Real Weddings… Charlie and Simon’s gorgeous, colourful wedding day!

Another quite personal real wedding post coming your way today.

Charlie & Simon-289

Charlie and I have been friends for about 8 years now. We both come from the same Bristol Old Vic Theatre School background, meeting on a random night out and just getting on so well, just a couple more glasses of wine and a few fitness classes later and we were seeing each other virtually daily! Charlie was like my sister, we giggled and bickered like we had known each other forever and I knew she was a friend for life. Then one day she went to visit her friend in Morzine, France and came back and told me she had met ‘a boy’ – Simon! Simon was from Taunton but had a beautiful home in Morzine. It wasn’t long before he came over and they had a date over here. Inevitably as things blossomed between them the decision for Charlie to move Morzine so became the right move for them. She packed up her belongings and off she went. My friend who I did pretty much everything with suddenly moving thousands of miles away, it took some getting used to that’s for sure but I knew it was the right move for her if her relationship was going to work. Plus she’s great at keeping in touch and visits twice a year – or least has been able to until now! Morzine is known as holiday location for snow boarders and skiers and home to one of the most famous downhill mountain biking tracks in the world.

Charlie went on to build her life in Morzine making some awesome friends and slowly making her mark on Simon’s bachelor pad in Morzine and adding her beautiful crafty touches. Simon asked Charlie to marry him whilst on holiday in the Maldives just over three years now. Charlie being Charlie decided to have her engagement ring hand made so she could chose exactly what she wanted, you’ll see from this blog that she’s very creative and if something can be unique then that’s exactly how she would chose to have it.

Charlie's ring

Planning a wedding was not top priority for this globe trotting couple when they got engage. Nope they had plans to move to Canada to think about. A dream of Simon’s was about to be fulfilled. Buying land and building their own property the other side of the world. I’m not going to lie I thought they were mad, but then I’m a home girl and couldn’t imagine just upping sticks and moving thousands of miles away. Flying all their belongings and their two cats Monster and Munch across the world was I’m sure far more stressful than planning a wedding, but the  end result of their beautiful home I’m sure they will both agree was totally worth it.


Charlie needed to feel that the house was almost complete before she could really concentrate on her wedding and I don’t blame her. In January this year Charlie and I had our first skype session get going on plans for the day. They had already decided on the date and that they would have a marquee on Simon’s parents farmland in Tolland and the ceremony would take place in the Orchard near the house.

Charlie & Simon-395

We discussed, catering, the photographer, florist, hair and of course make-up. I sent her a list of my recommended suppliers and things started to come together. Charlie told me about the personal touches she had planned for the day but I really had no idea how hard she worked until the day actually arrived. Charlie had a vision of how she wanted her wedding to be and walking into the marquee on the day I can honestly say it just exuded her. Some of her personal touches will follow shortly.

Charlie & Simon-1

Myself, Suzi and Rhiannon (the bridesmaids) spent the night before the wedding staying in this beautiful eco holiday home with Charlie and her lovely parents Tom and Lyn. We woke up bright and early (because my schedule said we should) and I got going on my own make-up and hair before I started on everyone else. We decided to go for matching make-up for us bridesmaids. Opting for a summery shimmery white with a hint of apricot colour as the base with a line of bright teal along the lashline. I then used black gel eyeliner to line the eyes. I bronzed me up (as it suits my colourings best) and the other girls had more of a pinky cheek colour. Lipstick we all wore Maxfactor Betwitching Coral lip colour.

Charlie & Simon-36 Charlie & Simon-74Charlie & Simon-33

I then moved on to Charlie’s mum Lyn. Lyn just wanted to look extra special. She showed me her beautiful blue and white outfit, I chose a soft dusky pink eye colour to bring out the blue in her eyes and paired it with pinky brown lip colour.

Charlie & Simon-66 Charlie & Simon-75

Charlie and Simon chose Neil Pollock photography as their official photographer for the day, I highly recommend him to any couple. His style is friendly yet funny and the results are always breath taking. All the wedding pictures featured in this blog today are Neil’s work.

