Skin care for your big day. Have you got your beauty schedule in order?

RRW_2003 (1280x854)So as the cold weather has now hit I thought it was timely to have a chat with Elisa (a fabulous beauty therapist in Jindabyne) who specialises in organic and natural skincare routines, and is an expert on getting the best out of your skin even in the cold, dry environment like the Snowy Mountains as well as what she would recommend for prepping and the lead up to your big day.

How long before the big day do you recommend a bride and groom should come in for a consult? 

A great deal of time goes in to planning a wedding, so why shouldn’t you plan your complexion too? Depending on your skin type, anywhere from 6 to 12 months in advance. This gives you plenty of time to get on top of any issues, and literally feel comfortable in your own skin.

Can you suggest any techniques a the couple can use to enhance their skin?

The skin is our body’s largest organ, and just like any other part of our body, it is affected by a range of factors including our general health, our diet, level of hydration, hormones, stress and the environment we live in. It is vital for good skin health to stay hydrated. That’s probably the first thing I would say to anybody. Followed by making sure you are getting enough vitamin A, C and E, as well as taking a good probiotic. Make sure your shampoos, conditioners and body wash are free from SLS’s (sodium lauryl sulphate and sodium laureth sulphate). And finally I would recommend that every bride treat themselves to regular facials and mild skin peels to really rejuvenate their skin and promote lots of healthy new skin growth.

RRW_1924 (1280x854)You mention facials. When should they happen? 

Ideally you should be having a facial every 4-6 weeks, to promote and enhance cell turnover and formation of new healthy skin cells. Start having regular facials at least 6 months prior to the wedding, or even 12 months to really optimise the results.

Should brides and grooms be doing anything else over the winter months to care for their skin?

In winter the air is much drier, due to the drop in temperature. Colder air means dehydrated skin. Also, many people work in overheated offices and buildings. The constant transition from hot to cold exacerbates the effects of dehydration. Obviously the biggest thing here is hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drinking lots and lots of water, though it can be a little harder in winter but anything is better than nothing but if you can get there 1L before lunch, and another litre after lunch to make sure your skin are getting enough.

Diet is also important throughout the winter, as we are all tempted to go for richer, filling comfort food in colder weather. This can affect your skin, so maintain a good diet with plenty of fresh vegetables to maximise your vitamin intake.

IMG_1169Include an extra moisture boost in your daily skin care routine. I find many of my clients have different skincare product needs in summer versus winter. Invariably, the richer and more powerful moisturisers are needed in winter to keep skin at its best. I recommend elly b organic products, and in particular the elly b dream cream is an essential addition to my winter skin care regime.

Remember to exfoliate regularly, to promote the generation of new skin cells. Eye creams are helpful to treat the sensitive areas around the eye. Consider bringing your toner with you throughout the day to keep you refreshed and moist.

Not all brides and grooms can afford regular facials. If money is tight what should be a priority for those looking to maximise their skin on a budget?

As a baseline, you can’t go without a regular home skincare routine. Commit to regular skincare and you will be rewarded. Invest in good quality products – and remember that with most good quality skincare products, a little bit goes a long way. The price may seem high, but that one little pot of eye cream should last you several months and will give you far better results than a cheaper alternative. Maybe look at a quality cleanser and moisturiser as a starting point.

Also, take the time to seek out a professional skincare education session. You will be shown how to use products correctly, and receive advice on which products are the most suitable for your skin type.

Thanks Elisa for taking the time to share your experience and knowledge with me. I hope this helps ladies and gents and if you might be popping down to the Snowy Mountains this winter for a ski or snowboard and might be keen for some skincare education or a skin assessment session or a wonderful facial, touch base with Elisa at Alpine Beginnings Beauty

Brooke and Michael’s Wedding – Poachers Pantry

38  I meet Brooke, Michael and Amber (their gorgeous small person) out at Poachers Pantry one open night and I got to share in their ceremony out there too. We had the back drop of the beautiful Old Elm tree and that never disappoints as a focal point.

Brooke’s colour theme was totally up my alley. Purple is a one of my favourite colours and the vibrant pop of colour was perfect. Lace and hessian where used as accents throughout the decorations.

The beautiful bride’s Moi Bridal, white dress was from Affordable Bridal, Gundaroo and is only available at this store by the way.  

36The bridesmaids dress Brooke had to work a little at finding them for the right price. She ended up finding them in Pennysylvania. Hey as Brooke said to me – Nothing worth having is easy 🙂

The gentlemen were styled in matching Grey Tailored suits.

Hair was taken care of by Dimension Hair Studio and makeup was by Lesley Makeup

All of these fantastic images they are care of Ben Kopilow at Fusion Photography.


