lorraine + chris | lothian chambers

Lorraine & Chris were married on 6th September 2014 at Lothian Chambers, Royal Mile and had their reception at the Marriott in Edinburgh. They were planning their wedding for 18 months. Big thanks to Ali Cleary Photography for sharing the images!

Lorraine gets her hair and make up done above by the fab Amy and Kirsty from Made Over Ladies.

"We picked Lothian Chambers because it had the historic charm and simplicity of a civil wedding. Also an opportunity to get some lovely photos around the old town! Marriott had a great space inside that ticked all the boxes. It also had a perfect outdoor space for the drink reception. The biggest reason for picking the Marriott was because we felt the staff was so professional and that we were in safe hands with the amazing event planner."

"Chris said soon after proposing that he’s happy for me to plan most of it which I was happy to do that as I’m quite creative with lots of ideas and like being organised! He selected the music and suggested the song for our first dance. He was always included on major decisions such as the venue, photographer, menu and invitations among other things."

"I’m not a particularly fussy person when it comes to dresses as I don’t normally wear them. I didn’t have much of an idea what I would like but knew what suited my body type. I didn’t want to spend weeks looking for my dress so after a lot of research online I shortlisted three shops and made appointments for each. After trying on a selection I had one in my mind that I went back to try on the following day. I think when that happens you know you’ve found the one! I got my dress from Gwennes of Broxburn and it was by Justin Alexander, a lovely vintage looking lace bodice with a tulle full skirt and a dropped waist and gorgeous peep hole back detail. It really flattered me and had a slight vintage/romantic look to it which I loved."

"Of course the ceremony was special for us but I also wanted my guests to have a good time so really enjoyed the photo booth we organised. It was so much fun! All of our guests seemed to really enjoy it and we were able to incorporate it into a guest book with photos and messages which we could look through the next day. Trying to change props in between photos and larking around with guests was such a laugh and really gave evening guests the opportunity to get involved. I’m so glad we decided to do it. The photos make me smile every time I look at them."

"I really enjoyed planning the food and in particular designing and baking my own wedding cake and dessert table. It really impressed my guests on the day."

"My favourite detail had to be the dessert table as it was something in my head that really came together on the day. All the guests were so impressed, even the Marriott staff said they hadn’t seen anything like it. I spent hours practicing and designing details of my three tier fruit cake including about fifteen handmade sugar roses for the top and hand painted portraits of us from our invites on the top tier. Not only that but I also spent days leading up the big day baking over one hundred different flavoured meringues to create a colourful tower! It was great to give some local bakers an opportunity to showcase their delights. We had macarons from Mademoiselle Macaron, gluten free chocolate cupcakes and a giant red velvet cupcake from Caledonian Cupcakes and the most amazing rainbow sponge buttercream cat cake from 3D Cakes. We have a pet black cat called Haku so it felt right to incorporate her into the day somehow. None of the guests knew about it so it was a lovely surprise."

"The first dance is my most vivid memory. I know it can be pretty daunting and I’m definitely no dancer because I remember trying to decide if we should try and dance a little or just shuffle around the floor. We opted for a safe shuffle but the music was so romantic and the words fitted the occasion so well that I couldn’t help but get a bit emotional. No one else in the room existed for those 2-3 minutes. My husband joked that I was only crying because I had just cut my beautiful cake!"

"Try not to sweat the small details as you’ll probably be the only one who notices and give yourself plenty of time to do anything homemade. Chances are you will underestimate how long it takes, particularly if you’re doing it alone. Don’t get too carried away of you could end up with a house full of random stuff to clear out afterwards."

"Pinterest is a gold mine for ideas on everything wedding related and you can source some really personal gifts for your bridal party from sites such as Etsy."

Thanks again to Ali Cleary Photography for sharing the images of Lorraine & Chris' day! You can catch Ali on Facebook too.

Added Drama by Amy

As we move into Autumn/Winter its the time of year we tend to get a little braver with our make up and we go for the richer and more sumptuous colours.  This how to do your own wedding make up is a good balance between injecting some rich colour but still keeping it classic for your big day.  Plus I have made this tutorial all with budget products because lets face it if you are doing your own wedding make up the chances are you aren't heading off to Space NK to buy all of your wedding day cosmetics... even though I know you deserve it!  I have included a full product list at the end of this post.  This would also be a great special occasion make up for attending a wedding or a night out!

As always I start with the eyes...

1. Start by prepping the eye with either an eyeshadow primer or if you don't have one use some concealer sparingly dabbed over your entire lid up to the brow.