It was around now that the lovely Jo from Jo and Co arrived. Charlie had booked Jo to come and pull the whole day together as her wedding coordinator. Jo is worth her weight in gold! Pulling all the elements together on the day mean’t the bride and groom didn’t need to worry. Jo brought with her the bouquets from extremely talented and all round gorgeous lady Rachel from The Rose Shed. I think you’ll agree that these bouquets are fabulous. So bright and eye catching yet elegant too.

Charlie & Simon-59 Charlie & Simon-23 Charlie & Simon-17

The bride was up next, we had played about with make-up a few weeks earlier over a glass of wine and fine tuned the look she had dreamed of.

Charlie & Simon-47

After having gone out to buy a new foundation to match Charlie’s porcelain doll like skin I was ready to go. Starting with Pore Professional primer from Benefit and small amount of concealer I moved on to creating a flawless complexion with L’Oreal Infalliable Foundation in Porcelain and a light dusting of L’Oreal pressed powder.

Charlie & Simon-45

To create awesome cheek bones I used a selection of blush products, Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Raspberry, Body Shop blusher in rose and a Bourjois little round pot blush in Rose D’or. To highlight her cheek bones I used Benefit HighBeam.

Charlie & Simon-60

Charlie’s eye make-up was built up using layers of creamy coloured eye shadows, to create a strong long lasting base. I used a shimmery bourjois eye shadow in 01 which is a golden white to go over the top and to add texture to the look. Using the Body Shop shimmer cube set in brown I built up depth from the corners using a light grey and building it up gradually to finish with a dark brown layer. I used gel eye liner to line her eyes. We used Eyelure individual lashes at the corners to add a little flick and volume to the outer corners. The lipstick was the brides own.

Charlie & Simon-61 Charlie & Simon-62

Doing Charlie’s make-up for her wedding was the best. When you’re so close to someone being able to relax them and make them feel really special is quite emotional. We had a lot of fun in the meantime too as these two pictures show! Love you Charlie Bear!

I had (like the sergeant major I am) put together a schedule for the day, it was always my plan that after we were all made up we would have time to sit have a drink and bite to eat but rarely does this actually happen. However on Charlie’s wedding day we got our quiet time. This photo below shows Charlie and I high fiving after I pointed out ‘this is why I got you all up so early!!!’

Charlie & Simon-81

Charlie’s really lovely friend Gemma from Beau Biens, was our extremely clever seamstress. She made all of our dresses including Charlie’s stunning gown. The bridesmaid dresses are known as infinity dresses and can be worn in infinite ways and hands down the most comfortable dress I’ve ever worn. I can’t wait to wear mine again! The next batch of photos show us getting ready and our faces on seeing our friend all ready for her big day.

Charlie & Simon-82

Charlie adapting her shoes like only she knows how!!

Charlie & Simon-83

Penny for ’em Rhi!

Charlie & Simon-85

Charlie had her very own dresser – Gemma came to make sure her dress fitted her perfectly

Charlie & Simon-84

Her dress was made with a corset built in.

Charlie & Simon-88

Awesome waist Mrs Mankin!

Charlie & Simon-89

I adore this shot!

  And now our wow faces…

Charlie & Simon-92 Charlie & Simon-95

We travelled to the wedding in style. This car was previously owned by a 1930’s Boston Gangster! It was complete with homemade mini bunting to fit in with the theme of the day!

Charlie & Simon-55

Well Simon  and Charlie got their beautiful summers day, we couldn’t have asked for better weather and the ceremony in the orchard was perfect. Charlie’s close friend Mags gave the blessing and Vix did the reading. Congratulations Mr and Mrs Mankin!

Charlie & Simon-137Charlie & Simon-143

Charlie & Simon-130

I want to conclude with the individual pictures of all the diy details Charlie created to make her vision come to life.

