Ideas for Bucks & Hens Parties in Newcastle: MyWeddingConcierge

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Thinking of what to plan for your Bucks or Hens night? Happen to be having it in Newcastle? Even if you’re not, ditch your plans and book it in. There are some unique things to do and see in Newcastle that just so happen to be perfect for a Bucks/Hens night. For an experience a little more special and a little less risqué, look towards these ideas for a night that you will enjoy. And remember.

Sand Dune Port Stephens Quad Biking

When your idea of adventure isn’t stumbling the streets at 3am trying to hail a taxi home, quad biking the sand dunes of Port Stephens could be the ultimate Bucks party. Everyone’s done four wheel driving and have probably driven a quad bike in their lives, so why not take it to the next level? I’m sure your mates will love you for it. And your fiancee probably won’t hate you for it either.

With a basic lesson on quad bike riding, you’ll soon be on the Stockton Beach sand dunes having the time of your life. It’s the perfect stress relief if all the pre-wedding preparation has been a little much. The unique thing about Sand Dune Adventures it that they own and control private sand dunes that aren’t open to the public, so you’ll get an unparalleled experience that will have everyone wishing they thought of it first.

Prices start from $110pp 

Private Charter Cruise

If you’ve got a big group and are struggling for ideas for a venue, a boat cruise is an excellent way to spend the night, while still enjoying Newcastle’s scenery. Perfect for a Hens or a Bucks with a group of over 30 guests, enjoy some bubbly and appetisers while you take in Newcastle’s harbour.

Not as formal as a regular venue, guests can move about the boat, catching different views of the bay. You can also escape that friend you had to invite just because you partner is friends with their partner, and skip on all the embarrassing stories your uncle might be blabbing about. I’ll take the stern, you take the bow, Uncle Ned.

Prices start from $54 for a Cocktail Cruise

Hen’s Treasure Hunt 

Want an event that you can invite your mum, aunty and even your grandmother to without internally dying of embarrassment? According to the Hens Treasure Hunt site, they don’t include “strippers, drinking games, or embarrassing challenges”. No questionable drinking straws to be seen, but it may involve a few drinks.

With your group of girls you will split up into two teams and use the clues to seek out the best places in Newcastle. Meeting some men along the way is somewhat inevitable, though it seems no one is complaining! And don’t forget, this is not the Amazing Race. They recommend you leave your heels at home in favour of some more practical shoes (*boo*) so you don’t hobble your way to the last meeting place. With cute prizes to be won along the way and one for the hen, it’s a fun experience that will sure to be all over Instagram the next morning. And a photo you won’t need to report in fear of losing your job over. Win-win for everyone.

Prices start from $48pp

Hunter Valley Hens Party Cooking Class 

Looking for something with class, elegance and style? With a little bit of booze and a whole lot of food? A cooking class in the Hunter Valley, Newcastle’s famous wine region, is a perfect way to spend a Hen’s Party. Forget a big night out that you never make it to because you underestimated the power of pre-drinks. A five hour, three course lunch or dinner made from scratch using organic ingredients allows a bride and her bridal party/girlfriends to unwind from the stress of the lead up to the big day and enjoy some quality time together. Going dancing might be fun, but not being able to have a conversation because the music is blaring isn’t all that great.

The class also involves a tour of the vineyard and and additional course of fine cheeses. Love the sound of it? You could even make it into a weekend trip and book a stay in the Hunter Valley. Grape vines as far as the eye can see, wine on hand and a cheese factory around the bend? Sounds pretty heavenly.

Starting price of $160

While inflatable plastic unmentionables picked up from the local two dollar shop and girls parading in next to nothing are the go to’s for a hens/bucks night, taking advantage of Newcastle’s beautiful scenery is something not to miss. For something memorable and just as enjoyable look a little outside the norm. Especially in Newcastle, what’s not to find?

