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Takin’ Love by the Horns: Puttin’ on the Dress

27 Jun

The girls were ready, the guys were ready, so what now?

Well, hive, this:


Ladies and gents, meet “Radiant”.

Was going onto this:


I look strangely unimpressed.

At this point all the girls had seen my dress in the making, but this was the first time they’d see it in all of its glorious glory. Because my photographers and videographers didn’t want me stripping down to my underwear in the living room they asked me to don my underwear in another room, pull the dress on over my underwear, and then walk out. They would then film and photograph me getting all laced up.

I loved this plan, so off I went, with my girls and Radiant in tow, to the bedroom I had been staying at that night. During this time, I forgot where I had put my Spanx and as the girls went looking, I carefully untied my kimono. It was at that point that something hilarious happened.

Now, back story. I share what one would call a special relationship with BM Cupcakes. We’ve known each other since Primary School, and up until recently, she was convinced I was out to “get” her purely because I remember silly little things that happened to her in Primary School. I assured her this wasn’t the case, but that BM Cupcakes is simply “memorable”. She and I are also the more ‘bustier’ girls of the group.

So as I removed my kimono, revealing my bra, BM Cupcakes leapt at my boobs and cupped them.

Yes guys. She leapt at my boobs.

After a brief pause, to which she stood back and gave me my Spanx, the only thing I could think was: “Why’d you do that for?”

Her reply: “It was the only chance I’d ever have of doing that.”

I love you BM Cupcakes.

After the boob-grabbing incident, I then proceeded to pull the dress over me and step back out into the living room, the train gently trailing behind me. Even though I wasn’t done up yet, I felt fabulous. As I positioned myself for optimum photo-taking, my girls did me up.


BM Superhero, having learnt from Mandy how to do up my dress, assisted Mama Bighorn in lacing up my dress.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of pictures of me getting into the dress (but heaps on video). So I’ll leave you with a picture of me in the dress!


I’d put more up, but I’d be spoiling you guys! (And trust me, there will be LOTS more to come.)

Up next, Mr Big is blindfolded and cuts a red ribbon.

[All photos by Studio Something.]


Need to catch up?

A Layer of Tulle

17 Feb

Hi hive! In my last post, I recounted the different options available for veils. So with so much to know and to think about, what did I end up choosing?

As I researched my options, I drew some conclusions:

  • I preferred raw, beaded, or lace edgings – beaded and lace were pretty, but expensive, so I was leaning more toward raw.
  • I looooved a long veil, but the train on my dress was already very long, so that meant an elbow-length veil would work best for me. Elbow lengths fall down in a way that don’t make me look short on my already-petite frame but still gave that flowing look I fancied. Also, elbow lengths were significantly cheaper.
  • I preferred a veil that didn’t go over my face, like the single-tier. Mr Big didn’t like the idea of having my face covered during the ceremony (“But then I can’t really see you face!” – he’s so cute <3) and the one time I was made to wear a two-tier veil, it kept brushing up against parts of my face and itching. Blugh.
  • If I absolutely, categorically had to wear the veil over my face, I preferred either the circular/cascading or square styles because, more-than-one-tier-veils = poufy.

And so, with these criteria, I searched around for some veils that caught my fancy. I remember coming across this and gasping audibly:

alisa brides veil

Perfection. / Veil and image from Alisa Brides.

It had everything I wanted in a veil: raw edge, lace appliques, single-tier, and elbow-length. However, I just wasn’t comfortable with the price. Alisa does beautiful veils, has great customer service, and will go out of her way to make any bride happy, but I just couldn’t pull the trigger. And so I kept searching.

I then came across this beauty:

juliet cap_sibo designs

Veil and image from Sibo Designs.

Again, this had everything I wanted. But again, the price was just much too high.

So what’s a girl to do? Well, this girl turned to Mandy.

When I suggested the veil idea to Mandy, we brainstormed. Initially, she was going to make me a Grace Kelly-esque veil – a drop veil with lace trim – but then she came across this:


Veil and image taken from Lilli Marcs.

Upon seeing this beauty, and knowing my dress as well as she does, she sent me a message, stating that it would suit my dress. I was smitten. It had the lace, the drape, and the simplicity of the raw edge. And most of all, it wouldn’t be going over my face. After my dress got underway, Mandy then helped me design my veil:

veil_preparing the lace

Preparing the lace on my veil. Wow, ignore the creeper expression in that third photo guys… / Images taken by BM Cupcakes.

During the third fitting, Mandy draped lace over my head, measured, trimmed and overlaid the lace. After asking me a few questions, she told me that it’d be prepared for the next time I came in.

When I came in next, Mandy placed the veil on me.


Close up of the lace on my veil and my veil from behind. / Photos via BM Superhero.


“Don’t mind me… just admiring myself in the mirror.” / Photo via BM Superhero.

I remember twirling around in it and just being an overall dillweed. It was safe to say that I absolutely loved my veil. In the end, I was so happy that Mama Bighorn convinced me to have a veil at the wedding. She was a little bit peeved that I wasn’t having a blusher at first, but on the day, she was so full of joy (much like I was).

And fact? I’m still in love with my veil.

Who else got talked into using something which they were initially against? Who ended up loving it to bits, and bits, and bits?


“Veiling” It Up

14 Feb

Warning: Some serious veil porn ahead! Also, this post is super long!

There was one thing I was pretty damn sure about after Mr Big and I were engaged: no veil for me. I asked Mr Big if he had any particular feelings about it. He didn’t. I didn’t either. So it was settled – I wouldn’t be wearing a veil.

I never really dreamt of ‘my dream veil’, and seeing the veil-flying-in-the-wind photographs didn’t really do anything for me. So, I thought it was settled.

Enter everyone else.

