Wedding Styling Inspiration // Ceilings

Sometimes  a venue just needs a little bit more oomph – and a great way to achieve this, is to decorate from the top down. Here are my tips for styling the ceiling at your venue:

Flowers

There are so many amazing things you can do with flowers, oversized chandeliers, spherical globes, or my personal favourite (which I don’t know the technical name for) so I call it ‘upside down hanging silk flowers’ – catchy, I know. This is a trend that I think we’re going to see a lot of next season, and because the flowers are all silk, you can keep them after the wedding and they will serve as a beautiful reminder of your special day.

  Floral chandeliers at wedding receptions

Credits: (Clockwise L-R) Belle The Magazine, Becca Heuer Photography, Josh GruetzmacherLovely Wedding Mag

Hanging silk flowers from the ceiling at a wedding reception

Credits: (Clockwise L-R) Jasmine Jade Photography, Allan Zepeda, Michelle Edgemont

Lighting

Industrial-chic is already really popular, and I think it is only going to go from strength to strength next season. You can hire amazing lighting from prop companies these days, perfect, if your venue is a little dark and needs a bit of a lift.

Festoon lighting at Wedding Receptions

 Credits: (L-R) Studio ImpressionsTaylor Lord, Bryce Covey

Chinese Lanterns

I love hanging lanterns, and they looks amazing as an ‘installation piece’ – concentrated in one particular area, with a variety of colours and heights. They also look great dotted around in trees at an outdoor reception, and look beautiful at night when the lights inside are switched on. These lanterns are great if you want to inject some colour into your wedding, they also look great interspersed with pom poms.

Colourful Chinese lanterns at wedding receptions.

Credits: (L-R) Camera Hannah, Wedding Window

Hanging chinese lanterns of various colours at wedding receptions

Credits: (L-R) Holly Clark, Ann Claire Brun

Ribbon Canopy

This can look really effective and you can essentially make your own ceiling. This is great for venues that are very high and you want to make a more cosy environment, or for a marquee where the ceiling is quite stark and boring.

Colourful ribbon canopies at wedding receptions

Credits: (L-R) Hillary Maybery, Alison ConklinThe Lane

Bunting

Some people think that bunting has had it’s day but in the right setting it can still look super stylish. Steer clear of the vintage-y look and go for a bolder colour, pattern, or even shape, for a modern twist on this classic design. I love bunting outdoors, hung throughout trees, or in a rustic venues like barns.

Stylish and modern bunting at a wedding reception. Yellow and grey chevron and metallics

Credits: (L-R) Tara McMullenModern Kids Co

Twinkly Lights

An oldie but a goodie – there is something special about fairy lights, and they will always make a space look a little bit magical. These look great wrapped around beams or draped down along the contour of a marquee ceiling.

Fairy lights at wedding receptions

Credits: (Clockwise from top left) Indulgy, Etsy, Babb Photo, Raquel Sergio

Happy planning everyone! I hope you’ve enjoyed this installment of Wedding Styling Inspiration, and if you have any more questions about decor, or anything else wedding-related, pop me an email on hello@alexandriaevents.co.uk

A xx

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Book Review: Girls in White Dresses – Jennifer Close

Book Review, 'Girls in White Dresses' by Jennifer Close, by Alexandria Events, book surrounded by a cup of tea and pink and yellow candy

I haven’t written a book review blog post yet, but it has been a while since I have read a good girly novel, so after my husband bought me this one for my birthday earlier this summer, I had to write a post about  Girls in White Dresses – by Jennifer Close

​I think he must have seen the front cover and thought it was ‘wedding-related’ so it was something that I would like! I don’t really get much time to read for fun these days, actually, not quite true..I don’t make time to read for fun these days, I always feel guilty when I sit down and read for a couple of hours as I usually have a ‘To Do’ list as long as my arm, waiting for me to return, but this one was such an easy read, I sped through it in no time, plus was I was helped by a few train journeys without any mobile signal!

​In some ways, the title, and the front cover, are a little deceptive, the book isn’t all about weddings. The majority of the story is about young, single women, from the point where they graduate from university, to jobs, boyfriends, weddings, and babies. It jumps from character to character in each chapter, so there isn’t a protagonist, which I liked, and you got to know all of the characters quite well, and they kept crossing paths in a clever way.

​Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a particularly ‘intellectual’ read, nor are you going to have your mind blown, or have any life-changing epiphanies upon completion,  but there is something about the way that it is written that I found captivating.

As I said, I mostly read it on the train to and from London, and definitely got some funny looks at the ‘laugh out loud’ moments. some parts are really touching as well, and there are some parts that my former ‘single girl’ mind, definitely relates to. The characters are likeable, and infuriating at the same time, sometimes you want to hug them, other times you want to scream at them and tell them to stop being a complete idiot. Overall, it is a witty, fun, read, it would be perfect if you are looking for an easy read for your holidays, or daily commute.

I’d definitely recommend this one, let me know if you’ve read it yourself, or if this post encourages you to give it a go, let me know what you think!

Book Review, 'Girls in White Dresses' by Jennifer Close, by Alexandria Events, book open at the beginning of a chapter and surrounded by a cup of tea and pink and yellow candy

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My top 5 ‘liked’ Instagram photos

 

I am absolutely in love with Instagram, I adore sharing images, and even more, ‘liking’ other people’s posts too. Being a small business, social media is a crucial tool, perhaps even more so, when you do such a visually creative job as wedding planning and styling. So I thought it would be interesting to go onto Iconosquare and check out what my top five most ‘liked’ Instagram posts ever are. Some of them seem obvious to me, others not so much, let me take you through them, and let me know what you think too.

 

5. A beautiful Afternoon Tea Wedding, by At Home Catering at Fetcham Park

Beautiful venue, beautiful table full of delicious afternoon tea goodies – it’s not hard to see why this image was popular, what wasn’t particularly great, was the quality of the image as I just took it on my iPhone and then played around with the brightness before posting. This is one of the reasons why I love Instagram, it is accessible for everyone and you don’t need to have professional photos all of the time, sometimes the content of the image just speaks for itself.

 

4. Roses hanging from the tree in our front garden

Flowers hanging from ribbons on a tree at Alexandria Event's own wedding in Hampshire

This is an image from my own wedding, the reason I am surprised that this one is up there, is because, although the image is lovely, they just looked even more beautiful in real life. I suppose to me, the photo doesn’t quite do justice to the reality. These particular roses are the handiwork of the fabulous Paula Rooney, and were the first thing that I saw when we pulled up to the house after our ceremony, seeing this image really transports me back to that day.

 

3. A beautiful bouquet by Nikki Tibbles

Beautiful Nikki Tibbles Wild at Heart bouquet, with pink and cream peonies and peach roses

So…if there is a pattern here, it has to be flowers, and no wonder, everyone loves a good flower photo, and people definitely liked this one. Nikki very kindly gave this to me as a gift after a meeting that we had a couple of months ago, and without a doubt, it is one of the most beautiful bouquets I have ever received. The colours are amazing, there is a lovely variety of textures, and shapes, it was just an absolute beaut. So kind of her, and I am so glad that the people of Instagram loved it as much as I did.

 

2. The confetti shot

Alexandria Events, UK based wedding planner, gets married in her local church. Confetti shot outside the church with bridesmaids and flower girls

This is one of my all time favourite photos. It is from mine and Ty’s wedding, and was just a candid shot taken by one of our friends outside the church. The reason I love it so much is that it is just such a natural and happy photograph full of all of my favourite people. Those of you that are already married will recognise the feeling of absolute elation that you feel just after your ceremony and I think this photo really captures this perfectly.

 

1. Mini eggs!

Cadbury's mini eggs in a china bowl, and edible flowers, designed by Alexandria Events, UK based wedding planner , for a styled shoot at Oakley Hall Hotel

So this one did baffle me a bit, it is a pretty shot that I took behind-the-scenes of a styled shoot that I organised earlier this year, but it certainly isn’t anything special. I love mini eggs and I love pastel colours, and pretty mini flowers, so I decided to take a little snap, and I guess other people do too! You can see the proper images from this shoot, by the fantastic Jacques from Real Simple Photography, here or on the English Wedding Blog

 

I’d love to see your favourite Instagram pics – or the most popular ones on  your feed too! If you want to see what I’m up to on Instagram – I’m @alexandriaevents
A x

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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:

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Kids At Weddings

One of the big questions that couples face when planning their wedding is whether or not to invite children. It is a really personal decision, and a number of factors can come into play, such as the type of venue, guest numbers, and of course, budget. However, if you do decide to include little ones on your big day, here are a few ways to entertain them:

