Wedding Makeup dos and don’ts, plus a few other tips:

Some of the best wedding makeup advice we have ever heard is: remember, it’s a marathon not a sprint. And even though when you look back it may feel like your day was over in a flash, it actually lasted for hours, busy and jam-packed hours. So here are some great tips to make sure your makeup stays photo ready all day long. 

Don’t Forget To Plan:

There are few things you are going to want to take into account as you are planning your wedding look: what season you are getting married in, the time of day, and how long the festivities are going to last. Just like for your everyday look, the makeup you choose is going to be different if you are getting married in May than if you have planned a November wedding. Same thing goes for if it is a daytime event or a nighttime one or if it goes from day to night. Also, make sure the look you have planned is really similar to what you would normally wear. Now isn’t the time to experiment or go full glam if that isn’t your thing. Natural looks are a far better option, as they will look timeless and classic in photos. 

It’s All About The Prep: 

Think of your skin like a canvass. You are going to want to make sure you have the best there is. Ideally, getting regular facials leading up to the wedding is the best way to prep your skin, but that often isn’t an option. However, by drinking lots of water and following a good skin care regiment or gently cleansers, moisturizes for your skin type, and plenty of SPF, your skin should be in great shape. 

The Trial Run: 

A few weeks before the big day, you should do a trial run, or two, of your makeup. This is to make sure you have the look you want nailed down and that any products you use don’t cause irritation while you are wearing them. This will also give you a good idea how the makeup will last through the day.

A Couple More Dos: 

You are bound to cry at some point during the day, so make sure you eye makeup, especially your mascara, is waterproof. Also, don’t forget the setting spray.
Keep a small bag with the foundation and lip product you are wearing easily accessible for quick touchups throughout the day.
Be sure you choose a lipstick which is long lasting and comfortable on your lips. 


STEN DOS: The New Pre-Wedding Good Time!

More and more couples are opting out of the traditional hen and stag dos for a big joint party. Not only is it a money saving option, it is a great way for your friends to get to know each other, and for you to spend time with everyone before the big day. So, here is a list of some of our favourite ideas for a great Sten do. 

Put Your Problem-Solving Skills to Good Use.

Marriage is all about working together to solve all sorts of problems. So, why not see if you and your mates are up to the task and try to beat the best record at your local puzzle room. With an hour to solve a series of problems, it can be a fun way to start the evening. Plus, if even you don’t manage to break any records, you can head out to celebrate making it out alive. 

Geek Out with Your Favourite Film Franchise:

Whether you have seen all 22 MCU movies, could recite LotR from memory, or proudly display your Hogwarts house every chance you get, everyone has a favourite film franchise they love. So, rent one of those fancy projectors, themed snacks and drinks, and all the comfy chairs you can find. It will be a fun weekend of fandom. 

Relax at a Spa Together:

Spa weekends aren’t just for the girls anymore. With more and more establishments offering services specifically for the fellas, this can be a great way to take a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life and the craziness of wedding planning. Plus, most also have world class food and wine available too. Perfection. 

No matter what you chose to do, remember it is all about spending time with your dearest friends and family before the big day. Have fun!

We have a whole wedding planning course dedicated to helping you plan the wedding of your dreams. Check it out!


Not Your Typical Stag Do!

Last week we took a look at ways brides and her ladies can hen it up without the traditional bar crawl. Well, now it is the gentleman’s turn. Gone are the weekends of drunken trips to far off cities with the goal of misbehaving one last time. Now, it is all about making sure to get one last weekend with your closest guy friends before married life takes over and your priorities shift. Here are some of our favourite ideas for non-traditional stag dos. 

Playing Pirate:

Embrace your inner child’s desire to be a pirate by taking to the water for a weekend. You can rent a boat and sail it yourself for a bit of a challenge. However, there are plenty of river and smaller ocean cruises if you just want to relax, play some cards, and enjoy the company. Either way, it will be a weekend to remember. 

A Sports Weekend:

Picture it: a group of your closest friends, your favourite team, and a chance to watch them stomp a rival team! There are even tour companies which specialize in sports weekends. So, for one flat fee you can get accommodation, a stadium tour, and tickets to see your team play. What could be better for a sports fanatic? Not much.

Beer/Whiskey/Tequila Tasting:

Maybe you and your friends consider yourselves experts on a specific type of alcohol. Why not turn that knowledge into a great weekend, tasting your favourite kind of booze? Or maybe you have always wanted to learn more about a drink you like? Use this as an excuse to finally getting around to doing just that and then use what you learned to impress the guests at your wedding. 

Remember, no matter what you end up choosing, remember to have fun. That’s the point. 

Need help planning your wedding? Stuck and don’t know where to start? Why not take a look at our specialized DIY wedding planning course? 