I was told by everyone and their grandmother that a veil was just what you did. Other words that go thrown in there: ‘once in a lifetime’, ‘your wedding’, ‘never get a chance to’. The most outspoken individual was Mama Bighorn. According to her, I had to wear a veil.

I asked her why. No reason. I just had to wear a veil.

I was a little bit grumpy about this. To me, the veil was an outdated notion. To me, the veil represented inequality in a relationship. Mr Big and my relationship is pretty equal – we’re intellectually, mentally and emotionally compatible in many ways. No inequality here!

Plus, Mr Big and I had been cohabitating for a year before we were engaged. You could even say that we “moved quickly” in our relationship. So why did I need to wear a veil when saying “I do”?

However, after many a (loud, weepy) argument, I begrudgingly conceded to her on one condition: No. Poofy. Veils.

poofy veil

Pretty on some. Not on me. / Veil and image from Svitlana Bridal Veils.

I also didn’t really like tulle up all over my face, but apparently Mama Bighorn didn’t agree with me. I debated on the sort of veil I could wear on the day for a while, and then I saw this picture:

i try to be like grace kelly ohhh

“I try to be like Grace Kelly, ohhhh~” – the ever-elegant Grace Kelly. / Image via The Ethereal Bride.

Suddenly, veils were looking more and more attractive. I found out after some research that this veil was called a ‘drop veil’ and was literally just a circular piece of tulle that’s ‘dropped’ over the head (hence, ‘drop veil’). Although, some sources mentioned it was a ‘mantilla veil’, a veil originating from Spain that’s usually lace-trimmed and worn in a similar manner.

After looking up the difference between the mantilla and the drop veil, I came to one final conclusion: “Man, there are a LOT of veils out there.”

So hive, before I launch into the story on how I found my veil, let’s talk wedding veils.

If you go to most websites selling veils, they’ll split it up into a few categories: colour, length, style, fullness, edge, and embellishments. I was pretty. darn. overwhelmed when I saw just how much thought you have to put into a veil. Couldn’t I just pick one and be done with it? Undeterred though, I soldiered on.

First things first, colour. This is basically like choosing the ‘type of white’ on a dress. Most veils have, at minimum, three colours: white, silk white (or ‘off white’), and ivory. I’ve also seen the colour ecru (more creamy than ivory) being used, as well as ‘shimmer’ options (basically, glittery tulle).


Swatches from Wedding Veils Australia. From bottom to top: white, silk white, ivory, ecru, white glimmer, diamond white glimmer, and ivory glimmer.

Some websites, like the one above and this one, let you choose custom swatches too (blush, champagne, latte, etc.). According to my research:

  • White – matches pure white dresses (duh)
  • Silk White – matches diamond white dresses
  • Ivory – matches ivory dresses (double duh)
  • Ecru – goes well with champagne dresses

Next up we have length. Length varies from seller to seller, but the typical lengths available to brides are:

  • Shoulder – This is also known as a blusher. It’s a short veil (like the first picture in this post), and is usually about 30”/60cm in length.

Photo and veil from Etsy shop, Olive White Wedding.

  • Elbow – A more conservative and traditional choice, this veil customarily falls straight to the bride’s elbow (hence, ‘elbow’ length). It’s usually about 33”/70cm in length.

Photo and veil from Etsy shop, Simply Blue Bridal.

  • Fingertip – The fingertip veil is another traditional choice. Longer than the elbow-length, it falls to about the bride’s fingertips (they’re very original with these names, aren’t they?). It’s customarily 38”-40”/100cm in length and is a popular choice because it allows others to see the back of the wedding dress through the tulle.

Veil and photo from Etsy shop, myrakim.

  • Waltz – A waltz veil comes to about the mid-calf of a bride, so allows the bride to wear her veil all day if she wanted to. It runs to about 60”/165cm in length.

Photo and veil from Etsy shop, Urban Veil Couture.

  • Floor – The floor veil is just that: it sweeps on down to the floor, just grazing it, and is customarily the length of the bride’s dress. It’s about 72”/180cm in length. Or in my case, it would be 150cm, because I’m short.

Photo and veil from Etsy shop, Ellie Lane Designs.

  • Chapel – A chapel length veil flows to the floor and then extends beyond the bride’s gown. It can act as a train to brides with little to none in their dress and runs to about 90”/240cm.

Image from Hive member moderndaisy. Photography by Cliff Mautner Photography.

  • And Cathedral – a cathedral veil was worn by the famous Princess Diana when she got married to Prince Charles. This veil is loooooooong, or at least, can be super long. Princess Diana’s was about 24ft! They can come in a variety of lengths, but typically range from 108”-120”/275cm long.

Style is broken down into whether you want the veil tiered or not. Brides who want tiered veils typically like the ‘poofy’ look. Tiered veils consist of more than one piece of tulle, depending, of course, on the type of tier you want. You can also vary the length of the tier according to the lengths listed above.

If you want to learn more about specific styles, go to this website. They have a breakdown of the types of tiers you can have combined with different veil lengths. But in the interest of time (and my sanity), I’ll use the KISS rule (Keep it Simple [Stupid]):

  • The Single Tier is just that – one layer of tulle, cut with either a rounded edge or a pointed edge, and then gathered at the top.
single-tier veil

A single tier, fingertip-length veil with Alencon lace edging. Photo and veil from Teri Huang.

  • The Two Tier consists of two layers of tulle, sewn together and gathered at the top.
two-tier veil

A two-tier, pencil-edged veil, with one tier at fingertip length, and the other at waltz. Photo and veil from Shirley Renee Designs.

  • The Three Tier consists of three layers of tulle, sewn together and gathered at the top.
three-tier veil

From Hive member mille.3, wearing a three-tiered veil consisting of a two-tier elbow length veil, and a 200cm cathedral.

