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Why you should ignore everyone's wedding planning rules (including ours): An alternative guide to planning your wedding // The Natural Wedding Company

We felt it was about time that we put together our own alternative wedding planning guide, one that encourages and empowers you to create a wedding that reflects you as a couple. Many couples that stumble across our eco wedding directory and blog tell us they suddenly feel at home amidst the often crazy world of weddings.

“I felt I had an affinity with your blog that inspired me to be confident in creating a wedding day that was meaningful to us as a couple.”

Here are our top 10 tips to create an alternative wedding planning guide. Take what you want and leave the rest. We’re not here to tell you what to do or how to do it, we just want to empower you to make your own choices and create a wedding that reflects you.

1. Pinterest – The Bane Of A Newly Engaged’s Life?

Don’t get us wrong we really do love Pinterest (<< go see if you don’t believe us), we can get lost on it for hours and it really is a great source of inspiration. HOWEVER, please don’t let all the beautiful styled images freak you out and suddenly make you think you need to have things you hadn’t even considered. Use it as a tool for ideas and leave it at that, don’t get wrapped up in recreating every styled image you see. Unless of course DIY is your bag and you have the time to do it stress-free.

Wedding quote // Pinterest - The Bane Of A Newly Engaged's Life? // The Natural Wedding Company

2. Your Wedding Should Not Be Used As An Excuse To Spend Money You Don’t Have

Your wedding in not an excuse to spend more money than you have or are prepared to spend. Lots of couples will have a budget (in 2016 the average UK wedding cost – in our opinion an eye-watering – £25,000), but just because you set your budget at X amount doesn’t mean you need to find things to spend it all on.

Why not try working the opposite way. Start with no budget and by listing out the big things you’d love. Find out how much they cost, then list out your essentials and find out how much they cost. Add it all up. Finally, work out how much more you can, need or want to spend on your wedding. This might help you to focus on what you really want rather than just spending (or blowing) your budget.

It’s also worth accepting early on that (some of) your dreams will likely be dashed by “lack of money” (whether you are spending £2,500 or £25,000). Instead of feeling disheartened, see what you can dream up when you are forced to be creative and think outside the box, you might just get something even more wonderful.

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How to do a 10 minute facial using natural products from your kitchen // Ellie Gill // The Natural Wedding Company

Our make-up artist friend Ellie Gill has put together a 10 minute facial for us using natural ingredients you’d find in your kitchen – now that’s my kind of beauty treatment. Back in the spring she talked to us about the benefits of a pre wedding massage and mentioned that she encourages her bridal clients to do a 10 minute facial in the lead up to their wedding.

I wanted to hear Ellie’s advice for her 10 minute facial, so she’s put together her tips and suggestions. Over to Ellie…

What’s your natural daily skincare routine?

In today’s busy world it’s so lovely to have a daily skincare routine. I find it so relaxing to just take a few moments to pamper myself and I genuinely believe that natural ingredients are the most beneficial.

I’m sure most of you will have experimented with making face mask as a teen. My friend and I used to coat our faces with lumpy bits of banana and egg when we had sleepovers. I always just thought it was a bit of fun and didn’t pay serious attention to my skin but fifteen years later and I’ve returned to the kitchen for some of my favourite beauty staples.

How to do a 10 minute facial using natural products from your kitchen // Ellie Gill // The Natural Wedding Company

A simple routine using natural ingredients

Through years of experimentation with various skincare products and a multitude of brands I’ve finally learnt that money doesn’t buy value and often the most expensive, cleverly branded creams and serums cause my skin to flare up.

Within my job as a makeup artist I see so many different faces. Time and time again clients with problematic skin seem to use lots of synthetic products with tons of suspicious ingredients. My clients with the best skin tend to have a more simple routine using natural ingredients.

So lets take it back to basics.

Top natural beauty products for a 10 minute facial

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The benefits of a pre wedding massage to relax and clear your mind to focus on the true meaning of marriage // The Beauty Aisle // The Natural Wedding Company

Today I have a wonderful guest post all around taking care of yourself in the lead-up to your wedding by investing in wedding massage to help your de-stress and relax. I think we can too often focus on ourselves in terms of having a beautiful dress, hair and make-up for our wedding, but not actually in nurturing our inner self. Marriage is listed as one of the top stressful life events, we can end up so focused on putting together a wonderful day for all our family and friends, that we actually forget to give ourselves space to process what our wedding day is really about.

My experience of massage and other alternative therapies is that they are not only deeply relaxing but they also give you an incredible opportunity to clear and quieten your mind of all those racing thoughts and endless to-do lists. As a mother I now value those moments as incredibly precious, but I also recognised the importance of this in the lead-up to my own wedding. There are many ways to take this time for yourself, but massage is one of my favourites, and so I’m delighted that Ellie from The Beauty Aisle is going to share her advice on making the most of this wonderful therapy.

Ellie is one of our recommended make-up artists and offers a 10% discount to all our brides-to-be who book her for their wedding make-up, you can find full details of the offer here.