2. With a plum kohl pencil draw a v shape in the outer corner of your eye (this acts as your colour base which gives the eyeshadow something to stick to and makes the colour you apply next more vibrant)

3. Blend Blend Blend. Make sure you soften the kohl right out but keeping it in a V shape at the outer corners (you don't have to be tidy here)

4. Apply your darker colour (Regal a rich aubergine colour from the sleek I Divine Au Natural palette) over where the pencil has been blended out.  Use a fluffy eyeshadow brush for this and remember to keep to the outer V shape.

5. Clean up underneath the eye if you have bended a bit too far out.  Use a cotton bud dipped in eye make up remover to sweep diagonally from the outer corner out towards the end of the brow.  This will give a nice clean finish.

6. Pat the lighter colour (I am using Taupe) over the rest of the lid and into the inner corner.

7. Use a transition colour (I have chosen Cappucchino) to sweep through the crease, this helps to give your eye dimension and depth.

On to the liner...

8. Using a eyeliner pen (i'm using the L'oreal Superliner).  Hold the pen horizontally and very tight to your lashes (make sure you are using the long side of the pen)  I like to start about three quarters of the way along (this helps to keep the eye look open and wide draw small strokes along the lash line (keeping tight to the lashes) if you need to pull your eyelid up slightly to get to the lashline go ahead and do this (you don't want any gaps)

9. Once you have your horizontal line along the lash line pull the line upwards and out (imagine your lower lashline being stretched up toward your brow as your guideline)

10. Once you are happy with the length start from the point and bring it back down at an angle to make a (kind of) triangle shape

11. Fill in the gap so it's all black (you can also go over this with a black shadow if you want a softer line)

12. Go ahead and apply your mascara top & bottom (I'm using one with a primer which is applied first to lengthen the lashes) you can also apply some of the darker shadow along the lashline if you want to.

Perfect the skin...

13. For wedding day skin I want it to look dewy but not shiny so I've chose a combo of primers an illuminating one for most of my face which I apply with my foundation brush and a matifying one I use over my nose, forehead & sides of nose (these are my shiny areas adjust what you use according to your skin)

14.  I use two methods for applying foundation (you can read more in detail in my 5 minute tip but basically I start by using my flat brush and sweeping some of the foundation down from the centre of my face then switching to a buffing brush to 'whisk it round' this fills in pores and any fine lines.  I the move round my face doing the same two step process until I have a nice even and flawless coverage.

Safe and easy contouring...

15. In my last wedding tutorial I opted for contouring with stick foundation but without practise you run the risk of a muddy complexion (not good for bridal make up) using a powder is the easiest and safest method use a matt bronzer (this is rimmel) I always start under the cheekbones as this is where I want the most concentrated product.  I sweep the bronzer from the top of my ear down in a diagonal towards the corner of my mouth.

16. Next the jawline, sweep under the jawline to shade the area below, if you need a bit more help in that area sweep down the neck and even into the décolletage.

17. Sweep down each side of the nose and under the tip of the nose for some gentle nose slimming effects and finally touch the brush over the corners of your forehead. This is what I call soft focus contouring I do it in every make up I do it means I can still see your skin but the angles of your face are emphasised in the softest of ways as we use bronzer it also adds warmth and colour to your skin.

Add blush & conceal/highlight...

18. I've chosen a soft peach blush to keep the skin looking nice and fresh I've chosen a cream blusher by revlon, just tap this up and over the cheekbones on the diagonal starting from the apple directly above where you applied your contour

19. Conceal (& highlight) they areas you wish to conceal are usually under the eyes, down the centre of the nose, mid forehead and also sometimes the upper lips, I opt for a pen concealer draw in where i want to highlight then blend blend blend

20. Also do any spot concealing here if you have any blemishs you'd like to cover

21. I then set my highlight with a loose powder and add any extra powder I require over the shiney areas

22. If you like an illuminated look sweep a highlighter over the cheekbones (above where you placed the blush) in this case I used the 'taupe' shade from my eyeshadow palette.

Get a retro brow...

23. Start by brushing the brows up and outwards

24. Using a stiff angle brush start at the arch by filling in with a complimentary eyeshadow. If you are going for a retro brow extend them outwards here at this peak then start moving the brush downwards on an angle, go ahead and fill in the rest of the brow keeping the start the most natural (go lightly on product less is more here)

25. Use a dab of concealer to highlight on the brow bone and just above the arch (this has the effect of a brow lift) you can also use whats left on your concealer to correct any mistakes you have made or to soften the arch if you've made it too pointy

The drama part...

26. I've opted for a dark lip for this look I start by lining the lip if you don't like a fully lined lip follow the guide below then blend all over with a fingertip

27. Pack your lip brush with your lip colour and apply starting from the centre of the lip this way you can really work it into the lips to create a stain then as you work outwards to the lip line you can use the brush to  perfect the line getting right into the corners of the lips and sharpened out the cupids bow

28. Blot the lips

29. Reapply & then if you like an uber glam look apply a complimentary dramatic gloss

Add more drama with lashes...

