Minimising Photoshop Digital Retouching

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Bridal Dress Straps – Ladies cut off your dress hanger straps from your dress. Put them aside so that  they can be re-sewn or pined back to the dress.  Without fail, they always pop out from under your arms on the wedding day.

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Visible bras. Again ladies if your dress allows, have  an in-built bra fitted. Or ensure that you purchase a bra that is perfect for your dress. White dresses & a nude bra do not go together. Strapless dresses & high cut bras don’t either.

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Suntan lines. Pay extra attention when going out in the sun the week prior to wedding day. If you are out in the sun, cover up or wear appropriate clothing to help avoid lines.

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Double chins.  A good photographer will tell you when you chin isn’t looking its best. Give your photographer the extra 5 seconds required to remind you of your posture.

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Droopy buttonholes/boutonnieres. If these start to get tired looking and droopy on the day – loose it. Or ask your florist to have a spare on hand once you get to the reception venue.

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Teeth Whitening. Smokers or coffee drinkers – haveyour teeth cleaned and whitened before the big day. This is one of the best preparation investments you can make.

What you need to ensure great wedding photographers

  1. Give your photographer plenty of time to work
  2. Do not be late, ever
  3. Make sure you like your photographer and they like you
  4. Have a clear idea about what you want with regards to your pictures
  5. Be as co-operative as you can with your photographer – after all they are just trying to do their job
  6. Do not behave badly – bridezillias are very hard to shoot
  7. Don’t have a list of more than around 12 group photographs – or you will be sorry and your guests will hate you
  8. Don’t get drunk the night before
  9. Everybody is more beautiful after a good nights sleep, that is why it’s called beauty sleep
  10. Make sure you eat during the day, there are never any good pictures when the bride passes out
  11. Hire a wedding planner, it takes away a lot of the stress








Want to drastically decrease stress levels on your wedding day?

What I am about to suggest is probably going to make you all shriek in horror. However one of the most stressful moments on a wedding day is the time just after the ceremony, so much to do with so little time to do it in. You need to get a hug and kiss from all the guests, groups, cocktails, get to the venue and then still take great pictures together. This all usually has to be done in about an hour but extra pressure is added with late ceremonies and long travelling distances. Solution? Do your portraits individually and together before the ceremony. Or better yet on a separate day. I can hear the Italian brides shrieking in horror.

Few of us are virgins when we walk down the isle, why let another tradition stand in the way of your fun and great pictures.






Reasons to get married during weekdays and why to avoid Saturdays & Sundays part ten

If you are considering eloping then I recommend you only consider a weekday wedding for a mixture of all ten reasons put together. You need to choose a day where you can get the most out of your special, intimate day together, and choosing to pass a

quite intimate day together on a Saturday or Sunday is never going to work. If you want to share a quiet prosecco together in the piazza, or an ice cream on the beach you will less flustered by crowds during the week.



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Reasons to get married during weekdays and why to avoid Saturdays & Sundays part nine

Anyone who knows Italian roads, rules (or lack of them) and Italian transportation systems will know what I am talking about here. Traffic and public transportation on  Saturdays/Sundays and particularly public holidays should be avoided like the plague. Roads are blocked, trains run late and buses can be jam packed to the doors. Think about a week day for your wedding, and you immediately have less chance of traffic problems and running late because of them.




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Reasons to get married during weekdays and why to avoid Saturdays & Sundays part eight

We all want to feel like the only girl in white on OUR own BIG DAY, but if you choose a popular location to get married in, given any Saturday or Sunday during spring/summer, it is highly likely that there will be more than one wedding going on. By choosing a day in the beginning or middle of the week you are less likely to cross paths with another bride and groom in the same place or piazza.




Reasons to get married during weekdays and why to avoid Saturdays & Sundays part seven

Quieter surroundings in tourist areas in high season. Remember to consider this if you are getting married in public gardens, a public church, or any area which might be open to the public at the same time as your ceremony. Ceremony grounds need to be prepared for set up (chairs, flowers, sound systems etc etc), and they can only start preparing when the grounds are not flooded with tourist crowds. Although during your ceremony, public access can usually be denied, venue grounds may restrict ceremo ny times, especially during the weekends, allowing time to clear the public out.

 




Reasons to get married during weekdays and why to avoid Saturdays & Sundays part six

Public church/religious ceremony schedules are naturally heavier during the weekends. Priests, Churches and Civil ceremony grounds are extremely busy on Saturdays and Sundays and usually take on double bookings. This means often you can be (diplomatically) rushed out of a church/religious location after your service, as another ceremony is waiting to start. Choosing a weekeday avoids this problem and also gives you more chance of finding your first choice of Church or Religious venue grounds.




Reasons to get married during weekdays and why to avoid Saturdays & Sundays part five

Hotels, Bed & Breakfasts and Residences are also more likely to have availability for both yourselves and your guests during the week. This is particularly important if you have a large guest list, and are looking to create a holiday group feeling, with all your guests staying in the same hotels and close by to you. Some places also offer group booking specials, and considering a week day might help you to get all your guests into the same places.



Reasons to get married during weekdays and why to avoid Saturdays & Sundays part four

There are more and cheaper flights available. This isn’t as silly as it sounds. Especially for those who are looking for flight availability on the low cost airlines like Easyjet, Ryanair and Flybaboo. Flight schedules with these airlines are often operated Monday – Friday, and during these days great flight deals can be found. It is important to consider this especially for your guests, who will be travelling, to help them also keep costs down.

 

 

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Reasons to get married during weekdays and why to avoid Saturdays & Sundays part three

Larger suppliers like florists, musicians and caterers that have the capacity to take on more than one booking during one day, are less likely to have double bookings during the week. Whilst this is not to say that when there is a double booking on your wedding day, your level of service is anything less than 110%, it just means that during the week you will are more likely to get 200% undivided attention.

Reasons to get married during weekdays and why to avoid Saturdays & Sundays part two

You’ve chosen a weekend, but aren’t an early bird that caught the worm, and then you find your dream venue, planner, florist or photographer just six months out from the big day. If they are good more than likely they will already be booked, which
might break your heart. Consider a week day around the same period and you might just find your luck. Monday to Thursdays are more likely to have schedule gaps.



Reasons to get married during weekdays and why to avoid Saturdays &Sundays part one

Choosing a weekday in the beginning might seem like a crazy idea, but nowadays it really isn’t that mad. If you think you can cope with a  weekday, you will have access to a larger range of the best service providers. Usually weekends (especially those with public holidays tagged on either side) are booked out a year or so in advance, so if you aren’t one of these early birds your choice is immediately cut in half.

A thousand flowers in one promise – Armando Malafronte

Locally and Internationally famed, Ravello Floral designer, Armando Malafronte recently reached a new level of success in the publishing of his divine book.
Armando “A magical floral designer capable of realizing magnificent floral creations”, recently released his first book ‘Mille fiori in una promessa’. The book, enriched with fabulous colours and floral compositions, leaves you with an inspiration and admiration for flower design that is hard to find elsewhere. It is nothing but a true reflection and appraisal of this man’s unique talent and incredible green fingers.




You think you are ugly.

Why is it that us girls have to wait till we get old and wrinkled to realise how beautiful we were? Anyway, you think you are ugly and there is nothing I can say or do to change that. You can however adapt your wedding outfit to conceal to be your worst points and accentuate your best points. It’s all about balance. For example;

You don’t like your face?

Wear a nineteen twenties box hat or a broach hair slide with a short net covering half your face. The broach can be a beautiful focal point. If you have a long neck, wear long chandelier ears, which will again draw attention away from your face.

You have flabby arms?

Flabby arms but your shoulders are your best feature? You wear something off shoulder with off shoulder drapery sleeves (1970s) or carry a delicious shawl.

You are very short?

You need a short twinkly wedding dress with slinky shoes and your hair should be worn up.




Flowers in your hair

If you are getting married in June I do not recommend you put real flowers in your hair. By the end of the evening they will look very sad. Tiny roses seem to hold up, as long as they are not white or cream since they will go brown. Peonies are very popular but if it’s hot and they are exposed to a lot of sun they will droop. I promise. If you absolutely insist on real flowers keep them hydrated in the fridge till the very last minute. If you want orchids in your hair,  I would highly recommend you look for a good quality fake variety. I know you have seen the fashion shoots with fresh flowers in their hair but those flowers only had to look good for an hour maximum. Another option is to have replacements at hand but it also means you need a hairdresser or reliable friend.

 





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Bridal Beauty Emergency Plan Strategy Four: The Beautician Part seven

What to order? A few days before:

6.Eyelash extension

“What no mascara?!” I hear you gasp. For an extra sexy but surprisingly natural look, try eyelash extensions. They look six thousand times better than normal fake lashes. Eyelash extensions don’t lash very long but they look AMAZING. The last long enough for a party and a honeymoon, a girl doesn’t need them to last much longer than that.

7.Pedicure & Manicure

Please can you all stop with the porno star French Manicure. Please. A French mani can look cute if you don’t have those dangerously long nails porno stars insist on sporting. Personally I find such long nails completely unsuitable considering their line or work. Not that I would like to compare brides to porno stars. My point is that if it looks trashy on someone who is trying to look trashy, imagine what it looks like on a bride.