Pink and Yellow Candy Floss on wooden sticks, placed in clear glasses on a white tray, on a pink table. Ideal for children at a wedding. Alexandria Events, Alexandria Schiefner, bespoke wedding planner in Surrey, Hampshire, and London

Image from Weddingful

Give them a job

The most obvious was to get kids involved in your wedding day is to give them a role. The traditional choice, is to ask them to be Flower Girls or Page Boys, but even if this isn’t your cup of tea – it can be as simple as helping to give out Orders of Service or bags of confetti at the church, or even doing a reading if they are old and confident enough. Later on in the day, they can even be given ‘made up jobs’ like ‘being the best dancer’ or ‘making sure that they have the biggest smile on the photos’. 

Two Flowergirls and one Page Boy dressed in Little Bevan outfits. The girls are wearing traditional ivory dresses, one with a pink sash and the other with pale green. The little boy is wearing traditional clothing, including a pair of green sailor shorts, an ivory Mandarin shirt, and a pair of patent black buckle shoes. Alexandria Events, Alexandria Schiefner, bespoke wedding planner in Surrey, Hampshire, and London

Image from Little Bevan

Cameras and a ‘shots list’

A great idea, is to put a disposable camera on each of the children’s place settings along with a list of images you want them to capture, like ‘people kissing’ or ‘someone laughing’. Not only will it keep them busy, it will also provide you with a host of wedding images from a ‘kids eye view’.

Little boy wearing a casual linen waistcoat and trousers, with a polaroid camera at a weddiing. Wearing a sign around his neck saying 'Mini Official Photographer'  Image found on Rock My Wedding Alexandria Events, Alexandria Schiefner, bespoke wedding planner in Surrey, Hampshire, and London

Image from Rock My Wedding

Child friendly food

The main time when the parents really appreciate a bit of peace and quiet at a wedding, is while they sit down to eat. Therefore, it is important to put some thought into what you feed the little ones, just as you have for your grown up guests. Kids definitely eat with their eyes, so ask your caterers to make a fun menu for them that is visually appealing. Lots of little bites and treats may be a better option than a full meal, and hopefully the variety will mean that even the pickiest of eaters will find something they like.

Lots of child-friendly wedding food, including fries and tomato ketchup in shot glasses, milk and cookies,  mini hot dogs with ketchup and mustard, , chocolate milkshakes with stripy straws, sliders, mini burgers, pancake stacks with blueberries,  and tomato soup and grilled cheese Alexandria Events, Alexandria Schiefner, bespoke wedding planner in Surrey, Hampshire, and London

Image from Indulgy

Decorate their table

I always think it is nicer to give children their own table, rather than seat them with their parents. Everyone wins – mums and dads get to enjoy ‘grown up time’, and kids get to have fun and feel rather grown up. Obviously there might be some children who are too young for this, but you can always ask their parents what they think. This also gives you the opportunity to get creative with the kids table. There are lots of ways to make it look special without foregoing your overall colour scheme. Bubblegum Balloons are beautiful and fun at the same time, – and don’t have to be confined to the kid’s area! You can scatter the table with sequins and glitter, leave little present parcels on each seat with crayons, sweeties, and activity books (there are even some available free of charge online these days).

Children's activity books and crayons in multicolours for weddings. Little boxes with pencils, sweets and toys. Alexandria Events, Alexandria Schiefner, bespoke wedding planner in Surrey, Hampshire, and London

Image from Ruffled Blog

Toys and Games

Kids like fun, and fun means toys. If you’re holding part of your reception outside, you can hire giant garden games like Connect Four and Ring Toss that will be appealing to both children and adults alike. For later on in the day, you can buy little ‘party bag’ toys and games to put on the kids table (as mentioned above), they don’t have to be expensive and can best be found in 99p shops or similar.

Rustic Pink Ring Toss in a whitewashed crate for fun and games at a wedding. Alexandria Events, Alexandria Schiefner, bespoke wedding planner in Surrey, Hampshire, and London

Image from Huffington Post

Children’s Entertainers

There are lots of people that you can call upon to come and entertain the kids, from magicians, to caricaturists, to people dressed up as their favourite Disney characters. While this might be pricier than a packet of crayons and some colouring in books, if you have a large number of children attending, it might be worth it.

