Colour Explosion, Day of the Dead Dress Up Barn Party: Neil & Tash

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I’ve seen a lot of Day of the Dead themed weddings in my time, but hand on my heart, none have been as incredible as this one! From the bride’s black dress with hidden rainbow petticoat, to the extravagant and gorgeous DIY decorations and the holi powder war (!), this is a wedding I KNOW you’re all going to love.

“Between the two of us we share a few cultures – Indian, Afrikaans, Polish and good old everyday South African”, began Tash. “Mashing the cultures, and therefore the traditions that accompany the various cultures, with our own individual likes and dislikes, was inevitably the inspiration for our day.”

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“A few eyebrows were raised when we shared our ideas with family and friends, but we stuck to our guns and created a day that reflected who we are as individuals. This to me was what made it ‘alternative’ (besides the black dress, unlimited vodka and skulls everywhere).”

The day was held at the Mckenzie farm in Lions River, South Africa. The ceremony was in the nearby woods and the reception was in the barn. “The thinking behind our wedding theme was that we got engaged in India, we both love colour and we both love to dress up”, she continued. “I love skulls and Neil dislikes anything fancy and elegant. I also love DIY and power tools! From that process evolved our theme: laid back, unpolished, colour explosion, Day of the Dead dress up barn party!”

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Thursday Treats: Workshops, Awards and Weird New Hair

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I’ve spent the past seven days in New York and I’ve been having the best time! After teaching over the weekend, Shauna had to head to Palm Springs for a design retreat, so Gala and I have been exploring the city as a terrible twosome all week. It’s been pretty rad although we’ve missed our third!

By the way, this update comes to you from an Amtrak train speeding through the American countryside! We’re teaching our final US class of the year in DC this weekend (er where has this year gone please?!) I’ve never visited the Capital so I’m preeetty excited to see the White House and have some touristy fun times all day tomorrow. Any other recommendations of what we should do while we’re there?

I fly home Sunday night, so I have to go to the airport as soon as the workshop is over. I have two awards ceremonies to go to next week – the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards, where I’m co-presenting (!!) an award as well as being nominated for Best Wedding Blog, and the Wedding Magazine Blog Awards where I’m also up for a couple of gongs! It should be a fun week, for sure!

Weddings & Weddingy Things

A beautiful wedding dinner
The littlest boho
♥ Moody forest wedding inspo
60s mod, math and science fair wedding
Homespun Bohemian Canadian wedding
♥ Gorgeous Joshua Tree wedding
Black sand beach elopement

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Pat Furey

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Relaxed Back Garden Wedding in Surrey: Rachel & Ally

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Rachel and Ally won their wedding photography though a contest hosted on this very wedding blog, so when Rachel excitedly emailed me with the resulting gorgeous photos, I couldn’t wait to post them! The wedding was held in Ally’s parent’s back garden in Surrey.

“When we first got engaged and I started to look at possible venues I got so downhearted that I abandoned the search for 18 months”, began the bride. “Every couple wants a wedding that represents them, and we were no different, but I felt everywhere I looked we either couldn’t afford or wouldn’t let us choose the things that were important to us. They all seemed to insist that you use their recommended suppliers. We are both laid back and wanted something that wouldn’t be stressful to organise.”

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“Rather than start at what we wanted, we started at what we didn’t want and built from there. We didn’t want formality or to subscribe to tradition. I didn’t want a wedding dress and Ally didn’t want a morning suit. We wanted it to feel very natural and relaxed so cut out many of the usual parts that make up a wedding. I didn’t want to be a princess; the only thing I wanted to be on our wedding day was Mrs Jowett.”

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Voodoo and Pagan Witch Wedding Shoot

Paola De Paola Weddings

As an ex goth, I can’t help being attracted to dark art in general”, began Lauren of French Made, who provided the cakes for this shoot. “Plus my recent obsession with the series called ‘Vikings’ and their Pagan way of life gave me inspiration. I was lucky enough to find a fabulous team of wedding suppliers as ready as I am to push the boundaries and willing to get involved and create the most eye pleasing alternative bridal styled shoot.”