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Bridal Beauty Emergency Plan Strategy Four: The Beautician Part six

What to order? A few days before:

3. Nourishing  or Cleansing facial – This should be at least your second facial when preparing for your big day. Your facial should include exfoliating, cleansing and nourishing. If you can get a little face, head, neck and shoulder massaging with the package it will make all the difference

4. Eyebrow shaping (don’t think this needs much explaining)

5. Eyebrow & eyelash dying – You know how mascara can give you two back eyes at the sea or if it withstands the pool, it will probably be very difficult to get off. By dying your eyebrows and lashes you can withstand the pool test and the effect is flatteringly natural.

 




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Bridal Beauty Emergency Plan Strategy Four: The Beautician Part five

What to order? A few days before:
2. Total wax

This form of torture needs little introduction. It’s a form of torture for women by woman and those glossy magazines. You know the kind, which tell us that being the way we were born is just not good enough. Anyway as you can tell I feel it’s us who should be paid for this pain. I will also admit to a sick pleasure, which descends right after having your body hair pulled out by the roots. Not indifferent to the euphoria one feels after a tattoo. And if you are brave enough for a Brazilian version be prepared for quite a surprise and a crazy itch afterwards but hey you only get married once.



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Bridal Beauty Emergency Plan Strategy Four: The Beautician Part four

What to order?
A few days before:

1. Full body polish – This treatment will leave you with a glossy, smooth and soft skin. It involves; a wash, a steam, a salt rub, a rinse and a rub with oil. If you want to try a home version, mix half a cup of coarse salt with half a cup of your favourite massage oil. Good oils to use are grape seed oil and almond oil. First you soak in a hot bath for ten minutes, to soften dead skin, then wash your skin with a good cleanser. Now rub your oil & salt mixture all over your body. Pay special attention to trouble areas like elbows, bottoms and feet. Rinse well with warm water and if you have very dry skin apply more oil



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Bridal Beauty Emergency Plan Strategy Four: The Beautician – Part three

What to order?
Two weeks before:

2. Individual selected Body Wrap

Body wraps are great for working on cellulite, skin condition and for detoxing. Once again it’s important that your beautician helps you select one that satisfies your needs. If you have problem skin on your back, as few as two wraps or peelings can completely clear problem skin.

3. Lymphatic Drainage massage

My preference for this kind of massage is a Presso-massage. It involves getting into a space suit and basically it squeezes you like a tube of toothpaste. If you are already small you may find the suit can’t reach an adequate amount of pressure. It’s a wonderfully effective and relaxing massage. The Human version of the lymphatic drainage massage is good too but be sure you find someone strong, patient and informed.

 



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Bridal Beauty Emergency Plan Strategy Four: The Beautician – Part two

What to order?
1. Individual selected Facial

It’s best to make an appointment just to discuss what you will need. Everybody’s face is different and benefits from different kinds of products. It is important not to have your first facial too soon before your wedding. Usually one really starts to see the benefits of facials once you have had at least two. I recommend a deep cleanse and a nourishing facial for the first one. Do not be tempted to shape your eyebrows etc. You need all facial hair to be clear for the day of your wedding and so you need to do so just three or so days before your wedding. Bleach any stray hairs in the mean while to avoid embarrassment; personally I just don’t leave the house. (Please can someone make moustaches on woman fashionable – Please, we can’t seem to get rid of them).

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Bridal Beauty Emergency Plan Strategy Four: The Beautician – Part one

What to order?Electro Stimulation – every day if possible (is this or is this not an emergency)

 

Now I know this sounds scary s less painful than it sounds and very effective. Electro stimulation is particularly effective for difficult to work on muscles, like bottoms.

Basically they strap your body with little electro pads, which send little shocks to your muscles. This causes the muscles to contract, the way they would if you were exercising. The stronger you can take the shock the better it works. If you are starting an exercise routine, these little electro sessions will really help you. You will see the benefits of both much quicker since they compliment each other.

 

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Bridal Beauty Emergency Plan Strategy Four: Daily Responsibilities

1. Drink at least two litres of water
2. No drinking coffee or alcohol
3. Avoid salts, artificial additives, preservatives, colorants – basically toxins

4. Go to bed early, try to have at least eight hours sleep a day
5. Keeping to a healthy routine will restore your body and mind
6. Workout a lot and rest a lot
7. Apply a hardcore anti cellulite cream twice daily, massaging the way you wish your beautician would.
8. If you can get anywhere near a sauna or a steam room make your body sweat but drink extra water.
9. Walk whenever you can, stairs are especially good for bottoms
10. Be extra good to yourself, give yourself non food rewards e.g facials, pedicures, a small lie in.





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Bridal Beauty Emergency Plan Strategy Three: Exercise – part six

Tricks to help you get into exercise C

5. Music
There is absolutely no way I can do any form of exercise without music. If my iPod is flat, I don’t work out. It’s also about the only chance I get to hear some really great music. It’s so easy to hear and purchase individual songs from the Internet.

6.Spending money on exercising

Guilt has been our chain and shackles for years. For the first time guilt can be used to one’s advantage. Not sure about you but I hate wasting money. If I spend money on new sexy exercise gear, a gym contract and a fab baby blue gym bag, I am more likely to go to gym. I just can’t bear letting the money go to waste. Strange how I don’t see it as my body going to waste or if I do, I really do not seem to care.

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Bridal Beauty Emergency Plan Strategy Three: Exercise – part five

Tricks to help you get into exercise B

3.Espresso & chocolate before you work out

Now I’m breaking some rules here, and going against my advice of avoiding caffeine & chocolate, but we can always make exceptions when we must, and if I just can’t get going then an espresso and a small piece of chocolate help me to start exercising. They encourage me and give me a little rocket boost of energy to tackle the hardest part, the beginning. A small piece of a Mars bar or such has between 200 to 300 calories. About half an hour’s worth of workout will burn a small bar of chocolate but you will need to sweat.

4.Working off the stress with visualisation

If you are angry, stressed or worried about anything, get on the treadmill. First you warm up, then visualise the problem in front of you. For example, picture the guy who ran over your cat and scream at him in your head. You will be surprised how fast you can go. Keep going till you feel no anger, depending how much you have. Not only will you exercise harder for longer you will also get rid of unwanted feelings by burning them off. Double bonus.

Bridal Beauty Emergency Plan Strategy Three: Exercise – part three

Stretching

Stretching does wonderful things to one’s muscles. Other than making them supple, stretching also tones your muscles. The act of stretching is a quiet, slow action, which does wonders for the stress levels. Once you start stretc

hing, notice that it soon becomes something you feel the need to do. Yoga is the ultimate form of stretching since it often incorporates meditation. Meditation and stretching are two excellent ways to fight the effects of stress. Stress makes you ugly and sick. Stretching is very important before and after exercise. Doing it before ensures you do not hurt yourself during your workout. If you stretch afterwards it can help avoid stiffness. Exercise and stretching should be started gradually or you will hurt yourself and have to stop. Which would put a dramatic stop on your beauty plan.

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Bridal Beauty Emergency Plan Strategy Three: Exercise – part two

Feeling strong energised and happy is the best feeling in the world. The human body is a machine, which loves to be used. The more you use it the stronger it gets, the longer it lasts, the happier it is and the better it looks. Exercise is the ultimate drug, offers immediate gratification during exercise with delicious endorphins and then the bonus after effects on your body and mood. You can’t beat it. Exercise is the cheapest and most dramatic of all the strategies to reform your body. It’s just starting that is difficult.

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Bridal Beauty Emergency Plan Strategy Three: Exercise – part one

A challenge, choose a day you are feeling sluggish, swollen and generally ugly. Look at yourself in the mirror, take careful note of the way you look and how you feel. Go for an hour’s worth of hard exercise. The most strenuous you can manage; push yourself as much as you can. Now go and have a look at yourself in the mirror. Everything will instantly look and feel better.

The biggest difference will be the way you feel. You will feel positive and energised but also oddly relaxed. The harder you push the more the difference. All the oxygen, which has been pumped into your skin, will make it glow. Your muscles will have been filled with blood, so your body will be firmer and smoother. You will be more relaxed, sleep better and become regular. All of which will make you your most beautiful.

Bridal Beauty Emergency Plan – Strategy One: DIET– part eight

This is going to make me hugely unpopular but you know it’s an emergency girl, so cope. Alcohol. It’s a waste of calories, which need to be dedicated to nurturing your hair and skin. It stops you from exercising the next day, fills your liver with toxins and slows everything down. You have to because of some party? Stick to spritz’s and champagne. The calories are slightly less than those in hard spirits, beers and liquors.

 

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that they work faster and better thanks to those bubbles, which means you need to drink less.




Bridal Beauty Emergency Plan – The Introduction

You have suddenly realised you are getting married in two weeks. Where have the last six months gone? You have been caught up in plans and no doubt neglected your beauty plan. Never mind let’s make use of what we have. The suggestions I have made may need to be toned down a little if you are very unfit. If you are more than ten kilograms overweight I recommend you see a doctor before you follow my “Bridal Beauty Plan”. Unfortunately like most things in life the more money you throw at the problem the better the outcome. However no high tech massage can ever compete with a dedicated run. Clearly if you wake up a little earlier than two weeks before your wedding all the better.

