Harriet Wilde @ Peony Bridal

Last week I headed down to Hillsborough to meet with Elsebeth & her mum from Peony Bridal. I love visiting Elsebeth as she always makes me feel so welcome in her store. We had a proper girlie catch up and it was lovely to hear how much Peony had grown over the past few months. 

When Elsebeth first emailed me about a catch up she entitled her email “Shoes Glorious Shoes” so I knew I was in for a little more excitement than usual and I was right. Peony are now stockists of the Harriet Wilde shoe range.

Harriet Wilde’s range of Wedding Shoes include both bespoke and ready to wear collections, of which Peony stock. I was so surprised at how comfortable the pairs I tried on were – I really didn’t want to take this little gold pair of my feet!   


Each pair is lovingly hand crafted in Spain using only the finest materials, each pair is embellished by hand in London. 


The satin shoes can be re-coloured to match your dress, or post ceremony to ensure the shoes are worn again.  

The pictures really do not do these little beauties justice and I have been raving about them ever since. I found thema little more special than the traditional wedding shoe in that they weren’t blatantly wedding shows meaning they are far more wearable. They were also very comfortable and majorly pretty.





Tonal Wedding Cakes

Good evening bridies. If you, like me, are getting ready to head back to work tomorrow then it isn’t a great prospect, so to brighten up your evening I thought I would talk about something we all know and love. Cake. 😍

As a bride, if you are having a colour theme, you often jump straight into using that colour as the main colour of your cake (obv!). So did I (below) and I loved it! However, more and more tonal cakes are appearing on Pinterest and I love them! 

 (My own Wedding Cake – definitely not tonal, just two colours)

“Tonal cakes” (as I am now christening them), bring in different tones relative to your chosen colour. Think of the mother-of-the-bride outfit.Rather than choosing your bridesmaid colour, tradition is that you go along with a tone of the bridesmaid colour.  


Ashleigh & Glenn

When I first seen Ashleigh’s pictures I was so taken aback I had to stop what I was doing to have a proper Facebook creep – yes I can totally admit it. She definitely is my current bride crush!

Ashleigh and Glenn married on Saturday 4th June in Broomhedge Methodist Church followed by a reception in the beautiful Tankardstown House in Ireland. Their photos are the epitome of elegance and beauty in a beautiful 18th Century Manor House & Orangery. With an abundance of awards and trophies and the fact that the venue is still family owned, it’s obvious why Glenn and Ashleigh chose to celebrate their wedding in the beautiful surroundings. 

   Photography by Campbell’s Photography.

Ashleigh’s hair was created by Dani Belle whilst her make up was by Catherine Fleming and I think she looked absolutely amazing. I loved the simplicity of her look.

“My dress was Riki Dalal from forever bridal in Finaghy” and the bridesmaids were also from Forever Bridal.  

  Photography by Ashleigh & Glenn’s friends and family. 

The men’s suits were from Statement Menswear in Portadown with the wedding photography by The Campbells. 

   Photography by Ashleigh & Glenn’s friends and family. 

Massive congratulations Ashleigh & Glenn. You make a beautiful couple & I wish you a lifetime of happiness together. Thank you for letting me share your special day.

Did you count skin preparation into your Wedding budget?

Did you count skin preparation into your wedding budget? Just because something isn’t physically present on your big day doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t incorporate it into your plan and budget your finances towards it.

In preparation for my wedding I had regular facials to ensure my skin was top notch on the day. Although we can spend a great deal of time and money on make up artist trails, it’s important to realise that your skin needs to be healthy to show of that fantastic make up. It also means you will have beautiful skin on your honeymoon if you are going to fly off shortly after the big day.

So, here our my top tips for happy, healthy skin on your wedding day.


Drinking plenty of water is key to healthy skin. Drinking 2+ litres of water per day will ensure your skin is hydrated and glowing.


Choosing the wrong products for your skin will mean that you aren’t targeting any problems that you may have. Have your skin checked by a beautician who can identify your skins condition and what products you should be using – Skin Medi Spa is a fabulous salon based in Belfast who would be perfect for this.


Following up your new skin care regime with visits to your local beautician will help to intensify treated and hydrating your skin. Clinic or beauticians products can often be more intense and they may even use products you cannot buy on the highstreet. This also gives the professional a chance to monitor any improvements and monitor changes in the skin.


Treating your skin once or twice a week isn’t enough. This is a longer process which needs continuity therefore you need to be spending time looking after your skin. I always focus on my cleanser, toner and day moisturiser in the AM and cleanser, toner, face mask (every other day or every three) and night moisturiser in the PM.