Michael’s ring was custom hand-made from Brent and Jess. Made of Palladium and has Brooke’s fingerprint etched into the inside of the ring! They are located in USA, but they had no dramas in getting them done and found them amazing to work with.   And to the serious end of the day – dancing the night away.

Brooke and Michael had the BAKER BOYS band! In Brooke’s words – They were un…believe…able! True testament to a great band and gotta love this, is when the bride and groom are having too much fun on the dance floor that they didn’t even get to see the cake!! At one point, the venue manager reminded them that they needed to cut it, they decided to keep partying with friends and family!!! Also they had organized a babysitter and a kids table with handmade activity books and crayons to entertain the 15+ kids that attended, but the babysitter went home early and not a crayon was picked up because all of the kids had dancing as a higher priority 🙂 Cake was by Nada’s Cakes.

Thanks for sharing all your suppliers guys and thanks again for allowing me to share in your fabulous day. Mwah xx

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The Value of a Professional Make up Artist

If your anything like me, I don’t generally wear makeup. Usually a tinted moisturiser, a swipe of mascara and a bit of lip gloss to get me through the school run. Then I’m off to my home office and my normal work attire of jeans and a t-shirt. When I do have a wedding I love the fact that I get the chance to get dressed up and wear make up. Like most ladies I feel comfortable with applying my own make up. I’ve seen photos of me officiating and general photos of when I’m out with friends, I’m happy with how my make up looks in photos but it is very different story for a couple of hours of work or play to a whole day of looking and feeling fabulous.

Harry Rose Jewellery

Harry Rose Jewellery

It’s hard as there are so many things to think about when your getting married. Celebrant :-), Venue, Photographer, Rings, Dress, Suits, Guest list, Bridal Party, Cake. I won’t go on as the list can be pretty long but something I’ve found lately when speaking with Brides closer to their wedding day is that they may not be getting their makeup done professionally. There have been a number of reasons why this might not happen but something stuck me that it might be a bit of, not knowing what exactly a make up artist brings to the table and also seeing their work in your circumstance, of being a bride not a model on a catwalk and feeling overwhelmed with the idea of a lot of make up.

So let’s set the scene of how your wedding day might run and why investing in someone who knows the right products to use and how to apply them to maximise your make up for your day.  From the time your wedding dress goes on, your off and racing. Heading to your ceremony, lots of photos, talking and congratulations, more photos and a little more go, go, go. After which you move onto the reception. By this stage you’ll be hanging for dinner, then into speeches and maybe finish the night dancing with friends and family. Depending on when your ceremony starts that’s a huge day and if you can get to the end of that day, feeling and looking like you did when you stepped out of the car at your ceremony that’s important.

So I thought I’d do a little experiment and provide a visual comparison to show you what a make up artist can do to make your eyes pop or enhance your lips, cover a blemish with out making it look worst and helping bring your whole look together.   

The fabulous and beautiful Ali Price was kind enough to be my artist for this project. Ali has been in the makeup industry for over 8 years. She has a wealth of experience and knowledge (finalise in a number of national awards and winner of the Modern Bride last year in Sydney) and her most recent project was being the artist on the HerCanberra magazine.
Ali and I spoke about what we might do before we started. As I said I’m not one to wear a lot of make up so I didn’t want to go over board and wanted to try and keep it as natural as possible.  We also wanted to keep it a little controlled so I went to Ali‘s studio. I applied my make up, then took a photo. I did the same thing I do every time. I won’t bore you with the details but end result is below, photo one. Then I took my make up off and Ali applied her skills, technique, experience, knowledge of colours, tones and how to enhance my features, she shared her ideas and suggestion that might suit my style or desired look. Then took a photo.
Not only do you get all of the above (skills, experience etc.) but when you engage an artist you also have the advantage of their make up kit bag.  Not sure about you but unfortunately expensive high quality beauty products aren’t on my everyday shopping list but most artist would have developed their kit over time with an extensive range of products, brushes, eye shadows , lipstick, Airbrushing (that felt divine going on by the way) that is designed to last. Brushes
If I was spending money on a gorgeous dress, getting my hair done and knowing I was going to have a huge day ahead, I would want to know that I will look and feel my best and know my makeup will look great from the start of my day to the end of my day.
Just like anything in the wedding industry look around for the provider that suits you. Ask for recommendations, ask for a meeting and discuss your look and needs, what experience they have and do a trial. 
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I was so happy and totally love my look that Ali created. I felt so comfortable with the make up I had on. For someone that doesn’t wear a lot of make up but being a confident person and pretty comfortable in my own skin I definitely didn’t expect how it made me feel. Looking in the mirror I felt sassy, beautiful and it really gave me a little boost. We don’t need make up to be beautiful that’s true but if make up can give you a little more confidence for your day or a little boost to make you feel extra special and beautiful that is value for money.