30.  Your finished eyeshadow should look something like this adding individual lashes just adds more drama

31.  I came across these little bunched lashes in Superdrug and I love them for self application and comfort...I find them much more comfortable than a strip

32. Whatever lashes you choose the application is the same.  Firsty put a drop of lash glue on the back of your hand and dip the knotted edge lightly in the glue then let the glue dry a little bit (count to 30ish) before you apply.

33. You are aiming to put the lashes on top of your own lashes and get them as close as you can to your own lash roots use tweezers to 'tuck' the lashes in behind your own natural lash.

35.  Apply 3 of these bunches to each eye and allow the glue to dry or 6/7 individuals all the way across

36. Once its all dry go back in with your liner and paint over the lash glue

Here's the finished look...

Not ready for a dramatic eye & lip combo? I added an alternate lip just in case you wanted a more neutral but still gorgeous option.  This peach lip is Max Factor's Pink Brandy.  I finished off the make up with a spritz of Evian's Spring water which keeps the skin fresh and helps your make up last.  Great to take along with you and spritz through out the day.

Let me know your thoughts ladies and if you try it out? And what do you prefer the berry stained lip or the soft peach lip?

If you like my flower crown... pop back over to the blog next week for a DIY flowercrown tutorial.

You can also SHOP THE POST back over on Amys blog, get all the tools for this look!

styled shoot | white on white

In August some of #teamBB got together on this pretty styled shoot, we had an amazing day for it and a model who was up lying in the grass and all sorts! Shot by Marc from One Big Picture Photography and Gavin from Gavin Butler Photography, Emma from Betty Bluebell tells us more...

"This is the third styled shoot we've done as team Braw Brides and both of the prior shoots were quite alternative in style."

"Esther Catherine, our resident dress maker, was keen to do more of a traditional bridal shoot to showcase her beautiful new dress so we decided on a white on white theme and that we would play with texture rather than colour. Esther's dress has fabulous and unique tulle sections in the skirt and a beautiful lace trim around the neckline."

"For the flowers my attitude was "go big or go home"! I wanted to keep an element of the stylised bride and I used lots of fluffy asparagus fern with soft ruscus to compliment our park location. For the blooms I chose fluffy white hydrangea, delicate white Lisianthus, Avalanche roses and ivory snapdragon. In the last two shoots we have used floral crowns for our bride's hair so we decided to weave flowers and feathers into her hairstyle. I'm sure you'll all agree that Made Over Ladies did a great job and that our bride looks ethereal!"

"Suzanne from Suzanne Esper Cakes made a fabulous ivory and lace masterpiece that I added a fresh foliage and feather circlet and side piece to. That lady's sugar craft never fails to impress!"

Huge thanks to the team and to the boys for sharing their brilliant images!

colleen + stuart | balbirnie house

Colleen and Stuart were married at Balbirnie House in Fife on Sunday 8th June and had been planning their wedding for about a year. Thank you so much to Karolina Kotkewicz for her fantastic images of the day!

"Balbirnie house has beautiful, old world glamour, it was the first venue we visited and we were both very taken with it. As Stuart is from Montrose and I am from Edinburgh and we both live and work in Aberdeen, we wanted somewhere central where all our friends and family could come and stay.  We also wanted a venue where we could hold the ceremony and reception.  We viewed a few other venues, but we both knew that Balbirnie was, without question right for us. From the very first meeting we knew we would be very well looked after. Balbirnie is an award winning wedding venue, but it only hosts one wedding per day, so the place was ours and had a very personal feel. As part of its wedding services Balbirnie provided us with a wedding coordinator, Kirsty, who supported us every step of the way and, on the day itself, we had a wonderful Master of Ceremonies, Angela, who ensured that everything went smoothly. We are eternally grateful to them and the rest of the staff for ensuring we had a fantastic experience."

"Seeing all the planning come together was very rewarding. We particularly enjoyed planning the ceremony; after 5 years together it was very good for both of us to think about what made us fall in love, the reasons we cared so much about each other and our future together. We also enjoyed planning how we would ensure that our guests, the people we cared about, really enjoyed themselves."

"In terms of planning the ceremony, Stuart was very involved, we crafted our vows together and chose readings and poems that really meant something to us, as well as adding little extra things, like sharing the quaich with our guests and asking everyone at the ceremony to bless our wedding rings. For the rest of the planning, I did a lot of the ground work and consulted Stuart on different ideas, luckily he was enthusiastic about most of them. Being a musician himself, Stu had a lot of input into the music on the day, and Myke Black who provided our ceremony and reception music, and Aurora, our evening band, were fantastic!"