Beauty products don’t need to cost a fortune so if you are on a budget don’t stress. We have some fantastic high street brands and most beauty counters will encourage you to try a sample at home before spending money on a huge bottle.


Monitor your progress with before and after pictures. It can often become a little repetitive doing the same thing day in and out and you can think it’s all pointless and see no change so keep a before and after pic so you can keep up-to-date.


Take your make up off every night. No excuses. So Sue Me recommended leaving face wipes by your bed so that at least if you are feeling too lazy to cleanse, tone and moisturise then you can strip of the make up. 

  Face mask time is the perfect selfie time 🙈

A weekly or twice weekly mask is super for your skin. I alternate between a few of my favourites depending on how my skin is. If I feel I need a little hydration I go for the Lancôme Hydra Intense otherwise it could be a highstreet brand or the Estée Lauder Revitalising Supreme.

I have posted a picture of the products below which I have just began using. I haven’t tried Lancôme before but I am loving their Hydra Intense mask. What are your favourite products? 


Linda and Darren

I was taken back by Linda’s beautiful photos when she sent them too me. There were just far too many to pick from so I thought I would include them all 🙈.

“It’s dangerous asking a newly wed to send through her favourite photos” 



 Linda & Darren married on Saturday 5th December 2015 in the middle of Storm Desmond! The wedding was held at Scarva Presbyterian Church and reception at Brownlow House, Lurgan. 

“My dress was by Ronald Joyce from Bramble Brides in Cookstown. My headpiece and earrings were from Gibson BespokeS.A.K Designs did make up (miracle worker) and Niamh and Rebecca from Joanne McKelvey Hair, Banbridge looked after our hair.

Linda’s beautiful bridesmaid dresses were actually spotted by her sister on Pinterest. Eventually she tracked them down to Caris Closet in Malahide (we now have a Belfast store too 😍).   

“Boys suits were from Groom Formal Hire, Banbridge.   


“My florist was Kathryn from the The Posy Barn, Waringstown, she is amazing!!”



My sister designed and made our beautiful cake, Elaine of Young’s Buns!!


I am in love with your pictures Linda! Marie did an amazing job, you would never know the weather was horrendous that day!

Wishing you a lifetime of happiness together!

Photography by  Marie Allen, Portadown. Videographer by Carl Higgins Media.

Watch Linda & Darren’s Wedding Videography by Carl Higgins Media here.

Roisin and Brian

The beautiful Roisin was married on 15th May last year on her and Brian’s seven year anniversary. 


I tried to go for something different with our bridesmaid dresses and had my heart set on 3 different colours, hoping it would go down well in a small village. 


 The mass was held in Roisin’s local church, St.Marys Swanlinbar, followed by a reception in the Slieve Russell Hotel, Ballyconnell, Co.Cavan. 

Unfortunately the weather didn’t stay on our side and we didn’t get to take our pictures in the beautiful gardens we had viewed but we were blessed with the beautiful interior of the hotel to get all our pictures.


Roisin looked beautiful in her Maggie Sottero dress from Serendipty in Fivemiletown. Her bridesmaids dresses were by True Bride from Perfect Day, Lurgan and flower girls and junior bridesmaid by True Bride in Creative Ideas, Cookstown. 


I wanted a princess wedding but keeping the class and making sure it was modern and young.

The men’s suits were from DTone in Cavan and those beautiful pastel flowers by McGarry Florist.   

 Hair by Eden Hair

Make up by Advanced Beauty

Jewellery & headpieces by Couture Bridal – Ellie Annion.

Wishing you both a lifetime of happiness!

A Brides Ultimate Wedding Day Beauty Prep

As soon as I set the date for my wedding I got a personal trainer and implemented a fitness programme straight away (my PT was Allan Davidson and I cannot recommend him enough for fitness and nutrition advice!) however I completely forgot about hair and skin prep!

  Prepping your skin and hair is just as important for your wedding day as getting in shape and picking fantastic MUA’s and Hairdressers yet it’s something we forget about. Granted, it isn’t always the top of the budget list but even implementing some home care routines can be fantastic and make a difference. 

 Having regular facials around 2-4 months before your wedding allows plenty of time for changes to appear however a healthy diet and plenty of water intake should start around 6-9 months for noticeable changes. Remember to exfoliate around once per week to remove dead skin and help your skin look glowing.  

