Floral Fantasies

Hello! I apologise for not updating the blog for a while, I’ve been busy planning the bridal inspiration shoot I’m organising, as well as working six days a week in my ‘in-between’ acting job as a dresser on ‘We Will Rock You’ in the west end. I was there for almost three months full time, but I’m only going to be working there now and again as of this week, so I’m really pleased to have my evenings back! Now, back to weddings…I’ve been wanting to write a post about my love of flowers for a little while, they are possibly (apart from the dress) my favourite part of a wedding. So much so, I’d been considering doing a floristry course. I am however, incredibly allergic to pollen so that floristry course will either be sponsored by Piriton, or I’ll just have to put together countless mood boards of my favourite blooms. For now, I’ve plumped for the latter and featured some of my favourite floral images for some gorgeous inspiration. I might have included my own wedding flowers in there, but they really did blow me away!

From left: wild flowers on books via realflowers.co.uk; Top right: Ranunculus bouquet via ruffled.co.uk;Bottom right:Rose and Lavender bouquet via realflowers.co.uk

From left: Bright Pink wild flower bouquet via pinterest via flikr; Top right: Lilac and peach wild flower bouquet via stylemepretty.co.uk; Bottom right: via Martha Stewart Weddings.

My own wedding flowers by Violets and Velvet. Image credit Annamarie Stepney

Again, my own fabulous wedding flowers (I know, I’m biased) by Violets and Velvet. Image credit: Annamarie Stepney.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the images!

Weddings that make my heart flutter

I still love reading wedding blogs and there are some weddings that get featured that make me gasp for breath at the sheer beauty of them. It also makes me want to get married to my husband all over again although I don’t think (well I know) that he wouldn’t be up for that and neither would our bank balances, plus it would be a bit strange. So, with me not able to re-live the experience myself, I just have to do it through other people so it’s lucky that I’ve just trained to become a wedding planner and stylist with the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners and that I have a little project that I’m planning in November with the art deco hotel, The Midland in Morecambe (near my home town of Lancaster) plus it’s pretty awesome that there are so many amazing weddings for me to gawp at through the medium of the internet and my favourite blogs. I’ve found my favourite weddings, dresses and D.I.Y projects of the last week and brought them to you neatly on this little page!

Firstly, this wedding really did make my heart flutter…

The bride, Kate wears Jenny Packham’s ‘Eden’ which was my number one dress until I went for Claire Pettibone’s Kristene. I still think of it though and seeing it on this gorgeous bride makes me want to buy it and wear it everyday like a 1920’s Miss. Haversham although I think it would pose a problem with work (but that’s the only reason I wouldn’t wear it all the time okay?). I’m incredibly taken with the stationery, it’s so cute, elegant and quirky all at the same time and was made by the bride, clearly a talented lady. The venue Larmer Tree Gardens in Wiltshire is INCREDIBLE. I’ve never heard of it before but it’s so beautiful and to top it all off has its own peacocks, If I was getting married I’d definitely check it out. Plus, not forgetting the dapper groom, the navy blue vintage vehicle, the gorgeous bridesmaids dresses and the florals this is possibly (in two whole years of my wedding obsession) one of my favourite weddings I’ve seen in the blog world. It’s perfect! Congratulations to Kate and Jonathan and Lisa & Scott of Lisa Dawn Photography for shooting this dream of a day! Find the full feature over on Ruffled blog.

Image credit: Lisa Dawn Photography via Ruffled blog

The next wedding to capture my imagination is over on Love My Dress and was shot beautifully by Rebecca Wedding Photography. I’m mad about the bride, Lauren’s whole look, the lace dress and long length veil make her look so radiant. The florals are totally my style, soft pinks with bright blues with a wild flower look about them which I think suits the relaxed feel of this wedding. The groom is very handsome in his blue suit and the bridesmaids electric blue dresses are just so pretty. I also really like the fact that this wedding was in London, but it looks like it could have been in a pretty english village in the countryside. Hop on over to LMD to read the full feature and devour all the gorgeous images!

Trawling the internet the other day, I found this cute little Australian blog, ‘I do it yourself’ with lots of wedding inspiration, crafting tutorials and mood boards. I found this sixties wedding collage and just had to blog it! I love the bridal outfit from 1965.

My favourite D.I.Y tutorial blog post of the week comes from Style Me Pretty. I’m a bit obsessed with chevron stripes at the moment and I really want to incorporate them into my home. They have also been a bit of a hit in the wedding world recently, they’re quite contemporary, but I think they have a vintage parisian feel to them, especially when in monochrome. So, when I came across this cute D.I.Y chevron candle votive, I knew I had to have a go! It looks pretty simple, so when I have a spare moment I’ll be getting my crafting head on! They’d look beautiful as a table-centre or on a feature table at a wedding as well as on my mantlepiece! If you fancy having a go, head over to Style Me Pretty for the full feature, where you’ll probably spend all evening looking at all the lovely weddings they feature!