Multicoloured stripy Hula Hoops laid on grass. Alexandria Events, Alexandria Schiefner, bespoke wedding planner in Surrey, Hampshire, and London

Image from Style Me Pretty

A chill out area just for kids

Lets face it – weddings can be tiring for adults, never mind children! We’ve all got to the end of a fantastic day, kicked our shoes off, and sunk into bed. Little ones can feel the urge to curl up and snooze far earlier in the evening, so if you can, create a ‘chill out zone’ for them to cuddle up and calm down. This is sometimes easier when you have a marquee wedding at home, as you can dedicate a lounge inside the house, as a ‘kids area’ where you can stick on a DVD, or even put up a little tipi or tent in the garden. This can be trickier when you have hired out a venue but there may be ways that you can work around this so it is worthwhile chatting to your venue co-ordinator to see what they can accommodate.

Mini Rustic Tipi for children at a wedding with lots of cushions and  boxes of cosy blankets, and bunting. Alexandria Events, Alexandria Schiefner, bespoke wedding planner in Surrey, Hampshire, and London

Image from Mokkasin

For more ‘Kids at Weddings’ inspiration – head to our Pinterest board Kids At Weddings.

Thanks for reading, hope this has given you some child-friendly wedding inspiration! Would love to hear what you think in the comments section below 🙂 

A x

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The Quintessentially Wedding Atelier

 

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the fabulous Quintessentially Wedding Atelier at Two Temple Place. Having been to the event before, no rx at Somerset House, I already had high expectations, but I have to say, it was truly spectacular.

 

On entry we were greeted by the very cool team from Holy Water, who create the most incredible bespoke cocktails that would be perfect for any event. The drinks below are a combination of gin, pomegranate, and another secret ingredient, topped off with an edible rose petal, a blueberry, and apple sherbet.

 

 

From there, we were spoilt for choice with the likes of Phillipa Lepley and Vivienne Westwood, showcasing their stunning array of bridal gowns, to spectacular floristry from Wild At Heart, Juliet Glaves, and of course, the wonderful Paula Rooney. There was even an a carpet of real grass, that took you down to the Gina Conway Salon. As well as delivering relaxing hand massages and hair styling, the team were also launching their Privé service which offers hair, beauty and make up, as well as yoga and Pilates at your home, office or hotel room – amazing!

 

As Paula, and Nicki Macfarlane, were both involved in my own wedding, it was lovely to have a catch up with them, and share some images of our special day.

 

Image by Mark Seymour

 

It was especially nice to meet more unusual suppliers, such as Sammy Aki, The Groom Style Consultant, who focuses on putting together exceptional outfits for men on their wedding day. It is about time the guys got a bit pampered I think! This kind of service is something that I think could really take off, grooms want to impress as much as the brides on their big day!

 

I was also blown away by the delightful cocktail and petit four pairing from Caper and Berry – I could have spent my whole afternoon sampling their creations. My particular favourite was the Bellini/Profiterole combination – simply stunning!

 

 

I could go on (and on and on) about how lovely the whole day was, but instead, I would just encourage you to go yourselves! A must for any bride (or groom!) to be! The next event will be held at Somerset House on 10th and 11th of April – tickets are available on request by emailing atelier@quintessentiallyweddings.com  See you there!
 

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Back to School…The Life of a Wedding Planner

Cute Pencils with hearts, <a href= viagra 100mg Back to School Blog, visit this Alexandria Events Luxury Bespoke Wedding Planner” width=”900″ height=”900″ />

When I decided to set up my own wedding business, I knew the best way to learn more and improve, was to spend time with the experts – people who had already established successful careers in the industry. 

I have been doing this in a variety of ways, from assisting top wedding planner, Andri Benson, from Always Andri, to developing relationships with other wonderful wedding suppliers and coming together to plan a very special styled shoot (we will reveal all soon….)

But as well as hands on experience and learning by example, I do love to sit in a classroom and learn. I’ve always been this way, my husband actually calls me a nerd, and even though he says it to tease me, I actually quite like it!

So off the back of that, I started researching the different courses and opportunities out there for Wedding Planners, and the first thing that I realised is that there are A LOT! I’m sure all of them have their own merits, but the one the appealed to me was ‘The Life of a Wedding Planner’ Course, run by Dominique Douglas, owner of Stylish Events. This was because:

a) it seemed excellent value for money (£99 for a whole day’s workshop!) 

b) I liked how it was described – ‘the life of a wedding planner’ seemed to be exactly what I wanted to know about, all of the ins and outs

c) after looking at the Stylish Events website, it looked like the kind of successful company that I wanted to know more about and learn from. 

