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Master the Art of Make-Up for Black and Darker Skin Tones Masterclass


As we know, and lament, the wedding industry still predominantly leaves behind people of colour and focuses mainly on white-skinned brides and grooms. It is a complete puzzle to me as to why. Like, honestly WTF?!

Luckily, we have awesome challengers in the form of Nova Reid of Nu Bride and Joyce Connor, a leading make-up artist, who are absolutely not taking this sitting down. Frustrated with a shortfall of make-up artists confident with darker skin tones even within the industry, they’ve devised a masterclass filled to the brim with expertise, amazing tips and training, ready to share with industry colleagues.

Here’s Nova with how it came about!

“Can you recommend a make up artist that can work with black and Asian skin tones?”

At first I thought this was a bit of a contrived question to ask.

After all, one would assume that all professional make-up artists have the skillset and also the toolkit to work with an array of skin tones, wouldn’t you think?  I did, and learned very quickly that this was not the case.

As an editor, I’m approached by industry, brides, and indeed grooms, to recommend make-up artists who can work with black, Asian and darker skin tones, on a regular basis. Readers often come to me, either after having had a bad experience, or feeling concerned because they find it exceptionally difficult to find inclusive wedding make-up artists online and at wedding shows. Others have had make-up trials and ended up looking embalmed. They frequently discover make-up artists who, for whatever reason, do not have experience or evidence that they can work with different skin tones, because a diverse body of work is not being demonstrated in their portfolio.



Shuttleworth Swiss Gardens Vintage Wedding Festival and Fake Wedding

Vintage wedding fair

The National Vintage Wedding Fair comes to Swiss Gardens in Old Warden, Bedfordshire, on April 17th, 2016, but this time also brings with it something slightly different: a fake wedding! A what? You mean where a fake bride marries a fake groom? Yes, exactly that, but everyone else attending is real: the celebrant, the photographer, the stylist, the videographer, as well as a real beautiful cake, canapés and flowers. It’s a way of bringing the wedding fair to life, and of showing you how the vendors you might book at the event actually perform at a wedding.

Fair director, Kate Beavis, tells us more about this new fake wedding concept:

“A fake wedding is a great way for brides- and grooms-to-be to really experience wedding businesses in action, so they can visualise their style and see first-hand how they interact while working. They all become the guests at the wedding, and observe potential contacts at work, rather than just displaying their services and products as part of an exhibition stand. The concept isn’t new as it is very popular in the US, but it is still pretty unheard of in the UK.”

vintage wedding fair

Kate runs fairs around the country but this is her first outdoor event, which is something she is very excited about.

“We’ve teamed up with the Shuttleworth Collection team as this is the perfect setting for our fair as well as for your wedding; the Swiss Gardens are not only beautiful but are a great example of Regency design, with interesting landscapes at every turn, and with 13 listed structures, including an amazing grotto with stained glass windows and a domed roof. There are even peacocks wandering about to add even more colour to proceedings! But don’t take my word for it – The Guardian describes it as a “miniature world, dotted with follies as absurdly pretty as illustrations in a fairy tale”.”

With stylists Fleur De Lace and photographer Sharon Cooper already confirmed to take part at the fake wedding, the event is set to be fabulous. Not forgetting that there is a wedding fair too, under a marquee with wedding craft workshops where you can learn how to make flower head crowns, live music as well as more vintage wedding exhibitors, this is going to be a great day out.



Studying to Become a Wedding Planner With NCC Home Learning


I was approached a couple of weeks ago to see if I’d like to try out and review a course from NCC Home Learning, either the Plan Your Own Wedding Diploma or the Wedding Planner Diploma. I chose the latter because I’ve already done my own wedding nearly seven years ago (what??!), and also because I’ve been wanting to diversify and expand my skillset within the wedding industry for a while, and add to that I’ve had a few emails from readers about becoming a wedding planner, so I thought this would be the one we’d all find most useful.

