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Flawless Wedding Makeup for Cessnock Brides

Posted in Hair & Makeup, Hunter Valley Weddings by HUNTER BRIDE

Icon Makeup Emporium

Icon Makeup Emporium

Effective wedding makeup is not just about a flawless finish. You need makeup that’s going to not only ensure you look wonderful in the all-important wedding photographs, but also last through a long day and evening, without fading.

We know you want to look fabulous on your wedding day, and although you are perfectly competent at putting on your everyday ‘face’, there’s no better occasion than a wedding to call on the services of a makeup artist.

An expert can advise you and help you achieve the look you want from your wedding makeup. Cessnock boasts a number of wedding makeup professionals, and you can find them all in one place, thanks to the Hunter Bride directory.

Here’s a quick guide to the seven secrets of perfect wedding makeup, and why hiring a professional is a wise idea.

Secret 1: flawless coverage

To achieve a finish that looks flawless through the photographer’s lens, a makeup artist has the experience to use neither too much, nor too little, and to make sure the foundation is right for your skin type and colour. They will take a number of factors into account, including the need to properly conceal any under-eye circles. This is vital, otherwise your eyes can get lost in photos, no matter how creatively the photographer lights the shot.

Secret 2: achieving a healthy glow

There are two secrets to achieving a radiant glow, and one is to avoid products with mica in them, otherwise you could end up looking a bit too shiny instead of super healthy. The other secret lies in getting the right shade of tan. Professional makeup artists generally know which products work best with individual skin types, and sensitivities. They’ll also make sure you don’t turn orange!

Secret 3: the neck check

Wedding dresses often feature a dramatic neckline designed to perfectly frame your face. This is all very wonderful, except that it can cruelly highlight uneven skin tone in the neck and décolletage. Solution? A professional will blend foundation lightly over neck and upper chest for a truly seamless finish, without staining your dress.

Secret 4: more blush please!

Yes, more blush. More than you think you need, because it gives your face the shape, contour and colour that will make you look so good in your photographs. This is where working with a makeup artist comes in really handy, because the camera doesn’t see things quite the same as the naked eye, and a professional knows exactly what’s needed. Too little blush and your face looks flat, too much and – well, we’ve all seen those disasters!

Secret 5: trip the lip fantastic

The trick here is to wear a lip colour just slightly darker than your normal shade, so that your lips really pop in the photographs, but don’t dominate your face or detract from your eyes. You’ll also need a long-lasting product if your lip colour is to survive all the champagne toasts and kissing. An expert can help advise you on the right product to use.

Secret 6: a discreet retouch every now and then

Ask your makeup artist for samples of the products they use for discreet touch-ups throughout the day. That way, there’ll be no worries about colour mismatch, caking or shine.

Secret 7: trial avoids error!

Organise a trial makeup session, and try and wear a top that’s the same colour as your wedding dress, or take a swatch of the material. This helps the makeup artist work out the right colour palette for your skin tone.

Make these secrets your own

These are just some of the secrets used by professional makeup artists and beauticians to create flawless wedding makeup. Cessnock is a great place to get married and many of the professional makeup artists listed in the Hunter Bride directory are happy to travel throughout the area, so they can be there for you when you need to look your very best.

What’s more, you’ll find that many of our makeup artists can also take care of your hair too. Book a trial session and be amazed at just how fabulous you can look!

Boutique Touches from The Wedding Designer

Posted in Wedding Decorations & Event Hire, Wedding Suppliers by HUNTER BRIDE

The Wedding Designer

The Wedding Designer

At Hunter Bride, we’re delighted to have connected with The Wedding Designer, an innovative wedding design service covering the Hunter Valley, Newcastle and beyond.

Jess and Emma are creative enthusiasts who live to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary, and to add that special touch of personality and flair to any element of your special day.

What can The Wedding Designer do for you?

The Wedding Designer’s philosophy is to help out as much or as little as you need, with the aim of making your wedding the ‘best day ever’. As far as Jess and Emma are concerned, there’s no such thing as ‘one-size fits all’ when it comes to designing beautiful bespoke weddings.