The plan is divided into different strategies, which each require dedication and determination. The results will be evident from the first day. Especially psychologically, since the exercise will instantly increase your endorphin levels. Although one may experience a light headache and a little tiredness from the detox, it will be short lived. Unless you have been bombing your body with toxins for years. For this reason I recommend starting the plan on a Saturday.



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Wedding Music – Marco Cantarella

How to describe Marco? Marco’s group of musicians play most of the music you will hear on the Amalfi coast. But like all artistic geniuses he is eccentric. How eccentric? He does not own a cell phone. How does he do all the organising? Email and a lot of running up and down the stairs. Although this may not seem like a very good introduction but I cannot recommend his services highly enough. The added bonus is that you will have your very own “Puck” for your “Midsummer’s Nights Dream”. Soul, Jazz, disco, swing, rock ‘n roll, classical to folk and everything in between. Marco and his musicians are based in Ravello but will travel just about anywhere.

weddingmusic.it





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What every Bride really wants on her wedding day – part three

There are times when retouching can really save the day. One poor bride I shot last year broke out in acne (for the first time in her life) five days before her wedding. Solution? Make sure your photographer can touch up.
We completely removed that poor dears acne and she nearly cried when she saw the album. She no longer has acne and for privacy reasons we do not show before and after pictures of our clients. But take a look at these examples using models.







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What every Bride really wants on her wedding day – part two

We have established that all girls want to be perfectly beautiful on their wedding day and that perfection does not exist in reality. Which spells disaster. So.. what can go wrong? The list is endless and you should expect the unexpected.

Due to stress, girls loose and pick up weight. Okay, few of us want to gain weight but why would it be upsetting if we loose weight? Well because if you are wearing a strapless dress, the dress will fall down. But it could be a number of things, which can turn a blushing bride into a raging bull. Solution? Make sure your photographer can touch up, be realistic and develop a sense of humour.

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What every Bride really wants on her wedding day – part one

Each and every time a bride has ever had a nuclear melt down it has been because she did not like something about her appearance. She may have tried to cover up seeking a scapegoat like the colour of the flowers but nearly always it’s because of insecurity.

Brides fantasise about how they will look down to the finest details. In fantasies things can be perfect and in reality they cannot. Naturally this nearly leads to great disappointment. Every bride, even if she will not admit it, wants to be perfectly beautiful.




Let’s talk a little about bridal make-up

Unless you are a child bride, stay way from crystally shimmery powders if you want to look young and dewy. They are the number one wrinkle enhancer. Today women are getting married later in life and need to look fresh and smooth. Choose matt soft pinks for cheeks and eyes. Instead of false eyelashes get eyelash extensions. They look much better and no yucky glue. You know the rules; eyes are accentuated or the lips, never both. Personally I prefer a thin black or brown line on the upper eyelid and a naked pink on the lips. But if you have a red bouquet naturally you need red lips and very little else. Choose a long lasting stain to achieve the red or all the kissing will leave you looking like someone punched you in the mouth.




Should I allow my guests to photograph?

It’s sad when one can’t take portraits of people in the church or at cocktail hour because they have camera’s in front of their faces. Often they shoot with those disposable cameras and the pictures won’t be that good anyway. Then you get the semi pros who have the same or better equipment than me that always manage to be between myself and the couple during important moments. They also often get furious if I politely ask them to move over. They upset the priest because they are not aware of how strict the Italian church is. Then the priest gets angry with me because they think the guy with the big gun must be with me. I work hard on my relationship with the priests because if you get a bad wrap they clamp down on one.

I have never had the courage to do what many other photographers do and ban all other shooters. However if you are buying all the pictures on dvd, there will be plenty of pictures of everyone and some really nice portraits of the guests. If you can ban cameras, at least in the church when you can blame the priest.




How can I remember my parents on my wedding day?

How can I remember my parents on my wedding day?

  1. By speaking to them kindly and with respect
  2. A small gift with a thank you card
  3. Take a moment before you walk down the aisle to look them in the eye
  4. When you leave them at the end of the aisle whisper “I love you” in their ear.
  5. Make sure you let the photographer know which photographs are important to them and make sure you have a special picture taken with them. It will be such a priceless gift to them.
  6. Do not belittle or get irritated if they get a little demanding or emotional on the day, remember it’s a very difficult milestone the end of an era.
  7. Remember to dance with your parents after the first dance.

But if you can’t manage any of these don’t worry they are probably happy to be rid of  you any way. One day when you have children they will take your parents’ revenge. There is nothing uglier in the world than a bride who treats her mother and father badly on her wedding day.





Remember your parents on your wedding day – part two

I have more photographs of crying fathers of the bride than anyone else.  Then I have many of the mother’s of the grooms. Remember without all of their support you would not be there. A wedding is not just about you and by making an effort to be respectful towards their feelings you will go a long way towards saying thank you for all they have done. Too many times I hear brides treating their mother’s badly while they are getting ready. I know they are stressed out but once I see a bride performing my heart breaks for the parents who are already suffering on the day.





Remember your parents on your wedding day – part one

My heart breaks when a see an already suffering father take his daughter to the alter and she forgets to kiss him goodbye or the groom forgets to shake his hand. I absolutely cringe. For some parents it’s easier when the couple are older, sometimes they can be relived. Or if their child has already been living far from home for some time. But nearly every wedding the most likely person to cry is the daddy.





Advice for a speech – part three

Don’t drink to get more courage. Because you will forget your lines and may be tempted to push to boundaries to get a few laughs. There are few things as embarrassing for anyone than a drunk speaker who can’t get it together. Let’s not forget the video operator who will be there to record your foolishness for life.

Remember to thank everybody. Traditionally various members of the bridal party have specific people to thank. There can be few things as cruel as a bride who forgets to thank her parents for such a wonderful wedding.




Advice for a speech – part two

The funniest speeches often have two speakers. I have seen friends dressing like the couple and putting on little shows. This is really fun if you are good at mimicking and really know the couple. To guarantee humour have the bestman play the bride and the maid of honour could be the groom.

By writing a cheesy poem which rhymes and is completely individual, you can grant yourself permission to read and be cheesy. People want to laugh at a wedding. They don’t want you to experience an award silence. You would have to be awful for them not to laugh. So as long as you make it about the couple and from the heart they will laugh at a corny poem. I promise.





Advice for a speech – part one

Do not under any circumstances get your speech off the internet. I beg you, I have heard the same stuff over and over. It’s embarrassing. If you are not good with words or humour, try a funny slideshow or do a video. You can use old funny photographs or interview other people about the couple. And you will have a special gift to give the couple afterwards.





A master of ceremonies

What often happens to me at a weddings is that I get told by the priest to get everybody out of the church because mass is about to start, so I shoo them all outside. In the nicest possible way but no matter how nicely a stranger bosses you about, it’s annoying. Then we go to the cocktails and the staff tell me dinner is served and I have to herd everybody to the hall. By this stage everybody has decided I am a witch from hell. Between the herding and the thirty six deep group list the bride gave me, everybody hates me by dinner. And it’s not my fault and it’s very bad for pictures when everybody hates me.

If there is a master of ceremonies he or she can boss everybody around and no one will mind because that is what he is supposed to do. Which just leaves me the problem of the thirty six groups to do in half and hour.

Seeing each other before the ceremony

Traditionally we are not supposed to have sex before marriage either but I am yet to meet a virgin bride. Yes, even in Italy. So why stick to other traditions when an alternative will really ease the stress off of your day.

By doing your pictures beforehand means that you will have much more time to enjoy your party. A party which has the limitation of time. I recommend shooting as many of the family and couples portraits as possible, before the ceremony. That way we can spend fifteen minutes in the sunset light taking great portraits and any groups not taken before. If anything goes wrong from rain to a bride twisting her ankle, it’s mostly done. And if nothing goes wrong all the more time to shoot gorgeous reportage images.



Time alone together – part two

I know exactly what you are going to say. But I only want natural reportage images. I do not want to be put into unnatural embarrassing poses. After over four hundred weddings under the belt I can promise you that you will spend very little time together as a couple, looking good in good light. Besides time together does not have to mean time together in ridiculous poses. It could mean a walk together. In fact it will be the only time alone you will have. Time where you won’t have to smile and play the gracious host. Portraits feel like such a painful job on the day. But they needn’t be. We could stop at a cute café for a prosecco or ice cream. Just time to realise the present moment and enjoy it together. And I will be there to capture the moment. Maybe just warning you subtly if you are pulling a double chin.






Time alone together – part one

It’s really important to set aside time to take pictures of you two alone as a couple. So many couple allocate a small amount of time to this task on their wedding day. What always happens is that things run a bit late and this times get cut because it’s the only dynamic feature of the day. Meaning the food can’t wait or it is spoilt . So when you allocate twenty minutes to take pictures together rest assured that you will have no more than ten minutes to do so. Between getting to a place which has great light and trying to cajole pictures out of clients this often means the pictures are compromised.

For this reason often the eloping clients pictures are so much better because I have a lot of time. But by being on time, allocating at least an hour to these images and being co-operative you insure your pictures will be great.






