Category Archives: From the Experts

Advice from experts in the wedding industry

Curious to find out which celebrity design will become the latest wedding fashion trend? Here’s our prediction!

Throughout history, celebrities have been known to shape and influence fashion trends especially in the wedding industry. For instance, Princess Diana’s ivory silk taffeta and antique lace wedding dress that had a 25-foot (7.62 m) train became one of the most famous dresses in the world. The £9000 gown also managed to influence the wedding fashion as people began to order for large puffed sleeves, a full skirt and “soft touch fabrics”.

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Kate Middleton wowed the world when she tied the knot to the love of her life, Prince William in a Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen gown. The style featured an ivory lace bodice with long sleeves and a satin skirt that indeed set the stage for bridal as designers tried to offer a similar styles similar to Kate’s. In recent times, Melania Trump, America’s new first lady settled for a white, off-the-shoulder gown designed by Hervé Pierre for the Inaugural Ball. The gown featured a thin red cord at the waist, subtle ruffle detail and thigh-high slit.

kate middleton dress









Nazira Dalla, a wedding fashion expert who once predicted accurately on what Kate Middleton would wear, foresees that the off-shoulder design, which was worn in the 80’s, will become the latest trend in the wedding industry. According to her, off-the-shoulder gowns are timeless, sensual and stylish. They are suitable for a bride who is looking for a sexy yet demure style. It offers a more conservative wedding-day look, and is flattering to a variety of body types.



To find out more about gowns and the latest trends visit her stand at the Samantha’s bridal Fair from 3rd to 5th March.

Do you know the essential questions to discuss with your cake maker? Educate yourself right now

Did you know that other than the bride, the food and the decor, the wedding cake is the other vital centerpiece? The task of choosing a wedding cake that will leave your guests in admiration is a great task, but far too commonly, many brides make the mistakes while choosing one.

Beatrice, the director of sweet inspiration has seen many brides make mistakes while choosing their wedding cakes and having been in business for ten years, she shares with Samantha’s bridal on the pitfalls brides should avoid:

  1. Most brides look at the cake as the last item during wedding planning. The wedding cake is deemed as the centerpiece of your reception hence just as any other item; a lot of care should be taken when choosing a baker or the cake design.
  2. Not paying proper attention to colors: In this case, as Beatrice puts it, the bride is not always right! In case you have two strong colors, it is wise to settle for white as the backdrop like green and burgundy.
  • Beatrice advises too that the bride can settle to play around with different shades of color and allow the baker to be creative.
  1. Fresh flowers do not belong on cakes: Most cake decorators are ecstatic when a client actually asks for sugar flowers. As a cake decorator, Beatrice advises that fresh flowers are toxic and contain poisonous flowers that can seep from the flowers and into the cake. Symptoms of ingesting poisonous flowers are not pleasant. They include pain in the mouth, upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, and possibly even a trip to the hospital.
  2. Having one flavor: It is vital to include your guest’s taste buds when instead of settling for one common option. Beatrice advises that brides should consider the dietary needs of their guests; there those who can’t take sugar or those who are from the older generation who prefer to take fruit cake than other flavors.
  • Again, caution should be taken not to have too many flavors will stretch your budget, overwhelm your guests, and make serving a headache. If you’re looking to offer up options, consider cupcakes or a serve-yourself dessert bar instead of a large tiered cake.
  • Also, a weird combo can ruin your wedding hence be careful to choose flavors that go together.
  1. Having a friend or relative bake your wedding cake: Always use an experienced baker to bake your cake. Beatrice says that a bride should be informed on the kind of cake she wants and know that every baker has his or her own specialty. There are those who can bake but can’t design and vice versa. Brides should ensure that they call two or three friends and find out what the baker they have picked on have done and also visit their place of work and see them in action.
  • Beatrice does not discourage brides who have friends or family members who are experienced in baking cakes. She just wants them to beware of those who claim to know what they are doing and in the end really don’t.
  • Contract: Most brides forget to communicate their desires in the contract or some don’t sign at all. Beatrice advice that the contract ought to be a win win affair between the bride and the baker and the contract ought to stipulate their expectations. If possible have a photo on the cake design agreed on and have those in charge of your wedding understand the agreement to follow up.
  • Cake tasting: Make sure you taste your cake to avoid surprises on your big day. Always have someone who is an expert in cakes to check out the freshness and whether it’s the agreed flavor.
  • The set-up: Always ensure that your baker works with the florist or your decor supplier to compliment the general design.
  • Beatrice Kagondu of Sweet Inspirations will be there at the Samantha’s Bridal Fair answering all your questions concerning cake so plan to attend from 3rd to 5th March!! See you there!

