All posts by Samantha's Bridal Team

What went down at the Royal Wedding Watch Party

After a long wait and speculation, Meghan Markle and her charming Prince Harry took their marriage vows inside St Georges Chapel where the audience applauded in approval and awe. While all that was going on in the UK, here in Kenya the Samantha Bridal in partnership with KTN, Moet&Chandon, Magana Flowers, Splendid Weddings and the Windsor Hotel hosted a Royal Wedding Watch party where the who’s and who’s in the entertainment as well as the corporate world attended the event.
In preparation for the day, couples had to part with Sh1 million, which included an English brunch, a romantic night for two inclusive of dinner, champagne at the Windsor suite and a chopper ride to Mount Kenya along with breakfast as well as a meal prepared by an English chef.
Chef James Dennis from Soames Hotel, Nanyuki, was chosen to prepare the meal fit for royalty in this exclusive event. The event, which was a red carpet affair was hosted by Chero of Str8up and Micheal Gitonga of Morning Express and was aired live on KTN. Some of the celebs who turned up at Windsor Golf Hotel include: Vera Sidika, Catherine Kamau, Betty Kyallo and her sister Mercy Kyallo, Naomi Nganga, Mwende Macharia, Standard Group acting CEO Orlando Lyomu together with his wife Pauline, Laikipia Women Representative Kate Waruguru, Suzie Beauty founder Suzie Wokabi, Pinky Ghelani, and many others.

Photography by
Versataille Photography
Jackson Mwangi Photography
Kegan Photography
Decor by Splendid Events

Royal wedding 2018: What will guests wear at Prince Harry and Markel’s nuptial?

Kensington Palace have kept the world in speculation on who will be designing Meghan Markel gown but have revealed that he/she will work closely with them. With the world full of expectations, experts cannot hold their thoughts on what type of gown befits the royal wedding and according to a British bridal designer Sassi Holford who designed Autumn Patricia Phillips gown when she was getting married to Peter Philips, the son of Princess Anne and the oldest grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh she expects the wedding gown to fit the venue, have enough detail to be seen from a distance to be-fit a royal wedding and also incorporate the glamorous Hollywood side of Meghans personality.

Following in the footsteps of her soon to be sister in law,Markel will reportedly wear two gowns one to the ceremony and one to the reception. According to Markle, she best describes her wedding dress classic and simple is the name of the game perhaps with a modern twist.
The design and details of Princess Diana’s wedding dress managed to remain a complete mystery until hours before the ceremony.
Diana wore an ivory silk taffeta and antique lace gown with a 25-foot train that was valued at 9000 pounds and later became one of the most famous dresses in the world that was also considered one of the most closely guarded secrets in fashion history.
Created by husband-and-wife design team David and Elizabeth Emanuel, the intricate ivory taffeta gown later sparked copycats around the world, but with elaborate embroidery, 10,000 pearls and a 25-foot-long train, no one’s ever come close to replicating the stunning bridal look.
The dress fittings were not as easy because Diana had developed bulimia and dropped from a size 14 to a size 10 few months before the wedding and this made even the seamstress concerned about her weight loss and feared the dress might not fit as it should.


After the wedding Princess Diana’s dress set the wedding fashion trends because of its Large puffed sleeves, a full skirt and “soft touch fabrics” that became popular requests. Copies by other dressmakers were available “within hours” of the 1981 wedding.