For those of us who don’t really like the poofy, tiered look (like me), the options are:

  • Circular, or Cascading, which consists of one piece of tulle cut in a circular fashion, folded in half to create 2 layers, and gathered in the centre.  When fastened with either a hair pin or a hat pin (and therefore, no gathers in sight), it’s more commonly known as the Drop Veil, such as the one worn by Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton.
  • And Square, which is also one piece of tulle, however, cut into a square. It’s folded to create 2 layers and four corners, and is also centre-gathered.
square cut veil

Image taken from Wedding Veils Australia.

The fullness of the veil refers to the width of the veil material (most commonly, tulle). The basic idea of fullness is this: the wider the material, the more full the veil is due to an increase in the number of folds. There are typically three types of fullness:

  • No gathers, or sheer fullness, which basically means that there are little to no gathers in the veil. This type of style is available with circular/cascading and square veils. For a veil with ‘no gathers’, the tulle is cut from material that is 54”/137cm wide. The drop veil as worn by Kate Middleton, and the veil worn by Grace Kelly, is examples of this type of veil.
  • Normal gathers, or standard fullness, are available in tiered, circular and square veils, with the top tier (in tiered veils) typically worn over the face. This is your standard, run-of-the-mill veil, which is cut from material 72”/183cm wide.
  • Full gather, or extra fullness, is cut from material 108”/274cm wide. This type of veil has more ‘poof’ to it, and therefore, more folds. It can be worn with tiered, circular/cascade, and square veils.
veil fullness

From left to right, sheer fullness/very little gathers, standard fullness/normal gathers, and extra fullness/full gather. / Image from Occansey Designs.

Edges are just that – the edge of the veil. There are a number of things brides can do to the edge of their veils, and these seem to be the most popular:

  • Cut/Plain/Raw Edge – Like the title implies, there’s no edging to the cut/plain/raw edge. Because of this, it suits most dresses – think of it as a one-size-fits-most.
  • Pencil Edge – The pencil edge is the universal edge on most veils. It’s thin (approximately 0.0625”/0.16cm) and softly ruffled.
  • Satin Cord – The satin cord edging is rounded and sits at approximately 0.125”/0.32cm and is also known as a ratstail edging. Another term for it is “piping”.
veil edges_1

From left to right: raw/plain edge veil from Simply Blue Bridal; pencil edge veil from clager6; and satin cord veil from Marisol Aparicio.

  • Russia Braid Trim – This edging is made from a satin cord with a centre dip. The braid trim lies flat and is approximately 0.118”/0.3cm.
  • Ribbon – Ribbon is, by far, the most varied edging next to lace and beaded. It can come in a variety of widths and colours to suit the bride’s dress and style.
  • Filigree or Rippled Edging – Filigree or ripped edging is thin like the pencil edge; however, has a “ripple” which creates a wave-like effect on the veil.
veil edges_2

From left to right: Russia braid edging from Elizabeth Dickens Studios; ribbon edge veil from La Bargain Boutique; and filigree/rippled edging from Wedding Veils Australia.

  • Beaded – Like the ribbon, a beaded edge comes in a variety of, well, varieties! Some elements used in veils include rhinestones, crystals, glass pearls, and diamantes.
  • Lace – Again, another popular choice. Lace edges are typically used in types of veils such as the Juliet Cap Veil (or simply, the Cap Veil) and Mantilla Veils.
veil edges_3

On the left, a beaded edge veil from harsuccthing; and on the right, a lace-edged mantilla veil from Smitha Menon Bridal.

And finally, there are embellishments. Embellishments do just that – they embellish the veil. Normally, embellishments are scattered about the veil. This is especially true with crystals or rhinestones which catch the light, therefore creating the affect that the bride is ‘glimmering’. However, veils can also be embellished with scatters of lace, or even silk flowers.

Instead of me yammering on about it, how about I just show you pictures:

rhinstone embellished veil

Shoulder-length veil with Swarovski rhinestone embellishments. / Veil from Etsy shop, sibo designs.

flower-crystal embellished veil

Elbow-length veil with flower and crystal embellishments. / Veil from Etsy shop, pureblooms.

lace applique veil

Royal Cathedral-length veil with lace applique. / Veil from Alisa Brides.

Let’s also not forget to mention the fan-favourites – the birdcage veil and the cap veil:

veil_fan faves

Left, birdcage veil by Etsy seller, The Honeycomb; and right, cap veil by Nerida Mason.

So, with all these options now laid out in front of me, I now had to choose what I wanted. But I’ll leave that for a next post!

What’s your favourite style? Are you a poofy-veil fan, a not-so-poofy veil fan, or anti-veil?

Evolution of The Dress: The Obligatory Dress Post

5 Feb

First off guys, I’m sorry for my week-long absence. I’m still waiting for my pro photos to come back, but I’ve been seeing guest photos coming out in the past week (and it’s getting me all nostalgic, aww). Anyway, I can’t promise to write as “regularly” as I normally would, simply because I haven’t got an awful lot of wedding-related things talk about (unless of course you want me to just gush on about my husband – hus-band – I like that word). But I’ll endeavour to write when I can!

So, moving on from all that.

Hi Hive! I recall writing to you about my search for a dress and my ultimate decision to go with a dress designer who creates dresses from scratch.

Well, here it is: The Quintessential Dress Post.

Mr Big has already seen her so Lilu will let him pass:

Fifth Element Multipass

Image via DailyPop.In.

Because my dress was constructed from scratch, she obviously didn’t have a name. However, on the day, the most common word I got from guests was ‘radiant’. And henceforth, she shall be called Radiant.

