Friday 22 March 2013

ISN'T IT THE BRIDES PREROGATIVE TO BE LATE...?? An apology and special edition of FRIDAY I'M IN LOVE

Making hanging around look stylish...
It's practically a rite of passage for a bride - and funnily enough, if you read our WE'RE EXPECTING post, first babies, too - to pitch up a little late. But that doesn't mean it's any the less rude to leave you hanging, lovely readers. We're really sorry that the superbeautiful new look blog isn't ready yet, but to use an often overused platitude, good things come to those who wait...

The new blog will land on Tuesday 26th March, just in time for the Easter Break (wohoo!) but until then, we thought why not offer you a glimpse into the world of @QBride with a collection of her wedding essentials and all the covetable things that make her world spin in a final FRIDAY I'M IN LOVE special.


1. The obvious one: my beardy man.
2. The flowers of the incredible Saipua in New York. For now, it is just the pictures and my wild imagination, but come this summer's US of A road trip, all this will change...
3. Le Labo Vetiver 46
4. Pinterest
5. Wit & Delight i.e how I'd like my life to look. Just imagine if the girl did weddings.
6. All things Paperless Post. Yes, the real thing (preferably scribed by Paul Antonio) is a thing of beauty, but for chic, playful stationery there is no better.
7. Pretty lingerie. My vice.
8. Fantastical and/or unexpected shoes peeping out from underneath a wedding dress skirt. I'm talking about the fancy footwear of Charlotte Olympia, Nicholas Kirkwood and these transparent perspex heels from Valentino (how very poolside Veronica Lake meets Lana Del Rey...). Plus, being born in a certain county, I admit of a weakness for white stilettos, currently having a moment - hurrah!
9. Smythson's wedding planners. Now comes in a extra-sumptuous larger size perfect for the wedding planner...or the very fastidious bride with a cut-out-and-keep habit.
10. My mad cat Jagger, whose slim hips and gangly legs (hence the name) and cheery disposition make me realise what is important in life - the things that make you smile. Which brings me neatly to weddings.
11.Weddings. To state the obvious.

The newly named Weddings Edit and I will see you next Tuesday - but until then, happy weekend!!


Thursday 21 February 2013

SECRETS TO SUPERMODEL SKIN: Karen Beadle shares her essential guide to flawless bridal beauty

Karen Beadle is a woman who certainly knows a thing or two when it comes to 'that glow'.

You know the one I mean: that gene-blessed, luminous and velvet-skinned picture-of-health sort of beauty that seems to be the preserve of supermodels. No longer. Recreating the polished beauty synonymous with the likes of Miranda Kerr, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Natalia Vodianova, Jourdan Dunn et al with a simple and easy to follow set of rules, I'm really excited to be able to share this,  make-up and beauty guru Karen's genius guide to achieving that covetable skin on your big day, whatever your age or skin type. Let us know how you get on, and any personal secrets...

"When it comes to getting married, looking after your skin in the lead up to your special wedding day is key. I usually speak to brides about a year before the weddings, as this offers a good lead time to create the optimum healthy skin through facials, treatments and the right skin care."

"Firstly, work out the type of skin you've inherited: whether its dry, oily or combination, including any skin problems you may need to address", Karen advises. Selfridges in London has Beauty Advisers who offer free, unbiased analysis and can direct you to the right skin perfecting product lines for you, and Karen offers consultations, of course. "You may need to see a doctor or dermatologist for any underlying problems and extra TLC. Otherwise it's just the occasional spot where Witch skin care range can help and dehydrated skin can be remedied by the all-rounder Neals Yard Wild Rose Beauty balm, or the supercharged BobbiBrown Extra Repair Moisturising Balm SPF 25. "

1.      Skin care is the most important part of a healthy skin and is all about continued maintenance.  These products I personally love (they are organic and naturally effective, too): Dr Hauschka, Caudalie, Avene, Melvita, and Helios in Covent Garden, where I have face creams made up in either cream or bees wax formulas.

