Monday, September 23, 2019

The Naked Candle Co - Wedding Scenting and Gifting

Candles can easily add ambiance and atmosphere to your wedding day, especially as the sun sets and the party starts. Finding a candle that can scent your big day and burn away for hours can be the difficult part, here’s where The Naked Candle Co can help you.

Based in Manchester in the North West of England, The Naked Candle Co produce Luxury home fragrance products that are on sale online and in a number of shops across the UK, specialising in Soy wax candles. What’s soy wax you ask? Well, the majority of big brand candles are produced using paraffin wax, a bi-product of crude oil refinery, hence the black smoke, potentially chemically smell and headaches. As soy wax is a natural wax, produced by turning the oils from soy beans into a wax, the candles don’t give any of the negative effects attributed to paraffin candles and the candles last much longer!

The Naked Candle Co is now branching out and specialising in scenting your day in the form of table/drinks reception candles, favours, bridesmaid gifts and more! The candles are available in their 8 fragrances such as the floral and woody Jasmine & Cedarwood, sweet and fruity Black Raspberry & Vanilla or the spicy, oriental accords of Black Orchid. You can also request your own scent, they work with you to find your perfect fragrance.

The candles are all priced reasonably, starting from £1.50 (small favour candle) to the largest candles costing £30 each (Extra Large Clear Glass Candle), these candles have a burn time of around 100 hours.

Free samples are available, you can send an enquiry email to If you live in Manchester, there is the option for a home visit to have a chat, smell and glass of prosecco.

Getting personal is a big part of the product range from these guys, all candles can be personalised at no extra cost. This is great if you would like favours for everyone to remember your day, or individual candles for your bridesmaids and mother of the Bride and Groom.  Personalised Bridesmaid, Mother of the Bride/Groom boxes are also available. The boxes are magnetic strip closures, finished with a ribbon bow and will be a great keepsake alone for anyone that receives them. Once opened, the box can have a personalised name on the inside lid, the products in the box will include a 30cl personalised fragranced candle, room spray and pink prosecco bottle – other products are available on your request!

This is definitely a brilliant idea if you want to personalise your mood and scent of your day!

You can get more information at and get 10% off any order if you quote ‘Manchester bridal bee’. 

Friday, June 21, 2019

The Custom Botanist - A unique way of preserving your bridal bouquet

I always knew I would want a unique alternative to preserving my bouquet and when I saw the work from Hannah a.k.a. The Custom Botanist I knew her work was for me. Hannah quite simply draws bridal bouquets but much more than that she creates a bespoke piece of art. The process takes 3-4 weeks using a mixture of water colour painting and drawing techniques with commissions taking up to 20 hours to complete.

Hannah is an absolute delight, is so passionate about what she does and could not have made the process any easier. My bouquet was almost all foliage which was completely perfect for my wedding day but I was nervous that she would not want to work on a bouquet which incorporated nearly no flowers. Hannah very quickly put my mind at rest, she was so enthusiastic about my bouquet and I knew I had picked the best person to capture my bridal flowers.

To get things started I was asked to send over photographs of my bouquet. This was such a lovely thing to do, any excuse to look at my wedding photos is a welcome task and I could not help but send her across some parts of my wedding film too. Once Hannah received these references she set about asking questions about the angle and perspective that I wanted her to draw the bouquet from. It was clear that she is a perfectionist and wanted to make sure the bouquet was drawn exactly how I wanted it.

Hannah kept me up to date by sending a number of progress pictures and it was amazing to see my bouquet come to life. Three weeks passed and it was finally finished. Pictures of the completed drawing were sent to me and if required Hannah would have made alterations to the final piece, this was something which did not need to be done because it was already perfect!

The drawing was posted shortly after this and if I thought it looked great via the pictures that was nothing compared to seeing it in person, it is incredible. There is not a section of the piece which has not been lovingly completed. Watercolour and pencil work has brought back the same level of excitement I had when I first saw my bouquet in March 2018 and will take pride of place in my home. I was lucky enough to receive this as my first anniversary gift from my Husband and it was the perfect traditional 'paper' gift and the ultimate keepsake.