Many bridal experts considered the dress a “gold standard” in wedding fashion in the years after the wedding.
Just recently,Kate Middletons gown had an antique lace, Forties line confection with a deep v-neckline and corseted bodice, made by Sarah Burton, the long-time assistant to British fashion’s enfant terrible Alexander McQueen. The designer’s hallmarks of a strong but feminine silhouette were softened in ivory and White satin gazar, while the train ran to over 2 meters. The lace applique for the bodice and skirt was hand-made by the Royal School of Needlework, based at Hampton Court Palace, and for it to be perfect,workers washed their hands every 30 minutes to keep the lace and threads pristine, and the needles were renewed every three hours, to keep them sharp and clean.
Individual flowers were hand-cut from English lace and French Chantilly lace and hand-engineered onto ivory silk tulle to create a “unique and organic” design hence becoming a masterpiece for the world to see.
In the British society, the special occasion is not complete without a hat,” Hilary Alexander, fashion director at the Daily Telegraph newspaper, says. Fascinators and hats always complete a look and its a finishing touch. Here in Kenya, Chloe of drop of a hat explains all u need to know when choosing a hat.

(L to R) Edward Earl of Wessex, his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Princess Anne and members of the royal family leave after the wedding ceremony of Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey, in central London, April 29, 2011. (ROYAL WEDDING/SERVICE) REUTERS/Toby Melville (BRITAIN – Tags: ROYALS SOCIETY ENTERTAINMENT)

Well, hats is a must don for the royals especially on special or official occasions. When Tony Blair wife didn’t wear a hat on to the funeral of the Princess of Wales but instead wore black veil known as a mantilla it was considered rude and that caused quite an uproar.
And so for Prince Harry and Megan they have made sure to have all dress-code instructions on their invite. For men the card states that they must wear a uniform, morning coat, or lounge suits.
This means that if a gentleman is currently in the military, he may wear his uniform, but most men in attendance will be in morning coats and top hats. (According to Debretts, the British authority on modern etiquette, a lounge suit is an expression only seen on invitations as a dress code. In conversation the terms dark suit or business suit or possibly business dress or business attire are used.)
Women are to wear a day dress with hat, which can be open to interpretation and this can cause some anxiety for American guests who tend to under or overdress for weddings. For the royal wedding, female guests are expected to dress conservatively in a knee-length dress with sleeves (no bare shoulders in church!) and, of course, a hat.
The evening reception is black-tie. As an invited guest you would not like to have a miss on fashion especially in the presence of the royals but this indeed happened to David Beckam a British soccer legend, internationally known as a fashionista, wore his Order of the British Empire medal on the wrong side. The pin was affixed to the right side of his jacket rather than the left side.
It’s widely expected that Markle will turn to a British designer for the all-important gown, but a few sketches that leaked online from Israel-based bridal couturier Inbal dror could suggest Megan is going down on a different route.The Israelis spokesman confirmed that he had been asked to send a sketch of a proposed dress adding that its a secret and that they couldnt give more details.The sketches were showing showing lace-embellished designs with a nipped-in waist, high Victorian-inspired neckline and dramatic fishtail skirt. If Dror is indeed the dress designer of choice it would prove another break from tradition for Markel; while royal wedding gowns are generally fairly traditional in style, Dror is renowned for her sensual, figure-hugging dresses – plunging necklines, slinky silhouettes and sheer panels are common features.

What every new couple should carry to their honeymoon

According to a study carried out by Samantha Bridal, 99% of couples who chose the formal wedding way go for honeymoons. It is an important period for the newlyweds to be alone and bond. It also gives the couple a chance to travel to new places and have fun.
So what should newlyweds carry with them to make the whole experience memorable?
Camera: You wouldnt want to miss capturing the moments. So a camera even a high quality phone camera would do the trick. For those who dare to visit extreme locations such as deserts, snowy areas or even scuba diving, a more professional camera is advisable or better yet a Gopro camera.
Sunscreen: Your skin needs a little bit of sunscreen to get you through the day without experiencing sunburns. Contrary to popular belief, dark skin is still affected by direct sunlight. So dont forget to slather up whenever you step out. SPF 30 and above is recommended.
Sunglasses: A classic and stylish pair of sunglasses gives an edge to your outfit and also is good for your eyes.