Having Fun …

Another element which is absolutely essential when creating sensational wedding images is fun. If you feel like you are being tortured you will look like you are being tortured. Happy ugly people having fun are a lot more beautiful than miserable ugly people hating every minute of it. I know this sounds quite rude but I just want to make a  point. So many perfectly gorgeous brides say I hate having my picture taken. So many things I don’t like about myself. Now I am really going to get hardcore.

“GET OVER IT ALREADY”. You are young, healthy, in love and able to afford a wedding. So you are not Kate Moss. Unfortunately you will only realise how gorgeous you are today when you really get old and ugly. And then you will

wish you had not wasted so much time on nonsense and had more fun.







The engagement shoot

A couple we shot late October in Positano chose to do engagement pictures before the wedding ceremony . They wore clothes instead of the wedding dress and suit and we played around Positano for about two hours. At first I thought it was a silly  idea, untill afterwards I considered how much nicer it is to have normal clothed portraits on your walls at home. They are both creatives from New York, so it was fun and easy to get into that creative zone.

The advantages of doing an engagement shoot, even on a separate day to your wedding are many. Firstly it gives you a chance to get comfortable with your photographer. It also helps your photographer get to know you and your face. At which angles you look best and what you like. You also get to understand the creative process and get a feel of what it is like to be “shot”. Better not leave too many surprises for your wedding day.






Creating a fabulous after party

Most venues in Italy have rather strict cut off times. This can be very disappointing around twelve when the party is just getting into swing. The solution is a fabulous after party. These generally work for slightly bigger weddings of fifty or more people. During the course of the evening you generally loose the old folks and the parents of young children. So if the party is too small it can end up being a bit sad.

 




Ideas for confetti

Everybody who sees this photograph asks me how the confetti was done. It was done with a cannon, which shot a cloud of confetti into the air. However such devices can be expensive. Personally I like anything that is bio degradable and not too hard. The Italians have a nasty habit of throwing almond sweets, money and rice. All apparently good for fertility.

Personally I prefer petals, rice paper shapes, bubbles and streamers. A super cute idea, especially if your colours are pink and purple, is to over dry bougainvillea flowers. You place the in a very low oven for several hours. They look gorgeous, light on the budget and don’t litter.





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Coming back down to reality to ensure a beautiful wedding







I have seen it many times, a bride’s wedding ruined because the reality just can’t match her fantasies. When a bride says to me, “ I  just want everything to be perfect”. Just? Well I can promise you one thing about each and every wedding, it’s never ever absolutely perfect.

Just all depends on your attitude. If you build up this huge expectation in your head it’s very unlikely reality has a chance to match your expectations. If you start to notice what is not the way you imagined it would be, everything will seem to be going wrong. But if you focus on the many things that are right, all the people who have contributed to your day and realise just how lucky you are, you will be filled with gratitude and gratitude breeds joy.

 

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With or without my glasses

This is a question I am regularly asked. The answer really depends on many factors. Clearly the first being if you can see without them. If you are completely blind without your glasses, then clearly you have to wear them or consider contacts.

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Girls with big noses may want to keep them on since it can break the line of the nose. Girls I never realised had big noses, took off their glasses on their wedding day and well there it was.

I always try to take a few without glasses since glasses reflect light and the flash. This can make it hard to see the eyes, which are generally the focal point of a portrait.


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Having your teeth whitened




If you drink loads of tea and coffee or smoke, whitening you teeth is a very good idea. Just remember that for two days after the cleaning, your teeth (ironically) are very susceptible to staining, especially from coffee and red wine. SO I recommend doing it at least one week before your wedding. Whitened teeth can also be too white, a week’s space will give them a chance to look a little more natural.

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Ideas on ways to save without anyone noticing

1.Choosing the right flowers.

Orchids may be beautiful but since most are imported they are buy propecia 5mg online uk very expensive. By choosing flowers that are in season and indigenous, you will save heaps.

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2.Don’t buy bridal shoes

Like photography, anything labelled “Bridal”, it instantly get much more expensive. Choosing silver or glittery evening sandals can save you quite a bit.

3.booking flights months ahead of time

If you book your flights months ahead of the actual date you want to travel, you can end up paying more for taxes than the actual flight especially when flying in Europe



4.have a destination wedding

They are great weeder, meaning you won’t have to invite half the people you would usually have to. Depending where you live it can be much cheaper too.

5.don’t waste money on nonsense

Seems simple enough but let me give you an example. Those disposable cameras take terrible pictures and are expensive. I often see brides who buy a selection of headpieces but to use only one. Let’s face it, us girls are good at focusing on the details and in doing so loose site of what kinds of investments will actually be worth something one day.




6. Don’t have sixteen bridesmaids

Traditionally it’s the bride who has to fit the bill for bridesmaids’ dresses. SO logically having four or five really makes things expensive. And if you shop for them at a nice shop like Monsoon you are likely to pay a lot less than you would at a Bridal boutique.

7. Don’t get married from end of May till mid September

Everything is more expensive during this time. Flights, hotels, and venues all increase price wise during peak season. You are far more likely to get discounts from service providers if you marry out of high season. Good photographers can sell Saturdays during those months four times over, it’s therefore unlikely they would offer you any kind of discount.


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Tips to ensure a bride’s comfort on her wedding day

1.The white umbrella

If you don’t buy a white umbrella, I promise you will need one. I am not a superstitious person but every time I bring an umbrella to a wedding it never rains. When I have forgotten, we have ended up being stuck with the most hideous umbrella’s imaginable.

2.Make sure you have something gorgeous to put on if it gets cold.

I could not count the times I have been to a wedding and the bride has the shakes from being cold. Often the passing of the stress of the preparations causes a strange kind of exhaustion and strangely this makes my lovely ladies in white feel the cold all the more. The English and Irish brides seem to suffer.

3.A pair of scissors

I promise you, you will need a pair of scissors on your wedding day. Just as you are running late, you will realise you urgently need a pair.

4.Eat

This may seem very obvious but some many brides feel sick or faint because they are too nervous to eat before the action begins. I highly recommend bananas; they give good energy and vitamins (some of which a good in combating anxiety).

Taking tranquilizers on your wedding Day

SO what is it about us humans that we can’t stand feeling anything except comfortable. We not all humans but many of us. We just want a little something to take off the edge. Well the sad thing is you will spend the second half of your life trying to remember the edge and how it felt. The emotions which happen on a wedding day will never again be repeated. The nerves, excitement and surely a bit of drama. Why would one like to numb those feeling you will never feel again?

It’s wise to remember even natural tranquilizers and alcohol are not friends. You could end up in the bathroom barking at the toilets or even sexier would be a Courtney Love relapse imitation. Not pretty girls, stay off those pills unless your doctor said so. And if you MUST, get therapy and don’t drink on the day.

Not Eating on the day

It’s one of the first questions I will ask a bride when I arrive. Why? Because if you don’t eat, get nervous, run around in a big hot dress in the heat, cry and have to stand for hours… you will get into trouble. Okay so you usually starve yourself and you can handle it. Well add a glass of sparkling wine to the equation and well it could even get embarrassing. I know the last thing you feel like doing is eating. SO I recommend easy healthy high calorie foods. That way you won’t have to eat much and you will keep going. I like bananas, nuts, fruit, cheese and if you just can’t do solids try a fruit shake.

The Couple with a baby

I have already mentioned how important it is to keep baby well fed and rested on your wedding day. Mostly importantly taking their pictures as soon as possible before we have the usual baby wedding day stress melt down. But I have one other silly but effective trick to share. Make sure you wear an interesting strong bracelet. Particularly effective is a chunky charm bracelet. The younger the baby and the twinkilier the bracelet, the more effective it will be.

Confetti Suggestions

My favourite confetti is biodegradable and light. For example petals, feathers, rice paper shapes, bougainvillea flowers dried and bubbles. I do not like rice because it can kill the birds and looks boring in pictures. I find candy coated almonds hard since I often get hit too. Coins are just well … violent. I also love those over the top suggestion for the exit like the releasing of doves, balloons (though not that eco friendly) and butterflies. Not sure if there is anyone in Italy who releases butterflies for weddings. But they look amazing.

Veil or hat

There have been very few veils which have made me clap with joy. I am a little partial for 1920 style short veils bordered with decadent big lace trim. Especially if it frames the face.

However having said that I want to say I love hats. Hats can turn an ordinary girl into a lady. Too big a hat will make couple shots a bit difficult, but have a look at some of Philip Tracey’s more sculptural designs. Most of all I love sculpt caps, box hats and hair pieces with mini veils. They are sexy and elegant and a breathe of fresh time while giving a little wave at retro.

Bogging yourself down with too many groups.

Many brides give me a long list of groups they want on the day. They have no idea how long it takes to do so many groups. For example ten groups taking 6 minutes each (depending on their size and the discipline of your guests) will take about an hour to do. It’s difficult because you also don’t want anyone to feel left out. I also recommend that any photos that you want done as individuals is done before the ceremony to take a little pressure off the schedule after the ceremony. For me it’s really funny when a bride swears at me when I produce HER list at cocktail hour.

Sample of a good schedule

This is for a wedding in June or July in Ravello. Held in the Cathedral.