Radiant first came to me after that eventful day shopping in Cabramatta’s True Love Couture. I wanted a flowing dress, lace, some bling but not too much, but most of all, I wanted to feel like a stunner (I mean, who doesn’t want to feel like a million bucks on their wedding day?).

When I saw Mandy again, we designed Radiant on a piece of paper, talked about what I wanted, what would look nice, and what would, and sadly wouldn’t, work. By the time we had her all drawn out, Mandy asked whether we should get started sooner rather than later. Because I was in the process of shedding kilos, I told her later would be better, so the construction of the dress didn’t get underway until September.

To be honest guys, I yo-yo’ed many times on her design: did the bodice work? What about the sleeves? Could I dance in her? Would I overheat? What about the train, is it too long? What if people hate her? What if I hate her? WHAT IF MR BIG HATES HER?

Mandy (bless her) put up with my paranoia and was able to guide me the.entire.way through the process. Now before I continue…

Soap box time: If you have doubts about your dress choice (dress regret, two words a bride hates), don’t let them fester. I let my opinions be known to Mandy (politely, of course) and she was able to either talk me down or help me improve the design. I know not every bride can get their dress designed from scratch, but even a store bought dress can be altered to suit your needs if you but request for those changes. Heck, I found most of my anxiety was unfounded. All I needed was to just talk about it. 🙂 So for those suffering the dreaded dress regret, keep your chin up!

Getting back on track: after losing about 10 or so kilograms, I went in for my first fitting in about September.


I know guys. I know. I look odd. / Photo taken by Mandy.

As you can see, it doesn’t really look like much. This was the basic construction, but even then, I felt pretty darn good about myself. I went back home and sent these super secretive photos off to my bridesmaids and was met with positive responses. My bridesmaids were eager to come along during the next fitting.

The next time I came to Mandy was about early December and I was met with this:

dress fitting 2

Sleeves – Check; Lace – Check! Also, I’m slouching horribly. / Photos taken by Usher/Friend Bee.

During this fitting, Mandy added things as I stood in front of the mirror. I literally saw the dress transform as she worked. It was amazing:

dress fitting 2_transformation

Lace on sleeves and bodice – Check! Skeleton of corset back – Check! (Sorry about the icky skin guys…) / Photos by Usher/Friend Bee.

My friend, Bee, took photos as we went, including close-ups of Mandy’s work.


My friend, Bee, taking this photo. She’s awesome like that! Also in this picture from left to right, me, BM Proper, MoH M&Ms, and BM Superhero. If you’re reading this BM Superhero, HI! / Photo taken by Friend/Usher Bee.

She and all the other bridesmaids fawned over my dress for a good hour. I have honestly never felt prettier in my life (well, except for when I got married, hahaha!). When Mandy was satisfied with what she had done, we made another appointment and then parted ways.

Next time I saw her was in late December, about three weeks before the wedding. I was getting pretty darn nervous at this point – would the dress get done on time? My nerves were calmed when I saw what Radiant looked like now:


Photo by BM Cupcakes. Friend Bee couldn’t make this trip unfortunately. And can you spot the designer in the background?

My nerves then gave way to excitement as, again, Mandy added more and more to her design as my bridesmaids and myself watched on:

dress fitting 3_transformation

In these photos: more detail to the bodice and sleeves; and peppering of lace flowers on the skirt (I know, it’s hard to see, sorry guys). / Photo by BM Cupcakes.

It’s odd being the ‘mannequin’ from whom the designer works on, especially as I’m not exactly “model size”, but it was fun. Although apparently half the time I was either very rigid-backed or slouching like a mofo because I didn’t want to get in Mandy’s way.

After she was satisfied with her work for that session, we made the fourth and final appointment, but not before getting a group photo!


From left to right: BM Superhero, Mama Bighorn, myself, MoH M&Ms, BM Cupcakes (in red), and BM Proper. / Photo taken by Mandy.

I’d be picking up Radiant in about a week!

When the day came, unfortunately, Mandy had a rush order from a bride. We postponed to the next day, and double unfortunately for me, most of my bridesmaids couldn’t make it. Luckily, BM Superhero was there to save the day! (As usual.)

When BM Superhero and I got to Mandy, she looked pretty damn tired. And yet she still managed to get this beauty ready for me:


Yes, that is a posed shot. And yes, she also made my veil, but that’s for a different post! / Photo via BM Superhero.

From the back, the dress was a real stunner:

corset back

I loooooove this part of my dress the most. / Photo via BM Superhero.

Mandy also did a simply bustle, which you can kind of see when you look at the close up of the corset back. It was a one-point over bustle, according to Miss Filly (thanks for posting that Miss F!).

During the fitting, I also hammed it up for the camera:


Showing off mah bling! / Photo via BM Superhero.

And we got some close-up shots of some of my accessories to make sure it all fit together:


After thanking Mandy profusely for her tireless work, hugging her, and getting a picture with BM Superhero:


We parted ways for the final time, lugging Radiant back home. Mr Big, who was on a business trip in Melbourne at the time, wasn’t around to see her coming back home (thankfully!).

And so, with that, I had a dress!

Who else got nervous about their dress? Anyone else suffer the dreaded dress regret? How did you get past it?

A Tale of Two (Pairs of) Shoes

24 Dec

When I first began thinking about my wedding-day look, I knew one thing to be true.

I’d be wearing white shoes.

I’m a shoe-girl. Clothes change with weight, and I’ve always had problems with my weight, but shoes? Shoes don’t change. They are forever faithful. They can also make or break an outfit, so it was important to me that my shoes make me feel even more fantastic than my jewellery, hair, makeup, or dress.

Unfortunately, I have tiny, tiny feet.

I’m a size 5 to 5.5 in Australia, which roughly translates to a size 36 to 36.5 in EU. It’s difficult to buy fashionable shoes in Australia in that size, so most of my shoe-shopping has been done in discount bins in shoe stores, overseas, or online.