Swimsuits: According to the survey, locations with beaches top the list of honeymoon destinations. So dont forget to carry swim suits and their accessories to your holiday. So dont shy away from packing that two piece or one-piece bikini as well as cover-ups.
Credit Cards: You may not necessarily need the cash but it is always good to carry your credit cards with in case need arises. Thankfully if you are travelling local, Mobile Money works in many areas. Always have a little loose cash for tipping.
That sexy little number: If ever there was a time to dress up for your man, this would be it. So pack a sexy dress to wear for a dinner or a romantic evening. Dont forget the lingerie people.
A musical playlist: Have a compilation of your favorite love songs for you and your partner to set the honeymoon mood.

Did you enjoy services from your wedding provider? Vote for them in the ongoing Kenya Wedding Industry Awards

Five items that will deplete most of your wedding budget

In a previous article, the average cost of a wedding in Kenya was revealed to be 3.4 million. This is a huge amount of money and it is important to know what wedding activities eat up most of your wedding budget.

Samantha Bridal did a research and came up with the following as the significant big spends:

VIDEO AND PHOTOGRAPHY

Hiring a photographer for a wedding will prove costlier than usual, but theyre not pulling a fast one, says professional photographer David Macharia of Versatile photographers. David goes ahead to explain there is a lot of pre-production involved unlike the common assumption that a wedding photography is about just arriving, taking photos and leaving. For Macharia, a wedding photography and editing takes him around 2 weeks to complete, which is a lot of time hence should be compensated accordingly.

HAIR

If youre wondering why bridal hair costs more than your usual up-do at your salon, its down to time and expertise: A brides hair will involve working with other elements such as the accessories and veil, says celebrity hairdresser Corrine Muthoni. If you are tempted to use your regular hairdresser, check their portfolio as many salons will be equipped for hairstyling rather than hairdressing, and there is a difference. It takes years to develop the right skills, she adds. Many high-end hairdressers will offer complimentary consultations and trials, as well as transport as part of their packages.

VENUE

Your venue hire can account for up to half of your wedding budget and yet the price can fluctuate depending on the day of the week, or time of the year. But what sets your day aside from a christening or birthday celebration? Venue packages allow for extras, such as setting up the night before, accommodation for the bridal party and the extra cost of liaising with external vendors and suppliers, says Emma. That doesnt mean couples cant shop around for a good deal. Because weddings tend to fall on weekends, you could save if youre more flexible with the day, she explains. There are also some very good deals to be had for last-minute dates.

FLOWERS

There might not be an obvious difference between the table centers you want for your wedding and those at the corporate dinner across the corridor, so why will your bill be higher? Fatima of Aura event planners suggests it is because you are paying for a more tailored service. The vast majority of my weddings are bespoke and I will individually design each arrangement to suit the needs of the couple, she says. It only takes basic floristry skills to create a domed bouquet of roses, but for a wedding I would take the time to get to know the couple and help them choose the flowers and arrangements to suit their day.

Your florist will also look after every detail, from design, planning and production, to delivery, set-up and clear down. My customers arent just paying for the flowers, its the full bespoke service which ensures total trust and confidence in everything looking perfect on the day, Fatima adds.

ENTERTAINMENT

A packed dance floor is a sure sign of a great wedding, but DJs will charge more for a first dance gig. When I do a corporate event, in comparison to a wedding there are definitely differences in price, says DJ Kamjo For weddings, I spend around 20 hours preparing beforehand organizing meetings, writing personalized scripts and researching music. However, couples dont necessarily see this extra work. The presentation at weddings has to be impeccable for example, the equipment cant be scuffed with trailing wires. If the equipment fails at a birthday party, its a disappointment but its not a once-in-a-lifetime occasion. If my equipment breaks at a wedding, it will have ruined someones special day. To stop this from happening I have two of everything and bring double the amount of equipment I would usually need. explains DJ Kamjo

Did you think we missed out on something? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

A man gets UK military approval to wear Prince William’s Uniform on his big day

From bold and modern,to traditional and classy, royal wedding attires not just gowns have always had a major impact on all areas of the fashion industry all over the world. No wonder there is so much speculation on what Prince Harry and Mergan Merkel will wear on their big day which will take place on May 19th 2018.