3:00 Boys get ready at Cimbrone
3:30 Photographer shoots putting on of ties and sharing a toast. And some loose Tarentino style black and white groups and portraits.
4:00 Photographer leaves and boys go back in the pool – hair and make up starts
4:05 The photographer starts with the bride (also staying at Cimbrone)
5:00 The groom leaves with his friends and family to the piazza with a second photographer – shooting reportage
5:30 The bride can have a few portraits and groups with friends and family
6:15 Bride leaves for church
6.30 Church
7:30 Get out of church – a lot of kissing and a big group photo takes you at least half an hour often more
8:00 photographs of the two of you (we run ahead to Cimbrone -15 minutes to get to Cimbrone if you weren’t sensible with your dress and shoe choice or it could take an hour)
8:15 Guests make their way up to the Villa
8:30 Guest arrive
8:45 Final guest arrive and you join them and finally have a drink and snack
9:15 unfortunately now we need to do groups before it’s too dark and already boring pictures will be even worse. The bigger your list the longer it will take. So think- Do you really want to be doing loads of boring group shots when it’s cocktail hour and one of the best moments for reportage?
10:00 Dinner and speeches
11:00 Dancing and cake
12:00 Start of after party

Italian folk music for your wedding

Looking for entertainment which will please both young and old can be difficult. But choosing music which appeals to both because it maybe new or because it’s fun, will make the wedding enjoyable for all. The only music I have found which involves young and old would be Italian folk music and dancing. Everybody loves it and though it’s sometimes new for destination couples it’s antique roots some how make it familiar. Contact Marco at Wedding Music in Ravello.

What is out?

Pointy shoes are out and thank goodness for it. Round toes and peep toe shoes are in. Heels are in but if you can’t cope then keep some pretty sequence slippers handy. Darlings that’s what bridesmaids are for.

Shiny eye make up also simply won’t do. Unless you are a child bride and you are marrying at 17 don’t wear shiny shadows. Again there are exceptions but nearly everybody looks older and sillier and the camera doesn’t like it much either.

Long transparent gloves are ugly girls. So are big puffy skirts and bustiers don’t do anything for making us look skinny. Arms look bigger and even unfortunately even the skinniest of us all are prone to back fat.

A very long veil, I promise you, will only torment and torture you on the day. It will dust the town. Get hooked on the carpet as you walk down the aisle. People will stand on it and it will make you hot. Most brides spend hundreds on their veils, walk out the church and desperately ask me, “can I take this thing off now?”

What is hot?

Gloves: don’t even think about any gloves which go past your wrist. No chiffon or satin girls, unless the satin is brushed. Go for the classic and timeless look of Jackie O. The 1950’s look is going to be huge for a long time in wedding photography and styling. It’s clean and glamorous. It’s the new classic and rightly so. Think Channel and remember to keep it simple. Get the majority of your images shot in black and white. And you may consider a little hat and veil. Understated chic.

Much to my delight the 1920’s have made a come back. This look is delightful and fun. And naturally very sexy. The part I like the best would have to be the hairstyles. I love 1920’s waves and hair up in delicious organic shapes. Round toed shoes and long strings of pearls. Cleavage and sequence with dropped waste lines. And it’s almost always a good idea to make the men wear complimentary outfits, like tuxedoes. Deco jewellery is also exquisite.

Shorter, lighter, easier, prettier and sexier.

What’s next? Shorter… finally you can walk where you want to, be cooler (pardon the pun) and not look like a cake with icing. I think if I see another corset with metal fish bones I will cry. Girls they bend and all those bits that are holding you in when we start off, will be divided in half and look horrible. At the very least it will give you stomach ache. Big dress equals big heat wave. Less enjoyment, more sweat, more runny make up and it will be dirty by the time you exit the church. You will spend a lot of the time during the day trying to keep it clean. All in vain. Watch this space for our small collection of wedding dresses to be released early next year.

Why are eloper’s photographs always better?

When you Elope you gain the most precious element of a wedding day; Time. Time to take gorgeous pictures. AT a relaxed and fun pace. Planning shooting around the best natural light time. Other things however become more difficult to do in two. Like dancing, it can feel silly and forced especially disco dancing. But slow dancing works. During dinner you won’t want a photographer to keep on shooting. SO the pictures are considerably less reportage. But can still be kept natural and fun. Avoiding ridiculously posed images. One way to keep the party going. Is to arrange a boat ride or a fun trash the dress shoot for a grand finale. Never is the photography more important than when you elope.

Boats are sexy

Boats are one form a transport you could consider for your wedding day.

On a boiling day in summer, a boat ride is about the only form of transport tolerable. It gives amazing light on the faces and gorgeous scenery. It’s entertaining and relaxing at the same time. Then you can go to places, which are normally hard to get to. SO much better than a bus ride. If you want great couple shots even a tiny fisherman boat can be fabulous. Though unless you are comfortable with allowing for loads of couple shots and TIME (the demon that chases us), I don’t recommend doing couple alone shots on a boat on the actual day. It takes time and guests don’t like the couple to be away for too long. Unless of course you are eloping.

It’s rude for any one other than the bride to wear white.

I really thought this one was common knowledge but I keep going to weddings where the sister of the bride is wearing a short mini dress. No one notices the bride. And when you are wearing a meringue and someone wears a sexy dress and stands next to you will look silly. Very silly. So be slightly conservative when you chose bridesmaids dresses. You must not make them ugly but they should not be super sexy. Unless you are not marrying in a church and you wear a super sexy bridal dress.

Colour coding your guests

If you have ever worked as an extra in the film industry you will know how the work with colour in crowds. For example dressing the whole crow in varied shades of blue. The image naturally seems more harmonious. Sometimes I will go to weddings where the bride has chosen shades of pink and then every time I try to shoot the crowd two or three people will be wearing, rusty orange, yoke yellow or brown. So then, you can’t see the bride. When you look at the image you just see the people who are the contrast. By asking your guest to wear shade of a colour which compliments your choice of colours you will really improve your images.

Time waits for no bride.

We always run out of time. No matter how small the wedding and if a bride runs twenty minutes late we spend the rest of the day trying to catch up. Time is the most important, unrelenting, consistent and annoying element of any wedding day. Good pictures take time, even reportage works best during daylight as do groups. Historical venues have time limits and restrictions. Food is a religion in Italy and it’s a sin to keep pasta waiting. Churches and town halls are often fully booked (i.e more than one ceremony per day) during the summer and so your ceremony will be rushed along if you are late. Sad as it is, unless you are eloping your wedding day will be run on a tight schedule. And I recommend you are a little early if you want to have a good time.

Don’t travel on your wedding day

So I know I have harped on about this before but I just cannot emphasis it enough. Try not to spend a lot of time travelling on your wedding day. Now this might sound obvious but some brides want it all. SO they get dressed in Positano… then they take an hour and a half windy road drive in the summer heat and chaos. They get married in the Duomo in Amalfi and then they have their reception in Ravello. Which between traffic, robots and the walking will cost at least 40 minutes of time. And I mean at least. So you if you are lucky you will loose 2 hours and 10 minutes of party and shootings and daylight. A WASTE GIRLS!!!!!!!! It’s the one thing you can’t order extra of – TIME.

Who can get away with tanning

  1. very dark skinned people
  2. people with unusually even skin tone
  3. people who are used to seeing themselves tanned
  4. when both partners are fairly similar in skin tone

I say this cautiously because when you make yourself a dark red colour and your skin is tired and wrinkled, it becomes difficult to do a pretty picture. Especially when you are wearing white and if your partner is the colour of snow. Further, if you are trying desperately to look slimmer and try a tan for the first time you might never look at the pictures and feel like you are looking at yourself.

Complex control – big ears

Big ears – another common complex for brides and grooms having their photo taken. There are several things that we can do to avoid those big sticky our ears, we all fear.

  1. The first is your hairstyle. Avoid all ‘up’ do’s and instead go with a nice, tidy hair down.
  2. Think about adding a hat (yes you grooms too!), or a big side flower in your hair, as a feature. A great cover and eye distracter.
  3. The best one for the boys – There are some great tricks your photographer can also use to help you. Go for side on profile pictures or 3/4 face on. By avoiding 100% face on, it will cut down the angles.
  4. Don’t wear stud earrings that stick to your ears. Instead consider long dangly earrings which will draw the attention away from your ears.

Quick Ceremony tips

  1. Remember to kiss your Dad goodbye at the alter
  2. Try and memorise your vowels if possible
  3. Organise a microphone if your venue is in a wide open space, or a big church. Also if you know that you speak particularly quietly. Whilst it is more important that you can hear eachother, your family and friends also want to hear you.
  4. Face eachother – it is easy to face the priest or celebrist

When you are putting on the ring – take a deep breath first to calm nerves. It will go on – so don’t worry about fumbling and making a muck of it. Also try not to cover the ring with your hand – you will want a close up of this photo, but it will be impossible for your photographer if hands are over the top.

Ensure that your priest or celebrist knows your full names and pronouncation like the back of his/her hand. This can save embarrassing muddle ups.