I highly recommend getting in touch with Hannah if you are looking for an alternative stylish way to preserve your bouquet. Price start from £180 and she can be contacted via the following:

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Leaf on Portland St – Alternative Manchester Wedding Venue

LEAF on Portland St in the city centre of Manchester is mostly known for being a tea house and versatile café bar but for those couples looking for a city centre reception space it could be something much more.

In the lower level of the building descending a set of stairs (which could be beautifully decorated....hello flowers and fairy lights!) there is an amazing event space perfect for wedding receptions and other events.

Beautifully urban with exposed brickwork the event space is split into a number of sections. Upon entering the basement space there is a very spacious area perfect for welcoming your guests and getting the celebrations started.

This is located next to a very long and well stocked bar which leads to a neat space ideal for those lovely extras on your day including a place for a guest book, card box and photo booth. I loved that this venue had so much space. As I walked around I could not help but be surprised at how much room there was, with plenty of individual areas which you can make your own.

A swish of a curtain and you enter the largest and what I would call the ‘main’ room, the space where you and your guests will enjoy the wedding breakfast and most importantly, the party. You may think that going down a flight of stairs to the basement level would mean that there is limited light but at LEAF on Portland St this is not the case. This room has a sky light which runs from one end of the room to the other and provides a great source of light even on the wet and windy day which I visited on. Brides and grooms have opted to have their top table under this and it has worked perfectly.

LEAF on Portland St is a great venue for those looking for an alternative space in the centre of the city. The beauty of this place is that you can exclusively hire the entire lower floor for any event with up to 100 guests for the wedding breakfast and up to 200 for the evening party.

If you think this space might be the one for you contact the Leaf on Portland St team:

LEAF on Portland St
113-115 Portland Street
M1 6DW


Thursday, April 18, 2019

Jo Malone 'Scent Your Wedding' Experience at Harvey Nichols Manchester

It can be stressful planning a wedding. Whether an intimate or large affair there is always so much to do and in the weeks running up to the big day there will times where you just need some YOU time. This is where Jo Malone London, the luxury bespoke fragrance brand comes in.  They have a number of services which are complimentary and they allow for some time away from the stresses of planning. What’s more, you may even find your signature wedding scent with the ‘Scent Your Wedding’ experience which is exclusive to Jo Malone Boutiques.

The booking process was really easy, it can all be done online and I just had to show up 10 minutes before my appointment at Harvey Nichols, Manchester ready to enjoy my half hour slot.

What does it include? Well first things first, I was given a glass of champagne, which is always a winner with me. My lovely host took me through the process and what I wanted to get from the service.

There are so many things to think about but there is nothing overwhelming and it’s an enjoyable experience talking about bath oils the night before the wedding, shower gels the morning of the big day, moisturisers and when to apply them and of course the main event, the fragrance!

I learnt a little about how things work too, I loved that everything was about layering. You may find a fragrance that you like but if you layer it with other scents (spicy/fruity/earthy) you can make it into the scent you love.

As well as that you get to think about how you can scent others parts of your day – will you choose a candle to remember your wedding morning by? Would you like that to be the same as your bridal scent or something different?

Or you can go even bigger by scenting your entire wedding. Add them to your tables, ceremony aisles or drinks reception areas. A chance to make a real mark on your day! You can even push the boat out and have candles or other products for favours.

Whilst sipping on my glass of fizz I made my choices (there are no right or wrong answers) and my lovely host went ahead and pampered me with a hand and arm massage using my chosen my scent/s. This was my favourite part of the experience I was left smelling incredible and feeling completely relaxed.

Sadly this is where my half hour journey ended and is where you decide to make your purchases, if any. I thought I’d feel awkward, I wasn’t sure if I was ready to make a purchase yet, the products on offer came with a higher than average price tag and I really wanted to think about it first. Thankfully my host was just a dream, there was no pushiness or upselling, there is a sincere desire to find you your perfect scent and if you need to go away and think about it or wear it for a few hours before purchasing then that is not a problem.

Just a tip, there are a number travel size items which will save some money and are big enough to last over your wedding and mini/honeymoon period.

This is definitely something I would recommend that all brides do, even if you do not make a purchase you will leave the boutique smelling amazing and ready to take on the world or at least some more wedding planning.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Lake District Anniversary Stay at The Gilpin Hotel and Lakehouse, Windermere

Shortly before we got married last year we decided that going on a honeymoon straight away was not for us. We were set to move house shortly after we were married and since we wanted a more active honeymoon we knew a short relaxed minimoon was the perfect compromise especially after such a busy build up to the wedding.