Ever been curious to find out the real cost of wedding cakes & why their prices are so different?Read here for more details

To answer that question, I think we need to first discuss wedding cake pricing. Most bakeries will price their wedding cakes at a per serving cost ie the number of people you intend to serve. So, for example, you may see that their wedding cakes are Ksh40/serving or Ksh100/serving. And a serving equals a person. Other bakeries will price their wedding cakes based on the size of the cake. So, for example, you may see that a 3 tiered round cake (6″, 8″ and 10″), is Ksh 35000. While these are two different ways of pricing, they are really the same. The price you see for the particular sized cake is based off of the number of servings you can get. So, essentially it’s all based on your guest count and the number of servings you need. Now, the cost of the wedding cake is a combination of a few different items;

  • First, you have the ingredients and the quality of those ingredients.
  • Then there is the labor, the actual time it takes to make it.
  • Then the craftsmanship of your baker and the artistry and design they bring to it.
  • Then, of course, comes the freshness and the taste.
  • And lastly, the customer service, how you are treated and what your experience is like.

So, the answers to your questions are one in the same. All of these items play a factor into that price per serving cost. So, the price will differ depending on the level and quality of those items. How much a wedding cake costs depends on what is important to you about that cake. If the design is important to you, you’ll be paying for their skill. If you want local, organic ingredients, you’ll be paying for that. When you’re looking at different companies, it’s hard to do an apples to apples comparison as you won’t have the information on many of those factors. But, know that a cheaper baker is cheaper for a reason. It might be because they are newer or because their cakes aren’t as fresh or because they only do really simple cakes with little design. And there isn’t anything wrong with those things. You just have to understand what you want and what is important to you about the wedding cake. Then you’ll know what you’re comfortable with and can go with the baker that makes most sense for you.

You know when you go shopping and you find an item you like and then you think, how much is this supposed to cost? You have some doubt and hesitation.   You like it but, you’re not quite sure if it is worth it. And it’s because you have nothing to compare it to. It might be a great price or be totally overpriced. It’s all relative. But, once you understand that cost, you can make a decision on whether it is worth it to you or not. This same situation can apply to purchasing a notebook, a couch, a laptop, a T-shirt or your wedding cake. So, How much do wedding cakes cost? Find out in this post and interview with Beatrice from sweet inspirations. Q&A so that you can make a decision on what is worth it to you.  Click here to read the answer and find out why there is such a big a difference in cake pricing . Happy planning


Do you have fears buying a custom made gown?..Fashion designer Ogake explains why you shouldn’t

ogake custom 1















Photos from Ogake bridal

What comes into your mind when you think of a custom made gown? Well, to many, it may look like an unobtainable luxury, the preserve of the people with money as well as the extravagant brides who won’t mind going beyond their means once in a while. In the past, and this is during our grandparents time, handmade clothing was not so unusual. It would either be home-stitched or bought from a local seamstress. In comparison to an off-the-rack gown, a custom-made gown, or a  Made-to-Measure (MTM) or bespoke gown is one that is made according to the bride’s specific measurements, design and requirements. The gown undergoes the whole design process taking anything from a week (pushing it) to a year, as you wait. An off-the-rack gown can also be referred to as ready-to-wear (RTW). It is made before purchase/order, and can either be bought online or from a local boutique. Off-the-rack gowns can also be rented. Companies plan their collections and production ahead of the season, and you choose from the existing styles.