 This week, after meeting the team from Peter Mark in Newry I also realised how important hair prep was. Finding the right colour, cut is difficult enough but if you need to start to repair damaged hair this is something that takes time. Again, a healthy diet is important 6-9 months before but also attending a good salon like Peter Mark who can advise you on improving your hairs condition is fantastic. 

Its so important to make sure you have at least one trial with your MUA and Hairdresser before your big day. You wouldn’t buy your cake but not try it first so don’t not take the advantage of a trial beforehand – you may even find you need more than one! 
 I am currently in the process of using the Nioxin hair treatment as well as the DMK chemical facial so I will keep you all posted on my results.

Happy Sunday!

How Important is it to Have a Plan?

I cannot stress this enough… do not go into planning your wedding blind. If you aren’t employing a Wedding Planner, then it’s time to get a plan in place.

I will never forget after shortly being engaged and having my engagement party I went to one of the bigger wedding shows… I came out gurning! I have never been so overwhelmed and panicked! Wedding vendors were talking 1000s+ about stuff I had absolutely no clue about and all of a sudden my dream wedding became a blur. 

 In Northern Ireland and Ireland, we are blessed to have some absolutely amazing vendors. From photographers to photobooths, light up letters to  wedding cars sometimes it’s hard to know where to start, who to trust and even what style you want your day to have.

The most important part of it all is to have a plan. Sit down with your other half and list the following:

  • Your 5 non-negotiables- things you wouldn’t get married without
  • What style you want your big day to be
  • Your overall budget
  • Your timeline

Budgeting & Non-Negotiables

Done? Ok now split your budget amongst your non-negotiables, the remaining goes to everything else. This is were you sometimes need to reign him in as well. No, spending 10k on a poker table and chips is not acceptable nor a good use of your budget. If you aren’t sure how much to budget, then get in touch and I’ll be happy to help! 


Now that your budget is set and your theme is picked you have more information to tackle a wedding show. Look up your ideas, Pinterest is now your best friends. Get a secret pin board and keep it to yourself. Then when you have found your vendors, you can show them your ideas.


Sticking to your timeline is hard enough. Sometimes life just gets in the way but it’s important not to get too distracted. Make sure 4-6 months before the big day you have all of your vendors. For most this is even too short notice as they can book up two years in advance, so this is definitely to be taken as a minimum! 

 By planning the three most important aspects of your wedding, your budget, style and timeline, you will always have something to work off. These are your basics and certainly won’t plan your wedding for you but they will make sure you know your stuff and have a plan for attack!

Semi-Permanent Eye Lashes vs Strip Lashes

Ok so it isn’t the ultimate question in the fore front of your mind for your wedding day but it’s still big (enough).

Ultimately for me, this question comes down to style. Your style and the style of your big day.


False lashes are the easiest of the two, the least maintenance but the most false looking. Now that isn’t a bad thing and they were the option I went for on my big day. False lashes are beneficially as they provide a definite lash line and can enhance your eye make up in comparison to semi-permanent lashes. They are also the cheapest and can cost only around £5 extra on top of your MUA fees. 


Semi-permanent lashes are extensions which are bonded on to ones on eyelashes using glue. They are removed either by a beautician or when your own eyelashes fall out naturally (around 60-90 days). Unfortunately though people tend to pick them off or if the glue isn’t strong they can fall of or pull out your own lashes – hence its very important to make sure someone professional is completing the treatment.

Semi-permanent lashes are more natural looking as they are attached to your own lashes and merely fill out your own lashes – perfect for someone aiming for a more natural look. It’s best to have these done a few days before your wedding and they range from £40+ depending on professionalism but remember, you get what you pay for. 

With that in mind, what are your preferences?

A Wedding Planner’s Tips

When it comes to planning a wedding, people are always quick to throw in their 10 cents. “Don’t try dresses on in there” “She’s too cheap, she musnt be good” “We didn’t like her but we preferred him.” Sometimes it can be utterly overwhelming and impossible to listen to everyone so here are some of my top tips to reduce stress, keep calm and have the best wedding.  

  1. Remember what it is all about

Sometimes the wedding planning process can be very overwhelming. As the cost stacks up, things may go wrong or the nerves may set in so remember to keep calm. If this happens set a date aside to spend time with your other half and remember why you got engaged in the first place.

2. The best day doesn’t have to be the biggest or most expensive

More and more brides contact me regarding have more intimate weddings and I love them! It gives the bride and groom more time to spend with their guests and enjoy the day together rather than making your way around everyone. 

