30 Sep 2018

Our Wedding Day | The Details



As we have now come to the last of my Wedding Month blog posts I thought I'd finally share the finer details of our wedding day. I often get asked about the who, what, why, when and where's so I'll go through all of the deets for you all!





The Venue

We had our wedding at the gorgeous new venue situated in Braunstone Park in Leicester, Winstanley House. It is a recently refurbished building and now a boutique hotel with stunning guest rooms, two receptions rooms and a restaurant. We had some rooms booked for the night before the wedding so we all got to relax before the big day. The hotel is so beautifully designed and I knew it would make the perfect location.

We hired the Grand Ballroom, which holds up to 400 people but we had 300 guests - sounds like a lot, I know! Asian weddings are rather large because we have huuuuge families. Anyway, the guests were sat comfortably on round tables with lovely candelabras in the centre of each one.

The service by the venue was good but not great, as they had only just opened very recently they seemed a bit unorganised at moments but it wasn't so bad. I really recommend visiting this venue if you are looking to get married in Leicester.



Caterers

In terms of food and drink, we used the in-house caterers whose menu includes traditional Indian food. We met the chef during our food tasting and he was so lovely and listened to all our critiques about the food and on the day, everyone really enjoyed it!



Wedding Cake

If you are Leicester based, you may know that there are several bakers based in the city on Instagram. My aunt (aka wedding planner) recommended her friend who goes by @CandyCottonCakes on Instagram. We went for a classic style naked cake with flowers that matched my bouquet and the flowers in my hair too. I wanted to surprise my husband with his favourite cake flavour - lemon. He really enjoyed it and was indeed very surprised!



Favours

Our wedding favours were little bottles of zam-zam (holy water) and we also had a little jar of dates in the centre of each table. We got the bottles and jars from waresofknutsford.co.uk and they were a breeze to deal with. Organised, quick and easy!

Invites

I don't have pictures of our invites (as they contain a lot of personal information) but if you are Leicester or East Midlands based, I'd highly recommend Design&PrintCo. They listened to all my wants and needs and created the perfect wedding invitation.

Photo Booth

We had a Photo Booth at the wedding which was the best idea ever. The guests really enjoyed it and we got a very cool guestbook with the most hilarious photos! We went with Jackstar Weddings and they were very nice and easy to work with. Very happy with their service.





Photographer

I really struggled with choosing a photographer but I'd heard some great reviews about Sofia Mughal. At first, I was really happy with the decision but on the day of the wedding she was very unorganised and I wasn't 100% happy with the images and service. It's been almost 6 months since our wedding and we've only just received our wedding album - a whole 3 months after I was promised I'd get it. I hate to give bad feedback but I did send my concerns to Sofia and I feel I am entitled to share my own opinion, especially on my own blog.

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28 Sep 2018

The Pre-Weekend Self Care Routine



Happy Friday! A couple of weeks back I posted a pre-weekend pamper routine up on my Instagram stories. I got quite a few messages with some great feedback so I thought I'd share some of favourites products for a quick self-care pamper session up on the blog too.

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SET THE MOOD

First things first, make sure your space has the right vibe. Light some candles, clean up a little, make sure you feel comfortable.

I have really gotten into essential oils recently and this oil collection is the perfect starter set if you are interested! I just pop a few drops into my diffuser and the room smells so good.



HAIR CARE

I am a big fan of hair masks. My hair is rather unruly and generally a hot mess so I like to treat it to a hair mask every week if possible! This week I decided to use the Coco and Eve hair mask. It is all over Instagram because of it's pretty packaging and oh-so-amazing smell but it actually does work wonders! It leaves my hair so soft and nourished and the smell and prettiness on my shelves are just a bonus.



SKIN REGIME

Skincare is a huge step in my routine at the moment and I mostly stick to same steps but with different products now and again. The regime goes - Mask, Cleanse, Tone and Moisturise.

I like to focus the products I use on whatever concerns I have at the time and currently it is hydration.