Unique Hen Party Ideas

When you talk about hen or bachelorette parties, most people think of a large group of women in sashes and tiaras wandering from bar to bar drinking heavily. And while this may sound like a load of fun to some, it isn’t for everyone. So, let’s take a look at some great alternatives for that one last hurrah for you and your closest friends before your wedding. 

Make Your Pub Crawl Something More:

If you and your best gal pals have your heart set on one more night of drunken fun, why not turn it into a game? As each guest arrives hand each one a list of tasks, photos, or situations they need to gather before the night is over.  The winner then either gets a special door prize or just the chance to gloat about their mad scavenging skills over the rest of the party. 

Learn A New Skill:

Is the bride to be a foodie? Does she love to take photos? Maybe she had dreams of becoming a master mixologist when she was in college. Whatever the bride’s secret, or not so secret, passion is, there is bound to be a class in your area. Afterwards, you can put your knowledge to the test and have a dinner party where each guest brings a version of something they learned. It can be a great way to bond while learning something new. 

Murder Mystery Fun:

For the literary or theatre loving brides and her best ladies, why not put your heads together and solve a murder mystery? Choose a theme and let your imaginations run wild as you try to get to the bottom of this who done it! For an extra bit of fun, why not make it a costumed affair? Let the bride pick her favourite time period and give out special prizes for the best costumes. Then maybe hit up your regular bar for some post murder libations. 

No matter what you choose to do, make sure you have fun and remember, it is the bride’s night, so make it all about her and giving her a night, or weekend, she will remember for the rest of her life. 

Also, if you need help planning a wedding, we have a specialized course dedicated to helping couples have the wedding of their dreams. Check it out as www.planyourownwedding.org 


A wedding Destination your might never have considered: The Netherlands

Amsterdam is regularly listed as one of the most romantic cities in Europe. With its overabundance of canals for taking in the picturesque cityscapes while gazing adoringly into your partner’s eyes, it is easy to see why so many people choose the cultural capital of the Netherlands as not just a place to spend a quiet and romantic honeymoon, but also as a prime location for destination weddings. With a multitude of venues, ranging from gorgeous cathedrals to ultra-hip, state of the art buildings, there is bound to be something for everyone .

Traditional

If you and your partner lean toward a more traditional wedding, The Basilica of St. Nicholas is a perfect choice. Situated in the one of the oldest parts of the city, this beautiful Baroque masterpiece offers an amazing setting to exchange your vows. What makes this breathtaking church especially appealing to expats and those coming for a destination wedding is that the church offers services in both English and Spanish, allowing for a more conventional ceremony while still managing to be uniquely you. 

Ultra-Modern

If you and your partner are something of a more modern couple, The EYE Film institute could be just what you are looking for. Overlooking the Ij harbor, with an ultra-hip and sleek design, the EYE offers an elegant and contemporary space. While its main function is as a film house and exhibition center for film posters and art, there is a top-notch restaurant and catering facility located within the building and they offer a variety of spaces to rent for all kinds of event. 

Proximity

For those couples who are looking for ways to celebrate their marriage with something a little more distinctly European and maybe a little off the beaten track, there are plenty of choices around The Netherlands. Perhaps exchanging your vows in a beautiful castle is what you have always wanted. Then the province of Utrecht, located an easy 30-minute train trip south of Amsterdam, is perfect. Maybe you dream of ancient cities with incredible ruins. Maastricht, the oldest city in the Netherlands, fits the bill. Maybe you have always wanted a grand outdoor wedding in a garden surrounded by a million and one tulips? The palace of Keukenhof, famous for its tulip fields and luxurious gardens is the ideal place to say “I do”.

No matter what your wedding dreams consist of, The Netherlands will have something to fit the bill. With a wonderfully varied selection of venues and locals to celebrate one of the most important days of your life, there is bound to be that perfect place and Larossa can make the wedding of your dreams come to life. With a highly skilled international staff with plenty of experience, they are here to ensure your dreams are only the beginning. 

Unique venues

Not every couple who doesn’t fit into the non-traditional wedding venue is outdoorsy or boat people. Some of them are Disney fans, others are scream queens, while others are vintage film experts. So, lets take a look at some non-traditional venues for couples who want to highlight their more unique interests. 

When You Wish Upon A Star:

It is well known how seriously Disney takes creating magic at all of their parks, resorts, and cruise ships. So, it is no surprise they have wonderful wedding packages too. With a variety of price points, starting at 3500$ for a small intimate wedding, couples can embrace their inner princess and prince charming. Every package includes location, officiants, photographers, day of coordinator, and flowers. So, it takes a lot of the stress of wedding planning off the couple. Plus, as an added bonus, there are discounts for accommodation or parks with every package! That is a wish come true. 

