LITD ~ Real Bride Kelly_0003


So it’s the countdown to the big day (well weekend actually!) I’m so pleased we opted for a weekend of events to really make the most of having all our friends and family together! We have the casual Easter picnic the afternoon before the wedding, the wedding day on Saturday then the Sunday lunch at the oldest winery in New Zealand! Lots of time to spend chatting and catching up with old friends!

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LITD ~ Angela update_0003

‘You can’t use up creativity, the more you use the more you have!’ – Maya Angelou

In this highly accessible world of online shopping sites such as Etsy and inspirational arenas like pinterest, giving your wedding a unique touch is easy – unless you live in Dubai. Getting things delivered to Dubai is a risk at the best of times given there are no physical addresses or indeed a timely, reliable postal service (it is January as I write this and I am literally just starting to receive Christmas cards!). Sure we have some of the largest malls around but trying to find cool wedding accessories for the day – next to impossible.

So, in the interest of giving our wedding a personal touch and to help reduce the cost I decided to get creative on a few projects for the big day. Now I would only recommend this if you have plenty of time because, as I soon discovered, what sounds like a fun project at first soon turns into an epic feat which can become more of a chore than anything else. Indeed our dining room was converted into what my other half referred to as an “arts and crafts table” for well over a month at one point. That said, I am delighted with the results and wanted to share them in case they inspire others.

My first DIY project was name card holders. I got the idea from pinterest (where else?) to use champagne corks as a name card holder and I loved the idea as everyone who knows me knows it is one of my favourite tipples. Living in the land of Friday brunches makes getting your hands on 100 champagne corks amazingly easy! I emailed one of my favourite places for brunch and indeed the very place where I met my fiancé, Yalumba, and asked if they could spare some corks for use at my wedding. Yalumba were incredibly helpful and that very weekend I had 2 bags full of corks all ready for my project. To link in with my wedding theme of glitter and sparkle I simply bought some glue and a big pot of glitter from Creative Minds on Um Suquiem Road and got busy. This is the finished result and I only sliced into my finger once in the making of these!

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LITD ~Maria Sundin Photography_0008

This is a very special engagement shoot as it involves one of our very own real brides. For those of you who have been following our real bride stories you will know that Angela is getting married very soon. In fact she is days away.

A few weeks ago photographer Maria Sundin and I spent an afternoon at the beautiful Bab al Shams Hotel and captured Angela and her soon to be husband Mark in love, or at least, in between fits of hysterical giggles. These two had Maria and I in stitches and were one of the nicest couples I have had the pleasure to work with.

The very lovely and talented make up artist Monica enhanced Angela’s natural beauty with soft natural make up and loose and romantic curls. As these photographs show, she looked stunning.

The styling was very simple as we just wanted to concentrate on Angela and Mark themselves. They make for a wonderful couple and I wish them every ounce of happiness for their wedding day and beyond.

I just wanted to leave you with Angela’s reaction to the images because I just love it, ‘Can I just say wow, wow, wow Maria! Amazing!!!!! I honestly can’t believe that is me in those pictures, there are some amazing ones. Thank you both SO much….Maria you are an artist not a photographer!’

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LITD ~ Real Bride Lindi_0000

Today brings us another one of my favourite blogs; an update from our real bride Lindi and this one is a corker. As she has been in the beauty industry for some time now, she is sharing her ultimate beauty guide with us today. It is filled with advice, tips and local recommendations for Dubai brides based on her own experiences. Personally, I am very excited by the eyelash recommendation and am currently searching the net to find it so I can try it out ~ short eyelashes are the bane of my life!

With three months to go, Lindi is on the exciting bridal countdown…..

The Ultimate Bridal Beauty Guide

Being in the beauty industry for over 10 years, I often get asked by my engaged friends for my opinions on a variety of different products, treatments and tips to get themselves wedding-ready.  As I am now embarking on my own routine (less than 3 months left – eek!), I thought it would be an ideal time to share my recommendations with you.