2.     Facials help to maintain good skin tone. I recommend an Oxygenating Facial as it helps to clear the skin and create a very soft, supple, smooth, and youthful appearance. Karin Herzog facials are a favourite.

3.      Skin primers include Clarins Beauty Flash as it offers the foundation longevity and luminosity. RMK clear creamy matt primer is another great product for under make-up.

4.      Clinique, Shiseido, and M.A.C's face and body foundation are some of my favourites with its soft, translucent and long lasting effects.  A little goes a long way!

5.      Always use a foundation concealer when using a foundation base. Estee Lauder's Disappear concealer range and NARS offer a soft and natural cover. If you're looking for stronger  concealers, Keromask is perfect for covering blemishes and discolourations

6.      Suqqu's clear veil powder is an amazing product, and offers a silky smooth invisible finish and the latest NARS light reflective setting powder for a subtle sheen to reflect the light. 


      With an array of experience in beauty therapy, cosmetics, make-up artistry and skincare, Karen is a go-to for brides who are all about luminous big day beauty (no caked on foundation and false lashes borrowed from a spider, here!). Renowned for her work alongside hairdresser Joseph Koniak, after a thoughtful consultation with Karen in which she really gets to know both your skin and you - your habits both good and bad, the tricks you can easily segue into your daily routine and products to invest in that fit your budget - it's impossible not to notice a difference in your skin that will inevitably make big day beauty guaranteed. 

Friday 1 February 2013

WE'RE EXPECTING: A new blog, baby!

Had you going there, didn't I?
Announcing our news with a fanfare....Image courtesy Elizabeth Messina

Whilst we may not be expecting the pitter patter of sweet little feet any time soon here at Quintessentially Weddings towers, we have an announcement just as thrilling (we hope you'll think so, too) which we've been itching to tell you.

You might have been left wondering why things have remained so eerily quiet on the blog front over past weeks. It's not that we meant to neglect you - particularly all of those new sparkly ring wearers just starting out on their adventuring up the aisle, congrats to whom by the way! Other than things being indefatigably, madly busy what with the Sunday Times Style featuring our little weddings book and all - see below - we've been acting on our new year's resolution to polish up our act.

Which means a whole new, beautiful blog will be landing here in the next few days, fit to bursting with artful, individual, stylish and inspirational content, and chronicling all that is wonderful about the wonder-filled world of weddings. There's nothing like a good makeover, and we plan to come back yet more soignee and fresh as falling snow -  all in the hope it might help you in some small way, of course. Sharing is caring.

Do check in for our usual Friday I'm in Love a little later, and let me know if there's anything you're keen to see or read about on the new blog. It's all for you, dear readers, after all...

Happy Friday!

Sophie aka QBride


Friday 7 December 2012

FRIDAY I'M IN LOVE: QBride rounds up this week's loveliness

This Friday's round up is full of little tree-ts 
Though busier than elfin types in Lapland at the moment (hush, you doubters and humbugs in the back there) when not sharing the news and showcasing our lovely new book, The Secret Quintessentially Weddings Guide, at trade launches and press meets, we've mostly had our heart rate quickened by the below, which I hope you'll find just as festive and endearing too...

Take your cue from Chanel, and host a romantic wintry wedding in a slightly loveworn castle with roaring log fires, plaid and obligatory antlers. You could marry at Linlithgow Palace, site of this week's Metiers d'Arts show (sadly no receptions, though), or try newly opened Chilham Castle in Kent, owned by Jacquetta Wheeler's parents and venue for her recent Vogue featured wedding.

Sometimes you just need things that make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Like this gloriously cheery album endorsed by Vogue, no less. Amazon says I've just bought the last one, but you can always try...

This weekend I'll mostly be firing up the oven to bake these (for a charity afternoon for disadvantaged mums and their little ones, Eaves) from rising star patissere Will Torrent, which still make me dribble every time I merely think about them. A lovely touch for decadent foodie winter weddings, no?

Kate Spade for Paperless post = dream come true. Ever the magpie, I adore this chic gilded invite to a Christmas bash (or wedding?!).