And with that said, I turned online when searching for my “ultimate” shoe. My search didn’t yield much for a few weeks that would be worth putting up on the ‘Bee, but then I stumbled across these babies:

spitfire wedges

The Spitfire wedges from Poetic Licence. / From Hive Member christinamarie890, photography by Idalia Photography.

They’re made by the awesome shoe designers Poetic Licence and were selling on the online store Modcloth. I’ve been stalking Modcloth for forever, and have bought a few bits and bobs from them, so when I saw these babies selling for about $US150 and in my size; I snatched ‘em up!

A few weeks later I got a box from Modcloth and within that box was this fanciful box:

poetic licence carrying case

Can you believe they give you a carrying box? It’s awesome! It’s as if they knew it was for a wedding! / Personal photo.

Inside this beautiful box were these babies:

spitfire wedges instagrammed

I totally Instagram’d my shoes… Ignore the clutter in the background. / Personal photo.

I was extraordinarily happy with my choice. After some breaking in, they’re now totally comfortable to walk around in.

Unfortunately, they’re not so good to dance in.

You see, Mr Big and I have been doing some dance lessons. I won’t divulge any further, but I wore these babies to dance in and found that, though I wasn’t really in pain, my feet were pretty red. Also, I found I didn’t have the much-needed grip you need when dancing. It was also harder to do the more… passionate parts of the dance.

I considered sanding down the bottoms to give it more grip, but the bottoms of the shoes have an absolutely beautiful grip and I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

So enter these som’bitches:


I am really bad at taking photos. / Personal photo.


I got these on special at a local store called Rivers. Rivers touts themselves as Clothing and Footwear Merchants, and it’s true – they sell clothing and footwear. Most of the clothing and footwear they sell are good for outdoors-y activities, but occasionally they’ll sell fancy footwear for both men and women.

The particular shoe you can see in that photo isn’t selling anymore, but they’re selling similar shoes here in both red patent and black patent for those interested.

Rivers shoes are comfy because of their patented Riversoft leather soles. They’re also roomy, and these particular shoes only have a heel of about 1 to 2 inches, so they’re much easier to dance in.

So with that said – I’ve become a two-shoe bride! (Three shoes if you count the fact that I may want to change into pre-owned flats later in the night.)

Who else is a two-shoe bride? 🙂


Hair-spire Me Hive!

27 Nov

G’day Hive!

I’ve shown you the trial and now I’ll be showing you the inspiration. I know that’s not typically how it goes, but that’s cause I need your help! What on earth do I do with my hair?

During the wedding, I’ll be using an MUA and hair stylist who’ll be coming to us the morning-of. They’ll be dolling up a whopping 8 women that day, so it’ll be a busy morning!

Now, the most I’ve done to my hair is tie it up and call it a day. I’ve never straightened it, curled it, or have done anything remotely fancy to it. In fact, these are photos from our engagement photo shoot and pre-wedding videography session respectively:

I am a poser

Left: engagement photo shoot, in Christchurch. Right: pre-wedding videography session (you can see one of our videographers in the background!). My hair is basically just swept back with no styling, whatsoever. / Personal images.

As you can see, no styling. At all. So, when it came time for the wedding, my first thought was: where do I start?

When I had a look at wedding day hairstyles, I was blown away by the zillions (I may be exaggerating) of hairstyles in existence. The waterfall braid, the half-up-do, the chignon, the ballerina bun, the boho braid, etcetera. I had no idea where to start.

So as usual, I turned to an inspiration board:

bridal hair inspiration

All the hair-spiration! // Images from (1) treasuresandtravels / (2) via Scarlett / (3) Hair & Makeup by Steph / (4), photography by Love Life Studios / (5) beautifulbridalmakeup.blogspot / (6) bridal musings, photography by Jessica Janae Photography

As per usual, I went through a lot of uhming-and-ahing about the hair I wanted for the wedding.

First, I wanted a ‘half-up-half-down’ look. The main reason for this was because I didn’t want to look too dissimilar to my ‘everyday’ look. But then, I got to thinking that I should maybe have a low updo – because it’s more ‘bridal’ and I don’t have to pile it ON TOP of my head (which is what I hated most about updos). I could wear it low, messy and still look like me, especially as I’ve been wearing my hair up more lately.

And then finally, I thought that maybe I should attempt to compromise between the two. After perusing through my Pinterest board, I thought about using a 2-for-1 hairstyle. What’s a 2-for-1 hairstyle? Well, it’s something like this:

two for one_hair

Two-for-One – going from up and polished in the morning, to down and relaxed in the evening. / Image from Hair & Makeup by Steph, photography by Ciara Richardson Photography.

The reason I could have this, I thought, was because I’d be having a “touch-up” session during the midday of our wedding since our wedding will run basically all day and my skin is far from good. So with that in mind, I began to look at different “up” styles, and “down” styles.

The “up” styles I was drawn to were, as previously mentioned, low buns. I don’t think a ballerina bun would look particularly appeasing on my head. So a low bun it was, like these beauties:


From left to right, top row: Every Last Detail via, photography by Rustic White Photography; Southern Weddings , photography by Christian Oth; Hair & Makeup by Steph, photography by Ciara Richardson Photography. Bottom row: Image & photography via Closer To Love Photography; Wedding Chicks, photography via Erich Mcvey Photography; Bridal Musings, photography by Ed Osborn Photography.

As for the “down” styles, I found myself drawn to such beauties as this:

However, after going through my trial, I decided that the touch-up session was a no-go. There were a few reasons for this, but the main ones were, (1) the touch-up session added extra costs, (2) the timing of the touch-up session was difficult to pinpoint, and (3) Mr Big seemed quite anxious about taking an hour from the day.