6-9 months before

  • Find a trusted skin care expert. This is no easy feat in Dubai, as many therapists working in salons do not hold any professional qualifications and I have heard equally horrifying stories about medical professionals!  Ideally you would like to get a personal recommendation from someone you know, or else turn to one of the many expat forums and do your research from there.
  • Start with a skin care routine from as early on as possible, which will involve the basics of cleansing, exfoliating, eye cream and moisturising with an SPF-based cream. Having products prescribed to you will allow you to begin to achieve results from day 1 as your skin type and skin conditions would have been thoroughly analyzed.  My simple rule of thumb is that if the product is designed to stay on the skin (i.e. like a moisturiser or an eye cream), invest in the best possible one.  Whereas cleansers and other “wash offs” can be budget friendly; in fact many a dermatologist recommends a simple, cheap aqueous cream as a cleansing balm for dry and sensitive skin!
  • No major hair changes from here onwards!  Whether you were planning a major color change (I went from blonde to copper just 1 year before, and I love it!), or cutting a fringe, etc., you would like to leave enough time to correct anything that you were not immediately in love with.  Hair plays such an important role in how women identify with themselves that its no wonder a simple blow-dry is one of the best confidence boosting tricks in the book.
LITD ~ Lindi_0000

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant – the best exfoliator for all skin types to achieve baby soft skin | Elemis Marine Pro-Collagen Cream has a cult following and for a reason! This anti-aging moisturiser is so light and skin feels simply amazing

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LITD ~ Angela update_0003

I love our real bride updates and as ever, Angela has got some corking advice in her latest post. It is music to my hears that the styled shoots we have organised have been a great help in finding vendors and like she says enables you to see exactly what the vendors can do.

She’s now in the final month of planning which is incredibly exciting so without further ado…..Angela….. 

Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

As an organisational freak, I have always loved this phrase of “failing to plan is planning to fail” and never has it rung truer than when planning a wedding in Dubai. Anyone that lives here will know that the simplest thing can turn into a nightmare so planning is more essential than ever.

A strong piece of advice, from my own experience, is to ensure you confirm all supplier appointments beforehand. It was amazing to us how many people were late to our appointments or just forgot about them all together which obviously crossed them off our list immediately. The last thing you want on your wedding day is worrying about whether suppliers you are paying a lot of money to will remember to turn up on the day.

Another factor to be aware of is that a lot of wedding vendors will only see you during the working week and during work hours too which has proven very difficult for me and my fiancé as we both work full time and trying to get both our diaries aligned with various suppliers has been a challenge on its own. So it is certainly an idea to plan as far ahead as possible – unless you have the luxury of having a wedding planner to take care of all of this for you. For those of us that are the bridal party AND the wedding planner then you really do need time and patience.

Luckily there are some great websites that can be a huge help when trying to find vendors such as Lace in the Desert, My Lovely Wedding and Bride Club ME. What I found particularly helpful with these sites is the styled shoots they do using local vendors which is not only great for inspiration but also fantastic in terms of being able to see what local vendors can do and offer.  I chose my make-up artist from a styled shoot on Lace in the Desert simply because I loved the model’s glowy, glamorous look. The make-up artist mentioned was Angelique Turner and I contacted her immediately after seeing the shoot to arrange a trial. I was a little dubious about the need for a make-up artist as I consider myself more than able after years of practice (!) thanks to the daily task of waking up looking like a zombie and managing to transform myself with the help of a few pots and potions. However, I have to say Angelique won me over at the trial with her make-up lover’s dream travel case brimming with the most wonderful brands of make-up and her artistic skill of contouring which is not something I have mastered myself and makes all the difference (Kim Kardashian was right! Who knew?). When I looked in the mirror I felt like a supermodel version of myself – which is exactly what you want for your wedding day isn’t it?

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