Ogake Mosomi, an accomplished bridal wear designer who was voted the people’s choice for the FAFA Emerging designers Award in 2012 is one of those designers. She holds an impressive record, having dressed various celebrities like Wahu and Sauti Sol and her pieces have been worn at various corporate launches like Samsung, Lux and others. During an interview with Samantha’s bridal, Ogake explains how with technology and a bit of creative design have made it easy for the creative bride to be able to have a custom made gown designed according to her design.

Here are some of the misconceptions she gives of custom gowns:

  1. People assume that it is cheap. It is not as materials have to be outsourced at times and it takes a lot of time for everything to be done based on what the bride desires.
  2. Locally made gowns are not good quality: According to Ogake, fashion designers in Kenya are making effort to ensure that the quality of the trims, fabric as well as finishing is great hence brides should not be scared

To find out more on custom gowns and how you can have one perfectly made to suit your body, why don’t you meet her at the Samantha’s bridal Fair from 3rd -5th March? She promises to surprise you with the latest trends as well as give you advice on gowns and what will work for you.


Twitter: Ogake
0732219292 to book an appointment with her

A SPA experience for any bride

Our Director, Dr. Catherine Masitsa-Rosza had booked this appointment for us a week in advance – a day at the spa. High in spirits, at 10a.m we make our way to Total Woman Spa located on the first floor of Adam’s Arcade Shopping mall. We are greeted at the door by a lovely looking lass in white. As we venture inside the parlor with its blue painted walls and crisp white furniture: tables, chairs working tops, it’s an atmosphere of serenity and tranquility. Janet, the Spa owner greets us with a warm smile and warm conversation as and hands us over to her attendants and the pampering begins.


First, we are treated to a sugar scrub with mint, and its heaven! The skin-penetrating effect of mint and the sugar on the hands is really soothing. The sugar-based exfoliating treatment makes quick work of dull, dry skin and ragged cuticles to give even to the most mani-deprived hands a taste of soft, smooth, spa manicure perfection–in just one minute. Ask for it when you visit the spa sometime.


This was followed by the paraffin manicure, and no, there was no paraffin smelling chemicals involved.  It is actually a beauty treatment for the hands that combines nail polishing and buffing with skin softening and moisturizing. While most standard manicures focus only on the fingernails where Manicurists rub lotion into the fingers or provide brief palm massages, to increase blood flow into the fingers, which can help nail enamel adhere; paraffin manicures involves the entire hand being dipped in paraffin wax (this is where it derives its name from) either before or after the nails are polished, in order to seal in softness and moisture. The wax is usually left on the skin for some time, usually between five minutes and half an hour. When it is removed, the skin will typically feel silky soft, and the hands are refreshed and revitalized. Paraffin Manicure focuses on the health of the whole hand and ultimate relaxation is usually the goal. The incorporation of the wax is typically considered a luxury, and this sort of manicure is usually among the more expensive offerings at salons and spas.



Oh did I mention the tea and biscuits, the whole time we were getting the manicure? It really is thoughtful service.

Our hands look dapper, we make our way to the pedicure station complete with an all-white leather Robotic Massage Chair, with a  full back and seat massage remote controlled by, you guessed it, you! The jet massage tub is exhilarating as the warm foamy pedicure bath massages the feet and toes. The lovely ladies work on our feet scrubbing, exfoliating and all manner of pleasantries and the result –soft, radiant feet, red painted toes that your significant other can eat grapes from. *wink*wink. A treat that every bride-to-be must have. Better still add it to your monthly bucket list.

Finally, we make our way to our private rooms each for a facial, massage and waxing. By the time we are done, its five o’clock, and we have to leave the pleasant indulgence.

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Bridesmaid Guide

She asked you to be in her wedding, and now you’re wondering what the job entails.