Here in Kenya, a man by the name Patrick, opted to follow by the book what Prince William wore on his big day to celebrate ten years since he met the love of his life, . During his interview On the Samantha’s Bridal episode dubbed, Say Yes to the dress verses here comes the bill, Patrick, who is an entrepreneur, admitted that he was inspired to wear this sensitive attire when he watched the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tie the knot and since they had the royalty as their theme, he settled to be donned in such a unique attire.
After getting a few tips from the Samantha’s Bridal on how best he could achieve the royal theme, His best man, who was once a royal guard, assisted him get to the UK to buy the military uniform.
“I did a research on how to get the royal uniform. My best man, who is an Englishman and a former royal guard, took me to the British military tailors to buy the uniforms for myself and my best man,” the excited Patrick said.
On his big day, Prince William wore a scarlet red home service order tunic with the Irish Shamrock embroidered on the collar. He only had one decoration; the queen’s jubilee golden medal to mark 50 anniversary of her reign. The tunic buttons came in groups of four. these groupings are reserved for the Irish guards as the fourth senior regiment of the foot guards. He wore a crimson sash around his waste which is a ceremonial belt worn by all guard officers.

The entire attire, which costed a whooping 3 million Kenyan shillings, was an exact replica of what Prince William’s wore except the crown which is only reserved for those of the royal lineage.

However, due to the sensitivity of the attire, Patrick and his best man had to sign an agreement that they would not use the suit for any other purpose other than wear it on the official day of the wedding.

Meghan saying I dont to these vital royal wedding traditions:

Royal marriages are not an easy affair, as they seem to look like from a distance. Its a full time job with strict regulations and formalities, which consequently result in a serious transformation as far as the person getting in is concerned. In addition, their weddings, in most instances, entail a whole set of old traditions as well as expectations that the British royals must adhere to. With the Royal Wedding fast approaching, the whole world is anxious to find out how the entire occasion will turn out especially with all the royal traditions that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have reportedly broken. Here are some of them:

  1. The Selected Day:

Royal traditions dictate that royal weddings be held during the week. For instance, Queen Elizabeth II tied the knot on a Thursday while The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge wed on a Friday. On the other hand, Prince Harry and Meghan have set their wedding for a Saturday following Harrys father whose nuptial with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, fell on a Saturday.

  1. The Location:

Prince Harry and Markle will tie the knot on May 19th at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, about twenty miles west of London. Traditionally, most royal couples get married at the capital’s Westminster Abbey, where Prince William and Kate Middleton said their “I dos” back in 2011.

“Windsor is a very special place for Prince Harry, and he and Ms. Markle have regularly spent time there during the last year,” a rep from Kensington Palace explained to People in November of last year, when the venue was first announced. “They are delighted that the beautiful grounds of Windsor Castle will be where they begin their lives as a married couple.”

  1. Paying the wedding bill

According to the royal tradition, the brides family is charged with the responsibility of paying for the wedding. This only happens when the bride comes from a royal family and in this case, Markles family can breathe a sigh of relief as Prince Charming is footing the entire bill!

  1. The Date Itself

Many royal experts assume Harry and Meghan chose May to avoid it overlapping with Kate’s pregnancy. However, the date happens to overlap with a couple other big moments for the royal family.

For starters, May 19 of next yearis the same date as the Emirates FA Final Cup, Britain’s historic and most prestigious soccer cup competition. To make matters even more interesting, Prince William has been the president of the Football Association since 2006 and typically attends the game and presents the winning team with their trophy.

Regarding the overlap, the president of the FA tells E! News, “Saturday 19 May promises to be a wonderful day with such a special royal occasion being followed by English football’s showpiece event, the Emirates FA Cup Final. With millions coming together to watch both events at home and around the world, it will be a day to celebrate.”