Reserve seats for family members in the first two seating rows. This can be done cutely with nice name cards (e.g Father of Bride, Mother of Bride…etc etc)

Organising your wedding abroad 5 quick tips

  1. Consider guest accommodation. The best option is to organise this through your wedding planner, and take advantage of group discounts. If you don’t have a wedding planner give a list of recommendations close to your venue with your invite, so guests know where to start looking.
  2. If you have free days – try and organise or suggest local group activities for your guests. (Boat trips, excursions and general sightseeing). This will help let all your guests get to know eachother, and create a great ‘on holiday’ group atmosphere
  3. Include local traditions or cultural symbols in your ceremony or reception, to tie the event to the location. It’s the little things that are memorable
  4. Always Always Always, research local ethics, rituals and cultural issues first
  5. Go over thoroughly with your planner, translator, interpreter, priest or celebrist your names and pronunciation. Make sure also that you can understand their accent, so that you familiarise yourselves with it.

 

To party or not to party after the reception

  1. A big decision for some, is whether they consider an after party, when the formal wedding reception is finished, or to make the formal reception a party as soon as dinner is finished. If you want to organise an after party…
  2. You have to look after yourself during the day if you want to be still standing for the party.
  3. Check venue after hours licenses for music and alcohol.
  4. Consider your plans for the next day. Are you having a breakfast or brunch?

Choosing (or not choosing) Bridesmaids and Groomsmen

  1. For people that you can’t include, create other important roles e.g giving a toast, a reading, giving out ceremony programs, party organising….
  2. Although in some cases it can be hard, try and select a group of people that all get along reasonably well.
  3. Try and have matching numbers in your bridal party e.g 3 bridesmaids, 3 groomsmen
  4. Choose reliable, resourceful and calm people – you will be relying on them

Hints on Guest speeches

Choose very wisely who you ask to speak.

If you have lots of people (family or friend groups) that you want to speak, see if they can’t get together and present one speech on behalf of the group .

Don’t force people who you know aren’t confident speakers to give a speech. If they refuse on these grounds, it’s not because they love you any less. Perhaps they know they are doing you a favour.

Give time limits to people, and ask them to stick to them. Long speeches are never fun for anyone, and can put a real stop to the flow of your evening.

Funny speeches work, as long as no one is offended along the way – there is nothing better than a dining room full of people rolling on the fall laughing, as long as they are ALL laughing.

Ask guests for paper copies to for keepsakes (even rough ones)

Why not to let the rain spoil your day

  1. If you change your mindset, the rain can be a great excuse to get outside and be cheekily playful
  2. Pretty white umbrellas are a great accessory and prop. Make sure you buy one – just in case!
  3. You avoid all bright harsh sunlight and instead get perhaps a dramatic dark skyline, which looks fantastic in photos
  4. Let’s face it. Dolly Parton was right ‘if you wanna see the Rainbow – you gotta put up with the rain’
  5. Italians the culture of love – will always tell you, if you believe it ‘ Sposa bagnata, sposa fortunata’. Traditions have it, that a wet bride is a lucky bride!

Choosing Flowers

  1. It is easy just to pick your favourite flowers as the flowers for your wedding, however there are a few other things to take into consideration. Don’t have your heart set on a type of flower, just because you have always loved it – some types of flowers were just never meant to be included in weddings!
  2. Something a lot of people forget to consider is the season that you are marrying in. Try and stick to flowers that are in the season of your location. Whilst there are alternatives (e.g importing), it becomes tricky and expensive.
  3. Go for types of flowers that last, and won’t droop immediately in heat. (your florist will be able to advise you
  4. Listen to your florist – it is their knowledge and expertise that you are paying for., and the good ones, know what will work best for your wedding style and taste
  5. Never fake them
  6. Think about your overall colour scheme of the day, and stick with flowers that suit these colours. Rather than choosing a large range of completely different flowers, by keeping to a theme, there will be consistency. For example flower themes for– bouquets, button holes, decorative and table setting arrangement
  7. Don’t mix and match florists for different items –eg pre order your bouquet online and then use a different florist for the decorations. Inconsistency will show
  8. Do a head count of people that will need flower pins on the day and order one extra just in case. (Groom, Groomsmen, Father & Mother of Bride and Groom and others that you wish to play a special part in your day
  9. If you are or your Groom have flower allergies – try them close to your skin and nose before the big day!

Considering Morning vs Afternoon….why afternoons can be better

  1. A relaxed bride and groom always makes for a better day for all. With an afternoon ceremony, you can take the morning to have a sleep in, a big walk and fresh air, and a decent breakfast.
  2. You can take your time getting ready, and will have no horrible early morning starts (which no-one really likes anyway!)
  3. You will enjoy the build up more during the morning (rather than being in a rush from 6am)..treasure you last few hours.
  4. With an afternoon ceremony, you give your guests more freedom and time to get themselves to your venue and organise parking. Allowing them to travel calmly will mean that everyone will already be on time and waiting for you at the ceremony venue!
  5. Afternoon sunlight is a lot more forgiving and gentle that harsh midmorning light. Your photographer will thank you for it, and your photographs will show the difference.
  6. Late afternoon is a also a lot cooler for you all, and there is more likelihood of a nice fresh breeze. No one wants to be a sweaty bride or groom
  7. One word….SUNSET!!

Things to watch out for when shopping on line

  1. Make sure they ship where you are before you even start shopping. It’s terribly sad to find a dress you can’t live without , only to discover that they will not sell it to you.
  2. Good on line shops show materials, measurements, different views ect.
  3. By searching on shopping blogs you will get great hints from other addicts
  4. Make sure what the rules are about returning items, some shops implement dead lines
  5. Remember if you are in Europe and you buy from Victoria Secret (USA) you are going to get a tax to pay for importing when the goods arrive. So although the price might seem cheap remember this tax and shipping. All Saints (my all time favorite) offers free shipping.

Crazy wedding dress ideas for the eccentric bride – part 01

So you have a limited budget and you are a nutty kind of girl who would rather have root canal work than wear a poofy meringue wedding dress. I have some crazy ideas – have a look at what some of the designers have to offer in white. Keep an open mind and fly. I say bring back the mini wedding dress, that is if you have the legs for it.

The list of my favourite fashion haunts tomorrow … tune in again.

Browns – expensive but still cheaper than a wedding dress

ASOS – just put in your dress size, white or cream and off you go

All Saints – yummy yummy but you need to be super cool to the bone to put it off

Vintage – for a dash of vintage which is all the rage right now

Net-a-porter – expensive and could be as expensive but if you scratch you will find hidden jewels

Intermix – have a look at the white dresses in their evening section

BlueFly – once again look under dresses and select white

Eluxury – again expensive but marked down and loads of options

SHopBop- check out Chloe’s Tennis dress, could be very Jacquie O

Yoox – a wide range – have a look at the FERRE short pastel dress

Yes and I completely admit to being in therapy for my internet shopping addition.

When is a make up artist a good idea?

If you have bad skin. Very big nose or awkward features you may want to invest in a make up artist. Make up can go a long way when trying to hard dark marks, uneven skin tone and big noses. I would highly recommend a trial and that you see the make up in day light. Make up used to disguise imperfections will always seem a little heavy especially to someone not used to wearing make up, but you would be amazed to see the difference. For fun get a friend to come along and take a before and after picture to compare.

If I did my own makeup would that sound crazy?

Recently one of my favorite brides (yes I do have favorites), asked me the following question…

“I will even take some lessons to learn, my only fear is that apparently for the photos I have to wear makeup so I don’t shine. The problem is I don’t wear makeup ever, and I only go natural, so my fear is that if I do it myself I will look funny. I will get darker until the wedding so, is it important to invest in a makeup person?”

My reply to follow tomorrow, so stay tuned.
My recommendation would be to keep it light. I can fix anything picture wise with photoshop. I think lessons are a great idea. I would go to Mac or Bobby Brown and don’t over do the tan (which is worse for pictures than shine). Both Mac and Bobby Brown will have anti-shine powders, you can keep handy on the day. I like a bride who looks like she is wearing no make up but has accentuated her best features. Darling you are gorgeous, no dominant features to hide or bad skin. Lots of mascara and a little lip gloss would be fine for the pictures. And you can feel secure in knowing that anything not perfect I can fix afterwards…

If you do find one and decide to hire a make up artist make sure you insist on a trial first.

Couples with small children – an intro

Children and babies often get stressed on a wedding. Especial children who belong to the couple. They will be greeted and squeezed by a bunch of strangers. The whole routine will change and Mum and Dad will be very distracted. Then they dress the poor dumplings in something by DG and poor baby feels strangled. Baby misses her nap. Then usually dinner starts just when we are supposed to take her picture. She turns in psycho baby, Mum starts to not feel happy and then of course when the bride is unhappy… it’s only fair she makes the groom miserable too. How to avoid this nightmare?

Show time.

I love the idea of a show or cabaret. A little entertainment is always a welcome distraction during a wedding. Ideas range from the truly daring to traditionally elegant. Fire blowers, burlesque show, the circus del sole, a Robbie Williams impersonator or my favourite the “singing waiters”. The singing waiters pretend to be guests and waiters at your wedding before bursting into song. It’s so much fun and the guests love it. There is something just sublime about live entertainment. I adore the musicians supplied by Marco Canterella’s “Wedding Music”. Ranging from Jazz, opera to Italian folk music. Italian folk music is really something to consider, it gets everybody dancing since it infectious and fun.