One of the products I've been using to help bring a boost of hydration to my skin is the Rio Rosa Mosqueta Intensive Night Treatment* which works like a dream. In my moisturise step I just pop a small amount of the product all over my face and gentle massage it in to the skin. I really like how fresh the cream smells and although it is an intensive treatment, it doesn't feel heavy at all.

The brand is 100% natural, cruelty free and their products don't contain any colourings and additives - it is filled with all natural extracts and ingredients from South America. I've mentioned this countless times before, but I'd really like to go all natural / cruelty free when it comes to my beauty products so this is a big help in taking another step towards that goal. I'd really like to try more from the brand, especially as the prices don't break the bank!



ENTERTAIN

Last but not least, I like to do something a little special to finish off my self-care routine. Whether it is settling down to watch my current favourite TV show (The Great British Bake Off and Gilmore Girls - FYI!), meal-planning, writing up / planning blog posts or doing a quick relaxing yoga session, it's just something to make me feel good - because that is what self-care is all about!

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Do you have a self-care routine? 


*This product was gifted in exchange for a blog post
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23 Sep 2018

My Bridal Hair and Make Up



Like I mentioned in my previous post about my wedding dress, I felt like hair and make up was an important factor for me. At first, I really wanted to do my own make up but it was the one occasion where you deserve to be pampered and I did have someone in mind who I felt comfortable with so I did get a make up artist to glam me up for the day. Anyway, I thought I'd share my look and who was apart of my dream team!



Make up

I never really like getting my make up done but I've previously got it done professionally on my sisters wedding and I decided to use the same make up artist because I felt most comfortable with her.  Her name is Paula and she listened to everything I wanted and really made me feel beautiful on the day.

I definitely knew I wanted to get a trial done and honestly it was the best decision I ever made. Paula has worked in the industry for many many years so she knew exactly what to do. I mentioned in my Pre-Wedding Skincare Line Up blog post that she recommended a routine for me as my skin was really bad. She solved all my skincare problems and got my make up on point!

I went for a champagne and mauve eyeshadow look, softly smudged eyeliner and natural but voluminous eyelashes. I wanted glowy and dewy skin with a light contour, a touch of blusher and a pink lip. The products she used were great and lasted all day long!

Paula Durance is known to many in Leicester so if you are after a make up artist, I highly recommend her!



Hair

I never really wear my hair in an up do, mostly because down-do's are much easier to do, but I knew that on my wedding day I wanted to wear my hair in a soft up do. I don't think anyone, even my husband (!) expected me to have my hair up on our wedding because I wear my hair down that often!

I went for a classic chignon style up do with a deep side part in a sleek neat style. I have frizzy hair so I wanted to keep everything tame for the big day!

Anyway, my hair stylist is a family friend but also known to many in my local area in Leicester. Her name is Shabiha and her Instagram (which doesn't do her work justice) is @ShabihaMaster.

Shabiha not only did my wonderful hair for me, she also carefully placed the flowers, put my veil on and helped me into my dress and basically dressed me on the day. She really does go above and beyond!

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16 Sep 2018

Finding The Wedding Dress



The dress, hair and make up was very important to me as a bride and I just wanted everything to be perfect. I know how important these can be for other brides-to-be so I thought I'd share the details of where I got inspiration for my dress, went shopping and what look & style I was going for.

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I consider my style to be very simple and I wanted the exact same for my wedding dress. I looked at a few styles on Pinterest and Instagram and couldn't really decide on a particular style. I was always drawn to streamlined shapes but I thought I could perhaps go for something different - I was very open to ideas.



I visited a couple of places and tried on a fair few dresses but I didn't force myself to make a decision until I found the dress. I actually found my dress at Beautiful Brides in Nottingham.

When I arrived with my mum and sister, the ladies at the store escorted us to our own private room and asked me to fill out a questionnaire. The questions involved the obvious questions about the date and time but they also were curious to know the venue as they can try pick out styles that would match the theme and vibe of the venue.

Anyway, I let them know that I was open to every style and just wanted something simple and something I was comfortable in. I also wanted a sleeve on my dress and the flexibility of wearing it with a long veil.