Bridal Hairstyles for a Winery Weddings: MyWeddingConcierge

Having your ceremony at a winery amongst the twisting vines, manicured grass and delicate flowers? A winery wedding is the epitome of romance. With a beautiful setting comes the need for a suitably charming hairstyle. Forget ultra sleek, perfectly placed tresses. The winery wedding gives host to a look that’s a a little more undone. That’s not to say that you can wake up and put through a little dry shampoo and be done; it’s all about relaxed elegance. The whole appeal of looking perfectly undone like you managed to roll out of bed in that state, often takes more time to achieve than a more refined look. Have a read through the hairstyles that would suit a winery wedding. A pen and a notepad are optional. A glass of wine is imperative.

Braids on braids on braids 

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Ever wanted to try the boxer braids everyone seems to be assimilating? This triple (quadruple?) braided hairstyle is a contemporary take on bridal hair, alluding to modern fashion to create a visually stunning look. Blend dutch braids with fishtails, plaits with rope braids. More texture and complexity will create a unique hairstyle unlike any other typical up-do. Can’t seem to remember how to braid past the simple plaits from your primary school days? There a countless Youtube tutorials that you can watch while you practice in front of a mirror. The appeal of this hairstyle is that braids can turn out differently each time depending on how loose or tight you make them, so work with the braids, not against them. Of course you can also hire a professional hair stylist to create the look for you if hair just isn’t your thing. Make sure you bring along some photos for inspiration and a basic idea of the braids you would like. Remember: fishtails are good. Cornrows? Not so much.

Flowers: Not just for your bouquet

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If you’re feeling a little left out of the Lana Del Rey/Coachella flower crown trend, incorporating some blooms into your hairstyle is a great way to nod to the scenery at a winery wedding. Using flowers that compliment or are the same as the ones in your bouquet is a great way to add uniformity to the entire look, and carry through the feel of romance. I would avoid against the look of a flower crown atop your head as it can be a little too trendy for a wedding. For a more timeless look, slick your hair into a low chignon and place a band of flowers on top horizontally like the photo. This will aid to keep hair out of your face and ensure you look great from all angles, especially when walking down the aisle. However, wearing fresh flowers can be tricky. Make sure to look up some tricks online how to keep flowers looking fresh and how to properly attach them (hint: keep flowers in water or refrigerated right before using, and using U-shaped hairpins for larger flowers and smaller pins for more delicate flowers). The right bloom choice is also vital for longevity, so do your research and even speak with a florist if need be.

Did someone call for the milkman?

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Braids again? Here me out on this one. This is a way to incorporate the braid trend into an undo hairstyle. It has all the vibes of the Oslen twins in the best way possible. One of the most appealing features of this style is that it is essentially two straightforward plaits crossed over one another. Pulling at the braids and leaving wispy fronts keeps the hairstyle undone and relaxed. It’s not always the first thing you imagine when you think of bridal hairstyles which maintains a level of unexpectedness. And out of all of the trends mentioned, this one is definitely the most romantic. It has this look of youthfulness which is stunning, especially when paired with a lace dress. For a look as dreamy as your venue, this is the go.

The only way is up

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The half-up-half-down hairstyle is one that brides go to time and time again. It’s the perfect way to have the best of both worlds; an updo mixed with the length of a hair-down style. This style works the best with brides who have medium to long hair, as waving the lengths adds to a feeling of effortlessness, far from the tight curls of a pageant queen. Twisting the hair from the temples and securing it at the back of the head is one of the easiest ways to create a half up style. Want to make it a little fancy? Try pinning the hair with a jewelled pin, or an amazing brooch fashioned into a hair pin (see Lauren Conrad and TheBeautyDepartment for drool-worthy inspiration). You could even place little flowers in the twist to emulate the the flower idea discussed earlier. As evident, the possibilities with this hairstyle are infinite. A great one as a base starting idea, or even one for brides whose dress is heavily embellished or more showy.

As with any pre-wedding preparation, organisation is key. Trawl through Pintrest to find some inspiration, consult a hair stylist if you want the help of a professional, or scroll through Youtube to find out how to begin to tackle a fishtail braid. I would recommend trialling the hairstyle you want for your wedding, as factors such as hair type, colour, length and even weather conditions can be a factor. And if, like me, hair is an oversight most of the time, get started now.