The worst mistakes you can make as a bride

1. Not having something warm to put on on your day (for just incase)
2. Not having a pair of chic slip ons for when your feet hurt
3. Getting drunk (I have seen some scary things – once a bride tried to get it on with my hubby because she was drunk, yes on her wedding day)
4. Taking tranquilizers and then thinking you can drink (you won’t remember a thing)
5. Asking a friend who drinks too much to be your maid of honour or best man (you have seen the movie – I have seen it in real life and it’s very embarrassing).
6. Over doing the tan.. especially if you man if very fair
7. Get drunk and stay up late the night before
8. Wear your shoes for the first time on your wedding day
9. Forgetting to kiss your dad when he delivers you to your future husband – this is often a very hard and emotional moment for a parent. We only find out when we have our own children just how hard. I cringe when I see a sad dad being ignored and left without a proper farewell to the past.
10. Stressing about the small stuff and not living in the moment on this your special day
11. Not buying a white umbrella…it means it will rain
12. Being late – instead of being relaxed and enjoying your day, you will spend your day trying to catch up.
13.Organising your ceremony and reception venues in different locations. Try not to take a car on your wedding day, as soon as you and your guests have to travel time is wasted and people get tired, hot and stressed. (And car sick if you are marrying on the Amalfi coast)
14.Have a list of groups which exceeds seven or so groups. Your guests will hate you for it and your album will be full of dull pictures because you photographer was shooting boring groups while all the juicy stuff was going on in the good light.
15.Let your happiness depend on the perfection of the day. Nothing is ever perfect and you will only set yourself up for disaster if your mood depends on the sunshine.

The runaway bride and groom …5 things to remember, so you can make the most it

1) Treasure the private moments – this is what you are here for! If it means slowing down and stopping to take it all in for 10 minutes, then do it. It’s not like you have a dinner room full of guests waiting for you!

2) Although you won’t have formal speeches to prepare, think in advance of your vows and include the special words, thoughts, poems, or even music which are personal to you both. So you don’t have the big wedding party or guest list, but emotion will still catch up with you on the day, so it pays to be a little prepared with words.

3) Create endless photo opportunities and have fun with eachother. Take the time to explore with your photographer. If you find a photographer local to the area, they will be able to guide you. Find the best little spots and views that will make all the difference to your day. A quiet walk around secret alleyways, isolated beaches, empty fields or even a glass of champagne on a lone table in a busy piazza. These are the moments that will be etched into your memories forever.

4) Pay close attention to your appearance. The details will become an important feature in your photos, and will be the things you want to look back on – shoes, flowers, cufflinks, hair, makeup, the vows. Remember …It’s the little things.

5) If you are brave, consider a “trash your dress” shoot together – in the pool, on the beach, by the flowerbeds or in rustic surroundings. Breaking all the rules in your wedding photos, will go hand in hand with your breaking all the rules Elopement!

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The smoking bride and groom

I smoke but I personally try not to have photographs taken of me with a cigarette. It's quite ugly a bride and groom walking in the street with cigarettes in their hands. While one or two fun 1950's style smoking portraits can be done, I don't recommend smoking while you are having your picture taken. We can have ‘no shooting smoking breaks’ if you are a chain smoker. It’s not too difficult to go a few hours at a time without smoking.

I also recommend mini mints like tic tacs. Beware of gum especially if you are having video or mostly reportage photography. You will be horrified to know what we look like when we chew… And again smokers get red eyes, so have those drops ready.

It's also important to go for a teeth spring clean before your big day. You will take years off your appearance instantly. Be careful not to over bleach teeth since you will look like I have been over zealous with the touching up.

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A checklist when hiring a wedding photographer

1 check references by phone and email
2. See individual wedding albums not just portfolios, it's easy to do a good portfolio but hard to produce lots of good images on one day.
3. Look around and compare to be sure of your choice
4. Make sure they offer you a binding contract
5. Make sure you know who will shoot your wedding and see images shot by that person
6. Ask other service providers what they think of the photographer; usually where there is smoke there is fire
7. Do not hire someone rude or arrogant, it will ruin your day
8. Look for someone kind, charming, gentile and sensitive
9. It’s often better to have a photographer who speaks your language or at least speak theirs, communication is essential
10. Look for a photographer who is interested in your ideas and is flexible with his/her style

11. Remember photographers who offer large discounts and highly reduced rates are not working a lot. This could be that they are very talented and just starting out. In which case you are lucky. But usually it means they don't have bookings.

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The Brides Emergency Kit

Nausea and headache tablets
Tampons
Nail scissors
Eye drops
Tissues
A charged working cell phone with all the numbers you need
Extra flesh coloured knickers
Something warm that is white
White umbrella (if you have one it won't rain)
Flat comfortable white ballerina's (you can get gorgeous fold up ones)

The spray instant spot remover and brush
Floss
Safety pins
Needle and thread (in your colours)
A little extra ribbon in your colours
A sparkling evening dress just encase something silly happens involving you and a glass of red wine
Portable steam iron
Extra stockings
Plasters
Mosquitoes repellent

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The Bomboniere Perspective

So in Italy there is the tradition of giving a small favour to your guests on their departure. These are often expensive, useless and seldom match the taste of all the guests. I think generosity brings happy fortune and I recommend a small donation to a worth while charity instead. The guest can be informed of your gift on their behalf with a small card accompanied by delicious Italian confetti. At the moment there are the most incredible flavours available like pear and cheese cake. Instead of adding to the world pollution problem you can spread a little love and gererosity.

Getting perspective on the whole subject of your wedding can only be good. Sometime we forget just how lucky and spoilt we are. We get upset about nonsense while life passes us by. Getting perspective and getting grateful will help you appreciate everything. Feel lucky, you are. So many people never find love, let alone someone who is prepared to promise forever. Get real and get happy.

The Buddhists believe desire is suffering. Remember you already have more than most.

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Why not be a Bridezilla?

I know you are saying, “So what, I find you get what you ask for and there is nothing wrong with wanting the best.” But the truth is… behave like this and you will get mediocre service, be stressed and exhausted and you will ruin your wedding day. You won't sleep the night before. You will have dark rings under your eyes. You will have a terrible time and your guests will notice. Everything will seem wrong and you will forget why you are there in the first place.

Turn in tomorrow for how to conduct your Bridezilla exorcism and rid yourself of the only person who can ruin your day.

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Are you a Bridezilla? Test

Are you a Bridezilla?

Fifteen questions to help you face the bridezilla in you. Answers which may help you save your wedding day from you.

1. My list of ‘must have group photographs’, includes more than twenty groups?

true or false

2. I am a details person and my happiness depends on perfection

true or false

3. Rains will break my heart

true or false

4. It’s very important that everything runs exactly to schedule

true or false

5. I crash under pressure and hate being the centre of the attention

true or false

6. Wedding planners and other service providers are just money grabbers and need to be kept in line

true o false

7. Bridesmaids who are more attractive than me are dangerous and their dresses mustn’t be too eye catching

true o false

8. For the day to be a suc

cess I need to control all aspects of the day.

true o false

9. I am very unlucky and it seems that the world is against me

true o false

10. The day is about me and people don't need to get distracted

true o false

true o false

11. It is VERY important that the colours of my flowers are exactly like the ones in my mind.

true o false

12. when my photographer asked me a bit about what I wanted from my wedding photography I wrote down five pages of notes

true o false

13. i don't think artists work well when given freedom.

true o false

14. a wedding photographer is just a second rate photographer who can't make it in the commercial world of photography

true o false

15. I don't cope well when things don't go my way

true o false


Results to follow tomorrow.

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Why use a wedding planner?

Whether your wedding is taking place in a castle with 200 guests, or on an intimate beach with only your closest loved ones, it is always a good idea to hire a wedding planner. Here are our top reasons why:

1. A wedding planner will have reliable and trusted contacts at their fingertips, from florists and venues to photographers, hairdressers, make up artists and musicians. Even the dry cleaners to iron your dress will be sourced from the very best.

2. You’ll have someone on the ground that you can trust. Your planner can help with things that need be tested and approved—like site inspections, measurements, and fresh flower arrangements.

3. You are likely to get better service if your planner has been a long-term client of a hotel, florist or photographer.

4. A wedding planner will keep an eye on situations that might affect your day—anything from weather, best transport timetables and options, road closures, local festivals or events.

5. Your wedding planner will take care of all the last minute hiccups, leaving you and your relatives to get on with enjoying your day.

6. If you are getting married abroad, your wedding planner can provide a translation service—either themselves or through an interpreter—to avoid the stress and confusion caused by language barriers.

7. Using a planner will ensure that your wedding observes local rules, regulations and codes of conduct. Can you release fireworks at your chosen venue? Or wear a deep cut dress to church? Your wedding planner will know the answers.

8. Getting a marriage license can involve a lot of complex administration, especially if you get married abroad. A wedding planner can get documents stamped, signed, translated and delivered to you, without passing on the stress.

9. Hiring a wedding planner won’t break the bank. You pay the same fees to service providers as you would if you booked it yourself, and you will only pay the wedding planner for her time.

In short, everybody works harder and everything goes a lot smoother when there is a wedding planner around!

Joanne Dunn

Informal Formals – Keeping Mum happy.

There is no way around it: If you don’t want to upset your parents, you will have to take some group photos. Guests hate doing them, but the truth is that even couples who swear they don’t want any group photographs are always sorry they didn’t do a few. After all—you don’t necessarily have to put them in your album!