The team excels at transforming spaces into truly beautiful venues, using a combination of quirky, vintage and handmade design elements. Once the decorating is finished, you’ll be wowed by an overall effect that adds up to so much more than an accumulation of individual touches.

The Wedding Designer can help you wave goodbye to all the stress of wondering how to create a unique event designed to reflect a truly personal wedding. A discussion with Jess and Emma might also uncover ideas you never knew you had, and designs you never knew you loved!

What’s more, working with a professional team of creative designers frees up your time to manage your no doubt already busy life. With someone else taking care of the details and chasing suppliers, you can focus on enjoying the lead-up to your wedding day, rather than stressing!

The Wedding Designer also has a superb network of suppliers, and Jess and Emma (and the rest of the team) have an excellent eye for a bargain.

Breath-taking handmade design

From personalised table settings, with quirky vintage glass and picnic settings, to handmade place cards and seating plans, The Wedding Designer team can source custom-designed, fun and highly unusual pieces for your celebration.

The handmade selection extends from fabric banners to bunting, flags and pompoms, and new items are regularly added to the repertoire. Naturally, the team is always happy to discuss your ideas, too.

From single consultation to full service

Jess and Emma are happy to work with you, whether you want a single consultation or a full pre-planning and on-the-day event management service, or something in-between.

If you’re part way through your wedding planning, you might just want some advice on a couple of ways to personalise your reception with really inspirational design. On the other hand, perhaps you have lots of ideas for your wedding and you need a team with the technical know-how to turn them into reality.

Available 24/7

When you want full support, The Wedding Designer team can be available 24/7 to work with you and reassure you that nothing’s been forgotten. This extends from the start of discussions about your wedding theme, right up to behind-the-scenes set-up on the day.

A boutique wedding on a budget

No matter the size of your wedding budget, we know you’ll appreciate Jess and Emma’s belief that a highly personalised wedding needn’t cost the earth. As professional wedding designers, the team can access bulk discounts you simply wouldn’t be offered as an individual bride.

Head this way for a blissful wedding

If you’re ready to find out more about what The Wedding Designer can do for you, click through to their profile page for the service, and get ready to transform your wedding plans!

Reasons to Hire Vintage Wedding Cars for Newcastle Weddings

Posted in Newcastle Weddings, Wedding Cars & Transport by HUNTER BRIDE

Princess Classic Cars

Princess Classic Cars

Instead of standard limousines, why not choose wedding cars with definite personality? Nothing says elegance and class quite like vintage wedding cars. Newcastle wedding car hire firms can help you out with cars that make for a stylish entrance, with all the glamour of a bygone era. Here are a few reasons why vintage cars can make your day extra special.

Be treated like royalty

You won’t go unnoticed on the way to your wedding when you’re in a vintage car. You may find that other drivers display great goodwill, and that smiles and waves accompany you from home to the ceremony, just as if you were royalty on an Australian tour!

Surprise your partner

If you’re planning on separate venues for the ceremony and the reception, why not keep the car a secret as an extra special treat for your fiancé? Many men enjoy the opportunity to ride in a vintage car, so just think how his eyes might light up as he emerges from the ceremony to be saluted by a smartly-uniformed chauffeur and unexpectedly ushered into a gleaming vintage vehicle.

History and personality

There’s no doubt that hiring vintage wedding cars can add a considerable dash of personality to your Newcastle wedding. A vintage car is highly likely to have been lovingly restored and maintained by enthusiasts. Typically, owner-restorers enjoy making sure that every last detail about the car is authentic and working perfectly, from immaculate interiors to burnished paint and body work. Not only does this minimise the chances of breakdown, but vintage cars have often accumulated a rich history which turns each vehicle into an individual personality.