The good news is that you don’t have to be an etiquette guru or event diva to play this role perfectly. Being a bridesmaid is ultimately about love and friendship. Being there for the bride in body, mind and spirit. It’s about learning to laugh even when you are wearing the worst dress and shoes of your life. It’s about finding special ways to celebrate friendship, and provides perfect excuse to party with the girls. You simply need to be your most fun and supportive self and handle a few basic tasks to nail your job with poise and grace. These are the Golden rules that every fabulous bridesmaid should live by;


Be fabulous

Being fabulous is about being the best friend you can be, loyal, enthusiastic, fun, gorgeous, and true. This has very little to do with money but everything to do with attitude; that is feeling love and respect for the bride’ you if you don’t love and respect the bride, or you have doubts, think again about being on the line up. Imagine how you will feel after spending a lot of money, hosted parties, logged in hours of being supportive.


Say yes to her dress

The simplest strategy of dealing with a not so flattering bridesmaid dress is to graciously accept it. Wear whatever and pay whatever the bride wants for as long as it’s reasonable of course.


Know the bride

No matter how many bridal line-ups you have been on, every bride is different from each other. And every bride will want different things from her bride’s maids. Use your knowledge of her personality to provide the kind of support she may need. Does

She has an obnoxious mother in-law? Be the interface when the woman gets bossy. Or is she worried about getting the perfect dress? Take her for dress fittings in different bridal gown houses. As a friend you have everything it takes to be a good Bridesmaid especially of you think a lot around on how you can help instead of just assuming that you know her well enough to read her mind.


Stay tech savvy

Just like any job, you must stay on top of technology trend and being a bride’s maid is not different. Check the Internet for bridal shower ideas; view different bridesmaids dress designs, look at different color combos and wedding ideas for the bride. It only takes a few minutes.


Have no expectations

Getting married is very overwhelming and sometimes brides become neurotic. Please don’t abandon her when she needs you most! Your emotional support and sense of humor are the keys to her sanity. She may not be able to show gratitude in the way you expect for example sending formal thank you notes, gifts etc. so have no expectations and you will not be disappointed.

Be a bond girl

Bond with the rest of the bridesmaids whether you already know then or not. You are all the brides dear friend sand it’s her desire that you get a long. Having a tight knit bridal party is every brides dream


Take direction

The wedding is a show, you are the cast and the bride is the director. And together you are going to put on fabulous show for all invited. This means you may have to sometimes keep your opinions to yourself most of the time no matter how knowledgeable you are on matters wedding, do not make assumptions

What the bride wants. It is not your wedding, just remember that. Take direction from the bride.

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Be good to yourself

Don’t sacrifice anything to dear for the bride or you might be very resentful in the future, be realistic about your schedule if you don’t live near and cant make if for some of the parties leading up to the wedding let her know in advance. Don’t get caught in petty drama with other bridesmaids. Remember the big picture, you love the bride, she loves you and weddings are a celebration of love and friendship.

Photography By Ben Kiruthi

7 Tips to Keep the Flame Alive

1. Little Things that Mean the World


It’s the little things that count. Pull a chair every so often, complement each other, open the door, hold hands and skip into the sunset; just the simple things that make you smile subconsciously as they play back in your mind. No need to break the bank to plant a gentle kiss on your lover’s forehead.


2. Relieve a Burdenshutterstock_57623743

Take the kids to your mother’s house and have the house to yourselves for the weekend.  Prepare a continental dinner together, light some candles, create a sensual ambiance with some slow, romantic ballads, play some games and just engage in reconnecting. Cuddling and drowning into each other’s deepest thoughts is truly wholesome.


3. Out and Aboutshutterstock_54658081

Pack a little bag and go for a drive to wherever the road takes you. Make a stop in the middle of nowhere and have a picnic in the wild while enjoying nature’s harmonies. Go for a walk in the park, rent bicycles and cycle together, hike a mountain or visit the museum. Whatever it is, it’s already special because you have each other.