So now, hive, I have to decide on the kind of hair and makeup I want! It’ll be hot, so I’m leaning more towards a low bun.

But honestly, do you think this face would do well with all of that hair pulled to the back?


It’s’a me! Hair down, hair pulled back, hair with hat. Maybe I should just wear a hat… / Personal images.

So, what do you think hive? Should I go up, down, sideways? Can anyone give me pointers? I know a lot of you ladies are way more fashionable than I am. HAAALP!

Two is Better Than One

30 Sep

Hello people! This post will be pretty short, but something I’ve been mulling over since Saturday.

I mentioned in a previous post that my bridesmaids will be carrying parasols down the aisle. I’ll be holding a bouquet, but I’d ideally want a parasol as a “prop” during photo-taking.

They make for fabulous photos:

To the reception! An amazing shot by FS Photography

To the reception! / Image via Wedding Chicks, photography by FS Photography.

Now, originally, I was going to get this beauty:


Pretty cherry blossom! / Image via Chinatown Online Shopping.

It’s pretty, it’s ivory, it’s got cherry blossoms on it – a feature which has been predominant in our planning and invitations. With this as my parasol, my girls would be holding ivory parasols. The pictures, to me, would look gorgeous!

But then, Mr Big found this baby:

Shiny, innit? / Image via Think Geek.

For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s Kaylee’s parasol. If you don’t know who Kaylee is, she’s a character off a sci-fi TV show called Firefly.

Firefly had a short, but awesome, run. Each episode was as good as the last, and each episode was filled with witty one-liners and awesome characterisation. This show was also the brainchild of one Mr Joss Whedon – the same guy who directed The Avengers.

Now for those who don’t know Mr Big and I very well, we’re very geeky. So having this parasol as the bridal parasol would just be spectacularly awesome! Not a lot of people will understand it, but my gosh, Mr Big and I will.

After a poll I did with friends, I got a resounding majority saying that I should just have both parasols. I thought about the pros and cons and decided that, yes it was a wee bit excessive, but both of them just suited the look and feel of the wedding: elegant and geeky. I could use the cherry blossom parasol with my girls, and the Kaylee-inspired parasol with Mr Big!

With that, I went in search of the right sort of parasol.

My search for a relatively inexpensive Kaylee-inspired parasol pulled up trumps. There was no one who sold it in Australia or were willing to get it shipped here. The shops in America which sold Kaylee-inspired parasols were eeeeexpensive.

Meanwhile, during my search for a Kaylee-inspired parasol, I stumbled on a much cheaper parasol with a cherry blossom motif. I polled both Mama Bighorn and Mr Big, and both stated that the cheaper parasol was actually much prettier and more fitting to our wedding then the one above. Yay! And so with that, I snatched it up. I also found they sold a plain white paper parasol for about the same price!

What’s with the plain white paper parasol?, I hear you ask.

Well guys, I decided to DIY the Kaylee-inspired parasol! More on that in the next post!

Who else decided that two was better than one when it came time to find props for the wedding? Who else is using, or has used, a parasol for wedding photography?

Part 2, Wedding Traditions: Something, Something.

20 Sep

Hi Hive!

In a previous post, I talked to you guys about Chinese wedding traditions that we’ll be including in the wedding. I also talked about the Chinese tea ceremony and it’s importance (and I may have overused the Jared Leto gif, just a bit).

In this post, I’ll talk about the “Western” wedding traditions that we’ll have at the wedding.

Unlike the Chinese traditions, we’ll only have a few key “Western” traditions for our wedding. Mr Big’s parents are too traditional and Mumma/MIL Bighorn doesn’t have any Dutch traditions that she wanted doing.

This post isn’t necessarily for those wanting to know about Western traditions, but more for those interested in knowing, as these traditions are pretty ‘common’ in “Western” weddings:

The “It’s Bad Luck for the Groom to See the Bride Before the Ceremony” Tradition

This is a quintessentially Western tradition and originated during the time when arranged marriages were common.

The betrothed couple weren’t allowed to see each other as marriages during this period (read: the Medieval land-owning period) were mostly seen as a “business deal”. The father of the bride wanted his daughter to marry a rich man, but feared that the groom would annul the marriage if he saw the bride before the wedding because he thought she was too unattractive. The veil that a bride wears served a similar purpose.

Nowadays, this tradition is less about the fear that the groom wouldn’t want to marry the bride, and more about the fact that it’s a “tradition you must have”. There’s also the belief that it’s bad luck to see the bride before the ceremony (and my parents are all about luck). It’s also believed to add to some sort of excitement leading up to the ceremony.

However, more and more couples are doing a “first look”, or seeing each other pre-ceremony to take formal bridegroom portraits.

Bamboo for Two: A Twirl and a First Look :  wedding boston pictures pro pics recap Twirlin01 twirlin01

Mrs Panda’s First Look. I love that twirl! Photography via Lisa Rigby Photography.

The reason we’re keeping with this tradition is because Mumma/MIL Bighorn really wanted it. It’s basically the only tradition she seems to want to use, so I’m more than happy to oblige!

This is why Mr Big will be blindfolded during the ‘auspicious time’ tradition mentioned in my previous post, so he can’t see me before the ceremony. We’ll also, hopefully, be getting pretty pictures of a blindfolded and suited up Mr Big and dolled up Miss Big in her white wedding dress.

An example of the “Not First Look”. So pretty. Image via Emmaline Bride. Photography via Dianne Personett Photography

The “Something” Tradition

This is a tradition which I’ve been struggling with and have only recently figured out. Let me explain more…

So, everyone has heard the rhyme:

Something old
Something new
Something borrowed
Something blue
And a sixpence in her shoe

I won’t be bothering with the last line, since it’s not a common part of the poem that most people know of, but I’ve been trying to think of my “somethings”.