Ready For Your Closeup:

Maybe instead of a fairytale romance, you and your partner have one of those great silver screen kind of loves. If that is case, why not think about exchanging your vows in an art house movie theater? With built in seating, a stage for you to say your “I do”s, and many coming with a license to sell at least beer and wine, for couples who like things to be easy and streamlined, this can be a great way to go, as it means less permits and vendors you have to deal with. Plus, if the theater was built in the golden age of cinema, you have a ready-made theme: A love story for the ages, classic movie style. 

Here’s the WEDDING COUPLE:

There was a study which showed going to a horror film on an early date is the best way to get a kiss good night. So, imagine what getting married in a hotel which inspired one of the most famous ghost stories would do for a marriage? Well, for fans of Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick, The Stanley Hotel, also known as the Overlook, can be rented for weddings. So, make sure you keep a few seats open for spare ghosts… we mean guests. 

We have a course on how to plan your dream wedding, just like a wedding planner would. It is packed full of useful information to make sure your special day is as magical as your love. 


Getting Married in The Great Outdoors. 


Imagine it: a gorgeous, lush landscape, a small gathering of guests, and you and your partner exchanging vows under a canopy of bright green leaves. Sounds amazing, right? Well, thankfully it doesn’t have to just be fantasy. Many national parks and outdoor public lands around the world allow people to have their wedding there. Getting married on public land give nature lovers the chance to exchange their vows in a place which they hold near and dear to their hearts. Let’s take a look at some of the perks of getting married out in nature. 

The Permit Costs:

One of the most enticing aspects of using public lands for your wedding is how little the permits costs. For example, in the US, it is only about 200$ to reserve your spot. In the UK, getting married on public land is free, but you will need to double check on if there are fees for any extras like using speakers or temporary event notices. So, for couples who are trying to keep costs down, getting married on public land maybe a great way to have an amazing venue at a fraction of the price. Plus, most of the money these spaces and parks take for wedding fees goes into keeping these wonderful spaces running. So, really, by choosing this route, you are giving back. Nice!

Saving on Decorations:

In much the same way getting married on a boat can help keep decorating costs down, so can getting married in public spaces. Mother Nature is a great decorator and by using what is on hand, you can have some spectacular and memorable decorations. Just remember, if you are going to bring in extra decorations, be sure to take them with you. Most public spaces have a “Leave No Trace” policy, so, if you bring it in with you, make sure it goes out with you. This is to ensure people can continue to get married in these public spaces for years to come. 

Odds and Ends:

As with any wedding there are always a ton of odds and ends which need to be taken care of.  While some, like making sure your guests are able to get to and from the event easily may be one of the first things which comes to mind, making sure there are enough bathrooms available is another story. So, remember to add in the cost of renting and removing toilets if need be. It may not be glamorous, but it is important. 

We have an entire DIY wedding planning course which will help you navigate planning your own wedding. It is full of all sorts of useful tips, tricks, and advice. Check it out!


Weddings Ahoy: Why You Should Consider Getting Married On A Boat

There is something inherently romantic about boats. Maybe it is the gentle rocking or being out in open water with all the potential that represents or all of the love stories revolving around boats that fuels this belief.  Plus, and let’s admit it, naval officers do look pretty swoon worthy in dress uniforms. So, it would make sense couples who are looking for a slightly different, but still classic, location for their wedding, would think of getting married on a boat. Let’s take a look at some of the best reasons to exchange your vows on the open water. 

Smaller Intimate Setting:

If keeping your guest list nice and trim is important for you, getting married on a boat is a great way to make sure you don’t go overboard, excuse the pun, on invites. Since space is limited, you can easily explain to your third cousin who you met once when you were kids on why it is only going to be nearest and dearest attending. Plus, it is a great way for those in attendance to get to know each other, if they haven’t met before, and for families to get better acquainted. 

Gorgeous Views:

Whether you live in a city with a great skyline or a more rural area, the view from a boat is going to be hard to beat. With the water mirroring either the perfect natural back drop or a fantastic urban sprawl, you can save on decoration costs. And you don’t have to worry about if it will be up in time, so it is one less thing to have to worry about. 

It Is Can Be Super Cost Effective: 

Many boats have great deals on weddings, and since everything is happening in the same place, you don’t have to spend extra on fancy transport to and from the reception venue. Add to that the money you will save on only having to print one set of directions per invitation. So, if money is a concern but you still want to have a wedding to talk about, why not look into a nautical wedding?

Looking for more helpful wedding planning tips? Check out our video tutorial on how to plan your own wedding. Check us out at Plan Your Own Wedding


Food And Wine: The Second Most Important Couple at Your Wedding.