So I hopped on the train to Canary Wharf, with my notebook and pencils, ready to absorb every snippet of information that I possibly could. I was not disappointed…It was such a valuable day from start to finish. There were only five of us in the group, which made it really friendly and intimate, and the way that Dominique had formatted the day meant that we spent a good chunk of the morning getting to know each other, finding out everyone’s motivations for being there, and where they were up to in their wedding career ‘journey’. We then went on to discuss all aspects of wedding planning, from how and where to get clients, to how create useful spreadsheets, invoices, and contracts. Everything was covered, and if it wasn’t Dominique was more than happy to answer any of our questions, and made us comfortable to ask them (even the silly ones!).

Overall it was a great experience, and I would recommend it to anyone who is thinking about becoming a planner, whatever stage you are at, it’s worth it! I left feeling really inspired and confident that I am capable of achieving my dreams! 

Audrey Hepburn quote, Back to School, Life of a Wedding Planner, Alexandria Events Luxury Bespoke Wedding Planner

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Snap Happy – A guide to finding the perfect wedding photographer, by Alexandria Events

Choosing a wedding photographer can be tricky business. On top of the fact that you’re trusting someone to capture one of the most special days of your life, viagra you also have to spend a significant amount of time with them throughout your wedding day, information pills so you need to get it right. Making the right choice is a deeply personal decision, sick and most of the time you do just get a ‘feeling’ about someone, the same way that you do with people in your personal or professional life.

Here are some top tips, on what we think is important when making your choice:

1. Start searching early! Make choosing your photographer a priority (once you have secured your date of course). Give yourselves ample time to shop around, trawl the websites, and check out all of their online galleries, shortlist your favourites, and then start contacting them! Here at Alexandria Events we know some incredible photographers and would love to help you with your shortlisting – contact us here

Lorraine Clare Photography, wedding photographer, wedding photography, Alexandria Events Luxury Bespoke Wedding Planner

2. Meet face-to-face, unless they live at the other end of the country, there is no reason why they can’t do this. If they say that they are too busy – do you really want a wedding photographer who can’t find the time to meet you? Skype and Facetime can work too, but it is  important to build a rapport with your photographer. They should be willing to meet at a time and place that is convenient for you.

Snap Happy - A guide to finding the perfect wedding photographer, by Alexandria Events

 

3. Word of Mouth –  ask friends and family who they have used and if they would recommend them. It is far more reassuring to get this information from someone you know and trust, than any ‘kind words’ on suppliers websites.

Lorraine Clare Lorraine Clare Photography, wedding photographer, wedding photography, Alexandria Events Luxury Bespoke Wedding Planner

4. Ask lots of questions – when you meet up, come armed with a list of things that you want to know. This will tell you a lot about their professionalism and flexibility, whether they are willing to work around what you want, and whether you ‘get’ each other.

Lorraine Clare Lorraine Clare Photography, wedding photographer, wedding photography, Alexandria Events Luxury Bespoke Wedding Planner

5. Ask to see their previous work – this seems obvious, but if they are showing you picture after picture of the same wedding, ask to see something else. Even if they have only shot a handful of weddings, a keen photographer will have plenty of other material (portraits/landscapes/reportage) that they should be able to show you. Everyone has to start somewhere – I know that from personal experience! But do you really want to risk being their ‘guinea pig’? Which leads me onto my next point…

Lorraine Clare Lorraine Clare Photography, wedding photographer, wedding photography, Alexandria Events Luxury Bespoke Wedding Planner

6. Have an engagement shoot! When these first started to become popular, I was a bit dubious myself, and thought the idea was a bit ‘cheesy’ but having had one myself, and talking to other brides – I think that they are crucial. Not many of us are totally relaxed in front of a camera, so an engagement shoot allows you to get used to it before the big day. It also helps you to see how  your photographer works, and gives them the opportunity to get to know you better too. Let them know what you do and don’t like, and learn about posing, and what looks good from them. It is their job to make you feel comfortable and relaxed, and most of the brilliant photographers that I know are experts at this.

 

All images by Lorraine Claire – a talented photographer and very good friend. Lorraine and I are in the process organising a very special styled shoot this winter, along with our team of fantastic suppliers – watch this space for more details!

 

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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