“Something new” is an easy one – my dress, my veil, my shoes, and more. In Chinese weddings, it’s customary to buy “new” things, so most of my attire will be brand-spanking new! My ‘something new’ was therefore a no-brainer.

My “something borrowed” is a necklace belonging to my ma, Mama Bighorn. It’s a silver necklace which has an almost yellow sheen to it, to match the yellow gold of my ring.

Here’s a picture:

wedding jewellery_1

My “something borrowed”, my ma’s silver necklace. You guys also get to see my earrings and bracelet! Personal image.

I tried on the necklace and it’s gorgeous. It complements my skin tone, as it has a soft yellow sheen to it, and will look perfect with my dress! I can’t wait to wear it on the Day.

Now the last two were the difficult ones.

As my mother was wed in Indonesia, and her wedding was mostly controlled by an overzealous mother-in-law, she didn’t get to buy a wedding dress or anything that could be considered sentimental. As a result, I don’t have anything from her wedding but the pictures. So my “something old” was difficult to pinpoint.

As for my “something blue”, I had no idea what to use! The ideas ranged from a garter, to a Portal charm to hang off my bouquet, to an earring for my second piercing on my left lobe. All of those meant I had to buy stuff though, and I couldn’t bring myself to pull the trigger on those ideas.

Today, however, after chatting with Mama Bighorn about different traditions, she mentioned that she may have something which might prove useful.

Enter this beauty:


Isn’t it pretty? ❤ Pardon the bad nails! Also, that’s Mr Big’s leg! Personal image.

It’s not what most would consider “old” (it’s only 15 years) but it’s gorgeous and blue and belongs to Mama Bighorn. She’s bequeathing it to me since she has another sapphire ring which my papa gave to her five years ago.

So there you have it – my something old, new, borrowed and blue!

What do you guys think? 🙂 Are there any traditions which people have or will include when they get married? Still think I could make it as a hand model?  (double not.)

Painted Faces and Primped-Up Hair

11 Sep

Miss Big’s Note: This post was written Sunday, September 11 2013, during my hair and makeup trial. I’ve edited it to make it more “present”. My skin was breaking out because of a mixture of things, one of them being alcohol. So a tip to those brides who are like me and don’t really give two flips about their skin until the trial, don’t drink alcohol!

Because my trial was in Gosford, an hour from Sydney, on a Sunday, Mr Big and I decided to stay up in the Hunter Valley with my MoH/sister M&Ms, and her boyfriend, The Don. Saturday could be summarised as: wine tours, alcohol, board games, and an expensive but absolutely delicious dinner at the fine-dining restaurant Leaves & Fishes (totally recommend this place if you’re ever in the Hunter Valley for dinner!).

We then slept at an insanely early hour in the morning and woke up to a glorious Sunday.

We went to the Broke Fair. And no, it’s not because the fair was broken. The little town holding the fair was called Broke, a wee town located in the Hunter Valley. It was a nice morning of looking at all the farm animals, arts and crafts, and food and wine stands. They even had several jumping castles and a whole slew of classic cars! We bought some cookies, coffee, alcohol, delicious cooking oil, and reserved seats for our breakfast at a local boutique winery, Nightingale Wines.

When we were done with the fair, we headed off for Nightingale Wines.

The breakfast there was pricey ($22!) but delicious: fresh butter on toasted bread, eggs, bacon, sausages (that I actually enjoyed! I usually hate breakfast sausages), grilled tomato, and a golden hash brown. I had a(nother) cup of coffee and then we headed off to my hair and makeup appointment at Gosford.

Unfortunately, Mr Big delivered the news that we’ll probably be late, so I better give the hair/makeup team a head’s up. I texted them and then the reception to my phone cut out. Country side driving, hive!

For an hour and a half, driving through pristine countryside, I was starting to get a little bit nervous. Not only was my face a mess (red and raw skin around my eyes, pimples, blotchy skin, you name it, I had it), but I feared that my tardiness would mean I had less time to talk to the team and get a feel for what they can do and them to get an idea about what I want.

We did make it Gosford, 15 minutes later from the appointment time. After apologising profusely, I sat down in the chair and the trial was underway. I met with Kirsty and Emma of Doubletake Makeup Artistry and Extreme Hair Salon respectively. They work together during weddings and have about 20+ experience each.

They are two awesome, beautiful women with big personalities, so I was having a great time. They chatted to me as they did my face and hair and I felt utterly and completely comfortable in their presence.

What’s better is that they accommodated to my skin and my hair and they were just so nice, even when I was late! They made sure to choose products which they believed would ensure that my skin remain hydrated and happy. I actually felt good under their skills. I showed them my inspiration images, explained what I wanted, and they worked their magic.

Now before I continue, I’m going to divulge a little something to you fine folk. I, naturally, have self-esteem issues, especially as my skin is the way it is. Add to that the fact that I was suffering from “that time in a girl’s month”, and you can imagine how I felt.

Essentially, my self-esteem was hair-trigger sensitive.

This is the before photo of my trial. You can probably see how bad my skin was that day. My skin was blotchy, my face was breaking out, my eyes were red and raw, and I was feeling tired and bloated.

So, I looked pretty bad.


The before photo. I am so brave to post this on a basically international scale…/Personal photo.

This was taken at about 12PM on the ride over to Gosford where I was to meet Kirsty and Emma for the trial. When I got there, I showed them these two images:

hair and makeup inspo

Left: For makeup, Zhang Zi Yi in a Mercedes advertisement. GOD SHE’S PRETTY; Right: For hair, Emmaline Bride via Avdeezyk.