There are ways of easing the pain of group photography. First, don’t request too many as this takes time and guests get frustrated with the wait. We also recommend nominating a bossy helper who knows everyone, and arm him or her with the (short) list of guests to be included. We also HIGHLY recommend that group photographs are done in daylight since this will make the people in them look much more attractive.

Clients often want group images to be taken in front of a panoramic view. We don’t recommend this since it means that you will see neither the people nor the view properly. However, with groups of three or less some exceptions can successfully be made. We prefer good lighting and a setting that enhances the arrangement of the group. If you want a photograph of all the guests, depending on how big the group is, stairs may be required.
It is very important to set aside enough time to do group photographs. The more groups you require, the more time we will need. Careful planning is required before your wedding. It is also useful to do the possible group images before the ceremony—for example, the bride with her family, or the groom with his family. This takes some pressure off the schedule after the ceremony.

Joanne Dunn

10 Top Tricks to help you look your absolute best on your wedding day! #10



10. Good attitude

There is nothing uglier than a controlling, grumpy, sulky, spoilt brat of a bride who has forgotten the reason she is there in the first place. If you are relaxed and having a ball, you will see it in the pictures. You will radiate love if you concentrate on those feelings. Tension, stress and irritation all show up in photography. No one is gorgeous in these states of mind. Having a little trust in the people you have chosen to create you dream, will go a long way to improving your enjoyment on the day. And if you have fun, so will everybody else, and of course my job will be easy. Does it really matter that the ponies are a different pink? So many brides tell me, “it all has to be just perfect, I am a detail person.”

Well while those brides are checking up on the wedding planner (who is doing the 100th wedding) she is missing the best light and the party. You’ve got to let go! This is such a common syndrome among brides and I often work hard in the preparation to loosen them up. For their sakes and of course my own, I want the best pictures possible. So if you are a control freak, promise yourself (and me) that for just one day you are going to let go and enjoy. Or else what is the point of the party.

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9. Hair Up or Down

Many brides, especially Italian brides choose to have their hair down, loose and flowing. But it not something I recommend, unless your ears are big and stick out like mine. The reason being that by the time everybody is done hugging and grabbing you, it’s all going to go flop and look stringy and messy. Basically, anything but pretty. I love simple buns (very high to low) and I have developed a fetish for plaits and retro styles. Just have a peep at what Prada and McQueen have been suggesting. And unless you want to be cheeky, ironic and a little pulp forget ringlets. Yes, especially for your bridesmaids if you ever want them to talk to you again.

Have to say that I love love love hats. Feathered, netted, big or small, Philip Tracey rocks my boat . One of his master pieces can turn a damsel into a diva.

Be seriously careful when considering glitter sprays and gel. And horror of horrors the silver foil some Italian hairdressers like to sprinkle in trusting brides hair. NO no no!

Lastly don’t do anything really drastic colour or cut wise just before your wedding. You may end up hating your wedding pictures just because you thought you could look like the model in the photo if you had her hair. Be realistic and remember to work with what you have.

10 Top Tricks to help you look your absolute best on your wedding day! #8

8. Eye drops.

We all know those nasty burny eye drops are no good for your eyes but for just one day in your life keep some handy. Often brides have blood shot eyes from exhaustion, stress and of course tears. Making them white, realistically can be difficult. So with just a little pain on your part, your eyes can sparkle for the day. Hey no one said it would be easy.

10 Top Tricks to help you look your absolute best on your wedding day! #7

7. The security of Touching up

Now I don’t recommend completely changing the way you look. But I see no reason why brides should not enjoy the advantages supermodels have enjoyed for years. Just take a look at some of these before and after images to get an idea of what I mean.

So if you choose me to be your photographer, I recommend that you discuss with me any complexes or insecurities you have. The touching-up I do to your wedding photos is subtle, so you can’t recognise the changes unless you compare them to the original image. If you want me to do anything above or beyond this, e.g. removing the bump on the bridge of your nose, you need to let me know!

10 Top Tricks to help you look your absolute best on your wedding day! #6

6. Shoes, shoes, shoes… glorious shoes

Practise walking in the shoes you plan to wear on your wedding day. Especially if you are getting married in a little European village, otherwise you may find you’ll resort to being bare foot on your wedding day. Wear your shoes while you do housework, you can wrap them in cling film to avoid damage. Besides, you do realise very few people will actually see your shoes (yeah sorry about that) but they will notice how you are walking and whether you are still dancing at the end of the night. Though you would be quite entitled to kick off your shoes by the end of the night.

I have a terrible shoe fetish. I salivate and the mere sight of a pair of peep toe pumps so I understand your desire for the sexist shoes possible. But some sexy shoes can make a girl look very “unsexy” if they are going to put her in immense pain on her wedding day.

Consider having handy, a pair of comfortable shoes. (Sorry these won’t fit in my camera bag, but bridesmaids can come in extra handy here.) This way, if you want to walk around a city, up a steep hill or dance the night away at the reception, you have the option to do so in comfort and without risking falling over!

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5. To tan or not to tan

“Why are models so pale?” is a question I often get asked. The answer is simple, if you are pale and you fake tan.. your skin tone will be uneven, you will get blotchy, wrinkly and it just won’t look good.

So –n o fake tan! It may seem a good idea to have a nice tan on your wedding day, but using fake tan leaves your skin looking streaky and orange, even when applied by a professional. Not to mention the risk you run of having your fake tan rub-off and stain your beautiful white wedding gown…

If you can’t resist, use sun beds a week before and make it just a blush. Italian girls really tend to over tan themselves and can look a little leathery in pictures. But I repeat, stay away from fake tan. The paler you are, the more yellow you will become. Your hands will look like you smoke funny stuff in pipes and your feet will always look dirty.

However if you are already quite dark and want to add a little gold, I love the Dior shimmering self tan on dark skins.

Now I know a whole bunch of you will ignore my advice and give me loads to touch up. But PLEASE do not get sunburnt before your wedding (especially bikini straps if you are wearing a strapless dress). You will be uncomfortable and look ridiculous.

10 Top Tricks to help you look your absolute best on your wedding day! #4

4. Taking care of yourself

Look after yourself in the days leading up to the wedding. Drink lots of water and get plenty of sleep. In particular, ensure that you do not stay up late the night before your wedding. Resting both physically and mentally in the days leading up to your wedding will make a big difference to your appearance and particularly your complexion. Taking “Rescue remedy” can also be a great way to calm your nerves before the ceremony.

10 Top Tricks to help you look your absolute best on your wedding day! #3

3. Posing

Now I know this is a swear word in the wedding world, but if you want to look nearly as good as the girls in magazines, you’ve got to do a little posing. This is usually a very embarrassing concept for most brides, who have often never even had their picture taken professionally. While one is finding the perfect pose, one wastes a little time and often we have to go through one or two that don’t work and make you feel silly.

But, I find plain, classic wedding photographs dull. So whilst I love reportage, I also like making you look gorgeous, so think that something must be said for half an hours worth of funky flattering posing.

So we want posed pictures but we find posing embarrassing. Why? Probably because the first time we ever try it is in front of a complete stranger on our wedding day. So here’s a little tip. I often ask brides who are very good in front of the camera “where did you learn to do that?” they nearly always reply. “I have been practising for years in front of the mirror”

Still not convinced. Let me help you out here. I have big ears and I hate them. But I know when I am having my picture taken, to turn my head a little to the side, so you only see one ear. This way you can hardly see how my ears stick out. If you shoot me head on… well that is a whole other story….

Right I feel you are with me now. The thing to do is to go through some mags and collect a whole bunch of poses you adore. Practise, practise, practise… even as a couple. You will save a whole lot of time on the day and you will naturally look amazing.

10 Top Tricks to help you look your absolute best on your wedding day! #2


2. Posture

Stand up straight and you instantly loose 5kgs. I find the sexiest posture is a little left of the one suggested in finishing school. I prefer the stripper approach… bum out (therefore legs extended upwards), boobs out, lower back gently arched, shoulders dropped back and down. Your head should float up from the base of your neck.

This takes a little practise and no doubt not possible the whole day, but during important moments (portraits) try and ‘extend thy self’. Nothing worse than a slouching bride, and few things are as embarrassing as your wedding photographer telling you to tuck your tummy in.

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1.Exercise:

Okay, so you don’t want to hear it, but there is no product or service in the whole world which will make you look and feel better. Even if you have never exercised before in your whole life, just 40 minutes, three times a week, a few months before your wedding will change everything. Exercise is a fantastic out for stress. So firstly, you will be less likely to turn into a horrid and stressed bridezilla. Then as an added bonus you will look a whole lot better. Less bloated, tighter, harder, smoother and your skin will glow. Forget drastic diets, they make you tired, irritable, saggy, yellow faced and quite unlovable. Eat! Eat! Eat! And include lots of fresh vegetables and fruits. It gives you all the energy and stamina that you need. Especially on the big day! Eat something decent (and if possible before hair and make up).

On the morning of your big day, do a light work out. The ideal is gym because there is nothing like weights to tighten muscles instantly. But anything will do, even a brisk walk or swim in the sea. You will relieve stress, freshen the mind and be a blushing bride with rosy cheeks.