Image credit Susanna March Photography via Style Me Pretty blog

I hope these features have inspired you as much as they did me!

Abi xx

Mint Green Wedding Inspiration

Another inspiration board for you this afternoon! This time it’s the lovely pastel shade mint green. It’s clean, fresh and contemporary whilst also being carefree and fun.

At my imaginary mint green wedding, to match the carefree colour vibe, I’d go all out sixties in style. I  would be arriving in a cute VW Beetle like Polly Pootles (who isn’t mint green but so cute and I really would’ve booked for my own wedding had we needed transport). I’d dress my maids up in  mint green shift dresses and I’d wear a short wiggle dress whilst wearing mint green wedding shoes. The table displays would have mint green tablecloths and gold cutlery (I’m obsessed with having a little bit of gold included) whilst balancing it out with displays of white hydrangeas in gold pots.  I’ve kept this board relatively simple but I’ve discovered that flashes of pink go really well with mint green, so you could add pink peonies or ranunculus to your flower displays to add an extra pop of colour!

Essie nail polish in Candy Apple, Macaroons via mixedplateblog.com, mint green car via weheartit.com, bridesmaids via lovewedbliss.com, anenome cake via stylemepretty.com, mint green wedding shoes via pinterest (original source unknown) chevron table setting via calligraphybyjennifer.net, green bottles via spicylatte.tumblr.com

English Rose Beauty: Bobbi Brown Bridal Masterclass

Last Friday, I pootled down to Harrods to attend a bridal beauty masterclass with one of Bobbi Brown’s hand picked global make-up artists Hannah Martin. I love Bobbi Brown make-up and I own a fair amount, so I was really excited to pick up some new tips and see how Hannah worked and then of course, share that information here on The Bygone Bride!

Hannah re-created a classic english rose look, apparently Bobbi’s favourite ever bridal look as it’s both timeless and classic and won’t date your wedding photographs in years to come. Bobbi Brown says that on your wedding day, you should look like yourself at your most beautiful and I entirely agree!

Hannah started by stressing how important it was to cleanse and prepare your skin before you apply any make-up. If your base isn’t correct, then your make-up won’t apply properly.


Moisturise and prep skin using a primer. Bobbi Brown has primers built into their moisturisers and this is what Hannah recommended (obviously) but I’ve tried them and I’m not mad about them. I prefer to use a stand-alone primer such as Benefit’s Porefessional which provides a really good and long wearing base to apply foundation.


For a wedding day avoid foundation with built in SPF as this doesn’t work with flash photography and your face could show up whiter. Make sure you test the foundation on your face, ideally along the jawline. The shade that looks almost invisible is the one for you! There are lots of formulations to choose from, but as it’s your wedding day, it’s best to find a long wearing formula. Using a good quality foundation brush (they don’t always have to be mega expensive and natural hair, Samantha Chapman’s Real Techniques brushes are amazing and well priced. See a fave beauty bloggers post about them here) use a small amount and blend from the centre of your face out. The brush helps the foundation go further and gives an even finish. If you feel after this you look a little too ‘make-uppy’ then use the warmth of your fingers to blend again. If you’re scared of foundation, like I was until a few years ago, and hate the idea of orange tide lines, celebrity make-up artist Lisa Eldridge does an excellent foundation ‘how to’ video which you can watch here.


Use a corrector underneath your concealer. A pinky based corrector cuts through the bluetones under your eyes and is good for light to medium caucasian skin. A peach based corrector cuts through brown and khaki tones under the eyes and is best suited to deeper skin tones. Bobbi Brown does a good one which I use in the shade Light Bisque.

Avoid light reflecting concealers under the eyes, again for the same reason as the SPF problem in foundation. It’s best to use a creamy concealer, using a brush first under the lash line and up into the corners of your eye and then blend by patting with your ring finger. Bobbi Brown says that concealer is the ‘Secret to the Universe!’ Not 100% sure I agree but I understand what she is getting at in that just looking brighter and fresher is a huge confidence boost for most people.


Make sure you set all your hard work with powder for a long lasting finish. Put more powder than usual on for your wedding day, it’s recommended because by the time you’re having your photos done you could have had your make-up on for most of the morning plus you’re likely to pespire more. A top tip I picked up was, using a powder brush,’ stipple’ or push the powder into the skin rather than sweeping and focus on the centre panel or t-zone of your face if you’re oily skinned.