On a side note the afternoon we did this experiment I was on my way out for a girls night. My make up was still looking great after dinner and dancing till the very, very early hours of the next morning.

Thanks Ali for hanging out with me. I had so much fun and truly love and value your work. X

Sharina and Andy’s wedding – Australian National Botanic Gardens

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Sharina and Andy had their wedding on the Brittle Gum Lawn at Australian National Botanic Gardens. We were so lucky on the day as we were all set up ready to go and a light rain shower came over, then cleared up for the ceremony. While the bridal party was out getting photos the heavens opened and poured down but it was only for a short while and created some beautiful images with the rain forest back drop being a bit damp.

Sharina’s ivory dress was Fara Almasi from Keepsake the label. The bridesmaids looked stunning in orange dresses from Miss Selfridge, Warehouse that popped against the green canopy of ceremony venue.

Hair and makeup was taken care of by Sparrow Makeup (Catherine and Jane)

Andy was looking very dapper in tan pants, white shirt and a Ted Baker Wasitcoat, Etsy Bow Tie and shoe from House of Fraser. Groomsmen had grey pants, white shirts and also had fabulous leather braces from and the bow ties came from the tie bar.

Cake was by Tania Cake Designz and the Macaron Tower by Makmak Macarons in Sydney.

All Sharina and Andy’s stunning images are thanks to Dane Adkins Photography.

All the flowers arrangements are from Laurel and Lace.

Their reception was held at Floresco in the Garden that is on the grounds and was only a short walk from their ceremony. It has a relaxed feel, flexibility with decorating (either DIY or Jo the event’s manager can assist with other ideas and suppliers). It also has the deck area that can be utilised as a dance floor or more seating for guest.

A few words from Sharina and Andy –

Amanda, was very easy to work with, she had taken on board our suggestions and customised our ceremony to make it so unique and memorable. She is also very experienced and provided suggestions to ensure that our ceremony was as smooth sailing as possible. Couldn’t have asked for a better celebrant.

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Kylie & Matt’s wedding – The Chapel at Gold Creek

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Matt and Kylie created memories for their special day at Gold Creek. Their ceremony was at The Gold Creek Chapel and reception was held at Gold Creek Tourist Resort.

The colours theme for the day was Royal Blue, Black and Silver.

Kylie’s had a stunning full skirt Demetrios wedding dress from Noveau Riche Queanbeyan. Bridesmaids Royal Blue dresses were also from Noveau Riche Queanbeyan and Queensland.

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Matt has 5 sisters so his Groomswomen wore black floor length dresses from Forever New.

Kylie was lucky enough to have talented friends to help out with hair and makeup for her and her bridesmaids on the day.

Cake was taken care of by The Cupcake Company.

All images are care of Tate Needham from T8 Photography.

Amanda, you were warm and welcoming from our first meeting, where you helped us start our journey towards the perfect wedding.  During the ceremony and lead up to, you were friendly and easy going and made the day run smoothly.  We would like to thank you for an excellent ceremony and your contribution to our perfect day!

Oh, thanks guys x

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Jess and Ben’s special day – Gold Creek Station

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So Jess and Ben’s sorry didn’t start with love at first sight. They met at work and on Jess’s first day she found herself at the IT service desk picking up her laptop, while everyone was extremely friendly and welcoming there was one noticeable person in the corner that couldn’t even look up from his computer to acknowledge her.  Jess thought that this person seemed a little rude but didn’t really give it another thought.  8 weeks later their paths crossed again.  Jess found herself at the IT service desk with an urgent issue and the only person there was Ben. Jess had no choice but to ask him for help.  The awkward silence was deafening while Ben worked away on the problem and Jess just couldn’t wait to get out of there.  It was then that Ben struck up a conversation.  Ben was telling Jess about some office gossip that had been floating around and said he would send her an email with more details.  Jess thanked Ben for his work and rushed back to her desk.  A few hours later, to Jess’s surprise Ben emailed her and the rest is history.

Their day was held at Gold Creek Station. wh2

The woolshed was transformed by Willowhouse Wedding and Events Planning into a beautiful back drop for their ceremony and reception. Unfortunately the heavens opened and rained out our outdoor venue.

Jess’s fishtail, Ivory dress was from Brides by Francesca in Sydney. Bridesmaids dresses were from Forever New.

Jess and the girls makeup was by Jessica Dorothy Byrne Make up Artistry and hair was by Missy’s Magic Styles

Ben was stylishly dress in a suit from MJ Bale and the groomsmen by YD.

Cake was by Silver Frostings

Moxom and Whitney once again created fabulous bouquets for the girls,

button holes for the gentleman, corsages for close family and fun terrariums at the reception.wh5

Jess and Ben – thanks so much for such beautiful feedback. I loved hanging out with you both and Toby. Your such a fantastic fun couple and you make a gorgeous family.

