Pre-wedding session

Our prewedding session was also an engagement session, a combination of both. I wanted to try on the make-up and hair I’ll use on our big day, as well as have the first experience with our photographer, that is get use to him, also making sure he knows what we really want. Let’s call it a trial session. So, from this trial session we made some decisions of which I will talk about later below.

Nuestra sesión de pre-boda era un día de prueba, queríamos tomar el primer contacto con nuestro fotógrafo, probar el maquillaje y la peluquería y un poco asegurarnos que las personas que habíamos contratado para nuestro gran día saben lo que realmente queremos. A partir de allí, hicimos los cambios necesarios, lo cual os comentaré más adelante.

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When we received our picture, I told Nikoleta that I’d like a stronger make-up, since it all appeared faded out in the engagement sessions with all the greenery scenario. I do not want to appear disguised, nevertheless I only wanted my natural beauty to be enhanced. I like the hair style but not for our Big day, neither did my husband.

Al recibir las fotos, le comenté a Nikoleta que el maquillaje casi no se aprecia en las fotos, que me gustaría algo un poquito más fuerte, nos reímos por que el paisaje tan verde que habíamos elegido lo ha absorbido todo. Tampoco quería un maquillaje muy fuerte, simplemente quería resaltar mi belleza natural. Ella, sin problemas tomó nota. Mi marido ni yo nos gustaban el peinado, pensábamos que era un peinado bonito pero que no encajaba en nuestra boda.

Our Save the date video below / Vídeo preboda abajo

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Photographer / Fotógrafo: Andrea Ferrara

Make-up artist / Maquillaje: Nikoleta Make-up

Location / LugarParc Natural del Montseny. Reserva de la Biosfera very close to Sant Esteve de Palautordera Barcelona

Dress / vestido: Rare London

Ankle boots / Botas: Fosco

 

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Natural Hair Transition

In my last post I promised to tell you a bit about my transition process. I owe it to my Facebook naturalistas and natural hair bloggers all over the web, especially on YouTube. They inspire me. They were girls like me combing and taking care of their hair themselves and saying if I can do it you too can. I did not take them seriously at first, however, I noticed how my chemical processed hair has thinned out due to the harsh manipulation. I decided to transition too, however, in braids and never wore my hair out.

I wore my hair out for the first time when I found myself in severe pain after a very tight braid by a hairdresser I promised never to go back to. The pain was horrendous. It caused me a tension headache, not only that, it was so tense that it almost tore my scalp apart.  I will not put up the picture because your heart might sink. Upon all that, I still found it difficult to get rid of them. Finally, I did. I set myself free from bondage. And I revealed my natural hair for the first time ever (that is going to work, gym and meeting up) and was so excited with what I found. My husband now, who was my fiancée then, loved it and wouldn’t stop touching it. He was of great support too, he said let your hair and scalp rest for a while, let it heal, moreover you look really good with your hair like this, why not let it be for now?

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I must also confess that after I fully recovered from my hair injury, I started choosing my hair stylist wisely. Below are different occasions where I wore my hair in its natural state and in braids. Let me also add that in the past few months, I have learnt a whole lot about taking care of my hair myself.  Most importantly, I have learnt that my hair is sacred and must be handled with kid gloves.

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Wedding Make-up and Hair Trials

Two years and half before my wedding day I started “transitioning” which basically means going from chemically processed hair to the natural state of my hair. Even though, I started transitioning two years and half before , I did not do the “big chop” which means cutting off all the chemical processed hair, by the way it was all of my hair and I wasn’t in the mood to rock TWA meaning Tweenie Weenie Afro. So I simply had my hair in braids while I gradually transitioned. Before I reached to this stage, chemical processed hair, tight braids, weaves and you name it was totally natural to me since I grew up seeing the female adults in my life do likewise. To me, it was as well natural have someone else take care of my hair. I was totally useless when it came to taking care of my hair myself. I was hopelessly dependent. And never dared to wear out my curly fro. To me it was all natural. You can imagine deciding not to chemically process my hair was somewhat a huge step for me. It has all changed now, I will tell you in a different post what it took.  Now my wedding day was fast approaching, what do I do to my hair? I live in Barcelona and there aren’t many natural hair stylist here.  Even my hair stylist at that time who is African, was not very good at styling natural afro hair. As a matter of fact, this was a problem. I needed to do something, I started trials anyway.

  • I enjoyed and rocked the kinky twist below, though I did not see my self wearing it on my wedding day.

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  • I found another hair stylist, to do the hair below. I did not like the way she manipulated my hair. The braids were too tight. I couldn’t stand the pain. Though, I found an incredible make-up artist. I used this hair for our pre-wedding photo shoot and the make-up trial as well which I will talk about later. This hair was inspired by one of the many I found on Pinterest.

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  • At last I decided to try weaves (natural hair) with another stylist to whom I insisted that I do not want to chemically process my hair. Voilà below. Another inspiration from the many I found on Pinterest.

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Helpful Wedding Blogs

First I met my bestie and her mother to discuss wedding things. She said my decisions were so unlike me. Actually, my wedding is not something I had always thought about, I had no particular idea of what type of wedding I wanted. Neither did he. What I am trying to say is that, we are  not one of those  people who already have a clear vision of  what their wedding would be. In our own case, we simply wanted to make our relationship official. My initial plan was to elope, he objected. Then we decided to only invite those very close family members and then BBQ for friends.