Over to Ellie…

The benefits of a pre wedding massage to relax and clear your mind to focus on the true meaning of marriage // The Beauty Aisle // The Natural Wedding Company

Why get a massage in the lead up to your wedding day?

So your wedding day is coming up. You’ve thought about the dress, flowers, invitations and venue but what about… yourself?

Planning a wedding is great fun but it can be stressful too. During this busy time it’s important to sit back and take time to relax too otherwise you risk suffering from burn out.

There are tons of ways to help you stay calm and collected in the lead up to the big day but I’m going to talk about massage as I know how it has benefited so many of my clients in the long term.

Massage is absolutely fantastic for reducing stress. Small amounts of stress are useful when we need to get things done but too much stress can be extremely damaging to our health. It can affect us in all sorts of ways from tension headaches and skin problems to interrupted sleeping patterns.

During massage your heart rate is lowered and ‘happy hormones’ are released. Many people think of massage as a real luxury but it should be thought of as part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It helps to relaxes muscles, improves circulation and it’s also detoxifying resulting in better immunity.

The benefits of a pre wedding massage to relax and clear your mind to focus on the true meaning of marriage // The Beauty Aisle // The Natural Wedding Company

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You will probably recognise today’s guest blogger, she’s one of my lovely TNWC Real Brides, Emma, who is sharing all her wedding planning experiences with us.  She recently emailed me a blog post she’d written about her experience of her wedding make-up trial as she felt it might strike a chord with some of my other bride-to-be readers.  And I think it will.

I decided not to include it among Emma’s TNWC Real Brides posts as I think it needed to stand alone.  If you’d like to read more about Emma’s wedding plans, you can do so here.  

I also wanted to extend an invitation to any other brides-to-be out there, like Emma, who’ve had positive or negative experiences during their wedding planning and want to share them with others – you are welcome to write them up and pop them in an email to me at charlie@thenaturalweddingcompany.co.uk and I will try and feature them here on the blog.

Over to Emma…

Beauty Is A Feeling

I wanted to share with you all my experience of my make up trial and why I decided to cancel having a professional make up artist on the day, leaving me out of pocket.

I always thought that having my make up done on my wedding day would be a real treat as I so rarely wear make up and thought it would be nice to feel and look glamorous.  Every bride wants to look their best on their wedding as so much attention is focused onto you and there is a little pressure to look better than you would on any other day, which is why I thought professional make up would make me look ‘more like a bride.’

I booked a trial with a local make-up artist and was looking forward to having a girly time trying out different looks.  When I arrived at the studio I explained that I rarely wear much more than a bit of mascara and some tinted moisturiser and that I wanted to look really natural but have my features enhanced.  The make up artist started by tweaking my brows, which turned into a full on overhaul with wax, threading and trimming with scissors… I was a little worried as I quite like my eyebrows to be natural but I trusted the make up artist as she has an excellent portfolio and is clearly very talented.

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The Natural Works Company Evolve luxury gift set

If you are weeks, or maybe even months away from your big day, then making sure your skin looks as beautiful and glowing as possible is probably high up your list – I know it was before my wedding day.  The wonderful Nita from The Natural Works Company has two luxury bodycare gift sets to be won by two lucky readers, each containing four wonderful products.

Each of the gift sets contains:

  • Heavenly Body Polish, a cream body scrub with coconut shell pieces to gently buff away dead skin cells
  • Skin Glow Body Cream, which gives a healthy natural glow to the skin
  • Radiance Boost Body Cream, an award winning anti-ageing cream which exfoliates, boosts radiance and protects the skin
  • Skin Cocoon Body Wash, which gently cleanses the skin while locking in moisture

The Natural Works Company are also offering anyone who enters the competition a 10% discount on all orders over £10, which will be emailed out to you after the competition closes.

The Natural Works Company

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With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, look no further for beautiful natural gifts than Hea’ram-Skearam Soap Company.

Their new Valentine’s inspired treats are made from scratch at Suzanne’s kitchen table, using raw ingredients inspired by the beautiful surroundings of the Somerset Levels.

Special Valentine’s products include the ‘Be My Valentine Soap Chunk’ – a beautiful bar of silky smooth soap, handmade with natural oils, fragranced with white musk and sweet violets, and topped with rose buds and petals.

The soap comes hand wrapped in mulberry paper speckled with hearts and an ‘ellie poo’ paper wrap.

The ‘Be My Valentine Candle’ is made from natural eco-soya and is fragranced with a romantic blend of white musk, violets and red roses.  The candles are hand poured and are available in tins or jars.

If your Valentine loves nothing more than a soak in a hot bath, the ‘Be My Valentine Bath Bomb’ would be the ideal gift.  Gently fragranced and made from skin softening sodium bicarbonate, the bath bomb is heart-shaped and topped with a single rose bud.

The bath bomb comes wrapped and secured with a raffia tie.

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