Today we’re catching up with real bride, Mel, to chat all about her stunning destination wedding. Mel tied the knot on 29th August 2017 at in Villa Catignano, just outside of Siena.

I work with many destination brides to ensure that they have the bridal make-up that they have always dreamed of, no matter where in the world their wedding day may be. Offering a UK-based trial to help you choose the perfect look, I will then join you at your destination wedding venue, complete with everything that I need to work with you and your bridal party. Having worked at many dreamy destination weddings, I can effortlessly manage the variables of hair and make-up styling in a variety of climates.

I also ease the stress of trying to convey your ideas and visions to a local hair and make-up artist, where often the language barrier can lead to the finer details being lost in translation. My calm yet professional presence means you can relax and wait for your destination wedding to unfold. So, let’s find out a little more about Mel’s experience…

Tell us a little bit about your wedding day, colour scheme, wedding themes, décor etc.

“We hired the villa for three nights and had the place to ourselves, it felt a little bit like a festival. The reason was simple we love our friends and how often do you go to weddings and say so and so was really nice, we should stay on touch… Well chances are they are going to be great people as they are really good friends of your friends (the bride & groom!). So, with this in mind we wanted people to really get to know each other and bond, even now people are still meeting up even without us!

As the wedding was late summer & in Tuscany with stunning scenery we wanted it all to be really authentic, nothing English, we fell in love with the area and wanted people to understand and to love it as we did, I think it worked! The villa has been in the same family for nearly 200 years and was originally a working farm. Sofia, the owner has only recently started to use it as a wedding venue and sympathetically and slowly has restored the majority of the buildings and the grounds but has managed to keep the amazing, quaint and typical Italian character and charm you would expect.

Because of that and the time of year the colours were very pale pastel colours, there was lots of eucalyptus, lavender, olive sprigs, pale pink and white roses. The venue is in the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany so we named the tables after the various grapes which make up the Chianti Classico wine! We wanted a really chilled vibe as we appreciated it wasn’t just our wedding but our guest’s holiday too! The only day that had an itinerary was the actual wedding day, other than that people could explore the local area, local vineyards or visit Siena. Many people made it part of their holiday so our wedding was the start or endpoint of their holiday!”

What hairstyle did you choose for your wedding day and how did you find the inspiration for it?

Liz was fantastic, I wanted the romantic flowing hair and natural makeup look, I think I said I wanted to look like a Hollywood star but still look like me… (I’m normally in jeans, hair scraped back and a no make up kinda gal!). I googled a few images and showed her what I liked. I’m not a ‘girly girl’ and am not into the latest fashion and have no experience in this field at all, even as a bride I was pretty relaxed about the whole thing.

Needless to say Liz’s experience shone through, she said that it may be hot, that I may get sweaty and that curly locks probably wouldn’t last all day – she was right I had put no thought into it!

So, she suggested for me to have my hair up but not in a perfectly manicured look way, if I was to say scruffy that wouldn’t be right either! But a happy middle ground, I still had some curls and also she added little plaits. I was worried that it would look flat but I needn’t have worried as Liz conjured up some volume from somewhere! I was so pleased with my hair, I didn’t want to take it out!”

What make-up look did you have on your wedding day and why did you choose it?

“I wanted a natural look, not to look too made up… I hate the concrete layered look where you can see it melting off people’s faces! I had googled some images and Liz deciphered that ultimately it was a smokey eye look… she did it and I loved it, I would not have changed a THING! I wore the trial make up and a few false lashes for the whole day and evening and couldn’t stop looking at myself every time I walked past a mirror, usually I avoid looking at myself like the plague! When it came to the wedding day I had more of a tan than I did on the trial and that meant she could make it a bit more dramatic which was just perfect. She had also done a lot of research and added an extra powder on top which helped control the shine, typically our wedding day was hotter then average and got up to 37 degrees but my make up stayed perfect and she was there ready to touch me up if necessary but it wasn’t needed.”

Did you create a bridal skincare routine ahead of the big day?

“I am ashamed to say I do not have a skin care routine, the extent of my routine was to slap Nivea on after a shower! Although in preparation I did start to use an eye cream and boots No 7 Airbrush primer but to be honest I don’t know if that was the right thing or not! On the trial day Liz used Bobby Brown products before applying any make up and I loved them, I loved the smell and how they made my skin feel, so from then on until the wedding and even up until now I still use these products and my skin hasn’t looked or felt this good for a long time… I think I am now addicted to using them, it’s my morning ritual!”

Tell us about the style of your wedding dress?

“Like me, my wedding dress was simple! I’m not a meringue dress type of person as I am only 5’1” so I didn’t want anything to swap me! The dress I chose was by Essence of Australia and it was a simple, fitted dress with a high neckline from the front but with a net back so it looked backless, it also had a small trail. The material was fairly thick but also it didn’t crease easily which was important as we had to travel with it, it was my hand luggage! The colour was an off white, not quite ivory and it has lace detail… I loved it and the second I put it on I felt really comfortable in it.”

How did you accessorise your bridal look?

“Liz and I tried various sparkly / non-sparkly / pearl hair clips, but nothing seemed quite right. In the end I opted for some chandelier style earrings with little crystals in, that was all the sparkle I needed. I let the hair and make-up show themselves off, it needed nothing more. It was a simple look I was going for and I didn’t want to ‘over do’ it.”

What did your bridesmaids wear?

“My bridesmaids were amazing and said they would wear anything I wanted! Bear in mind I had two guys (my Man of Honour and my Bridesman! and two female bridesmaids). The men both wore exactly what the best men were wearing and my bridesmaids ended up wearing identical dresses from Ted Baker. They were not the typical bridesmaid dress style but then nothing about this wedding was ‘normal’. They were knee length with and blue (the Groom’s colour) white and burgundy stripes – sounds horrendous but I promise they looked lovely, again they both had their hair up and make up done by Liz!”

Do you have any tips for future brides?

“Do your research early and don’t leave it till the last minute!

Have a great team behind you who will advise you honestly and not just agree.

Be prepared, plan ahead!

Don’t be afraid to ask your professionals questions – that’s what they are there for

Trust the professionals

Be honest – speak up if you are uncomfortable with ANYTHING

It’s your day, not everyone will agree with you… do as you both want

Take time out of the day to step back and look around you – easier said than done!

Have a Plan A, B & C

On the day RELAX Enjoy it (nothing else you can do now)!”

So, if you’re planning on saying, ‘I Do’ abroad, you can trust my combination of talent, experience and industry connections with your destination wedding preparations. Find out more about how I can be a part of your destination wedding here.

Images via Liz Patey MUA

#DestinationWedding #InternationalBrides #WeddingMakeUp