I tried 20 or so dresses on and found that the beautiful big princess style dresses drowned me as I was on the petite side. I much preferred the simple straight or mermaid style dresses. I fell in love with two dresses and after an emotional reaction from my mum and sister, I settled on the dress. I said yes to the dress!

It was a stunning Pronovias dress which was all over lace, had a beautiful long trail and three-quarter length sleeves. The boat neck detailing and simplicity of the design was what drew me to the dress and I just found it light, comfortable and very me.



Accessories and shoes

The veil I settled on also had a long trail and was longer than my dress (very Kate Middleton inspired) and had beautiful scalloped beading detailing around the trim.

I knew I didn't want to spend an arm and a leg on my heels because a) I never really wear heels & wanted them to be worth my while and b) I've heard many stories about bridal shoes never being worn again or being really uncomfortable. I also have small feet (size 3's) so I often struggle with shoes and sizing and just wanted to go somewhere I know and feel comfortable with. My shoes were a simple pair of rose gold block heeled New Look shoes!

For accessories, I just wanted a pair of earrings as I knew I wanted my hair in an up do so I went for these lovely square style studs from, Pandora.

The entire outfit was the epitome of what I wanted: simplicity and elegance.

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9 Sep 2018

Planning A Wedding // Advice and Tips




Planning your wedding day can be really stressful but the whole process should still be enjoyable and memorable. I really enjoyed the planning process and know how daunting it can be so I thought I'd pop a little post together for bride-to-be's so you can be a little prepared before you get cracking.

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Have a vision

First things first, make sure you know what you want. I had a Pinterest board (which bride doesn't?!) and showed it to my aunt who was also my wedding planner. She knew exactly where to go and how to achieve the look I wanted for the big day.


Do your research

Everything you decide on needs to be researched beforehand. Whether it is the little things or the big things, read as many reviews, articles, websites before booking / confirming.


Don't rush into making any decisions

Although you might want to just tick as many things off on your list, don't rush into doing so. This day is a day you'll never forget and many others may never forget too. You don't want to make the wrong choice about something.



Consider a wedding planner

Luckily I have an auntie who also plans events and weddings so she helped me out a great deal when it came to all things wedding related. I'd really recommend getting one if you don't quite know where to start or if planning is not your forte.


Go to wedding fairs

Before our wedding, we made it our mission to go to as many wedding fairs our possible. It really helped with the planning of the venue, invitations, dress and decor. I found a few suppliers through the wedding fairs so be prepared to grab as many flyers and business cards. Also, you often get freebies! Who doesn't love a good freebie?


Take time to relax

Planning a wedding doesn't have to be entirely stressful! Make sure you take the time out of each week in the run up to the wedding to relax as much as possible. It is a nerve wracking day and I think brides, more than groom's, feel it. Book yourself in for a massage - I did this on my wedding week and it was the best thing ever in helping calm my nerves.


Remember that it is your day!

When planning our wedding I remember I'd keep thinking about what everyone else wanted until I realised that it isn't about anyone else but about us. I started making decisions based on what I wanted and obviously catered for everyone in the process.



Before you start planning

Before you start any planning, make a check list of every little thing you need to do. Being my organised self, I created a spreadsheet and noted every little detail down and it helped me keep on top of everything.

On the list make sure you prioritise what means most to you... to get an idea mine was something like the below:

1. Venue / Date
2. Invites
3. Food and Cake
4, Dress and outfits
5. Honeymoon



Preparations for the bride:

I got so caught up in planning all the other bits and bobs that I almost forgot about what I needed to prepare for myself as the bride. Make sure you don't forget to organise yourself...

Look to booking the below details for yourself as well as bridesmaids and close family and friends.


Checklist for the bride

  • Hairdressers
  • Hair stylist
  • Make up artist
  • Massage
  • Nails




On your wedding day

When the big day does arrive, make sure you surround yourself with whatever makes you comfortable. I was really excited on the morning of the wedding, I had all my family and friends around me for breakfast and then spent some alone time in our hotel room until my hair and make up stylists arrived. I think it is important to have some space because the day can be a little overwhelming so make sure you do whatever it is you need to do to feel as calm and comfortable as possible.

