Category Archives: Wedding Ideas

OH-SO-LOVELY HATS

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Remember the hat feature we did about the royal wedding? Remember the elegant, grand and overtly stylish hats worn by the nobles and the gentry? Would you believe me if I told you that hats in similar style are available here in Kenya?

Some of us have had the distasteful experience of seeing someone else with a hat just like yours especially at a wedding. Sometimes, even the mother-of-the-bride has this horrific experience when she, of all people should be exceptional.

Well, worry no more because Drop of a Hat has literally come to the rescue. Every single hat is unique and has absolutely no replica. Drop of a Hat will be showcasing their classy, tasteful hats at the highly anticipated Samantha’s Bridal Wedding Fair.

DROP OF A HAT

Drop of a Hat is a local bespoke hat business, designing exclusively elegant, stylish hats for the fashion conscious lady. Using mostly locally sourced materials, all the hats are handmade and finely hand stitched leaving no detail to chance. The name; Drop of a Hat came about when Chloé Mitchell made a list of suitable names all with the word –hat- and got friends to vote for their favourite. Drop of a Hat was the most voted hence it became the name of the brand.

Chloé Mitchell’s Bio

Taught by Rose Cory, the appointed milliner of the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen mother, Chloé Mitchell, founder and CEO of Drop of a Hat, kicked off her career after inheriting her great aunt Dora’s antique flower stamen business, a stable and solid foundation to pursue her new found passion of becoming a milliner. Mitchell founded Drop of a Hat -a couture millinery- when she relocated back to Kenya after advancing her skills with Louise of Louise Pocock Bespoke Millinery in the Cotswolds, UK.

Mitchell is involved in charity work and  is currently working with a young handicapped girl, whom she has trained to hand stitch. Mitchell is making plans to work with and to use materials made locally by handicapped persons.

About the Hats

With the use of materials such as rabbit fur felt, wool felt, straw and sinamay, the hats, which include fedoras, fascinators, fashion sun hats, turbans, buttons and headpieces are of high quality with a grand and fine finish and provide a wide variety for both men and women. With prices ranging from Ksh 3,000 to Ksh 24,000, every client is catered to and can boast a bespoke hat with no –one- hat looking like the other; complete with a name as Mitchell names every one of her hats.

Drop of a Hat caters to all styles and occasions and the elegance exuded by the one-of-a-kind hats is sure to make heads turn in every instance. below are pictures of some of Drop of a Hat’s pieces…

 

Chloé Mitchell in; My Slanted Hat: Royal Dream Photograph by Neil Thomas
Chloé Mitchell in; My Slanted Hat: Royal Dream
Photograph by Neil Thomas
Raw Silk three roses egg percher
Raw Silk three roses egg percher: Cupid’s Cup
Calla lily pink button 3 flowers: Lily the Pink
Calla lily pink button 3 flowers: Lily the Pink

 

 

 

Blue roses and peacock swords on comb: Tamu Sword
Blue roses and peacock swords on comb: Tamu Sword

 

 

 

Pink Garden Hat: Chelsea Fuchsia
Pink Garden Hat: Chelsea Fuchsia

 

 

 

 

Chelsea Orchid: Chelsea Orchid
Chelsea Orchid: Chelsea Orchid

HAT ETIQUETTE

Hats have over the years gained popularity in fashion, reaching an unrivaled high after Kate Middleton strutted her hat fashion with almost every outfit she wore and while there are guidelines, proper topper protocol is by far the most complicated out there.

Women’s Hat Etiquette

  • Fashion hats should only be removed in an office, if blocking anyone’s view at the theater or at a wedding, or if you so wish.
  • Anything attached to the hat band, for example a flower, should be on the right-hand side.
  • Women can keep their hats on throughout, indoors or outdoors, be it at a wedding, a funeral, a tea event, in church or at a polo event and can stay on even during the national anthem.
  • Large-brimmed hats are inappropriate for night time as they are only to be worn out when it’s sunny.
  • Small-brimmed or no-brim hats can however be worn at night time and in restaurants as well.
  • Fashion hats are not worn with evening or ball gowns; fascinators, small veil hats, fancy combs or cocktail hats are.