4. Your Own Special Dayshutterstock_46189018

Valentine’s should not be the only day you express your love for each other. Pick a date besides an anniversary and make that your own monthly special-day celebration. Surprise each other with gifts, get away for the night or dress up and eat out. Treat this day like a country treats a national holiday and even have a name for it.


5. Fulfill your Promise

The broken plumbing system you’ve been promising to work on for the last month, the movie night you’ve been talking about having, the trip you’ve been planning on taking: do it already! There are so many things in life we plan to do but never get around them. Take the time to make good on your promises. It certainly goes a long way.



6. Bring Sexy Back

Ditch the Safaricom promotion t-shirt, the hosiery you use to wrap your hair and the fluffy, warm winter socks you wear to bed. Buy some lingerie, a nice pair of high heels and an aphrodisiac scent; get into character and make an unforgettable night out of it. Treat him to a sensual massage, do a strip tease and perform that sexy dance and make it all about him.


7. Blast from the Past

All the special little things you did together when you met should not automatically go away now that you have been together for a while. Pursuing your partner doesn’t stop just because you got them. Continue to do all the things that earned you that special price; a person to cherish and it will only get better.

Finally, always remember to say I LOVE YOU.








Party Is On

Wine has been served in weddings since time in memorial but how do you know when to serve what?

Here are some aspects to consider when selecting the wine for your wedding reception. Matching wine with food is almost impossible so in this case opt for a light, well balanced and easy to drink wine both as red and white. For a more formal and plated meal, ask the advice of your caterer or your wine supplier and simply try the wines with some of the food yourself!

You’re Guests

What kind of wine do they like? How about your friends and family? Do they prefer red, white, rose, sparkling, or a dessert wine? Would your guests enjoy one or two really nice glasses of wine to sip as they socialize? Or is wine not that important to your guests?

Generally in Kenya, we have a sweeter taste for wines; so wines with a fruity and not too dry taste are normally a safe choice.

Time of day

Are you having a lunch or evening reception? People prefer to drink less at an afternoon wedding than an evening affair and they also prefer lighter wine. A good alternative for a lunch reception could be a nicely chilled rose wine. Some of the wines to look out for are South African wines. For an evening reception a choice of white wine and red wine is nearly a must.


If you intend to pair wine with food, you may want to ask yourself, are you having a buffet menu or a sit down and more formal lunch? A buffet offers several choices of food hence matching wine with the food is almost impossible. In this case opt for a light, well balanced and easy to drink wine both as red and white. For a more formal and plated meal, ask the advice of your caterer or your wine supplier and simply try the wines with some of the food yourself.

What’s your budget?

Most of us do not have an unlimited budget to spend on wine, and looking at cost is inevitable. So several options are available to you:

Ask for a wine package: generally for lunch, quantities of wine required can be calculated by 2 glasses of wine per person, sp approx ¼ ltr per person. If you have 100 guests you will need 25 bottles of wine. For a plated dinner, one should count at least 1 bottle of white wine 75cl for 4 people and 1 bottle of red wine 75cl for 3 people. These proportions can be reduced or increased depending on your type of guests as well as the drink selection you will offer.

For a drinks reception, count a maximum of 1 glass of wine per person especially if other drinks like beer, juices and soft drinks are also be available, if you ask for a maximum number of bottles, then you might want to consider a cash bar.

If the caterer or the hotel allows it, look into bringing your own wine bought from your reliable supplier, though be ready to pay for corkage (a charge paid per bottle up to kshs1000).

Discuss with your supplier to have your wines on sale and return basis, this means that if not all the wine is drunk, you will be able to return the unopened bottles to your supplier only make sure that the labels are not damaged.

By Phillipe Cauviere

Director-WWW Bar and Shop Ltd


Make your Reception unforgettable- DANCE!

Wedding receptions are the highlight of any wedding (okay, second to the bride walking down the aisle and the eagerly awaited kiss). Make your reception unforgettable by simply observing three things:

  1. Provide good food
  2. Serve delicious cake
  3. Ensure lots and lots and lots of dancing

These three things make a reception.