Furthermore, May 19also marks a historic day in the royal family.In 1536,Anne Boleynthe second wife of Henry VIII and mother of Queen Elizabeth I was executed on Tower Green for alleged adultery. This doesn’t necessarily break any traditions, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

  1. The cake

Amulti-tiered fruitcake is typically served at royal weddings. Despite the fact that nothing has been confirmed yet when it comes to Harry and Meghan’s choice of cake, many rumors have been circulating that the two lovebirds have settled to have one that will be made with banana! According to former royal chef Darren MC Grady, Prince Harry grew up loving all things bananaincluding banana flan and banana ice cream. Moreover, shortly after rumors started running about Harry and Meghan’s relationship, the actress shared a photo of two bananas snuggling with the caption, “Sleep tight xx,”, which most people presumed was her way of confirming that they were now an item!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. No procession through London

Since the couple likely wont be coming back to London after the ceremony, there won’t be a London procession for the public to congratulate themhowever, Kensington Palace announced there will be a procession through Windsor directly following the ceremony at 1 p.m. local time. No procession through London

  1. Her father may not walk her down the aisle

Meghan Markle is certainly not afraid to do her wedding her own way. Markle reportedly wants her mother, Doria Ragland, to walk her down the aisle. While this isnt that much of a surprise given Markles close relationship with her motherand many brides has chosen to forgo the classic tradition of having their father walk them down the aislefor a royal wedding, its definitely something new.

  1. More celebrities will be in attendance

Since Markle’s is an actress in the US, it is more likely that celebrities will be in attendance than dignitaries. Priyanka Chopra, Serena Williams and Patrick J. Adams, her Suits co-star are just some of the anticipated guests. Although Prince Harry and Obama have struck up quite the friendship over the years, it is rumored that the invite could cause some international tension.

  1. Speech

It is reported that Meghan Markle, will deliver a speech during the wedding to appreciate his husband and her new royal family.

 

 

 

Study: Todays Kenyan bride is independent and does not believe in fairy tales

Ever wondered who todays modern bride is? According to a 2012 report by Samantha Bridal, your average bride is 27 years old and is more educated with more career opportunities.

Independent: This woman no longer lives with her parents. She is independent and lives alone or shares an apartment with a friend. She has a disposable income and enjoys quality entertainment.

Fashion: Todays bride is fashion conscious. She lovers the finer things in life. Looking good and feeling good is a priority to her. She believes in flawlessness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caution: Being the learned woman she is, the modern bride is cautious and takes everything seriously. She is the kind that will approach wedding planning as a business transaction and not a fairy tale. She is not a fan of emotional buzzwords.

Optimistic: In her world, things are good right now and can only get better in the future.

Character: This woman is open-minded as she has been raised up consuming TV, radio, magazine and internet content. She also has a clique of friends whom she hangs out with and whose advice and opinion she holds with high regard.

Improve the industry by voting for the best wedding providers in this years Kenya Wedding Industry Awards

Credits

Photography by @Versataille Photography

Gown by Ogake

Bridal attire by Peggy Onyango

Flowers by Tambuzi

Transport by Lesus Car and Executive Hire

Venue Fairmont Norfolk Hotel

How long should an engagement last and what activities should follow?

Many ladies look forward to getting engaged to their boyfriends and have that dream wedding. But how long should an engagement last? And what other expenses and activities come with an engagement?

According to a Samantha Bridal survey, the average engagement period in Kenya lasts between 16-17 months. But there is more…

Who proposes?

  • According to the survey, 99% of the men do the proposing as compared to the 1% of women who propose to their mates. It has been observed that most women like to consider themselves engaged because it is a great feeling and they see it as a sign of settling down. Most of the women who are engaged are below 35 years, have a high educational profile and 69% of the engaged couples have known each other for more than three years.

When do proposals happen?