How to pick the perfect wines to go with your carefully chosen menu. 

Next to the beauty of the ceremony and how gorgeous the bride looked, the thing most people will remember and talk about at any wedding is the food and wine. It is really one of the highlights of the reception and most people feel a ton of pressure to get it right when planning their wedding. Although it may seem intimidating at first, it is quite simple. 

 It is more than likely you have heard the saying, “red meat, red wine. White meat, white wine”. While that is a good rule of thumb, it turns out it isn’t exactly right. There are certain bold whites which work well with red meat and sweeter reds which make chicken dishes shines. It turns out there are six basic flavours to know about when it comes to wine and what to pair them with. They are fats, acid, bitter, sweet, salt, and alcohol. Each adds its own special je ne sais qua to any meal. So, let’s take a look at which pairings work best together and which to avoid. 

Bitter and fats:

If you are serving a super fatty dish like steak or, say, a lamb stew, a nice, deep Malbec would pair perfectly with it. Not only does the fat from the food cut the bitterness of the wine a little, the wine will balance the fat of the dish out, so you experience some of the subtler flavours from both. 

However, stay away from pairing bitter wine with bitter foods. Anything flavoured with citrus will do nothing for the wine. Better go with a slightly sweeter wine or something acidic. 

Acid:

Speaking of acid, acid pairs well with acid. If you have your heart set on your favourite vinaigrette dressing for the salad, best to pair it with what people in the know refer to as a crisp white wine. The acidity in each seems to help balance each other out, creating an enjoyable tartness. 

Acid also works well with high fatty dishes, for a lot of the reasons bitter and fats work well together. 

Sweet and Salty:

Yes, we are putting these two together, because who doesn’t love the complex palate of sweet and salty. It is what makes sea salt caramel so tasty or why chocolate covered peanuts are still such a hit. They just seem to bring out the best in each other. So, if you are having a cheese course, why not think about offering nice desert wine? Yum. 

And of course, sweet and sweet work well on every level. So, when the cake comes out, make sure you have a tasty dessert wine on hand. 

Alcohol:

You are probably thinking to yourself, “but wait, doesn’t all wine have alcohol in it?” and while that is very true, some contain more than others. Wines with higher alcohol contents are great for fatty meals you want people to slow down and really enjoy. So, if you are serving fillet mignon, think about pairing with something upward of 15% alcohol content. The tartness of the alcohol will highlight the cut of meat while encouraging people to take their time and taking pleasure in the food. 

One Last Thing:

Don’t forget to take the “weight” of the wine into account too. Full bodied wines tend not to pair well with light food and vice versa. So, pairing a full-bodied red with a veggie quiche just isn’t going to work just like a super light desert white wine isn’t going to work with pepper steak. 

For more helpful hints and a printable cheat sheets to help with wine and food pairings and so much more, sign up for our course on how to plan your own wedding. Available in both desk top and mobile versions, it is like having your own personal wedding planner available 24/7! 


Spring Clothing

As the world wakes up with Spring, it is a perfect chance to lighten up your wedding clothes, both figuratively and literally. While winter weddings seem to be all about deep, dark colours and heavy fabrics to help keep people warm, Springtime offers the chance to brighten and lighten up everything from fabric choices to colour palettes. So, let’s take a look at all the ways this lighter, brighter season can inspire your wardrobe.

Shedding Those Heavy Dresses!

We’ve said it before, and we will say it again: one of the best things about spring is the warmer temperatures. So, you can start to ditch the heavy satins and velvets you needed in those colder months to keep warm. Don’t get us wrong, winter wedding dresses can be gorgeous and sumptuous, but they aren’t for everyone. Instead, start to look for chiffons and lightweight silks. And if you are afraid of getting chilly, why not borrow the idea of a shrug or wrap from the winter looks, just make sure to keep it in the same fabric family. 

Bye-Bye Wool. Hello Linen.

As you are starting to shed your winter clothes, don’t forget about the grooms. Sure, lightweight wool can be a great all year option, it is exceptionally breathable and comfy. However, opting for something which is a little more in tune with the season is your best bet. So, why not start looking at soft flannel suits or slightly heavier linens for their outfits? These lighter fabrics are perfect for the warmer weather and can be quite stylish without looking dated. 

Less Formal, More Fun:

Winter weddings tend to be a slightly more formal affair. Whether is it because of the heavier and more regal fabrics, or that it just seems ideal for at least cocktail attire being required, who knows? However, spring and its breezier fabric choices seems to help lighten the mood of any wedding. So, with bridesmaids, groomsmen, and guests, keeping the dress code a little less formal, like say garden party chic, the entire mood of the wedding gets a little less formal too. It can really help everyone relax and enjoy the party. 

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