"I found my dress in a sample sale in Edinburgh. I was very lucky as it was absolutely pristine, having never even been tried on. It was made of beautiful hand beaded Ivory lace and made by the designer Agnes. I found the most wonderful dressmaker; Stephnie Anne Designs in Edinburgh to do the alterations I wanted, and over a few visits Stephnie transformed my dress by taking it in and up and adding delicate lace straps. To get the lace we needed for the straps I contacted Agnes directly via their website and they couriered me matching lace at no cost, which I thought was incredible service! In the end I had a unique dress which fitted me beautifully and made me feel fantastic."

"We had a Humanist service, it reflected our beliefs and values perfectly. Our celebrant was the lovely Jane Bechtel. We were lucky in that we knew Jane already, as she had been the celebrant at the wedding of good friends of ours, as well as the naming ceremonies of both their children. We loved Jane's relaxed and sincere approach to things, she helped us ensure our ceremony was everything we could have hoped for; personal, heartfelt and inclusive. Many of our religious friends and family said that it was the nicest and most meaningful wedding ceremony they had attended, which was lovely to hear."

"I actually had two favourite parts of our day, firstly the 'getting ready' part of the day in the morning, it was just wonderful, my mum, bridesmaids and I all pottering around my beautiful suite in Balbirnie in our matching kimonos. There was a little bit of champagne, nibbles ( remember to eat something so you dont get 'wobbly') and good music on, it was a lot of fun.  The wonderful girls from Made Over Ladies came to the suite to, do our hair and make-up, making us look and feel fantastic while Karolina our lovely photographer discreetly snapped away.  As the morning wore on, other family members and friends popped in and out with gifts and well wishes ( I made sure I wasnt spotted in my dress, of course!) It was a lovely relaxed way to start the day and helped keep me nice and calm! I would strongly recommend having a service like Made Over Ladies come to you on the morning of the wedding, rather than travelling somewhere for your hair and make-up, it made everything so much easier."

"I also loved the ceremony, seeing all the work Stuart, Jane and I had put into the planning and sentiment being realised, it gave us a wonderful start to married life."

"We wanted the day to be as personal as possible, Stuart and I made our own sloe gin the winter before the wedding (Sloe Gin is something Stuart's family have been making for years- it's absolutely delicious) and the week before the wedding we bottled it in miniature glass demijohns, I sourced the bottles online and the company provided free personalised labels too. Our guests loved them! We also set up a table of photographs of our family members, including many vintage wedding photos spanning several generations.  At the last minute I decided not to label the pictures and it was really nice seeing guests who perhaps hadn’t met before, chatting about who different people in the pictures might be. It was a really lovely talking point."

"I remember feeling absolutely overwhelmed with emotion as my mum walked me down the aisle. Our wonderful acoustic guitarist, Myke Black was singing the Boyce avenue cover of the Christina Perri song, 'A Thousand Years' and the atmosphere was incredible. Walking down past all our friends and family, people who'd travelled from overseas (and my friend in Australia who watched the whole ceremony via Skype!), knowing they were all there to support us, was incredibly moving. I could see Stuart at the end of the aisle smiling and looking so handsome and I couldn't wait to be next to him and share the day together!"

Colleen and Stuarts amazing cake (above) is by Dedicaked.

Colleen passes on some brilliant advice to future brides... "Relax and enjoy yourself! Its very easy to let things stress you out, and everyone has their thoughts on how things should be done, so take your time, and shop around with suppliers until you find people who you feel will do their best for you.  I met several florists before finding Laura from Flowers By Cherryblossom, she helped me find ways to achieve the things I wanted without spending more than I needed to, and we really clicked, a good relationship with your suppliers makes such a difference."

"Ultimately do what feels right for you both, whatever that might be. We set ourselves a budget and we stuck to it by prioritising what was most important to us, and what were things we could happily live without. We knew we wanted an excellent photographer and a videographer, so we found ways to make sure we achieved that over other things like a having photo-booth for example."

"Take care of yourself and let other people help, Stuart’s mum made our amazing wedding invitations for us and my sister Eileen organised the children’s favour bags and a little play area, it really helped take the pressure off!"

"Things don’t always go to plan, but don't worry and on the day, let someone else deal with any hitches! I was so nervous during the vows that I put the ring onto Stuart’s right hand instead of his left, and when it didn’t fit, I tried to force it…despite him discreetly whispering to me that it was the wrong finger!  Once I realised what I'd done, I was mortified, but really, it was a tiny and rather funny part of an utterly gorgeous day and we have so many beautiful memories on film to share with our families now and in the future."

"My favourite photo from the day is where I’ve just arrived at the top of the aisle, you can’t see my face at all, but Karolina has captured perfectly, Stuart’s expression at the exact moment we face each other for the first time that day. I love that picture!"

You can catch Karolina on her website or Facebook.