And this is what I got:

After - in the car

Selfie, taken on my old iPhone. I really suck at selfies. / Personal image.


Taken by Kirsty at the salon with my iPhone. / Personal images.

In all honesty, I thought I looked quite good. However, I went into my trial with no concept of what I wanted (I’m silly, aren’t I?) so now that I have a clearer idea of what doesn’t look good on me, I can go into the wedding day safe in the knowledge of what I don’t want.

It is a trial after all, and I, along with the help of others, found places that needed adjusting. These were:

  • My eyes needed a little more pop (like Zhang Zi Yi’s above)
  • My eyebrows needed some preening
  • My fringe needs to be swept gently to the side instead of the wavy curls (like Zhang Zi Yi’s fringe above).
  • The bun needs to be ‘daintier’/smaller. That bun in the back of my head was massive!

Otherwise, I loved the look! I got some crap about it from other people and I was sort of upset for a little bit (read: feeling ugly, boo). But after all that’s said and done, I’m happy with my MUA and hair stylist.

loved the colour of my lips, I loved the fact that my skin looked absolutely flawless, and I loved the fact that when Mr Big saw me he looked happily stunned.

What do you guys think? What kind of adjustments should I make?

Give me your honest opinion – my hair and makeup trial

11 Sep

Warning: You WILL see my face all… fugged up because it was just a REALLY bad weekend for my skin…

Sunday started out nicely! We went to the Broke Fair. And no, it’s not because the fair was broken. The little town holding the fair was called Broke, and it was a nice morning of looking at all the animals, arts and crafts, and food and wine stands. They even had several jumping castles and a whole slew of classic cars! We bought some cookies, coffee, a delicious cooking oil, and reserved seats for out breakfast at Nightingale Wines.

We then headed off for Nightingale Wines. The breakfast there was pricey ($22!) but DELICIOUS. Fresh butter on toasted bread, eggs, bacon, sausages (that I actually enjoyed! I usually hate breakfast sausages), grilled tomato, and a golden hash brown. I had a(nother) cup of coffee and then we headed off the appointment at Gosford.

Unfortunately, GP delivered the news that we’ll probably be late, so I better give the hair/makeup team a head’s up. I texted them and then reception cut out. For an hour and a half, driving through pristine countryside, I was starting to get a little bit nervous. Not only was my face a mess (red and raw skin around my eyes, pimples, blotchy skin, you name it, I had it), but I feared that my tardiness would mean I had less time to talk to the team and get a feel for what they can do and them to get an idea about what I want.

We did make it Gosford, 15 minutes later from the appointment time (and I apologising profusely), and the trial was underway.

I met with Kirsty and Emma of Doubletake Makeup Artistry and Extreme Hair Salon respectively. They are two awesome, beautiful women with big personalities, so I was having a GREAT time. They accommodated to my skin, my hair and they were just SO nice. They made sure to choose products which they believed would ensure that my skin remain hydrated and happy. I actually felt good under their skills. I showed them my inspiration images, explained what I wanted, and they worked their magic.

Now before I continue, I’m going to divulge a little something to you fine folk.

I don’t think I’m attractive. Now, everyone has some self-esteem issues: they wish they could be taller, or thinner, or fairer, or tanner, but with me, it was always a bit of everything. I wished I was skinnier, I wished I was prettier, I wished my skin wasn’t so awful, blah, blah etc., etc.

This thinking was enhanced by the fact that, from all sides, I’ve been pestered and prodded to “lose more weight”, or “stop scratching”, or “do something about this”, or “do something about that”. I understand that scratching makes my skin worst, and I understand that eating chocolate can make me fat, but if I follow everything that everyone tells me to do, I wouldn’t be eating anything but cabbage and soup, and I’d be constantly irritated from the itch that I can’t scratch because I’m “not supposed to”.

What I’m trying to say here is, I’ve got a damaged self-esteem and body issues, and people make it harder for me cope with them. Add to that the fact that I was suffering from the “that time in a girl’s month”, and you can imagine how I felt. Essentially, my self-esteem was hair-trigger sensitive.

This is the before photo of my trial. You can probably see how bad my skin was that day. My skin was blotchy, my face was breaking out, my eyes were red and raw, and I was feeling tired and bloated.

So… I look pretty bad.


Yeah, work that skin! (NOT) // Personal image

So… I look horrible there. Like, REALLY horrible. This was taken at about 12PM on the ride over to Gosford where I was to meet Kirsty and Emma for the trial.

When I got there, I showed them these two images:

Zhang Zhi Yi is a Chinese film actress   who achieved fame in the West after starring in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Rush Hour 2, House of Flying Daggers, and Memoirs of a Geisha. She has been nominated for numerous awards throughout her career.

For makeup // Image from

so elegant and timeless bride hair look!

For hair // Image from

And this is what I got:

After - in the salon

After – in the salon at about 3:30PM // Personal image

After - in the salon 3

Hair from behind // Personal image

Now, I actually liked the result.

The things that I think needed more adjustment were my eyes (they need a little more pop), my eyebrow (it’s sort of uneven…), and my fringe needs to be more “straight” and swept gently to the side instead of the wavy curls. Otherwise, I loved the look. I felt AWESOME.

Bridal Inspiration 2013: Artistic Boho Wedding Themes

The fringe I want – this is such a pretty picture // Image from

2 wedding makeup looks

The eyes I want // Image from

Unfortunately, I didn’t seem to get the same reaction from others, which made me feel like maybe I didn’t look THAT good…

The only one who really thought I looked good was one person: GP, my fiancé. And I guess that’s all that matters, since I am marrying him.

What do you guys think? Any critiques you’d like to give? Should I “fringe” the hair or just pull it all the way to the back? What do you think I should do to my eyes? Feel free to give me your HONEST opinion!