Charlie & Simon-110

Beautiful mini bunting for every single chair in the marquee!

Charlie & Simon-111

I loved this handmade slate signage, referencing the important places in their lives

Charlie & Simon-426

Coral coloured nails with gold sparkly varnish on the fourth finger only!

Charlie & Simon-240

Hundreds of jars, gold glitter and a lot of glue went into making these fab table centre pieces.

Charlie & Simon-247

Brightly coloured pom poms hanging from the ceiling added another element of fun!

Charlie & Simon-246

The symbol on top of the box were the theme of the day, Charlie screen printed these on everything – she’s so clever!

Charlie & Simon-99

All the men had their symbol on their ties

Charlie & Simon-48

And it was on the bunting too!

Charlie & Simon-248

Even the card table was sylish!

Charlie & Simon-249

Apologies to every other table plan I’ve seen over the years but this is hands down my favourite!

Charlie & Simon-427

Their good friends Mags and James made this awesome cake!

Charlie and Simon thank you for inviting us to your wedding and letting me be a part of it. I was a very special day from beginning to end and I will always remember the fun we had celebrating with you! I wish you many years of happiness together.


Charlie & Simon-300

Real Weddings… Amy’s special day with a touch of sparkle!

Apologies for my tardiness in posting this real wedding but suddenly the season has hit me and free time for writing is virtually none existent. I met Amy in March following a recommendation by Michelle Jetzer’s blog My Wedding Workshop  (Thank you Michelle). Michelle is an award winning wedding planner for The Riverstation and Amy chose to have her reception there. I immediately warmed to Amy, she’s a mum and notoriously I’ve  found that brides who have children are far more relaxed about their wedding day. Amy was no exception, her little boy was at the trial and he was just gorgeous, no trouble at all! Amy wasn’t sure what she wanted make-up wise but knew she wanted to look extra special. She knew she wanted false eyelashes and glamour was definitely on the cards. She showed me pictures of her dress and described her plan for her hair and I came up with a bespoke look to suit her. I’ll never forget her first look in the mirror, a real sense of wow I was thrilled as she loved it – just one request – longer lashes please! No problem Amy!! 🙂

Amy’s photographer was Ben Thapa, he was super, not intrusive in any way and a really nice guy. Thank you Ben for allowing me to use a few of your shots in this blog.

The morning of the wedding was soon upon us. I arrived at the house and it was a hive of excitement. The hairdressers Rhea and Holly from Central Studios were there and had already made a start on the girls, so I set up my station and put on my tool belt (which I love) and got going on the bridesmaids. We went for a charcoal smokey eye with a creamy base, I added definition with Bobbi Brown Gel eyeliner along the lashlines and blended well. The look worked perfectly with their sequined dresses which I think you’ll agree were pretty awesome – good choice Amy! She chose electric blue shoes and and vibrant yellow tulips as their bridesmaid bouquets. It all worked brilliantly. The flowers were from The Flower Shop. 

A&J extras WEB 031

Next it was Amy’s turn, always a little less challenging on the day as you’ve had a chance for a trial and knowing she was so happy with her look there was no pressure at all – which is nice for me. Amy’s make up was a mix of pinks and purples. A base of a shimmery white, followed by a dusky pink with aubergines and richer purples working upwards from the lashline. A good amount of black gel eyeliner to add definition around the eyes helped to tie it all together. The final addition of some fluttery long false eyelashes gave her the glamour she had hoped for.

A&J extras WEB 011 A&J extras WEB 020 A&J extras WEB 013

We chose a pinky lip using Body Shop colour glide number 69. It tied together the girly pinky purply eyes with her lips. I was really pleased with the result. A look Amy admits she would have never thought of.

A&J extras WEB 021A&J extras WEB 023

I love these extreme concentration faces while the girls help Amy fit her birdcage veil. Stunning!