Should You Have Pre-wedding Cosmetic Surgery?: MyWeddingConcierge

Before the big day you want to do everything you can to make sure you look and feel your best. That might mean hitting the gym to tone up, cutting out alcohol altogether or something as simple as drinking more water. It’s these little things that are a constant in our minds, but it appears an imminent wedding pushes these goals to the forefront. And while simple fixes can instantly gratify, sometimes it takes a little more to be fully confident.

Pre-wedding cosmetic surgery, also known as ‘bridalplasty,’ is a concept of undergoing medical procedures to the face and body in order to achiever outer beauty flawlessness. Not happy with the bridge of your nose? It can be fixed. Want your breasts a little more prominent? It’s on the list.

While bridalplasty claims to create the ‘perfect’ bride, it’s a concept that’s highly unattainable and self-esteem crushing. Looking flawless in wedding photos may have its perks, but are you willing to cope through months of recovery, all in the vain attempt to reach perfection?

If you have been thinking about having a cosmetic procedure for a while and would like to have it done before your wedding, there are a few procedures that are popular with brides. Always take into consideration the recovery time with these types of procedures, which may or may not interfere with other wedding preparations.

Breast augmentation: 

This procedure involves implanting the breasts with silicone rubber or a silicone gel or saline solution to increase the breast size. You will spend a few weeks in recovery, especially before going for dress fittings. Though this procedure is reversible, it is highly intensive and does produce swelling and soreness which may take weeks to recover from.

Rhinoplasty:

More commonly referred to as a ‘nose job’, rhinoplasty involves an operation which alters the shape of the nose tip or bridge. The procedure often takes around three hours and is costly. Recovery can take as long as six to eight months, with patients developing swelling and bruising post-surgery.

Liposuction:

Liposuction is a procedure where excess fat is removed from parts of the body to create a more defined figure. It works best on patients who have areas of fat that cannot be targeted through diet or exercise, and is also effective at reducing cellulite. The procedure can be completed in a day but patents are often referred to a hospital to aid in the healing process. Liposuction creates soreness, bruising and swelling which can take a few weeks to subside. (Remember that liposuction is not to be used in place of a healthy eating regime and regular exercise)

 

But who said beauty has to be painful? There are other less invasive procedures that can be done in the space of a lunch break, with little heal time and maximum results.

Botox:

Botox is a non-surgical procedure which involves the use of a purified protein which paralyses the muscles in the face which cause frown line between the brows. Botox is a relatively quick treatment which is effective in making lasting results of up to a few months. Make sure you visit a qualified doctor or surgeon as many perform Botox without the experience or proper qualifications to do so.

Chemical skin peels: 

Chemical peels involve the use of glycolic acid which is ingredient that breaks down the dead layer of skin cells to reveal new, sparkling skin below. These peels can be done by appointment, but many at home masks and treatments can offer similar results using a much smaller dose of the ingredient. The results of these peels, however, are not often immediate. It might take a few appointments before real results emerge, and redness is often an associated site effect of the treatment. Something to undertake a couple of months before your wedding day.

Microdermabrasion:

Along the same vein as chemical skin peels, microdermabrasion involves getting rid of dead skin cells to reveal a more radiant complexion underneath. While peels rely on the use of chemicals, microdermabrasion is an intense, physical exfoliation. This treatment is done over the space of a few months and is an ongoing treatment. Though it may not be a one time fix, each session is relatively quick with no downtime afterwards.

Teeth whitening:

Less commitment than veneers and bonding, teeth whitening can brighten a bride’s smile and look great in photos. There are many kits that can be purchased from your local chemist or supermarket that will whiten teeth over the space of a few weeks and are less of a monetary commitment than a dentist’s job. Do consult the advice of your dentist before considering getting your teeth whitened as it can create tooth sensitivity.

 

Remember that these quick-fix procedures must be fully considered, not as a pre-wedding ritual but a potentially permanent body altering surgery. As with any other procedures, please seek the advice of a medical practitioner.