Now you’ve evened out your skin-tone, you’re going to have to add colour back into your skin. Hannah suggests bronzer, It adds warmth to the skin and can be worn by pale skins too. I was a little alarmed by this as I’m as pale as a sheet and never fake tan or bronze, especially after the incident of ’98 in which I was photographed with two orange streaks down my face, courtesy of  Boots 17 Bronzing pearls. Hannah said that there was a bronzer at Bobbi Brown for everyone, and she was right. As soon as the class finished, I purchased their pinky bronzer in ‘Antigua’ and it warms up my skin a treat. I’m quite surprised I’d never known about it before.  Hannah suggests that you to use it at the top of the cheeks and temples and across the forehead. Don’t put it all over the centre of your face as it can look ‘dirty’. If you’re wearing your hair up then brush your ears and behind the ears too. You then need to add colour back into your cheeks, try a blue based pink, like Bobbi Brown’s Pale Pink (which I also bought as it’s really pretty and after having it for a few days I’ve found the staying power is brilliant) smile and apply to the apples of the cheeks. Always use a blush brush, not a large all-over powder brush as this will generally mean you’ll apply too much.

A top tip at this stage is to get a bridesmaid to take a photo of you to see how it looks on camera and to make sure you don’t look washed out.


Pop on a lip balm, Hannah said that it needed to be both waxy and creamy. Make sure you keep one with you throughout the day as if you get nervous, your lips will dry out. I’m obsessed with Lucas’ Paw Paw ointment, which, unfortunately for me is only available in Australia but if you can get your mitts on some do, it’s amazing! Otherwise, Bobbi Brown’s lip balm does look good although I haven’t tried it myself. Pop the lip colour of your choice on over the lip balm, preferably in layers with a lip brush. Bobbi Brown’s Sandwash pink was used on Hannah’s model and I tried it on myself too. It’s a gorgeous neutral suits all pink. Hannah was talking about ‘not making a statement’ on your wedding day with lipstick, but I really, really disagree.I think if you want to wear a bright colour of lipstick, do so, as long as it actually suits you. I almost wore red on my day as I wear it often anyway, but decided against due to the up-keep. In my opinion, lips are the one area you can ‘go mad’. However, if you do want a neutral lip, Sandwash Pink is a really nice shade. For a slightly cheaper version I have Maybelline’s Desert Rose Colorstay Lipstick which is almost exactly the same, just less matte. If your lip edge isn’t too strong, apply lip liner but one of the same colour as the lipstick you’re using. Be sure to apply after the lipstick, not before. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a rim of lip liner if your lipstick comes away which is a bit too Pamela Anderson if you ask me!

Bobbi Brown’s Sandwash Pink and Lip Balm via http://www.bobbibrown.co.uk


I’ve never been one to fill in my eyebrows, but after this masterclass, I feel like I really should now as they really frame the eyes.

  • Use a brush like a masacara wand to brush up the eyebrow hairs so you can see your natural shape, use powder, not waxy pencils as they melt and cling to the hairs, not good for photos.
  • Use a short and stiff eyebrow brush, start at the tail and fill in from the top using a sweeping motion.

For your eyes, use an eye-primer (Hannah didn’t suggest this as I don’t think Bobbi Brown do one, but I would suggest this, see my review of the MUA eye primer here– it’s only £2)

  • Start with a base colour, a neutral shade. Hannah suggested Bobbi Brown’s ‘Bone’.
  • With a pressing motion, push the shadow into the skin with a brush as this locks the shadow in.
  • Take the shadow all over the eye and up to the brow bone as this will make eyes look bigger.
  • Use a second shade, Hannah suggested Bobbi Brown’s ‘Slate’ a soft muted grey, push on the centre of the lid and work up until you ‘feel’ the crease, being careful not to put the shadow too far down the eye as this will make it look droopy. Tip: Avoid sparkle eyeshadows as this again, plays up with photography.
  • If you want to wear eyeliner, but struggle, try looking into the mirror with open eyes, pop your chin back and look down.
  • Use small strokes with the liner brush and make sure the liner is applied right to the base of the lashes and bring to the outside corner of the eye to make them look bigger and slightly almond shaped.
  • Hannah then talked about ‘double lining’. If you want a less harsh line, smudge a powder shadow over the top of the liner with a brush. This can be a fairly dark shadow, Hannah suggested Bobbi Brown’s ‘Smoke’.
  • Use a waterproof/smudge proof mascara. If you want to define your bottom lashes,(you don’t have to, it may be too much) turn the wand vertically and use feathery strokes as this will avoid smudging on the under eye skin.

