basis. Cleansing, and taking your makeup off every night is so important and there are so many easy-to-use products now that there really is no excuse not to! That brings me onto moisturisation – at the moment, I am trying out Philosophy products and I have to say, so far, so good… I start a spritz of rose water (not from philosophy, just a cheap brand I found on Amazon), then follow with the ‘When Hope is Not Enough’ facial oil and rub really well into my face, concentrating on my driest areas (usually nose and in between my eyebrows) and then follow up with their ‘Hope in a Jar’ which I love! It is quite thin but this means that it goes a long way. I used to think I needed much thicker, richer creams for my dryness but actually, this is brilliant and I suppose the ingredients are more important than texture? Let me know if you have any miracle products for very dry skin – I’d love to know!

Hope in a Jar by Philosophy

Image by Philosophy

Scrubs
As I mentioned before – I have dry skin, so in order to get close to silky smooth skin, I need to scrub and polish like there is no tomorrow! My favourite body scrub is the REN Morrocan Rose Oil but there are so many out there to choose from. For skin like mine, I always prefer an oil based scrub, so that it moisturises and exfoliates at the same time. You can even make up your own at home with olive oil and sugar or salt. I try to scrub at least once a week anyway but made an extra special effort in the lead up to the wedding, and then followed it up with a body oil – I especially like the Garnier Body Ultimate Beauty Oil (and it is really reasonably priced too!)

Lemon body scrub

Nails
So, if you’re engaged already, you will already know that people want to see your hands, or more specifically, your left one! Pretty fingernails are a must on your wedding day. I went for a french manicure, using Shellac, but actually, I wish I had gone for a colour, maybe even a bold pink or red. I also find that Shellac french manicures never last as long as a block colour and even chipped a bit on my honeymoon which was really disappointing.

French manicure

Image from Pretty Designs

Fake Tan
This is going to be a contentious one because I know that not everyone likes or wears tan, or you might wear it now and again but the idea of wearing it alongside a white dress fills you with dread! I am naturally very pale so always like to have a bit of colour, but was terrified of a) looking too brown (or orange) against my ivory gown, or, even worse, a bit rubbing off onto it. I toyed with the idea of having a professional spray tan but all of the ones I tested were just wayyyy too dark for me and after a few days, although they faded to a more natural colour, they became a bit patchy (that bloody dry skin again!) despite all of my moisturising efforts. Eventually I decided to just do a light layer of Dove Summer Glow for about 3-4 days in the lead up to our wedding, making sure that I gently exfoliated and moisturised every day too. It was definitely the best decision for me as I was exactly the colour that I wanted to be on the big day.

I hope this post has been helpful and do let me know your bridal beauty must-haves in the comments below!

A x

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Alexandria’s Afternoon at the Chanel Atelier

For me, salve one of the best things about being a bride-to-be, about it has been allowing myself to become slightly  obsessed with all things beauty. So when I was given an exclusive invitation to the Chanel Makeup Atelier, for myself and three of my best girls – how could I say no?

Chanel wedding beauty, wedding makeup, wedding ideas, Alexandria Events Luxury Bespoke Wedding Planner, Surrey, Hampshire London Chanel wedding beauty, wedding makeup, wedding ideas, Alexandria Events Luxury Bespoke Wedding Planner, Surrey, Hampshire London

It was an afternoon of pure bliss at Chanel Covent Garden, after arriving a little flustered, (and 20 minutes late – thanks for that District Line…) we were taken down to a private basement area, given glasses of gorgeous homemade lemonade, and greeted by the delightful Jennifer who would be looking after us for the day.

Chanel wedding beauty, wedding makeup, wedding ideas, Alexandria Events Luxury Bespoke Wedding Planner, Surrey, Hampshire London Chanel wedding beauty, wedding makeup, wedding ideas, Alexandria Events Luxury Bespoke Wedding Planner, Surrey, Hampshire London

The idea of the session is that a professional makeup artist creates a ‘wedding look’ on the bride, and her three friends copy it on themselves. Everyone has their own table full of goodies to work with, including skincare products too, like cleansers, moisturisers, and primers (there is a lot of focus on skin-prepping – which we learned is very, very, important!). My sister was particularly impressed by the gorgeous little Chanel notebooks and pencils that we were given to write down all of the products we were using (her stationary obsession rivals my makeup one!)

Chanel wedding beauty, wedding makeup, wedding ideas, Alexandria Events Luxury Bespoke Wedding Planner, Surrey, Hampshire London, Alexandria Schiefner, Alexandria Broe Chanel wedding beauty, wedding makeup, wedding ideas, Alexandria Events Luxury Bespoke Wedding Planner, Surrey, Hampshire London

For someone who loves makeup, but has questionable technique and limited skill herself, this was an incredibly useful session.  I found out that I have been applying eye-cream the wrong way for the past five years, that contouring is possible without knowing how to create a Kim Kardashian-esque zebra face, and that brown liquid eyeliner is my new best friend.

Even though I am not doing my own makeup on my big day, the idea behind this session, is that if you would like to DIY, it is possible with bit of practice. The look that we created together was simple to do, yet flawless, and is truly something that I feel confident that I can replicate at home.The session costs £50 per person, but is redeemable against products, so it is really excellent value for what you get out of it. To book an appointment you can call 0207 240 2001.

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