I worked at an exam board once upon a time, so the most important thing for me to ask of NCC Home Learning was about accreditation: is this a worthy qualification? No point in taking this course or recommending it if it’s not been through proper development and sign-off. I’ve been reassured that it’s Level 3 on the Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF), is accredited by NCFE, and has been developed by, “a qualified wedding planner and author who has a wealth of experience in this industry.” In fact, it’s the planner behind Madonna and Guy Ritchie’s wedding and also Robbie Williams’s 30th birthday party, so he knows his stuff!! And so I am thrilled to be getting going with this, and am really grateful to NCC Home Learning for giving me this opportunity!

I’ve had a look through the modules, and there’s a good comprehensive coverage of all things planner, from wedding themes, the planning process, catering, etc., to useful business topics such as marketing your services. You don’t need any prior knowledge or experience, it says, which is good for those looking to change career. You get your course manual, assignments and study guide plus tutor support by mail and email, along with 12 months of unlimited support. Assessment is done on a modular basis, with each section requiring you to pass a test and an activity. No end-of-course exam to panic about!

I’ve listed this under ‘sponsored posts’ because I will gain, for free, the qualification worth £340 (you can also pay in instalments) on completion of the course, in return for this introductory post and a review post at the end. I hope you’ll find it useful to read my thoughts on the course, both as a wedding blogger and an ex-qualification developer.

OK, so back to school I go! Wish me luck!


Image by Death to the Stock Photo



Love Our Wedding Magazine


This category of industry news is filling up nicely. There’s just so much exciting stuff going on behind-the-scenes from industry vendors, venues, designers, magazines and bloggers, and I love being able to tell you about them. It may spark off an inspirational thought, it might make you book to go on an event where you find your dream dress, it might do the simple job of letting you know that most suppliers are genuine and creative and are more concerned with being the best they can for their customers than they are with separating them from their money (which is one of the unfair insults hurled at this industry). And if you work in the wedding world, I hope you’ve discovered some of the cool workshops and events where you can meet more of your tribe!

This latest post is to tell you that there’s a new magazine in town called Love Our Wedding. Now I’ve said it a hundred times before, but I LOVE magazines. There’s nothing like the feel, the look, and the smell of the printed page. Something to hold, to dog ear, heck even to rip up and scrapbook with!

Long live print.


Free Ultimate Wedding Magazine

Email Promo Issue 161000

Just a super quick post to let you know that the brilliant interactive digital wedding magazine, Ultimate Wedding Magazine, is FREE this month for new readers!!

If you haven’t encountered it before, you can read more about it and its editor, Tina Reading here, and download it here.

Happy Sunday wedding planning, all!

London Bridal Fashion Week 2015

LBfw_2016 Bridal Collections_Aya Couture

Aya Couture

It was a busy week for bridal last week, what with White Gallery and London Bridal Fashion Week (LBfw) both kicking off the revealing of upcoming wedding trends. LBfw, like White Gallery, is presented to buyers and press, giving them an exclusive opportunity to discover the latest looks and directional trends for next season. It took place at prestigious venue, Old Billingsgate, where the 30 metre runway (!!) showcased these divine gowns in total glory.

The LBfw fashion show saw the 2016 bridal collections from designers and premium labels, including: Anoushka G; Christine Dando; Demetrios; Ellis Bridals; Madeline Isaac- James; Rembo Styling; Ritva Westenius; Sanyukta Shrestha; The Couture Gallery by Britta Kjerkegaard; and Wendy Makin. Making their trade show debuts at this year’s LBfw were new talents Arga & Arga, and Aya Couture. Check out the pictures for highlights, and click on them to go to the designers’ websites.

LBfw director Alejandra Campos says,

“Exhibitors and partners raised the bar, and contributed to what made the inaugural edition of LBfw one that has truly shaken up the industry. The feedback from buyers and press has been overwhelmingly positive. I can proudly say that LBfw is now a successful reality and we cannot wait to see everyone at LBfw 2016.”

I cannot wait!