      A Voila!

There you go, some tips from the top. I’ve tried not to be too Bobbi Brown biased, but if I thought the product was good (and most of them are) I’ve mentioned it! Oh, and here are the two products that I bought in the end, Antigua bronzer and the Pale Pink blush, it looks bright in the pan but it looks very natural once on the skin.

Abi xx

Getting ready on the big day

Most brides I’ve read about say that they were absolutely serenly calm on the morning of their wedding, regardless of their brideszilla tendencies whilst planning. But it can still be fairly stressful (I’m looking at myself here and shaking my hindsight head). So here’s a few tips to ease the anxiety of what should be 0ne of the most exciting and glamorous mornings of your life…

  • Wear something comfy, but make sure you’re happy with how it looks as it will show on your ‘getting ready’ photographs. I was all set to treat myself to a lovely dressing gown but as the week of the wedding approached, I realised that I’d run out of money so decided to take my nice (but not particularly glamorous) Cath Kidston robe with me.  I was just too hot in it though, (March heatwave anyone?) and I had to take it off, revealing a polka dot t-shirt I’d bought from Primark years ago and that I only normally wear when I’m auditioning for an acting part that requires me to look younger than I actually am, or when I’m slobbing about.  So, God knows why I decided to pack it the day before the wedding in order to wear it for getting ready. I HONESTLY don’t know why I picked it up when I have so many nice clothes. I had stressed myself out so much that week though, so I think I’d just burnt myself out and couldn’t think straight anymore. Our photographs are excellent though thanks to the amazing Annamarie Stepney, and so after all that, I actually think the t-shirt looks okay but I do wish I had a pretty robe on instead.

Getting ready in that Polka-Dot T-shirt// Image credit Anna-Marie Stepney

  • Take a medicine kit. It came in handy for both me and my bridesmaids after one of them felt pretty ropey with a churny tummy (thank you Imodium) and I was suffering from my usual all-year round hayfever woes.
  • Have some snacks and make sure you eat them. It’s so easy to get carried away with it all so make sure you feed yourself since you probably won’t eat again until a lot later in the day.
  •  Give yourself the right to relax. You’re about to get married to the man of your dreams, the hard work has been done, so relax and let the genius of your pampering team make you look wonderful OR if you’re doing it all yourself, make it a great experience. Put on your favourite music, light a scented candle (if you’re allowed) and get to work making yourself look mega-glam, rather than doing what I did and worrying about what’s happening in the reception room and whether it’s all being laid out the way you’d  planned. I thoroughly recommend Neom candles for an all round relaxing and theraputic experience. Try the ‘Real Luxury’ scent or ‘Happiness’. They smell so gorgeous.
  •  Get an early night the night before, have a bath, watch a film, or have some pampering time with your bridesmaids. You could even get your wedding manicure done or have a relaxing massage with the help of a mobile beauty therapist. I can’t speak for other regions, but in London I’ve heard great things about Blossom and Jasmine who will work until late and have very reasonable prices. On the night before my own wedding, as we all live miles away from each other, mine and my husband’s families actually met for the first time. This was lovely but we all ended up having a very late night and an eventful evening leading to one of the most eventful days of my life was perhaps not majorly helpful, so my advice is organise that family meal for another time unless it’s essential.
  • Take some back up make-up supplies and the same colour of nail polish in case of chipping. A little vial of your perfume can also be handy to pop into a clutch bag. When I bought my perfume (‘Live Life Love’ Oscar De La Renta) they gave me a small sample size at the same time which I used on the day. Either ask if they have any samples at the perfume counter or try ‘Travelo’ a little perfume dispenser especially for travelling. I bought mine from The Perfume Shop.
  •  Take a sewing kit. I didn’t need mine but I’ve heard of many brides who have! You just never know.

    Vintage Sewing Kit via http://www.geekalerts.com

  •  Enjoy it! I was too stressed and I’m gutted that I didn’t give myself enough time to savour the last hours of being a ‘Miss’. Plus, If all else fails and things don’t go exactly to plan, just go with it and remember that you’re about to get MARRIED !

P.S. I’m not forcing the issue or anything, but I strongly recommend that you buy a pretty dressing gown for getting ready in advance just in case for some odd reason you go and pick out your ‘slobbing about’ t-shirt. I love this rose print kimono from Rosie Huntingdon Whiteley’s lingerie collection from M&S.

Rose print kimono by Rosie Huntingdon Whiteley for M&S £65//Image credit: telegraph.co.uk

I hope this is helpful, if you have any more tips and advice for the morning of the wedding, leave a comment below!
Abi xx