 3. Stop trying to impress

Remember, if you lik your flowers, it doesn’t matter what Great Aunt Martha thinks. In the lead up to my own wedding my husband must have said to me daily “Will you stop worrying about what everyone else thinks!” and it’s so true. As long as you both have the day you’ve dreamt of then never worry about anyone else. 

 4. Get a budget and stick to itNow I am not a party pooper but if anything is going to cause an argument it’s paying off your big day after you’ve gotten married. I tell all the brides I work with to stick to their budgets and be ruthless. By all means include a 10/20% contingency but do not leave yourselves in debt. 

 5. Remember the little things

I was determined I would have the spandex style chair covers on my big day and threw the biggest strop when I couldn’t find the ones I liked. After finally getting them (and torturing my husband) on my big day it turns out the decorative company put on the wrong chair covers. It wasn’t until the next day that I realised. No one else cared about the chair covers but loved or quirky extras like our baby photo table numbers. Don’t be a psycho bride about the things that really don’t matter – if you need any advice on this I’m definitely the one to ask!

6. Get a Wedding Planner

If you need advice or guidance, don’t have the time to plan your big day or would just like the comfort of knowing someone is there to sort any dilemmas on the day then hire a Wedding Planner/Co-Ordinator – like me! 

For more advice and guidance check out Facebook, the website and  Instagram. As well as Snap Chat (TheBelfastBride).

Ten Wedding Pitfalls not to fall for

  It’s very easy to get carried away when you get engaged! It’s such an exciting time and so many bride-to-be’s just want to jump in and start planning but stop, breathe and take note. 

There are so many traditional pitfall’s that catch brides out each year. So to give you a helping hand I thought I’d tell you about some of the mistakes I’ve been told about (or even experienced!).

1. Be consistent with your plus one policy

People automatically assume they will be given a plus one to your wedding so remember, if you give one person a +1, who have to give all singleton’s a +1. Weddings are known for causing offence, and most often the easily offended are the older generation and those guests that are still single. The last thing you want is an argument before your big day.

2. Read your contracts and keep receipts

It sounds boring but a signed contract in relation to your wedding is the same as any other. It’s legal binding, so know what your signing. The same goes for paying. Make sure to keep all your receipts to prove you have paid. More often than not brides have come to me  saying they have paid cash or something and now have no proof so think ahead!

3. Don’t pick the bridal party too quickly

Things change, life moves on and if you pick a friend to be in your bridal party that was your best friend at your engagement but now that you’ve turned into Bridezilla isn’t your best friend anymore your going to be raging when she is in your wedding photos.. forever! 

 4. Don’t start dress shopping too early

I did it and fell hook, line and sinker! I bought my dress too early and 9 months before the big day ended up buying a second dress! Remember it takes around 6-9 months for a dress to be ordered and arrive, so aim to start 12 months before the big day.

5. Check your postage

Yep, fell for this one too. Make sure to take your invitations to the post office and be charged the proper postage. Wedding invitations can often be slightly heavier so a 1st class stamp won’t do!

6. Mind your heel height

When ordering your dress take into consideration how high you want your heels. If you know you want 6 inch heels make sure to order extra length! 

 7. Try everything

From your food, to yor make up try, try, try! This way there will be no nasty surprises on the big day.

8. Don’t invite people to the bridal shower and not the wedding.

There is nothing worse than inviting people to your hen or engagement party and then when you don’t invite them to the big day they are left offended. Think clearly about who you invite to everything and plan ahead.

9. Don’t get overwhelmed or distracted by Pinterest

Pinterest is amazing but it can also be a curse! We can plan our ideal, dreamy, beach wedding on it but when it comes to actioning it, it probably isn’t feasible! Price everything and take notes. If you still want it 6-8 weeks after first seeing it, then do it.

10. Stick to the budget!

Get a wedding planner or organiser, total what you can afford on each area and stick to it (+10% of course, we are only human!). Budgets can be a downer but you will thank me when you aren’t heading on honeymoon £10k in debt! 


Charlie Brear

Charlie Brear wedding dresses are the ultimate in Bohemian luxury. I honestly mean it when I say, when you choose a Charlie Brear wedding dress you aren’t just choosing a dress but your entire wedding theme.

On their own, the dresses are extremely pretty but they are hugely versatile. Charlie Brear dresses can be transformed – some are even two piece ensembles, so you can be guaranteed adaptability on your big day. 

To gett he true effect of a Charlie Brear dress you have to see the whole package, so I have tried to include as many “real life” brides as possible in these pictures.

Prepare to be boho-d!