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“I chose to cover my tiered cake with ivory icing and skin tone butter cream as well as adding fur, leather, antique styled lace, feathers, bronze coloured studs and a Pagan symbols charm. My naked single tier decorated with a badger skull and a flower which was sitting on a wood stand reflected the rustic aspect of the shoot.”

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How To Dye Your Hair Unnatural Colours… and Make It Last!

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“There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission…”

That’s right, I changed my hair! There’s no Photoshop trickery at play and I’m not wearing a wig, I REALLY dyed my hair blue!

So why the departure from my signature pink? Well, I’ve been a full time pinky since 2008, so I was ready for a change! It was a big and scary step though, and as Gala slapped the blue dye on my head last night a quiet wave of panic crept over me. “Am I crazy to leave the pink behind? What if blue doesn’t suit me? But pink hair is my trademark…!”

With the emotional support of my friends, I finally felt brave enough to do it and I am so happy that have. I feel like a new person! Oh and I am more than a little bit thrilled about how it’s going to open up my wardrobe. I can finally wear a hot pink dresses without looking like a crazy flamingo person!

Oh and because I know you’ll want to know, we used a mix of Special Effects Blue Mayhem, Manic Panic Mystic Heather and Manic Panic Amplified Ultra Violet.

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I always get a lot of questions via social media and in person about dying hair unnatural colours. People want to know what products I use, how I maintain my colour and keep it so bright. It honestly isn’t that difficult, and if you follow these few simple tips you’ll be well on your way to the rainbow tresses of your dreams too!

Get bleached by a professional

Having healthy hair is vital for long lasting colour. If your hair is really damaged, the colour just won’t hold. Unless you are blessed with naturally white blonde hair you will need to strip your natural colour with bleach first. Without a light base, the colour will look muddy and will wash out really quickly.

Make sure you always get the bleach process done by a professional (the colour itself doesn’t damage the hair, it’s the bleach you have to be cautious with) and follow my tips for treating damaged hair. I would never recommend that anyone should attempt at home bleaching. Believe me, I speak from experience about how much damage it can do!

The more saturated you want your colour you look, the lighter you hair will need to be. It can be tricky to get very dark, dark hair, white enough to dye it a bright colour on the first try too. Everybody’s hair is different though so speak to your colourist. Ask their advice when it comes to how light you can realistically get your hair without damaging it too much.

Please listen to them! If they tell you they can’t do it in one session, they’re not just being mean! It’s most likely because they know that rushing the process and bleaching the bejeezus out of it will really damage your hair. It may take a few gentler bleaching sessions over a series of months to get to your desired base colour.

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“Woohoo” headband from my bridesmaid collection with Crown and Glory!

Avoid heat

For most of us, blow drying and styling our hair is unavoidable. Yet whenever possible, you should leave your hair to dry naturally and avoid using straighteners. Heat strips colour faster than anything else AND is like kryptonite to delicate bleached hair.

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Bohemian Wedding at Big Trees State Park: Patrick & Jessica

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Patrick and Jessica were married June 29th with a budget of under $5000. They planned everything themselves and the bride’s uncle conducted the ceremony.

“Patrick and I grew up in the same county and graduated in the same high school class”, began the bride. “Where we live is very ‘small town America’. We wanted our wedding to have the same feel. Patrick and I both love camping and the outdoors. Every aspect of our wedding had our own personal touch and backstory. We wanted our wedding to represent us and our guests really loved how genuine it was. We didn’t want a generic wedding we wanted something that we made and represented our relationship.”

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The ceremony was held at Big Trees State Park on Beaver Creek and the reception was at the group camp area. The flowers were gathered and arranged by the bride and her bridesmaids. They made flower crowns and the centrepieces.

“I loved the night before and the morning of our wedding”, Jessica continued. “The bridesmaids, tribesmaids and I camped out and made the floral hair wreaths, boutonnières, and table arrangements. We slept under the stars and at dawn we had a silent vigil on a beach at the river. The silence was broken when we all jumped in the water. It was very serene and empowering to start the morning with my closest friends and jump into the brisk water. It was symbolic to the day, plunging into my new life as a married woman.”

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