Men’s Hat Etiquette

  • Men should remove their hats in-doors i.e. offices, church, classrooms and also when the national anthem is playing.
  • Anything placed on the hat band, should be on the left-hand side.
  • Men should tip or remove their hats at the presence of a woman especially when being introduced for the first time. It is however unnecessary to tip your hat for women you are acquainted to.

Etiquette Exceptions

  • Any religious head coverings are exempted from the etiquette rules and can be kept on wherever, whenever.
  • Any hats or head coverings worn to cover results of any illness such as hair loss or albinism are also exempted from hat etiquette rules.

 

 

 

 

The Latest Issue Is Out! Do You Have Your Copy?

issue-25-cover

The new issue of your ultimate Bridal Magazine, Samantha’s Bridal is now on sale. Packed with gorgeous ideas and expert advice on weddings, this new issue is one you don’t want to miss! On the cover, Brenda Wairimu, the Star of the hit TV series MALI is dressed in a one shoulder Cinderella gown, which takes us back to a modern fairy tale wedding. One can’t help but feel ecstatic with the bright and colourful cover … and it’s just the tip of the inspiration iceberg!

From stunning gowns you can’t wait to try on, to the perfect wedding look, how to make a workable wedding budget and not forgetting some brilliant wedding day advice from past couples. This issue has got all you need to know about your perfect nuptial.

Plus, we have sampled some stunning real weddings that will fill your mind with diverse ideas on various themes for your big day. And in the happily ever after segment, three couples, Rev Kathy and Bishop Allan Kiuna, Joy and Steve Midiwo as well as Joy and DJ Krowbar share their marriage experiences and advice to help you after you say I do.

Don’t forget a chance to win a honeymoon and romantic gateway to Abu dhabi. We have teamed up with Etihad Airways to give one lucky couple, two return tickets to Abu Dhabi with 4 nights accommodation.

Keep up with the action by following us on Twitter @Samanthasbridal, like us on Facebook: Samantha Bridal TV Show and don’t forget to check us out on Instagram: SamanthasBridal!

Critical Mistakes Brides made and what you can learn from them.

These days you can find a wealth of information to help you plan your wedding, from graphs, charts, timelines; budget guides, party planners, venue options and even apps. Then there are always ideas and ‘must do’s’ from family, friends and in-laws-to-be. It seems there are plenty of people who can tell you what to do. Perhaps the best advice that you can get is from recent brides who know firsthand what ultimately matters in making the day ‘just perfect.’

I am sure by now you have managed to watch our new show ‘My Dream Wedding’ with Samantha’s Bridal. On this show we basically ask the couples to reflect on their wedding day experiences. This show is packed with advice for a bride to be. Catch us every Wednesday at 8.00p.m on KTN!

Back to my discourse, I have surveyed many brides after their weddings. A common question I ask

them is:  “Having gone through the wedding process, what would you have done differently?”

Here’s what some of them said:

Maggie married to Dennis: “I wouldn’t have stressed about the guest list, and just invited everyone without going extremely overboard.”

(Surprising sometimes how many people cannot make the big day anyway!)

Maggie also suggested giving your photographers plenty of sample shots so they know what you would like to have taken. In hindsight she added:

“An extra video and photographer would have been an asset. Our videographer was involved in an accident and was hospitalized on the wedding day just after the ceremony. So we did not get any footage for the reception from our official photographer. Thank goodness the Samantha team was shooting this wedding so we shared the footage!”

Pauline married to Noel reminds all couples to pick up their marriage license. They almost forgot theirs!

Not wanting to leave out any good advice from grooms-to-be, I usually ask them for their input:

Antony said: “I would have had a professional videographer to capture everything about the day. When planning, the videographer got cut out of the wedding budget, so we used a friend and now we have raw footage that we have to pay to have it edited just as much as we would have paid to have a Professional videographer.”

Michael Munuhe who married Ann Shaad said:  “We would have gone an extra mile to know what’s on the market before committing to any payments after paying 250 per chair. We discovered the chiavari chairs go for 150.”