Gorgeous wreaths to adorn your doors, or drop from picture hooks at varying heights for a little whimsical decor. We would love learn to make one with the lovely Philippa Craddock but like the playful feathered numbers from Zara Home and Liberty too.

Fairytale fashion makes for the magical option for winter brides: see Jenny Packham, Valentino and Marchesa in the Harrods windows to kick-start your inspiration - all of whom feature in the book.

And for those not already burnt out by Christmas shopping, savvy brides will be heading to Browns Bride's sample sale on Sunday.

Hope you all have wonderfilled weekends planned, and send me any tip offs of festive wedding wonders you're loving too!


Wednesday 21 November 2012

PARTY TIME: Dig out your sparkliest frock, it's the book launch soiree!

Do you have anything planned for the 5th December? Scratch it. As you're invited - whether literally or metaphorically - to a certain little bash to celebrate the launch of The Secret Quintessentially Weddings Guide. Whilst the 'party' itself will be jumping (and doubtless those antique chandeliers shaking - cripes) here at 29 Portland Place, we'd like to encourage you, our lovely readers, to partake of the fun at home and host your own Planning Party. That's right. Put on your sparkling finery, gather your wedding crew about you, shake yourself a cocktail, and raise a toast to a book that will help take all of those wedmin stresses away - and that we hope you'll love as much as we did making our masterpiece.

NEED SOME INSPIRATION? We've put together some planning party ideas below...

1.Send some pretty invites. We love these jolly (and chic) versions from 2. This is your chance to fool around a little with decor, and try those ideas knocking around for the big day. Experiment! Balloons from ; similar from in the UK 3. Bake yourself one of Peggy Porschen's deliciously pretty Victoria sponges with this recipe at Mulberry's Brilliant Britain - if only to prove that you can bake (whatever the ribbing of your husband or his best man may say on the big day), you're just going to get the pros in for the wedding itself. 4. Get ideas cracking in Smythson's glamorous tome 5. And serve drinks in these elegant Rosy-Cheeked coupes from BHLDN

And what's more, if you sign up for updates on the book at you'll be in with the chance for you and a friend to come and rattle those crystals with us!

Love (a very excited) QBride XOXO 

Wednesday 14 November 2012

PRINTS CHARMING: hot off the press news about The Secret Quintessentially Weddings Guide!

So, after a very loooong absence (apologies lovely readers, even my new husband has forgotten quite who I am), we're back with the very, very exciting news you've all been waiting for....

Cue a thundering drum-roll...


Many months of hard-labour later - and that was just the prising of top secret names and addresses from the little white books of the Quintessentially Weddings team - some printing presses just outside of fair Verona in Italy whirred into action with the illustrated pages of The Secret Quintessentially Weddings Guide. This special project and something of a book-shaped (whisper it) baby of ours sees a myriad of over 100 venues, artisans, boutiques and brilliant designers come together in a uniquely hand-bag sized wedding planning tome.

We personally still can't stop ogling up the ozalids - yup, we've become total book geeks and now speak in bookish language. Vera Wang's cloud-like gowns in blush pink the precise shade of a Laduree macaroon; Smythson's wedding etiquette and how-to guide accompanied by delicious stationery ideas; a delicious mulled wine recipe given to us an exclusive by any self-respecting fashion label and Kate Moss' wedding caterer of choice, Cellar Society (perfect for any winter's nuptials); masterclasses in floral beauty from the likes of Absolute Flowers & Home; Blake Lively's wedding dress designer Marchesa; royal wedding florist Shane Connolly, Rebel Rebel, Zita Elze, Phillipa Craddock, CJ Floral and Hayford & Rhodes; all come together to make for a wedding book we hope you'll be as delighted to own, use and tote about as we were to make.