High quality service is all part of the experience of vintage wedding cars. Newcastle car hire firms that specialise in these vehicles usually offer a range of inclusions. You can often expect to be escorted by a sharply dressed chauffeur, who takes great care to make you feel like a princess. This can include helping you in and out of the car, making sure to avoid puddles, and being prepared with an enormous umbrella should rain be a possibility. While you are the star of the arrival, your chauffeur may well look after everyone else in the bridal party too, making sure everyone gets inside the venue without mishaps.

Star quality

Vintage wedding cars are highly photogenic. Be sure to let your photographer know about the car in advance, so that they can take full advantage of the opportunity to create some extra special photographs featuring the vehicle.

Photo opportunities don’t have to be limited to arrival and departure from the ceremony, either. As long as you organise it in advance when you make the booking, many providers may be willing to build in a pause on the journey between ceremony and reception, at a suitably scenic spot.

Colour schemes

While wedding cars are generally white or black, you may find that wedding ribbons can be organised to match your colour scheme. This is a simple way to add another small touch of individuality to your wedding.

Try before you buy

It’s always a good idea to visit vintage wedding car providers before confirming a booking. You’ll want to make sure the car is what you envisioned. It’s also a good idea to get in and out a few times – taking into account the style and fit of your wedding dress. You won’t want to risk damage by having to manoeuvre awkwardly as you get in and out of the car.

Ready to take the wheel?

Now you’ve decided to arrive at your wedding in classic style, let Hunter Bride slip into the driving seat! Our listings offer you a direct route to finding vintage wedding cars for Newcastle weddings.

Take the Stress out of Your Special Day with a Hunter Valley Wedding Planner

Posted in Hunter Valley Weddings, Wedding Planner by HUNTER BRIDE

The Wedding Designer

The Wedding Designer

At Hunter Bride, we know that most women lead busy lives – juggling work, social, and family commitments. If this is you, and you’ve just added complex wedding arrangements to the mix, we understand you may be feeling just a touch overwhelmed.

You may be able to sustain the extra demands on your time and energy over the months to come, but let’s just press pause for a moment.

Naturally, all the planning and preparation is focused on one special day, but, and it’s a big but, wouldn’t you prefer to enjoy the process of getting there? Instead of trying to hold the thousand threads of a wedding, while juggling the rest of your life, wouldn’t it be nice to let someone else take care of the details, once you’ve made the major decisions?

Even if career and family aren’t already making demands on your time and energy, planning a wedding is a huge undertaking. That’s why we’d suggest you seriously consider hiring a local Hunter Valley wedding planner to take the strain.

Cost versus benefit

You might wonder whether you can justify hiring a professional wedding planner, but it can be an excellent investment. You will typically be saving a great deal in terms of your time, energy and stress levels. You may also find that a professional wedding planner is able to get discounts you wouldn’t be offered. We think those are both great reasons to investigate a little further.

What does a wedding planner do?

Essentially you can get as much or as little help as you need. You can hand over the entire event, or just certain elements of the planning, such as organising the reception. Let’s face it, detailed planning is not everyone’s cup of tea. So why turn yourself into a frazzled, stressed bride-to-be when a wedding planner could be the secret to serenity?

Rest assured that you’ll still make all the decisions, it’s just that a Hunter Valley wedding planner can take care of all the details involved in turning those decisions into a fabulous wedding.

What’s involved in detailed wedding planning?

It’s a professional wedding planner’s job to have a little black book brimming with a tried and trusted network of suppliers and contacts that can be tapped on your behalf.

Your wedding planner knows who to contact, when things need to be booked and how much they are likely to cost. You’ll see quotes and make the final decisions, but you won’t have to worry about getting it all done or the logistics of who needs to be where at what point during the day.

Enjoy restful nights

From sourcing and sending out invitations to organising a personal trainer for you, a wedding planner can be worth their weight in gold. Typically you’ll also have the benefit of their considerable experience of what works well, and what doesn’t.

A wedding planner can also take on the responsibility of constantly checking with suppliers to make sure nothing has been forgotten and alerting them to any changes in your plans. This means you’re spared the 1am wakefulness that goes with wondering whether anything has been forgotten!

Ready to relax?