I’ve got to be honest, I knew exactly where I wanted us to stay. I had attended The Wedding Edit, an annual event hosted by Love Bridal Boutique. The lovely staff from the The Gilpin Hotel and Lakehouse were there showcasing their idyllic retreat and I fell in love.

They offer a number of set Magical Escapes packages and after much deliberation we went for the for the Platinum Package which was a room at the wonderful Lakehouse, approximately a mile and a half down the road from the main Gilpin Hotel and we absolutely loved it.

So when it came to deciding where we wanted to stay for our first wedding anniversary, there was no competition, we wanted to experience The Gilpin once again. In 2016, The Gilpin Hotel and Lakehouse introduced 5 luxurious spa lodges to their portfolio of rooms and if I am honest ever since we had left the lakehouse I had been stalking them out! So we went ahead and booked a 2 night Ultimate Magical Escape.

We arrived at The Gilpin Hotel on a wet and windy day on our anniversary date very thankful that the weather had been kinder one year earlier. I remembered the high level of service from the previous year and it was lovely to still arrive to a welcome committee which was ready and waiting to whisk us under an umbrella and check us in quickly. I have to point out that the service here is incredible and before arriving I had already complimented the guest experience I received over the phone whilst booking.

Thankfully the rain clouds parted as we arrived to our own private spa lodge, we were in the beautiful Veroda. Each cedar-clad spa lodge is decorated differently and I was so glad we got this beauty of a lodge, it even provided me with some inspiration for the interior design for my own home! Upon entering it was a complete WOW moment and even though I had researched the lodges and seen the pictures I still was not prepared for this beautiful place.

We arrived to a stunning living area with a huge king size bed built up with soft furnishings leading to a huge bathroom with his and hers sink plus a gorgeous free standing oval stone bath. From then on it starts to get really special and it becomes clear why the spa lodges are called just that. Within the bathroom area is a giant steam room with rain maker shower which leads to a very private patio area with loungers, outdoor sauna, hydrotherapy hot tub all surrounded by a walled garden.

We were so touched to find a couple of extra treats, one of which was from my Mum who had called ahead and organised a bottle of prosecco to be waiting on arrival!

The package we chose was packed full of food experiences and the first was the Michelin starred Hrishi for a Seven Course tasting menu.  This was a quick walk over from the spa lodges to the main hotel and begins with pre-dinner cocktails and canapés. We had experienced the restaurant the year before but this time it was just that little bit better, the food was outstanding and the staff were accommodating allowing us time to relax between courses and guiding us through appropriate wine choices.

On the second night we ate at the amazing Spice restaurant, I love this place, it is a tapas style restaurant which is very chilled and it was lovely to sit back with a drink in hand and watch the chefs cooks in front of us.

Breakfast at The Gilpin is next level, you can choose something really light with beautiful pastries and a fresh pot of coffee or you can go all out (the menu has starters/mains/extras) with creamy porridge, a full English breakfast or you can even go for pancakes which were a popular choice on one morning since it was Shrove Tuesday.

My favourite part of the trip? The spa lodge experience! We began with a bespoke couples’ 30-minute aromatherapy massage in the stunning open-plan lounge which was seamlessly turned into a treatment room. Next we delved into our basket of Jetty Spa products which came with a guide of how to use each and when to use them. We used the Passion Fruit Body Mask (for the steam room), Bamboo Body Polish (for the rainmaker shower), Chamomile Facial Spritz (for the outdoor sauna and thot tub), and finished with the Vitamin E Face Cream and Sweet Orange Body Oil. The whole journey was bliss and was topped off by the most incredible cream tea. This extra experience allowed us to utilise the room to its full potential and I would recommend doing this.

There is something effortless about the way The Gilpin works, meals and activities are booked in advance and there is no need for you to worry that anything isn’t going to go to plan. For those of us who like to be in control and needs perfection this is the place for you.

We had an amazing time yet again and we were so sad to leave. I would recommend the Gilpin Hotel and Lakehouse to anyone looking for the perfect retreat with incredible staff, perfect food and impeccable rooms. I have to admit that the rooms and packages are not the cheapest but if you want to treat yourself to a stay somewhere special then this place should be on your list.
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