His advice: “Be an educated consumer, attend the wedding fair and know the price of things.”

And the one thing the grooms agree on is to allow the brides a great deal of leeway in planning the big day.

“Be there when asked, but be flexible, too. The brides know what they are doing.”

 

The past brides all agree on one thing too. RELAX and ENJOY the day.

Ann Shaad advises: “Everything will not be perfect and if you expect it to be, you are only going to stress yourself out and won’t be able to enjoy the day.”

Bethe said: “It is not worth it to stress over anything you think went wrong, because chances are nobody even noticed it but you!”

Ciku said: “Two weeks before my wedding everyone kept telling me to not worry about anything, that I will be the only one to know if something isn’t crossed off our to do list. I kept repeating that in my head whenever I felt my inner crazy person coming out. I would not change a thing about that day. It was absolutely amazing to be surrounded by all of our friends and family and celebrating. Hands down it was the best day of our lives.”

Here are more comments from past brides:

  • “8 months of planning was not enough…I felt rushed by most vendors to book now!”
  • “I was excited about DIY projects in the beginning; I made my invitations and centerpieces. I had so much time planning, but then I stressed because I waited until the last minute.”
  • “I did wait until a little late to order my dress because I thought that if I did it too early I would wish I got something else…I really waited too long for a lot of the pieces. I guess really you never have too much time. It could have gone smoother if I had made decisions early on.”
  • “I would have done the guest list FIRST. I procrastinated about it because I thought it would be such a pain—and it was—but it would have made everything so much easier.”
  • “I freaked out and realized at the end of the wedding that my photographer never took pictures of our grandmothers—and now we’ll never get that opportunity again. If we had a VERY specific list for him, maybe that could have been avoided.”
  • “I loved my wedding, but wished I could have been less rushed in the morning and calmer throughout the getting ready and picture part. By the time I calmed down the wedding was flying by.”

 

So now it’s your turn. Planning you Dream Wedding? What are your frustrations?

What questions do you have?  Ask away!  I will find the answers to your questions.

Email me!  editors@samanthasbridal.co.ke

 

 

Groomsmen Shoes: Converse

Groomsmen shoes are a great way of making a statement in a wedding, put your groomsmen in shoes that they are comfortable in and can also wear them again.

Converse shoes are a good example as they break the tradition of the formal outfit that has been the tradition over the years. Instead it gives the wedding a fun theme giving it a cool effect and allow the groomsmen to stand out as well.

Here are some brilliant ideas of converse shoes for your wedding.

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grm

grooms2

purple-converse-for-groomsmen-wedding pinterest

For a daring and outgoing bride, spice up the reception by joining the groom and donning in converse as well.

 

converse_bride

Colour Block your Bridesmaids

Colour blocking in weddings is a fast rising trend in weddings. And we love it.

This look is mainly for those playful and confident brides who are fun and in love with bright colours. The pop of colour is also a reflection of the brides’ personality.

Weddings are colourful and there is no limitation of how much colour you can bring into the wedding.

Below are some brilliant colour blocking ideas for your fun themed wedding.

 

Pic Courtesy of BiHarusi
Pic Courtesy of BiHarusi

brm2

brm3

brm

 

 

 

HERE COMES THE SAMANTHA BRIDAL JULY -2014 EXPO!

#SamanthasBridalExpo
#SamanthasBridalExpo

By Lillian Gaitho

What could be more exciting to every bride-to-be than a day out at the largest bridal fair event? Imagine you have not one, not two but four days with your best girls and favorite men to discover gorgeous wedding goodies! Cross the dates for Samantha’s Bridal Expo this 3rd-6th July at the Sarit Center and explore everything from the brilliant world of bridal.

A convention of top notch, crème-de-la crème industry players showcasing and directing brides-in-the-making on their countdown time plans and bridal accoutrements; the Samantha Bridal Wedding Expo has the answers to all your bridal questions; catering to all brides, whether you are just starting after your engagement or are all planned and ready to go but just need those last-minute favors to dazzle your guests.