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Good luck with the wedding planning and treasure these moments! 

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2 Sep 2018

The Pre-Wedding Skincare Line Up // AM & PM



To kickstart Wedding Month on Fatima Writes I thought I would start by sharing one of the most important things that I wanted to nail before my wedding: My skincare routine. Over the past few years I've really been battling with eczema and dermatitis on my skin and in particular, my face. It has been quite the journey and even until now, there has been no end. I was very lucky to have a calm moment with my skin before the wedding and on the wedding day and I think it was down to my skincare routine that I stuck by religiously.

I had my wedding make up trial a month before my wedding and at that point, my skin was awful. My make up artist has worked in the industry for years and recommends a skincare plan based on what she sees. She recommended I try Liz Earle products because it is gentle yet effective for my dry, dehydrated and irritated skin. She also recommend I stop using physical exfoliators as this may have aggravated my skin further. I also think I had a down moment with my skin as I reacted badly to some Clinique products I was testing out earlier in the year.



Anyway, I nailed a skincare regime, one for the morning and one for the evening and I swore by it all month. My skin cleared up instantly and was glowing on my wedding day! I have very dry, sensitive and irritable skin so this obviously won't work for everyone but I thought I'd share in case you are looking to create a skincare routine and needed ideas for if you want to try more products and need some inspiration.



MORNING SKINCARE ROUTINE

Cleanser
Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish
This cleanser is perfect for making my skin feel fresh both in the morning and night. Spend a good minute massaging the product into the skin and then use a warm muslin cloth (usually comes with this product) and remove the product from your skin. It feels so great afterwards!

Toner | Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic
Using a cotton pad, pop a little squirt of the toner on it and then swipe across your face. It is important to go in one direction and only once as this prevents any germs from spreading. I feel like this step is so refreshing!

Serum | The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid + B5
I have heard amazing things about hyaluronic acid, especially for dry skin like mine. Acid's sound scary but this one does not burn or smell funny or do anything that would put you off. I believe this is found in the skin naturally and by using it on top it attracts more moisture into the skin, hence using it pre-moisturiser and this will allow you to get the most of the product you pop on next in your skincare routine.

Moisturiser | Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser
For moisturiser I use the dry/sensitive formula from the Liz Earle range. It is quite heavy duty but I need it as my skin is really dehydrated, especially in the mornings. I apply a little pea sized amount of this as a little goes a very long way.



EVENING SKINCARE ROUTINE

Cleanser
Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish
Like I mentioned earlier, I use this morning and night so this product makes another feature in my evening routine. I didn't use this to remove make up (mind you, I didn't really wear any make up in the run up to the wedding as I wanted my skin to breathe!) but instead as a step to remove all dirt and impurities that would have built up on my skin throughout the day.

TonerLiz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic
Again, also use this in the morning so I repeat this step in the exact same way for the evening.

SerumThe Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid + B5
Another repeat... I basically pop a few drops of this product on my hand a pat into the skin around my face, concentrating it on the areas that need it most (are most dry!)

Oil | The Ordinary 100% Plant Derived Squalane
This oil is meant to boost hydration in the skin and like the hyaluronic acid, can also be found naturally in our skin. I really liked how light this product was and wasn't very greasy like other oils. Above all, I felt like this actually worked and is very underrated amongst The Ordinary products.

Moisturiser | Simple Water Boost Skin Quench Sleeping Cream
This cream is lightweight, non greasy but very efficient. It really packed a punch in hydration and is almost like an overnight mask. I really recommend trying this if you are on the hunt for a inexpensive night cream.

Eye Cream | Simple Kind To Eyes Eye Balm
I've recently just finished up my tube of this eye cream but I was advised to always use eye cream and this one did the job. Cheap, cheerful and kept me from having dry skin around my eye area.



So there we have it... my pre-wedding skincare routines for AM and PM. Have you tried any of these?
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