There are new names to reveal too: the astonishingly beautiful tailoring of Alexander McQueen gracing the groom's section, Elizabeth Emanuel debuting her relaunched collections of glorious gowns fit for a queen, House of Hackney's less-chintzy-more-cool furnishings and novel photobooth backdrops of ombre dipped rose-patterned fabric, shimmering gems with whimsical settings from Emma Franklin, word-of-mouth pretty gowns and accessories from Minna, cult party-rocker Guilty Pleasures DJs, Laurent-Perrier's delicious Champagne, Pomp de Franc's fantastical wedding cakes, almost too gorgeous gowns for bridesmaids from Ghost, Snow Business' fairytale snowscapes, simply chic stationery from Brown Paper and delectable cakes from Peggy Porschen.

Yes, there were names we were sad to not be able to include (I'm thinking of you, mister de la Renta, and you, Ellie and Anna at The Flower Appreciation Society, the lovely and talented Louise Richardson and of course being something of an engagement ring magpie,Tiffany's). But written with real affection, the book is filled with insider tips and expert tricks on everything from handling those inevitable meltdown moments with aplomb and a joke or two to putting your own stamp on your wedding feast and even pretty hand-drawn illustrations by yours truly.

You can order your copy now, by simply clicking this little here link or visit And the countdown to a bookshelf near you begins now!


Friday 19 October 2012

FRIDAY I'M IN LOVE: QBride rounds up this week's loveliness

Rosalind Miller's glorious cake: just one of the delectable pretties in the book!

Phew! What a week. This weekend bodes well, with a long country planned replete with gastro-pub shaped pit-stop, and writing of reams of thank you cards with my (new!) husband - all in a bid to wind down from a week that has brought near completion of our forthcoming book, catching up on the New York bridal week shows, and oh yes, a certain matter of the very British art of cake kicking ass.

But enough about me and my post-wedding wayward waistline, over to this week's love in and little slices of heaven.....

Nothing lovelier than brown paper packages tied up with string....other than these invites enclosed in the endearingly humble stuff. Style it up with calligraphy flourishes in chalky white or gold for a little something spesh.

A little bit of autumn goes a long way. And given we're big fans of seasonality here at Q Weddings towers, we've fallen hard for these stylings over at Ritzybee.


Cakes that take inspiration from your frock? Why ever not....

Wants everything from here, please.

Just because

Happy Friday, loves!


Wednesday 17 October 2012

NEW YORK, NEW YORK: All the pretty from the Bridal Market catwalk shows....

Bridal Market (held this past weekend in the big apple) can only mean one thing – more 'oohing' and 'aahing' than your average fireworks display. Because a veritable firework display of beautiful gowns this most certainly is.
A bride who strides: Monique Lhuillier's cheeky thigh-split gown
For those of you unfamiliar with New York's biannual Bridal Market, it plays host to a glittering showcase of wedding talent from across the globe who all descend upon the big apple for four days of couture shows of their latest bridal collections, exciting new suppliers and basically share in an industry love-in. With collections from Vera Wang, Caroline Castigliano, Sassi Holford, Stephanie Allin and Monique Lhuillier showing on the runway and a clutch of couturiers holding private, invite-only trunk shows to rival the ateliers of Paris (and give Tom Ford a run for his money when it comes to the hype and 'wish I was on the invite list' elbowing), it's small surprise these runway to aisle style shows often dictate the trends and aesthetic of wedding fashion and weddings themselves, given they take such inspiration from gowns now, so wholly and absolutely. When Bridal Market's designers talk, we sit up and listen, taking notes and scribbling like women possessed.

More dreamy dresses, above, all from Monique Lhuillier Fall 2013

Highlights and noteworthy dresses this time around seemingly revolved around a return to a whiter shade of pale. Following several seasons of leading designers' collections being marked out by an irreverent and unexpected use of colour, hands up who welcomes the return of such pure beauty gracing the catwalks and inevitably aisles? We certainly do, much as love a bride foxy enough to wear red on her big day.

Luxuriously structured and full-bodied gowns with added ruffled interest in the skirts also made a strong showing led by the endlessly breathtaking Vera Wang, with voluminous romance and millefeuille layers at their best in Carolina Herrera's almost too-beautiful gowns. The girl has most certainly made a comeback.