Hottest Bridal Trends for 2016: MyWeddingConcierge

So you’ve found the dress, booked the venue, sent out the wedding invitations and sampled the menu. But what about your makeup? While makeup trends are ever-changing, with a full brow fashionable one season and a heavy winged eyeliner the next, opting for a more subtle look for your wedding will ensure you don’t cringe at your wedding photos in years to come. Teal eyeshadow may have swept its way across the spring/summer 2016 ready-to-wear runways, but it’s not the best option for your ‘something blue’. Let’s take a look at what the top designers are pairing with their gowns.

Carolina Herrera Bridal Spring/Summer 2016 Runway Show
NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 17: A model walks the runway during the Carolina Herrera Bridal Spring/Summer 2016 Runway Show on April 17, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Randy Brooke/Getty Images)

Carolina Herrera bridal spring 2016

Coming up roses: Take inspiration from your bouquet. Rosy tones like blush pink on the cheeks provides a fresh, youthful complexion that will have your doting aunty crown you as the ‘blushing bride’. Pair flushed cheeks with a creamy lip in a matching shade to compliment the skin. Want to take it a step further? A reflective pink eyeshadow can be a unexpected deviation from the typical golden tones, and when done subtly can look stunning. Think more By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Frozen Quartz, less NYX Primal Colours in Hot Pink.

Image: Randy Brooke/Getty

2.Marchesa

Marchesa Bridal Spring 2016

White now: Ditch the heavy black eyeliner and opt for a white eyeliner instead. Definitely one for the more contemporary bride interested in all things fashionable and envelope pushing. Marchesa paired their white lined eyes with minimalistic skin and a pink lip, but a little more mascara on the lashes would make this look even more wearable. Perhaps one to give a trial run before the big day.

Image: Getty/ Thomas Concordia

3.LeilaRose

Lela Rose Bridal Spring 2016

Coral me cute: light orange shades on the cheeks, eyes and lips create a cohesive makeup look. Especially for spring or summer weddings, warm salmon pinks and bright corals really speak to the season. Lela Rose emphasises light reflecting, glowing formulas to keep things light and ethereal. And while coral looks beautiful on light skin tones, this look would especially complement darker skin tones and make warmer complexions really glow.

Image: Getty/ Thomas Concordia

4.PamelaRoland

Pamella Roland Bridal Spring 2016

Step in line: while Pamella Roland used the reoccurring trends of fresh skin and pink lips, the models’ subtly rimmed eyes and fluttering eyelashes stole the show. Contrasted with the white of the wedding dress, subtly lining the eyes can draw attention to the face and prevent brides from looking washed out. Thickening the lash line by applying mascara to the very root of the lash can make the lashes appear thicker without the need for false eyelashes. Want to go all out? Applying individual false lashes would work best in adding volume where needed (such as the outer corners), but choosing a strip lash with an invisible or thin band would also work.

Image: Getty/ Randy Brooke

5.OcardelaRenta

Oscar de la Renta Bridal Spring 2016

Light of my life: the contouring trend may be taking over the makeup scene in recent years, but gaunt cheekbones aren’t as desirable for your wedding day. Cheekbones can become a feature by using highlighter. Rather than creating shadow through contour, highlighter brings forward the features you want to emphasise and creates a celestial glow in the process. Using a cream highlighter creates a more natural look, and prevents the harsh glitter that is present in some powders. The models’ complexions demonstrated this glow as they walked down the runway for Oscar de la Renta.

Image: Getty/ Slaven Vlasic

Take your pick from the bridal makeup trends for Spring 2016 and alter it to suit you and your complexion. All at once may be a little much, but consulting with a makeup artist can help you deicide what will work best. Perhaps blue eyeshadow is the way to go? Just make sure to send me a photo to challenge my perception.