Have we convinced you that handing your wedding arrangements over to a professional co-ordinator just makes sense? If you’re ready to let a Hunter Valley wedding planner take charge of your wedding arrangements, click on through to our directory of wedding planners, and you’ll soon be in very safe hands.

Stunning Wedding Flowers by Newcastle NSW Florists

Posted in Newcastle Weddings, Wedding Flowers by HUNTER BRIDE

Jade McIntosh Flowers

Jade McIntosh Flowers

It is perfectly possible to create a stylish wedding without a massive floral display. Sometimes one or two beautiful set pieces in the wedding and reception venues are enough to deliver a striking effect. However, it is always worth reserving a good slice of your wedding budget for your flowers, because nothing personalises the ceremony and reception as much as quantities of fabulous, fresh, floral decorations.

When it comes to creating stunning wedding flowers, Newcastle NSW florists are typically delighted to showcase their creative flair. Many have a detailed photographic portfolio covering all kinds of displays. Leafing through a portfolio can be a great place to start gathering ideas for your own wedding flowers.

Summer or winter

When dreaming about your wedding flowers, remember that some varieties might not be readily available all year round. Florists might still be able to get hold of a particular variety out of season, but blooms that have been nurtured in a hot-house are likely to cost a great deal more.

Classic spring or summer wedding arrangements feature roses with soft ferns, while classic winter or autumn floral decorations might include interesting berries and foliage. Of course, you can always go for tropical exotics no matter the season!

Harmony or contrast

Another element to consider in picking your wedding flowers is whether you want to use the signature colours in your bouquet for all your arrangements, or whether you prefer flowers that emphasise the pure luxurious white or cream of your dress, or bright flowers that contrast it.

Wedding flower arrangements designed to harmonise with a white or creamy dress might feature predominantly white or pastel flowers, such as delicate pink roses, or daisies, perhaps with a snap of bright colour.

On the other hand, you might like to create a bolder, hotter note with wedding flowers that provide a total contrast with your dress. In that case, consider something unusual and stylish, such as a splash of bright red, heart-shaped anthuriums (also known as painter’s palette).

Personal symbols and meaning

You can add individuality to your floral decorations by including flowers with meaning. The language and meaning of flowers has a long and distinguished history, which reached its peak in Victorian times. Though slightly out of fashion now, it’s still lovely to pick flowers that symbolise aspects of love. It can also become a talking point among guests. Many people know that a rose symbolises love, but few are likely to recognise that including baby’s breath in your wedding flowers signals a pure heart.

Charms for wedding bouquets are also readily available, and include good luck symbols such as miniature horseshoes. You can also ask the florist to include a special charm of your own.

Ready to get going?

Happily, you don’t need to personally visit every single outlet in the area in the hope of discovering a talented florist for your wedding.

We put together the Hunter Bride directory listings precisely to help you avoid these kinds of wedding stresses. Our directory showcases a number of florists who specialise in creating wedding flowers in Newcastle NSW. Searching online from the comfort of your own sofa makes it easy and relaxing work to bookmark favourite florists, and get organised.

Choose the Hunter Valley for Intimate Weddings

Posted in Hunter Valley Weddings by HUNTER BRIDE

Margan Restaurant & Winery

Margan Restaurant & Winery

Any wedding is a special celebration, no matter how large or small the event. Some couples want to go all out, others prefer to mark this special day in an atmosphere of intimacy. If this is your aim, Hunter Bride is here to help.

Setting a budget

Did you know that in many cases, the wedding reception eats up about half the overall wedding budget? Even though you are planning an intimate wedding, it’s still vital to know your overall budget before you start investigating venues and catering.

Guest numbers

How many people will be invited? Although ‘intimate’ means different things to different people, a guest list of more than 50 people is likely to require a larger, and more expensive venue.

Intimate venues

When you have an idea of your budget and guest numbers, it’s time to think about possible venues. While there are many wedding locations in the Hunter Valley, intimate weddings can typically take advantage of the most charming. Whether you want an indoor or outdoor wedding, or a venue that combines both, when it comes to Hunter Valley weddings, we’ve done the hard work for you. From vineyards to gazebos to fairy tale garden settings, the Hunter Bride directory is full of wonderful ideas.