  • Apparently most of the engagements happen during December, the New Year and February during the Valentine Day period. 64% of the couples are already living together before the actual wedding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do couples do during the engagement period?

  • Many couples tend to open new bank accounts. They spend a lot of money buying furniture and housewares. They also use this time to fulfil cultural obligations like payment of bride price and marriage counsel.

During the engagement period, what items are known to be costly?

  • Most of the couples spend on the engagement rings, wedding rings and any other jewelry. This is costly because real gold and silver is quite expensive.

How many couples move in together before marriage?

  • According to Samantha’s survey, 64% of couples are living together before marriage. Nowadays, courtship is done differently as compared to the past. Many young couples prefer to live together before walking down the aisle.

Recently engaged or looking forward to a wedding? See and vote for the best wedding providers in this year’s Kenya Wedding Industry Awards

Recognising The Best In Kenya’s Wedding Industry

People outside the industry think that providing expertise or stuff for weddings is all glitz and glamour but you and I know that its tough.
One of the most difficult things about the wedding business is getting your name out there and persuading people that you are the only one providing value for money. The problem is that many people are getting married for the first time and so they are always flying blind. The wedding day is a one off event so the couple will not be repeat clients. As a supplier you must get it right all the time, as there is no chance to repeat should anything go wrong. But we also know that the success of such an event also depends largely on the performance of other wedding suppliers. It is unfortunate that some fly by night un-professionals are taking over the market and not delivering on their promise.
What a better way to Protect Wedding Couples and Promote Wedding Excellence by enabling newly-weds to evaluate the performance of their chosen wedding providers.
Future brides will be in a position to determine the best wedding providers based on the opinions of past bridal customers. Each newlywed couple in the form of ratings expresses these opinions.
Newlyweds will be given the opportunity to vote for each of their wedding providers based not only on the quality of their product, but also give amazing customer service and go that extra mile to make sure to be wed couples get the day of their dreams and value for their money.

WHY SHOULD YOUR COMPANY BE PART OF THESE AWARDS?
Winning an award, or even being selected as a finalist, provides potential customers with that essential independent endorsement and evidence that you are among the best in the business.Engaged couples will be able to shop with confidence because the independent testimonials from the award provides them with a sense of security and confidence knowing that you have the experience and expertise to excel in the design and delivery of the perfect product to make the perfect day.
There are 45 categories. So your chances of being selected, no matter how small your business is are realistic. The focus of the awards is on great customer service, but not size of business, so any supplier big or small, new or well established has a chance of winning. We will provide nominees and winners with logos, stickers and other collateral to ensure that you can let everybody know.

INQUIRIES
Do you need help or have an inquiry regarding the Kenya Wedding Industry Awards? Kindly send an email to info@samanthasbridal.co.ke or call 0722480068.

 

Kenya Wedding Industry Awards

Samanthas Bridal has launched the Kenya Wedding Industry Awards (KWIA) that will recognize excellence across 45 categories within the wedding industry. The voting will be done by the public, industry peers, and past brides and grooms.

“We are thrilled to launch the awards. This is something we know both the industry and couples will welcome. There are so many great companies out there who deserve to be recognized for their exceptional customer service, but often this is never the case. We are delighted that brides and industry support this initiative and want to make sure that everyone has a chance to prove that they are the best in their field,” said Catherine Masitsa, the brains behind Samantha Bridal.

In spite of the tough economic times, this is a very good time for the wedding industry in the region, and particularly in Kenya today as the Millennial generation enters the engagement age. Just because of the sheer numbers of this generation plus the generational characteristics, the wedding industry is set to grow, she said.

Newlywed’s will be given the opportunity to vote for each of their wedding providers based not only on the quality of their product, but also who gave amazing customer service and went an extra mile to make sure they got the day of their dreams and value for money. These customer ratings will determine the best wedding providers in Kenya.

Vote now for your favorite service provider at https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/evewoman/weddingawards/ because your opinion counts!