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.

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

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

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


Spring Styled Shoot at Oakley Hall

Hello everyone!

I am really excited to share this shoot with you. It was such a fun project to work on, and I met some great suppliers, not only because of their talent (which there is buckets of!) but were also lovely, friendly, and professional to work with. We held the shoot at Oakley Hall , a beautiful wedding venue and hotel, in Hampshire. Their grounds are fabulous and our photographer Jacques was spoilt for choice with shoot locations.

I wanted to create a fresh, floral, and floaty overall look for the day. Originally I was thinking of all pastel and ice cream colours, but when Paul, our florist, said he could get bold blue hydrangeas – I knew that we needed to incorporate them somehow, and they really became the focal point in terms of flowers. This is one of the reasons it is sooo important to talk to your florist about what you would like for your big day. They truly are experts, and can help you choose the perfect blooms for your colour scheme, and the time of the year.

Here are some of my favourite images from the day, and check out my Portfolio page for more, as well as a list of all of the suppliers involved:
You can see more images on my Portfolio page as well as a list of all of the suppliers involved and links to their website. We were also lucky enough to get it featured on the English Wedding Blog – click here to see more:


Say Yes to the (Right) Dress – A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events


Last week I met the lovely Rebecca, physician one of the designers at The Farnham Boutique, and it got me thinking about ‘the dress’…


         Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events                  Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events

                       Image by Esther Sun Photography                                                     Image by Anna Campbell

When you think about it, the concept of a wedding dress is utter lunacy.  Most of us spend more on this dress, that we’ll only wear ONCE in our lives, than any other item of clothing in our  wardrobes, and on top of that, they are typically white (ish), the most impractical colour in the world – all it takes is one drunken uncle and a glass of red wine and it is game over. So why do we do it? 

Some women (myself included) have dreamt about wedding dresses since childhood, I even went to a fancy dress party as a bride when I was six….I’ll dig that photo out some time so you can have a good laugh at me! Others only begin to get excited about the prospect of them once they are engaged, and planning the big day. And for some, the dress search is just something else to tick off the list.  But one thing that we all have in common though, we want to look, and feel, amazing when we’re walking down that aisle.

So this got me thinking of the process, and having gone through it fairly recently myself, here are my ‘top tips’ on making it as enjoyable as possible…

1. An obvious one here, but BE OPEN MINDED, most brides will tell you that they had an image of their dream dress, and then chose something completely different!  Even though you might think you’re a  ‘Kate Middleton’ you might be a ‘Kate Moss’. You never know until you try it on. Be brave! 

              Kate Middleton Royal Wedding Say Yes To The Right Dress - Alexandria Events Luxury Bespoke Wedding Planner Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events - Kate Moss Wedding Dress

                                      Image by Vogue                                                                             Image by Full Time Fab 

2. Don’t get upset if you don’t find ‘the dress’ straight away. It can be tempting to start panicking when you start hating each dress that you try on more than the one before. THIS IS NORMAL, we are all different shapes and sizes and what suits you might look bloomin’ awful on the next girl. You WILL find something that you look gorgeous in. Don’t panic buy, don’t cry (in public anyway), just keep looking, keep trying on, and keep smiling.

   Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events

                           Image by Phillipa Lepley                                                                                Image by Pronovias  

3. Decide on the kind of wedding vibe you are going for before you start looking for dresses. Think about the kind of wedding you are planning, if you’re having a low-key, festival-style day, you might not want an enormous ball gown with a long train. Similarly, if you’re getting married in a posh hotel, your barefoot,  bohemian, floaty number might look out of place.  Having said that, if you fall in love with a particular style – go for it! It is your day, do what you want!  

                Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events

               Image by Grace Loves Lace                                                   Image by Style Me Pretty  

4. Wear the right undies. Wedding dress shopping not the time to get your sexy lingerie out, (even though you’ll  probably have more seeing you in your knickers than any other time in your life!) It is all about the flesh coloured, seamless, no VLP pants, and a really well fitted, strapless, nude bra – trust me, you will look so much better on the outside, if you are well supported underneath. Once you have more of an idea of the style of dress that you want, you can start thinking about the need for basques/shapewear etc. but for now – get out the granny pants! 

             Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events Say Yes to the (Right) Dress- A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events

                                     Image by Lauren Conrad                                                                    Image by Style Me Pretty  

5. Think LOCAL, there are probably a number of fabulous bridal shops on your doorstep that you just haven’t noticed before because you haven’t needed to. In my area I love The Farnham Boutique and The White House, in Alresford, what they both have  in common is a truly personal feel and excellent customer service (as well as gorgeous gowns!). From when you walk in the door, you are made to feel a million dollars, and this makes a difference to your whole experience By all means, check out the big names as well. but give your local high street some love too. 

                  Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events, The White House, Alresford, Hampshire Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events, The Farnham Boutique, Farnham, Surrey

                              Image by White House Brides                                              Image by The Farnham Boutique 

6. Do take your time, don’t let yourself be put under pressure to make any decisions or part with any money if you’re unsure. Most bridal shops are wonderful and far too professional to do this, but some can be pushy, so stand your ground, and tell them that you want to think about it. It is your decision, your money, and your wedding – take control!   

                  Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events

                                    Image by The Fuller View                                                        Image by Grace Loves Lace  

7. Enjoy yourself! Take your loveliest friends or family, people that will be honest with you, and who want to find the dress of your dreams as much as you do. Try not to take TOO many people to your first appointment, it can be overwhelming to have all of the different opinions in one go, and you really need to concentrate on yourself and what YOU think, at least while you are narrowing down styles. Once you have got a general idea, invite more people along, have fun, and crack open the champagne! 

Hope this helps! 

A xx