Ceremony and reception

If you are having a civil ceremony, it’s often possible to get married in the same place that you are holding your reception. This can be easier for everyone, as guests only have to find a single venue. A religious ceremony generally means travel between two venues, and if this is your intention, it’s a good idea to look for a reception venue within about 15 minutes drive, so neither you nor your guests have to travel too far.


Are any of your guests likely to bring children? While many venues are happy for children to be present, some are better equipped to keep youngsters amused than others. Also bear in mind that if there are to be guests with limited mobility, you’ll need to make sure they can access the venue easily. While neither of these factors are major issues, thinking about them beforehand avoids unexpected problems on the day.

Exclusive use

If you are having a small wedding, it’s often possible to find a venue for your exclusive use, and this goes a long way towards creating that special atmosphere of intimacy. However, the ability to book a whole venue can depend on how long you want it for, or you might be charged extra.

For instance, getting married in the morning tends to suggest a lunchtime reception, and perhaps an early to mid-afternoon departure.

This might not enable a venue to accommodate another event that evening, in which case, you might be charged extra to cover the potential loss of revenue.

An afternoon wedding is often followed by an early evening reception with dancing into the night, and some venues are more amenable to an exclusive use booking when celebrations are likely to occupy most of the day.

Your short list

When you’ve reached a short list of venues you’d like to visit, make appointments to be shown round by knowledgeable staff members, who can answer your questions.

Handy tip – to get a good feel for a venue’s atmosphere, ask if you can visit when it is set up for a reception.

Let’s get started!

Now that you have an idea of what you’ll need to consider, it’s time to start investigating our directory listings for the Hunter Valley. Intimate weddings are a great way to bring family and friends close, and create a very special occasion where no one gets lost in the crowd. Happy planning!

Custom Wedding Cakes from Newcastle Bakers

Posted in Newcastle Weddings, Wedding Cakes by HUNTER BRIDE

The CakeChef

The CakeChef

Choosing your wedding cake can be one of the most fun parts of planning your wedding. After all, it’s not every day you get to commission a specialist baker to come up with a magical showstopping creation just for you!

Thanks to modern baking techniques, it’s now possible to order almost any shape and style of cake you desire. That being said, the traditional tiered fruitcake with white icing is still popular.

But whatever your dream cake, you are likely to see portfolios full of beautiful creations to choose from when you visit suppliers of wedding cakes. Newcastle is home to some fabulous wedding bakers. To save you time, we’ve listed specialist bakers of wedding cakes in Newcastle in our Hunter Bride directory.

Gathering ideas

Before you narrow down a shortlist of bakers, get inspired by gathering together pictures of cakes that appeal to you. In discussing ideas for wedding cakes, Newcastle specialist bakers usually find it helpful if you come armed with something you like to show them. They can also offer suggestions, and make recommendations depending on the style of wedding, and also the time of year. Creamy filling in a cake at a summer wedding being held outside is probably not a good idea!

Personalising your cake

Have you thought about a gorgeous wedding cake that includes highly personal references? What about a marzipan dog sitting by the bride and groom figures to represent a beloved pet? If both of you have a keen interest in common, you might create a quirky reference to it in the decoration. If you like scuba diving or dancing, for example, think tiny shoes or diving fins rather than traditional roses.

Is tradition important?

This is really up to each couple. If tradition is important to you, you might ask a designer to copy the look of the cake your parents or grandparents had at their wedding. Or, you might want a cake that reflects your cultural background, such as a French croquembouche tower, or a Danish cornucopia cake.

Some couples like to keep a tier of the wedding cake for the first anniversary. Let your cake designer know if you want to do this, as you’ll need a fruitcake. (Just remember to store it according to the baker’s instructions, so you have the best chance of having something edible one year on!)