Amanda, I honestly don’t know how to put into words how amazing you were throughout our entire 18 month engagement.  You were the first vendor we booked (18 months in advance) as I didn’t want to risk not having you a part of our day.  You are so relaxed, laid back and easy going that it put me at ease from our very first meeting.  On the day I was even more grateful for this as its always a very tense and emotional time walking down that aisle.  I loved the way you engaged our guests in our ceremony and had a laugh with us, your sense of humour made it really special.  I really can’t thank you enough, you are incredible at what you do and I honestly couldn’t have done it without you.

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Jess & Ben Gold Creek Station Vintage Wedding Canberra Lisa Lois PhotographyJess & Ben Gold Creek Station Vintage Wedding Canberra Lisa Lois PhotographyJess & Ben Gold Creek Station Vintage Wedding Canberra Lisa Lois Photography


Kelly and Sit’s Wedding Day – The Chapel at Gold Creek

Back pic Group Kell

Kelly and Sit were married at The Chapel at Gold Creek on the 5th September 2014.

Though a little cool, the weather held out for us and no rain as it was forecasted.

Tiffany Blue as I’m sure most ladies would know that colour was the theme. Kelly’s Christiano Lucci, Ivory (a very white Ivory at that! – as Kell called it :o) fish tail style was brought from Enchanted Bridal. Her dress suited her to a T. The bridesmaid’s had success ordering their dresses online and the guys were dressed by Connor Menswear.

Kelly’s best friend created the hair up do’s for the ladies.  Shae Waite from Estella Artistry was the wonderful makeup artist for the day.

Jeremy McGrath was the photographer, Kelly couldn’t recommend him enough!!

Kelly’s wonderful friend Andrew from Sweet to the Bone created their cake.

Kelly and Sit were soooo extreamly happy with everyone involved in their wedding.

Their reception was held at the National Press Club and they went above and beyond. They were so lucky actually…

I was also super lucky to share in Kelly and Sit’s day. They are such a sweet, beautiful couple and I just loved being involved as your celebrant. Thanks again guys for allowing me to share in such a special moment in your life. Also thanks for such lovely words. Mwah x

Of course our biggest thank you is to Amanda!!

Amanda, you are truly amazing. You made the process so easy and fun for us. Honestly you couldn’t have done anything better. Your organisation was a weight off my shoulders…

You are such a sweetheart and we are so grateful that we got to share our day with the nicest celebrant ever! Thank you so much

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Grace’s Naming Ceremony – Norris Park Cooma

I was lucky enough to share in Grace’s naming ceremony a few weeks back in Cooma. Though in the morning the weather wasn’t looking the best, Cooma put on a fabulous sunny day. As part of the ceremony we incorporated a tree planting and a candle lighting. Mel and Arron have allowed me to share some of the photos from the day. Have you thought about having a naming ceremony? Not sure how it works and what you need to do? Get in touch with me and we can create a naming ceremony that suits your small person and family.

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Anna & Chris’s Wedding Day – ANU

I’ve said it before – I’m so lucky to be able to do this job and I love it. To be able to share in such a wonderful day in a couples lives is truly amazing. Receiving feedback from my couples after their day is also something very special to me.

“Amanda is all you could hope for in a celebrant – understanding, helpful, pleasant and non-judgemental. We had special circumstances surrounding our wedding, which required the whole ceremony to be prepared at short notice and Amanda really went above and beyond her call of duty to make sure the planning was as stress-free and smooth as possible. She was very professional, both in appearance and in her dealings with us but very approachable at the same time. She was very flexible as to her side of the arrangements, she worked with us as long as needed to make sure everything was exactly as we wanted it. By the time we were married; she was more than just our celebrant and had become more like a friend to the both of us.” Anna and Chris

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Letter and Wine Box

WineSo how it works is the bride and groom write a letter to the other a few weeks before their wedding. They share their thoughts about the qualities in their partner, the reasons for falling in love, their hopes and dreams and what they think might need to be said when their relationship is tough. During the ceremony they each have a timber box with a fabulous bottle of wine in it and then place the letter in with the wine, nail it shut and pass the sealed box to their partner. Either have separate boxs (then there is two bottles of wine) or one box with wine and both letters. By acknowledging that your marriage may have up’s and down’s but you are willing to sit down open the wine, read the letters and talk is a good place to start. Other ideas to include could be a CD of your favourite music or favourite pictures of you together. You could also incorporate other family members or children. I’ve got a couple that will have a 2 and a half year old by their wedding day and they are going to get their small person to draw a picture to go in the box. There are many way that you could put a spin on this idea. Could also keep the box to open on a special anniversary. I think this would be a lovely addition to a ceremony. I’d love to hear if you have another non-traditional commitment idea. What are you thinking about including in your ceremony?