We may not have much to say about food and cake, but DANCE . . . oh, DANCE IS OUR LANGUAGE! At your reception, have everyone put on those dancing shoes and dance. Let your guests dance, join them in dancing, have no end to dancing.

Dance is one language both the young and the old understand. So dance! Let the men dance, let the singles dance, let couples dance (including your parents), let Cucu and Guka dance too. Everyone should dance. Dance Luhya, Kalenjin, Kamba, Maasai, Kikuyu, Kisii, Luo even French and Spanish. Dance in between the speeches, before you cut the cake, after you serve the cake.

Let Dance be the center piece of your Wedding Reception, and we believe your reception will definitely be UNFORGETTABLE ! ! !


Will I Satisfy This Man?

SAMCOM2011DAY1-039What really troubles most brides after all the prepping is done and the sun is up illuminating the launch of the happily-ever-after is not the permanence of marriage-which is actually the best part of the deal, its not if the tail will hook onto some unseen crack on the church pews, its not if you will foxtrot properly on your first dance, its not aunt Keziah’s big deal with anything alcoholic; it’s the tingling question: will I satisfy this man, is marriage sex any different, will I meet his standards?
Cynthia Otieno, CEO of Lamead Woman and a marriage counselor explains that your fears and inhibitions are the only aspects that will wipe out any doubts on your honeymoon bed, ‘The most attractive lingerie a woman can adorn is her smile and confidence. Do not by any chance ask him to switch off the lights’ Says Cynthia, ‘Complimenting and affirming your man’s body is very essential to building up his self-trust, let him know that his body turns you on, and just looking at him makes you want him!’

While on it, celebrate your body too and appreciate the power that’s veiled deep within you. A woman’s sexuality should not come across as frightening but rather as a sacred gift instated by the gods for reasons of pure merriment and,
She goes on to explain that due to the drawing post wedding effects and the strangeness of the new setting, it is completely normal to feel uneasy. Do not blame yourself for not being the storybook perfect wife; there’s no expiry date to this night, all you need to do is relax and let the moment take over. Some couples wisely opt for a deep body massage oil with sensual oils that not only helps them relax but helps them break ice too in case of no prior experience.

Take advantage of all the Hollywood folklore in the surge of adrenaline a man experiences simply by undressing a woman! Allowing your husband to help you undress off the heavy layers of tulle and organza will not only save you the little energy left from your first night dance but will also boost your man’s ego; seeing unto the fact that he’s being helpful and his efforts are appreciated.

At this point, my mind goes back to this Indian tradition where during the Mendhi night or henna application ceremony, the prospective bride gets the first letter of her Fiancé’s name carefully drawn in the ebb of the intricate henna patterns. This paves way for the two to fool about as he tries to trace his initials all over her body. Before the shy maiden even realizes what they are on to, fore play will be happening!
Back to matters boudoir Cynthia also reveals another secret to overcoming the first night inhibitions presentation is key; clean up and clean shave for him. Be sure to make him want you before he even touches you, let him desire you. Take a look at the mirror and say all the nice things about yourself, this is not the time to notice that streak of intractable cellulite snuggly finding comfort on your inner thighs. Chances are, he won’t even notice!

Cynthia also advises couples to discuss sex before their fast night. ‘Forget what your folks told you about sex being dirty, you are now in the zone.’ Discuss your anxiety and reservations, this clears the air on what will/can be done and what are the no-go zones. Remember too that different people have different views on sex; for instance, if there are inhibitions on oral sex or anything experimental, do not insist as you might end up spoiling the moment. Both of you will grow into the role.
All said and done, remember men are said to be visual creatures, but a good sensual scent will last past the honeymoon memories. For marriage insights, Cynthia advises couples to come up with a love menu that encompass all their passionate desires, this will easily guide you in exploring your fantasies as you get used to each other, way long after the honeymoon.