LOOKING FOR THE ONE

Of course you have the right man, and this requires you to get the perfect dress for your perfect celebration. You will be inspired by the magical catwalk, a fabulous showcase of bridal gowns featuring every style and cut. We have loads of inspiration for your party too; gorgeous looks for your flower girls, stunning gowns for your bridesmaids and sharp suits for the great men in your life.

Brides-to-be will have a pamper sessions with top makeup artists and you can even take a pose for our top photographers! All you have to do is sign up with our ladies at the reception. Whether you want advice on the right lip shade, the color hue to go with your ivory dress or it’s your Mum looking for the right head wrap, our all-round designers will be on stand-by for your wish.

If you want inspiration for the color scheme, or are yet to be decided on the blooms to loom in your nuptials, you can be sure to fall in love with the tones of sweet-smelling bouquets on display.

And what better way to pamper your groom than allow him some soccer in our lounge? Rest assured he will not be somewhere in a corner checking his wrist watch! Bring the man along, BESPOKE Italian Designers www.Salvatoredifransisa.com –will be showcasing their high-end made to measure suits under Fairview Group.

 

Wedding Styles

Out of Africa Theme

It is similar to a Safari, and definitely has its own twist. Your wedding can be customized in many aspects related to “Out Of Africa”. Treasured African artefacts, traditional ethnic materials, colours and animals are able to give a classy look with this theme.

Treasured African Artefacts

Treasured animal artefacts are usually very minimal, simple and very organic. There is something about handmade folk art and craft art; it looks real and gives you a feel of close to nature. African designs have different looks and reflect different personalities.

Colour

The most commonly depicted “Out of Africa” look is more weathered and savannah plains. Very monochromatic hues like beiges, browns, coppers, and creams, chocolates, khakis and deep greens depict the richness of the African continent. Whatever colour you choose should be used re-currently on the stationary and throughout other areas of the wedding for the theme to stand out.

Animals

Lions “Simba” are the most noble of the African animals. They rule the forest and are some of the most dangerous creatures to man. Lions symbolize the aristocracy that is found in the African forests. Instead of table numbers, one can use animals to name the tables. Also, provide a small token of an animal figurine and a write-up on the same as a give-away to the guests allocated to the table. Other animals one can use to name the tables are giraffes, rhinos, antelopes and elephants.

Material

Various textile materials can be used to develop this theme through out the wedding. For instance, one can use sackcloth, sheers, and linen moderately on table covers and chairs,leather paper for stationary and even tablemats and khaki paper, to give the final classy look of wild-Africa. African prints on fabrics also give an ethnic look and could be used. Lots of pottery can be used to give a dry burnt look of the African Forest, and dried flowers in earthly colours could also add to the décor.

Favour ideas

Scented candles wrapped in sackcloth and packaged in khaki designed carriage bags,mini-notebooks made of elephant paper and wrapped in leather paper with the couples names signed, animal figurines wrapped in linen cloth or bark cloth engraved with names of couple and scented dried flowers wrapped in small African woven baskets and covered with sheer cloth, are just but a few of the ideas one could use. The beauty about using this theme is that there is no fear of colour clashing, as the colours are rich and blend into one another so well.

Congrats, you are engaged – (now what?)

On Issue 20, 2013

Wedding planning, inflation, the rotten economy and you

The holidays have been dubbed “engagement season” by the wedding industry, since the wed-biz has been a growth industry for the past few years, dozens of new businesses have popped up, each trying to grab their slice of the wedding pie (or cake, if you will.) Lots of these are small start-ups.

Many new ventures in the wedding arena have come up in the last few years, some without even a physical address. The good news is that because this new wedding businesses are hungry; it’s often easier to negotiate better rates and services for your money.