Anyway, after thinking it all over, we decided that we were going to not only invite families but also invite our friends to our real wedding. How on earth aren’t we going to invite our friends? Well this decision changed the whole concept of what we have initially planned until then. I told my husband there was no way I was going to pack 100 guest (more or less) in a hotel basement. The reception must be out doors. No objections! Again began the hunt for a wedding reception venue, wedding professional photographer, real wedding dress, professional make-up artist and hair dresser and tons of other wedding details I will talk about later. In order to educate my self a bit about weddings I desperately started visiting wedding blogs and website in search of inspiration. Below in order of preference are the most helpful ones.

  1. I registered in Bodas.net  local on-line wedding planner. Helpful indeed. Helped with wedding venue and some wedding suppliers. Could be overwhelming and time-consuming some times though, because there are tons of information.
  2. The Knot
  3. Wedding Paper Divas
  4. Wedding chick
  5. Elysium Productions
  6. Love My Dress
  7. MunaLuchi Bride
  8. Style me pretty

My other source of inspiration were from Pinterest, of course. I was bombarded with lots of information. When I realized that I actually needed a wedding planner I already had half of the job done.

My advice ***

A wedding planner always comes in handy!

In search of the Perfect Wedding Dress

First of all, through Bodas.net Pronovias invited me to try on their wedding gowns. I took my bestie and mother in-law with me. My first wedding gown trial ever. I was nervous, kind of.  Anyway, we were very well received, we were served Cava (sparkling wine) while we waited and browse through their computers, trying to define my style. Nothing flamboyant, just  simple and flattering.

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All dresses are from Pronovias Fashion 2014 collection #1 Diango, #2 Urdaniz, #3?, #4 Pelicano. #3 does not pop to mind. Click here to view more from the 2014 Pronovias collection.

I also visited in Barcelona

  1. Cymbeline Paris
  2. Teresa Palacios (I tried on more from Pronovias, Demetrios, and another designer whose name isn’t popping to mind)
  3. Franc Sarabia
  4. Núvies Lour (Tried on Rosa Clará and Pronovias)
  5. Manu Gracia
  6. Raimon Bundó
  7. Miguel Mora (I tried more from Demetrios)
  8. L’art Nupcial (more from Demetrios)
  9. Novias Mafer  (to see if he could design my dress, I was a bit sceptical about the idea though)

As you might have noticed, I fell in love with Demetrios lines,  very untraditional. Thanks to my bestie’s mum who spoke highly of them. I wanted lace and a mermaid cut. My husband, whose opinion I sought, said he prefered strapless wedding gown, he loves the way my skin glows in it.

Advice***

Always try on a wedding a dress, do not choose one simply based on the picture of a model. And do not underrate a dress because you aren’t sure how it would look on you. Just try them on! Also, always stick to your budget.

 

Wedding Reception Venue

After our well rested summer holidays of 2013, we started taking our wedding preparations seriously. To start with, we decided that we wanted our wedding to occur during the day. Generally, most couples in Spain celebrate their marriage ceremony late evening and have a reception dinner. However, we wanted a reception lunch and be done by midnight latest. No, I am not Cinderella. LOL.

We pre booked our town hall city palace, since we wanted a civil ceremony. It was reserved for the last Sunday of September so that my husband by then would have finished his Masters program. Following that, we started the hunt for venues that would suit our requirements.

I already fell in love with Gran Hotel La Florida through my  beauty therapist who had her wedding reception there a year or so before, she had a small wedding of only sixteen guests thereabout, and she would not stop saying how well everything went while she massaged my hand as the finishing touch of my manicure. One thing I love about this hotel is its views of Barcelona from the uphill where it is located.  We love heights and views. I called and book an appointment. Upon our arrival, a valet asked for our car key to park our (old) car for us. Old, that is, if you compare it with the ones parked in front of the hotel. We were very well received. They invited us to have some drink, we did not decline. I asked for a glass of Martini Bianco with ice and lemon. My husband had a glass of beer as usual, while we waited.

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At the end of the meeting, we liked everything about the hotel, the attention given and so on and so forth. However, the cost did not fit into our budget. We had to let it go.

Since we are interested in views, we visited Restaurante La Venta up the hill as well. The room where one could have a good view of the city only admits 20 people or so whereas our initial plan was to invite at least 50 guests more or less.

We went for Mirabé, the meal was too scanty.

We also visited Hotel W-Barcelona we weren’t impressed. Too crowded.

The heights and view were proving impossible, so we decided to do sea-side.

Then Hotel Bel Air, perhaps 2o mins out of town. The surroundings and the wedding meal did not appeal to us. Moreover its sea side is open to the public.

Next Hotel AC Gava Mar, its surroundings we somewhat found unattractive. The reception room was sort of claustrophobic.

Lastly, H10 Hotels Marina, click here to visit their wedding website. They were professional, the hotel has a wedding planner who knows his job. Our reception would take place in their basement with a skylight, very well illuminated and a fountain. We love daylight and water. They even invited us to witness a wedding, they were very well organised and their meals were yummy. They also showed us the junior suit were we would spend the night, and they would as well invite us to the hotel spa.

We thought about it and pre booked them as well. We also decided that we did not want a professional wedding photographer, no professional DJ, no professional make-up and hair artist. I would just be wearing a simple white dress, no official wedding invitation. I told my husband there was no need buying a suit he should just hire one. What for? it is simply going to be a family lunch together. Anyway, that was what we thought we wanted until our wedding planning took a different direction.