Vera Wang ruffles our feathers. If we had some, that is....
For the magpies among you, glittering pewter beadwork smattered the corsets (yup, you read that right - corsets) of Marchesa and Monique Lhuillier in embellishment that harked back to the golden age of court dresses with their gilt thread bodices, but all given a modern, youthful feel thanks to simple silhouettes and acres of white fabric framing the sparkle.

Marchesa's collection showed oodles of statement gowns, with abundant textural detail and twinkling embellishment.

And the high-low hems at Oscar de la Renta reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn in her Givenchy best or detachable skirts and trains at Reem Acra, Amsale and Monique Lhuillier (think Emilia Wickstead's beautiful self-made wedding gown rather than Bucks Fizz)? Don't even get us started. With designers Vera Wang, Jenny Packham, Marchesa, Monique Lhuillier all showing and featuring in our forthcoming book, the future looks bright - and more than all white.

Friday 14 September 2012

BARDOT BRIDAL BEAUTY: Get the look with fluttery lashes from Eyelush

Yearn for lashes as luscious and voluminous as the quintessential Sixties saucepot's? Then head to the lovely team at Eyelush at one of their two London salons for revolutionary extensions as natural and conditioning as they come. Specialising solely in eyelashes, Eyelush offers a gentle and non-invasive application of leading brand Xtreme lashes results in longer, thicker and abundant flutters. Even for fidgets like me, sitting though the application was a serene experience with lashes meticulously applied individually taking a little over 2 hours following a consultation on my desired look. Choosing from five different levels you can choose to keep it subtle and tear-proof as just a natural boost to what you already have, or go all-out Bardot with alluring, lavish lashes. Lasting for so much longer than just your wedding, removal is a cinch too - simply return to the Eyelush girls who'll quickly and painlessly remove them free of charge.

And then follow Charlotte Tilbury's guide, below, to smoky Feline eyes from Vogue's Beauty Confidential supplement....

1.  "Curl the lashes"

2.  "Using a dark brown eyeliner [try Dior's Crayon Eyeliner in Dark Brown, £16.50] draw a line on the top eyelid from the lower corner of the eye along the lids. When you're two-thirds of the way along, swish it upwards."

3. "Draw the eyeliner along the lower lashes then smudge along top and bottom lashes, or for a more defined eye, use MAC Fluidline in Dipdown, £13.50, to fix the look in place."

Kew: QCut Salon, 295 Sandycombe Road, Kew Gardens, London TW9 3LU
Mayfair: Michaeljohn Salon, 25 Albemarle Street, Mayfair, London W1S 4HU

E: [email protected]
T: +44(0)7525 536 537

Follow on Twitter @Eyelush and find on Facebook

Thursday 13 September 2012

TO THE COUNTRY: Babington House open house Wedding Day 29th September

What must be the Mulberry of country houses throws open its doors on Saturday September 29th for a day as luxuriously lovely and laced with bohemian style as the venue itself. One of our hands-down favourite wedding spots, nestled between the rolling folds of the Somerset countryside Babington House strikes just the right balance between edgy cool and heritage refinement, making it the perfect boutique venue for couples who like their weddings as unique as they are. No mandatory chintz and tweed here, just plenty of fun and one of the best bars in the land, with a range of tariffs to suit your pocket.
Jacquetta Wheeler rocks the boho bridal style in Temperley (as featured in Vogue)
With full tours of the estate (bring your Hunters), the chance to experience the facilities which include a dreamy Cowshed Spa, and sample some of the fresh, locally sourced food for a true farm to table experience this isn't your average wedding open day, either. Oh no, with Christian Louboutin, Temperley and Smythson all showing off their latest collections and Smythson offering 10% off on all orders placed on bespoke stationery as well as a luxury gift to take home, the country just got a whole lot more stylish. All brides will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win a bespoke pair of Christian Louboutins too. Almost more perfect a day than your wedding will be!

Book your spot now on +44(0)137 381 4907 or email [email protected]