The bad news is that you must choose your location and suppliers even more carefully than ever, since you must assess a vendor’s likelihood of solvency by the time your wedding rolls around.  Sadly, these days tales abound of couples who are left high and dry when their venue or vendors shut their doors without warning, and often without refunding deposits despite their legal obligations to do so.
How do you assess a wedding vendor’s robustness?  Often you can’t, but you can hedge your bets in case the worst happens. DO they have an office, a business name, contact and contracts? Has any of the established vendors ever worked with them?  Do they have the necessary legal paperwork for operation? Venues are especially notorious with everyone converting their backyards into venues only for a neighbour to place an injunction just a week before your wedding and you have to get a new venue!  If you are making a substantial investment in a large event, you can reduce your risk of vendor failure by booking a location that is part of a larger company; that way, if a particular location goes burst, you might be able to recover your loss.

However, I don’t want to discourage couples from placing their trust in small business startups who come with the added advantage of offering unique options you can’t get from established businesses.  It’s often a matter of conscience; but is it worth to take additional financial risk? Those who are bold enough and solvent enough to start making wedding plans should be aware of the additional perils of working with some of these companies.

This is where something like wedding insurance which some company is planning to launch (even though I already regard it with some suspicion)  might actually serve a worthy purpose.  Of course, you’ll need to check the small print to make sure your wedding will be covered in the event of a vendor bankruptcy or disappearance….and just to be sure there’s a fine point put on it.

So if you have carefully selected your suppliers, How do you Respond to Suppliers Who Fall Below Expectations?

When hiring a Supplier, through contracts and discussions, expectations are created. As a bride or groom there is a level of confidence that you should have in your Supplier. The caterers will provide great food that won’t run out and that is at the right temperature, the flowers will be brilliant and correct, the timeline will go as planned and the DJ will have all the right songs. These are proper expectations, but what do you do if the food is cold, the bouquet is made from the wrong flowers or the DJ has forgotten to bring your first dance song?

First of all, much can be avoided by following certain steps;

  1. Interview several wedding Suppliers in each category and follow your gut as well as your budget
  2. Create a checklist for the day for each of the suppliers
  3. Make sure the supplier is completely clear and aware of your expectations in writing.
  4. Hire an Event Coordinator, “One who has done many weddings” if not for the whole planning, at least for the material day
  5. If you do not have an Event Coordinator appoint a specific person for each Supplier to make sure all is according to plan. It makes some guests feel like part of your wedding and can ease your mind.

Now if you have done what you can and expectations are still not met (let’s face it, none of us have a perfect work day everyday) the best thing is to take a big deep breath and a moment to calm before reacting. Decide before hand if you are the type of bride/groom that wants to know about situations as they arise or want to be kept out of the loop and just enjoy the day/evening.

Communicate to your suppliers or coordinator(s). The best way to approach a Supplier who has not met requirements is to ask what they can do to remedy the situation. Empower them. They already feel bad enough and being barked at will just make the situation worse. Suppliers understand that this is the most important day for you and that you are paying them, in general most will do whatever they can to fix the problem. Be realistic with your request in the situation. If the florist has created a bouquet of the wrong flowers and does not have the ones you requested and cannot get them, create an alternative with what is available.

While this can be very upsetting and disheartening for a bride/groom, its important to realize that the more time and energy spent on stressing and being angry the less time you will enjoy with your loved ones.

Reserve your sentiments till the wedding is over, usually after the honeymoon. Feedback to all Suppliers is always appreciated as it helps them grow and you feel better. If you are disappointed with the service express that. Ask for what you would like in exchange for your disappointment. They cannot replace the problems of the wedding day, but perhaps they can ease the pocket book or send you a gift or even flowers to your bridal party, etc. There is always a solution.

The most important thing at any wedding is that you enjoy while you are there, with family and friends. A Supplier will always do their utmost to provide the best service possible to you. No matter what, there has never been a wedding that has fallen apart to such a point that it ruined the day, at least not on my watch.

Finally, Even as we feel our budgets grow tighter, let us bear in mind that the best parts of any wedding are the bits you can’t buy: love, appreciation, and camaraderie.  May 2014 bring you many opportunities to create true wealth in all the ways that really matter.

Until next time, a sweet and long life to you all

Wedding Sex

On Issue 23, 2014

What 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 trail will hook onto some invisible  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 satisfaction.
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 inhibition, “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. Invest in a good scent.

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.