Next it was time for Mum to jump in the hot seat. Amy’s mum had been running around all morning, having been and had her hair done and generally making sure everyone was ok. So this was an opportunity for her to sit still. She asked for the same make-up as the bridesmaids, which was lovely for me as she clearly really liked what I had done. She had also chosen to try false eyelashes, which is a little brave if you’ve not worn them before but she wanted to look extra special, and why not!


Thank you to Sense of occasion (who provided Amy’s wedding car) who took this picture.

Before long everyone was ready and Amy scuttled off to get her dress on. You would think the amount of brides I see on a weekly basis I wouldn’t get blown away anymore, but Amy really took my breath away. Her dress was just gorgeous, it suited her and her theme perfectly. Almost Grecian in style and really unique. Her classic bouquet of white roses and trailing foliage matched exquisitely. As the following pictures show.

 A&J extras WEB 028

A&J extras WEB 040

Amy and Julian went on to marry in their local church in Bishopston.

A&J extras WEB 084

Here they are cutting the cake at the reception at The Riverstation, a gorgeous riverside venue in central Bristol.

A&J extras WEB 086

Congratulations Amy and Julian, aka Mr and Mrs Bridgeman, I wish you many years of happiness together.

Amy said: Emily was absolutely amazing on my wedding day morning.  From keeping my mum calm to applying the most amazing make up I have ever had on.  I felt instantly at ease when I first met her, she seemed to quickly understand exactly what I wanted, pink lipstick and fake lashes.  I’m not a natural make up girl and the first colours Emily used were perfect, pink lips, the perfect shade, colourful but not too bright and the most amazing lashes.  My bridesmaids both looked absolutely stunning, their eyes where exactly how I thought they should be and it really bought the whole outfit together.  I think Emily deserves a medal, she handled my mum very well (naturally a stressed mother of the bride) and even did her make up.  She has never had anyone apply her make up before and was slightly apprehensive but the look you gave her was amazing, you made her look younger!  I will be going back to Emily when I am older and richer to have her apply my make up every day just so I can look younger all the time.  She loved her lashes so much and stayed on so well, she had them throughout the next day.

Emily comes with the most amazing collection of make up and tons of fake lashes but it’s her expertise that really makes her stand out.  When applying make up she made it feel effortless, which I believe is a true sign of a professional.  I will recommend Emily to anyone and everyone.  Once again Emily, THANK YOU.

Make-up Product of the week…

I’m sorry I’ve been a little quiet recently but things have gone a little crazy in my life. Not only am I working full time and have my bridal business in full seasonal swing but we’re buying a house! Yippee! It’s very exciting but suddenly we have 3 years worth of accumulated rubbish to sort out and every free moment is spent clearing, cleaning and packing.

But I thought I would talk to you about a product I’ve recently been using and love. It’s called Helen e shimmer eye powder. It comes in this gorgeous little bottle and so doesn’t take up too much room in your make-up bag. It’s also a steal at just £5.




helen e 4

Anyone who knows me knows I just love a bit of shimmer, anything that sparkles make me very happy and this pot is for this reason a little pot of joy. I’ve got it in a bronze shade 13, but they make them in 32 different shades. This definitely isn’t the only colour I’m going to buy it in.

Application is relatively easy, now I never usually say this but application is easiest with your finger. I start a look with a non descript creamy base coat which I work upwards towards the eye brow. This gives you a good base and removes any discolouration you might have in your eyelids. It also helps to blend the colours in. Now you can use a small brush to apply the shimmer powder but I find that it has a tendency to flick down onto your cheeks or your nose. Applying it with you finger has more of an impact and you get a better coverage of colour. I would however then use a blender brush to blend into the upper lids so you have more of a graduated colour. A quick sweep of eyeliner on your upper and lower lids and and flash of mascara and you’re done.

helen e 3

On a day to day basis I would normally use other shades on lids and not just one colour but the shimmer effect in this powder is enough on it’s own. I highly recommend it.

You can buy Helen e cosmetics here

Disclaimer: All my product reviews are based on my own experience. I can’t guarantee every product I recommend will work for every reader.