Why J’Aton Couture Has Australian Brides In A Spin: MyWeddingConcierge

While trying to find a dress to wear on a night out might seem like a battle, choosing the perfect wedding dress is an entirely different struggle. Searching through hundreds of bridal magazines sticking colourful tabs like Monica Bing in Friends, looking through countless racks of dresses to find nothing quite right to having to decide you have no option but to wear your mother’s dress from the ‘80s with the puffy sleeves. And while everyone may enjoy a little throwback every now and again, the only real throwback on your wedding day should be your bridal bouquet. With the same dresses circling Pinterest and Instagram, finding something unique is becoming another weight to add to the stress of finding a dress. J’Aton Couture, however, is bringing the extraordinary back to bridal design.

Starting their label in 1995, the Italian duo Jacob Luppino and Anthony Pittorino have been working needle and thread for over 20 years. The designers met at the Melbourne College of Textiles, with their Italian migrant families teaching them the value of hard work. The label struggled with gaining recognition in the beginning, and a fire in 2008 that destroyed an estimated $300,000 worth of gowns delayed the label’s plan to expand to New York. Though Australia was once blind to the label’s magic, a new fire is burning.

J’Aton Couture was featured at this year’s Virgin Australia Fashion Festival in March as part of Premium Runway 1. Hosted at the Melbourne Exhibition buildings, the runway was the perfect opportunity to provide audiences with a taster of what is to come in future designs. With veils gliding along the runway, tulle dancing around the models’ bodies and trains sweeping at their feet, the runway was a feast for the senses.

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Look 6 on Premium Runway 1 at this year’s VAMFF

The pairs designs are not limited to fashion week runways. J’Aton Couture designs have graced red carpets for years with local stars such as Kylie Minogue, Delta Goodrem, Natalie Bassingthwaite and Asher Keddie among a handful of celebrities who been snapped in J’Aton gowns. The label even commissioned a dress that Dita Von Teese wore in a fashion shoot for Harper’s Bazaar in 2007.

J’Aton Couture’s biggest fan, it seems, is Australian model and television presenter Rebecca Judd. Judd has worn J’Aton to all the big red carpet events, and most recently to this year’s VAMFF Premimum Runway 1. The most memorable of designs would have to be her two J’Aton Couture wedding dresses. Yes, not one but two J’Aton Couture dresses.

The first was aptly titled the ‘Rebecca Gown’. On her blog Rebecca Judd Loves, she writes that her dress weighed 30kg with “kilometres of fabric in the skirt. The corseted bodice was made in the finest, manipulated lace with every single bead hand fixed on the gown”. Given the day of her wedding produced 40 degree temperatures, Judd slipped into the ‘Keisha on Steroids’ dress for the reception, a reimagining of the dress Keisha Whitaker wore to the Oscars in 2008. The gown even featured at ‘The White Wedding Dress’ exhibition at The Bendigo Art Gallery in 2011. With each design so heavily embroidered and meticulously beaded there’s no doubt they’re considered works of art.

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Rebecca Judd in the ‘Rebecca Gown’ pictured with Jacob Luppino and Anthony Pittorino
http://www.rebeccajuddloves.com/2012/12/12/the-rebecca-gown-2/

It’s obvious celebrities may love J’Aton, but why should brides? J’Aton Couture operates on a client-by-client basis, with unique gowns custom made for each bride. Couture is a practice they stick to, following European tradition their dresses are made by draping to the body and then cut and sewn by hand. The intricate beading is second to none, and the embroidery is all kinds of dreamy. Their designs are beautiful enough to bring you to tears. Tears of happiness, of course.

Something that may bring you to actual tears, however, is the cost. Though prices may be on the jaw-dropping end of the scale, the price cannot even compare to the exquisite use of the highest quality material and the ingenious design of the gown to fit the bride’s body in the most remarkable way. In 2009 The Sydney Morning Herald crowned the designers as a “high-glamour, high-priced couture fashion team”. With the act of wearing a gown by J’Aton an experience in itself, the bride with the budget to afford a custom made, hand sewn gown by one of the best couturiers in the country should consider J’Aton Couture for their big day.

Now operating out of Melbourne and New York, brides can have their dream dress manifested by the skilled hands behind J’Aton Couture. For now we’ll have to sit in eager anticipation for the duo’s next move, as their website has the elusive words ‘coming soon’. Trust me ladies, it’s worth the wait.