Tiers and cupcakes

A wedding cake doesn’t have to be round, nor does it have to be tiered. A tower of individual cupcakes is a modern alternative, which allows for a number of different combinations in the flavour and presentation. This can be particularly helpful if you like several different cake samples, and you’re finding it hard to make up your mind!

Savour the flavour

Remember that the really fun part of finding your perfect wedding cake is the sampling! Make sure you taste examples from prospective bakers before you commit to an order. It’s also a good idea to discuss the full reception menu with your cake designer, to avoid clashing or competing tastes.

Is it time to taste?

If we’ve whetted your appetite to start looking for bakers, click through to our listings for spectacular wedding cakes in Newcastle. The good news is that you are heading for some fabulous taste sensations. The bad news is you might need to fit in an extra trip to the gym after all that sampling!

Lake Macquarie Weddings Made Easy

Posted in Lake Macquarie Weddings by HUNTER BRIDE

Michelle-Leigh Photography

Michelle-Leigh Photography

One trick to waking up calm and collected on the morning of your wedding day is to start planning and organising the moment the fabulous engagement ring is on your finger! However, unless you are a professional event planner, organising a wedding can seem like a daunting prospect.

If you’re planning on taking advantage of some gorgeous scenery, and getting married at Lake Macquarie, you can relax, because we’ve already done a lot of the work for you. At Hunter Bride, we’ve gathered the cream of the wedding supplier crop into one place in our directory listings for Lake Macquarie weddings, so you can easily browse for suppliers of everything from flowers to wedding cars.

And because it can be tricky to know what to organise when in the lead up to your big day, we’ve put together this easy outline for Lake Macquarie weddings, to help you get started. You can use this framework to organise a simple celebration, or as a foundation for a full-scale production.

On your marks…

The first decision to make is how much you are willing to spend on your wedding. Setting a budget may not be romantic, but you’ll find it incredibly helpful later on, and there are a number of free planners that can give you a starting point. At this stage, you don’t need to fix what you’ll spend on individual items, just agree an overall figure. That gives you something to work with when you look at big-ticket items, such as the venue.

Style and size of the celebration

Typically, the next decision is about the style and size of your wedding. Are you up for a big party, or would you prefer a smaller, more intimate occasion? Should it be indoors, outdoors, or a combination of both to take advantage of the beautiful Lake Macquarie scenery? It’s your day, so choose a setting you’ll be comfortable in. Keep your ideas fluid until you’ve had a chance to look at a few venues, because you may find your wishes change once you see what’s available. Venue availability may also dictate the actual date of your wedding.

When the venue and date are settled, it’s time to choose your bridesmaids/best man and start the guest list. You’ll also need to identify a celebrant, and you can start looking at the portfolios of photographers, caterers and florists.

Eight months to go

Around now is a good time to confirm and book your photographer and caterer (unless your venue is taking care of catering), as these specialists often get booked up well in advance.

How will you entertain guests on the day? Music is typically part of a wedding celebration. You may also like to consider doing something unusual, such as hiring a magician to surprise your guests. Popular artists get booked up early, so now is a good time to get this organised.

Six months out

Now you’re nearly on the final stretch. Typically, you’ll be clear about the wedding colour scheme by this stage, so it’s time to make a final choice of florist, and order invitations.

Most importantly, it’s time to find that special dress, shoes and headwear for yourself, and for your bridesmaids. Trying to get bridesmaids to agree on what they are going to wear is sometimes easier said than done, which is why it’s a good idea to start early!

Four months to go

This is a good time to order your cake, if a specialist is providing it.

This is also the ideal period to choose and order your rings, allowing time for any alterations and engraving.

Organise transport for yourself and the bridal party, and don’t forget to make sure key people have the means of getting from the ceremony to the reception if they are not being held in the same venue.

Get set

About two months before your wedding day, touch base with suppliers to check everything is in hand, and send out your invitations.


Time to have a fabulous day after all the planning and effort! While there’s really no such thing as a typical wedding, we hope this outline helps you decide where to start, and gives you an idea of the timeline and the preparation that is needed for a wedding day to go off without a hitch.